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Is the camera industry doomed?

Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
25 Apr 2013 12:05PM
This article seems to suggest doom and gloom for all camera makers with the inexorable rise of other devices which are not dedicated cameras but can take digital images.

Quote: "These days, the camera industry has not been innovative enough to outrun the smartphone industry and persuade customers of their superiority. The camera industry has added only few features to their products, an incremental development: boosting resolution, reinforcing ISOs, structure of the cameras, design, etc. Because of this, customers do not feel the need to buy a new camera or upgrade to another. Even worse, sometimes newly presented cameras underperform their predecessors.

The only ‘innovative’ development in the camera industry recently was the ILCs or mirrorless camera. At first, companies like Samsung, Panasonic, Sony and Olympus and later Canon and Nikon promoted these new ‘innovative’ cameras to create a new market. However, this market is the one targeted by the new smartphones.

A new era has begun where camera manufacturers have to compete against smartphone manufacturers. They may not lose their entire market since they have high-end camera products that smartphones cannot outperform. However, without doubt, camera manufacturers are going through difficult times competing against the smartphone products."

Will it be a case of........................



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Coventryphotog Junior Member 5 149 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 12:22PM
Curious to know what other developments the authors think a camera manufacturer should be adding to their products ??? WiFi for sure, but a camera is a camera LOL

Somehow I think the Canon, Nikon et al, of the world will be around a while yet......compact cameras on the other hand may well follow the late 110, disk, polaroid etc etc into oblivion, or at least, into a niche market.

I note in the article that Jessops demise is used for evidence of changing trends from Cam to smartphone - and yet the online retailers still seem to be trundling happily along....selling lots of cameras as they go.

Doomed? - perhaps, but not in the foreseeable future.
digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 12:23PM
I can't see it myself. The increased functionality of smartphones may cause some migration from bridge cameras but until they can provide smartphones with wide focal ranges, excellent low light performance, fast response times and all the other stuff you get from a decent dedicated camera I think photographers and even casual snappers will need a camera.

I regularly take photos on my iPhone but they are of a different nature to those for which I use the SLR or even the G12.

mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 12:24PM
I haven't opened the link because my virus hunter ways it is dodgy, but are they talking about market share or number of sales?
As I see it at the moment, camera phones are taking the place of people who (in the days of film) would have had no camera at all or used 110 film camera. So as a market share phones have made massive inroads but only because it now includes people who would not have owned a camera at all.

Quote:The only ‘innovative’ development in the camera industry recently was the ILCs or mirrorless camera.

That is a bit disingenuous. A lot of digital sales have been people renewing a camera by buying into the newest technology with its better image quality, but now even the cheapest cameras have 16MP and the image quality now far exceeds ability of the average camera buyer so they have stopped upgrading, so IMO people will be upgrading for better facilities rather than better image quality (just like in the old film days). For example I would have been hard pressed to justify buying the 7D if it had not been for the whizz-bang AF - image quality wise I see no huge improvements over my 30D for most of the photos I take.

Cheap digital SLRs certainly created a bubble and I could envisage that business models have been built on the post-2000 boom (bubble) that manufacturers benefitted from. So maybe the market will shrink back to pre-2000 levels rather than the industry being doomed.
Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
25 Apr 2013 1:01PM
At a large gathering on Tuesday, where almost everyone was carrying an imaging device there were only 2 people using cameras with interchangeable lenses - myself and the official pro. Everyone else was using a phone, a tablet or a small compact. Bridge cameras were noticeable by their absence.
KevSB 14 1.5k 5 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 1:32PM
I suspect yes .Not so much the cameras them selves but the fast paced world of social media and its less demanding requirement for high res images. with the demise of paper magazines im not sure there will be much demand for top quality images.

I remember doing a wedding last Year, it took a me a few days to sort the Images and then Out of respect for the couple I waited until they had returned from Honeymoon, Not sure why I bothered as within a few hours of the wedding there was hundreds of pictures very similar to mine taken over my shoulder.

When to couple came back they was happy enough but Gone is the surprise and excitement of seeing them for the first time.
The same applies to events I cover, The interest is only in immediate post event and hundreds come out with an hour of the event finishing. Instant photography is the future I suspect and these devices cater for that far better than a Dslr and post processing.
For me I've started to do more with magazines which gives me an outlet where quality still counts but even then not always the best are used just those that illustrate a story well.
The bottom end of the camera market seems to improve at a far faster rate than the top so its inevitable at the moment. Photography club wise I am sure that will last for a lot longer, but mainstream photography not so sure there will be a need for high end dslrs.
Big Bri 16 16.3k United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 2:24PM
Carabosse, you posted this in 2004:

Quote:"Full-frame" sensors likely to fade away?

Interesting article from Ken Rockwell, in his usual rather controversial and assertive style! He sees no reason to stick with the measurements of the 35mm film frame.

It does seem that the likes of Nikon and Olympus (and other manufacturers) may agree with Ken's view.

Any thoughts?

and also this:

Quote:Will you ditch your digicam?
I know there is much interest in camera phones on this forum!

But I'm going to mention them anyway!!

This article suggests that with 5 and even 6 megapixel camera phones on the horizon, it will seriously affect sales of all but high-end digital cameras.

Just think - there will soon be camera phones around with resolution the same as some current DSLRs!

Can you see yourself ever using a mobile phone for some of your photography?

I use my 0.3Mp phone occasionally for fun photos but nothing serious. But if it had 5Mp, that could change...... maybe!

No signs of your predictions coming true just yet....

pink Plus
14 5.2k 7 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 3:08PM
Easy solution , include a mobile phone within a digital camera.........sorted!
Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
25 Apr 2013 3:28PM

Quote: No sign off your predictions coming true just yet

On the contrary, I would say my predictions are, in a broad sense, coming true - big time. :-P Grin :-P

It's just that I personally haven't followed the crowd! Wink
keith selmes 14 7.3k 1 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 3:28PM
Not a very well researched article.
Best ignored.
Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
25 Apr 2013 3:38PM
Whatever the merits of the article, it certainly accords with my personal observations, viz. dedicated cameras are being used less and all-in-one devices like camera phones and tablets are being used more.

Camera manufacturers' profits will be squeezed and there may come a point where their operations may no longer be viable. We may be some way from that, but unless there is a resurgence in camera-buying, things look a tad gloomy for them.
lawbert 11 1.8k 15 England
25 Apr 2013 3:49PM

Quote: dedicated cameras are being used less and all-in-one devices like camera phones and tablets are being used more.

Thats true....but theres now a camera on everything...
So in fact more people are taking pictures....
it doesnt mean less people are using dedicated cameras and lenses....it just means that when they hit the limitations of a built in camera they will progress to a better quality dedicated camera
SteveCharles 15 2.3k 18 England
25 Apr 2013 3:59PM

Quote:it doesnt mean less people are using dedicated cameras and lenses....it just means that when they hit the limitations of a built in camera they will progress to a better quality dedicated camera

Not necessarily, most people I know (who are not serious photographers) only use the cameras on their phones with no intention of getting a dedicated camera, and as the quality of phone cameras improves, will have even less reason to do so.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
25 Apr 2013 4:15PM

Quote:These days, the camera industry has not been innovative enough

I don't know about doomed, But fings are gonna change a tad ...Smile
Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
25 Apr 2013 4:31PM
One thing that has always stopped me splashing out on decent binoculars is their lack of ability to record what I'm seeing. If that can be put right that's great! Smile

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