Camera brands these days want to make it seem like there are healthy camera sales and that people are getting back into photography. While that may be true, it’s obfuscating a much bigger problem that isn’t being talked about enough. It starts with firmware and the complaints so many consumers have been giving camera manufacturers for years now. More than any time ever before, though, there’s a major justification for the camera manufacturers to address this very big problem.
There’s Too Much Supply
Canon, Sony, Panasonic, OM System, and Leica have a problem right now — they made way too many cameras. We should really talk about this in-depth:
- Canon still has the Canon EOS R6 in stock even though the Mk II is out. Thankfully, they still give it a few firmware updates.
- Sony still has nearly every single camera from the Sony a7 II available for purchase. Yet they stopped supporting those cameras via firmware updates for a while now.
- OM System has the EM1 series and others still around in stock. There aren’t many if any firmware updates on cameras like those.
- Leica hasn’t ever really been huge on firmware updates except for the past few years. The Leica M10R is really what’s available in stores that are older, along with a few other cameras. Firmware updates aren’t always available for these brand-new cameras.
- Panasonic has the S5 and a few other cameras still around in stock in stores as well.
Brands like Fujifilm and Nikon have made very big pushes on sales. I had to ensure that the Fujifilm XT4 wasn’t in stock at some of the bigger brands before I mentioned them. However, since the XH1, Fujifilm has been huge on pushing sales of their products when they’re being phased out. Canon has also traditionally been pretty big on this. And this year, I hope that all the brands majorly drop their prices around Black Friday or even before to push those cameras into consumers’ hands.
Quite honestly, some have even contacted us about trying to help them move those cameras because we’re typically so good at it in our affiliate efforts.
What to Do About It
So what am I getting at here? Well, there’s a big problem. Obviously, cameras aren’t necessarily moving yet the brands are abandoning the new stock and making new cameras instead. Further, there aren’t sales initiatives that are strong enough to make someone want to buy the new (older) cameras. To that end, cameras like the Sony a7 II sit there on a shelf, not being purchased and also never being supported via firmware update.
Why would someone buy a brand new and now discontinued camera then? Why isn’t the price driven down considerably? And if the price is kept high, why isn’t there support for those cameras via firmware updates? Obviously, Sony and the other companies have made their profits off of those cameras already.
Quite honestly, it’s possible that we’ll see a Sony a7 V while the Sony a7 II is still available for brand new in stock at stores.
Ultimately, what I’m saying is that two things need to happen. Either the camera brands need to drastically drop the prices of their discontinued but still brand-new cameras, or they need to start supporting their older cameras again in order to sell them. These brands have had a lot of problems trying to sell them when so many cameras are similar and available at competitive price points.
Firmware shouldn’t be a bad word.