Why Can't Camera Makers MAKE any Money?

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
terrylau Regular Member • Posts: 412
Re: Why Can't Camera Makers MAKE any Money?

brianj wrote:

rattymouse wrote:

A few recent articles by Thom Hogan indicated that according to most financial report, only Canon and Nikon post profits in their camera manufacturing divisions. The rest all are losing money. To make it worse, the profitability is Canon and Nikon is trending downwards, not up. Sigma is private and so an unknown quantity, but probably safe to assume that their profits come from their lenses. I dont recall any Leica financial results but my guess is that they are making money.

Olympus, Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Casio, Samsung, and Ricoh, all losing money.

Why can't camera makers turn a profit??

Possibly because of the strategy to make their own cameras obsolete before many are even sold. I now wait for one year after release before considering buying one because I know the price will plummet. They have made the rod for their own backs.

Agreed . The camera market is actually  a lot bigger today than in film days when  a SLR from one of several major brands can be used for 20 years or more before being replaced as new technolgy was slow to come to market  and the cameras were  durable .The Minolta 7000 released in 1985 was  the world's  first body integrated autofocus SLR and represent a major technological breakthrough .

Yet the major brands made decent profits on relatively low volumes compared with today .

The invention of digital cameras and new technologies  give camera makers great opportunities  to release new models and force photographers to renew their cameras much more often . Volumes exploded and these days everyone take pictures and a lot more pictures are taken .

However camera makers have introduced too many models for their own good even though technology have made for quick obsoloence. There are too many competitors and big impact from camera phones.

I dont see a bright prospect unless makers managed their model introduction and pricing strategy better ,  do not  sell their technology too cheaply and develop more niche models ( at higher profit margins ) . It seems to be moving in the direction of  PC where only the best or the one with biggest market share will survive . They can also try to stimulate greater interest in photography in the world at large as a healthy hobby


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