Innovate or Die!!!

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Yannis1976
Yannis1976 Senior Member • Posts: 2,226
Innovate or Die!!!
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Sorry for the bold title, but inspired by this DPR article (https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/7372168021/smartphones-killed-the-compact-and-now-they-re-coming-for-entry-level-ilcs ), I thought that I could start a discussion about the future of cameras...

Personally I am not a pro, but just someone who loves photography, the physics behind it and the camera as an engineering device. However, judging also by my friends and relatives I am a very small minority who uses a camera and not a phone to photograph. On the other hand, I am the only one among my friends who also sees some kind of art in the photography apart from capturing the moments and the people.

Reading all the camera reviews and rumors, I cant stop thinking that there is a severe lack of innovation and risk taking in all these big camera companies (Canon, Nikon etc). Reading my thoughts loud, if these traditional companies really want to survive, they have to innovate big time, challenging most aspects of photography though a camera. If you ask with a good mobile phone and no camera why he doesn't prefer a dedicated camera, you would most possibly get the following replies:

1) big, bulky size devices, already carry my phone

2) difficult operation, my phone is much easier to get pictures

3) difficult operation, my phone applies effects much easier!

4) much more difficult to interact with social media like Facebook, Instagram etc

5) not so cool to carry a camera (??)

I suppose there are many other reasons, but these are at least the ones I can think of.

What have the big camera boys done to face the above? IMHO, actually nothing! Cameras remain big and obtrusive vs the phones, the operation is definitely much more difficult vs a phone and even the obvious much needed interaction with FB, Instagram etc is still way more difficult.

Instead of innovating big, they decided to focus on the minority of Pros and Enthusiasts leaving the huge mass market to mobile phone makers.

Currently I feel, the only company that has made a serious innovation is Light L16, which of course we still need to read the reviews.

So if I was a camera maker and wanted to get back the mass (not the pros or enthusiasts) I would sit down and plan a good long term strategy about how to turn things.

Some short term moves:

1) make the camera bodies small, beautiful and desirable (eg iphone?) From all the makers, I think only Olympus is somewhat trying that

2) make the camera internet ready (3G/4G) and able to send photos to social media with just one button (or as easily as a phone)

3) greatly improve the Auto mode to be able to get nice pictures at least as easy as a mobile phone

Long term moves:

1) make the camera hobby cool again via a long marketing plan. Don't know how to do it, I am not a marketing guru

2) put your foot into the mobile phones territory. Panasonic was smart to do it with the CM1 but was not smart enough to persist on this plan seeing at the grand picture instead of just the short term sales.

3) If you cant produce phones, put your technology and brand to a known mobile phone maker, such as Leica did. By that way you put your foot into a new market and create brand awareness to the masses.

4) Search and fully exploit needs of the market. What isn't the iphone/S8 really not doing well according to its users? Zoom? Hit them where they hurt then! TZ90 which is small, slick and has a 30x zoom camera may be on the right track...

Unfortunately no matter how much I like photography and the gadgets around it, I cant stop thinking that in ten years from now, we will be like a few romantic people insisting on film whereas all will have moved to digital.

Just my thoughts, sorry about my English and the long post.

 Yannis1976's gear list:Yannis1976's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Fujifilm XQ2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Olympus Body Cap Lens 15mm F8.0 Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art +3 more
Nikon Coolpix L16 Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 (Lumix DC-TZ90)
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