Camera industry in crisis? Thought provoking article.

Started Mar 13, 2014 | Discussions thread
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Re: Camera industry in crisis? Thought provoking article.

PVCdroid wrote:

sderdiarian wrote:

This was placed a week or so ago and reposted today on 43Rumors. Going by the number of comments on that site, it clearly grabbed attention:

Is this is a temporary downward blip for interchangeable lens (IL) cameras, or more permanent as the author speculates. Some possible contributors to the downturn:

  • market saturation with a shrinking group of enthusiasts
  • the IL camera fad is fading
  • prices are trending too low to justify rising manufacturing numbers
  • malaise bred by sharing low-res images on 5" camera phones/7" tablets rather than printing
  • current cameras already produce image quality exceeding what's discernible on these devices as well as larger screens without pixel peeping
  • today's smart phones (pocketable with 5" touch screens, phones, internet connectivity, 16MP cameras, wifi) cause increasing numbers of under-40's to scratch their heads why they should buy a camera
  • Why settle for a 3" screen to view and share photos as you take them when 5" screens are now so prevalent on devices perceived as essentially "free" (cost buried in cellphone contracts)?

Likely all of the above are contributors to some degree.

I'm guessing specialized compacts (tough cameras, superzooms, and enthusiast grade fixed-lens cameras) and IL cameras will continue to sell, but in reduced numbers as the market settles. The field of manufacturers may thin out, and improvements slacken as R&D funds shrink, leading to a smaller pool of available products.

Or maybe China, India and other emerging economic players will pick up the slack and drive the industry forward. Camera manufacturers I'm sure are all watching age demographics, emerging markets and personality traits that drive sales. Time will tell where things land.

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Sailin' Steve

It is a frightening trend unfortunately and I don't see how some companies can make it.

Absolutely.  Fujifilm, Panasonic, Olympus, Ricoh, and perhaps Sony do not make a PENNY in profit making cameras and have not for the past 5 years or more.  Not one penny.

There will be casualties if this does not change soon.  Bank on it.

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"Film is not a means to the end of "looking like film"... Making film-based photographs is an end in itself for me, not some kind of elaborate photoshop plugin. If I can't put Tri-X in the goddamn thing, I don't want it."

Eh, atleast in case of Sony, digital imaging (cameras are a part of it) has been the bright spot even as the cameras themselves are going thru a build/development phase. Even with Cybershot, Sony's emphasis has been more on the premium market (RX-series) and that should help.

We should, however, expect a slower growth with increasing competition, saturated market, weak global economy. This is why new avenues are even more important.

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