State of the camera industry

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by OzRay, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    A lot of comment is made about Olympus suffering in the camera industry, but they are not on their own: http://www.diyphotography.net/nikon...al-fields-after-a-years-loss-in-camera-sales/.

     
  2. tuxxdk

    tuxxdk Mu-43 Regular

    74
    May 29, 2014
    Denmark
    Martin
    People don't care about quality. And I'm not talking Olympus being the best or anything.

    How often don't you see a family on vacation where mom or dad exclusively shoot using a crappy smartphone? It's "good enough" for them, so why lug a camera + eg. bag around when the smartphone in the pocket can do the same?

    Those people back in time who got an Ixus or similar and by that supported the industry, is now out of the market due to the "good enough" smartphone. Hence the bleeding market.
     
  3. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    That isnt quite the story is it though. We all have quality standards and the fact is that as all cameras are producing increasing quality pictures, there is a tendency for our standards to be met in a smaller more convenient (and possibly cheaper form factor). I know a lot of full frame users who are turning to mirrorless. But there are also mirrorless users who are pretty much satisfied by a RX100iii.
     
  4. tuxxdk

    tuxxdk Mu-43 Regular

    74
    May 29, 2014
    Denmark
    Martin
    I don't disagree with you, because that was not what I meant.

    What I meant is, that many user that before needed a real camera now suffices with the smartphone, hence they don't put money in the camera business.

    So the market is bleeding because the phones has reached a point where it's good enough for many people.
     
  5. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Frank
    lol...I love it when people refer to digicams as "real cameras" and things like iPhones as "crap"... That's a huge leap. Camera phones take pictures - they're here to stay, and face the facts that they're not "crap". It's not 2002 anymore.

    Funny how camera phones have improved right alongside cameras, isn't it?

    The camera business was pretty quite before 2001. Camera stores were quiet, with small corners in them selling Adobe products, and a few sold large format pinters and dye-sub printers with Fiery systems.
     
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  6. tuxxdk

    tuxxdk Mu-43 Regular

    74
    May 29, 2014
    Denmark
    Martin
    Today is the day I constantly get misunderstood.

    Love it ;-)
     
  7. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Frank
    Lol, not at all... I get what you're saying, but you did say "crappy smartphone"... Really, most of the newer smartphones have adequate cameras for what the majority of people want to use them for. The convenience and the connectivity is a huge bonus. Also your example of the iXUS and the APS format is kinda moot anyway - it was basically a ploy to get people to pay MORE for film and MORE for developing. The public didn't buy it and the format was pretty weak even before the digital rush.

    When I was a kid, I was the odd man out... After a certain age I put down the 110 Instamatic and I carried around a little slr and a pocket of lenses while everyone else (and their parents) ran around with AF or fixed-focus point and shoots. Some kids had P&S cameras that had manual modes - none of them ever used those modes.

    Those same kids today are adults. Some have invested in SLRs or mirrorless cameras. But most of them use their smartphones. A few of them have won photo competitions with their smartphones. They can print photos, make coffee table books and there's enough pixels in there that as long as they get the shot right and learn a little about basic lighting, they do fine.

    It's the tools you use, not the tools you covet.
     
  8. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    Outside of pros and enthusiasts on sites like this, the average camera owner isn't going to replace their camera year after year. The market must be pretty saturated, especially with new models released every 6 months by almost every manufacturer. Any camera bought in the last 10 years is going to satisfy most people who are printing 4x6, 8x10, posting on Facebook or whatever. The avg joe needs a kit or super zoom lens and that's it, til he/she decides she wants to take their photography to another level....and yes smartphones too.
     
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  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    That's it exactly. We tend to think that we are normal, or represent the mass market, but we are not and we do not. We are freaks. And despite the exorbitant amounts of money we are willing to spend, we don't really move the needle for the camera industry as a whole.
     
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  10. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    This is one of the reasons I think Samsung is the camera maker to watch

    http://glenbarrington.blogspot.com/2014/04/hey-canon-you-might-not-be-future-of.html
     
  11. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    This is 100% true. My wife has a Canon 3Sis, a 6MP super zoom (I think it is a 10x zoom) and it takes pretty good images. And she has an iPhone 4S which also takes great pictures.

    3Sis

    IMG_0298_JPG.

    iPhone 3GS

    IMG_0457.
     
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  12. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    When it comes to photography, content is king and image quality is secondary. Smartphones are always with you and they take decent snapshots for viewing on smartphones (that's how most pictures are shared and viewed these days). Camera business is narrowing to enthusiast's market.


    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
     
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  13. jamesgehrt

    jamesgehrt Mu-43 Regular

    166
    May 20, 2014
    Easthampton, Massachusetts
    James Gehrt
    I am not sure if it would help the market, but what if one of the big camera makers utilized the smartphone. Have a, let's say Nikon, body that you insert your i-phone into. The camera has a nice sensor, you can use your existing lenses, but you use your smartphone as the brains and as a back screen. The camera is controlled from the phone app and you use the smartphone as a way to operate the camera. Images are stored onto your phone or card, geo locating is done, you can upload it to where ever you like, etc. There may be fewer people using a camera, but I think more people are taking pictures. Maybe there is a way to tap into that market while keeping what a company does well, making sensors and optics. I guess sony tried something like this with their lens camera things.

    Just a thought...
     
  14. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Frank
    One of the reasons why they don't do this is mainly because of the high-turnover in the smartphone market. Also, smartphone companies would rather develop their own solution than allow a large camera company to capitalize off their "brains" in the phone. Also, the whole idea of sliding bits and pieces into each other seems to have died in favour of complete on-device integration. Ricoh even killed their body-swap GR system for this reason.
     
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  15. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Sony has already done this, a lens with a sensor controlled by a smart phone.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1002614-REG/sony_dsc_qx100_digital_camera.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1002701-REG/sony_dsc_qx10_b_dsc_qx10_digital_camera_black.html

    Fred
     
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  16. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I think you guys are onto it who mentioned that the camera market is saturated, and that most users don't upgrade that often. There is a glut of both DSLRs and mirrorless, and since most people who own such cameras probably splurged in order to own them they're not in a hurry to replace them. Also you don't find many consumers actively utilizing the used market to resell their gear, which is a major way you and I am able to purchase new gear.
     
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  17. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    This is interesting: http://www.43rumors.com/wsj-praises-olympus-and-blames-nikon-startegy/:

    nikon_zps3c8c124b.
     
  18. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Those are a great idea but lacking in implementation. Two things that bothered me: Slow response because of the type of connection established between the phone and camera unit. Slow transfer between the phone and camera unit. Painful to attach to the camera. Missing ergonomics when combined. Difficult to carry.. bulky. It made more sense to buy the WX300 or RX100 for which the two were based on.

    Basically, if you bought the WX300 or RX100II you essentially have the same capabilities PLUS all the added features of the stand alone camera "versions". So the buy in is a difficult proposition.

    Personally, I think Samsung is headed in the right direction in this respect. Meld the phone into the camera and take advantage of Android. I'm sure Apple has considered this as well.
     
  19. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Frank
    Last I saw the Sonys they were quite fast. Latency was low and the shutter button was on the lens barrel - I don't think there was much latency between the shutter button and capture.

    I think some of the websites out there were getting at the possibility that Sony just branded an Asia Optical camera because they're so similar and Sony doesn't appear to be approaching JK or AO for any design patent violations.

    I don't think it's selling well though. Kind-of like the Canon Facebook digicam.
     
  20. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    The Wall Street Journal dissed Nikon but praised Olympus for their market strategy. I have no idea if they are right but it's great publicity for Olympus to a fairly affluent readership in the US.