144 Digital Cameras and Counting

Carrie Sylvester
Oct 5, 2012

As part of the InfoTrends’ Digital Photography Trends service, we keep a close eye on new camera introductions. 2012 has already seen a good number of new cameras, 144 to be exact, and the year is only three-quarters through. Before the bustle of Q4/holiday announcements come out, we thought it would be a good time to give a little review of what is happening in the market so far.

Q1-Q3 Highlights

  • CILCs (compact interchangeable lens cameras) – All major camera manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax & Olympus) have introduced new compact interchangeable lens cameras (CILCs).
  • Smart cameras — Nikon and Samsung introduced “smart cameras” — Nikon with their Coolpix S800c and Samsung with the Galaxy cameras, both running the Android operating system coupled with built-in Wi-Fi. This marks the first real effort to create and deliver cameras that act like our smartphones. Will these be the “must have” cameras? Nikon and Samsung sure hope so.
  • Larger image sensors — One way that digital camera manufacturers are  differentiating themselves from their smartphone competition is with larger image sensors. Sony, Canon and Fujifilm have all introduced compact cameras with larger image sensors. SLRs are also getting image sensor improvements, with both Canon and Nikon introducing new models featuring a larger, full-size image sensor at price points that are well under those of previous full-frame SLR’s. These camera vendors are hoping that these new and improved sensors will resonate with consumers, and they should be a popular choice for enthusiast photographers that want higher resolution and better low-light capability at a lower price. If these types of cameras sell well, it won’t be long until other vendors introduce similar cameras to compete.

Who

All camera vendors have introduced new camera models. No big surprise, but Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon and Sony introduced the lion’s share of new models (70%) between Q1 and Q3 of 2012.

What

Point & shoot models are the most popular and made up almost 70% of new model introductions to date.

In terms of resolution, the average is 16 MPs for the models introduced so far in 2012. When looking at that broken down a little further we see that 86% of introductions were in the 10-16 MP range.

Where

Looking at the introductions we see that nearly 75% of the new cameras were introduced in Q1. The International CES trade show in January 2012 and the Photokina show in September were popular event springboards for camera introductions.

What’s next…

Although we aren’t predicting how many camera models will be introduced in Q4 2012, the camera vendors are certainly readying their PR and marketing personnel to get ready for a busy holiday season, as well as possible new camera introductions at the CES trade show that’s coming up in January. With Wi-Fi finally starting to show up in more cameras, as well as features like larger sensors that deliver meaningful improvements in photo quality, it should be very interesting to see what’s next.

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