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Camera Predictions for 2011

Camera Predictions for 2011

Wonder what's in store for the digital cameras of 2011? Photographer Thomas Hogan does a long review of the good and bad in the camera scene of 2010, and lays out some predictions for 2011.

Bad of 2010? How about:

Olympus admitted that, other than the E-5, the old 4/3 DSLR is mostly dead. They'll continue to make the lenses, but no one now expects any new 4/3 cameras. Olympus is now dedicated to m4/3. That means they're missing high end and low end models and a lot of lenses. Overall, Olympus's imaging business continued to decline in 2010.

Good?

Nikon: Pretty much everything they've touched since the D3 has turned out to be pretty darned good, with only the D3000 and D5000 lagging, and the D3100 has since fixed part of that. While the cameras have a bit of the "more pixels, more video" aspect that's driving Canon, there's a lot more happening under the covers that's helping. We're getting new tech in focus and metering systems, sensors that seem to have some secret low light sauce to them, and more. Nikon still is playing the "traditional DSLR" card 100%, but they're simply doing a better job of the underpinnings than Canon seems to be doing. That's gained them sales growth and market share so far. Unlike Canon, there are statements coming out of Nikon that seem to indicate that they realize that they need something other than "another DSLR with more pixels" in the coming year. But is the "other" camera really the right one? More in a bit.

What's next?

Canon. A 1DsIV seems pretty certain, and I think it'll be 32mp or more (remember, Canon's still executing off the same "more pixels" memo). A 5DIII seems certain by the end of the year, though I don't see it going the more pixel route. Instead, it'll be focused on trying to lock down the video user. So do we get other DSLRs, too? Well, I'm perplexed about that. Where exactly do you go after the T2i, 60D, and 7D? More pixels takes you up to that APS useful max, and I'm not sure that the 18mp sensors are delivering all that much more in the first place. I'm not hearing a lot of Canon DSLR future info out of Japan other than the high end. No, I think Canon is at a crossroads with DSLRs. The old strategy is about to stop working. Note that I said that growth in 2011 is partly due to upgraders, but I don't see the Canon crowd crowing at their upgrade opportunities. Some of Canon's best design decisions, meanwhile, have been being made in their top compact cameras (S95, G12). Is it possible that they'll figure that out and get the mirrorless religion based upon these designs? I have my doubts. I'm betting on an incremental T3i body as the lone new cropped sensor DSLR, with 60D and 7D follow-ups scheduled for 2012. Can you see why Canon's slowly losing momentum?

Lots of good analysis over at the article. Hit 2011 Predictions by Thom Hogan to give it a read.

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