November 23, 2017, 03:44:44 PM

Author Topic: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?  (Read 5036 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2017, 12:44:32 PM »
There is a change in progress that many do not yet see, but camera companies do see.

People in Asian countries are suddenly able to afford digital cameras, more and more of the young people have smart phones with cameras, but they want something better. China is a gigantic potential market,  India has the same process going on.  Africa can't be far behind.

All this means that the big markets for cameras has already started to shift, and buyers want different products than America / Europe.

Almost 188 million cameras were shipped to Asia thru August this year, more than any other region.  The market has a lot more people who are potentially first time buyers, so the future of camera sales is very bright.

Europe and the USA combined are still the biggest market so they still have plenty of new models targeted at them.

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2017, 12:44:32 PM »

unfocused

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2017, 01:06:50 PM »

The major change that has occurred is that the iPhone revolution changed photography from a commodity-producing enterprise in which the image is the primary goal, to an experience-based enterprise, in which the primary goal is to share feelings and experiences with others. Thus the popularity of selfies, food photos and documenting every moment of one's life.

This is a massive change that most photographers fail to comprehend, because too often, we think that the image itself is the purpose of a photograph. When, for the average person the photograph is just a handy means of sharing an experience.


+1...
That is about as good a summation as I have ever read.

I'd like to take credit for it, but I know it isn't an original thought.

As an aside, the focus on experiences is having a major impact on the entire economy. Young people especially, but all consumers, are moving away from buying commodities to buying experiences. Thus, retailers that sell merchandise are suffering as consumers shift their spending to restaurants, vacations, concerts, etc., that promise an experience. 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2017, 01:47:07 PM »


As an aside, the focus on experiences is having a major impact on the entire economy. Young people especially, but all consumers, are moving away from buying commodities to buying experiences. Thus, retailers that sell merchandise are suffering as consumers shift their spending to restaurants, vacations, concerts, etc., that promise an experience.

I had not heard that.  I know that online sellers, Amazon in particular are eating brick and mortar stores lunch.  I guess I need to read more about this.  I'm sure its true.

unfocused

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2017, 01:55:35 PM »


As an aside, the focus on experiences is having a major impact on the entire economy. Young people especially, but all consumers, are moving away from buying commodities to buying experiences. Thus, retailers that sell merchandise are suffering as consumers shift their spending to restaurants, vacations, concerts, etc., that promise an experience.

I had not heard that.  I know that online sellers, Amazon in particular are eating brick and mortar stores lunch.  I guess I need to read more about this.  I'm sure its true.

https://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/05/millennials-are-prioritizing-experiences-over-stuff.html

https://www.eventbrite.com/blog/academy/millennials-fueling-experience-economy/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2015/06/01/nownershipnoproblem-nowners-millennials-value-experiences-over-ownership/#141949925406






CanonFanBoy

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2017, 08:47:41 PM »
Since the below really stepped on a few toes, please let me explain my view.

At the turn of the millenium, more or less everyone had a camera. The market was gigantic, with room for everyone to produce cameras, lenses, flash... There were billions of cameras around and they all needed film and development and prints that people very rarely did in their homes, so it supported a gigantic service economy too.

About at that point in time, digital cameras took off, going from an odd curiosity priced out of range for most to viable for the masses in the span of roughly 5 years. In 2006 or thereabout, the digital option became better than film for most uses (varies a couple of years depending on who you ask, but most I've talked to center around 2006 at least). There were phones with cameras built in, but if you wanted a photo good enough to print, you had to use a dedicated camera. This caused the masses of people who wanted to still have a camera but transition to digital to buy enormous numbers of compact digital cameras over a span of a surprisingly low number of years.

The smartphone was introduced to the masses in 2007 with the iPhone and quickly followed up in 2008 with HTC Dream as first commercially available Android phone. They had cameras just like the featurephones and they were still crappy. However, they came with a big invention: they completely changed the way we treat pictures. No longer did we primarily take pictures to print and put in albums but we took pictures to share. And not just postage-stamp-sized expensive MMS sharing but reasonably high-resolution images that felt like slightly more than a gimmick: photos of whiteboards in conference rooms, the food we ate in restaurants, selfies... The smartphone invented new ways using pictures but also new ways of sharing pictures. A decade later, you still can't share pictures with your friends from your camera without going through a smartphone.

So, the declining sales we are seeing in the compact camera segment is likely to be dampened to a large extent by people that forgot they now have a smartphone, people that need slightly better pictures than can be had with a smartphone or people too old to learn how to use a smartphone.
Any sort of middle segment (you remember the bulky crossover "prosumer" cameras large as a DSLR but with a fixed zoom lens and tiny sensor?) is even more dead, because there was never any real big target audience anyway.
The DSLR segment would be in free-fall too if it wasn't for the still sizable community of enthusiasts. I don't believe the number of  professional photographers is large enough to sustain such a system as Canon or Nikon have. There wouldn't be a market for even a million cameras a year if only professionals bought them.

We haven't seen the end of the decline in the camera market. Enthusiasts are even rediscovering film, which might lead to even fewer digital camera sales since there are billions of old cameras that are still perfectly serviceable so little to no incentive to produce new exists. I believe we'll see the market shrink by dual-digit percentages year on year for a few more years and then slowly stabilize a bit with only single-digit percentage decreases as the people who knew how to handle film slowly die off.

Unless some real innovation happens again. We are getting used to talking about innovation when all we are really getting is spec bumping and a few convenient features. Sony in particular are masters of this.

We've seen two real innovations hit the camera industry in the last two decades (digitalisation plus picture-sharing-centric photography). If we could have something like holographic or light field photography that really needed larger cameras, we could see the transition away from smartphones as primary cameras. Likewise if smartphone cameras couldn't be made much better but the sharing was properly built into the cameras. Otherwise, people like me who take digital pictures for the print will be but a parenthesis in history.

What happened to the photography industry in 2016?
Innovation in 2007-2008 and feature maturity around 2012.
What we are looking at is the dwindling sales of an arcane product to a diminishing loyal customer base (and a very low number of people that make a living off of them, or bizarre hobbyists, much like the vinyl collectors).

If the phone cameras had a little bit of zoom, say a 24-70/4 equivalent, and a way to trigger external flashes, what would you still use a large clunky camera for? Bird in flight and... some sports perhaps?

If the phones were way larger such that you kept it in a bag/backpack and your camera could send images directly to your friends/nas/dropbox/printer, would you still take photos with your phone?

I'll never understand why so many people think Apple was the first company with a smartphone on the market. The iphone wasn't the first smartphone with a camera either. Not even close when it comes to Apple. I guess people just believe it without researching it. Maybe those folks are too young to remember? Heck, there were phone camera patents as early as the 1950s. Nokia and a few others were there long before Apple was. They were available to the masses. The 1st decade of the 21st century is when the costs of cell service dropped dramatically. The cost is still dropping quickly. THAT is probably the biggest reason for the rapid expansion in the ownership of such devices.

I worked as a BellSouth Mobility affiliate with a store back in the late 80s to the middle of the 90s. I can remember when 400 minutes and no data cost over $400 a month. $400 a month, service was horrible unless close to the interstate, no such thing as a data account and no such thing as texting. If a person could text it was highly unlikely a friend owned a phone to receive it.

Now even some toddlers have phones... sadly.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 08:58:52 PM by CanonFanBoy »
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hne

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2017, 03:35:00 AM »
I'll never understand why so many people think Apple was the first company with a smartphone on the market. The iphone wasn't the first smartphone with a camera either. Not even close when it comes to Apple. I guess people just believe it without researching it. Maybe those folks are too young to remember? Heck, there were phone camera patents as early as the 1950s. Nokia and a few others were there long before Apple was. They were available to the masses. The 1st decade of the 21st century is when the costs of cell service dropped dramatically. The cost is still dropping quickly. THAT is probably the biggest reason for the rapid expansion in the ownership of such devices.

I worked as a BellSouth Mobility affiliate with a store back in the late 80s to the middle of the 90s. I can remember when 400 minutes and no data cost over $400 a month. $400 a month, service was horrible unless close to the interstate, no such thing as a data account and no such thing as texting. If a person could text it was highly unlikely a friend owned a phone to receive it.

Now even some toddlers have phones... sadly.

This was the first time in a few years I've called an iPhone a smartphone. Normally I'll just call it jesusphone or fondleslab.

But, back on topic: It is true the iPhone wasn't the first neither the first smartphone nor first phone with camera. What claim it has is it was the first commercially successful phone that allowed the user a real choice of what it could do, with the app store. This spawned apps that opened up for new ways of treating pictures. Treating them as carriers of emotion and experience rather than a pretty picture, as unfocused so beautifully explained.

I am fully aware there were touchscreen phones with wifi, word processors, email clients and spreadsheets before the iPhone. I had both friends and relatives with such phones, by SonyEricsson if I recall correctly. None of them used their application installation architecture and advanced hardware features to do something interesting with photographs or the camera. Even the concept of a second step after a photo was taken was not there.
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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2017, 03:35:00 AM »

dolina

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2017, 03:58:06 AM »
The iPhone was the first smartphone with multitouch, touch keyboard and the full Internet without the need of WAP.
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CanonFanBoy

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2017, 01:16:52 PM »
I'll never understand why so many people think Apple was the first company with a smartphone on the market. The iphone wasn't the first smartphone with a camera either. Not even close when it comes to Apple. I guess people just believe it without researching it. Maybe those folks are too young to remember? Heck, there were phone camera patents as early as the 1950s. Nokia and a few others were there long before Apple was. They were available to the masses. The 1st decade of the 21st century is when the costs of cell service dropped dramatically. The cost is still dropping quickly. THAT is probably the biggest reason for the rapid expansion in the ownership of such devices.

I worked as a BellSouth Mobility affiliate with a store back in the late 80s to the middle of the 90s. I can remember when 400 minutes and no data cost over $400 a month. $400 a month, service was horrible unless close to the interstate, no such thing as a data account and no such thing as texting. If a person could text it was highly unlikely a friend owned a phone to receive it.

Now even some toddlers have phones... sadly.

This was the first time in a few years I've called an iPhone a smartphone. Normally I'll just call it jesusphone or fondleslab.

But, back on topic: It is true the iPhone wasn't the first neither the first smartphone nor first phone with camera. What claim it has is it was the first commercially successful phone that allowed the user a real choice of what it could do, with the app store. This spawned apps that opened up for new ways of treating pictures. Treating them as carriers of emotion and experience rather than a pretty picture, as unfocused so beautifully explained.

I am fully aware there were touchscreen phones with wifi, word processors, email clients and spreadsheets before the iPhone. I had both friends and relatives with such phones, by SonyEricsson if I recall correctly. None of them used their application installation architecture and advanced hardware features to do something interesting with photographs or the camera. Even the concept of a second step after a photo was taken was not there.

Ahhhh... but that isn't what you said.
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kaihp

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2017, 06:36:17 AM »
Almost 188 million cameras were shipped to Asia thru August this year, more than any other region.  The market has a lot more people who are potentially first time buyers, so the future of camera sales is very bright.

Spokane, that 188 million number is quite a bit higher than the 'total cameras manufactured' number (23 million) that the OP writes. Are you saying that the companies are shipping 'old' unsold cameras there or did you miss a decimal point to make it 18.8 million?

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2017, 07:28:05 AM »
Almost 188 million cameras were shipped to Asia thru August this year, more than any other region.  The market has a lot more people who are potentially first time buyers, so the future of camera sales is very bright.

Spokane, that 188 million number is quite a bit higher than the 'total cameras manufactured' number (23 million) that the OP writes. Are you saying that the companies are shipping 'old' unsold cameras there or did you miss a decimal point to make it 18.8 million?

Mt. Spokane looked at the wrong row.  188 billion ¥ (units are 1000s ¥) worth of digital cameras were shipped to Asia in Jan-Aug this year, the number of units shipped was ~4.5 million.

Worldwide, total is ~16 million, which is up 1.5 million y/y.
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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2017, 04:34:40 PM »
(Late to the party, just saw this thread)

So in summary, ILC’s sold about the same in 2016 as they did in 2009, and the lens market has grown 26% from 2009-2016.

And Canon’s profits and market share are now rising.

From 2010-2013 the digital camera market became “mature” and a few hundred million people decided to make a one-time purchase, most likely that now has a trickle down effect as the 2012 era P&S cameras start to look old and people look for an upgrade path.
Canon says the Rebel line is doing spectacularly well, it seems they’ve invested their R&D budget wisely (Dual Pixel AF, fully functional touchscreen interface, you know, the stuff that matters).

EOS is healthier than ever and Canon has diversified into Security products, which is a booming market.
The future of the company is as bright as ever.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 04:38:09 PM by 9VIII »

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2017, 11:51:59 PM »
I'll never understand why so many people think Apple was the first company with a smartphone on the market. The iphone wasn't the first smartphone with a camera either. Not even close when it comes to Apple. I guess people just believe it without researching it. Maybe those folks are too young to remember? Heck, there were phone camera patents as early as the 1950s.
Yeah, Maxwell Smart had a shoe phone in the '60s. Long before Apple.

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2017, 11:51:59 PM »

dolina

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2017, 10:55:50 PM »
Japan's Nikon shutters China plant, lays off 2,285 employees, Blames Rise of Smartphones

Press Release: http://www.nikon.com/news/2017/1030_01_e.pdf
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Talys

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2017, 02:48:59 AM »
Japan's Nikon shutters China plant, lays off 2,285 employees, Blames Rise of Smartphones

Press Release: http://www.nikon.com/news/2017/1030_01_e.pdf

Wow.  That is really sad :(

15 year old operation, snuffed out.  It did pull in a profit the last couple of years, though (albeit, tiny).

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Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2016?
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2017, 02:48:59 AM »