Check Your Credit Card Limit

Okay, tongue in cheek again. But it seems that the last four months of 2021 is going to be big ticket time from the camera makers. In order I expect to hear details: Fujifilm GFX50S (September), Canon R3 (September/October), Nikon Z9 (October/November), and Sony A9 Mark III (December). Sony also may introduce the A7 Mark IV in this time frame. Plus Panasonic may sneak into 2021 with a late official GH6 launch, too, though I suspect that the GH6 is an early 2022 announcement. Throw in some exotic lenses, such as the also-about-to-be-announced Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 S TC1.4 VR, and it could be an expensive holiday season for the gear head that must have the latest and greatest. 

Lower-end cameras seem a little stalled at the moment, with their gestation periods lengthening. I suspect that's mostly because of the ongoing parts shortages. It's not an effective use of a product launch if you can't quickly deliver in quantity (or worse, have to cannibalize production of an existing camera to deliver the new one). That's particularly true going into the holiday season.

Personally, I was hoping for "more" at this point in the year. Notable other expected new products that haven't appeared:

  • Canon APS-C anything 
  • Canon R/RP update/replacement
  • Canon 100-400mm f/5.6-7.1 RF, 500mm f/4 RF
  • Fujifilm X-T40 (though there are rumors of an XT-30 II coming in September)
  • Nikon Z30
  • Nikkor 18-140mm DX, 24-105mm, 100-400mm S, 200-600mm
  • OM Digital Solutions "new technology" camera
  • Sony A5xxx anything, any A6xxx update, A7 Mark IV (though some rumors now have it appearing in October)
  • Sony 500mm f/4, 800mm f/5.6

The camera industry is moving at a different beat and rhythm at the moment. It's possible that the beat may have slowed and the rhythm gotten less consistent permanently, but I'm betting that the Japanese camera companies will respond to any market growth with more frantic drumming.

Personally, I wonder whether we're about to get a round of credit card fatigue. While there's a modest-sized group that has the disposable income to make big ticket purchases every couple of years, I'm hearing more and more that they'll stick with what they've got. 

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