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Do camera manufacturers need to adjust to an ever more demanding market.

void3000 Avatar
25 Feb 2021 5:50AM
With camera sales on the decline due to the popularity of smartphones do camera manufacturers need to add style to their designs to attract potential new customers? Are the traditional black and silver colours off putting when there's so much colour choice and customisation available for smartphones? Do they need to offer colour options or custom accessories to try and attract new customers? Do entry level models look dull in Matt black? If we offered more choice would we attract more customers? We need to find a way to attract new customers or sales will continue to decline.
Imageryonly Avatar
Imageryonly Plus
3 203 11 United Kingdom
25 Feb 2021 9:40AM
Sales are probably declining because the manufacturers are pricing themselves out of the market place.
New models replace the old before the boxes are even opened, gadgetry is replacing quality, as seen in all reviews now when No WiFi or Touchscreen is immediately classed as a con, and menus are described as
" confusing " to say the very least.
The increasing size of images needs more computer memory, faster computers, bigger screens etc etc
For the confirmed, life long hobby photographer, the picture is still the intended goal, not a totally empty bank account.
Silverlake Avatar
25 Feb 2021 10:10AM
No. For most people (and that doesn't mean 'most people on EPZ' because they are not representative of the wider population), the cameras in phones are (more than) good enough. It is convenience and integration that has driven the shift. A bulky tool is a bulky tool whether it is in black or rose gold.
PRC Avatar
PRC 9 399 United Kingdom
25 Feb 2021 10:31AM

Quote: Are the traditional black and silver colours off putting when there's so much colour choice and customisation available for smartphones? Do they need to offer colour options ...
Pentax have offered coloured DSLR bodies from time to time but I don't know how well they've sold. It's believed that a special edition of their full frame DSLR is about to be launched, available in red or blue (as well as black).
keithh Avatar
keithh 19 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
25 Feb 2021 11:19AM
Most popular colour for a mobile phone is black Wink
miptog Avatar
miptog 17 3.6k 68 United Kingdom
25 Feb 2021 2:29PM
There is probably still a demand in the pro side of the market. It's the consumer side that is eroding drastically. Smartphone's have taken over consumer demand, as they fit majority of the need. The first camera that a child will get is likely to be the one that comes free with their Smartphone. It fits well with their lifestyle of sharing images with their friends via social media platforms. It's a camera that is always with them. If they need better performance, features, or functionally they can wait for the next free software update or upgrade to a better Smartphone with minimal additional cost, and not be tied to any manufacturer. Most of basic post processing can be done with the Smartphone, and the software is also free, as its part of the operating system. The Smartphone is probably the best point and shoot currently available. I only need a "conventional" camera, if it's something my Smartphone cannot do. In other words the Smartphone has become mainstream, and the Camera niche. Barriers to entry to a camera, are cost, being tied in to any manufacture, cost of change, steep learning curve to understand things like ISO, Shutter, Aperture, Depth of Field, etc. , the bulkiness and inconvenience of using one, and the host of accessories I may need, for example tripod, flashgun etc.
Dave_Canon Avatar
Dave_Canon 17 2.2k United Kingdom
25 Feb 2021 3:29PM
When I first started photography, it was considered to be specialist and was generally practiced by a few enthusiasts. The market for cameras was very small though cameras were relatively expensive. It would seem that many consumers have bought into modern cameras including both DSLR and compact. Well it is true that part of the market will probably settle for phone cameras now but there will still be some enthusiasts who will still buy DSLR or ML cameras with multiple lenses. This latter market will be smaller but will still exist though they may have to pay more for their kit which had been subsidised by consumers.

cuffit Avatar
cuffit Plus
16 361 8 England
27 Feb 2021 11:24AM
In the '70s, and until the early '80s, I raced motocross and enduro bikes, I only have 4 quality printed photos of me during that period - in those days it was large crowds but few cameras - in fact having an SLR was almost an invite to chat about the sport and photography. Today, apart from the very big events, it's smaller crowds and fewer events (by urban sprawl, noise complaints, cost et al); but everyone has a camera but mostly mobile phones. Since the rise of cameras on mobile phones, it seems to me, that photography is instant: see it, save it; share it; receive likes and move on. Photos today are, mostly, of the moment and there is nothing wrong with that (I still reduce highlights and crop before postingGrin) but apart from not mastering depth-of-field on my iPhone, I can't see DSLRs competing with, for one thing, the rise of mirrorless which sees high specs and a reduction of weight, against the inevitable advance and competing mobile cameras as technology races on. All of it still sees a high cost attached!

Carabosse Avatar
Carabosse Plus
20 44.3k 270 England
28 Feb 2021 2:08AM
85% of photos are taken with phones rather than cameras. Says it all methinks! Wink

keithh Avatar
keithh 19 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
28 Feb 2021 4:32PM
But thatís how much percent of photos of hereís my Starbucks coffee, what I had for my lunch and look at another meaningless selfie I took?

The stats donít mean a thing when put against those of twenty years ago because people now take photos of completely different things. Twenty years ago people took photos of family, where they went on holiday and special occasions. A large percentage of the 85% of a Trillion photos is throwaway tripe.
petebfrance Avatar
28 Feb 2021 5:09PM
It's possible that the internet and social media were partly responsible for the boom in camera sales that we have experienced and the 'dedicated camera's 'place in it has been usurped by the smartphone' because it's not only 'thing we have always with us' (not everybody carries one, so that's a generalisation) but also a more convenient tool for the internet and social media.
The nature, as Keithh has pointed out, of a lot of the photos has changed - lots of short-term stuff (don't get me wrong, I quite like a lot of it). Pictures of the grand children / family members, is another example, which can now be taken and shared continuously whereas before they were quite rare and treasured items. Sharing on social media has made this easier, but of course the use of digital technology instead of film has a part to play in this.
Adding style to cameras is nice, Pentax tried that, but are people going to carry a stylish camera as well as a smartphone just because it's a style accessory? I have now (finally) bought a smartphone. Haven't really tested it's photography credentials but at 6 and 2/3 inches it isn't exactly small. I do like it, though, but it isn't the style or colour that is mesmerising, it's the screen!
Carabosse Avatar
Carabosse Plus
20 44.3k 270 England
1 Mar 2021 12:50PM

Quote: A large percentage of the 85% of a Trillion photos is throwaway tripe.

Absolutely right. But the nature of photography has changed. It used to be something a little bit special. Now it is as mundane as a plate of baked beans.....

......... and the photos of it!Tongue
keithh Avatar
keithh 19 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
2 Mar 2021 10:48AM
Actually photography is more important than it has ever been. Both to commerce and the individual.
Carabosse Avatar
Carabosse Plus
20 44.3k 270 England
3 Mar 2021 1:45AM
Video has increased even more in importance, to the extent that any ostensibly stills camera (or phoneTongue) has to produce top notch video.

That's why some phones offer 8K video. It's a gimmick at the moment but will become the norm.
randomrubble Avatar
randomrubble 19 3.1k 12 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2021 11:26PM
The touch screen is there already so just slap a decent level of android in there and a standardised hooks for developers across the range. But of course the camera makers do not seem into opening up their systems. Back in my NEX-6 days I had hoped that Sony would go down that route with the Play Memories Camera Apps but they never opened it up so that outside innovation could happen. Magic Lantern on Canon have showed that there are smart people out there who would work on camera app solutions.


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