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Konica Minolta get out of camera business

by nishijb / January 18, 2006 8:14 PM PST
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This makes me sick!
by mrobzo / January 18, 2006 11:34 PM PST

Why didn't they sell to Canon or Nikon. I despise Sony for thier DRM mess and contempt that they have for customers. With KMs technology, they may become a monopoly in the industry. This is a sad day for all consumers. XXXX!!!

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I hate to hear it also
by rcfinch / January 19, 2006 10:49 PM PST
In reply to: This makes me sick!

I have a Minolta XE-7 and XD-11 35mm cameras from the 70's along with an array of lenses. When I started looking for a D-SLR, I knew I would have to replace the lenses since the mounts have changed (my XE-7 and XD-11 were pre-autofocus). Therefore, I considered getting a Canon or a Nikon. However, the Maxxum 7D had the one most important feature I wanted, anti-shake in the camera. No other D-SLR had this and since I hate using a tripod, I opted for the Maxxum 7D. I have really enjoyed using this camera and I hope Sony does a standup job supporting it and developing new products based on it.

It seems to me that Konica-Minolta's deal with Sony was a natural. Canon and Nikon would most likely not be interested since they have such a large market share and such a large array of existing lenses. Since K-M used Sony sensors in their D-SLRs, and Sony also produced digicams, this deal is not surprising.

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Reply to: This makes me sick!
by RWRamo / January 20, 2006 2:02 AM PST
In reply to: This makes me sick!

I feel your pain.

The Root kit thing was merely the final nail in the coffin of Sony purchasing for us.

A DVD player that will not display VCD/SVCD, A 5.1 surround in which a replacement remote was over a hundred bucks. Then it stopped working. Any repair far exceeded replacement cost.

A Sony TV that went green a week out of warranty.

Memory stick stink.

Perhaps were some of the top Sony execs to out of pocket purchase world video time on Fox or CNN and comit sepuku, I would feel better about the corp.

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(NT) (NT) It might be an opportunity to get a good camera cheap
by rgfitz / January 19, 2006 12:24 AM PST
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What to do?
by Hayden115 / January 19, 2006 11:07 AM PST

I was considering purchasing the Minolta Maxxum 7d. Do you think because of this it would be a bad idea? I am very surprised to hear about this. I am assuming in a short time, KM will stop producing their lenes and accesories and it will become very hard to buy???

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Canon or Nikon is now much preferable choice !
by jump1127 / January 19, 2006 3:33 PM PST
In reply to: What to do?

In the world-wide market, Canon and Nikon combine for 80-90% of digital camera market share. Life will be much easier in the long term. By the way, Canon just reached 30 million EF lense marks; 10 million of that for the past 5 years alone. The statistics does reveal us the necessary information what people choose !

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Except Nikon is exiting the film camera market. That gives
by Kiddpeat / January 20, 2006 6:16 AM PST

Canon even more market, but there may not be enough film camera sales anymore for that to be a big deal.

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If you had a reason to buy K-M, I wouldn't give up yet.
by Norm_Roberts / January 19, 2006 6:12 PM PST
In reply to: What to do?

Sony is to build D-SLRs for Minolta lens with a new model coming out this summer. All of K-M's camera technology, which is considerable, will now be Sony's. Sony is the maufacturer of CCD & CMOS sensors for Nikon. All K-M support & repair will come from Sony after 3/31/06.

Sony could surpass expectations or not, we'll have to wait and see.

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I just bought a KM
by hiriseguy / January 19, 2006 9:13 PM PST

My new DiMage X1 had $100 in rebates. Know I know why.I have not got the rebates yet. Perhaps the money from Sony will cover it. Still a great camera and hope it lasts for a few years.

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Hate to hear it.
by ldill / January 19, 2006 10:38 PM PST
In reply to: I just bought a KM

Along with other cameras, I'm still using a Minolta X-700 that I bought back in 1985. The Maxuum models were brand new back then and quite expensive. My X-700 and it's collection of Minolta lenses has been with me on many trips, sometimes under less than gentle conditions, and worked well for me these many years. I'm not a fan of Sony and hate to hear that Minolta went in this direction. We'll just have to hope for the best.

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I wouldn't expect Sony to do much in the DSLR
by Kiddpeat / January 20, 2006 6:18 AM PST


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Bad idea
by varase / January 20, 2006 12:00 AM PST
In reply to: What to do?

Uhhh ... yeah, I think it would be a bad idea.

If you really want to get into a Minolta (which will probably going at fire-sale prices soon), at least hold back a while and see what Sony's commitment looks like - are they building new bodies and lenses, or just acting a auctioneers after the fire? Are the new models in the spirit of where you want to be, or will Sony take the line in a new direction where you don't want to go?

I wouldn't commit to a platform like this when it's in such an unstable state. If you're already stuck, that's one thing. You've got a big investment and it's gonna be hard to switch stagecoach lines. But if you're not invested, either wait or look elsewhere.

Disclaimer: I just bought a Canon Digital Rebel XT, probably one of the models which made Konica/Minolta decide to give up the ghost. But there are at least a few platforms out there besides Canon which I feel would be a better choice at this time.

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Nikon is too!
by photobuff55 / January 19, 2006 10:46 PM PST

It was in the Washington Post a few days ago that Nikon is discontinuing all print cameras except for two pro models. My advice: hang on to your print cameras and keep them tuned up and in good shape. In just a few years when everything is digital, people will realize a great thing slipped out of their fingers and the print cameras will be in demand. I already had a guy just last night offer to buy one of my two Nikon N80s at whatever price I named! The other discussion scheduled for next week about how long CDs last is one I'm facing right now. 2 years or 90? Who knows? Who can afford a tape backup for those digital images? Maybe print film wasn't so expensive to develop after all! Give me that 35mm negative any day of the week. A bird in the hand ...

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Nikon is too
by NeilFiertel / January 20, 2006 1:55 AM PST
In reply to: Nikon is too!

Regarding saving digital files...longevity is naturally the concern one need have with any image system. I make certain I have indepependent file storage. I use CD-R and DVD-R and I keep all the images as well on hard drive backups that are off site. The stories of CDs that crap out after a year or two is strictly the result of poor storage. I have ten year old CD-r files that I recently loaded back onto hard drives for convenience and accessibility. It was worth the money for the speed of access and just for a point of interest, I had absolutely NO issues with data on over too CD-Rs. I do not write on the disks and keep them in their original boxes. I do not user envelopes for disks except for mail outs. I keep them in a dark place and a cool place..pretty much what one would do with film negatives in other words. Having converted all of my negatives to digital files, labouriously and over a period of several years I note that the sharpness of my digital files are far superior to the best of my film negatives due to the improvement to lens design and the fantastic resolution of an 8 megapixel or better chip that I have used with digital since going that route. Those who want to stay with film for their own particular reasons and there are many, are welcome to it. It is not unlike artists who prefer old print techniques such as gum transfers and so forth...hey, why not..Personally, give me a 64 megabyte chipped camera the size of my Canon and I will be in heaven. I have away all my darkroom stuff and am glad to be rid of the stinking and carcinogenic chemicals, the acidic atmosphere,the ancient and primitive technologies associated with it, the expense of materials and the long wait to see the results. For those of you thinking about selling your film it now. I will get maybe 10 percent of what I paid for my equipment but will be glad to get rid of it. It did its job and now it is time to let it go to someone who appreciates old tech.

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The Sony Reputation
by DigiCamGeek / January 20, 2006 12:29 AM PST

This is pretty shocking news, but the market shouldn't worry too much about a potential impact on the biz. Most of the Minolta loyalists I know despise Sony (as do most in the photography world). Therefore, I feel that most will make the switch to Canon or Nikon like the other 90% of consumers (especially DSLR enthusiasts). This move might even slightly help Canon and Nikon in the long run.

And let us not forget Sony's track record for making promises they do not keep. I would like to know if there is a specific clause in the contract with Minolta about continuing to produce DSLR and SLR cameras compatible with older KM lenses. I would not be surprised if Sony continued in their proprietary ways and continued to manufacture their products that change compatibility formats on a regular basis.

Just a thought.

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out of business
by jrolls / January 20, 2006 12:53 AM PST

One word! BOOOOOOOO!!!

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What about Pentax
by slim-1 / January 20, 2006 1:42 AM PST
In reply to: out of business

I love my new iST digital. I took them a while to get into the digital market but I was glad I waited considering they kept the mount the same.

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Konica Minolta getting out of camera business
by NeilFiertel / January 20, 2006 1:41 AM PST

They first pulled the plug in Canada last Fall as their prices were way out of line for the products that they sold. I used Minolta cameras since I was 16. I am now 64 so I say with a kind of wistful smile...we had a long relationship but, frankly, when digital cameras came along, Minolta and its sister company and former camera manufacturer Konica did not produce product in the digital field fast enough nor good enough to compete with Canon and Nikon. The market started out slow and very expensive to produce and though KM should have had the electronics expertise to jump in with good products they seemed to have dragged their corporate feet and lost a great deal of their market during the two years that people impatiently waited for their Digital SLR. When it finally came it was way behind the curve with amateur level medium resolution product. It disappointed many users, I being one. I opted for Canon and have never looked back. I have no doubt there are many others who look at Minolta and think that they must have been run by a bunch of old men, such as myself but who unlike this writer did not see the writing on the wall and get more electronics engineers. Leitz and many of the European camera manufacturers are in the same pickle. Change or die! The good news is Sony who has often picked technological winners bought the hardware manufacturing facilties from KM and lens mount patents and so forth so expect to see a really modern mid price digital SLR using the excellent chip design facilities and know-how of Sony with the excellent mechanical design of Minolta including their interesting image stabilisation system. In other words, those of you with auto focus Minolta lenses..hold onto them. I just put up for sale all of my excellent but manual focus Minolta equipment as it just sits there looking nicely mechanical like an old watch, forelorn and forgotten. The world has moved on and so shall we.

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Shades of Olympus
by Dutchmants / January 20, 2006 2:01 AM PST

It's not too shocking news. Olympus dropped their production of their great long standing OM series of SLR film cameras a while back. That by the way was why I dropped Olympus from any consideration when I purchased my last digital camera. The Olympus OM line was the first compace SLR camera on the market widely adapted at all levels of photography.

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Have owned minolta cameras in the past.
by GHookway / January 20, 2006 5:49 AM PST

I am disappointed to hear this. I have owned a Minolta XG-1 years ago and thought very highly of it, until it was I guess my next film camera will probably be a Canon.

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Only from the mind of Minolta!!!
by Emilio2000 / January 22, 2006 9:51 AM PST

That used to be their slogan. "Only from the mind of Minolta".

What a shame that they are just giving up. Less competition in the marketplace is never a good thing for the consumer.

Besides, it's not good for Konica Minolta either. After hearing this story, I would never again buy anything bearing their logo. I mean, maybe they will still make copiers, or printers. But, I wouldn't buy them any more. Why? Because I can never be sure when they'll pull the rug from under me and sell out to Sony.

The whole company has proven to be unreliable and not dependable.

Only from the mind of Minolta come such stupid decisions!

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