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Canon: They see a grim future for digital camera market
Old 01-28-2019   #1
HHPhoto
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Canon: They see a grim future for digital camera market

Hi,

new market assessment from Canon:
https://photorumors.com/2019/01/27/c...ext-two-years/

That the digital camera market will continue to shrink in the coming years isn't surprising at all (compact cameras get replaced by smartphones and the ILC market is suffering from complete oversaturation and "the last camera syndrom" = cameras are surpassing the capabilities of the photographers for years now).
But nevertheless I am convinced that the Canon outlook is too pessimistic. Shrinking by half in only two years - no, that is too fast. Probably won't happen.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 01-28-2019   #2
Peter Wijninga
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Quote:
But nevertheless I am convinced that the Canon outlook is too pessimistic.
Based on what knowledge?
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Old 01-28-2019   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
Based on what knowledge?
Based on the sales data of the last years, the current trend.
Canon expects that the trend is strongly accelerating. I currently don't see the reasons why it should strongly accelerate in the next two years.
Of course the general trend will continue. But at much stronger speed? I am not convinced.
Well, we will see......I will not get grey hair because of wondering about that .

Cheers, Jan
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Old 01-28-2019   #4
Peter Wijninga
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I already have gray hair and I don't think multinational companies like Canon don't understand their business.
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Old 01-28-2019   #5
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Seems like everybody and their dog who want a DSLR/mirrorless with interchangeable lenses already has one that is plenty good enough. So....until those cameras start breaking down sales will be in a slow decline (at best) or...full on, business destroying free fall.

Maybe its time for Canon, Nikon, etc to "discover" film.
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Old 01-28-2019   #6
Larry Cloetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post

Maybe its time for Canon, Nikon, etc to "discover" film.
Here we go again.

The future of Canon and Nikon is surely dry plate, if only they would be more forward thinking and open minded, like the forums are. If only we can get seats on their boards, we could turn their sinking ships around.
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Old 01-28-2019   #7
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Surely the film camera industry had its ups and downs and predictions of demise too during its long lifespan. Once you sell something to everyone, it gets harder to sell it to them again and again. Like computers. This happens to anything that becomes a mature industry. They just become another appliance.
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Old 01-28-2019   #8
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I own a Leica Monochrom that is perhaps 6 years old now. Had the sensor replaced by Leica and pretty much was overhauled at the same time. Still a great camera Warts and all. I know the buffer is small, the processor is slow, the LCD IQ is lame, no live-view, no video, not so good high ISO..., but it still is a great camera.

My SL is about 4 years old and I still love it.

As far as film cameras go I have too many. Pretty much I don'y need any more cameras. I'm kinda saturated, and it would take a lot to make me buy something new, especially digital.

Happy-happy.

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Old 01-28-2019   #9
Bill Clark
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During the holidays, spending time with our daughter and her family, I only used my iPad mini to make photographs. Last summer at a reunion of my wifes mothers side I made a photograph of the entire group, around 103 people, with my iPhone. She has over 50 first cousins! The challenge of Canon and others is that these smartphones and tablet computers make pretty gosh darn good photos.

I still believe that learning the basics is the key to making great photographs. The tools are secondary. Actually tools come in third or maybe even fourth.
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Old 01-28-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
Here we go again.

The future of Canon and Nikon is surely dry plate, if only they would be more forward thinking and open minded, like the forums are. If only we can get seats on their boards, we could turn their sinking ships around.
Dry plate! Ha! Real Photographers coat their own. Mathew Brady knew a thing or two. Now I have to go look for a horse to pull my photographic equipment wagon.

Full disclosure; I do not shoot wet plate or any 'alternative' process. I just like to hear my head roar on various photo forums.
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Old 01-28-2019   #11
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I don't have a crystal ball. My hunch is that Canon probably does have a pretty good grasp on their future business.

From the time I first became a photographer, I've heard that the amateur market is what supports the camera business. That market has almost completely moved to camera phones. There simply is not enough of us photo enthusiasts and professional photographers to support the business.
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Old 01-28-2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
During the holidays, spending time with our daughter and her family, I only used my iPad mini to make photographs. Last summer at a reunion of my wifes mothers side I made a photograph of the entire group, around 103 people, with my iPhone. She has over 50 first cousins! The challenge of Canon and others is that these smartphones and tablet computers make pretty gosh darn good photos.

I still believe that learning the basics is the key to making great photographs. The tools are secondary. Actually tools come in third or maybe even fourth.
I'm sorry, what site are we on?


Seriously, you should sell your cameras cheap on this site to people who will use them.
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Old 01-28-2019   #13
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When I went on holiday to Girona last September I noticed only two cameras the entire week - my M3 and a friend's FED. In a busy touristy city I did not see a single camera - all the photos were being taken by phones or tablets.

I sat by a friend at Christmas lunch who is a professional photographer of some distinction. He showed me a portrait he'd taken on the latest Iphone. His comment - with output like that, who needs a dedicated camera?

I think Canon know their market pretty well.
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Old 01-28-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
During the holidays, spending time with our daughter and her family, I only used my iPad mini to make photographs. Last summer at a reunion of my wifes mothers side I made a photograph of the entire group, around 103 people, with my iPhone. She has over 50 first cousins! The challenge of Canon and others is that these smartphones and tablet computers make pretty gosh darn good photos.

I still believe that learning the basics is the key to making great photographs. The tools are secondary. Actually tools come in third or maybe even fourth.
Bill,

My fashion blogger gal has over 607K followers. She upgraded to an Iphone 10 and reports that the new phone's camera is the big reason to upgrade.

Meanwhile she camera-napped my Leica CL. I think eventually I'll get that CL back which I bought to exploit the crop sensor to convert my fast normal lenses into short telephotos.

Funny thing is that I'm not so good at taking pictures with a cellphone.

Cal
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Old 01-28-2019   #15
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On another forum someone mentioned that he was discussing with a soon-to-be bride what she wanted for her photos of the event. She showed him cell phone pictures and said that was what she wanted.

The smartphone camera is 18 years old and young people don't know any different.

The camera industry is doomed
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Old 01-28-2019   #16
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I have a now ancient 2015 iPhone 6 which as a Snapshooter does fantastic, as long as light levels aren't too low. Newer generations brought in a lot of computational improvements and I am very intrigued by Google's Night Vision software (look it up). That basically stacks multiple exposures in low light conditions and with processing gets you a picture.

I rely on a quite tough basic 12MP m43 camera that I think of upgrading to an EM5 II type-level of camera. Despite the improvements, I actually prefer to spend it on the hobby side of film and slow shooting. Many times the files just sit around...

BTW I saw an ebay backed promo for a Canon 4000D with kit lens for 210€. Cheap, really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John E Earley View Post
On another forum someone mentioned that he was discussing with a soon-to-be bride what she wanted for her photos of the event. She showed him cell phone pictures and said that was what she wanted.

The smartphone camera is 18 years old and young people don't know any different.

The camera industry is doomed
Your comment came in while I wrote mine but chose to edit it in.

Not really, I now live in a Student city and have seen more kids doing film photography than I'd expected to. Attended a small meeting with 12 people and at least 4 mentioned picking up film recently. 35mm P&S are through the roof. If something, it's a bit of a counter trend.
But yes, I think the perceived difference between phone and digital camera is not the same as the "extra mile" with film. Kodak are happy with Ektachrome being successful and testing to market 120.

Last edited by Prest_400 : 01-28-2019 at 07:16. Reason: Add quote
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Old 01-28-2019   #17
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For a moment there, smartphones had just enough quality to get one interested in photography and then buy a real camera. Not anymore, most smartphone users will never buy an actual camera.

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Old 01-28-2019   #18
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In this vein, you should see the look on kids faces when they ask to look through the viewfinder of my OM-1. All my OM bodies have either the 1-4 (all matte) or 1-10 (same with grid) screens. With the standard f1.8 they are amazed at the view. Sure beats the 'stinky diaper' hold of their cell phones.
I am a bit surprised that there is no clip-on, pop up hood/magnifier for cell phones (least ways, none that I've seen). Something like the old fold down waist level finders on TLR's. With adjustable side clips, or even little elastic cords one could be made to fit a variety of different phones and would exclude light from shining on the screen so you could actually see it clearly. The eyepiece should also be focusable. It would be cheaper to make and sell it if was a fixed 'chimney' type finder, but more appealing sales wise if it were designed to be foldable.
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Old 01-28-2019   #19
Bill Clark
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Thanks for you thoughts and comments Cal.

Here is a link to Facebook to the family reunion photograph I made with my iPhone.

I have another corrected of the young fellow that’s looking down but it’s on my iMac.

Link:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

Simple. Smiles!
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Old 01-28-2019   #20
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The visual arts has really changed since the advent of the digital image. No more do we wait for the latest issue of ShutterBug. We want it now. And we don't really need a traditional camera to get it. That void is now taken with cell phones, pads, computer cameras, GoPros, home security systems. We have images everywhere. We just don't need cameras anymore.
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Old 01-28-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleearth View Post
For a moment there, smartphones had just enough quality to get one interested in photography and then buy a real camera. Not anymore, most smartphone users will never buy an actual camera.
The elephant in the room is the quality of smartphone pictures: they are very good. Not as good as a dedicated camera, but obviously good enough- and getting better faster than their dedicated counterparts.
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Old 01-28-2019   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
Thanks for you thoughts and comments Cal.

Here is a link to Facebook to the family reunion photograph I made with my iPhone.

I have another corrected of the young felker that’s looking down but it’son my iMac.

Link:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

Simple. Smiles!
Bill,

Call me antisocial, even though my gal is a celib and digital influencer who did a TED Talk and even won a "Shorty Award" in the fashion catagory against Victoria Beckham recently, I don't do any Social Media, nor do I even text.

"Maggie" pays for a flip phone, and pretty much I leave it at home and use it as an answering machine. For me the world would be a better place without cellphones. All these distracted people, and the amount of car accidents and fatalities are increasing.

New cars are safer than ever, and I say the increase in accidents and fatalities are mostly due to distracted driving. Here in NYC on the street I see a culture of limited attention span, short sightedness, and people not aware of their surroundings. I hate to use the word, but I will use the word "clueless."

My gal, a PhD academic college professor, can't function without being wired. Something like walking in NYC gets complicated because she is so hyperstimulated, distracted, and relies on her phone as a lifestyle.

One thing I learned from my gal though is that if you want to stand out, don't do what everybody else is doing. Four years ago the only digital camera I owned was the Leica Monochrom, and doing a Fashion Blog in all black and white was novel (actually pretty hard to do). Her blog got lots of attention because of all the B&W only photography.

That is why I print (Piezography), still shoot film that I will wet print one day, don't scan, don't post photography... I'm cool with being an outsider. Again anti-social behavior...

Canon also makes printers: not many photographers print anymore. Printers or photographers who print are kinda rare. My guess is that perhaps less than 10 percent of photogs on RFF print. Most photographs remain just files or are just posted on the Internet.
For me my images are for printing large where image quality really counts. Big prints don't lie. A computer screen, even a calibrated 27 inch EIZO, cannot show or display what I captured. I basically can print what I can't see on my EIZO, even in a dim room with the contrast lowered to 50 Lux.

Cal
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Old 01-28-2019   #23
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I hate to burst your bubble, but given the frequency and length of your posts on RFF, you can't remotely be deemed anti-social. You head up the monthly NYC meet-ins for goodness sake.
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Old 01-28-2019   #24
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Everything has its beginning...middle..and end...cameras too..
Think Kodak..
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Old 01-28-2019   #25
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I hate to burst your bubble, but given the frequency and length of your posts on RFF, you can't remotely be deemed anti-social. You head up the monthly NYC meet-ins for goodness sake.
PTP,

Many times in life I have stood alone. The persona I present here on RFF is not really me. In real life, even though I live in NYC surrounded by millions, I basically am a loner and always have been.

It is true that I have many posts here, but realize I only registered on RFF perhaps in 2007, so divide my amount of posting over a twelve year period and the amount of posting is not that high.

I am cursed that I stand out in a crowd. I also have this tendency/talent to bring out either the good or the bad in people, but I assure you that even though I can be very-very social, I am happiest when I'm alone.

Back when Ronald Ray-Gun was President, I worked at Los Alamos on one of his "Star Wars" projects, a Neutral Partical Beam Weapon prototype that was to be space based, to shoot down Intercontinental Ballistic Missles in their boost phase before they vaporize us.

I did a Henry David Thourogh and lived in a log cabin 47 miles from civilization in the Santa Fe National Forest. My cabin was so remote that I got no TV reception. The small community I lived in was just 80 mailboxes on State Highway 4. Most people do not understand or know peace like I do. Not many know what it is truely like to be alone.

Cal
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Old 01-28-2019   #26
David Hughes
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They could always start making film cameras; I gather that's booming fttb...

Regards, David
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Old 01-28-2019   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Surely the film camera industry had its ups and downs and predictions of demise too during its long lifespan. Once you sell something to everyone, it gets harder to sell it to them again and again. Like computers. This happens to anything that becomes a mature industry. They just become another appliance.
This.

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Old 01-28-2019   #28
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I would speculate that the sales of film cameras today are a fraction of the sales of digital cameras. And digital camera sales are probably less than sales of smart phones.
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Old 01-28-2019   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
I would speculate that the sales of film cameras today are a fraction of the sales of digital cameras. And digital camera sales are probably less than sales of smart phones.
I would speculate that your speculation is correct.
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Old 01-28-2019   #30
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Once a mfg tries to sell an m43 camera for $3000 we will know that digi cam sales are
doomed.
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Old 01-28-2019   #31
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To see the outlook you need to know about the gear. How it is used.
Obviosly Canonikon is not going to sell cameras in large quantities as it was before decent cameras in the phones.
But it is impossible to replace cameras with mobiles.
In various applications.
Canon also makes cameras for motion pictures and broadcasts, news, production.
In December I was in one of oldest USA college.
They have racks and shelves stuffed with Canon cameras. Because Canon is also the service.
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Old 01-28-2019   #32
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[quote=Calzone;2864861]PTP,

I did a Henry David Thourogh and lived in a log cabin 47 miles from civilization in the Santa Fe National Forest. My cabin was so remote that I got no TV reception. The small community I lived in was just 80 mailboxes on State Highway 4. Most people do not understand or know peace like I do. Not many know what it is truely like to be alone.

That's funny Cal..my wife and I kinda did the opposite. I grew up in the NYC area.. We moved from Princeton to a town with under 100 mailboxes in the mountains on southern NM
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Old 01-28-2019   #33
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[quote=chipgreenberg;2864890]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
PTP,

I did a Henry David Thourogh and lived in a log cabin 47 miles from civilization in the Santa Fe National Forest. My cabin was so remote that I got no TV reception. The small community I lived in was just 80 mailboxes on State Highway 4. Most people do not understand or know peace like I do. Not many know what it is truely like to be alone.

That's funny Cal..my wife and I kinda did the opposite. I grew up in the NYC area.. We moved from Princeton to a town with under 100 mailboxes in the mountains on southern NM
Chip,

I grew up on Lawn-Guy-Land. I miss New Mexico. I lived in La Cueva near Jemez Springs and not far from the hot springs. Christmas in Santa Fe on Canyon Road is truely wonderful.

A dream came true when I bought a 1984 Jeep Scrambler with a half cab from a little old lady from Santa Fe. Only 20K miles and was a cherry. Later on I would install a Corvette engine, a Ford nine inch rear with Lincoln Continental brakes, and a NV 4500 200 pound cast iron tranny with both an underdrive and an overdrive.

I know it was a dumb thing to do, but I would wander around by myself in 4 wheel drive low rock crawling. Lucky I never got stuck. Did a lot of dumb things back then...

I'm with a city gal now. No car. She would never live rural.

At Princeton Grumman built a Tokamac nuclear reactor. I was not involved with that lab.

Kinda funny, but the world is not that big.

Cal
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Old 01-28-2019   #34
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Quote:
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Surely the film camera industry had its ups and downs and predictions of demise too during its long lifespan. Once you sell something to everyone, it gets harder to sell it to them again and again. Like computers. This happens to anything that becomes a mature industry. They just become another appliance.
No, they didn't. Not like this. Film cameras continued to evolve and improve up until the end. The Nikon F6 and Canon 1V were absolutely at the top of the line, better than cameras before them. Today we see the tiniest iterations between digital cameras and as a result, few buy them and sales decline.

During the film era, camera companies had the moms, pops, and uncle bob's to sell mass market cameras too, to boost profits.

Today they have none of that, all lost to cell phones.

As a result, prices have to rise significantly to replace that lost revenue. People such as myself simply stopped buying new camera gear. The costs are too high. If I buy (and I rarely do) it's used gear, not new.

I think Canon's CEO is spot on when he sees massive declines in the future. I rarely ever see cameras that are not cell phones. No one buys anymore. I go to my two kids school events and never is there a camera. I stopped bringing my own cameras because I was tired of sticking out in the crowd. Now I just use my iPhone X to photograph my kids.

The battle against the cell phone has been lost. Canon, Nikon, Sony, and the tiny players cannot replace the lost revenue from the mass consumer. They are gone and never coming back.
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Old 01-28-2019   #35
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Quote:
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I would speculate that the sales of film cameras today are a fraction of the sales of digital cameras. And digital camera sales are probably less than sales of smart phones.
Considering that there's next to no new film cameras actually available for purchase, that's not a risky prediction.
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Old 01-28-2019   #36
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The second quote sums up what I think will happen. Cameras for casual use will all but disappear. This will be a huge shake up for the industry. There will no longer be a big consumer base to support the pro level equipment development.

This will lead to the almost unthinkable, an inversion where Leica's prices will look reasonable. Cannon and Nikon will be the outsiders without the knowledge to make high quality products on a shoe string like Leica. Now I hear the gasps but that's what Leica does, it has no base of other products or consumer models to support their product development.

So get ready for Leica prices on the cameras that will be left...

Joe
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Old 01-28-2019   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
When I went on holiday to Girona last September I noticed only two cameras the entire week - my M3 and a friend's FED. In a busy touristy city I did not see a single camera - all the photos were being taken by phones or tablets.

I sat by a friend at Christmas lunch who is a professional photographer of some distinction. He showed me a portrait he'd taken on the latest Iphone. His comment - with output like that, who needs a dedicated camera?

I think Canon know their market pretty well.
Agree 100%. Canon know what they are talking about. I have seen the same as you as I travel, as has Canon's CEO. He knows that they have lost the mass consumer, forever.

Canon is also a big name in printers. No one prints anymore. It's been many, many years since anyone has shown me a print of one of their photos. It's always on the phone or computer.

Canon's printer sales are surely dying just as their camera sales are.
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Old 01-28-2019   #38
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I would speculate that the sales of film cameras today are a fraction of the sales of digital cameras. And digital camera sales are probably less than sales of smart phones.
Your speculation is not quite correct.
Here are the sales numbers:
- In 2017 about 25 million digital cameras have been sold.
And a bit more than 8 million film cameras.
- In 2018 a bit less than 20 million digital cameras have been sold.
And about 10 million film cameras. In both years most of the sold film cameras have been instant film cameras (instax and Polaroid).

Cheers, Jan
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Old 01-28-2019   #39
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No one prints anymore.
That is a myth spread only in photo forums. Has nothing to do with reality.
There are more than a dozen big factories for photo paper globally.
The photo paper market has a volume of more than 400 million mē p.a.
It's a huge market.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 01-28-2019   #40
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Stafford - UK
Posts: 2,219
Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
Your speculation is not quite correct.
Here are the sales numbers:
- In 2017 about 25 million digital cameras have been sold.
And a bit more than 8 million film cameras.
- In 2018 a bit less than 20 million digital cameras have been sold.
And about 10 million film cameras. In both years most of the sold film cameras have been instant film cameras (instax and Polaroid).

Cheers, Jan
That is quite interesting. Do you know what other cameras are still in production and have been taken into account?
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Regards,
Pan


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