Article on T.O.P. About Collapsing Camera Market


S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
I read this post on The Online Photographer about the collapse of the camera market and one of the comments in particular stood out to me, from John Camp:

"The big bump that camera companies enjoyed in the first part of this century was mostly a sales illusion caused by enormous jumps in the quality of digital cameras in that time period. I don't know how many cameras I bought between 2004 (Nikon D2 for me) and 2015, but I bet it was ten or twelve, at least. Probably a new camera every year, or more than one. So many I can't even remember them all. Since 2015, for me, the number is three (two GX8s and a Nikon Z6) and I still have and use all three with nothing on the horizon that will cause me to seriously upgrade, unless I back up the Nikon. I believe that there will always be enough enthusiasts to support three or four camera manufacturers, but the companies will be smaller and tighter, and the new releases will be fewer. And that's fine."
That strikes me as the simplest explanation for the rise and fall of camera sales, even beyond the smartphone rise. There were a conspicuous number of non-photographer parents and such who toted entry-level DSLRs who have since switched for phones, of course, but I suspect the market sloughed off those people well before the last 3-5 years, and the continuing decline we see is nearly 100% due to the relative excellence of modern cameras.


Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
I'll admit since 2013 I've swapped gear a lot. For a long while I was really into buying and selling old manual film lenses. I've had Sony, Pentax, Panasonic, Nikon (briefly), Olympus, and Fuji digital ILCs. I also got into old film cameras, buying and selling quite a few of those. It has been fun, but it was also somewhat draining. I thought of gear too much. I did several gear purges, only to watch the shelves slowly get cluttered again. My last big gear purge brought me down to the level I am now. My digital gear is several generations old (X-T2 and X30), with a couple of really old P&S cameras bouncing around just for grins. I kept 4 old film cameras just for display purposes, although all 4 still work. The only new gear I'd been planning to buy in 2021 is the XF 27 Mk II, and the idea of cancelling that pre-order and just sticking where I am has been percolating in my head. I find myself sometimes just pulling out my phone when I want to get a quick snap.

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