The Reason Camera Sales are Stagnant [Blog]

robcee

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I ran across this article posted on Reddit today and thought our users were enjoy it. It’s a good read about the ever-popular topic: Camera Sales are Stalling, the Sky is Falling.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/the-reason-camera-sales-are.html

I agree with pretty much everything in the article, other than Sony’s A7RIII and IV being great cameras. I don’t like ‘em, but that’s like, just my opinion.
 

Bushboy

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I wonder how many perfectly good cameras are out there, stored away in a cupboard, never gonna see the light of day again?
I’ve got 2 G6’s and a powershot, probably never get used again, nothing wrong with them...
I doubt I will ever buy a new camera again. There no value there for me.
 

Holoholo55

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I agree with one thing Hogan said. My current cameras are more than good enough and I have not exceeded, or even met, their capabilities. The EM1X is a fantastic camera, but I really don't need it. I may buy an EM5 III later on to replace an EM10 II and EM1.1, since it'll still be more compact but almost as capable as my EM1.2. A good match.
 
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I’ve got 2 G6’s and a powershot, probably never get used again
Four Olympus OM-4Ts behind glass doors for me… hmmm… I think I might have some Kodachrome 25 in the deep freezer… but nobody processes it any more…

Like I said elsewhere, I'll probably shoot my E-M1.2 until they quit making batteries for it.
 

Bushboy

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Four! :)
So if all the camera makers retired, we would have enough to keep snapping away till the end...
Nothing to worry about then, keep calm and carry on.
 

Bushboy

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Basically the dude was just wondering why not many upgrading their cameras every year, I think. Sales of new gear stagnating.
He missed the obvious reason, price...
Now there is plenty of people on this planet with money, but in my neck of the woods, most haven’t got couple of thousand to blow on a camera.
We all know how quickly 2 grand becomes 200 in camera bodies....
 

JDS

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I don't quite get these articles. Camera sales are not down, they're at the highest level they've ever been. Billions of people now carry a high-quality camera everywhere, and upgrade them every other year or so. A photo sharing site is one of the top websites in the world, and more people are taking and sharing more photos than at any time in human history. Prosumer camera sales are down, because their niche is being squeezed by these mobile cameras that have user-focused functionality that the elite cameras can't match, and because there are too many companies given the total revenue, resulting in R&D budgets that are too small to match the innovation of the giant camera companies (Apple, Samsung, Google, Huawei & Xiomei). But the physics of photography suggests that there will be a decent sized, shrinking market for prosumer cameras for years- for sports and wildlife photography, landscape, studio etc. Just not enough for, what, the dozen or so camera companies that exist today.

I do wonder when will a single camera company figure out the most important feature to add to their camera... 4G (or 5G or LTE) and social media integration. Its, um, kinda obvious people...
 

Bushboy

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He most likely forgot more, than I’ll ever know about taking photos.
He did say that camera sales peaked 2012?
That was interesting...
That’s not very long ago, what is everyone getting so worried about.
That’s millions of used cameras out there. Most of them still good, I bet.
Yep, we’ll be taking pics for a while yet... :)
 

piggsy

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I don't quite get these articles. Camera sales are not down, they're at the highest level they've ever been. Billions of people now carry a high-quality camera everywhere, and upgrade them every other year or so. A photo sharing site is one of the top websites in the world, and more people are taking and sharing more photos than at any time in human history. Prosumer camera sales are down, because their niche is being squeezed by these mobile cameras that have user-focused functionality that the elite cameras can't match, and because there are too many companies given the total revenue, resulting in R&D budgets that are too small to match the innovation of the giant camera companies (Apple, Samsung, Google, Huawei & Xiomei). But the physics of photography suggests that there will be a decent sized, shrinking market for prosumer cameras for years- for sports and wildlife photography, landscape, studio etc. Just not enough for, what, the dozen or so camera companies that exist today.

I do wonder when will a single camera company figure out the most important feature to add to their camera... 4G (or 5G or LTE) and social media integration. Its, um, kinda obvious people...
I think pretty much all their problems are that they're japanese companies who hate change, corralling a diminishing audience of classic boomers who also hate things to change. It's a death spiral that both parties seem to be enjoying very much.
 
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Bushboy

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Your right piggsy, could they be ripping off the boomers?
You know 2grand for that?? Are you crazy! 😂
 

demiro

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The cost wouldn’t be so bad if the upgrades were a bit more significant. I’ve been semi serious about photography for 14 years. For the first ten or so years almost every new release, be it mirrorless, DSLR or higher end point and shoot, brought with it a host of new promises about what a camera was capable of doing. Then we hit the wall. The improvements have largely become subtle, imo, but the pricing stills reflects a world where new cameras almost always felt “must have”.
 

piggsy

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Your right piggsy, could they be ripping off the boomers?
You know 2grand for that?? Are you crazy! 😂
I think the pricing model they've been using definitely smells like that - big, upfront cash investments, no pay-on-plans, no bundles with eg an account or storage or bandwidth, limited availability of refurbs, it's about as far from the service model as you can get. This absolutely excludes some cohorts from getting in, in a way that high sticker price smartphones don't. And obviously, excluding younger people from your big show-off status pieces like this means the market shrinks even faster, and your new customers have, well, a limited lifespan in the camera ecosystem.

*and another another thing, let's examine what this product is, what it looks like, and who it seems to be aimed at:


:p
 
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I do wonder when will a single camera company figure out the most important feature to add to their camera... 4G (or 5G or LTE) and social media integration. Its, um, kinda obvious people...
The day that happens, and I dread that day absolutely, the battery life would be something like 3 photos + 1 hour of FB scrolling. But don't most of the new cameras allow some kind of easy integration with smartphones just for social media sharing?
 

Carbonman

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Current camera sales are at about the same level as they were in the mid-to-late 70s. Back then they had a lot more competitors too. It's just that manufacturers have some weird expectation that camera sales should still be at the same insane level that digital camera volumes hit over a decade ago. Once you saturate a market plus add in the vastly improved smartphone cameras, the relatively small sales volume of these days becomes pretty easy to predict.
Polaroid ran into the same market saturation (104% IIRC) issue with their instant cameras but knew what they were facing.
 

Mack

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Many camera stores have closed as well as film labs. Add to the issue that even the current "Big Box" stores (e.g. Best Buy, Costco, Target, Walmart, Etc.) have much smaller - or even none - ICL camera displays anymore so no more "touchy-feely" impulse buys or maybe running off and buying online.

I saw where Leica is pushing their own sales stores (Hollywood has one.), and I learned that 45% of Leica is now owned by Blackstone which is a NYC equity group. DJI (Chinese drone maker.) has a big stake in Hassleblad too.

The phone tech is advancing much quicker (annually) than our cameras which isn't good for camera maker's 3-4 year cycles. Hackers have gotton into the cellphone's camera hardware and making apps which make them better too. Google's Pixel 4 intro presentation showed where software is replacing what camera bodies were (i.e. Subject>Light>Lens>Camera is now Subject>Light>Lens>Software>Camera.) if you watch their Pixel 4 Youtube introduction.
 

exakta

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manufacturers have some weird expectation that camera sales should still be at the same insane level that digital camera volumes hit over a decade ago
Companies want to grow. It's hard for them to deal with shrinking markets. Investors and shareholders don't like it, they want to make more money, not less.

The smaller players fall away first. Older members here may recall the sudden changes in the camera market from the 1960s to 1980s. TLRs vanished, press cameras vanished, interchangeable front element cameras (like Kodak Retinas, Contaflexes) vanished, All German mfrs other than Leica folded, smaller Japanese firms like Petri, Yashica, Miranda, Topcon, Konica and others folded as well. Autofocus was the final blow to so many mfrs.

Even Olympus vanished from the pro camera market for almost 30 years. Probably a smart move in many ways.
 

PakkyT

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I do wonder when will a single camera company figure out the most important feature to add to their camera... 4G (or 5G or LTE) and social media integration. Its, um, kinda obvious people...
I have a Samsung P&S camera that has built in WiFi with some social media integration (Facebook, etc.) build in but you could also share the files directly to Samsung Tablets, phones and TVs, Microsoft cloud, or directly email them. It came out in 2012 I believe. So it has been done before, although required being on WiFi, but you could get around that if you had your phone with you and linked them together.
 

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