It was only a matter of time before camera manufacturers took a page from Apple’s app business model.
The little-and-cheap-but-astoundingly-good Sony a6000 I bought in December was missing a couple of things I’d like (mic and headphone jacks being first among them), but it also came with some stuff I could care less about, like their PlayMemories Camera App store.
Especially after THE INTERVIEW and Sony’s hacking episode.
Still, I subsequently had an“a-ha” moment: if today Sony has an app store with a total of eight non-essential beta apps for the a6000 (though the Motion shot app looks cool), why couldn’t it have robust production apps that would dramatically improve it? Why NOT have a false color app? Or an app that turns a port into a headphone jack – after all, Magic Lantern does just that? Or unlock the sensor to create 4K footage (which is precisely what Sony has done with their FS700)?
OK, maybe that last one has hardware implications (like overheating).
But you get my point.
Canon is even further behind than Sony, but they’ve got a toe in the water, too, with their EOS Remote.
What if one of the camera manufacturers got serious about this?
Oh, wait – apertus°, with its open source Axiom camera and its collaboration with the Magic Lantern community, already is. Kind of.
But what if one of the majors (Canon, or Sony, or Panasonic, or Nikon – or even someone else) recognized the opportunity that the proprietary version of this business model represents? Which is: lock in its customers by adding real value at incredibly affordable price points through proprietary apps, and be – constantly – on the pulse of the marketplace?
After all, it’s only a matter of time before adapters like the Metabones evolve to offer usable cross-platform autofocus, and the Micro Four Thirds consortium is already in place — so manufacturers really do need something else to prevent the complete disintegration of brand loyalty.
And asking us to buy new cameras every year or two is untenable – unless we downsize each time and pocket the change, which I’m currently doing and enjoying enormously.
What would your top 5 app wish list include, for which camera?
(cover photo credit: snap from Sony)