We have noticed that digital photography is going through some exciting times. Though some traditional camera categories are going through decline – the compact camera market has taken a massive hit from the constantly-improving picture quality in mobile phones.
How the camera industry is experience this shift in the way we take and view pictures.
It is not just new technology that is reshaping photography, but changes in the kinds of cameras we want. So we like to know from the leaders in this segment what all we want to view and what vital changes are taking place in the way pictures are taken.
Compact cameras not out yet!
In the age of the smartphone cameras, the sheer number of new compacts has reduced, but they’re not gone yet. Recently, many brands have launched new models and also updated some of their most popular lines of consumer-oriented compact cameras. So for enthusiasts and first-time users, the compact point-and-shoot cameras these days offer better image quality and user-control far beyond anything we’ve previously seen in pocketable digital cameras.
According to Andrew Koh, Senior Director, Image Communication Products Group, Canon India. the small-sensor, high-end camera market will continue to have a future and as a category, will co-exist alongside cameras with larger sensors for a while. The usage patterns for these devices are quite different. While larger sensor compact cameras have existed for a while and enjoyed reasonable market acceptance, cameras like our PowerShot SX series which feature high optical zooms and smaller sensors have also enjoyed a very stable market share.
“People who desire DSLR-like image quality like natural background blur and highly detailed images will be more inclined towards larger sensor cameras. Whereas travelers who want to capture a wide variety of imagery will be wooed by a larger zoom range such as our SX series of cameras, featuring an optical zoom of up to 65x on our flagship PowerShot SX60HS,” he added further.
Sajjan Kumar, VP – Imaging Division, Nikon India Pvt. Ltd. feel s that enormously improved sensor quality coupled with market demand for smaller, lighter and more convenient cameras drives a move back to smaller sensors, accompanied by an impressive assortment of lenses. Compact cameras on friendly ergonomics and usability (size, weight, EVF, etc.) now no longer is a solutions for amateurs only, these are used for serious still and video work as well.
Gaurav Ghavri, Head Camera Division, Panasonic India said, “ the overall demand for the small -sensor high -end compact cameras has decreased over a period of time but there is still market for them. However, we have witnessed growth in the demand for compact cameras with big sensors. “
Mirza Ali Asgar, General Manager, Olympus Imaging India added, “The mirror less cameras will dominate the imaging technology in future. Majority of the big sensor camera users are shifting to small sensor cameras; they no longer want to carry heavy cameras with them.
Compact system cameras Vs DSLRs in the enthusiasts market
“DSLR cameras and mirror less cameras are the imaging devices that cater to different segments of users. Mirrorless cameras are generally more compact when compared to DSLR cameras. DSLR cameras on the other hand, are faster, offer dedicated controls and improved robustness in general compared to mirror less cameras. In general, serious hobbyists and professional audiences tend to prefer DSLR cameras,” says Koh from Canon.
Sajjan Kumar of Nikon India, said, “Both the categories co-exist and have their own advantages and consumer preferences. The demand for D-SLRs has been increasing and we do not think that anything can suppress this surge. The D-SLR segment in India is expanding at 20-30% annually and we are proud that we are expanding with the market maintaining the market share of 55%.”
Gaurav Ghavri, Head Camera Division, Panasonic India, said, “The compact camera segment is currently facing a slowdown. Due to the growing popularity of smart phones, the sales of compact cameras have declined by 30% till October 2014 over the same period over the last year. However, the Digital SLR segment is witnessing exciting times as the professionals and pro-am still prefer DSLR cameras for better picture quality and output. Panasonic, looking at the diverse requirements of the customers, has decided to introduce innovation and advancement in high end cameras space. We recently launched the photo/video hybrid Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) camera DMC-GH4 as the successor to DMC-GH3 that created an industrial sensation with its outstanding video recording performance.”
Mirza Ali Asgar, General Manager, Olympus Imaging India said, “Yes it will and it has already showing results.”
Future of Prosumer Market
“The prosumer market is a very niche market at the moment, but expanding gradually. Our PowerShot G1X Mark II is one of the most sought after devices in this category. It offers nearly all the features of a DSLR camera – a large 1.5-inch sensor, an extremely high resolving lens with a very wide aperture and great image quality. And it is compact too. Our G7X is another such compact and pocketable camera, with a large 1.0-inch sensor, and a wide aperture lens to the mix, offering the best of both worlds – performance and portability,” said, Andrew of Canon India.
“We have seen consumers who want high image quality and are also want compactness are gradually gravitating towards such cameras. This is especially true of the users in metros and larger cities in India, where disposable incomes are generally higher and the consumers are generally more connected and informed,” he added further.
Sajjan of Nikon India explained, “The consumer these days is well informed and is specific in terms of requirements. We are witnessing growth in demand for greater and high performance cameras in the Indian market and our offerings are designed specifically to meet them. The most significant trend that we have witnessed in prosumer market is the shift towards high-end compact cameras & D-SLR cameras. Photography enthusiasts are not shying away from spending extra to have that holistic experience. The requirement of a consumer varies from astounding ultra-high zoom power to smarter way to connect to movie and video capabilities.”
“We have recently extended our compact & D-SLR range with high end compact cameras like COOLPIX P900 & COOLPIX P610 with 83x optical zoom (24mm -2000mm equivalent in 35mm format) and 166x Dynamic Fine Zoom*1 (approximately 4000mm equivalent in 35mm format) & 60x optical zoom and 120x Dynamic Fine Zoom*1, matched with the versatile vari-angle monitor and Dual Detect Optical Vibration Reduction (VR), respectively. And D-SLR range with D7200, D810 and D750 with uncompressed video output & Full HD Time-lapse movie recording feature and they have been received with tremendous enthusiasm in the market. Our comprehensive Compact camera and D-SLR line-up is equipped with all the advanced features which a photographer; amateur, hobbyist or professional will look for 1 Dynamic Fine Zoom refers to the areas in which the camera can zoom while maintaining resolution from the maximum optical telephoto zoom position,” he added further.
“Customers today are divided between DSLR and high end prosumer cameras. Sales are divided between two categories, i.e. high zoom prosumer cameras and Interchangeable lens cameras,” concluded, Mirza of Olympus Imaging India.
Is 4K video a buzzword right now?
“4K video is a big buzzword at the moment. The stunning resolution of capture bestows a sense of life-like realism to video especially when being consumed on a 4K viewing device. In India, creation of 4K content is not a challenge, with industry leading 4K cameras like our Cinema EOS C500 and EOS 1D-C, and the new EOS C300 Mark II – aimed at high-end cinema and television content. Now our professional camcorder range will include the new XC-10, which supports 4K video recording, with excellent file compression and no loss of quality, designed especially for use in event and wedding videography,” said, Andrew of Canon India
“Canon also offers a 4K reference monitor designed specifically for color grading and video production. Together with Canon’s Cinema EOS System, this provides a first-class input-to-output solution for 4K digital cinema and wider video production workflows,” Andrew added further.
Sajjan Kumar of Nikon India said, “Change and advancement in technology is inevitable. 4K is a new resolution standard designed for digital cinema and computer graphics. As of now, our recently announced model Nikon 1 J5 has 4K feature available. The Nikon 1 J5 can capture high-resolution 4K video at 15p for those who want to experiment with higher resolution video clips. Additionally, we have provided uncompressed video output functionality in some of our FX format (full-frame) cameras, we also have feature like FULL HD Video recording at 60p in both FX (full-frame) and DX format cameras. We have recently introduced Full HD Time-lapse movie recording feature in DX format with D7200 which earlier was only available in FX format (full-frame).
“4K has already brought about a revolution in the photography and videography as many consumer electronics companies are launching products that are bridging the gap between consumer video camera and professional video camera. For example, Panasonic recently introduced photo/video hybrid Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) camera DMC-GH4 equipped with 4K video recording capability,” said, Gaurav of Panasonic India.
“Today, cameras with better video features are widely accepted by all levels of customers and we have recently launched EM5 Mark 2 model with world’s most advanced image stabilization feature. We are offering cinema quality shooting in our recently launched cameras,” concluded, Mirza of Olympus Imaging India
Does Technologies define photography in 2015?
Sajjan Kumar of Nikon India , explained, “ The paradigm shift in consumer behavior has reached new heights, now consumers not only demand of good camera functions, but wants to get perfect shot with every click they make. This age’s digital cameras not only possess easy and greater functionalities, but all those functionalities which make photography inspiring for aspiring photographers to professionals.”
“The expected trends in photography are High zoom feature, Staying in touch all times, The faster processers, Uncompressed video, Advanced camera with interchangeable lens and the high performance – Waterproof, freeze proof, shock proof camera. From high zoom feature, to high dynamic zoom for the visionaries to Wi-Fi, built-in GPS, NFC, GLONASS and QZSS for social butterflies, from reveling superior image quality with the EXPEED 4 image processing engine to Dual Detect Vibration Reduction, to water proof, shock proof & freeze proof advanced camera with interchangeable lenses to uncompressed video output to in built Time-Lapse movie feature at full HD for performance which goes above and beyond the imagination, Nikon is leaving no space left for imagination. Nikon being the pioneer in bringing new technologies catering to consumer needs will keep on bringing new technologies which will ensure keeping photography an inspirational career option and hobby,” he added further.
“There are several areas in which we can expect some new trends in camera technology. For instance, improvements in sensor and lens design mean DSLR camera sensors will feature increasingly higher resolution. A good example is our upcoming EOS 5Ds and EOS 5Ds R that feature 50.6 megapixel full frame sensors, making them the highest resolution full frame DSLR cameras in the world. Live View focusing technology for DSLR camera models will also improve, and we will see more and more cameras featuring touchscreen LCDs for easy user interface. Our ever improving lens and optics technology means slimmer cameras with wider zoom ranges. Meanwhile photo printing is becoming more portable, with Wi-Fi enabled compact printers. Photo sharing with friends and family is also set to become a lot simpler and fuss-free with gadgets like the new Canon Connect Station CS100 – a storage device that has the capability to connect to multiple compatible imaging devices allowing users to easily store, view and share images and videos,” said, Andrew of Canon India
Gaurav of Panasonic, India said, “The digital age has ushered in and facilitated uninterrupted access to high-end imaging devices at the cost of traditional camera systems. This shift has resulted in digital revolution and made photography affordable. These are exciting times not only for the camera manufacturers but also for the consumers. The introduction of new categories of digital cameras and mirror less interchangeable lens cameras has changed the dynamics of the market. The camera manufacturers are expanding their product range with High end compact & Bridge Camera series. Also, the 4K technology is gaining acceptance in Indian photography industry which is further helping to further bridge the gap between consumer video camera and professional video camera.“
“Globally, mirror less cameras are going to dominate the future of imaging technology. In India DLSR cameras will again take a larger pie from low end compact cameras. Olympus for the last nine decades has been delivering best and innovative products to imaging Industry, Olympus has always worked towards making cameras compact and user-friendly and will continue to do so in future as well,” concluded, Mirza of Olympus Imaging India.