The new vicious cycle to chuck out "new" cameras has set in. "New" is in quotation because to any sensible photographer, a few minor twists here and turns there do not make a camera new in substance. They are not much a wholehearted response to the competitor's move as a derivative afterthought to forestall the drifting of potential customers.
From the début of the serious compact, we have come a long way but are now seeing enough cameras of similar specs and image performance. After the advert of the reduced-size interchangeable-lens cameras, the camera makers have also inundated the market with look-a-like models in terms of functionality.
Fact is, what the photographers need is not the same. As an interview with Sony representatives in China reveals, the company has strategically segmented the market according to different preferences of photographers. If this is a normal thinking among the camera makers, which is probably so, there will be two implications to the potential buyers. First, the highly divided segments will have lots of intertwining common needs. We can then expect to see more functionally slightly different "new" cameras coming to haunt us. Second, the buyers really have to understand the targeted market of the cameras they contemplate before making a deal.