Camera makers focusing on other camera makers, not on customers

According to Thom Hogan, camera makers look at other camera makers, not at customers, when designing new cameras.

Further, it’s abundantly clear that the camera makers are all looking at each other, not at customers. Anything different (more pixels, different sensor size, lower light capability, different focus system, IS, you name it) tends to be quickly matched or reacted to in some way very quickly by most of the players (uh, Pentax, hello?). Sometimes it’s just marketing message or pricing that adjusts, but often we see things like the Canon EOS M putting a mirrorless stake in the ground, which has a FUD-like drag effect on the others. Short of a truly breakthrough technology that’s patent protected, none of the camera makers are going to manage to beat the others to the punch by more than a cycle or so.

By targeting other manufacturers, sales are netted on the slippery backs of system jumpers. Endemic to system jumping is dabbling, and its apparent market growth. This occurs only when a technology excites the enthusiast. When that technology ripens, enthusiasts move on.

It is an unsustainable market. Camera companies gaining market share in a dwindling market will result in the death of numerous mounts, the wholesale liquidation of lenses, accessories, and cameras, and the alienation of investing customers. 

Mirrorless or not, everyone is making a wannabe dSLR. Everyone is making fantastic lenses. And yes, there are some cool technologies underpinning today's latest mirrorless cameras. But apart from smartphones, nothing new, nothing that revolutionises the way the user interacts with their camera, or the world they are shooting, has hit market.

It was never the camera that we wanted: it was us. And the easiest way for us to get more of what we want is the smartphone.