Dec 6, 2016
For the last several years we have done a year-end round up of the cameras that were introduced. It’s always an interesting exercise to take a look back on what features and technologies vendors have chosen to feature in their products.
57 models were introduced between January and December of 2016. Although 57 models is a respectable number, it is a marked drop compared to the 72 models introduced in 2015 and significantly fewer than 2014 when 98 models hit the U.S. market. (Source: InfoTrends U.S. Camera Model Tracker**). Although there were fewer models released this year, there is no shortage of cameras for those looking to buy or upgrade.
We have broken out the introductions by popular features and functions, including Wi-Fi connectivity and mirrorless.
Point & Shoot clings to #1 camera type
Point and shoot models were the most popular camera type introduced, with 49% (28 models) of the new models. This is down from 42% in 2015 and way down from 71% in 2014.
Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (MILCs)
There is nothing “less” about Mirrorless this year, as MILCs cameras made up 28% of the new introductions in 2016. That is up from a little more than 20% in 2015 and 2014. MILCs have been in the market for around 8 years but and have seen a slow but steady adoption curve since they came on the camera scene. These more compact cameras offer a solution for the photographer that still wants the ability to swap out lenses, advanced features and functions but want a smaller/lighter camera body that a mirrorless generally offers.
The ONLY way for a traditional camera to compete in these smartphone-centric times is to make taking and sharing photos more convenient. Connectivity has been the key to convenient sharing. Each year, the number of Wi-Fi enabled cameras introduced has steadily increased. In 2015, 78% of cameras introduced featured built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. This year 84% of cameras introduced have Wi-Fi built-in! All the major brands are supporting Wi-Fi. Canon has the most Wi-Fi enabled models with 11 (85% of their 2016 line-up). Nikon had 10, Panasonic 7, and Fujifilm and Sony introduced 6 cameras with built-in Wi-Fi in 2016. Panasonic, Sony, Olympus, and Pentax included built-in Wi-Fi in 100% of the cameras they introduced this year.
It’s all about the Megapixels
Although the megapixel wars are technically over, the 2016 camera market is dominated by higher resolution models. The resolution category topped out at 51 MP (Fujifilm GFX 505 medium format camera) and the lowest was 13 MP (Nikon Coolpix W100 P&S). A little more than 70% of the cameras introduced this year were 20+ MP.
Among the missing
All the major vendors had product introductions in 2016. However we did notice that Samsung was missing from the active camera vendors this year. Samsung had no new cameras in 2016 and had only introduced one new camera in 2015. This is a strong sign that Samsung doesn’t plan to stay active in the camera market, but there have been no official announcements about exiting cameras altogether.
Although the smartphone has become the popular device for everyday and special event photo taking habits for most consumers, there remain pockets of opportunity that exist for cameras. InfoTrends continues to maintain, that smartphones introduce people to photography that may not have had interest until they got a new smartphone or a cool new photo app. This interest in photography might lead to buying (or at least wanting) a standalone camera. Because they have already been taking pictures with their smartphone these new camera buyers will likely be more interested in stepping up to a digital camera with advanced features, enhanced image sensors, interchangeable lenses or a camera with all of the above. InfoTrends’ 2016 Mobile Imaging end-user study shows that nearly 30% of current camera phone owners that don’t own a traditional camera, say that they are planning to buy a camera sooner because of their mobile phone photography experience, which should be welcome news to the ears of camera vendors.
To learn more about the latest InfoTrends digital camera coverage and insights, contact Keith LaVangie with questions.
- ** The vendor/models that are covered in the 2016 Quarterly Model Tracker include Canon, Fujifilm, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Sigma, and Sony and includes cameras that were introduced up to 12/5/16.
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