The Coming Storm

My reasoning for predicting that these camera leaders, Nikon and Canon, are headed for extinction may seem trivial and off target, but if you examine the histories of extinct corporations you will discover their demise is not far removed from what I have to say. Here is one small example of why I’ve come to this conclusion . . . an experience I had with Canon,  

My camera is a Canon EOS 7D. The menu was undoubtedly written by someone whose native language is not English. For instance, the option for turning on or off the GPS feature is “enable” or “disable”. When the feature is enabled the menu displays this . . . “GPS: enable”. To me, whose native language is English, it means that the GPS feature is NOT enabled and if I want it, this is the button I should push. In fact, what it means is that the GPS is “enabled”. The translator left off the “d”. Had the menu writer done it right it would have read “On” or “Off” to avoid confusion.

I contacted Canon’s customer service and pointed this out and I got a reply a few days later that said “Thanks for contacting Canon. Your observation is correct. We will change the wording either now or in our next generation of the camera.” I know that the fix does not require hours of coding. Any competent IT person could have gone through the menu code in a half an hour and simplified the wording and posted the update on the Canon website. Instead, Canon apparently has opted to wait for their next generation of cameras to make the fix . . . maybe. Obviously, the importance of listening to customers somehow has gotten lost in its corporate hierarchy. This is a small and subtle sign that the company is headed for a high speed train wreck. It has sealed itself off from the world around them it and is no longer aware that its world is changing. The real question is why would Canon not have doubled checked the camera’s menu in its huge English language marketplace before releasing the camera in the first place? Again, the answer is that it is too sure that it knows what is best for its customers without ever talking to the customers. I don’t own a Nikon so I can’t verify that there is evidence of the same attitude in that corporation, but I’m guessing there is. 

Light, on the other hand, realized that a vast majority of people are now using their phones for snapshots and have left their pocket size digital cameras at home. Light also knows that more dedicated photographers are still using large, heavy cameras that accommodate a variety of lenses because they want the things these larger cameras provide, which is better resolution, more sensitivity to light, more framing options, etc. But Light obviously believes that professional photographers would also love to have a small camera if they could have all the benefits of a larger camera and that is what they aim to deliver in 2017. Trust me when I say that most high-end camera users will leave the heavy camera bag behind in a New York minute.

I am reasonably sure that Light won’t get it exactly right the first time out, but they have been building this new camera for a couple of years now, so they are far ahead of the old timers.


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