Camera business really doomed or just the pessimists talking

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Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 16,955
Camera business really doomed or just the pessimists talking

Go back to the mid 70s when I bought my Pentax Spotmatic F ( a lovely camera). Nearly everybody I knew had a camera. In many cases it was one of those horrible 110 instamatics that it was nearly impossible to take a good picture with. A few people I knew had SLRs but the percentage of the population with them was small. Popular brands were Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus and Minolta, not really a lot different from today. I have always been into aviation and at an air show you might see the odd SLR including my Pentax when I got it but percentage of attendees with one was very low and those that had them and usually had something like a budget 70-210, no bazookas. When I became interested in Birds in the early 80s, bird photographers were a very rare breed, something read about in magazines.

Come the late 90s and the start of digital people started buying digital cameras in general but not high spec models and really not much more than toys and mainly for those having to have the latest gadget. Move on a few years and BANG, the camera manufacturers win the lottery. Everybody has to have a digital camera and as well as the compacts and super zooms people start realising they can have a DSLR and lenses that allow them to do the things they have always dreamed of. Planes, Birds, Sport, Racing, many other challenging subjects and of course pets and kids that don't keep still and don't just perform in daylight. Sales go through the roof for a few years until the next great revolution, mobile phones that are just as useful as the compacts and the start of the compact decline begins.

So where is this leading. Well when people talk so pessimistically about the decline of the camera industry. Is it a reality or just a decline when compared to a few glory years when the dice fell for the manufacturers. From my experience, go to an air show and the value of camera kit on show is amazing. Every birder now has all the gear and they like the quality stuff. Follow any active hobbyist and you will see the kit. Even knitting and dressmaking has its vloggers.

I just can't believe that there is not enough business to go around what is after all a fairly small manufacturing base especially with a much greater willingness to spend money in 2020.   Given proper thought , there is still a very substantial camera market and at least as strong as 1970s. Your thoughts.

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