The perfect camera, part 2

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by W.Boeke, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. W.Boeke

    ASAAR Guest

    You and the marketing people have a different idea of which
    features are useful. Suppose you have a nice, simple 5mp camera
    that doesn't focus very well in dim light. For the next year's
    model, you'd probably say that you'd like for it to have an AF
    Assist Illuminator added and maybe increase the sensor to 6mp.
    Marketing people would prefer to double the number of scene modes,
    add in-camera editing and up the sensor to 8mp. If both models were
    offered for the same price, which would generate more sales? I'd
    guess the 8mp version, even though the 6mp version would probably
    take better pictures. In the long run, it would be more profitable
    for the camera manufacturer to introduce only one of these two
    models and which one do you think it would be? Is it really the
    fault of marketing that they try to produce what naive buyers
    prefer? You'd like the camera manufacturers to produce useful,
    gimmick free cameras. But the first manufacturer that goes that
    route is likely to be the first to be forced out of business by its
    gimmicky competition. Look at Nikon's new D80, which by almost all
    accounts is a big improvement over the D70 and an excellent camera.
    Yet it has more gimmicks than previous Nikon DSLRs. Guess why? :)
    ASAAR, Oct 11, 2006
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  2. W.Boeke

    W.Boeke Guest

    Probably the collected group of 'naive customers' and the group
    of 'marketing people' keep each other in a iron grip (I am hoping
    this is correct english). But marketing has one extra tool, and that
    is: influencing people by finding the right words to push them in
    a new direction. I imagined that a respected firm like Leica or
    Canon would use e word like MONO-PURPOSE for a new type of P&S
    camera. This word would catch the attention of the casual newspaper
    reader who has a photography hobby. He/she then would read what is
    the meaning of this word: the camera is only made to enable you to
    make good photographs, and nothing else. Then a short list of its
    descerning features, for instance:
    - 3 release buttons instead of one,
    - square picture format,
    - sharp pictures by optical image stabilisation.
    Then the interest and curiosity of this potential customer should
    have been awakened.

    After this, short advertisements could be issued, each mentioning a
    real-life case where taking a photograph would be difficult with a
    traditional P&S camera, and how this is solved with this new
    mono-purpose camera. Subjects should include 'your little children',
    'your lovely girlfriend' or 'your new car in action'. The camera
    should be rather cheap, so people would be willing to buy a new
    model 1 or 2 years later. Also it should be not too cheap, and nobody
    should get the idea that the camera is a stripped-down version of a
    regular camera. Useful slogan: quality instead of gimmicks, or:
    you do the thinking, your camera obeys.

    Are these thoughts totally unwordly?

    Wouter Boeke
    W.Boeke, Oct 11, 2006
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  3. W.Boeke

    ASAAR Guest

    Unworldly? Yes, I think so. Most people seeing ads for a camera
    having three release buttons instead of one would probably be of the
    opinion "I don't think so". As for having a square format, I'd say
    the same thing. I've never cared much for negatives having a square
    format, and would go to great lengths trying to avoid getting a
    digital camera offering that as its primary format. As for
    advertising optical image stabilization, that won't be a big
    persuader for your new design, as it's already a fairly common
    feature. Once found only in expensive lenses, it's now available in
    a large number of small P&S camera bodies.

    The main problem as I see it isn't in using a camera with many
    features vs. a simpler camera. It's that most people aren't
    interested in *first* spending enough time learning basic
    photographic principles and composition, so that they know what
    constitutes better and poorer images, and then becoming familiar
    enough with their camera (whether simple or complex) so that they
    can capture whatever images they've pre-visualized. No matter how
    easy it is to use any particular camera, the resulting images won't
    be very good if there isn't much thought that precedes the
    point_and_shoot reflex.

    Translation: If you're not pleased with the results, you, the
    photographer are to blame, not the camera. That's as it should be,
    but most people would rather believe a sales pitch telling them that
    the camera, with its many gimmicks can do it all, and needs nothing
    more than a finger on the shutter. :)
    ASAAR, Oct 11, 2006
  4. W.Boeke

    Bill Funk Guest

    Good point.
    Maybe the P&S has more features because they are needed to make up for
    the initial lack of a better sensor.
    Or because the two cameras are aimed at totally different customers.
    It makes a lot of sense that your 150 euro P&S will have a hard time
    matching (technically) the images from an 800 euro DSLR; I would
    expect that to be true.
    Bill Funk, Oct 11, 2006
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