Jan 31, 2014
Results of InfoTrends’Â Consumer Digital Interchangeable Lens CameraÂ multi-client study reveal that this is an exciting and also challenging time to be involved in the digital interchangeable lens camera (DILC) market. Rapid changes are still underway, and these are affecting consumer purchasing/usage behaviors, camera vendors’ product development strategies, and retailers’ selling strategies.
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Back in August, Contour abruptly closed its doors, leaving the space to market leader GoPro, Sony, Ion, and newcomer Garmin. Contour was one of the pioneers in the action camera space and was founded in 2004 by Jason Green and Marc Barros.
According to Geekwire.com, the company at its peak had 70 employees and in 2011 generated $27.3 million in revenue. However, the company struggled to maintain a competitive position against the juggernaut marketing budget of GoPro and new entrants to the market like Sony and others who have much deeper pockets. The company had been struggling financially this year and efforts to sell the company did not pan out. As a result, it defaulted on $7.5 million in loans and was forced to close its doors and be placed in the hands of a court-appointed receiver who is tasked with selling the company.
With the action camera market still in an early stage of adoption and gaining more attention among consumers, it is unfortunate to see a company bow out already. However, the shutdown may be short lived. Geekwire.com reports that Contour has just been sold at auction for $1.93 million to Clark Capital Partners, an existing Contour investor. The deal still needs to be finalized. Clark Capital intends to reopen the company and re-launch the brand. It remains to be seen what happens to the former employees who were all let go when the company closed. Clark Capital is considering moving Contour’s headquarters from Seattle to Utah where it is located.
Clark Capital has its work cut out for itself. The first thing it will need to do is to repair relationships with Contour’s suppliers, dealers, and customers, which were likely hurt because of the abrupt closure. Suppliers were stuck with inventory, dealers were stuck with product and no sales support, and consumers were not able to get any customer or service support. Once Contour gets production rolling again and reestablishes a dealer channel, it must invest the marketing dollars to rise above the noise that other action camera companies are making.
Companies looking to get into the action camera business may want to explore a potential investment position in the new Contour, as they will be able to get in above the ground floor. If the company is successful in its re-launch, it can ride the wave of market growth of action cameras expected in the coming years.
To learn more about the action camera market refer to InfoTrends’ The Wearable Camera Market report. It is available to clients of our Digital Photography Trends Service or from the InfoTrends report store.
Excerpt from Digital Imaging Reporter’s State of the Industry 2013
More than ever before, consumers love to take photos. InfoTrends forecasts that cameras and phones will capture over 125 billion photos in the U.S. this year. While the photography market is certainly not going away, how consumers use their cameras and what they do with their images is changing. Moving forward, InfoTrends sees the capture market dividing into four segments.
On September 4, Sony held a press conference in New York City to announce a multitude of new products for the fall season. Two of the more intriguing ones were the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 and QX100 lens-style cameras. These products are self-contained cameras with the exception of an LCD screen. Embedded in the lens are the image sensor, a battery, and a microSD slot. The devices connect to smartphones using Wi-Fi and then Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app turns the phone’s LCD screen into a viewfinder.
Sony Cyber-shot QX10 and QX100 Lens-style Cameras
One of the big dilemmas for today’s smartphones and tablets is limited memory. With more vendors including only internal memory and no built-in microSD card slot for extended memory options, mobile device users are left with nowhere to go if they run out of internal memory for their collection of music, photos, and videos.
Digital camera vendors are finally adding Wi-Fi technology to still cameras in meaningful quantities, and InfoTrends believes that connectivity is finally here to stay. As a proof point, in the first half of 2013, one-third of new cameras announced offer Wi-Fi connectivity as a feature. This is an increase from less than 15% in 2012. More choices will lead to more sales of Wi-Fi enabled cameras. Read more »
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show has been running for over 85 years and this year it was estimated that over 92,000 media and entertainment professionals from over 150 countries filled the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) from April 8 to 11.Â Â
At this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, Ultra HD (4K) displays were the talk of the show. If 4K displays are to succeed, they will need 4K content and that is where the NAB trade show comes in.
The new Canon EOS SL1 camera is a welcome addition to the DSLR market. Its small size and light weight help it to stand apart from other DSLRs in the market and put it in a very competitive position again compact interchangeable lens cameras (CILCs).
Touted as the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR that uses an APS-C size sensor, the EOS SL1 hits back at the argument that DSLRs are too big, bulky, and heavy. Now, photographers who want a lighter, smaller camera body that is compatible with Canon’s full line of existing EF lenses have a clear choice. (While the Canon EOS M compact interchangeable lens camera is smaller and lighter, it requires a lens adapter in order to use the EF lenses.)