Grim future for the camera makers?

Started Apr 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
digitallollygag
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Re: Grim future for the camera makers?
In reply to PK24X36NOW, Apr 30, 2013

PK24X36NOW wrote:

digitallollygag wrote:

For those of you who haven't read it yet, the posts about Apple and Canon from Thom Hogan's website are worth a read:

http://www.bythom.com/

Still, I wonder if some of the decline of "conventional" camera sales as opposed to smartphones is partly because of world economic conditions, or perhaps with people upgrading less what with the "diminishing returns" we're seeing in digital photography.

I see a tough road ahead for the established players (Canon, Nikon) and perhaps even with the m4/3 companies.  When I was in Las Vegas a few weeks ago I counted roughly 30 smartphones for every DSLR in use by the tourists.  Surely this hasn't escaped the notice of the execs at Canikon has it?

The decline in sales of "conventional" cameras has to do with market saturation and diminishing returns as respects upgrades to existing equipment, and is totally unrelated to smart phone sales. Smart phones are communication devices, they aren't cameras. Their built in camera functions will never replace dSLR cameras, because they simply aren't the right tool for photography, and will never match the quality of bigger sensors. For social media snaps and such, sure they'll see heavy usage - so what. Try to photograph something that is in motion with your smartphone "camera," and you'll rarely get the shot you were looking for, since you have to wait for the "smart"PHONE to get around to actually taking the picture (by which point the "moment" has passed).

New flash - I have a smart phone, and I didn't buy it to replace my dSLR camera and lenses, or even to replace any meaningful portion of the things I would use my dSLR camera and lenses for. I bought it to replace my old, damaged cell phone (mainly), and to use as...wait for it...a phone (and a mobile internet access device). When I use the camera "feature," I am instantly reminded of how poor a tool a smartphone is for taking pictures.

While you and I agree smartphones simply aren't the right tool for photography, there is a tidal wave of young people worldwide who regard it as the ONLY tool for photography.  In addition, there are folks like my wife who won't even pick up the simplest point-and-shoot camera, but now that she has an iPhone, she has suddenly discovered "photography".  Eeek!  I bought her a Canon S95 for Christmas a couple of years ago, and she was immediately turned off to the fact she had to download a 100+ page instruction manual!  I now use that camera when I don't want to haul the D80 or the D5100 around, otherwise it would collect dust.

I recently went into a local store to look at cameras and they informed me they no longer stock ANY point-and-shoot OR DSLR cameras.  When I asked the pimply-faced store associate why, he immediately reached into his pocket for his Samsung Galaxy and replied, "This is why".  That kind of statement should strike fear into the hearts of the Canon and Nikon executives.

We who prize minimal fractional-second shutter lag, full-manual exposure control capability, 4-to-8fps bursts, and big enlargements have seen the light, and it definitely isn't with smartphones.  But we are now a minority.  Whose fault is this?  It is the fault of the established camera companies who are not promoting the value and features in their products, and that is where I completely agree with Thom Hogan.

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