How much of the current market for cameras is enthusiat/Pro?

drd1135

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Steve
Thom Hogan posted this on his site:

"More interesting is all the comments about pro/hobbyist buyers—and there are a lot of them—with one eye-popping stat being that they expect those folk to account for 90% of their sales two years out (up from 65%; the above chart suggests that the pro/hobbyist sales have remained level for the last six years). That also seems to suggest no Z30 is coming. Or at least they don't expect to sell many ;~). As I noted in articles earlier this week, crop sensor DSLRs are likely goners after this holiday season. (Nikon wasn't consistent in their charts. Some show 75% current pro/hobbyist sales, some 65% next year ;~)."

Not a startling result, but I never gave much thought as to the change in camera offerings. It may mean that cameras like the XT200 might actually go away because there would be nearly no one left to buy them. Thoughts?
 

Jonathan F/2

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Los Angeles, USA
I don't even know how the camera industry is even surviving right now. At my kids' school (prior to the pandemic), I probably saw less than 10 parents who carry cameras. 5 are probably working pros and the other 5 were carrying something like an older DSLR or a Fuji X100 model body just for casual snaps. The rest of the (several hundred) parents are fine using their smartphones. Prior to smartphones all these parents would have some sort of cheap entry level DSLR or P&S camera, but those days are LONG gone!
 

Tilman Paulin

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I'd guess manufacturers would have to come up with a radically different approach for the "entry level" market (even that term is basically outdated)

Cameras that nail basic settings as good as smartphones do (white-balance, exposure,...) without need (or even options) for tweaking settings...

Cameras that connect effortlessly to smartphones for instant sharing...

And cameras that offer unique advantages - like fast, reliable autofocus, longer lenses (for sports)...

To sum up - these cameras have to offer quite an advanced feature set - and a polished user experience - at what used to be "entry level" prices...
Probably not something the manufacturers are ready for yet...
 

Jonathan F/2

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Location
Los Angeles, USA
I think cameras will need to start being more like wireless earbuds, with a constant communication feed between devices. I think once 5G becomes more widespread and more advance bluetooth protocols being implemented, perhaps we'll see new advances in digital imaging. Saying that, I still think that tech will give smartphones a bigger advantage over stand alone cameras.

It also could be regional. Some countries I've been to really value photography and the craft. Where I live no one gives a hoot about cameras at this point!
 
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drd1135

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Steve
Entry level kits offer enthusiast/pro users a cheap way to try out another system. I think they'll continue to support the low end of the market this way.
I wonder how that will change the entry level. For example, the Olympus EM10 was a great camera for more advanced photographers whereas the Fuji XT200 is very much for cell phone users.
 
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Tilman Paulin

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Well, the mass market / high volume market would be to try to cater to the cell phone users...
"Sample cameras for enthusiasts" (entry level cameras) will be a much, much smaller market... But probably one that is more certain...
 

drd1135

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SW Virginia
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Steve
Well, the mass market / high volume market would be to try to cater to the cell phone users...
"Sample cameras for enthusiasts" (entry level cameras) will be a much, much smaller market... But probably one that is more certain...
You used the key phrase, "mass market / high volume market". Does this really exist anymore? Hogan's point was that the only really profitable market now or soon to be is the enthusiast/pro market. For example, I'm interested in the X-S10. Despite all reviews and destinations, I think it's clearly aimed at attracting other enthusiasts to try Fuji and not really to get cellphone users to try a "real" camera. Just to note, I think the most intersting feature to follow is WR. Some folks think any serious camera must have this and others could care less. I suspect it has more to do with your preferred subjects (or essential subjects, if you're a pro) or where you live, e.g., the American Southwest vs. the American Northwest. Of course, there is the LCD screen attachment points, but we shouldn't discuss religion on this forum.
 

Tilman Paulin

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Agreed, that's why I used the hypothetical 'would'. The 'mass market' as it was will never be again.
IF they'd try to regain some of that, they'd have to try for a highly refined product at a lower price, that offers advantages that a camera can't match...

And even if they pulled that off - people might not care to buy it (that would be down to marketing - and we know how good they are at that ;) )

So all hypotheticals aside - I agree with Hogan's point.

(For me the small 'revelation' while writing all this is, that 'entry level' and 'mass market' used to be the same segment. But now It's clearly split up and you'd need two different types of camera.

The cameras with advanced controls that are interesting for hobbyists/enthusiasts don't cut it for the mass market.
There you would need a very simple, straightforward, but refined camera (to compete against what cellphones offer nowadays) - and a huge marketing effort.)
 

drd1135

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Steve
Agreed, that's why I used the hypothetical 'would'. The 'mass market' as it was will never be again.
IF they'd try to regain some of that, they'd have to try for a highly refined product at a lower price, that offers advantages that a camera can't match...

And even if they pulled that off - people might not care to buy it (that would be down to marketing - and we know how good they are at that ;) )

So all hypotheticals aside - I agree with Hogan's point.

(For me the small 'revelation' while writing all this is, that 'entry level' and 'mass market' used to be the same segment. But now It's clearly split up and you'd need two different types of camera.

The cameras with advanced controls that are interesting for hobbyists/enthusiasts don't cut it for the mass market.
There you would need a very simple, straightforward, but refined camera (to compete against what cellphones offer nowadays) - and a huge marketing effort.)

I wasn’t arguing with you. I was just going a bit further. The funny part is that we just may end up with sales similar to the end of the film era. I think that any “entry level camera” will effectively have to be part of a cell phone because most people are used to carrying just the one device.
 
The camera function in mobile phones are major selling points/features. If I was the CEO of a major camera company like Canon, I would have invested heavily in a Canon-branded line of android mobiles that are photography-centric.

For example, I would be extremely interested in a mobile phone/compact camera the size and shape of the LX10 (or a bit larger than that to accommodate the phone parts), with all the physical and internal features, and photo quality of the LX10.

Red camera tried to do it but they blew the marketing and the target market.
 

mike3996

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Finland
If I was the CEO of a major camera company like Canon, I would have invested heavily in a Canon-branded line of android mobiles that are photography-centric.
Sony phones have very Sony-like camera interfaces (alongside T* lenses and other Sony things) but the phones just don't sell.

Leica/Huawei partnership is another but it's not a money machine AFAIK.

Making the phones very photocentric mean body thickness and that's a no-no.
 
Sony phones have very Sony-like camera interfaces (alongside T* lenses and other Sony things) but the phones just don't sell.

Leica/Huawei partnership is another but it's not a money machine AFAIK.

Making the phones very photocentric mean body thickness and that's a no-no.

I'm absolutely not interested in those mobiles. They're phones first and formost.

The Leica/Huawei partnership is only a marketing project - it's still a very ordinary mobile phone. And those lenses aren't really Leica lenses in the sense that you're getting a Summilux on a large sensor.

It's not so much the lenses that I'm interested in anyway, it's the camera functionality that matters - the sensor, raw processing, the manual controls, the A/V connections.

I'm also not talking about trying to corner the market that Apple and Samsung (and Huawei) have cornered.
 

bartjeej

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bart
I sometimes consider a future where I would have just a superzoom (fixed lens or ILC) and a phone camera. The thing is, phones are just so uncomfortable to shoot and unintuitive to adjust settings (I have a Sony phone but really don't like its camera UI nearly as much as I thought I would).

So any longer shoot would either have to happen with the superzoom - assuming I brought it in the first place - or probably not happen at all. That would be a shame, so I envision myself having a very portable, low light capable compact or ILC with good basic controls as an addition, preferably with a focal length that's a bit longer and more DOF capable than a phone's main camera for extra USP's beyond the handling.
 
The thing is, phones are just so uncomfortable to shoot and unintuitive to adjust settings (I have a Sony phone but really don't like its camera UI nearly as much as I thought I would).

I totally agree, I hate the feel of the phone in my hand as a camera. I really wouldn't mind a slightly bigger, thicker body. Then I can carry my lenses in a separate bag and put them on my "phone" and take some nice photos whenever I feel like it. It would already have a default pancake lens attached.
 

bartjeej

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bart
Aren't these just trademark Sony features?
Well, when it comes to phone cameras, it's every model I've used so far, by Sony, Nokia, Samsung, Apple and Motorola... Some are slightly better than others, mainly at turning on the camera from standby. But exposure compensation or manual focus using a screen swipe are a pain, let alone adjusting shutter speed or "fake bokeh". And mashing the screen for a shutter button sucks as well. The things are just not enjoyable to use. The only thing I appreciate about smartphones is the auto HDR, which has become really good in most scenarios over the last couple of years. That, and the fact that I have one with me at all times...
 

tonyturley

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Scott Depot, WV, USA
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Tony
I sometimes consider a future where I would have just a superzoom (fixed lens or ILC) and a phone camera. The thing is, phones are just so uncomfortable to shoot and unintuitive to adjust settings (I have a Sony phone but really don't like its camera UI nearly as much as I thought I would).

So any longer shoot would either have to happen with the superzoom - assuming I brought it in the first place - or probably not happen at all. That would be a shame, so I envision myself having a very portable, low light capable compact or ILC with good basic controls as an addition, preferably with a focal length that's a bit longer and more DOF capable than a phone's main camera for extra USP's beyond the handling.
As much as I like my X-E2 and X-T2, if Fuji came out with a WR 1" sensor X40 with a reasonably fast lens and decent reach, say 100-110mm, I would seriously consider cashing in all my ILC gear (which really isn't much) to get it. Then again . . . :flypig:
 

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