To the problem of them having limited lenses in stock - Shops only have so much storage space, so they only stock what they can shift quickly. If they get a lens in and it sits in the back of the shop for a year, that's both wasted storage space, and money locked up in a product instead of being used to buy new stock etc. Cameras only make up a small percentage of their sales, and very expensive camera lenses make up an even smaller amount of their sales.
So they stock the more common things, and order in the others when they're needed. It's a perfectly reasonable business model, that almost all shops employ. Lets face it, why would you stock something you sell maybe one of a year, when you can stock things you sell 2-3 times every month? Supply and demand. :)
Source: Family owns a shop which I help administrate. The area we work in has literally tens of thousands of different products, we only have space for a few thousand. So we stock the ones that shift quickly, and order in less common items when customers ask for them. This saves us spending thousands of pounds more on more storage space and more stock, hence helping keep the prices as low as possible by reducing costs and allowing us to put discounts on the items.
no, not really. you haven't answered the question at all which is actually your main complaint.
Originally Posted by DonSchap
i appreciate your frustration, sort of, but you need to make a logical case for it rather than just emotional babble.
Originally Posted by Rooz
I went to the local brick and mortar shop to handle and test out the A900 as compared to the FF Canon and Nikon. Before making the decision on which manufacturer/model to plunk down $3K on and countless thousands on future lens/accessory purchases, I wanted to see and feel what I had been reading about on-line. Call me a tire kicker, Rooz, but many people want to have that tactile experience of what they're buying.
I went to the local shop on the day they advertised having an authorized Sony rep on hand to demonstrate and answer questions. While knowledgeable about the menu functions and most of the A900 functions, the Sony rep missed a lot ... kinda like the manual that accompanies the camera. For example, the preview button was demonstrated as simply pushing the preview button and then adjusting the settings on screen. Neither the rep nor the manual mentioned that by pressing and holding the preview button while looking through the view finder, you can see your aperature setting/DOF and adjust the aperature while visually seeing the changed DOF.
So, I get the feeling that the authorized Sony camera rep is someone who has read the manual, probably attended a 1-2 hour Sony training seminar to handle the product, but otherwise is not a photographer.
I don't think I elaborated on this very much before, but part of the reason I left is because I wonder how serious Sony is about the DSLR line. Sometimes it feels like Minolta had some really great stuff which made Sony very attractive out of the gate, but since then they have sorta let the products die on the vine. The lack of much needed announcements at PMA was pretty much the nail in the coffin for me, and the re-release of the A200-350 line with wimpier bodies only made me feel like I had made the right decision to leave.
Sony is an electronics company. They used to make superior products and have a decent name. However most of their stuff today is mediocre and overpriced. That is a great way to make lots of money. The Sony Style stores, as Rooz said, probably don't make much money at all of DSLR sales. And I'm sure 75% of those sales are of the entry level cameras and DT lenses. Really maybe more like 95%. It isn't worth the money to maintain staff and inventory for the 2 guys that walk in every month that are interested in A700/A900/good lenses.
I just don't get why they won't deal with local camera shops more. That part doesn't make any sense to me. Those places can support carrying the A900 and CZ 24-70. They don't really have to do much to train the staff, they are enthusiasts and will learn out of their own curiosity. I think that is where the really poor decision lies. People buying A700s and A900 won't be at the Sony store enough, but they will be at the local camera shop.
I think that is the root of the problem. If someone doesn't go out an shoot an slr on their own, and fight with getting enough light, fight with ISO noise, fight with a wireless flash system, fight with crappy filters causing ghosting, fight with RAWs taking up too much HDD space, etc, they can't really sell you a camera. Photography is a major craft, with lots of variables. I used to sell electronics at office max, and you can pretty well sell most of that kind of stuff without knowing the details. But if someone is going to ever take a camera out of green box auto with onboard flash, the sales person needs to be a photographer to be of any assistance.
Originally Posted by DWessel
Again, the local camera shop is probably populated with photogs working there for the discount. That is where you can get real help. And if Sony would cater to my local shops, I would probably still be shooting Sony. Instead I incurred the cost of switching, and the loss of in body IS. However I can go into the shop and chat with some nice guys who really go out and do this stuff. They know the problems, and they get excited about the same stuff I do. It is much more helpful, and makes a trip the the camera store fun (for the sake of chit-chat) instead of frustrating.
I think if they stocked each store with a couple high end primes (136/1.8 and 85/1.4), the two Vario-Sonnar Zooms (16-35/2.8 and 24-70/2.8), and the 70-200/2.8 G SSM they'd be in business. With these 5 lenses (the only 5 I'm really interested in), people would get to try them out and see how good (or bad) they are and be more inclined to purchase them be it at the SonyStyle Store or online, either way it's a win for Sony. They don't even need to stock the lenses at the store, just have those 5 to demo.
While rooz is partially right that you may not learn anything entirely new when trying things out in the store (and I know you do practice what you preach rooz in testing out your new potential gear), I think it would go a long way to attracting buyers of high-end items. It's always nice to test drive your near gears without actually buying them.
i must be blessed then cause the 2 local Henry's carry the full range of Sony lenses except the 70-400mm G. not that i have seen anyway.
but they don't always have the Sigmas or Tamrons in stock but that's just a 1 day turnaround from the Toronto Superstore anyway.
however i don't agree with being able to test. cause they will only let you test the demo and not the NIB unit that you are purchasing. cause the minute you open that and not buy it, it has to be sold as an Open Box.
Oh yes, you are so lucky! Henry's stock a lot and the SonyStyle downtown at Eaton's has everything, even the 300mm F/2.8 monster!
Originally Posted by Elisha82
I don't envy all the sales taxes though! :D (oh and freezing cold weather).
the 13% tax is the price we have to pay for the universal health care we have so i don't really mind it :-)
I'm not exactly sure why this is such a surprise... Rooz nailed it on the head pretty early (perhaps with a little more snark than necessary): Sony is an electronics company first and foremost, and that's not going to change any time soon.
Until such time as dSLR sales surpass sales of other major product lines, it will always play 2nd fiddle to the Music hardware division, the recording division, the album division, the gaming division, the TV division, etc. I'm not sure that Sony understands or will ever understand that training and support are as necessary as R&D in the photographic world, because that's been their modus operandi up until now.