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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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Old 06-22-2015   #121
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Nikon is not doing well at all.

The recent high for Nikon stock (Tokyo Stock Market) was about 2,800 Yen in May 2013. Today a share sells for about 1,400 Yen. This is a disaster.

In my view not all of this decline is due to the irreversible loss of inexpensive P&S cameras. I believe investors thin the DSLR market is stagnant and Nikon is too conservative to cannibalize their DSL platform by offering high-performance mirrorless products, The V and J series product line flopped... or at least investors don't believe the V/J attempt to compete with m4/3, Fujifilm and others succeeded. Nikon has embraced new camera data/communication technologies at a glacial pace as well.

If you think my view is skewed, please consider Olympus' stock performance over the same time period (~ 3,000 Yen in May 2013, and 4,175 yen today).

One anecdotal example of Nikon's problem is comes from a good friend of mine. He pre-ordered every new prosumer Nikon DSLR beginning with the D100. I have never seen him without one of these cameras when he leaves home. When the D800 was released he asked me if it would be a mistake to keep his D700 and forego pre-ordering the D800. He said the D700 did everything he needed and the while the D800 had a better sensor, it offered no other improvements (for him). I told as far as I was concerned there was no reason to upgrade and he didn't. We had the same conversation about the DF. I told him when I played with one I found it to be lighter, but still too bulky. He tried one too and kept the D700.

The future for non-smart phone photography innovation and a contemporary user experience. Setting up the camera, full wireless operation, flexible data transfer, remote operation with robust iOS/Andorid Apps is important to many people who want to move up from mobile phone photography. Nikon is not well positioned to capture this market share. If it was the stock price would reflect optimism.

I am well aware Nikon offers non-camera products. Unfortunately, unlike Fujifilm, Canon, Panasonic, Samsung and they do not have vast non-imaging profit centers to sustain downturns in still-imaging sales. Neither does Olympus by the way, but they innovated their way to increased stock value.

And yes, stock price is not a perfect metric to evaluate camera companies. But it is the consensus of object observers.
Basically, I mean, ah—well, let’s say that for me anyway when a photograph is interesting, it’s interesting because of the kind of photographic problem it states—which has to do with the . . . contest between content and form.
Garry Winogrand
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Old 06-22-2015   #122
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I think your observation above make sense.

By throwing out all their film photography products out of the window, they are chaining themselves to the computer technology bandwagon. And as history reveals, only a handful of computer manufacturers are competing today compared to even 10 years ago.

Yes, there are still room for innovations, but the ceiling for camera manufacturers are human perception. Soon, no one would be able to tell the difference between 55 Megapixels vs 100 Megapixels (I personally stop paying attention beyond 16 ). Or 4K video vs 120K video. What is the point other than increasing metrics?

It is, in the end, a very narrow road to compete in if not a dead end.
Have a good light,

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