re: Smartphones Destroying High-End Camera Sales
I think your comments are quite fair, though I think crop cameras have at least a few more years of value for some users--e.g. if you're a semi-serious sports or wildlife photographer, a prosumer APS-C sensor paired with a long lens will give you better image quality than a full frame camera with a long lens, unless you're willing to shell out $7k-$15k for the highest-quality professional telephoto lenses.
If you stick a $700 200mm f/2.8 prime on a 5D Mark III for example, the aperture and focal length are exactly as listed. But if you put the same lens on a 7D, you get a 320mm field of view with brightness that's similar to what f/4 would be on full frame-- that is, you gain about 60% more reach but lose around a stop of light, assuming you're using each camera in the same position. To get a 300mm f/4 full frame field of view, though, you'd have to pay closer to $1200 for the lens, or use a converter on your 200mm prime, which yields poorer image quality (and auto-focus) than using the crop. As the focal length increases, the cost differential between a true full frame telephoto and a crop-enabled telephoto becomes even more extreme.
So for certain users, the buying proposition includes more than whether the camera sensor is good enough; it also includes TCO for lenses, accessories and so on. Crop cameras still have value there, at least until lenses like the 200-400mm f/4 drop in cost by 50%.
But low-end DSLRs sales are getting eaten by cell phones, and I think at least some of the big camera manufacturers are going to produce medium format cameras that cost $10,000+ per body-- that is, they're gonna push for the professional, high-margin segment, just as you said. Rumors suggest Canon might purchase Phase One, for instance.
I also think cinema-style cameras (which are a direct byproduct of the popularity of video-enabled DSLRs) give some of them (Canon and Sony for sure, maybe also Panasonic) entirely new ecosystems to work with. Canon's 3-chip professional camcorders were useful for documentaries/news, but the large-sensor C100 and C300 cover not only this niche but also independent films, reality TV, ads, music videos-- pretty much anything that doesn't require native 4K capture, RAW footage acquisition or slow motion. And Canon has only made the C300 and C100 inappropriate for these markets because the company is artificially protecting its top-end C500, which accommodates these remaining customers. Canon's also now selling cinema lenses that are basically the same optical formula as its L-series primes but cost 2-3 times more because they're aimed at motion pictures professionals who are used to - and surprisingly willing - to spend a huge premium for very specific perks. That's relatively little R&D cost for Canon in exchange for entry into a niche but high-yield market that has kept a lot of smaller players afloat for years.
Still, even among "normal users," I defy any soccer mom/dad to find a smartphone or even low-end DSLR that can actually keep up with fast-paced action. If you're telling your kid to stand still and smile, an iPhone or Lumia is just fine. But if your kid is sprinting dow the field, the best live view autofocus in the world still can't track moving objects worth a damn, and I think we're at least a couple years away from that changing. So cameras such as the Canon 70D or 7D or the Nikon D7100 have a consumer market outside of legitimately high-end users. It's a shrinking market, but not one that I see going extinct.