Sony hurting the industry with innovation?

For those who missed it, Petapixel posted a rediculous opinion piece that Sony was hurting the industry by innovating and cycling their cameras too quickly. If you haven’t read it, here it is:

Is Sony’s Pace of Innovation Actually Hurting the Photo Industry?

The gist of the article is that by moving so quickly, the rest of the industry is being left behind and somehow thats Sony’s fault.

Let’s be clear, apparently it’s not Canikon’s fault for ignoring the way the industry was moving for an extended period of time. It obviously wasn’t Kodak’s fault either, the rest of the industry should have waited for them to catch up.

It’s not Canikon’s fault for leaving their customers in the lurch as to whether they would actually make a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. During this time, customers were leaving in their droves to go to mirrorless and all the likes of Nikon could say was “we’ll wait and see where the industry moves”.

It’s not Canikon’s fault that they had to discount their first full frame mirrorless offerings due to producing sub standard mirrorless cameras, both with a single slot after Sony took a lot of abuse for producing cameras with a single slot.

It’s not Canikon’s fault for ignoring key industry trends when releasing their first mirrorless like IBIS or eye-AF and instead focussing on producing mounts so large, you could put a medium format lens on them.

The only time releasing products quickly hurts the industry is when the manufacturer doing it is guilty of copytition. I.e. they wait to see what a competitor releases and do the same at a fraction of the cost. Samsung did this for a long period of time, copying the Blackberry and later the iPhone before they got rapped over the knuckles in court and decided to go their own way. When copytetion occurs, innovation starts to fail because those who are innovating don’t get the rewards for their investment, but in the case of Sony, Sony is doing the innovating and they are receiving the rewards of their work, as are Fujifilm and many other manufacturers.

Let’s be clear. There are a lot of manufacturers other than Sony succeeding in the industry, it’s just not Canon and Nikon. The reasons for their issues sit squarely on their own shoulders, not with Sony, Fujifilm or anyone else. The only way for them to solve those problems is to improve their business models. Its not about producing more cameras, it’s about producing better cameras.

Canon has been producing their own sensors for as long as I can remember and lets be honest, their sensors suck compared to the competition. Even Nikon managed to find a third party sensor manufacturer who wasn’t Sony and was capable of producing amazing sensors so Canon only has themselves to blame for not being able to find or produce decent sensors.

Nikon has failed because they were scared of cannibalising their own DLSR market and as a result, the competition did.

Both manufacturers deserved to fail because they did everything wrong that they could to prevent their success. Poor strategy and poor products and that falls squarely on their leadership who should have been fired a long time ago.

For Nikon and Canon to succeed requires both to up their game, not the competition to down theirs, and I for one am hoping they do because it will ensure Sony is forced to do the same.

4 comments

  1. Moved from Canon to Sony about 5 years back and glad that I did that change! No point blaming Sony because they did a right move at the right time. Both Canon and Nikon are guilty of their ignorance of the new mirrorless technology. Even the mirrorless FF what’s offered now also inferior to Sonys arsenal. But Canon and Nikon still have time and resources to go full throttle against Sony. Only time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

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