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Old 04-06-2019   #4
peterm1
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Too bad simplicity costs so much more than complexity.
Your thoughts?


It pretty well all comes down to the economics of production and markets. As Henry Ford discovered, if you can standardize your products and churn them out using a production line it is possible to produce good products cheaper for mass markets. But you have to do it in the hundreds of thousands or millions to achieve these economies and make them work for you.

But how many people today want "simple non complex cameras" even if they were relatively cheap to buy compared with alternatives. Not many. And also, these cameras which are non complex to you (you have been doing all your life) place a premium on the user having skills not possessed by many users. So they are also actually quite complex to use for someone who knows "zip" about photography and who really just wants to push the shutter button and know they will get a good image without having to know anything at all about apertures, shutter speed, depth of field etc etc. And, I hazard a guess that 90% of photographers do what I do most of the time - set the camera on P mode (or in my case A mode) and not bother with the 10 pages of options in the camera's settings menu.

So the market for "simple" cameras (of the Leica M type) is inherently small.

A small market means the high volume production line method does not quite work for this market segment in the same way it does for other segments. And for makers it is therefore far better to tap another part of the market - the segment with people who want to fiddle with old style dials and so forth and who are willing to buy the best and who can afford it. This inevitably means not making the camera cheap to compete with the mass market. It means making it more exclusive for an inherently smaller part of the market. And that inevitably means each unit has to be more expensive to cover its costs.

Some people (usually not Leica shooters) say using Leica is about snobbery and looking good to other people. There is I suppose a certain "snob" appeal to using a Leica but I wonder if this really explains more than a tiny part of its appeal. I don't think it does - the Leica snob appeal (if it exists at all) only appeals to a few people who (a) know what a Leica is and (b) give a damn. If the Leica snob appeal exists at all it is better defined not as snobbery but as the personal enjoyment that comes from working for, buying and using something that is a delight to use. And this is more about personal satisfaction and enjoyment - not about how others think.
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