Apr 21, 2015
It’s an interesting time for the photo industry. Cameras continue to get better, faster, less expensive, and, perhaps most significantly, smaller. These devices are taking pictures of everything from scenery to sports, capturing life’s moments from new points of view, from vantage points that were very difficult just a few years ago. Read more »
Jan 30, 2015
During the golden days of digital camera sales, Best Buy was a dominant retailer. It offered consumers a wide selection of compact cameras at good prices. However, with compact camera sales waning, Best Buy has seen its influence on the market diminish, as consumers and vendors focus on more profitable digital interchangeable lens camera sales (DILCs). While Best Buy has sold DILCs, the selection was limited, merchandising was lacking, lens selection was limited and locked away behind glass, and in-store personnel were not trained to answer probing technical questions.
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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.
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Apr 22, 2014
Once again, the major theme of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show was 4K — from capture to workflow to transmit and display. With each passing year, 4K gets a little closer to becoming reality.
I was asked many times at the show “Is 4K for real?” and “Will it become mainstream?”
Apr 15, 2014
On April 6th Sony announced the Alpha 7s, a 12 megapixel full-frame compact interchangeable lens camera. It was announced at a press conference at the beginning of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show in Las Vegas and was one of the products that captured the attention of visitors to the Sony booth.
Shigeki Ishizuka, President of Sony’s Digital Imaging Group introduces the Alpha 7s at NAB
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Mar 6, 2014
Players in the mobile market congregated in Barcelona, Spain from February 24-27 for the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show and conference. The 2014 event was bigger than previous years and preliminary numbers from the GSMA Association suggest that around 85,000 visitors attended the show.
While Mobile World Congress is not an imaging specific show, it is arguably the place where the future of imaging is being shaped. As consumers migrate from digital cameras to smartphones for every day photos, vendors in the smartphone market are beginning to have a significant influence on photo habits and feature expectations.
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Jan 21, 2014
The 2014 International CES has come and gone.Â Tens of thousands of geeks and those who write about geeky things (often indistinguishable, by the way) descended on Las Vegas earlier this month. Many of them persevered through travel delays caused by record cold and snow in the central and northeastern United States; an estimated few thousand more gave up after spending a day or two trying to make the trip. Those that made it saw a vast assortment of products, some of which will soon be available for sale, and others that will probably never again see the light of day. Read more »
Dec 13, 2013
The lead up to the Holiday gift giving season is always a busy time as people start making out their gift giving lists or their own wish list for Santa. Being an analyst that tracks camera phones and digital cameras, this is also a busy time of year for me as I start getting emails, phone calls and text messages from friends asking me for camera buying advice. Since Thanksgiving I have already received many emails and texts from friends saying they need an opinion about what type of camera to buy.
I will admit I like being the one my friends and relatives turn to for an educated opinion about cameras. That role also carries some pressure with it, given the hundreds of camera models that can be found for sale from an online retailer or traditional brick and mortar stores. So as I prepare for the “what is the best camera to buy?” question I thought some of my ponderings would be helpful for others looking to answer the very same question.
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Oct 25, 2013
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.
Sep 16, 2013
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
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