原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.ktxyyo.live 翻譯:秋名山老司機 轉載請注明出處



After the Second World War, if you were a professional photographer, then you would have used cameras from companies like Hasselblad and Leica. Photojournalists tended to shoot predominantly with Leica cameras, and they were essentially the standard. This was predominantly due to the smaller, lighter form factor when compared to larger format cameras. Cameras from Leica were some of the best options available at the time and the great quality they offered came with an even greater price. The price points were one of the most prohibiting factors for many people looking to enter the photography industry. It’s not as though most people had the money to afford cameras from companies like Leica; even to this day, this point remains. This meant that there was room to compete if a company could produce cameras at a much lower price. The answer at the time came from lesser-known companies that were based in Japan.

二戰后,如果你是一名專業攝影師,你會使用哈蘇和徠卡等公司的相機。攝影記者會傾向于主要用徠卡相機拍攝,這基本上是標配。這主要是由于和較大的格式相機相比,哈蘇和徠卡的相機有更小,更輕的優勢。徠卡相機是當時最好的選擇之一,當然他們提供高質量相機的同時,相機的價格也更高。對于許多想進入攝影行業的人來說,價格是最讓人難以接受的因素之一。大多數人都負擔不起像徠卡這樣貴的相機,直到今天,這一因素仍然存在。這意味著,如果一家公司能夠以低得多的價格生產相機,它就有了競爭的空間。而當時的答案來自一些不太知名的日本公司。

Japan Changed the Camera Industry: It may seem somewhat odd to us now, but it wasn’t long ago that Japanese-made cameras were considered inferior. Industry-leading companies like Canon were, at the time, only known for producing knock-off Leica cameras. If you couldn’t afford the “real thing” that was produced in Europe, then you’d buy a cheap Japanese-made camera instead. Companies like Canon only saw real success when they started to produce their own cameras. Ever since Leica produced the M3 in 1954, Canon decided to move away from producing Leica copies. In 1956, Canon produced its very first original rangefinder camera, the Canon VT. One could consider this to be the true beginning of the company.

日本改變了相機行業: 對于現在的我們來說可能有點奇怪,但就在不久前,日本制造的相機還被認為是“次品”。當時,像佳能這樣的行業領先公司以生產冒牌的徠卡相機而聞名。如果你買不起歐洲生產的“正品”,那么你可能就會買一架便宜的日本產相機。像佳能這樣的公司只有從開始生產自己的相機時才會看到它們真正的成功。自從1954年徠卡生產M3后,佳能決定不再生產徠卡的復制品。1956年,佳能生產了它的第一部原創測距相機,佳能VT,可以認為這是該公司真正崛起的開始。



The Canon VT. Photo by Leonard Bentley and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 佳能VT相機

Fast-forward to more recent times, and we now see how European companies like Leica and Hasselblad have become far less prominent within the photography industry. Even in terms of revenue, Canon individually generates more than most (if not all) Europe-based camera manufacturers. The reputation that Leica had as a company for professionals is no longer present. More professionals and enthusiasts shoot with Japanese cameras, and it’s clear to see why. These cameras, for the most part, offer better, more effective, and a wider range of features at a much lower price.

到離現在更近的時間點,我們會發現,徠卡和哈蘇等歐洲公司在攝影行業的地位遠不如從前。即便是在收入方面,佳能單個公司的收入也超過了大多數(即使不是全部的話)歐洲相機制造商。徠卡作為專業相機公司的聲譽已不復存在。越來越多的專業人士和攝影愛好者開始使用日本相機拍照,原因顯而易見:這些相機在很大程度上提供了更好的,更有效的,更廣泛的功能,而且還有著更低的價格。

These Japanese manufacturers quite literally changed the whole industry. Even competition from companies is predominantly from other Japanese manufacturers. There are quite literally no other manufacturers in the industry that can compete on the same level. Finally, and most importantly, the negative reputations that Japanese manufacturers once held have all but faded. Almost no one thinks twice about buying a camera made from Japan. Most people don’t even think about that and simply buy a camera based on the individual company’s reputation.

這些日本制造商確實改變了整個行業。即便是來自企業的競爭,也主要是來自其他日本制造商。毫不夸張地說,在這個行業里沒有其他制造商可以與日本制造商競爭。最后,也是最重要的一點,日本制造商曾經有過的負面名聲幾乎已經消失。購買日本制造的相機,幾乎沒有人會猶豫,大多數人甚至沒有考慮到這一點,而是會根據個別公司的聲譽購買相機。

The Shift to China: Fujifilm’s decision to have their flagship cameras manufactured in China was quite a big step in my view. The Fuji X-T3 is in my view the best APS-C camera currently on the market. I absolutely love shooting with this camera. As far as I know, this was the first flagship camera that Fujifilm had manufactured in China, and this is reflected in the price. For some time, the X-T2 actually costed more than the latest model; so, there are clear advantages to manufacturing across the border.

向中國轉移: 在我看來,富士公司決定在中國生產旗艦相機,是邁出了一大步。在我看來,富士X-T3是目前市場上最好的APS-C相機,我非常喜歡用這個相機拍照。據我所知,這是富士公司在中國生產的第一款旗艦相機,價格上也反映了這一點:有一段時間,X-T2的價格實際上比最新款XT-3還要高。因此,跨境生產具有明顯的價格優勢。



The Fujifilm X-T3. Reportedly Made in China. 富士的X-T3相機,據說是中國制造。

Admittedly, this individually isn’t a huge point that I’m making. What makes this an interesting point is when you look at the industry from an overall perspective and see how things are shifting across it. There are huge advantages (aside from many moral issues) to manufacturing in China mostly down to the cost. This puts competitors in a difficult position because competing with a Chinese company could be tough unless certain measures are taken. The shift to China could be inevitable.

不可否認,這并不是我想要強調的重點。這一點之所以有趣,是因為當你從一個整體的角度看待這個行業,會看到在整個行業中是如何發生變化的。中國的制造業有巨大的優勢(除了許多道德問題之外),主要是會降低成本。這讓競爭對手陷入了困境,因為除非采取某些措施,否則與中國公司競爭可能會很艱難。因此向中國的轉移可能是不可避免的。

The Rise of Chinese Brands: Over the last couple of decades, we’ve seen a huge increase in Chinese manufactured products. Many of these products have been copies of products from well-known brands. Due to this, Chinese made products tend to hold a negative stigma of being cheap and inferior. This is similar to the perceptions people held for Japanese made products not so long ago.

中國品牌的崛起: 在過去的幾十年里,我們看到了中國制造產品的巨大增長。這些產品中有許多是名牌產品的復制品。因此,中國制造的產品往往帶有廉價和劣質的負面標簽。這與不久前人們對日本制造產品的看法相似。

Companies like Venus Optics (more commonly known as Laowa) is a great example of a Chinese brand that’s been developing high-quality products. What seems to be separating it from many other manufacturers is the fact that it produces somewhat unusual and interesting lenses. Laowa’s most notable product so far is the 24mm f/14 probe lens which in my view is incredible. Laowa seemingly understood that it would be difficult to compete directly with many of the other manufacturers on the market. For that reason, Laowa produces products that put it in a separate category.

像長庚光學(通常被稱為“老蛙”)這樣的公司就是中國品牌開發高質量產品的一個很好的例子。它與許多其他制造商的不同之處在于,它生產的鏡頭有些不同尋常,也有些有趣。到目前為止,老蛙最著名的產品是24毫米F14特種微距鏡頭,在我看來,這個鏡頭是極好的。老蛙似乎明白,直接與市場上的許多其它制造商競爭是困難的,因此,老蛙生產的產品屬于一個單獨的類別。



The unusual Venus Optics Laowa 24mm f/14 probe lens 不尋常的長庚光學老蛙24毫米F/14微距鏡頭

I interviewed the founder and CEO of Venus Optics, Mr. Li, and he described his thoughts on the industry and what they aimed to achieve. “What we can see is that the traditional photography industry is being slowly occupied by smartphones and other convenient devices,” Li tells PetaPixel. “The market is gradually shrinking. However, if we carefully study the market trends, you will find that photographers who pursue fun, creativity, and uniqueness in photography are increasing. They are looking for personal photographic styles, creative shots, new experience, etc.”

我采訪了長庚光學的創始人兼首席執行官李大勇先生,他描述了他對這個行業的想法以及他們的目標:“我們可以看到,智能手機和其他便利設備正在慢慢侵占傳統的攝影行業,”李告訴我們:“傳統的攝影市場正在逐漸萎縮。然而,如果我們仔細研究市場趨勢,你會發現,在攝影中追求樂趣、創造力和獨特性的攝影師越來越多。他們在尋找個人攝影風格、創意拍攝、新體驗等等?!?br />
Another company that comes to mind is DJI. This company has managed to grow at an incredible rate. Currently, DJI is the leading manufacturer of drones in the world. No other company comes close. The drone and gimbal industries as a whole are being led by Chinese companies, and there are no viable competitors anywhere else in the world.

我想到的另一家公司是大疆。這家公司正在以驚人的速度發展著。目前,大疆是全球領先的民用無人機制造商,沒有其他公司能與之匹敵。無人機和云臺行業作為一個整體都是由中國公司主導的,在世界其他任何地方都沒有值得一提的競爭對手。



DJI dominates the global drone industry. 大疆在全球無人機行業占據主導地位。

Pro Cameras from China? Japanese companies like Nikon initially started off as optics manufacturers. Although it produced copies of Leica cameras, the products it produced themselves were mostly lenses. Eventually, of course, both Canon and Nikon produced their own cameras and rose to the top of the industry. In the same interview with Mr. Li, I asked if it were possible for us to start seeing more professional cameras from Chinese manufacturers. “Yes, we have seen this change,” he says. “But digital cameras are different from film cameras decades ago. Japan’s transcendence began with autofocus, which was at the time when electronic cameras were getting popular. Japanese companies changed their manufacturing methods and drastically reduced costs. They also turn the complex photographic techniques into simple camera operations.



Cinema Cameras: For DSLR and mirrorless cameras, we may not see a new major manufacturer enter the industry for some time. The main reason is that the margins are simply not there. Consider what the cost differences were between Leica and Canon rangefinder cameras. For that reason, it would be difficult to compete effectively. Cinema cameras, however, could be where the battle is won and lost. A high-end RED camera system can cost more than $180,000. Even if we’re looking at just the brain section of the system, the 8K version is currently priced over $50,000. The alternative is a company from China called Z-Cam.

電影攝影機: 對于單反相機和無反相機領域,我們可能在一段時間內都不會看到一個新的主要制造商進入這個行業,主要原因是考慮到徠卡和佳能相機的價格差異,這個領域的利潤根本就不高。因此,很難有效地競爭。然而,電影攝影機可能是這場戰爭勝負的關鍵。一個高端的RED攝像系統的價格可能超過18萬美元。即使我們只看系統的大腦部分,8K版本目前的售價也超過5萬美元。另一個選擇是來自中國的Z-Cam公司。

Z-Cam currently offers a number of cinema cameras including one with a full-frx sensor that shoots up to 8K. Of course, the RED Monstro is better in almost every regard, however, considering that it costs almost 10 times that of the Z-Cam, you can see that there is room to compete. If Z-Cam starts producing cameras with similar features at a much lower price point, it could start to change the cinema industry.

Z-Cam目前提供了許多電影相機,包括一個全畫幅傳感器,最高可拍攝8K。當然,RED Monstro幾乎在所有方面都比Z-Cam的產品更好,但是,考慮到它的成本幾乎是Z-Cam的10倍,所以你可以看到競爭的空間。如果Z-Cam開始以低得多的價格生產具有類似功能的相機,可能會開始改變電影業。



The Z CAM E2-F8, a professional full-frx 8K cinema camera that costs just $6,000.

Z CAM E2-F8是一款專業的全畫幅8K電影攝像機,售價僅為6000美元。

Final Thoughts: It’s not a huge leap of the imagination to say that companies from China may start to change the photo and video industry. Cinema cameras may be the first to be hit because companies like Z-Cam could start eating away at profits from companies like RED, Panasonic, and even Canon.The difference in manufacturing cost is very real and this could give Chinese companies a great advantage over their competitors. I imagine that in the next decade we may start to see a few notable buyouts and mergers that solidify China’s impact within our industry.

最后的想法: 說中國的公司可能會開始改變照片和視頻行業,并不需要多大的想象力。電影攝像機可能是最先受到沖擊的,因為像Z-Cam這樣的公司可能會開始蠶食RED、松下甚至佳能等公司的利潤。制造成本的差異是非常真實的,這可能使中國公司比他們的競爭對手有很大的優勢。我想,在未來10年,我們可能會開始看到一些值得注意的收購和并購案,它們會進一步鞏固中國在影響行業的影響力。