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View Full Version : Gratuitious eye candy


jlw
12-06-2004, 19:19
This doesn't have a thing to do with the functionality or utility of the R-D 1... but since other reviews (such as the one on Luminous Landscape) have mentioned the packaging, I shot photos as I unpacked it and have put up a page showing them.

As the subject line says, this is basically nothing but frivolous, gratuitous eye candy. On the other hand, as a professional packaging designer, I was impressed with how much care Epson took to make just opening the R-D 1 into a special experience!

The pix are here: Opening the box (http://homepage.mac.com/jlw/photo/R-D1_box/)

wlewisiii
12-06-2004, 19:27
Methinks they hired the same folks Apple gets. That's just about the only company I can think of that goes that extra dozen miles these days.

Thanks for sharing this. I'm still not terribly interested in digital, but this makes me far more interested in watching Epson's efforts over the long run.

William

jlw
12-06-2004, 20:04
Right, even for people not especially interested in digital, I think it might be interesting to see how Epson is going about this.

Except for printers, of course, they previously hadn't made much of an effort in digital imaging (their previous consumer digicams were basically just me-too products.)

But with all the effort they've put into the R-D 1, it seems they're now getting serious about staking out a piece of territory. And I think it's good news for us traditionalists that they seem to be making a deliberate effort to reach out to us.

It looks as if they've got some other well-thought-out products coming down the pipe, too. Anyone have their new P-2000 photo viewer yet? I haven't seen one, but it sounds tempting to use with my R-D 1 (so I'll have a place to save all those b&w raw images as I shoot 'em, faust!)

The iPod Photo looks like a better-targeted photo-sharing device, but the P-2000 sounds like a great option for a field storage-and-review tool.

JohnM
12-06-2004, 20:18
Really nice - thanks for sharing the photos.

Keep us updated!

RML
12-07-2004, 00:31
Wow, it's almost like we saw you unwrap your new Cartier watch. :)

What I most liked was the RD-1's own personal front cap! How hard will it be to get a replacement when you've lost the original? Will these attain sainthood like original Leica front caps?

sreidvt
12-07-2004, 05:32
jlw,

As you know from my review, I also thought the R-D1 packaging was something special. It's interesting to read about that aspect from someone who does this for a living. If one is going to spend $3000 on an R-D1, he or she should have a great time just opening the box. Life is short, even small pleasures can be sweet.

Sean

g0tr00t
12-07-2004, 06:07
Beautiful. Thanks for that.

Azinko
12-07-2004, 06:53
jlw,.....Congrats on the new camera,...its nice that at least one company is alive to the needs of traditional photogs in the digital age and its good for you to enjoy ownership which is so often lost now. However, this is a VERY expensive camera which few of us will ever be able to posess so I for one would like to have seen less presentation along with less price!! Here in the Uk this camera is a staggering 1900,....about USD 3700,....estimated production cost is less than 250 per unit by some sources!!... so there is plenty of lovely profit to pay for a fancy box!

g0tr00t
12-07-2004, 08:01
Hey I have a GREAT IDEA!!! Post your pics in reverse and I will send you a box with my address for the last picture... :)

Pherdinand
12-07-2004, 08:03
"estimated production cost is less than 250 per unit " -That sounds very very low. Especially if it includes the design costs etc.

jlw
12-07-2004, 14:50
Originally posted by Azinko
...this is a VERY expensive camera which few of us will ever be able to posess so I for one would like to have seen less presentation along with less price!!

I doubt if simpler packaging would have enabled them to reduce the cost of the product very much. There's nothing especially expensive about the R-D 1's packaging materials; what's unusual is the amount of thought that went into them. As I'm always telling people in my job, "It doesn't cost any more to make a well-designed package than a poorly-designed one!"

Here in the Uk this camera is a staggering 1900,....about USD 3700,....estimated production cost is less than 250 per unit by some sources!!

The difference between UK and US photo-equipment prices has always been a sore point for UK photographers, so it's not as if the R-D 1 is unusual in this regard. I agree that it's frighteningly expensive -- it frightened me when I placed my order, for sure! -- but as I said elsewhere, it's really not much different from a Leica MP or M7 in cost.

I'm very suspicious of that 250 figure as a real guide to the product's profitability. It's (just) conceivable that the incremental cost of popping another one off the production line is almost that low.

But as others have said, the big cost factors in introducing any new product are development and distribution. Development would have to be a really big expense on the R-D 1, since it had no real precursors on which to base the design; it's not like Canon or Nikon putting a new circuit board in their last-generation digicam and then introducing it as an "all-new" model! And Epson's previous presence in the camera biz was so weak that they must have had to construct a distribution network from scratch.

Spread all those costs over a rumored 25,000-unit production run, and you don't wind up with much excess fat on your cash cow.

Oh, I'm sure they wouldn't have gone into it if they weren't pretty confident that it would make money! But it seems unlikely that greedy Epson execs are revelling over how much they're gouging out of the long-suffering consumer on this item.

(If you want to combine the words "Epson" and "excessive profit margins," you probably should be looking at items such as inkjet printer ink! I recall reading several years ago that Hewlett-Packard got into the inkjet printer business solely to make money on ink sales!)

RML
12-08-2004, 01:22
Inkjet printer ink is per ounce more valuable than gold. It's the legal form of drug trafficking: once they hook you, you're hooked for life (were you ever able to renounce the use of a printer?).

Nikon Bob
12-08-2004, 08:28
It sure looks like a digital rangefinder I would like to use ie more use of dials for inputs rather than menu,menu and more menu. I wish Epson all the success in the world for doing this and you , you lucky bugger, all the enjoyment in the world with your new camera. Looking forward to more posts about the camera and of course photos taken with it.

Bob