Prepare yourselves for a new landscape

Started Nov 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: Yes and no
In reply to Amamba, Nov 12, 2013

)Amamba wrote:

The average consumer was always content with lower quality, lower cost, higher convenience cameras. It's not like a typical film P&S camera of the 80s / 90s loaded with typical off the shelf 800 speed film (convenience) and developed in the local CVS 1-hr lab was producing spectacular output.

The big difference is in who is pocketing the profits. Back then, the pro / prosumer cameras and the consumer / mass market cameras were all made by same manufacturers, so the sales of mass produced cheap stuff fueled the R&D and manufacturing of the higher end stuff.

Now it's the smartphones, so the companies like Apple and Samsung are eating into profits of Nikon and Canon.

Sony could have benefited from this shift but they seem unable to turn a profit in electronics. Go figure.

It could go one of two ways. Either the smartphone manufacturers will branch out into the higher end prosumer market (Samsung seems to be trying to do just that). Or the prosumer market would eventually die out, and the choice would be either to go with your phone camera, or shell out $$$$$ for specialized pro level photo / video gear. And it all depends on where the phone cameras are 5-10 years from now, i.e how many people are willing to spend extra on midrange stuff. There's no reason why they can't eventually come up with a phone camera sensor that matches current mirrorless APS-C sensors and the only differentiating factor is lens characteristics (which can be mimicked to some extend by software).

Very interesting points.

The economic downturn in the wealthier societies is perhaps the biggest fundamental, let's not forget. Phone cam sales vs. traditional cam sales is a debate from another planet to the masses of people whose jobs are gone or have been downsized or who now have to pay for higher healthcare premiums with what's left of the pay check. = Big drop in sales of all non-necessities.


a. Perhaps Apple and Samsung may be content with cheap mass production & leaving the stickier high end production to Canikon & Sony.

b. From what I've read in the WSJ, Sony put a lot of eggs into the now-saturated HDTV basket, and that's their primary hurt, along with the disastrous earthquake and a devastating warehouse fire (

c. I wonder how much of the burgeoning phone cam market is driven by growing third world demand. Traditional cameras didn't have much of a foothold in those markets, whereas cellphone ownership spread rapidly and was life altering.  As the quality of life in the old third world improves, seems to me people would want to upgrade their phones and bypass products like traditional cameras.

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