The Difficulties of Choosing a Name – and the consequence of having more than one

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May 29, 2012

Anyone who has become a parent will know that choosing a name can be difficult. Having many different names can create confusion and I am sure that most people would prefer to be known by one name and perhaps a nickname. Now imagine if you had at least 7 different names. That is the case for what InfoTrends calls compact interchangeable lens cameras (CILC).  Since the first compact interchangeable lens cameras were announced by Panasonic and Olympus in 2008 under the Micro Four Thirds name, they have acquired a number of new names including:

  • Mirrorless DSL
  • Mirrorless hybrid
  • DSL Micro
  • Compact interchangeable  lens camera
  • Compact system camera
  • Non-Reflex
  • Advanced Camera Interchangeable Lens

The reason for the many names might be that each company that has entered this market has either been mindful of potential loss of DSLR sales or the desire to grab market share from DSLRs. For both camps though, it makes sense to find a name that all can agree on. By providing a clear and consistent choice of name it is less likely that consumers will confuse a CILC with a DSLR or a P&S camera with a large sensor.

In March, InfoTrends digital photography study reached out to consumers in France, Germany, Italy, and the UK. Consumers were presented with a list of names and were asked if they had heard about the different
types of cameras. The data speaks for itself.

Had you heard about the following types of
interchangeable lens cameras before answering this survey? — Western Europe

Confusion still reigns. The Non-Reflex name, which the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) in Japan introduced in January 2012, seems to have gained some traction. Compact interchangeable lens cameras and compact system cameras continue to score well for name recognition.

Digital camera vendors have a marketing challenge ahead of them if CILCs are to enjoy the success they are capable of. CILCs will need to have a name that resonates with consumers and which will be easy to
recognize. This will not only help consumers, but also retailers who are tasked with selling these cameras. In turn this will result in increased sales volume that the industry is looking for.

Please contact Jennie Lewis ( or Matt O’Keefe ( to learn more about the 2012 European Digital Photography study. Data tabulations are currently available.

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