Reflex Production and Ecosystem Update
A lot of news this time around...
But let's start with the question that will be on most people's minds; How is production going and will the camera ship on time? The honest answer is that while a lot of work has been done and progress is made on a daily basis, shipping as was originally planned for the end of August is now not realistic. We are still aiming for Photokina in September to present the camera, but in these past few weeks it has become apparent to us that the camera will not ship before end 2018. We are aware that for some this will come as a disappointment, but hopefully after reading the following, the added value on which this decision is based will seem clear.
DFM, Sourcing and Economy of Scales: As mentioned in previous updates, Design For Manufacturing is where we had our biggest learning curve as a hardware startup. What makes this specific case more challenging is that there are not many specialist manufacturers around and since the product is a combination of optical, mechanical and electronically parts, it was not easy to find the right contract manufacturing partners. Additionally because of the relatively small production run, parts sourcing is more difficult because of minimum quantity orders.
Solution: As a solution, we have decided to find long term partners who are willing to learn and invest. However we also need the economy of scales to kick in for certain components in order to keep the production cost acceptable. This can be done by clustering contract orders for products that share a large portion of components. With this in mind, we have been advancing design and pre-production of the two other key products in the Reflex Ecosystem...
Film Processor: Electronics, sensors and automation have come a long way since the 90's and there is definitely room for a practical and affordable personal mini-lab. We are working on a fully automatic desktop-size developer. The ReflexLab does C41, E6 and Black and White and takes any film format from 110 up to 5x7"
Estimated retail price will be under £500
Lens-Based Scanner: Again a product with great room for an update from both flatbed to dedicated film scanners, be it in scanning speed, resolution or software. The ReflexScan can do 110 film up to 5x7" size negatives and has a small footprint.
Estimated retail price will be around £200
Field Notes and Metadata: The central Reflex app connects these 3 key products (this includes Reflex I) and syncs both data and metadata, as well as communicating film developing and scanning presets.
Prime Lens: A first in a line of three fast aperture manual prime lenses. A Sony E-Mount version will also be released.
Estimated retail price will be under £250
All products will be presented in 2018 and there will be prototypes of the Reflex I, the ReflexScan and prime lens at our stand at Photokina in September (2018).
So while we regret to have to push back the camera launch and shipping dates, we hope the decision to do so is understandable.
Meanwhile we will keep building the Reflex brand with quality photography products as we continue to work on the camera.
As always, thank you for the continued support and for more in-between stories, follow us on @shotonreflex Instagram Story Updates!