The "consumerization" of the low end....

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by RichA, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    The most glaring example of this is without doubt the Nikon D40. A
    truly dismal step down from the D50, engineered by Nikon for one
    purpose, to artificially maintain a price point by degrading the
    feature set of the D50. Was it REALLY needed that they shave a few
    mm's off each side of an already diminutive DSLR? Are they aiming it a
    race of adult of child size? Does a few dozen grams really make any
    difference when carrying a camera?? There have been other examples of
    this consumerization, Olympus's complete gutting of their fine C-line
    of P&S cameras turning them into nothing but Kodak-clone plastic JUNK
    with marginal performance. Hilariously, Olympus concentrated so much
    effort in this dismal endevour, they failed to see the future: They
    are now stuck with only ONE DSLR for the North American market, the
    innovative and until recently overpriced E-330!!!

    Pretty soon, the lines will be drawn hard. The "enthusiasts" cameras
    keep improving (Canon's 20D, 30D and soon the 40D) being good examples
    of this, the Nikon D200 being close to a pro model. But the consumer
    end is marketed with two dictates from TPTB: Useless extra megapixels
    and cost-control.

    To look at a Canon 30D and a Nikon D40 is to see a chasm in quality
    difference. But, with the cult-drones and the paid reviewers fawning
    over it, along with a neurotic need for "tiny" everything by clueless
    consumers, the D40 will sell very well indeed. Meanwhile, anyone with
    even a modicum of sense looking for a bulletproof entry-level camera
    will snag one of the leftover D50s for about $400 off Ebay.
    RichA, Dec 21, 2006
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  2. RichA

    Scott W Guest

    Does this mean you are buying a D50?

    Scott W, Dec 21, 2006
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  3. RichA

    Ken Lucke Guest

    While I didn't see the original post (because he's killfiled), I can
    tell you that he doesn't meet the minimum qualifications of his own
    post, even if he was ever going to actually own a camera in his life
    instead of just knocking them all.

    All right, everyone now, to the tune of Monty Python's "Spam" song:

    Plastic plastic plastic plastic, plastic plastic plastic plastic,
    wonderful plastic, lovely plaaaastiiic...
    / -/
    0/ 0/.

    You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a
    reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating
    the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for
    -- Charles A. Beard
    Ken Lucke, Dec 21, 2006
  4. I, for one, am delighted that DSLRs are coming down in size and weight. I
    expect the quality of pictures to be undiminished.

    Hoorah for Nikon!

    David J Taylor, Dec 21, 2006
  5. Due to improvements in its image processing engine, it can provide
    better images than the D50.
    Do you have giant hands? see the Canon D400.
    Don't be so pathetic and people might take you more seriously.
    Now your just ranting again. Stop it with the info overload and just
    take some pictures.
    Leftover? There's still plenty for sale in stores near me. Had the D40
    been around when I was looking at an entry level choice I would have
    certainly considered it.

    Dr Hfuhruhurr, Dec 21, 2006
  6. Forgot about the E500?
    Peter A. Stavrakoglou, Dec 21, 2006
  7. RichA

    Andrew Haley Guest

    I think so, yes. I'm seriously considering buying one for the
    occasions when I want to take a camera, but not a big DSLR. It's an
    attractive alternative to, say, something like the Coolpix 8800.
    Indeed, maybe DSLRs like the D40 will kill Coolpix 8800-class cameras
    stone dead. That's where it's aimed, not the current DSLR market.

    Andrew Haley, Dec 21, 2006
  8. RichA

    RichA Guest

    It's been discontinued.
    RichA, Dec 21, 2006
  9. RichA

    RichA Guest

    I can hardly wait for the 1.5 sensored, pressed phenolic and cardboard
    DSLRs to hit
    the market.
    RichA, Dec 21, 2006
  10. RichA

    Scott W Guest

    So put your money where you mouth is. You keep telling us how the cost
    saving using plastic are not worth the loss in quality, so stop all
    this bellyaching and go out and buy a metal camera.

    Scott W, Dec 21, 2006
  11. RichA

    Mike Smith Guest

    I have to say, that for all the bashing of this guy (RichA) that
    everyone seems to enjoy, I agree with him on many points.

    I don't like plastic (don't get me wrong, it's nice to have a choice
    for weight, size, features and price)... It is CHEAP to manufacture,
    CHEAP to produce and just plain cheap.

    I don't doubt that today's plastics are tough, but I remember having
    Nikon, Pentax and Olympus SLRs in the 70's and 80's that were made like
    little jewels. Small, light and tough as nails. Plus, they had that
    "precision" feel to them. Like you were handling a serious photographic
    instrument. They were something that you were proud to own and could,
    with due care, last a lifetime.

    Just my 2 pennies. Carry on...
    Mike Smith, Dec 21, 2006
  12. RichA

    Rebecca Ore Guest

    He's a cut and paste person giving people the advantage of what they
    probably already read. A url to the original information would be
    enough. I've got him killfiled and would appreciate it if people would
    stop responding to him, especially if they're just bashing him for
    cutting and pasting.
    My cameras are (1) a Nikon D50 with three lenses (105 VR micro, 18-70
    zoom, and a 50mm f/1.8 zoom); (2) a 1951 IIIF Leica with a 50 mm f/2
    Summitar; and (3) a Minolta Autocord from 1955. The last two cameras
    are all metal, still working with some age related crankiness (the
    Summitar and the Autocord have been worked on recently). They're
    probably going to see me out as functional cameras, but the D50 is
    easier to shoot with, and the camera I didn't count is what I grab for
    quick shot to show the progress of work being done on my house (Coolpix

    But, yeah, the Leica and Autocord have great fondle-ability.

    I don't expect the D50 to see me out, but I hope the lenses will last
    for 20 or 30 years (not sure how well VR is going to last, though).

    The thing is that I will save on chemistry over the life of the Nikon
    D50, and it's paid for itself after the equivalent of say, 20 to 30
    rolls of color film.
    Rebecca Ore, Dec 22, 2006
  13. RichA

    RichA Guest

    In the mid 1980s, you could buy a precision MACHINED Pentax K1000,
    Nikon FM2 or Olympus OM-1n for about $300.00. A cheap plastic SLR, the
    Canon Rebel T70 cost about $130.00. Now, you pay $700 for a
    PLASTIC-bodied DSLR AND the labour costs $10/day from China or Taiwan
    versus Japan's Western wage levels of the 1980s.
    Pentax stopped making a metal DSLR. Yet, dpreview (doing it's best
    sales pitch) touted the K10D body as the "toughest yet." Plastic and
    rubber seals does not = tough. It might = water resistent. But a
    consumer DSLR likely isn't even made of the same kind of plastic as a
    Pelikan camera case which can boast being waterproof.
    The only company wth the light in the tunnel is Canon, whose every DSLR
    is metal, except for the Rebel XTi. But plastic does have "its place."
    If it wasn't for cheap polymer resins,
    Olympus would be bankrupt or would have closed their camera divisions.
    RichA, Dec 22, 2006
  14. So, when you take inflation into account, and the fact that digital cameras
    contain a lot more stuff than analog cameras, and you end up with a D200.
    Who cares about all the budget basement cameras, just get a D2X or a
    1Ds mk II.
    Philip Homburg, Dec 22, 2006
  15. RichA

    Andrew Haley Guest

    It won't make any difference to you, will it? You're not going to buy
    a DSLR in any case.

    For those of us who want a second "carry around" camera, small light &
    cheap is great.

    Andrew Haley, Dec 22, 2006
  16. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Still beating that old drum are you?
    You know what that statement reminds me of? "Popcorn" movie. It's
    what critics say when they are too ashamed to admit they enjoyed a
    lowbrow movie, they call it a "popcorn" movie. As if that excuses
    their terrible taste in films. So, camera owners saying
    "second carry around camera, cheap, light, etc" what they are REALLY
    saying is
    "I'm too ashamed to admit that I think a plastic camera is a good
    first-string instrument so I pretend to relegate it to "cheapo backup"
    as if to say "my real camera is all metal!"
    RichA, Dec 22, 2006
  17. RichA

    Andrew Haley Guest

    What's your answer? It seems to me like a reasonable enough question.
    What's wrong with enjoying a lowbrow movie? You're not a snob, are you?
    I'm serious about this, Rich. The small size and light weight, not to
    mention low cost, of this camera makes it highly desirable for plenty
    of us who carry around big DSLRs. If it functions basically OK,
    that'll do. It doesn't have to be great.

    I was wondering whether I could get a "My other camera is a D2x"
    sticker". Hey, perhaps one comes in the box with the D40. If it
    doesn't, maybe we should suggest it.

    Andrew Haley, Dec 23, 2006
  18. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Not at all. In fact, I'd admit I liked it, I wouldn't try to
    rationalize it to preserve an appearance of having better taste.
    Not a bad idea. The prism in the D200 probably costs Nikon as much
    as the entire D40 anyway so including it would be like including a
    remote control or
    any other small accessory.
    RichA, Dec 23, 2006
  19. RichA

    Andrew Haley Guest

    OK, so we are on the same page. The D40 is a low-cost fun camera to
    have. It's not for snob appeal and it's not to preserve an appearance
    of having better taste than anyone else. It's for going out and
    taking pictures with.

    There's nothing wrong with value engineering. It's not wicked or
    sinful to cost-reduce a product, even if you think it's a lowbrow
    thing to do.
    So, come on, tell us. For those of us who really do want a light
    cheap carry-around camera, why is any of this a bad thing?

    Andrew Haley, Dec 28, 2006
  20. RichA

    RichA Guest

    The camera as a camera is ok, but why replace a BETTER camera with it?

    1. It costs as much as the D50 or more.
    2. It isn't much smaller or lighter.
    3. It has far less friendly control features.

    I know that most people who are entering the DSLR realm want something
    that behaves like a P&S, but eventually, when they learn to refine
    their techniques, they'll want those control features close at hand,
    not buried in a menu.

    Having said that, I used the D40 and though I would not buy one myself,
    it seemed to have
    very good auto WB and the images were good, much like the D50's.

    Here's a full-sized jpeg from it, 800 ISO. As you can see, white
    balance is bang on.
    RichA, Dec 28, 2006
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