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August 12, 2012

New Top Selling Cameras snapshot posted

Another small victory for Operation Reclaim Time! We have just updated the Top Selling Cameras mini-site with a August 12 snapshot.

These are snapshots of the top selling camera charts at Amazon. While they are snapshots, the Amazon data in itself is using some form of averaging/smoothing-out/weighing algorithm(s), so it is not a random hourly snapshot. We have been observing these for around ten years, black box style [we do the dirty work so you don't have to!]. A number of factors affect the positioning of the cameras. For example, the orange Panasonic TS20 was a $99 Goldbox special earlier in the week, the Nikon D800 was in-stock more steadily than before, etc, etc, etc. This exercise is helpful in observing overarching patterns and trends over a long period of time. A stand-alone snapshot chart alone does not say much.

So today we return to our usual "psycho-analysis" rumbling here at the main blog talking of patterns, signs and portents... We are rusty on the psycho-analysis, so please excuse us while we try to get back to form :)

Hot Cameras du jour
The Sony RX100 has been steadily in-stock at Amazon and has been steadily at or near the top of the charts there for at least a couple of weeks. It took Sony a while to release a new compact-with-RAW, patience is a virtue as they say.

The other hot camera du jour that is doing well chart-size is the Nikon D800 for $3000. $3000 is no small change, and I am sure the autofocus issue has frozen some potential buyers, but there is/was a lot of pent-up demand in the Nikon camp for a higher-megapixel/new-full-frame DSLR.

For people not familiar with these, I should point out that the charts track individual camera boxes (Amazon listings), not camera models. So the Olympus E-M5 is tracked as five separate items, since there are five separate official kits. On the other hand, the Nikon D800 and the Sony RX100 have only one official kit each. Amazon only provides best seller lists for individually sellable items (not aggregates per model). [third-party sellers can create their own listings/bundles as well, but those fly under the radar most of the time]. If Amazon were to make aggregate data available, we would be more than happy to do the math (however, a Beatles reunion is more likely to happen).

Not the kind of Canon vs Nikon battle they want to see
As you can see in the annotated screenshot crop below, there is a Canon vs Nikon duel in the top ten, but it is the kind that makes people both at Canon and Nikon cry and have sleepless nights. You would need a microscope to find profit margins in that price range :) Never the less, a sale is a sale, and one more customer is one more customer. Consider that the average monthly price of a contract smartphone is the price of a Canon A1300 or Nikon L26.


Canon D-Rebel T3*.* price drops
The Canon Digital Rebel DSLRs, specifically the T3*.* models have dropped in price. The T3i w/18-55 has flattened to $700. With the equivalent T4i w/18-55 kit going for $950, it is as if Canon is a traffic cop directing almost everyone to the T3i :)

With the Canon mirrorless system launching at $800, Canon has just one recent new-in-box interchangeable lens camera to "battle" the vast variety of mirrorless cameras in the $500 and below price-range.

Update (7:36pm NYC time): The $425 price for the T3 w/18-55 kit has sold-out as of this recheck... The T3 w/18-55 is down to $425... So it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to the T3 w/18-55 now dropping to $425. It is a 1.5 year old DSLR, but Canon and Nikon continue to have the advantage of incumbency.

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