I bought a Craftsman screwdriver back many years ago. It came with a lifetime guarantee. Honestly, given the situation with Sears, I don’t know if anyone would honor that guarantee anymore. I don’t care. It’s just a screwdriver and it gets the job done.
I bought a Nikon camera many years ago. There was something about Nikon that exuded quality and durability. Nikon, itself, seemed like a company that would go on forever. Today? I don’t have my Nikon camera as I shifted over to a smaller, lighter system.
I chose Panasonic Lumix. The camera, to me, exuded quality and durability and Panasonic was huge and would likely be there for the long haul.
Today, cameras aren’t film based as much. Everything is high tech. Some cameras are mirror-less (which, for Panasonic and for me, meant Micro Four Thirds or MFT). Smartphones, have put a big dent in the marketplace for cameras. That means that, if you have a smartphone you have a camera with you. So, why do you need a separate camera?
Lot’s of good answers to that question but that’s not the point. The point is that, this paradigm shift has made it harder for camera companies to thrive. The biggies (Canon and Nikon) are still at play. The boutiques (Leica and Hasselblad) are doing OK. Upstarts (Sony and others) are also doing OK. But, my MFT may have just hit a stone wall.
One of the MFT champs, Olympus, has already made a restructuring decision – selling off their imaging division to JIT (whatever that is). This doesn’t bode well for Olympus fans. Panasonic is pushing full-frame designs now, at the expense of MFT and this doesn’t bode well for MFT fans.
So, what about the future and who needs it? Personally, I could probably just acquire a couple more lenses and have everything I would ever need. What I wouldn’t get is the warm fuzzy feeling that the future is there for me should I need it. If a camera company doesn’t develop a whizzbang new super-duper camera, I should care. But I do. I want that future security blanket even if I know, deep inside, I really don’t need it.
Now I know why Linus in the Peanuts cartoons loves his.