Time for the Industry to Start Calling Everything DILCs

Ed Lee
Dec 13, 2013

Results of InfoTrends’ Consumer Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera 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.

The DILC market remains divided today into two segments: DSLRs and CILCs. As the products evolve and physical distinctions of size and weight diminish, InfoTrends believes that the segments will converge back into a single category, which we suggest be called Digital Interchangeable Lens Cameras or DILCs. There could be a case made, however, to just call everything a DSLR, even though it is technically inaccurate, it would make it easier on retailers and consumers shopping for a new camera.

When the segments converge into one category, the issue surrounding the standardization of names will finally be resolved, and then perhaps sales of CILCs will surge. Until then, consumer confusion will remain one of the factors that will negatively affect sales of CILCs. Among the terminology used today to describe CILCs (CILC, CSC, mirrorless, Micro Four Thirds, ACIL, DSLM, Non-reflex), it turns out that the term “compact interchangeable lens camera” scored the highest in awareness with 48% of survey respondents saying that they were familiar with the term. This is still low however, when compared to “Digital SLRs,” which is recognized by 77% of respondents.

InfoTrends recommends that vendors and retailers continue to educate future DILC buyers about the advantages and disadvantages of CILCs and DSLRs to create smart shoppers. Among respondents surveyed who plan to purchase a DILC within a year, 77% are thinking about buying a DSLR, 7% a CILC, and 8% are considering both. Equipment manufacturers and retailers must continue to inform potential purchasers so they can make the decision that is best for them.


InfoTrends’ Consumer Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera study is designed to equip companies that are interested in the DILC market with critical business planning information. It provides demographic information on different types of camera owners, examines owners’ and future owners’ attitudes, behaviors, and brand preferences, provides insight into photo activities, feature use, and future requirements, and analyzes current and future market opportunities. This study also provides a market forecast from 2013 to 2018.

For more information on this study, please visit our online brochure or contact Matt O’Keefe at 781 616 2115 or matt.okeefe@infotrends.com.

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