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  #1  
Old 07-13-2010, 03:00 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Has Canon Ceded the Low-End DSLR Market to Nikon?

<p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//dht/auto/1278996469.usr1.png" style="border: 0;" /></p><p>I was helping a friend of mine buy her first DSLR - she had no brand preference, but instead had a budget of $500. It had been a while since I'd looked at Canon DSLRs in the entry-level segment, but I was sure they'd have something to compete price-wise with the Nikon D3000. I was planning on pointing her toward whatever Canon model was around the same price as the D3000, and encourage her to go check them out in person. She wasn't looking for video, and didn't want to pursue photography as a hobby...she just wanted a simple and small DSLR to bypass the sluggish nature of her point and shoot camera. <MORE /></p><p>I was quite surprised to find that the cheapest Canon DSLR, the Canon Rebel XSi with an 18-55mm lens, came in at <a href="http://www.thecamerastore.com/products/cameras/digital-cameras/digital-slr-cameras/canon-eos-rebel-xsi-18-55mm-f35-56" target="_blank">$619.76 CAD</a>. The camera body is $519.76, but a DSLR body without a lens doesn't help someone who's just getting started. The cheapest Nikon DSLR? The D3000 with an 18-55mm lens was <a href="http://www.thecamerastore.com/products/cameras/digital-cameras/digital-slr-cameras/nikon-d3000-18-55mm-f35-56-vr" target="_blank">$448.36 CAD</a>. That's a difference of $171.40 - the Canon camera is a massive 38% more expensive than the Nikon. I found one store in Calgary that was still selling the older Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS with an 18-55mm lens for $520, but that's still quite a bit more expensive. Every dollar counts when you're selling to a price-conscious consumer.</p><p>The point here isn't that the technology in the Canon isn't slightly better (12 MP vs. 10 MP), but that by missing the critical under $500 price point (in Canada at least), Canon is giving up valuable ground to Nikon. What I can't quite figure out is why - Canon is ferociously competitive with Nikon across the board, and in my opinion right now holds the upper hand in a couple of key DSLR areas - but not here.</p><p>Is the technology Canon implements more expensive than what Nikon uses, and Canon can't make money by selling a camera under $500? Thoughts?</p>
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2010, 05:09 PM
ptyork
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The D3000 and Rebel XS (1000D) occupy the low-end (entry-level) position ($500).

The XSi (450D) is not a newer XS. It is the oldest of Canon's currently selling mid-grade entries, and at around $600, there is no (current) Nikon equivalent.

The current mid-grade competitors are the T1i (500D) and D5000 ($700).

I guess the T2i and D90 compete in a "consumer-high or low-prosumer" category ($850), though the D90 is pentaprism and has better prosumer build quality, which IMO wins the day over the T2i's newer, cooler features. Canon also has the 50D in the "low-prosumer" category that the D90 was supposed to compete in, but I'm pretty sure that class HAS been abandoned to the 7D. Maybe I'm wrong, but with the 550D and 7D so close in tech, I'm not sure how a 60D can effectively shoehorn in there without totally cannibalizing the sales of the other two.

In short, I guess, the XS and D3000 are really the first entries in the "made to be low-end" category. All of the others that approached that price point like the XT or D40 just drifted down there after newer, better models were released.

As for the cost of the tech, Canon does use CMOS sensors (same ones as in the higher line) at this level vs. Nikon's CCD's. Canon also offers live view at this level which Nikon does not. Perhaps this could allow Nikon to undercut by $50 (same price here sans sales), but it isn't as big a gap as you're seeing.
 
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:17 PM
Lee Yuan Sheng
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Ok, there's a lot of confusion here (not helping is me being confused by Canon's different names for its low-end series), so I'm going to try to clear it up.

Firstly, the Nikon D3000 sits at the lowest end of the Nikon range; the XSi doesn't. It's simply a second-lowest model that is 2 generations older than the T2i.

Second, the XS is actually newer than the XSi; Canon created the XS to compete with cameras like the Nikon D40/D40x/D60/D3000 and the Pentax k-m. In a role-reversal of sorts Canon hasn't updated the model for 2 years now, whereas Nikon has updated that line of cameras 4 times in under 3 years. So that is really the most direct comparison.

Finally, the Nikon is dirt-cheap in Canada. Maybe Nikon Canada is more aggressive in pricing than other regions. It's cheaper than say, a Canon Powershot S90 where I am!
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:21 PM
Lee Yuan Sheng
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No no, the 550D and 500D are in the same bracket; both compete more with the D5000 than the D90.

Traditionally Nikon and Canon cameras have never directly competed with each other in all but the highest segments. The EOS D300/400/450D was a bit lower spec than the D70/80, which in turn was trumped by the 30D/40D, which then in turn bested by the D200/D300. Note I'm speaking in terms of features and positioning, not image quality.

Point on the CCD vs CMOS thing; then again, both sensors are not new, and CMOS is supposed to be easier to fabricate.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:29 PM
ptyork
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng View Post
No no, the 550D and 500D are in the same bracket; both compete more with the D5000 than the D90.
I know the 550D is supposed to be the successor to the 500D, but the 500D is still very competitive with the D5000. The 550D trumps it outright and starts to infringe on the D90's IQ and (again) trumps it in tech features (except AF, of course, which Canon can't seem to get right to save its life). I guess my point there was that Canon doesn't have a modern low-prosumer model and Nikon really doesn't have a high-consumer model, but that these two were in the same price range and thus likely compared when making a buying decision.

Quote:
Traditionally Nikon and Canon cameras have never directly competed with each other in all but the highest segments. The EOS D300/400/450D was a bit lower spec than the D70/80, which in turn was trumped by the 30D/40D, which then in turn bested by the D200/D300. Note I'm speaking in terms of features and positioning, not image quality.
Yeah, that is very true. But I think that model is breaking down; there are pretty easily comparable models now.

1000D == D3000
550D >= D5000
50D <= D90
7D == D300s
5DmkII >= D700

...and so on. Only a couple of slots there where there is an obvious lead (with Canon temporarily holding the front-runner role overall, mostly due to video and a slight lead in CMOS technology).

Hmm, looking at that, it IS pretty obvious that the D90 is the standout best-buy right now. I guess that's why it is doing so well in Japan right now.
 
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  #6  
Old 07-13-2010, 10:00 PM
Jason Dunn
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I did some looking around at Best Buy.ca and I'm seeing a Rebel XS for $479, and a D3000 with a non-VR lens for $429. Price sensitive users may go for the non-VR lens kit, not knowing any better. So the difference between the XS and the D3000 is smaller than I thought - I'm really shocked that The Camera Store doesn't carry the Canon Rebel XS...guess I should have done more research. I do find it interesting though that Canon is more expensive that Nikon across the board, even if you look at the cheapest model.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:07 PM
ptyork
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
I do find it interesting though that Canon is more expensive that Nikon across the board, even if you look at the cheapest model.
That is most certainly a Canada-only phenomenon, or at least not one replicated here in the States. I'm AMAZED at how cheap your cameras are, especially with the exchange rates (although nearly at parity these days). BestBuy has a sale going on here with the D3000 (w/VR) at $499, but the XS is running at its regular price of $549. The BEST you can find it reputably online is $499. Even that is quite a bit more than what amounts to $463.70 CAD. Heck, I just searched Amazon.ca and Amazon.com and the XS w/ IS lens kit is $460 CAD vs. $549 USD!!! That's a 23% difference after factoring in the exchange rates!!! Do y'all separate out VAT or something that might make the prices more comparable?
 
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:48 PM
tregnier
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Default Canon

I just bought a Canon G11 rather than a DSLR. I want very good pix, but I don't want to buy a bunch of lenses and carry big stuff around. I'm very, very happy with my decision.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:14 AM
Lee Yuan Sheng
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Even if the price is without VAT, it's still cheaper than HK pricing. Amazing.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:25 AM
Lee Yuan Sheng
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptyork View Post
I know the 550D is supposed to be the successor to the 500D, but the 500D is still very competitive with the D5000. The 550D trumps it outright and starts to infringe on the D90's IQ and (again) trumps it in tech features (except AF, of course, which Canon can't seem to get right to save its life). I guess my point there was that Canon doesn't have a modern low-prosumer model and Nikon really doesn't have a high-consumer model, but that these two were in the same price range and thus likely compared when making a buying decision.
AF is bloody important; being a few mm out of focus can destroy whatever sensor/lens combination resolution advantage there is on any system. Also a reason why I'm such a proponent of camera support.

Nikon does have a high consumer model, it's called the D90. It is a bit more expensive than the 550D though.

I think I need to make clear how I demarcate camera lineups; I don't look at the feature list alone. The 550D might have ton of stuff, but ultimately I place it at a lower range for these 3 reasons:

1. Single command dial
2. Pentamirror instead of pentaprism
3. Absence of status display LCD

They seem small, but they're BIG differences in how I interact with a camera.

Quote:
Yeah, that is very true. But I think that model is breaking down; there are pretty easily comparable models now.
I did say "traditionally" for a reason... though I'm not sure I'd go for the 5DII over the D700 for stills. Other than resolution the 5DII is pretty much behind the D700 as a stills camera.
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