More Weird Things Said

"The division was making money, but it was loss making, and that is the amount of money you are making versus the costs." Olympus UK Marketing Brand Manager Mark Thackara in Amateur Photographer interview.

Uh, what? The financials are pretty clear: Olympus lost money on cameras nine of the last ten years. It does not even appear that they were cashflow positive during that period, so how that is "making money" I don't know. 

"Irregardless of bokeh or sensor size, there is something special about [the GFX] — there is richness, depth, like whiskey." -Irie-san of Fujifilm in X Tech Talk

He's comparing whiskey to what? Not all whiskeys are alike, and not everyone would agree that whiskey is the ultimate alcohol to target. Some beer makers in Japan might object, saying their beverage has richness and depth ;~).

But aside from that, it's illustrative to point out that we're in the era where people can't tell you what the actual difference is, so they start using subjective metaphors to try to illustrate what they see. And this turns more into how they feel rather than what they see. This happened with audiophiles and Hi-Fi gear many years ago, as well. 

The problem with this type of analysis of an attribute is that it triggers bias confirmation in others. They latch onto it and say "yeah, I see that, too" even when they aren't sure what it is they're seeing; they're just seeing something different, and now they have a "name" to give it. 

There's a bigger problem in this—which is why stereo reviewers started clearly describing their listening room size and attributes back in the 80's—and that's how you're evaluating the output. The GFX 100 produces enough pixels on the long axis to make a 39" print. Is that what's "whiskey"? Or it is the view of the image full screen on an iMac Retina 5K, which has less than half the pixels and would be scaling the image? 

To me, the GFX is better than the Sony A7R Mark IV or Nikon Z7 for a simple reason: the data being recorded is more optimal. We don't have an exact apples-to-apples pixel count comparison we can do, unfortunately.  

"Panasonic will make anamorphic lenses if there is a market demand for [them]." -- Translated and paraphrased from Map Camera interview with Panasonic manager Kazunori Kado

First of all, if a company wants to stay in business it should always be making products for which there is demand ;~). 

However, there's also a chicken and egg problem with things that would be considered "new tech" to an audience. While Hollywood has been into anamorphic for decades, the rest of the video world has been slow to discover it, and has some issues with what happens to their output when they do try it. 

Sometimes you have to be a pioneer and evangelist. A pioneer in producing something that hasn't really been done by others, and an evangelist in getting it adopted by customers. In between, you also have to enable facilitators (like video editors, and raw converters, and wider screen output devices). 

This all boils down to the classic of Marketing: feature/benefit. Anamorphic is the feature, so what's the benefit to the customer? If there is a benefit, if you can properly describe that benefit, if you can provide clear examples of the benefit, then you should probably proceed. But, as I noted, you still also have the job of proselytizing the entire chain of impacted products and customers. 

Good businesses don't make products in vacuums. One thing Silicon Valley gets more right than traditional Japanese CES is that it uses a different and better form of paternalism in its product development. There's a big difference in whether you always want to see your children (customers) succeed, or whether you only measure success in whether you (the parent) succeed. 

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