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Archive 2012 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than D...
  
 
jrs5fg
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p.1 #1 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


I mean, not having a mirror system would mean the camera should be simpler to design, no? And sometimes, the sensor is even smaller than traditional SLRs'. I've been wanting one for events where I am not only a photographer but a participant with social duties (for organizations I'm part of), so it can more easily fit into a large coat or jacket pocket, but I see mirrorless compacts tend to trend for 1000-2000 -- that's like nearly the price of a used full-frame DSLR!

Is the price due to the more "chic" aspect? I don't get it. Or maybe it's the lenses?

(Also by "mirrorless compact" I mean compacts with interchangeable lenses...)



Dec 25, 2012 at 11:27 AM
Makten
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p.1 #2 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


Smaller electronics are of course more expensive and difficult to design and manufacture.


Dec 25, 2012 at 12:22 PM
jrs5fg
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p.1 #3 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


We're not compressing a DSLR into a phone. Traditional compacts are much much smaller but they are not as expensive.

The essential thing to a mirrorless compact is the sensor, the shutter, the data storage system and the LCD screen; the supporting equipment (image processor, embedded circuits etc.) aren't that pricey or difficult to manufacture, and I say this as a physics major with experience in electronics.

In fact, if you take apart a DSLR, you find there is a lot of wasted space, all because of the mirror system's need for clearance. All you do is have to make the chips a little closer, you could probably even use the same chips.



Dec 25, 2012 at 12:32 PM
jotdeh
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p.1 #4 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


Because people pay those prices. There, someone had to say it!



Dec 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM
ReneMurea
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p.1 #5 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


I don't see many mirror less bodies for $1-2k. Actually most of them are under $500. Panasonic gx1, G3. All Olympus pen cameras except the omd (which is 1000) are below $500. Pretty cheap compared with a full frame body


Dec 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM
douglasf13
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p.1 #6 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


jrs5fg wrote:
I mean, not having a mirror system would mean the camera should be simpler to design, no? And sometimes, the sensor is even smaller than traditional SLRs'. I've been wanting one for events where I am not only a photographer but a participant with social duties (for organizations I'm part of), so it can more easily fit into a large coat or jacket pocket, but I see mirrorless compacts tend to trend for 1000-2000 -- that's like nearly the price of a used full-frame DSLR!

Is the price due to the more "chic" aspect? I don't get it. Or maybe it's
...Show more

Read this conclusion: http://sonyalphalab.com/2012/03/naked-sony-nex-7-opened-up-so-you-can-see-the-guts-of-the-nex-7-sonyalphalab-com-exclusive/



Dec 25, 2012 at 01:05 PM
justruss
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p.1 #7 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


jotdeh wrote:
Because people pay those prices. There, someone had to say it!


Yes, that.

Coupled with the fact that this is a relatively new segment, meaning new lens mounts for the most part, and new lenses, and new ways to deal with small lens design putting light at hard angles on large sensors from close distances.

Ultimately, I believe it's a combination of i) the market will bear it, and ii) these companies aren't pricing against the body so much as the massive initial R&D outlay that goes into creating new systems from scratch. New protocols. Paying for lens design and building. Unlike C&N that can in a sense let cashflow from older designs maintain economic momentum as it tunes new lens designs or tweaks old designs with slightly new materials/coatings.

I think we're in the phase with these products where technologies are advancing by leaps and bounds-- as are size shrinking goals-- at the cost of higher prices. Kinda like DSLRs when they went from 6 to 18 megapixels. DSLRs now, however, are at the phase where prices are coming down and basic ideas are merely being refined.

In other words: These cameras are getting MUCH better ever generation. After a few more, I expect they'll get cheaper too, and move towards refinement over revolution.



Dec 25, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #8 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


jotdeh wrote:
Because people pay those prices. There, someone had to say it!



Yup! I have to agree. There's no good reason why 4/3 or the Sony and Canon mirrorless cameras can't be sold for about half the MSRP. The current going rate is pretty much just whatever people will pay - what the market will bare. If there were only half the number of people willing to dish out $1k and a huge body of folks complaining about prices I guess we would see a huge price reduction across the board.



Dec 25, 2012 at 04:27 PM
RCicala
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p.1 #9 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


I have no doubt they're cheaper to make. I agree with everything said above, but think personally we're also looking at a new business model:

Historically, the big two (and probably most others) have used low-cost SLR bodies and kits to get new customers into the brand. The intro-level SLRs were low profit or even loss-leaders, the companies then made money on upgrade bodies and lenses down the line.

Mirrorless doesn't have that kind of hook quite yet - you don't hear people saying "I won't change brands because I've got so much invested in NEX lenses". So they need to make a profit on the camera when they sell it.

Plus they may not be in a financial position to think "we'll make money next year on lenses they buy and then the year after that when they upgrade to our next camera because they've invested in our lenses".

In other words, I think part of the issue is the business model is different. I think the next few years may be very interesting, because for several reasons I don't think the old business model is going to continue to work for the big SLR companies either.



Dec 25, 2012 at 04:44 PM
ken.vs.ryu
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p.1 #10 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


Dslr tooling has been around for 15+ years. Their mechanical components haven't improved much since then except for Sony ibis, slt, and evf.

The nex is only 2 years old.



Dec 25, 2012 at 04:55 PM
 

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fsiagian
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p.1 #11 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


It's overpriced, I agree. It's based on demand and market purchasing power, not production costs. Their margin is pretty high. For lenses for example. just like dx lenses are a lot cheaper than fx lenses, mft lenses should be cheaper. Sigma 19mm and 30mm are good example where sigma can sell them cheap ($149). So, if Panasonic or Olympus charge $500 and $800 for their 25mm and 75mm, it's because of brand and demand. Not built quality or production cost. Nikon can make its 35mm 1.8 for less than $200. Also, paying more for omd than D7000 does not make a lot of sense to me. YMMV.


Dec 25, 2012 at 05:14 PM
itai195
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p.1 #12 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


It's only the newest, highest end cameras that are pricey. Previous generation and mid- or lower-end mirrorless camers are much more affordable. For example, a NEX-5R or Panasonic G5 kit is well under $1k. Not to mention the great deals on the GX1, GF5, and V1 available these days. Those are all great cameras.


Dec 25, 2012 at 05:31 PM
vovkinson
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p.1 #13 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


nothing is overpriced in a free market . Expensive - yes, but not overpriced.
There're a top quality lens and crappy ones. it's up to you what to buy.
I'd rather pay $500 for panasonic(leica) 25 1.4 than a cheap $hitty sigma which I have no respect for since Canon 10d times for their QC.



Dec 25, 2012 at 05:36 PM
riotshield
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p.1 #14 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


I might get flak for this, but it always seemed to me that there was/is collusion/price fixing among Japanese manufacturers. What might be considered anti-competitive in the States is actively encouraged in some parts of Asia (I worked in Seoul, South Korea for several years and saw similar behavior there). The Japanese still possess most of the technical know-how for state of the art photographic equipment even though they lost the edge in TVs, phones, computers and media players. It's sort of in the national interest to keep all the players afloat even though some of them are on the ropes financially (e.g., Sony, Olympus, Panasonic).

Also, DSLR/mirrorless is still a niche market compared to other consumer electronics and the market is generally wealthier and willing to pay a higher price.



Dec 25, 2012 at 06:31 PM
alwang
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p.1 #15 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


jrs5fg wrote:
We're not compressing a DSLR into a phone. Traditional compacts are much much smaller but they are not as expensive.

The essential thing to a mirrorless compact is the sensor, the shutter, the data storage system and the LCD screen; the supporting equipment (image processor, embedded circuits etc.) aren't that pricey or difficult to manufacture, and I say this as a physics major with experience in electronics.

In fact, if you take apart a DSLR, you find there is a lot of wasted space, all because of the mirror system's need for clearance. All you do is have to make
...Show more

I imagine heat dissipation is a significant challenge in a smaller body, to keep sensor noise low. It's clear that Sony is often already pushing their internal capabilities on this front, from their relatively short video recording times.




Dec 25, 2012 at 06:54 PM
curious80
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p.1 #16 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


NEX-F3 and E-PM2 kits are both $500. The entry level Nikon D3200 is $600. So mirror-less kits are cheaper as expected.


but I see mirrorless compacts tend to trend for 1000-2000


Apart from a couple of models all mirror-less bodies are $1K or below, and all the $1K bodies are the top of the line models in their lineup. And yes when you buy a top of the line model you pay for it. Canon 7D was launched at $1700, so $1K for a NEX-7 or E-M5 are still much lower. Also while they do not have the cost for a mirror, that cost is replaced by the cost of a high-quality EVF. A high quality EVF costs at least a couple of hundred dollars.



Dec 25, 2012 at 07:13 PM
itai195
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p.1 #17 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


vovkinson wrote:
nothing is overpriced in a free market . Expensive - yes, but not overpriced.
There're a top quality lens and crappy ones. it's up to you what to buy.
I'd rather pay $500 for panasonic(leica) 25 1.4 than a cheap $hitty sigma which I have no respect for since Canon 10d times for their QC.


As someone who used to share this opinion, I have to admit that Sigma's quality has improved significantly. The new 35 1.4 and the DP1/DP2 Merrills are all quite nice products. They're a company to watch, IMO. If they can improve their camera designs, then between their lenses and the Foveon sensor they might be able to cook up something really special in the near future.



Dec 25, 2012 at 07:21 PM
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p.1 #18 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


I think it sorta depends "which mirrorless".

Second-hand mirrorless are often cheapest option.

New ones are sometime pricey, but then I dont think NEX-5N or newer 5R is over-priced, its priced accordingly to competition. If I wanted new camera and decision would be between mirrorless and regular dSLR in this lower end sector, I would choose mirrorless.

And probably buy Samsung heh.. but thats just me, nobody likes them.



Dec 25, 2012 at 11:21 PM
curious80
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p.1 #19 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


Mescalamba wrote:
I think it sorta depends "which mirrorless".

Second-hand mirrorless are often cheapest option.

New ones are sometime pricey, but then I dont think NEX-5N or newer 5R is over-priced, its priced accordingly to competition. If I wanted new camera and decision would be between mirrorless and regular dSLR in this lower end sector, I would choose mirrorless.

And probably buy Samsung heh.. but thats just me, nobody likes them.


Well I like my Samsung NX200 more than my 5N in many ways. And to think that I got the NX200 + 30mm f2 for around $450 used - now thats what I call great value

But yeah the entry-to-mid level mirrorless cameras go down in price very fast in the used market. I mean you can get an E-PL1 kit for something like $150. Hard to find even much older DSLRs selling at that price



Dec 25, 2012 at 11:42 PM
LightShow
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p.1 #20 · why are mirrorless compacts so much more expensive than DSLRs? shouldn't they be cheaper?


The Sigmas have nice IQ, good form, but their processing power is severely lacking it handicaps the camera to the point it kills the enjoyment factor, as an example the DP2 M. take ~7 seconds after taking the shot to become responsive again, which is totally useless to me.

Re: pricing, cutting edge technology will always cost more, shrinking the packaging takes time and effort, and those costs(R&D) will under most situations be recouped from a higher sales price, the price will come down when the number of units sold pass a threshold.



Dec 25, 2012 at 11:53 PM
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