Software Alliances

Fujifilm users in the US can now get a free copy of Skylum Luminar by entering the serial number of a Fujifilm lens (update: for new lenses that you buy, not for all lenses you've bought). 

This is starting to be a trend. We already have free Capture One Express offers for Sony users and Fujifilm users (with discounts to the full pro version). Back when Adobe was still offering stand-alone Lightroom, Leica bundled that with their cameras.

As the camera market contracts, there's a mutually beneficial relationship that can occur between the software providers and the camera companies. The camera companies get a "feature" they can promote that costs them very little per unit and seems to add considerable value to their product. The software companies get exposure to more users, at probably a lower marketing cost than doing it directly themselves.

Canon, Nikon, and Olympus so far are all going it alone and have their own dedicated software product they want you to use. But those products all tend to behind the state-of-the-art in terms of conversion and cataloging software abilities. 

Long term, the cost of "doing it yourself" is going to get re-evaluated by all the camera companies. Doing your own software is now a cost without a return, basically. And all these companies need to jettison costs as the market continues to contract. 

I expect to see more and more of this kind of approach to software by the camera makers. If I were running a photography software company, I'd be looking for ways to make a bundle arrangement a complete no-brainer to the camera companies. Phase One and Skylum seem to get that. 

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