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Author Topic: "Phones Imperil Fancy Cameras" -- WSJ  (Read 1295 times)

distant.star

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"Phones Imperil Fancy Cameras" -- WSJ
« on: November 08, 2013, 10:31:55 PM »
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This appeared in yesterday's, The Wall Street Journal. Since items often can't be accessed there, I've copied the whole piece to read here:

Phones Imperil Fancy Cameras
Shipments of High-End Models Are Falling as Mobile Devices Gain in Popularity


By
Juro Osawa
Updated Nov. 7, 2013 7:41 p.m. ET

Declining sales of high-end cameras and lenses are raising an alarming question for companies like Canon Inc. and Nikon Corp: Could the proliferation of camera-enabled, app-heavy smartphones be crushing not only the simple point-and-shoot, but premium models as well?

This year, shipments of what's called "interchangeable-lens cameras"—high-end models that let users swap out different lenses—are diving suddenly after years of robust growth. Most of those are digital single-lens reflex, or DSLR, cameras—the bulky models used by professional photographers and enthusiasts.

Research firm IDC expects shipments of such cameras to fall 9.1% to 17.4 million units from 19.1 million units last year.

...

Truncated by mod - if a subscription is required for access to the article, reposting the full text here is a violation of WSJ's copyright.  Here is the link to the original article:


http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304672404579183643696236868?tesla=y
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Radiating

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Re: "Phones Imperil Fancy Cameras" -- WSJ
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2013, 11:29:33 PM »
.
This appeared in yesterday's, The Wall Street Journal. Since items often can't be accessed there, I've copied the whole piece to read here:

Phones Imperil Fancy Cameras
Shipments of High-End Models Are Falling as Mobile Devices Gain in Popularity


By
Juro Osawa
Updated Nov. 7, 2013 7:41 p.m. ET

Declining sales of high-end cameras and lenses are raising an alarming question for companies like Canon Inc. and Nikon Corp: Could the proliferation of camera-enabled, app-heavy smartphones be crushing not only the simple point-and-shoot, but premium models as well?

This year, shipments of what's called "interchangeable-lens cameras"—high-end models that let users swap out different lenses—are diving suddenly after years of robust growth. Most of those are digital single-lens reflex, or DSLR, cameras—the bulky models used by professional photographers and enthusiasts.

Research firm IDC expects shipments of such cameras to fall 9.1% to 17.4 million units from 19.1 million units last year.

...

Truncated by mod - if a subscription is required for access to the article, reposting the full text here is a violation of WSJ's copyright.  Here is the link to the original article:


http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304672404579183643696236868?tesla=y

"Some analysts say the impact on high-end cameras from smartphones and apps is exaggerated. "Whenever the market declines, people tend to try to come up with structural reasons," says J.P. Morgan JPM +4.47%  analyst Hisashi Moriyama."

Yep. Comparing a smartphone to a DSLR is ridiculous. For example the Canon 5D Mark III has around 900 time less noise given the same level of light, and 800 times more dynamic range than a smartphone camera.

Most photographers care about a 5%-10% increase in any of those fields, when you're considering differences of 90,000% and 80,000% that's significant.

Smartphones aren't touching DSLRS ever. The sensor is nearly half the size of the screen of a full frame...

I think this has more to do with the supply of people who wanted to get into photography drying up. Everyone who wants a DSLR has one.

mvrbnsn

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Re: "Phones Imperil Fancy Cameras" -- WSJ
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 11:49:09 PM »
If you think about it, many more people embraced photography when digital cameras came on the scene, largely because of the simplicity and convenience vs. film cameras. Probably a good percentage of those consumers were satisfied with "good enough". So now that some smart phones are roughly as capable as compact cameras, the phones are "good enough" for their photo purposes.

In my estimation, most of those consumers were not and never would become photo enthusiasts. It seems likely that the decline in sales is due to a cyclical change--namely that the swell of camera buyers is tapering off, back to primarily those who are really serious about photography, either as a hobby or vocation.

danski0224

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Re: "Phones Imperil Fancy Cameras" -- WSJ
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2013, 07:03:29 AM »
+1 on the "everyone that wants a DSLR has one" theme.

I imagine that the few other people I know with a DSLR, kit lens and nothing else, can't be the only ones out there. For those people, that combo is apparently enough. It starts costing some serious money to move out of the "kit lens" range. I loaned a relative a nice lens, and although the difference could be easily seen, the cost of the lens is seen as a major obstacle.

Significant photo quality upgrades seem to be lacking in new models (not that what is here now is bad). Non-techie people won't move to the next model for Wi-Fi features.

My smartphone takes some pretty darn good images for what it is. I tried the panorama feature, at close range, and it did what I needed it to do. Compared to the previous version, I can take panorama photos in potrait *and* landscape, and in either direction (can't do that in camera with my DSLR).

I can see pretty easily how smartphones are taking DSLR sales away from casual users.
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bholliman

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Re: "Phones Imperil Fancy Cameras" -- WSJ
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2013, 08:32:57 AM »
Smart phones could take away some of the sales of entry level DSLR's.  We have neighbor who bought a low-end Nikon DSLR roughly 8 years ago.  She found it too heavy and difficult to use, so has exclusively used her iPhone for pictures for several years.  She thinks I'm crazy for carrying around a heavy DSLR and lenses when "phones take pictures just as good".

Of course, phone cameras can't touch sales of the mid to higher end DSLR's, since people buying those systems generally know what they are doing and understand the limited capabilities of phone cameras compared with a good DSLR and interchangeable lenses.
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distant.star

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Re: "Phones Imperil Fancy Cameras" -- WSJ
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2013, 11:48:45 AM »
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No matter how it all ends up going, I have a short-term hope. Given the desperate need to boost sales, I'm hoping we'll see deeper discounts than ever this holiday season. A 5D3 at $1,999 would go a long way toward depleting inventory excesses. At such a price, I'd seriously consider having a second one!
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