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Thread: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

  1. #1

    Talking "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Has anyone here thought of customising their cameras? I'm talking about a concept that's similar to those buy direct computer online shops like apple store or dell. Here's how it could be:

    For eg, a Sony NEX or Oly m43

    1) Colour : The retail shops sells only black, online store has options for white, red & navy blue.

    2) Buffer : Base model can shoot 10 RAW in buffer, u can opt to upgrade the RAM to go 16 RAW

    3) Video : Base model shoots 720p. Options can be Off, 1080i or 1080p

    4) Adapter mount : Base uses it new mount but need adaptor to be mounted for use of DSLR lenses. Option is to have a mount permanently screwed into the body so users dun need to buy 2 sets of lenses to enjoy the sys.

    5) Flash : Base model has GN 7 at ISO 100, option can boost it to 12 with a longer tube

    6) Sensor : Base model is 14MP CMOS. Option can choose 14MP Exmor or 16MP Super CCDII

    7) LCD screen : Base model is normal LCD 230k. Option can choose 420k AMOLED, or 920k touch screen Super AMOLED

    8) Semi weather seal : Base model has no seal. Option can choose to put a few O rings at the buttons & mount to make the cam a little tougher against the weather

    9) Bluetooth / WiFi / GPS Geo tagging option. Base model has none

    10) Battery : Standard is 1300mAH, option can choose 1800mAH


    U pay a premium for such customisation of course, but u do get an option. Price can range from $800 off the shelf default body to $1800 customise body. Very cool!!


    Something like that. I feel it can work & it can cater to a broader market. As u can see, the options r not deviating too much, so all modules or daughter cards r replaceable & can be used for the next models, so on & so forth.

    This concept can be applied to DSLR range as well. Colour can be camouflage, white, etc

    I'm so looking forward to such a concept to materialise
    Last edited by nightpiper; 11th July 2010 at 12:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member luna_sea83's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    i believe for cameras to be sold this way would be abit hard, most users would wanna try them out at the shops before spending their money on it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    There'll properly be a significant lead time from ordering to delivery due to the customisation.

    Every component has to be assembled with precision.. and this will have to be done by the factory, unlike computers where anyone can just plug different parts together.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Unless you can apply this to tablet sized or smaller forms such as netbooks, this is practically impossible...

    The cost of such choices would be tremendous as well as the locations for the assembly, you'd probably have to get clean rooms for almost all such sale areas.
    Michael Lim
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    great idea... many people would want to pimp up their cams. I personally thought of spraying mine with a different color... haha.
    Don't brag about your accomplishments; Show us your future works.

  6. #6

    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Assembling a camera is not the same as plugging in an extra chip into a motherboard slot, or replacing a card; those are things that are done manually by a human, so which card they plug in, or which RAM stick they use, whether to toss in a GPS/bluetooth/wifi USB dongle can be controlled. On a camera motherboard, everything is custom-built for it's purpose and fully automated. There are no slots to plug things into, no human to select a different RAM stick; everything is carefully soldered onto the mainboard. What you are proposing would require a whole new assembly line separate from the main one, at massive cost, for a small niche market that even knows what RAM is, etc. Also, the Camera firmware would have to be rewritted to accept allpossible configurations, thus massively increasing size and complexity, as well as increasing boot-up time by at least 5x.
    Alpha

  7. #7

    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Quote Originally Posted by luna_sea83 View Post
    i believe for cameras to be sold this way would be abit hard, most users would wanna try them out at the shops before spending their money on it.
    Shops will still carry the base models (think mac shops & dell, & hp etc), customers still can try & test before committing, very much like buying laptops or imac.

    Quote Originally Posted by limsgp
    Every component has to be assembled with precision.. and this will have to be done by the factory, unlike computers where anyone can just plug different parts together.
    Its juz plugging daughter boards into the main board, what kind of precision u need? I reckon a light industry place for "assembly line" is enuf. If it can be custumise like this, those parts r readily available, bout 10days waiting?


    Quote Originally Posted by zac08
    The cost of such choices would be tremendous as well as the locations for the assembly, you'd probably have to get clean rooms for almost all such sale areas.
    How much u pay to upgrade ur ram in the laptop? Unless its apple, other wise, its v cheap. Of cos diff parts cost diff amount, so if its juz a colour change, maybe $30 premium. Even if its ram from apple store, the ram is still affordable dun u think? Why u need clean room to plug in a bluetooth module? Or change the flash tube to a more powerful one? Maybe changing sensor will require some calibration but thats juz a scope away, no need clean room le. U guys think too cheem already. Its a very workable model. U can't change it from head to toe of cos, but some aspect u can choose to suit ur desire

  8. #8

    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Quote Originally Posted by nightpiper View Post
    As u can see, the options r not deviating too much, so all modules or daughter cards r replaceable & can be used for the next models, so on & so forth.
    That is exactly where your concept falls on it's face. There are no "modules" or "daughter cards". Even replacing the mainboard solder points with card slots/ribbon connectors would massively increase the thickness of the motherboard, and involve putting in a lot of human labor, thus increasing costs.
    Alpha

  9. #9

    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Assembling a camera is not the same as plugging in an extra chip into a motherboard slot, or replacing a card; those are things that are done manually by a human, so which card they plug in, or which RAM stick they use, whether to toss in a GPS/bluetooth/wifi USB dongle can be controlled. On a camera motherboard, everything is custom-built for it's purpose and fully automated. There are no slots to plug things into, no human to select a different RAM stick; everything is carefully soldered onto the mainboard. What you are proposing would require a whole new assembly line separate from the main one, at massive cost, for a small niche market that even knows what RAM is, etc. Also, the Camera firmware would have to be rewritted to accept allpossible configurations, thus massively increasing size and complexity, as well as increasing boot-up time by at least 5x.
    No la, u think too cheem already. If companies were to adopt such a model, the cam will be made with that in mind with slots or connectors ready. Laptops r the same thing, the CPU is soldered, some brands have graphics soldered too, but u can still customise it online, eg, u can choose i5 2.4GHz CPU instead of base i3, up the ram to 8GB instead of 4, change the keyboard to spill proof, GPU from 320 to 340 instead, etc. Very doable la.

  10. #10

    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Quote Originally Posted by nightpiper View Post
    Shops will still carry the base models (think mac shops & dell, & hp etc), customers still can try & test before committing, very much like buying laptops or imac.
    You haven't been out with a lot of camera shoppers, huh? 80% of them don't know anything about what options you're talking about, then will complain to he high heavens, wondering why the brand doesn't just sell a camera with everything in it, like all the other brands. Only the 1% of the niche market who can afford/desire such customization will be willing to buy; and even then they will still ask "gee, do I go for N/C/S/O/P?" so that segment is cut even further, thus reducing the value of re-engineering a whole assembly line.

    Quote Originally Posted by nightpiper View Post
    Its juz plugging daughter boards into the main board, what kind of precision u need? I reckon a light industry place for "assembly line" is enuf. If it can be custumise like this, those parts r readily available, bout 10days waiting?
    You really need to learn a bit more about how things are assembled and built. There is no parallel to the PC world here. The only "plug and swap" that's designed is the flash gun and the lenses.


    Quote Originally Posted by nightpiper View Post
    Its a very workable model. U can't change it from head to toe of cos, but some aspect u can choose to suit ur desire
    You failed economics and basic IT engineering?
    Alpha

  11. #11

    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    That is exactly where your concept falls on it's face. There are no "modules" or "daughter cards". Even replacing the mainboard solder points with card slots/ribbon connectors would massively increase the thickness of the motherboard, and involve putting in a lot of human labor, thus increasing costs.
    Thats the whole point of customisation right? People pay a premium to get their things "mod" from factory. Which online shop selling laptop offers cheaper than base model when customised?

    Cyrrently the models r not made with that in mind so of cos there'll be no slots to plug in daughter board. But if they change that concept, the design will cater for it. Also they can keep to juz a fw models customisable, maybe the hi end models can't

  12. #12

    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    You failed economics and basic IT engineering?
    HAHAHHA!!! Never did those subjects in school.

  13. #13

    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Quote Originally Posted by nightpiper View Post
    No la, u think too cheem already. If companies were to adopt such a model, the cam will be made with that in mind with slots or connectors ready. Laptops r the same thing, the CPU is soldered, some brands have graphics soldered too, but u can still customise it online, eg, u can choose i5 2.4GHz CPU instead of base i3, up the ram to 8GB instead of 4, change the keyboard to spill proof, GPU from 320 to 340 instead, etc. Very doable la.
    People are always looking for the cheapest. Why would they pay all this extra $$$ for a human to assemble the camera (not forgetting the extra cost of all the components needing to be re-engineered for standard sockets/connectors, then packaged) when another brand will simply use the benefits of automation and robot-assisted factory assembly lines to come out with a camera that is slimmer, has all the features, and costs hundreds less?

    Do not underestimate how much cheaper it is to have a robot produce 500,000 identical items to a huge assembly line of humans customizing individual components.
    Alpha

  14. #14

    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Quote Originally Posted by nightpiper View Post
    Thats the whole point of customisation right? People pay a premium to get their things "mod" from factory. Which online shop selling laptop offers cheaper than base model when customised?

    Cyrrently the models r not made with that in mind so of cos there'll be no slots to plug in daughter board. But if they change that concept, the design will cater for it. Also they can keep to juz a fw models customisable, maybe the hi end models can't
    It's about economies of scale. It's a massive amount of R&D expense to standardize that, then custom production runs for those handful of components, training in how to assemble it, all for a tiny niche market.

    I'm 100% sure all major camera manufacturers have already thought of your idea, and discarded it as a very expensive waste of time and effort.
    Alpha

  15. #15
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Quote Originally Posted by nightpiper View Post
    Thats the whole point of customisation right? People pay a premium to get their things "mod" from factory. Which online shop selling laptop offers cheaper than base model when customised?

    Cyrrently the models r not made with that in mind so of cos there'll be no slots to plug in daughter board. But if they change that concept, the design will cater for it. Also they can keep to juz a fw models customisable, maybe the hi end models can't
    For those laptops, there are ONLY 1 or 2 things to add or swap. Nothing more.

    What you are suggesting is a NIGHTMARE (no offense to the goat) for the camera makers.

    And customised IT products are available, BUT at a high cost. In the end, do you think the normal users will want to waste such money?
    Michael Lim
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  16. #16
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Quote Originally Posted by nightpiper View Post
    How much u pay to upgrade ur ram in the laptop? Unless its apple, other wise, its v cheap. Of cos diff parts cost diff amount, so if its juz a colour change, maybe $30 premium. Even if its ram from apple store, the ram is still affordable dun u think? Why u need clean room to plug in a bluetooth module? Or change the flash tube to a more powerful one? Maybe changing sensor will require some calibration but thats juz a scope away, no need clean room le. U guys think too cheem already. Its a very workable model. U can't change it from head to toe of cos, but some aspect u can choose to suit ur desire
    Ahem.. wake up your idea. If you open up the camera, you're exposing all the electronics as well as the sensor to possible dust.

    We're already trying to avoid dust from reaching the sensor, you are trying to kill the camera?
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  17. #17
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    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Nothing new.
    Old hat already.
    Leica can do for you. Pay.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    Quote Originally Posted by nightpiper View Post
    Has anyone here thought of customising their cameras? I'm talking about a concept that's similar to those buy direct computer online shops like apple store or dell. Here's how it could be:

    For eg, a Sony NEX or Oly m43

    1) Colour : The retail shops sells only black, online store has options for white, red & navy blue.

    2) Buffer : Base model can shoot 10 RAW in buffer, u can opt to upgrade the RAM to go 16 RAW

    3) Video : Base model shoots 720p. Options can be Off, 1080i or 1080p

    4) Adapter mount : Base uses it new mount but need adaptor to be mounted for use of DSLR lenses. Option is to have a mount permanently screwed into the body so users dun need to buy 2 sets of lenses to enjoy the sys.

    5) Flash : Base model has GN 7 at ISO 100, option can boost it to 12 with a longer tube

    6) Sensor : Base model is 14MP CMOS. Option can choose 14MP Exmor or 16MP Super CCDII

    7) LCD screen : Base model is normal LCD 230k. Option can choose 420k AMOLED, or 920k touch screen Super AMOLED

    8) Semi weather seal : Base model has no seal. Option can choose to put a few O rings at the buttons & mount to make the cam a little tougher against the weather

    9) Bluetooth / WiFi / GPS Geo tagging option. Base model has none

    10) Battery : Standard is 1300mAH, option can choose 1800mAH


    U pay a premium for such customisation of course, but u do get an option. Price can range from $800 off the shelf default body to $1800 customise body. Very cool!!


    Something like that. I feel it can work & it can cater to a broader market. As u can see, the options r not deviating too much, so all modules or daughter cards r replaceable & can be used for the next models, so on & so forth.

    This concept can be applied to DSLR range as well. Colour can be camouflage, white, etc

    I'm so looking forward to such a concept to materialise
    I like to have a camera that when I point it to the sky an XMM appears inside the viewfinder, does a peace sign with 2 fingers and smile. Then I will just push the button.

    Of course there is a program setting that the user can choose which nationality he wants to shoot.

  19. #19

    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    If you were n/c/s/o/p, would you:
    a)Build and sell massive amounts of the same camera at a cheap price OR

    b)Custom build and sell a few/massive amounts of customized cameras.

    Either your profit margins will suffer like hell(probably in the deep red) or your target market is for the high end who essentially just want the best for everything. Not much customization there.

    This is why canon has created so many different models instead of the customization option. Product differentiation my friend. it also helps increase their profits.
    For example, why pay $500 more to upgrade your RAM and get a better flash when you can get the same thing PLUS other features(more MP and Geo tagging) for the same price? When companies deem a target market segment to be large enough, they pick out what they think will suit the majority of the wants/needs of the segment and then some. This maximizes their profit margins.

    But i do think the casing colours would be cool.

  20. #20

    Default Re: "Indecent Proposal" to camera makers

    The only customisation that I see (other than lens and other accessories) economically viable is casing colour. This is just asking too much, I don't see why they'd do this for just $1.8k.

    Imagine different people with varying needs asking for all sorts of combinations: sensor size, some ppl may want 1.3x crop, 1.5x crop, 1.6x crop, 2x crop, full frame, medium format sensor...

    Add on different MP (6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20,22,24)

    Plus different sensor type (CMOS, CCD, EXMOR)

    Variable sensor aspect ratio (4:3, 16:9)

    One variable (sensor) can already lead to so many different combinations...how you want them to do this?

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