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
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
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.
" Tiananmen's souvenir photographer " Beijin, China 2008