2014 Camera Wrap-Up – Fewer Cameras but Plenty to Choose From

Carrie Sylvester
Jan 5, 2015

There were some BIG ticket items on people’s gadget wish lists during 2014 – from gaming systems, hybrid laptop tablets, and flat screen TVs. Another one of the most popular gadgets people want are digital cameras (aka Phoneless Cameras).

Although there were many new camera models introduced in 2014, there were far fewer than in previous years. In 2014, there were 98 camera models introduced compared to 127 in 2013 and 146 in 2012 (Source: InfoTrends U.S. Camera Model Tracker). It is expected that the number of cameras introduced will continue to drop by anywhere between 10% to 20% in 2015.

We have broken out some of the introductions by popular features and functions, including Wi-Fi connectivity, point & shoot versus “mirrorless,” and for those old school photographers something with an optical viewfinder (you know those things we used to frame a picture with before LCD screens).


If connectivity is important in a camera, you are in luck as 60% of models came with Wi-Fi built-in in 2014. All the major brands introduced connected cameras, but Nikon had the most with 15 models, Sony had 11 models, and Samsung had 10 models. In 2015, we expect that connectivity – whether through Wi-Fi or some form of NFC – will become a standard offering on models introduced this year, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it in at least 80% of cameras by the end of 2015.

Compact interchangeable lens cameras (CILCs)

Point & shoot cameras were the most popular type of camera introduced, garnering 71% of the introductions. However, nearly 20% of the cameras introduced were compact interchangeable lens cameras (aka mirrorless cameras). That percentage has increased slightly year-over-year as CILCs made up about 17% of the camera introductions in 2013. CILCs have taken some time to gain traction in the crowded digital camera market, but because of their more compact size, advanced features and specifications, coupled with the ability to change lenses these mirrorless models are becoming more popular with consumers. It is likely the market will see more CILC models get introduced in 2015. For the category to fully enjoy success, the big camera manufacturers, namely Canon and Nikon will need to get more serious about the technology much like Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony have. Those three vendors have fully-supported CILC for some time now, but even with their marketing efforts have yet to move the popularity needle as much as the category needs.

View Finders

The majority of cameras (59%) came without traditional eye-level view finders and use the camera’s LCD to frame a photo. 28% featured an electronic viewfinder (EVF), and only 9% had the more traditional optical viewfinder (OVF). Interchangeable lens cameras, DSLRs and rangefinder-style cameras, are really the only cameras to feature the traditional OVF. Nikon had four models with an OVF (D3000, D750, D4S & D810), while Canon had two models (Rebel T5, 7D Mark II) and Pentax had one (K-S1,).

InfoTrends Opinion

Although there were fewer camera models introduced in 2014 than in previous years, that doesn’t mean cameras are dying. Although point & shoot cameras continue to feel the noose tightening due to the ever popular smartphone cameras which have become the go-to camera for most people, mobile photography continues to turn the average consumer into a more active photographer or videographer.

People are no longer buying their first camera to learn about photography, as many have already had their inner photographer woken up as a result of using their camera phones. Instead when they decide to invest in a standalone camera they may opt for one with advanced features, enhanced image sensors, interchangeable lenses or a model with all of the above. Higher-end point and shoots and interchangeable lens cameras will be ideal candidates for people looking to do more with photography beyond their camera phone.

The launch pad for everything electronic is happening this week, at the annual CES show in Las Vegas, it will be interesting to see all the new camera models, accessories and gadgets. Even more interesting will be how the camera market evolves to compete with the ever present smartphones cameras.


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