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Tomorrow of the camera industry

This site got into the 10th year. So I'll mention a camera industry.

A graph 'Numbers of camera shipments (2003-2016.1st half') make me being shocked. The total number of built-in lens camera and the lens-interchangeable was on the peak in 2008, then has been declining. And now it's declining almost one fifth of the peak. Camera enthusiasts still talk about new model and the media pushed them up, although it's a story in the shrunken market now.

However the depressing camera industry doesn't means decline of photography. Nothing is changed. People still take a picture with smart phone or photo booth. Remember, how many pictures did you take in a year in old days when the smart phone, or even cell phone, didn't exist? Don't you take much more pictures now than those days? You must take picture with smartphone and retouch it with application then post on the SNS, attach to email or upload on the blog... Don't you think you deal with more photos than before. In old film camera days, the final destination of photo used to be only album or picture frame.

Maybe for most people, the depression of the camera industry is not a serious matter. They don't make sense the camera mania who pay three thousands dollars for just a camera body. Well,getting absorbed in a hobby is always something like that. Nobody can blame them. But for a camera maker, they have to have more wide vision for looking over the market. Even they follow the enthusiast's demand and release expensive camera, the population is declining. The products are not sold so much. The maker reduce the production. Then the price gonna be up and up. Actually the sign appears recently and the price is going up on every new model. The rising price lead another decrease of user and shipments. The maker reached to one conclusion 'The result all comes from spread of smartphone' However the demand of photo is still there. So I think it's not only reason why people turn away from camera.

Of course rising price and lessen choices bother me. But more over the fact I worry is commercial value of photo is also declining. As mentioned before, billions of photos flow over the Internet. Everybody can easily present them to the world. There are many photographers hired with small pay. We tend to think that progress of the digital camera technology make the world everybody can take a high level photo. But it must be misunderstanding. Increasing demand of small photo cuts and reducing production cost lower the value of each picture, I guess. Presenting photo works is getting much easier while making living with photography is getting tough.

Even in the depression of the camera, camera makers release an expensive product as 'Pro-level Camera'. I don't know what kind of pro they picture. The professional photographer who drive Mercedes' Station wagon? As an owner of small business we must think about cost at first. The professional photo gears should be reliable, high cost performance, simple and reliable. Plus at least for me, it should be compact enough. Why taxi driver never buy Rolls-Royce car for their business? Because it cannot recover the expense. So the camera that maker call 'Professional Model' may be an appeal their brand image to the armature photographers.
My current main cameras are the mirroless with small sensor. The maker said 'The family camera for Papas and Mamas' or 'Entry-level model' I hate this kind of narrow target marketing. However I really like the camera itself. Then I got to a conclusion "My photo is always the mine. It never change with changing equipment"

Oh, but if camera makers stop producing a camera, how my life's gonna be? I 'll be a threadless kite.

Nov. 2016

Today's piece
" Tiananmen's souvenir photographer " Beijin, China 2008

fumikatz osada photographie