Sunday, December 22, 2013

Plummeting prices

Today I looked at the Nikon J1 in Best Buy. The reviews all stated that ISO control was automatic. There are an awful lot of automatic features to the camera but largely the reviews are complete nonsense. I saw that it was possible to get every manual feature on that camera you could possibly desire by rotating the dial from "Automatic" to "Manual". It seems that the reviewers are incapable of identifying this simple step. This is not the first time I have encountered reviews that were horribly wrong. The review of my old Canon S1 IS was pretty heinous. I remember it claimed I could not do things that were quite doable.

I noted that the J1 came out in 2012 at $649 and has slowly dropped. I saw one listed on the B&H website for $220. It's a camera that does interest me and I would like to have one. I'm not so sure I'd pay that much for it though. I certainly would never have paid $649 for it. I've never tried a smaller format camera. I see no reason why a smaller format camera should not work as well as a larger format camera for prints the size most people want.

Going back to the refrain I always seem to hear "but what if I want it bigger", all I can say is "what a crock". Aside from the fact most printers only print to 11x14 maximum, where would anybody hang a print that size? Most people live in small homes with no room to hang anything massive. I won't go into how many megapixels per inch are needed to produce a great photo. That's an argument that leads nowhere.

There seems to be wide variation in the price of the J1 and it also seems to vary according to the color of the camera. Thus far it seems to be the red that is the least desired and thus the cheapest. The crazy thing is that there are to date 7 colors:

  • white
  • silver
  • black
  • red
  • pink
  • khaki
  • beige

I just don't know who on earth would want to color match a camera and all its lenses. If I had a red camera and a khaki lebs happened to be cheaper, I would go for the khaki lens. With colors like that, it's going to reduce resale value tremendously. Who's going to buy a red camera if they can't find a red lens?

My biggest concern about the interchangeable lens compacts is whether they're better than my existing compact (an elderly Canon S1 IS) or whether they're a cross between a compact and a digital SLR existing in a no-man's land between the two. They're neither one thing nor the other. My S1 IS still takes a decent photo and although it has had a repair, has no faults. Unlike most cameras, it even runs off AA batteries so I won't have any problem feeding it if I suddenly find myself photographing Lord Lucan.

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