Samsung got balls

In an interview with AP, Samsung's vice president of camera business Jeong Wook Kim said that Samsung is "determined" to be #1 in the mirrorless camera market by 2012 and be "the best selling camera brand" by 2015.

"We are passionate about making a success of the NX system, and we are certain that the APS-C sensor will dominate the compact system camera market. It won't be long before compact system camera sales exceed those of DSLRs, and then Samsung will be the best selling camera brand"

BCN ranking shows that Samsung is currently not even in the top 20 best-selling interchangeable lens digital camera (based on Japan's market):

Maybe Samsung's statement was about the Korean market only, because I do not see how this can happen on a global scale.

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  • John

    Be very careful when you talk about Samsung or their market goals. This is a company with a lot of financial and technical depth. Everyone laughed themself silly a while back Samsumg stated the same goal about televisions – guess who’s at the top of the market now!

    They have the capacity to make you eat your words.

    • sflxn

      Problem is Samsung is an electronics company and don’t really understand photography. They have yet to show they know what photographers want. However, their main problem is the same one that Panasonic has had for years. They can’t make a sensor competitive with Sony, Nikon, and Canon. For them to gain traction, they can’t just match the top 3, they must come out with something that blows the top 3 out of the water. I don’t see that happening. The rate of innovation at the top is so much higher than what we’re seeing from Samsung. They can’t catch up with a slower pace of innovation. Then there is camera bodies and lenses. Sorry, I am willing to bet Samsung will be disappointed.

      By 2015, I see the top 3 being Canon, Nikon, Sony. Their marketshare will be larger. Panasonic and Samsung will consider dropping out. Olympus’ marketshare will be smaller and may consider selling out.

      • Just A Thought

        “By 2015, I see the top 3 being Canon, Nikon, Sony. Their marketshare will be larger. Panasonic and Samsung will consider dropping out. Olympus’ marketshare will be smaller and may consider selling out.”

        IMHO the D4 series will be the last Pro Nikons with a Nikon label. Japan is in a tailspin and I suspect that only the very deep pockets will survive. Pentax could disappear and Nikon could be bought out by Canon- for Nikon’s patent portfolio. Canon will keep producing cameras with Nikon’s upcoming new electronic G mount – wider diameter mount than present F.

        2015 should see the Canikon D6. Sony is targeting the newbie low end – high volume/low price. This should pay big by 2015 as the growing Sony army of photogs migrate to higher end models offered by Sony. The highest worldwide sales volume camera manufacturer could very well be Samsung. The Lowest Volume could be Olympus. Panasonic is a wild card – I wonder if they are seriously interested in Pentax. Medium Format may be history.

        Samsung has the technical capability and the cash flow to do some amazing things, reverse engineering and then adding the Samsung quality spin. The world is crying about how bad the recession is and how poor the recovery is, while Samsung is flush with LOTS and LOTS of CASH – which is HUGE advantage over Canon, Nikon and Sony.

        Anyhow, gotta go polish the crystal ball some more with microfibre cloth as the future is not as clear as it once was.

      • Just A Thought

        “Problem is Samsung is an electronics company and don’t really understand photography. They have yet to show they know what photographers want. ”

        Oh, you must mean like Leica has done.

        • Discontinued

          “Problem is Samsung is an electronics company …”

          That statement caught my attention, too. We all know that the future of photography will be dominated by knowledge about chemistry and mechanics – all electronics companies are clearly facing extinction. Just everything points into that direction.

        • Adam Maas

          Leica hasn’t been Photographer-oriented in my lifetime. They sell primarily to the collector/camera-as-jewellry/rich snob market.

          When they killed the CL to protect M sales in the mid-70’s was the end of Leica as a photographer-oriented company.

  • Nick

    That’s not balls. Promising uncompetitive crap that matches innovations already on the market for the sake of satisfying investors and maintaining stock value is not balls.

    Bringing thoughtful, innovative, original products to market when they might fail is balls. The only company to even come close to doing this in the post-GF1/EP-1 world is Fuji with its Finepix X100. Even if it fails, at least they tried. Samsung’s VP yammering on about a mirrorless camera market is more embarrassing than anything else.

  • GlobalGuy

    Actually, Koreans talk like this a lot; its mostly culture and has very little to do with reality. We hear a lot about Japanese stereotypes — now that Korean companies are doing very well, you should hear a bit more of “Korean” culture. His statement is very typical for higher management in a chaebol-like company.

    They probably have an ambitious plan that’s being developed by a very small unit, which may or may not ever even be implemented. But in order to secure funding and play politics with the other guys, and generally offer the right face to the public to understand their vision, they need to talk this way. But they might in fact be very very insecure about it were Canon or Nikon to suddenly launch into the arena.

    By the way, its amazing what percentage of the Korean economy Samsung represents. Its the world’s largest conglomerate — I guess having pushed $200 Billion in annual -revenue-. Just this 1 company represents 20% of what South Korea exports to the world.

  • spam

    They just have to create a really amazing sensor, fix their high Iso processing, get the autofocus to work in video mode and make the autofocus competitive in still mode. The video mode need a lot work and a few more lenses than the current 4 would help.

    Phase detect on the main sensor seem unavoidable (I look forward to that), and the other problems might be solvable too, lets hope everyone else stops all development to help out.

  • Sam

    Is Samsung selling camera products in Japan? I don´t think so, because of the difficult business relationships between Nippon and S Korea? You don´t find a Samsung TV in the Japanese consumer market, so it could be, that there is also no Samsung camera for Nippon and the BCN ranking is stateless.

  • Din

    Japan is not the best market for Samsung products, probably UK, Germany, Canada or Asia would be more representative.
    In Asia, Samsung keeps a very profit technology business, specially in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong.
    Samsung was the 2nd on the HDTV market and the 3rd on the Smartphone, look now, 1st and 2nd.
    Samsung has the money and technology to bring the best photography technology in the photography field, they just need a good strategy.

    5 lenses and 3 cameras for 2011 should be good.

  • wonderlust

    It’s not usual for Korean’s to boast about wanting to be the best in something, when they aren’t even close. They always talk like that, but the rest of the world knows better.

    • Din

      Well, they said that for HDTV and Smartphones, look where is Samsung now in those market.
      What I have hear Samsung is preparing the 2nd round in the mirrosless market in 2010.
      New sensors, bodies (3 with an advanced-high performance NX), EVFs, compact design, lenses and the camcorder NX line.
      To end of 2011 Samsung will have 6 NX cameras, 10 lenses, 4 flash and 2 new camcorder-NX.
      Only this…
      The 84mm f/1.4 (iFn) of the Premium series, will come with the advanced compact NX, a rangefinder design and for 2012 will come 2 more Premium lenses… a 24, 35 or 50mm?

      • Adam Maas

        HDTV: yes, they’re a major player.
        Smartphones: Outside of the US & Korean markets, they’re a nobody. And they’re only big in the US because Android is big there and Samsung is a major Android player. In the rest of the world where Android is not a major player Samsung isn’t either.

        • Din

          They are the 2nd cell phone maker (behind Nokia).
          Samsung has positioned very well with Android and Bada OS in Europe and Asia, more than 2 million of Bada device sold just in Europe (no included Android) is very important.
          Now they will be the Nexus S (two) maker and the new Galaxy 2 series is just coming with Android 3.0.

          Only the blinds don´t want to see…

  • Kevin Y

    meh. koreans are always like that. cocky as hell. think they are the best. plus its marketing mumbo.

  • Okay then Samsung; I want a new camera. Convince me to buy a samsung branded camera that I would want to use and can afford.
    If you cant produce a camera that suits my needs and is affordable then you wont get the sale.

  • partially agree with sflxn , even though Samsung may step up the game and have the similar specs to Nikon , Canon, Sony, but the ergonomics , interface and controls of the cameras is something that needs time , experience. The Big 3 has plenty of that, having their share of legacy in film-photography in the past. I’d say , if they are determined, having a significant share in the entry/ consumer market may not be such a big problem, but the enthusiast and pro market are rock solid for the Big 3 =)

    • Just A Thought

      “but the enthusiast and pro market are rock solid for the Big 3”

      Just like Minolta had a rock solid future when it was the first to come out with AutoFocus lenses. Minolta had a lot of firsts but in the long haul having LOTS and LOTS of incoming CASH is far more important to a company’s survival and growth potential.

      “but the ergonomics , interface and controls of the cameras is something that needs time , experience”

      Not necessarily. If you have the cash you can license the technology. Or better still you can buy a sample of your competitor’s products and pay to get them reverse engineered and improved – also eliminates license fees. Designing a grip with a Nikon like feel is not a big deal – if you have the cash to pay the engineers to do it – just create a 3d computer model of Nikon’s grip and go from there. The user interface is just a software design.

      At one time the USA invented Microwave ovens and was the top producer. The Japanese redesigned the product and became the market leaders. The Koreans just came to the US and bought up the plant and equipments and designs for microwave ovens. Now the Koreans are the top producer of microwave ovens while the US does not produce any.

      IMHO, the biggest problem that Samsung has is North Korea. Should a war breakout between North and South Korea (and I suspect it will be a lot sooner rather than later) the North Koreans will have no choice but to use the Nuclear option. China may not hold the North back, as destroying south Korea’s economy would eliminate a competitor to Chinese made goods. China would also see it as an interesting lesson in what can happen for Taiwan.

  • JB

    I was looking all over in Shanghai’s pro markets for NX10’s to try out and frustrated not to find any. Then I stumbled into some consumer camera malls and found them everywhere, multiple kiosks one after another. Gives you an idea of who they might be targeting right now. That said, I found the NX10 more friendly to use and hold than either the EPL-1 or the Nex-5 and Samsung has some nice-looking lens dimensions on their road map, more useful than Sony and less exotically priced than Panasonic.

  • Camaman

    What no D7000 on that most selling list?

    • Ant

      These are the Jan-June numbers, D7000 didn’t start shipping until October.

    • Just A Thought

      What is really surprising is that the Nikon D700 did not make the list while the Canon 5D Mk2 sales made the list and were even higher than the Canon 50D.

  • Tomra

    take your balls and design some full frame rangefinder with optical viewfinder. then we can talk.

  • Mock

    Those words might not seem loud enough for Canon, Nikon, Olympus…now. But Samsung are loaded with lots of resources and don’t be surprised coz you be holding one sometime next year.

  • mochapaulo

    IMO, I believe the image quality of NX system should be getting better and better, but NX system has a “fatal” design fault that hinders her market share. As we find that micro4/3 and NEX system are the good players of using adapters of legacy lenses, especially they are the most economic solution of the rangefinder lenses – Leica M, Voigtlander M, M39 and C mount.

    I don’t know why Samsung makes this flange distance longer than all the lenses above. May be Samsung believes if the users love NX series, they don’t mind to miss the Leica M lenses or the similar. But she just don’t get it that those lenses are myth to users, they would like it more if NX can be compatible to those lenses. Now excuse me, I almost heard nothing about the forum or testers show off the images from NX system using the legacy lenses. The feedback from the market is really too weak comparing to micro 4/3 or NEX. I think at the beginning of creating micro 4/3 and NEX, both companies has already count into the possibility of using those adapters since they have not enough of lenses for options. The miss of this little part just hinder the pro and mid-level users make a choice on this green system, which means less voice on the market. What a waste!

  • oly-oly-oly

    I want to ask if those that state Samsung does not make photographer-oriented cameras have ever used a Samsung NX camera.

    I have owned and used the Nikon D90, D5000, Canon Rebel series, Canon 50D, Olympus E520, E420, Panasonic GF-1, Sony NEX5, film cameras Nikon F, Nikomat, FM2, F3, F100, F4, Canon EOS 3, Canon EOS Elan II, Leica M3, M7, Contax 167MT and 139Q.

    I recently purchased the Samsung NX100 with the 20-50mm, 30mm, and 50-200mm lenses for a good price. I find the NX100’s user interface clearly superior to the GF-1 and NEX5. It is, of course, not as fast-focusing as the D90 or D5000, but that is a technology difference, not a UI issue. Compared to the GF-1 and NEX5, the response time is the same. The UI makes this camera much more enjoyable to use. You have 3 control wheels to change settings. All important settings are 1 click away to change. I liked the GF-1’s small size, but hated the UI. The NX100 is so good that I’ve changed my buying plans from m43 lenses to NX lenses.

    Here’s my 2 cents:

    1) m43 system – for small cameras like Olympus Pen series or GF series, the UI is not as good as NX. the lenses, though good, are very expensive. I feel fleeced by the m43 system. The sensor is slightly worse than NEX. Panasonic and Olympus can’t get their act together to come up with a coherent lens plan – it’s just one duplicate set after another. Case in point:

    Panasonic 14mm — Olympus 12mm
    Panasonic 7-14mm — Olympus 9-18mm
    Panasonic 20mm — Olympus 17mm
    Panasonic 14-140mm —Olympus 14-150mm
    Panasonic 45mm macro — Olympus 50mm macro

    and so on. as for pancakes, only 3 (but really just 2) so far. Panasonic 14mm, Panasonic 20mm / Olympus 17mm.

    2) Sony NEX – great sensor. very small camera. poor user interface (somewhat improved w/ the firmware update) what’s the deal with the huge lenses? they have 1 lousy 16mm pancake. the other lenses that are out or on the lens roadmap are huge.

    3) Samsung NX – sensor does not live up to its APS-C promise, but it’s better than m43. Samsung seems to understand that this system is about size. They are coming out with smaller primes, and their UI, IMHO, is the best of the MILC cameras. Pancakes:

    20mm, 30mm, 20-50mm zoom available now
    16mm coming out

    Primes – 60mm macro, 85mm 1.4.

    For me, the 16mm, 30mm, 60mm macro, 85mm are all I need. throw in the 50-200 for good luck, and im all set.

    • Harold Ellis

      yea so it is huge as DSLR, more expensive, but quality is worse and AF and UI slower. Perfect.

      • Lich

        You definitely have never seen a NX in real life.

        Decent tiny cameras they are, their biggest disadvantage being the word “Samsung”.

  • oly-oly-oly

    Harold Ellis –

    the NX100 is about the size of the GF-1. very small. it is not huge like DSLR

  • Gearscout

    I have never owned a Samsung camera.

    I have owned their LCD Screens, cell phones and a large screen television.

    They will have to break sales records without me. Everything I own from Samsung has a 50% failure rate. Yes, one out of every two devices crashes and burns.

    When they work, they work great!

    When they work exactly half the time…well, you get the point.

    I will never purchase ANYTHING made by Samsung.

  • mmv

    this statement had to come from samsung of north korea
    i have used minoltas and now canon
    no thanks
    anon kadzu hamnida

  • yakutyokel2

    Samsung R & D is probably the largest in the world: about $18,000,000,000.00 per year, which is ~3x what Intel Corporation spends per year on R & D.

    You may not like them, or their products, or think they have the requisite experience, but their competitors take them deadly serious.

    This is not an empty threat on the part of Samsung. They may reach their goal and they may not, but it will be interesting to see what happens.

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