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Snoopy8

Oldies Keeping Shrinking Camera Market Alive

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An interesting infographic and article from LensVid on the shrinking camera market. The predicted 2017 global market will be 1/6 of the units sold in 2010, a  steep decline. :bye:

As we all know, the smartphone is killing the camera market.  And us oldies are the ones keeping the market alive...   :console:

Infographics-2016-03 smaller.jpg

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7 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

As we all know, the smartphone is killing the camera market.  And us oldies are the ones keeping the market alive...  

Well the higher end smartphone cameras can do 4K video at 30fps and mid-tier ones can do Full HD video.  Low light performance has been improved. Stills may be able to be taken with an expanded dynamic range achieved by the phone camera automatically taking two or more photos in very quick succession at different exposures. And the phones are compact.

You do get better performance with a mid-priced dedicated camera but you have to pay a substantial price, the thing is bulky, and there may be many dials and buttons to learn about, requiring quite a bit of time to get used to.

I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 which with a fairly basic zoom lens set me back almost $1k. There are certain times when I use this camera with fixed focus and fixed exposure to take video of musical performances and it does a very good job in that role. And there are times I use it to advantage outdoors for scenery stills (particularly with the zoom lens). However I find that even when I'm on a tour in a foreign country I'll often leave the dedicated camera in the hotel room, and use my smartphone instead!  It is just so much easier to carry a smart phone around rather than a bulky camera.  

As an "oldy" I have more opportunities to use a dedicated camera, and I'm not on a tight budget as I was when younger. But even so, such a purchase can be a little hard to justify.

Edited by MLXXX

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Did not realise you are another M43 camera (your G7) owner.  Both Chopsus and I have Olympus EM1 (Mark 1) plus another M43 camera as well.  And I have a number of lenses.  I do use the EM1 at home and while traveling.  Currently using the bulky but versatile 12-40mm lense at home.  For travel, I like to use a small Pana 20 mm fixed lense which makes it compact and useful in low light. I am on the more serious end of photography and will remain a camera & lense buyer for quite a while. 

However, I am finding that I am using the smartphone for photos more than I used to.  The key reason for this increase is Whatsapp which has driven an increase in exchanging photos between family & friends. 

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33 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

Did not realise you are another M43 camera (your G7) owner. 

I like the 4K at 100Mbps video capability. Enables me to shoot with a fairly wide field angle then crop and pan with precision in the video editor, and retain sufficient quality for a Full HD final clip.

(Using a readily available hack method, I altered the selectable video frame rates to NTSC region rates rather than the default PAL region rates. This gave me access to 30p which I find more useful than 25p.) 

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Smart phones and their cameras (which do keep getting better) are preferred because of the convenience of a small device that fits in your pocket, takes a very good photo (or shoots HD/UHD video), can edit that photo/video on the go, and can upload that photo/video to social media.  Now there is even an add on lens for the iPhone.  I guess it will work with the Androids.    

I am only just coming out of the dark ages when it comes to phones (I currently have a Samsung S5) and this thing is brilliant.  Some of the images I have captured are better than any actual camera I've owned, even when full manual settings were used.  And you have most of the user adjustable settings that most people don't use on those camera anyway or you point > shoot > edit > upload > repeat.   

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Part of me wonders if camera and lens makers aren't themselves to blame with pricing. The seem to have made the deliberate decision to keep prices high. Preferring to create a premium niche approach where none is required.There's little reason a $5000 camera should cost more than a $500 camera these days. 

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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10 hours ago, MLXXX said:

I like the 4K at 100Mbps video capability. Enables me to shoot with a fairly wide field angle then crop and pan with precision in the video editor, and retain sufficient quality for a Full HD final clip.

(Using a readily available hack method, I altered the selectable video frame rates to NTSC region rates rather than the default PAL region rates. This gave me access to 30p which I find more useful than 25p.) 

I suppose this is no different to using high resolution photo with minimal compose and do the work in crop & edit.  Can do this on a smartphone for photos, but what a pain it will be for videos.

8 hours ago, MarkTecher said:

Smart phones and their cameras (which do keep getting better) are preferred because of the convenience of a small device that fits in your pocket, takes a very good photo (or shoots HD/UHD video), can edit that photo/video on the go, and can upload that photo/video to social media.  Now there is even an add on lens for the iPhone.  I guess it will work with the Androids.    

I am only just coming out of the dark ages when it comes to phones (I currently have a Samsung S5) and this thing is brilliant.  Some of the images I have captured are better than any actual camera I've owned, even when full manual settings were used.  And you have most of the user adjustable settings that most people don't use on those camera anyway or you point > shoot > edit > upload > repeat.   

Your sentiments and millions of others,  are reflected in the camera market stats. 

3 hours ago, pgdownload said:

Part of me wonders if camera and lens makers aren't themselves to blame with pricing. The seem to have made the deliberate decision to keep prices high. Preferring to create a premium niche approach where none is required.There's little reason a $5000 camera should cost more than a $500 camera these days.

$5,000 digital cameras, with one exception, give you super high resolutions with minimal noise, ultra low light capabilities and for very fast moving subjects.  All with a titanium body that could survive a nuclear war and subsequent winter. Most of us do not need these capabilities. 

The exception I referred to is Leica, whose digital cameras have a slightly different body from Sony or Panasonic but often with the same fixed lenses.  And without things like autofocus!  During the film days, Leica cameras had an advantage of a superb lense backed up by excellent body mechanicals. But in the digital world, camera electronics change rapidly. Paying USD6,500 for a camera that becomes obsolete within a few years is ridiculous.  Talk of stupid people throwing money away!  :wacko:

Back to the question on whether camera and lens makers aren't themselves to blame with pricing? I think yes.  Nikon and Canon, who have the largest share of the market, have been banking on the prestige of being seen to have an expensive SLR.  LOOK! I have an expensive camera and super expensive large heavy zoom lenses which are destroying my shoulders and back.  Please come and steal it from me!  :P

Olympus and Panasonic probably recognised this issue better than Nikon and Canon with the adoption of mirrorless cameras and lower prices, but being smaller players, will not save the market.

 

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6 hours ago, pgdownload said:

Part of me wonders if camera and lens makers aren't themselves to blame with pricing. The seem to have made the deliberate decision to keep prices high. Preferring to create a premium niche approach where none is required.There's little reason a $5000 camera should cost more than a $500 camera these days. 

Regards

Peter Gillespie

The price of electronics generally do fall when high volumes are sold, but the price of good optics won't.  D-SLR cameras cost what they do because they are, and have always been, a higher end or even niche in the market.  They are not the same as a point and shoot that sells for a few hundred at Big-W.  

Given most phone cameras are better now than said point and shoot, less people buy them these days.  The separate lens market has always been high end.    

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