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Author Topic: Why the camera industry is in decline?  (Read 20874 times)

Justinr

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #60 on: November 22, 2013, 05:16:59 pm »

Most people don't want a camera. Most people want pictures. Those people bought polaroid cameras, or 110 cameras, or in fact most of them didn't buy cameras at all, they got a few pictures made at Sears or at the school every year, and that, together with Uncle Bob and his Nikon FE2 (Bob was an enthusiast) suited them ok.

For a brief shining moment the DSLR was the right place to go if you just wanted pictures, and more generally digital cameras of all sorts were. There was a MASSIVE spike in camera sales with the advent of digital. Everyone got a camera, because it was cheap and easy and the simplest way to Get Pictures. Sales went up by a full order of magnitude in units shipped. That's winding down now. People who just want pictures can get pictures from their cell phones.

It was an astonishingly short era, but a shocking amount of money got made.


My thoughts entirely and I should have read this before posting as I've pretty much repeated it. Doh!
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Misirlou

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #61 on: November 22, 2013, 06:54:46 pm »

I think if you ask my wife, she'd be sure to complain that I'm still doing plenty to support the camera industry.
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Doug Peterson

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #62 on: November 22, 2013, 11:01:10 pm »

I wonder how medium format will do? Are there enough people who really need MF to sustain even one maker? It doesn't seem to me that enough MF sensors are sold to really benefit from economies of scale...Hasselblad seems to be thrashing around, some bad choices (IMHO) being made, like the bling cameras.It also seems to me that MF technology is falling behind. Not that I really know much about it.

Somehow MF seems to be the only market that is up despite the D800 being around

The Phase One IQ2 series has more advanced image review than anything on the market.

Touch screen Retina-grade LCD, focus mask, customizable exposure warning, 2 axis level that feeds to metadata for auto-correction, native wireless edit and review.

Our sales in Phase One are up year-over-year for several years now. It's the best year for medium format since I came on board (5 years ago).

I ascribe this to the same bifurcation as many other markets. The low-end (cell phones) are thriving. The high-end (medium format) is thriving. It's everything in between that is getting squeezed.

stevesanacore

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #63 on: November 24, 2013, 11:57:04 pm »


I'm not sure I understand how the industry is in decline. Back in the days of film, most of us would buy camera bodies that we kept five - ten years or more. The 35mm bodies cost $1500 - 2500 on average.  Now I've been replacing my $8000 bodies every two to three years! MF is even more nuts with cameras costing $20-60K. And digital has made DSLRs much easier for amateurs to use, which means more sales. So in what way is the market declining?

Just curious….
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hjulenissen

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #64 on: November 25, 2013, 03:07:41 am »

The degree of decline would seem to depend on the chosen time window. If you look back 10 years (the dawn of digital), then perhaps decline is the right word. If you look back 20 or 30 years, "fluctuation" is perhaps the right word?

The prosumer video camera industry have seemingly been in a worse shape than the still-image camera industry. Squeezed in between ever improving iPhones on the low end, and (in many ways) superior sensor DSLRs on the high end. But GoPro seems to have carved a new niche for themselves by doing things slightly differently (and avoiding nit-picking 1dB +/- noise or 10% +/- sharpness compared to established competitors).

As a technologist, I tend to instinctively assume that relevant improvements will be with faster/more accurate AF performance, less sensor noise, more accurate colours, etc. But these improvements tends to be incremental and come at significant R&D expense. There is always the possibility that someone, somewhere will "crack the code". It might take an "underdog" to do it, and it might (probably) be something most of us can not imagine.

But please come up with something more imaginative than "in-camera Facebook integration"...

-h
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 03:09:28 am by hjulenissen »
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jjj

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #65 on: November 25, 2013, 05:32:28 am »

As for camera sales then perhaps people are just getting bored with them. When digitals were being pushed they were marketed as producing results as splendid as the pros and image quality could indeed be as good as 35mm even if the other requisites were absent. Freed from the necessity of having to  develop film the world rushed into buying cameras if only so that they might have something sensible to do with their shiny new PC's. Now the novelty has worn off and the attention of the great unwashed has shifted to gossiping on Idiotbook or playing war games/watching porn.
Nope, cameras or phones are simply more than good enough for most people now not to worry about upgrading. And people always indulged in other distractions, not to mention Facebook and other social media tend increase, not decrease time spent doing photography stuff.
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jjj

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #66 on: November 25, 2013, 05:36:25 am »

The prosumer video camera industry have seemingly been in a worse shape than the still-image camera industry. Squeezed in between ever improving iPhones on the low end, and (in many ways) superior sensor DSLRs on the high end. But GoPro seems to have carved a new niche for themselves by doing things slightly differently (and avoiding nit-picking 1dB +/- noise or 10% +/- sharpness compared to established competitors).
They do not need to. Their cameras are strikingly better than the opposition's.
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Justinr

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #67 on: November 25, 2013, 05:48:40 am »

Nope, cameras or phones are simply more than good enough for most people now not to worry about upgrading. And people always indulged in other distractions, not to mention Facebook and other social media tend increase, not decrease time spent doing photography stuff.

Without all sorts of surveys and other paraphernalia attendant to the black art of marketing we shall never know for sure so it will remain a matter of opinion based upon ones perspective. I shall remain true to my views as expressed for the time being.
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jjj

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #68 on: November 25, 2013, 06:35:26 am »

Uh, it's blindly obvious what is happening. Smart phones are not only good enough for the average user [i.e. for snapshots], there can do so, so much more than a mere camera can manage. Heck I am now beginning to get frustrated at the lack of connectivity of my big cameras. Particularly when traveling light. A friend of mine is currently travelling in China and blogging her trip. No photos from her DSLR yet as she's waiting to get back to have time to work on them on computer - lots of shots from her iPhone though to illustrate her articles. And they are way better quality than the ones I took with a pocket digital camera when I was in China a few year's back.
Previously people upgraded frequently as new cameras were so much better than previous versions - which was unsurprising as it was a new and immature market. It's nothing to do with perspective either as cameras sales have definitely plummeted because of smartphone uptake. I hardly ever see people using P+S cameras anymore, but I still see an awful lot of photos being taken. Possibly more, as even those who didn't have a P+S now have a smartphone. And if you think social media has reduced time for photography then you are so very off target.
Oh BTW, thinking such things are for the 'great unwashed'. Dear me what a very ignorant and snobbish thing to say. Have you ever even used 'idiotbook' as you sneeringly refer to it? And if you have and your FB newsfeed is full of inane idiotic posts then that is more a reflection of the company you keep, not FB.
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Justinr

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #69 on: November 25, 2013, 06:52:32 am »

Uh, it's blindly obvious what is happening. Smart phones are not only good enough for the average user [i.e. for snapshots], there can do so, so much more than a mere camera can manage. Heck I am now beginning to get frustrated at the lack of connectivity of my big cameras. Particularly when traveling light. A friend of mine is currently travelling in China and blogging her trip. No photos from her DSLR yet as she's waiting to get back to have time to work on them on computer - lots of shots from her iPhone though to illustrate her articles. And they are way better quality than the ones I took with a pocket digital camera when I was in China a few year's back.
Previously people upgraded frequently as new cameras were so much better than previous versions - which was unsurprising as it was a new and immature market. It's nothing to do with perspective either as cameras sales have definitely plummeted because of smartphone uptake. I hardly ever see people using P+S cameras anymore, but I still see an awful lot of photos being taken. Possibly more, as even those who didn't have a P+S now have a smartphone. And if you think social media has reduced time for photography then you are so very off target.
Oh BTW, thinking such things are for the 'great unwashed'. Dear me what a very ignorant and snobbish thing to say. Have you ever even used 'idiotbook' as you sneeringly refer to it? And if you have and your FB newsfeed is full of inane idiotic posts then that is more a reflection of the company you keep, not FB.

You're a rum one you are. Quite comical in fact for if you fail to note the irony in the expression 'the great unwashed' then we are obviously going to have difficulty in communicating.

Have fun.
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jjj

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #70 on: November 25, 2013, 07:01:13 am »

You're a rum one you are. Quite comical in fact for if you fail to note the irony in the expression 'the great unwashed' then we are obviously going to have difficulty in communicating.
Quite probably as there was no obvious irony in your sentence, it simply reads as someone sneering.
There a good reason smileys are used in written conversations - they make it obvious that the words written may have a meaning other than the direct meaning. Just like intonation and facial expressions give clues in meat space.
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Justinr

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #71 on: November 25, 2013, 07:15:51 am »

Quite probably as there was no obvious irony in your sentence, it simply reads as someone sneering.
There a good reason smileys are used in written conversations - they make it obvious that the words written may have a meaning other than the direct meaning. Just like intonation and facial expressions give clues in meat space.

Perhaps you should read a few more books instead. If you are reduced to needing smileys to understand what is being said then it's not me that is lacking.
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petermfiore

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #72 on: November 25, 2013, 07:41:06 am »

Words at one time were enough. Words haven't changed. I wonder what has?

Peter



jjj

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #73 on: November 25, 2013, 07:48:17 am »

Perhaps you should read a few more books instead. If you are reduced to needing smileys to understand what is being said then it's not me that is lacking.
And again with the sneering. Air must be quite rarefied from the height you look down on the proles down below.
BTW, I have read an awful lot of books in my time. Yet that is not relevant. This is a forum, not a book where when someone says something, the author can add exposition to explain nuances that would be otherwise missed. Which is nothing more than the written equivalent of a smiley.
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jjj

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #74 on: November 25, 2013, 07:52:15 am »

Words at one time were enough. Words haven't changed. I wonder what has?
Misunderstanding written communication is nothing new and also editors used to proof people's work before being published, unlike our online mutterings.
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Justinr

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #75 on: November 25, 2013, 08:06:55 am »

And again with the sneering. Air must be quite rarefied from the height you look down on the proles down below.
BTW, I have read an awful lot of books in my time. Yet that is not relevant. This is a forum, not a book where when someone says something, the author can add exposition to explain nuances that would be otherwise missed. Which is nothing more than the written equivalent of a smiley.

Not quite me old prole,  there used to be this thing called style.
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Rob C

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #76 on: November 25, 2013, 08:56:52 am »

Guys, let me pour some layers of extra-extra-virgin olive oil; it does wonders for the gut, let's pray it does the same for a forum!

;-)

Rob C

P.S. Extra-virgin has always troubled me as an adjective; the closest I can remember coming to an explanation was in the movie What's New, Pussycat? my favourite comedy ever. In it, Peter T'Toole is doing his best to get it on with a delightful, delicious, totally scatty and fascinating Paula Prentiss. She holds him off - terminally - and when he asks why she informs him that she's a semi-virgin. When he asks her what, in the name of all that's holy, a semi-v might be, she tells him that in America she's not a virgin, but that in Paris, she is. They are in Paris. I like situation ethics like that: unworkable, but absolutely charming nonetheless. They can get you killed.

amolitor

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #77 on: November 25, 2013, 09:38:56 am »

Words were enough when they were carefully crafted and understood in context, often including an existing relationship.

When we're just dashing stuff out on the internet, and being read by someone who may or may not remember what we said a few minutes ago, and may or may not remember that we said it, smilies and other devices are useful.

You do come across as a sneering prig, Justin. And don't try the 'you need to read more' line out on me. It's possible that I've written more than you have read, to say nothing of what I've read. It's not jjj, it's you.

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jjj

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #78 on: November 25, 2013, 09:46:06 am »

Not quite me old prole,  there used to be this thing called style.
Ah yes, the good old days where everything was better than the scummy, badly dressed and uneducated time us illiterates currently live in.
An absurd stance, used by deluded people who have no back up to their argument and who ignore how much better things are now and that people despite fashion and technology changes are no different from previous times.

Most Extra Virgin oil is only labelled as such Rob, the reality is shall we say more tawdry.
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Justinr

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Re: Why the camera industry is in decline?
« Reply #79 on: November 25, 2013, 09:50:15 am »

Words were enough when they were carefully crafted and understood in context, often including an existing relationship.

When we're just dashing stuff out on the internet, and being read by someone who may or may not remember what we said a few minutes ago, and may or may not remember that we said it, smilies and other devices are useful.

You do come across as a sneering prig, Justin. And don't try the 'you need to read more' line out on me. It's possible that I've written more than you have read, to say nothing of what I've read. It's not jjj, it's you.



And you strike me as a total twat, but that's life eh!
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