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Smart phones are killing camera sales


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#1 toni-a

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 07:26 PM

Point and shoot cameras seem to have no future with the development of phone cameras, interchangeable lens cameras are also suffering graphs speak for themselves

source

 

https://www.statista...mera-shipments/

 

chartoftheday_5782_digital_camera_shipme



#2 southerncross

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 07:41 PM

Market saturation? 

 

At some point you have more equipment than you need :D

 

Hopefully we will still have point and shoot compact cameras under 500 $.



#3 Rover

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 08:50 PM

Point and shoot cameras do have some kind of future if you consider the fact that none of the smartphones have zoom lenses (to the best of my knowledge), AND  their image quality, on the average, is still way below the decent compacts with larger sensors (and I'm not speaking of the 1" sensors and larger - these will not be surpassed by the cellphones in the foreseeable future). Quite a few people I know are using decent dedicated compacts (not that $99 noname junk from the convenience store, of course) as a carry anywhere camera (though many have switched to µ4/3 for that purpose). The likes of Sony RX series, Panasonic LX and others are just a separate market from the smartphones. I would love to have something like a Sony RX100 Mark 4 or Panasonic LX100... The aforementioned $99 junk P&S cameras... well, if they're going the way of the dinosaur, good riddance. :)

By the way, Southerncross has a very valid point... the market is saturated, the evolution has slowed and now shows few radical leaps - just like it did with personal computers, so there's often very little incentive to upgrade. I'm typing this on a laptop made in 2007; my main camera is a 2009 model and I'm not inclined to upgrade it in any foreseeable future - unless, of course, I happen (God forbid!) to break it, lose it, or have it stolen. Then again, I'm buying a lot of equipment used (certainly the lenses, but some of the cameras as well, including this present one) so I'm not counted in that tally (over 15 years, I've bought 10 cameras - 3 P&S, 5 DSLR and 2 mirrorless, two of which - incidentally, my main bodies, both Canon 1D series, were used). Three of these cameras (2 P&S, 1 DSLR, 2 mirrorless) have been given away as gifts to various womenpeople of significance. :)



#4 obican

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 10:10 PM

The most saddening fact for me is that nobody wants anything to do with older digital cameras. Something quite hot today will be outdated and pretty worthless in a few years. Just like the high end film cameras of old times, you can buy a pretty high end digital camera of a few years age for quite cheap today. 

 

But would you like to? Who wants to have a 5D Classic today? 1Dsm2 anyone? Sony Nex 7? Nikon D100? How about a Fuji X-Pro1 in mint condition? A 22MP medium format back that only works tethered to a laptop and crops all lenses severely?

 

Actually the same goes for most film cameras. Where I live you can pick up a Mamiya RB67 set for less than 100$ in working condition, complete with a lens and a back. It will probably rival any digital camera when it comes to technical image quality but it weighs about 3 kgs with the lightest loadout. Nobody will want to use a Canon T90 save for a few enthusiasts and even many field-ready Nikon F5 are gathering dust on shelves. 

 

However, there are still many desirable film cameras. Hasselblad XPan prices have doubled in the past year. V series (500C/M and such) prices are on the rise as well. Relatively cheap Leicas that you could've bought under 1k$ (M4-P, M2, M6 etc.) have all risen over 1k$ and you can't simply get one in user condition for a daily shooter, this one is thanks to the collectors though. Mamiya 6 and 7 series are also on the rise. Used Fuji's 667 series still sell for their retail price, they simply never lost any value.

 

On the lower end of the price spectrum, Nikon FE and FM series are still sought after as they are probably the most sensible manual focus 35mm SLR cameras ever made. Canon A-1 and AE-1 models are also quite sought after in the used market here but we might be an exception. Somewhere else it may be the old MD/MC mount Minoltas. 

 

Most of these cameras won't lose much of their value anymore and some may even rise, unlike low and mid-range digital cameras of any time. Save for the Leicas, about everything I mentioned above are seeing field use every day and most will continue to do so for many decades. Any relatively old digital camera still desirable today, simply won't.

 

If mediocrity goes on killing digital camera sales at this pace, many manufacturers will simply drop their lines one by one, most probably starting from the bottom. Again, you can look at the film camera industry; 95% of the film cameras you can buy new today, are pretty high end in their class. Digital compacts are almost dead, save for megazooms and even interchangable market is changing severely. Canon and Nikon have pretty much stopped development of their lower end models, they simply add minor features and re-release them year after year. Sony is not even doing that. A mount is A6x series and above while mirrorless is pretty much A6xxx and above and that recently included a 300% price increase as well.

 

As a hobbyist, we are being forced to pay more and more for a contemporary model, including lenses. Most companies have dropped developing cheap primes in favor of zooms at all focal ranges. You can't really set out and get 3 primes for under 500$ anymore in most systems. If you are a pro, your equipment pays for itself but for the hobbyist, this is getting more and more expensive, with diminishing returns in what we really end up getting back. And that's even in the short run. In the long run, about all the modern equipment, especially mirrorless bodies and lenses, will become obsolete and inoperable by manufacturer's choice.



#5 Klaus

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 12:26 AM

Back in the days "you had to take a camera with you" in order to make decent photos (decent as in "decent enough" for most people).

That started to change in 2014 where at least the high end models started to have "good" cameras. Today even the mid-spec smartphones are there and a improved cameras is a mission statement for every new smartphone generation. So the issue is .. you have your "camera" with you all the time now anyway. Why bother with a dedicated one.

Let's face it - smartphone cameras are about as good as conventional digicams 3-4 years ago. 

 

I'm still waiting for a smartphone for camera enthusiasts. The Panasonic CM-1 was almost there but now the real McCoy please.


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#6 Arthur Macmillan

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 02:51 AM

I've recently looked at some photos taken with 8 and 10 MP Canon DSLRs.  I printed 8 1/2 x 11 inch shots that looked fine.  I'm dreaming of purchasing a Canon 5D Mark III, now that the Mark IV is out.  I believe that will be high enough quality for me.  I will never have to upgrade again!

So I wonder...are sales dropping only because of phones?  Or could it be that we simply have cameras that are good enough for us now?

As a side note, I was given someone's no longer used Kyocera (Yashika T4 Super, I think) point and shoot 35mm film camera.  I assumed it would be worthless, like most not collectible film cameras.  Oddly enough there was still a strong demand for it a few months ago when I looked it up on eBay.  They were selling for double the price they sold for new!  I didn't think any compact film camera could be worth anything, but apparently this was a favorite of photographers who take candid shots.

I just looked again.  One is selling on eBay for over $400!  I'm not sure why there is still a strong following for a camera of this type (small point and shoot 35mm film).  Part of me thinks it might have to do with authenticity.  A set of negatives might be more convincing than a digital photo, as far as not being doctored?  Or are there still some die hard film lovers out there?



#7 Reinier

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 09:30 AM

'So I wonder...are sales dropping only because of phones?  Or could it be that we simply have cameras that are good enough for us now?'

 

I think both. And for most people there is no need to go beyond a 5D III or IV or even a 80D or D500 from Nikon or whatever other model and brand. There are a few exceptions, of course, but in general most people don't even need a better camera then the Canon EOS 400D for the way they take pictures and watch them.

 

And why carry around a big chunky Dslr, whilst there are some many good alternatives? I wonder if I stick to Dslr, because of it.

 

Kind regards,
Reinier



#8 Rover

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 03:25 PM

obican, I would gladly use a NEX-7 or a 1DS Mark II. Though I'd prefer not to bother with something like 5D or D100. :)



#9 obican

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 06:17 PM

Wish they put the A7 sensor and A7Rii firmware into a Nex 7 body and keep the Tri-Navi exactly as is...



#10 backcountryskier

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 08:33 PM

I think phone- and computer-enabled cameras are killing the flip-phones and PCs alike...

 

With regards to the interchangeable lens segment - I wonder if this reflects the maturation of digital camera bodies?  I remember the 20D being a huge upgrade from the 10D, and similarly the 350D to the 400D.  Then came live-view and video.  Lots of reasons to upgrade.  Nowadays the new models have minor new feature sets.



#11 Arthur Macmillan

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 10:47 PM

I wasn't going to say anything, but we're all friends here, right?

 

I'm looking forward to being a vulture.  When people start dumping their gear for their precious smart phones, I'll hopefully cash in on some real bargains!  Tired of carrying those L lenses around?  I could probably use a couple!


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#12 obican

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 03:30 AM

I wasn't going to say anything, but we're all friends here, right?

 

I'm looking forward to being a vulture.  When people start dumping their gear for their precious smart phones, I'll hopefully cash in on some real bargains!  Tired of carrying those L lenses around?  I could probably use a couple!

 

I'm already hoarding Sony and Minolta's great A-Mount lenses :D


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#13 Arthur Macmillan

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 03:01 PM

I'm already hoarding Sony and Minolta's great A-Mount lenses :D

 

Absolutely.  You know, I jumped into the Canon camp, and it seems a good fit.  But there are some real bargains out their for all of us!

 

Time is on my side, yes it is.
Time is on my side, yes it is.
'Cause I got the DSLR, the kind that you need.
You'll come runnin' back (I knew you would one day),
You'll come runnin' back (Baby I told you before),
You'll come runnin' back to me.



#14 Rainer

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 05:56 PM

Who wants to have a 5D Classic today?

 

Actually I am using mine with the same joy as when I bought

it nine years ago. And I'm still satisfied with the results.

 

Anyhow ... that doesn't help to bring up camera sales either.

 

Rainer



#15 JoJu

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 06:37 PM

Exactly. Go and buy a couple of new bodies!  :D

 

There simply is not that much innovation on cameras as the manufacturers want to make us believe. Especially in terms of ergonomics, usabilty - a phone with a decent camera has it's advantages and is most of the time with the owner. Quickly out, quickly switched on, usually with touchscreen focus and exposure adjustment - that alone is not so easy to find in any dedicated camera.

 

I think, for the environment it's a good thing not to throw these devices away each one or two years. I also think, if the manufacturers could focus on sustainable products - firmware upgrades, sensor exchanges, LCD against touchscreen exchanges - it would help them more than throwing out a new model (new name / number with two more features  :rolleyes: ) each 3 months.



#16 obican

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 07:59 PM

Forget about modular bodies to exchange features as you go along, even lenses and sometimes the lens systems are designed to be obsolete, disposable products these days. Especially the mirrorless ones.



#17 JoJu

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 08:59 PM

Could you explain a bit the part 

 

 

Especially the mirrorless ones.

?

 

One big strength of Fuji mirrorless is firmware upgrades - and not only one or two to fix bugs and mistakes. Since I bought my first X-E2, they delivered updates up to current version 4.01 which gave me an electronic shutter, more focus-points, better manual focus and a lot more stuff I normally would expect to need to pay for. Fuji is of all camera manufacturers I know and tried the one with a real big sustainability.

 

X-T1, although no longer in production got version 5.01. The same goes for their lenses - ever heard of a lens firmware upgrade you could do - except of rather new Sigma and the new Tamrons? I think it has a reason that PhaseOne delivers backs and bodies separately, it's all about investment.

 

That also will be the big strength of their "medium format" GFX 50S. As there already rumors about M and L models (with bigger/higher MP sensors) I'm pretty sure, that buying the first version today won't let you down in terms of functionality for the next half decade.

 

opposite of that: for each bloody Nikon body a separate battery grip - is that necessary? That's only about making more money, nothing else.



#18 toni-a

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 10:45 PM

Well in every single day I take pictures with my phone, not a single picture is worth printing and athough I print every   week, but why do I still use my mobile camera ? mostly for having on me a record of my patients x ray, and wound and skin condition, I won't carry a DSLR and shoot RAW in my clinic, for each its use, i am not dropping my DSLR for a mobile, with early years digital photography and film era decline, almost everyone shifted digital and bought a compact or a DSLR, however with phone camera era those who don't really care about image quality are happy with their smartphones, pictures taken are almost never printed, the rest aren't affected.

In my opinion if we compare to the 80s we have a big increase in camera use and sale especially SLRs, it's only those who take nothing but snapshots that have been forced to get compacts in the early digital era that moved to phones the rest are unaffected


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#19 JoJu

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 11:03 PM

I would protest, if a doctor takes a picture of me with his private cellphone - just saying  ;) But here in Switzerland with all this secrecies... :ph34r:

 

In my phone there's a camera with something like 0.3 MP, horrible lens, awful interface. But if I one day (far away) decide a smartphone is something useful*, I would take care it has a decent camera - and i'm afraid, not every of them would fit that criteria. It all depends: Bright sunshine gives me on an iPod Touch with 5MP printable pictures. There's HDR and panorama for very quick stitches.

 

* I admit I hate the idea my phone to be smarter than me. And talking to a lot servers...



#20 obican

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 08:01 AM

Could you explain a bit the part 

?

 

 

I did not mean the lack of/existence of firmware updates and continious support by that. 

 

Most (if pretty much not all) of the native mirrorless lenses depend entirely on electronics to work. If you don't connect them, they can't even focus. You can't change the aperture, you can't even open the aperture wide open. So all these lenses will eventually break down and they'll have to be thrown away as parts won't be available and repairs won't be feasible. A serious lot of them don't even have optical adjustments inside.

 

What is more, most of those lenses are also either planned poorly or planned too well so that the company can/will release a new version in a few years to make the old one obselete and mostly worthless. Fuji's 35/1.4 is an example of that. It is optically alright (although not perfect) but the focusing is so slow, pretty much everyone who loves that lens will jump on the new one if it comes out. I get the fact that technology advances in time but come on, that focusing performance was poor even when the lens came out.

 

Same goes for pretty much every lens Sony made in the past years. If you release a 24/1.8 for APS-C which is mediocre for its price range and a 35/2.8 for FF just a few years later which is smaller, focuses faster, sharper, AND cheaper; nobody will want the 24/1.8 and the one you have will not be worth much anymore. Especially since you can't even get lenses designed for that system as the APS-C mirrorless is not Sony's focus anymore. 

 

They also add a lot of "why didn't you implement this on the previous version" features like a sudden IBIS, focus hold buttons, aperture dials etc. If you like those features on the new lenses, why would you buy an older design of them which doesn't have the feature? Why doesn't the 55/1.8 have an aperture ring and a focus hold button? Design-wise, it's already obsolote in their ecosystem even though it's one of the best lenses at that focal length made by anyone. And there is no true replacement for that lens either. 

 

Newest Nikon lenses don't even work on their bodies from a couple of years ago. Actually the whole F Mount is hilarously and horribly non-compatible within itself so that's nothing new but come on, there are people still using D90s which don't work with the newest lenses anymore. It actually didn't even work with older lenses, when I think about it. Couldn't even meter the light with AI-S lenses.

 

Sigma designed their first generation ART lenses so poorly that no matter what you do, you don't get consistent AF with their 50mm and 35mm lenses. Reported a thousand times by various people and won't be fixed unless they release a new version and sell you that. Who will buy the old one that can't even focus properly? I'm fine with getting an older version for cheap if it's not as sharp or maybe focuses slightly slower but can't focus reliably? Naah, I'll pass.

 

A lot of people said many times, you invest in lenses. Is that really the case anymore? How many of the lenses we have will be in working condition in 10 years? I'm not keeping my hopes high for my mirrorless gear. Even if they end up surviving, nobody will want to buy them.

 

If you want to compare this to traditional AF lenses, I have quite a few 80's Minolta AF lenses that I use on a weekly basis. Same goes for most of the Canon lenses released in the 90's. I'm not even mentioning the all-manual mechanical gear that I have.






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