1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

The high price of EVFs

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by dhazeghi, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Can't quite wrap my head around the pricing of accessory EVFs. The Olympus VF-3 and VF-2, the Panasonic LVF2, and the Ricoh VF-2 are all priced in the $170-$250 range. On the other hand, you can get a camera with a built-in EVF (the Panasonic G3) for $500. I can understand making a bit more on accessories than camera bodies, but this feels rather excessive.

    I'm a longtime owner and fan of the Olympus EVF, but it makes it hard to recommend m4/3 cameras to budget-conscious friends as the initial m4/3 system savings are wiped out by the price of the EVF.

    Thoughts?

    DH
     
  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Business 101.. pure marketing....

    The cost to manufacture has very little to do with the MSRP of products. The goal is to sell an item to maximize profits.. i.e. to sell at the highest price that the market will withstand.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. slith

    slith Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Apr 4, 2012
    Dublin, Ireland
    Alfonso
    Lack of open standards, ie no competition, also helps.
     
  4. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    636
    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    Well if someones budget is less then what it costs to get a Pen mini then should continue to save their money and wait. The entry point of M4/3 is very low, probably the lowest of any system. You can get into the system for less then $200 if you don't mind getting a perfectly fine older generation camera Olympus PEN E-PL1 Micro 4/3 Digital Camera & 14-42mm Lens (Black/Black) - Factory Demo includes Full 1 Year Warranty

    Also consider that you don't have to have an EVF I don't with my Pen and get along fine and I live in a very sunny place. I do own a OMD but I don't use the EVF on it very much.

    I think the biggest asset to the M43 system is that its fun to use and small. Your friends should be shooting so hopefully they don't let the price of an EVF stop them.

    The price could be because of the money issues that Olympus has and the overall demand for the product which I assume is quite small compared to the number of cameras they sell. I don't like to spend $89 on a lens hood for my 12mm but it is what it is.
     
  5. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    Or just spend $50- on a LCD loupe like a Hoodman knockoff.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I agree the price seems high, but I'm not quite as convinced the reason is pure avarice on the part of the manufacturers. I suspect these sell in relatively small quantities, which is going to raise the cost on a per unit basis. If everyone who bought a small m43 body also bought the EVF, I'm sure prices would fall quite a bit.
     
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    True, and that's a good price for the E-PL1 kit.

    However, the E-PL1 has enough limitations on its own that I'd be hesitant to recommend it, at least to somebody who I was on good terms with!

    Regarding the pricing, an entry-level DSLR kit can be had new for under $500. A Pen Mini with EVF in same condition is easily $650. That's a gap. Obviously not everybody regards the EVF as a necessity, but for folks not coming from point-and-shoots, it tends to be important.

    Makes sense, but given the Panasonic G and GH series, the main components do sell in at least some quantity, don't they? Seems like the pricing can't be all that high or Panasonic would be losing money all those $500 G3s.

    DH
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. It's an nice accessory but not exactly critical. You don't need it to use the camera, but there is obviously enough demand for it that Olympus can set their price and still sell them in reasonable numbers. You can still get a VF-2 for virtually nothing by buying one as part of a used kit and selling the camera and lens separately.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If the comparison is specific to some PEN vs the G3, there's another way to pitch it; the G3 doesn't have IBIS and it can't be added via an accessory after the fact.

    For me, IBIS and EVF were an absolute must since I wanted to adapt vintage lenses. So I bit the bullet and bought the EVF. The Olympus EVFs have held price because it was compatible from its introduction in the E-P2 all the way up to the current E-P3. The market was willing to withstand the high price. WIth the introduction of the EM-5, you may find some hitting the used market.
     
  10. PENpal

    PENpal Mu-43 Veteran

    384
    Feb 15, 2011
    New models coming out with built-in viewfinders will dramatically bring down EVF prices...i hope.
     
  11. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Yes, assuming the internal components are the same, there's cost savings there, but the EVF's still require a separate production line to assemble them, a separate test and QA process, etc. Building a production line isn't cheap.
     
  12. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    An external detachable EVF would have many extra components that need to be rugged enough for repeated insertion and removal, as well as the occasional bump. All of which add cost.
     
  13. slith

    slith Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Apr 4, 2012
    Dublin, Ireland
    Alfonso
    Keep hoping, but I'm afraid it won't happen. A built-in viewfinder is simply an option you can't remove, makes for a bulkier body for a function you don't always need. The advantage of a detachable (e)viewfinder is that you can save space when you know you don't use it.

    I admit that it is not such a huge difference in size, but for some it is very important.

    Size matters...
     
  14. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    YMMV, obviously, but for me the Pen is pretty much unusable without the EVF.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    +1 Dave. I hate trying to compose using the rear LCD, especially in bright light. And holding the camera out in front of you that way loses at least one shutter speed increment of hand-holding ability (probably why people like IBIS so much).
     
  16. slith

    slith Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Apr 4, 2012
    Dublin, Ireland
    Alfonso
    Well, I've noticed a couple of times I've missed a decent shot because in the LCD I could not see that the focus was on the wrong point of the subject, and even reviewing the photo in the LCD with better light conditions I had a hard time figuring out what was in focus.

    I'll be buying one as soon as I save up for it, but I certainly know plenty of times when I wouldn't be using it, furthermore, the fact that I can detach it from the camera and store it in some other pocket of the camera bag is a nice to have.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    True enough. It just seems that having designed flashes for years and years, this a fairly well understood problem!

    The built-in EVF doesn't have to make for a bulky body. Look at Sony's NEX-7. But I agree that if it does significantly increase size, then it should be optional. I can put an E-P3/pancake lens in my jacket pocket when going to a social event. A GH2 would have to go around the neck...

    For non-casual, outdoor use, that's my feeling too.

    DH
     
  18. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    That's my take on it, too. From my (long ago) past as an electronics developer I know that housing, connectors, etc. constitute a significant part of the total product cost, not to mention the additional cost for packing, sheets, handling as a separate item in the whole sales channel, etc.. Not needing all these costs for an internal EVF will make quite a difference I'm sure.
     
  19. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    Maybe we're all just waiting for the Borg retina implant 8)
     
  20. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    That would be great! Sign me up, but only if it's wireless.

    Fred