This is a little off topic, but its my site…
Like most products there are 1 or 2 innovators in a given field, and the rest copy those innovations and slap their own brand on them. KIA is an example of this in the automotive sector. Look at pretty much any model of KIA and you will see the front end of a Mercedes mashed up with the rear end of a Jaguar, or a BWM tail with an Aston Martin nose. They seem to take the visual styling queues that people like about popular cars and blend them into their own designs. This saves millions on research and since they have almost no r/d costs those savings are passed on to the consumer. Superficially this sounds good for the consumer, but what happens down the road, when the innovators, with their billion dollar research labs shut down, are gone? Easy, no new ideas happen for a period of time and the technology and innovations stagnate.
So, in camera gear, especially the accessories like flash units, batteries, even lenses, I choose to support the innovative companies. Companies that invest significantly in the future of their product line and our industry. Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, and a few others, are true innovators. Unfortunately they, like so many others, leverage outsourcing to varying degrees which means their designs and tool designs, if not the tools themselves, are handed over to third party manufacturers. Very shortly after this direct knockoffs appear that mimic some, but never all, of the original’s capabilities.
So, while it does cost more, I will continue to purchase the original products, avoiding knockoffs where possible. Some items, like reflectors or other low cost and low tech items, I am less concerned with. But where the technology is critical I will stick to the innovating brands.
Why? Because I want to see what wizardry they will produce next for us to make use of.