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No more Konica Minolta cameras

Kommunist Avatar
1d, 10m agoPosted 1 decade, 10 months ago
Konica Minolta is out of photo business. Some assets will be transferred to Sony (looks like they will only get rights to make optics, compatible with Dynax/Maxxum).

In short, they will be out of the following businesses:
1. Cameras (including film, digital and SLR)
2. Photo film
3. Photo paper
4. Services (minilabs, photo booths, etc)

Full press release is http://konicaminolta.com/releases/2006/0119_03_01.html here

What that'll mean to us, consumers? Prices for their cameras will probably plummet. No sure what'll happen with warranties, though.

This is all very sad - one of the most recognized manufacturers is now out of business. :(
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Kommunist Avatar
1d, 10m agoPosted 1 decade, 10 months ago
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[admin]#1
Yes it's amazing what the digital revolution has done to some of these old guards. Konica is an absolute legend in photography but they never really got a strong hold of the digital market and now with digital cameras outselling historical film camera records it's a market you need to be in to survive. Who would have thought 15 years ago that a Canon camera would be "better" than a Kodak for instance? Thinking of it, Kodak lost huge ground here at the beginning of the digital camera market growth but has been catching up lately surprisingly. Here's another one, Polaroid...
#2
I don't care much about Konica, but it is also end of Minolta. As to Kodak, they are doing what they always did best - making cheap crappy cameras, which sold in millions worldwide. Yes, they were late, but then they got it right - typical consumer is thinking in 'buzzwords' - megapixels for cameras, ms response time for monitors, etc. So they make cheap lots_of_megapixels cameras with horrible compression (why can't they get it right? what is SO difficult about JPEG???) and oversaturated colours.

As to other big (in the past) brands, I can also mention Rollei, Minox, Jenoptics, Practica, etc. They all selling cheap OEM stuff to people who love to think they are buying quality brand. Just take a look at "cheapest camera" competition here. :)
[admin]#3
It's also the timing of the asian tech invasion ;) The brands which are "quality" now are often asian brands instead of european. The european manufacturers missed the boat more times than not and just didn't keep up. I guess you could look at vehicle manufacturing in much the same way.

Better marketing? Maybe. Better quality...well to be honest a lot of the time they are. As you point out look how many of european brands sold their name to white label manufacturing.
#4
Yes, asians play their role in it, for sure.
However, at this stage digicams market is in price war state. That means, manufacturers need to follow one of two strategies:
1. Sell at lowest price possible, even if product is sh*t. Consumers are idiots and know nothing about digicams anyway. This is Kodak, Acer, HP, etc strategy.
2. My customers know what they are talking about and they need specific features, manual controls and better optics than competition can provide, even if it comes at a price. This is Canon, Nikon (and some Pentax stuff) strategy.

Car market is completely different. First of all, it is mature. New drivers are compensated by 'retired' drivers, if you know what I mean, so even if there is overall increase in cars number, it is not as drastic as in digicams market. There is also serious second-hand market, which is almost non-existent in case of consumer electronics.
Yes, asians make better cars, but not all asians. Toyota and Honda are very good, but Mitsubishi and Suzuki are not doing very well. Nissan is doing better under Renault rule, but still is in Ford league at best. Mazda is OK, but what about Perodua, Proton and even Hyundai and Kia? OK, last two are really one company and although they investing a lot in quality, there is a long way to go just to match even Ford-governed Mazda. And I am not even mentioning Chinese guys, like Great Wall Automotive, BYD and Chery...
What is true, that europeans forgot how to make reliable cars, which is a pity.

As to OEM, most of car's parts are designed and supplied by OEM manufacturers. There are several big suppliers who design and sell their stuff to all car manufacturers, so you can find the same (well.. almost) device in various cars. For example, same breaking unit could be sold to VW, Ford, Fiat and Renault. Those companies are: Valeo, Visteon, Bosch, Siemens, TRW, Denso, Aisin, Delphi. There are probably two or three more, but these are major ones.

The OEM stuff is very interesting topic :)
#5
:x Just got a Konica Minolta camera.
#6
I suppose there is nothing wrong with your purchase :) Their cameras are pretty good, so enjoy it.
#7
I bought a Z3 and absolutely love it. It's an amazing camera at a really good price.

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