Camera industry in crisis? Thought provoking article.

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
MichaelKJ
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Re: More like returning to pre-digital sales levels!
In reply to Morris Sullivan, 5 months ago

Morris Sullivan wrote:

MichaelKJ wrote:

Mike_PEAT wrote:

Everyone keeps talking about dropping camera sales, but what people forget is before digital there was a LOT more competition, and people kept their cameras for decades instead of months...we are just starting to return to that trend where people kept their cameras longer, and camera companies will have to get used to the BLOATED sales returning to NORMAL levels!

Since you mentioned M4/3 the E-M5 I bought is the first camera I bought that I could see myself still using in more than five years from when I bought it.

I tend to agree with you to some extent, although I did hang on to my D70 for 5 years. After buying three m4/3 cameras over a relatively short time period, I see little reason to replace my E-M5.

What your pre-digital sales levels argument fails to take into account is that there are many more people in the world than there were before digital camera era began. The world's population is currently increasing by about 80 million/year and, despite the recent recession, economic development has made cameras affordable to a larger percentage of the world's population.

The key here which you touch on below is where these increases are taking place. The areas where populations are increasing are typically the areas where far fewer people can afford expensive cameras.

Although a much smaller percentage of people can afford ILCs in Asia, the number of people who can afford them has increased significantly since the pre-digital era.

This raises the question of why sales are decreasing at a time when more people can afford to own a camera. Asia (outside of Japan) is one of the fast growing parts of the world both in terms of population and GDP. I think it is reasonable to assume that a much greater percentage of the Asia population is able to afford a camera today than was the case in the pre-digital era. Nevertheless, shipments of ILCs to Asia (excluding Japan) were down 18.3% in 2013, which was slightly greater than the 16.2% decrease in shipments to the Americas and somewhat less than the 22.3% drop in shipments to Europe.

You are discussing two different time periods "pre-digital era" and "down 18.3% in 2013". Sales of cameras are surely far greater than the pre-digital era.

Glad you agree with me that ILC sales aren't returning to pre-digital levels, which was the point I was trying to make in my response to a comment titled More like returning to pre-digital sales levels!

That they are down in 2013 just means that they sold less than they did in 2012.

As I noted, I was responding to the argument that the reason for the decrease in sales is that we are seeing a return to pre-digital levels because the market is saturated and people are holding on to their cameras longer.  In criticizing this argument, I pointed out that the fact that the decrease in shipments to Asia (excluding Japan) was similar to the drop in Europe & the Americas.  It is obviously more difficult to argue that the drop in sales in Asia can be attributed to market saturation.

I doubt the increase in the number of the Chinese population that was able to purchase expensive cameras was not that large during 2013, at least not enough to offset the other reasons for sales falling which were already mentioned.

What other reasons that were previously mentioned apply to China, where GDP grew 7.7% in 2013?

http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/d-2013_e.pdf

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