New Cameras are Odd

Odd in the sense that they're all over the place. 

We've been living mostly in a "what's the latest mirrorless camera that's being introduced" world for the past few years. And even those have been few are far between. 

This week's introductions (and next) seems like a counter statement of some sort. Consider:

  • Polaroid I-2 — A top end instant camera gets redesigned with LiDAR-based autofocus and more. Suddenly, 3" x 3" photos are back with a vengeance.
  • Sony ILX-LR1 — What an A7R Mark V looks like when cut down to drone size. 
  • Sony CineAlta BuranoThe cinema-oriented Venice gets a brother.
  • GoPro Hero12 — Okay, a near-yearly refresh, but one of the more change-laden ones.
  • Olympus Tough TG-7 — Okay, it's a TG-6 with the OMDS branding for the most part. But it's interesting to see a compact camera in all the new product introductions this month.

Of course, we're getting a few new mirrorless camera introductions this month, too. But some of them seem like engineers got off the leash:

  • Panasonic G9 II — Phase detection autofocus resurrects Panasonic's G lineup.
  • Fujifilm GFX100 II — The top of their Medium Format line gets a shift.
  • Sony A7CR and A7C II — More Alphas go video-centric. 
  • Nikon Zf — Another dials camera.

I get it. 

In the DSLR era the name of the game was "fill the line and iterate it." Once you had two consumer DSLRs, a couple of mid-level DSLRs, and some top-end DSLRs, you had something for everyone, and it was all about how often you could get those folk to dip back in and upgrade (same or higher model). That worked especially well when the buying was increasing and even worked decently post peak for several years. 

With Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, OMDS, Panasonic, and Sony now all having (reasonably) full mirrorless lineups, everyone's looking for a a statement piece, and particularly one that might extend their line or their customer base.

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