Perhaps the Covid impact may not be as bad on camera companies?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 41,264
Re: No, it is pretty bad...
2

Jeeter001 wrote:

The camera markets will be fine.

There is and will be a short-term down trend, as with all products and services right now, and then it will regain most of what it had. The manufacturers are all well-diversified companies who will not pull the plug on product lines because of a COVID induced recession. Japanese/Asian companies often value market domination over profit and so are not going to easily give up their presence on market. I'd certainly not expect lavish new product offerings this year and perhaps not even next.

You can segment the market into any number of arbitrary consumer demographic groups, in this case we can group into income sources:

1. Retirees - they will continue to spend whatever they were spending on photography as COVID has not changed their financial situation (for the majority who don't get sick from it). Retirees probably comprise a large portion of "amateur enthusiast photographer".

That's not necessarily true. If the stock market goes down with Covid that does change the financial situation of several retirees.

2. Professional/white collar workers - these are people with money to spend on gear, probably comprise most of the rest of the "amateur enthusiast photographer" along with retirees. Many if not most are able to work from home during the lock-downs. Their discretionary budgets are not going to change. They may be cautious for right now but that means they may be saving and will have more to spend later.

There's less motivation to spend on gear now given the priorities. Some of those may not be able to continue working from home as some companies have to do layoffs or furloughs.

3. Blue collar workers - many are going to be fine, such as in construction, agriculture, hauling, etc... and other "essential" businesses. Some will have temporary downturns.

4. Hourly workers - very sadly these are the unfortunate ones who are taking the brunt of the downturn and I hope that all get back full employment quickly although that may be wishful thinking. Some of their business are going to hurt longer term like hospitality, food and entertainment. They buy cameras too but don't have a lot of disposable income to do so.

5. Professional photographers - event/wedding photogs will see extended pressure on their business and ability to purchase new equipment.

I have no idea where this comes from. Most professionals I have seen keep the same equipment they have settled on *for years* and not upgrade constantly. Moreover - a lot of those event/weddings have been cancelled-> direct affect from Covid.  I know several and this has been said in several articles by now, so I don't understand how this case can be made.

Other photographer types will see less change in their business. There is still plenty of need for fashion and magazine pics, workplace pics, architectural and real estate photos, stock photos, etc...

I am not saying there's no photography market or that there aren't photos. The question is who is buying new equipment. I expect these to be *the least* in the purchasing category given they already own pro and tried competent tools by now.

Also the game-changer vaccine is "when" not "if".

Yes. But I certainly wasn't disputing that.

It might be here at the end of this year and certainly by middle of next. Judging by how shortly after lock-downs were lifted, we saw pictures and vids of people jamming into bars and swimming pools, climbing over top of one another, tells me that we'll see a quicker return to normal than we think.

Actually the quick jamming of people together what it can bring is another uptick in the pandemic. In fact, it's already starting to happen in US.

And once the vaccine is here, it's done. There is no reason to not go back to whatever we were doing, albeit we should be more cautious about possible epidemics like this and better prepared in the future.

That assumes the vaccine can undo the collapse of several companies/businesses, the quick-rehire of people who lost their jobs. It doesn't work that way. The sooner a vaccine is up is as you said end of year, and that' getting lucky. But then camera companies have been of course affected which is the point.

I don't dispute there will be a recovery, but sure seems this COVID situation has accelerated the camera market contraction.

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Raist3d/Ricardo (Photographer, software dev.)- I photograph black cats in coal mines at night...
“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” - George Orwell

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