Thom Hogan on short product cycles and big discounts

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by krugorg, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    • Like Like x 1
  2. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    He makes some interesting points. Great for the buyer, bad for the seller - eventually bad for everyone.
  3. YouDidntDidYou

    YouDidntDidYou Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 18, 2012
    clueless as ever

    ....clueless as ever, will elaborate later on today
  4. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I think that the lowered prices are what they should cost! When they first release the new cameras and lenses they are highly marked up to make a super profit off those who just have to have the newest firstest{yes I know not a word!}. After 6 months or so the price comes down some but it is still high and to the seller's favor. After a year or so the price drops even more and finally reaches the point it really should be{IMHO}. Shop around for a refurb and the price is even lower.

    All of my m4/3 equipment was either bought used from a private seller or bought at a huge discount either new or refurb. I have paid 25% of what the full MSRP was and I feel good about it. I will continue to do so and I am even proud of it.
  5. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Real Name:
    I don't have a problem with that point of view really, except the point that you're getting them for 'what they should cost to begin with.' Some people are willing to pay for a newly released product either because they want the latest and greatest, or a particular product really satisfies their needs. If you don't fall into those categories then you'd fall into the third category of buyer, basically without any particular need or want - which leads to a willingness to wait for a good value. I also don't perceive buyers in your category as the ones that drive down the latent after market costs - that is on the manufacturer releasing too many similar updated products too quickly - it is no one's fault but Olympus that you can get a refurbished body for $119 from cameta.

    One other quick comment from a long time Pentax user - they smartened up about doing the exact same thing, and so will Olympus. While it is good to get a user base installed for future lens sales, the existing users will start to complain about the value of their products, and eventually you'll see less discounting over a longer timeframe. For example, the Pentax K-7 came out in July 2009 at $1299 - by the time it made way for the K-5 (14 months later), it was being sold for close to $600. The K-5 came out in October 2010 at $1499 and is still on the market for $800 (albeit remaining stock). The point is when they had a real product winner (the K-5 is still absolutely an amazing camera), they smartened up about discounting and replacing. If ever there were a product for Olympus to make that stand, it is the E-m5 - so keep an eye on it and see how far that price dips in the next 6-8 months, and you'll have an idea of whether they'll continue the deep discounting practice.
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Seems that way, doesn't it.

    Olympus and Panasonic seem to have a basic problem with supply chains and forecasting demand. It appears that they're excessively optimistic about sales, and as a result they overproduce and have to dump them at the end of the release cycle. What doesn't make sense is that this process has repeated so many times, seemingly without any attempt to change things on their part.

    Like Thom I suspect that they're going to have a big problem as the market gets saturated. It's also going to be harder and harder to convince folks to upgrade, and I suspect we will reach the point sooner rather than later, where most enthusiasts are satisfied. Sort of like what happened with computers.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Interesting article from the biggest equipment whore out there. This guys flips equipment like pancakes.
  8. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Maybe that's because they, Panasonic at least, used to be on the opposite end of that stick by not producing enough popular cameras. Panasonic's GH2 and GF1 , and LX3 for that matter were really hard to find at certain times. Wasn't OMD also in short supply on release?

    I think there's still room to get better for cameras, as electronics get faster and faster. I know I am not happy with high ISO quality on the GX1, yet, it's much better than GF1, and OMD/GH3 are better than that, and I hope the next model will improve on that even more. I'd pay for that.
  9. amalric


    Jul 24, 2012
    Rome. Italy
    What is missing here is that introduction prices go to offset R&D, which in a new format are high, so no wonder.
    OTH production costs of a mirrorless are certainly lower than a dSLR, say 100 $ at the most, so discounts can be made with no great loss.
    If you want to have a look at the stable part of the m4/3 market, see the lenses' prices, but even they get discounted.
    Of course if sensors met limits to growth, then we would see a more mature industry, like the film one was, with much slower upgrades.
    However sensors are still progressing and camera saturation is only a perspective in the West, not in Asia.
    I said long ago that prices were excessive and people were wasting their money. Yet, even Leica, and FF 135mm are lowering their prices these days, so more common sense may see the light.
  10. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I kind of wish this elaboration occurred.
  11. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    so who pays full retail price for
    a car ?
    a washing machine ?
    a refrigerator ?
    a tool ?
    a phone ?
    a camera ?
    a memory card ?
    a TV ?
    a camper ?

    I think you could take out camera and put in any tech item or any item almost

    even apple computer ! heck you know the refurb store will have what you want in a few months and apple is not a sale every month company yet you dont have to pay full price for their products from student discounts to pro discounts etc..
  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    That's true, but the more expensive items on your list don't drop 50% in their first year.

    In fact, it looks like Panasonic has already decided to sell their 4 month old G5 kit for $500, $300 less than when it was released...
  13. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    no not everything and canon and nikon was mentioned not all their cameras drop like this

    TVs have dropped big time :)

    cell phones seem to drop big time

    no not everything but its the way of electronics

    look at how quick computers fall in price !
  14. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Right. But the point is that if other manufacturers can manage hold prices on similar goods, then it should be possible for Olympus and Panasonic.

    The cell phone market is exactly what we want to avoid. There are only 2 players making significant money there - Apple and Samsung. Everybody else is either losing money, or breaking even. If higher-end digital cameras fall into that position, it's going to be very bad news for m4/3.
  15. Being in my way upper 70s I feel to wait is an iffy option unless I feel really lucky.
  16. 2mnycars

    2mnycars Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2012
    Real Name:
    Back...I never regretted buying quality. Nikon F2 when they first came out; Nikon F3 when it came out. Decent depreciation. Pro glass kept its value too.

    Today? (Well I can't afford the pro bodies anymore...)
    Buy a high end dslr; the first budget dslr body out will create better images. Wish I could pay a reasonable fee and have my d300s upgraded to better-than-new. Perhaps I would consider staying with Nikon.

    So brand loyalty? If I own Nikon, and a must-have Canon, Pentax or whatever comes out, I'm constantly reevaluating whether I should change or not.

    Now, I'm trying to simplify my life. I'm still paying physically for wearing two large dslr's with motor drives, shooting 3 weddings a week. It's a delight to carry my Oly M5 and 2 tiny lenses.

    It's all about images. Understanding light, being there and having the stuff I need to get the images I want. (I used to put food on the table with photography; I don't anymore.)
  17. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    I never minded buying quality when it would last at least 5-10 years. I'm unlikely to pay top dollar every two years, so I often wait and buy used, refurbished, or discounted. The important point here is that I either buy at those prices or I don't' buy at all. An e-m5 (or higher) every two years isn't going to happen.
  18. amalric


    Jul 24, 2012
    Rome. Italy
    Yes, I do the same. IMHO one has to decide about a coherent set of lenses, because those are where the value of the system is preserved. I bought and sold 4 cameras between 4/3 and m4/3 and I dearly hope that the pioneering phase is over. Lenses were kept to the bare minimum between native, adapted 4/3, and legacy lenses, so the expense was kept to a minimum.

    Marketing OC is desperate to sell more cameras, but seen the downturn here in Europe if falls increasingly into deaf ears. Japanese prices are increasing and this reminds me of the film phase that happened in German industry, and wiped it out.

    Funnily Leica is attempting a come back, so clearly the Western public is already split between the few rich and those who are fed throwaway equipment. V. difficult to strike a balance in between.