How does the bill of materials for a camera contribute to the actual cost and/or price of the camera and how do the hidden costs in developing, manufacturing, and marketing a camera to the public compare to the material cost?
closed as not constructive by Itai, Matt Grum, John Cavan♦, jwenting, jrista♦ Nov 14 '12 at 18:50
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A single lens reflex camera or mirrorless camera is basically made of some oil, metallic ores and a handful of sand. A few dollars worth at most. By this metric such cameras are vastly overpriced.
But looking at materials does not cover the costs of R&D, buying/researching/running the manufacturing plans, wages, marketing, legal costs and a whole host of other expenses that the purchase price has to cover.
Finally cameras ultimately end up priced at roughly the level of demand, meaning it's not possible for them to be "overpriced". For proof of this, look at what happened with the Sigma SD1 Merrill.
Obtaining the exact bill of materials will not be possible, or very hard not only for photographic equipment but also for any kind of goods, be it a LCD television or a car. But if you know the components and their approximate wholesale prices, you can estimate an amount that might be close to actual cost. The estimates on iPads will be a good example for this. link to EE Times Apple did not give any of this information but since the components are well known, an estimated figure can be calculated.
Manufacture cost is not always related to sales price. A company might sell goods for loss since it wants to dominate or hold its position in the market, like Sony currently does with its Television sales or if it already has devout fans it can sell for a hefty amount of a profit like Apple does.
As of date of this post the sales price of Nikon D7000 is $1,199.95
Using internet for replacement parts gives the following figures
Image Sensor: $375
LCD screen: $35
Main board: $125
Mirror box: $90
Since these will be the most expensive parts, and are already at inflated consumer prices, it will be safe to assume that there is a profit margin.