Serious Changes Predicted in The Camera Industry

Posted Oct. 3rd, 2013 by Daniel J. Cox

I’ve been talking about serious changes predicted in the camera industry for several years. Many of our Explorers have shared lengthy conversations on this subject.  My first indication that things were chaining fast was the how quickly I saw a company like Panasonic get my attention by producing a really interesting and high quality product. Every year the largest photo trade show is held in New York, it’s called PhotoPlus Expo and it just recently ended. I was planning to attend this year but at the last minute decided against it and much of that decision was due to what is being reported in the photo industry news; a lack of exciting products from most of the players in the industry.

Sony showed two very interesting looking cameras at PhotoPlus Expo this year that incorporate a large full frame sensor in a mirrorless body. I've said it many times to those who travel with us, I don't think there will be many if any traditional DSLR's being manufactured in five years. Many industry insiders are now saying the same thing publicly.

Sony showed two very interesting looking cameras at PhotoPlus Expo this year that incorporate a large full frame sensor in a mirrorless body. I’ve said it many times to those who travel with us, I don’t think there will be many if any traditional DSLR’s being manufactured in five years. Many industry insiders are now saying the same thing publicly.

One of the big exceptions is Sony. They seem to be hell bent on being one of the major players in the world of consumer imaging and by the looks of some of their new products, the competition, Nikon and Canon will have quite a challenge.  Some interesting comments have come out of PDN in the past few days since it ended and I thought I would share with you some of the things  many industry insiders are openly talking about.

Luminous Landscape

“DSLRs will diminish in market share and likely will become a niche product for wealthy enthusiasts. Mainstream enthusiasts will move to so-called mirrorless system cameras and the mass market will happily take pictures with their smartphones while uploading them in real-time to Facebook.
Sony has seen the writing on the wall better than most. So have Olympus, Fuji and Panasonic. Nikon and Canon have had an ostrich-like mentality and are therefore about to be side-swiped by a market shift of tsunami proportions. Unless their market planners grow the cojones needed to adapt to the changing marketplace, in a few short years there’ll be a lot of executives in Japan staring out the window at a train that has swiftly left the station.”

Consumer DSLR’s “Dead in Five Years”

Engaging the uninterested general public with dedicated cameras was never going to be sustainable – not with smartphones around. But I think the decline of consumer DSLRs will actually be the best thing to happen to photography and video in the digital era. Finally companies will have to get innovative, putting more weight behind enthusiast and pro orientated camera line-ups. Consumer digital camera sales are down 36% this year. 

There are many more links to others predicting serious decline for some of our most beloved camera companies. I for one hope Nikon and Canon haven’t waited too long to get really inovative. All of this ties into the discussion I may write about in a future post about the potential issues we could all face with having access to our RAW images if our camera maker of choice would disappear. I know I’ve just recently started shooting JPEG’s along side my RAW images. How about others, what’s your thoughts on the state of the camera industry after reading the links on this page?

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There is 1 comment on this post…
  1. Bill HuntOn Nov. 1st, 2013

    The decline in digital camera sales hasn’t been specific to DSLRs. In fact, Nikon and Canon seem to be be doing better than some of the companies selling mirrorless cameras. Using the downturn in camera sales as evidence of the impeding doom of Nikon and Canon for lack of innovation is misleading propaganda.

    So far, the dogs don’t seem to be eating the mirrorless dogfood in most of the world. Your own review of the GH3 shows that it is not satisfactory for some real world uses. How about dialing back on the cheerleading until mirrorless can really deliver the goods?

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