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  1. #1
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Evolution of the marketplace

    Some of my recent outbursts have been influenced by an article I read in this month's Chasseurs d'Images about 2004 sales and the expected evolution. I thought I might share parts of it with you.

    There were about 2 Million DSLR's sold worldwide in 2004. This is expected to grow to 3.5 Million in 2005 and 6 Million in 2008. Currently Nikon and Canon take the vast majority of the market with cameras under 1000$. The other manufacturers are trying to hang on (Olympus, Pentax, Minolta) and others are going to try to get in (Panasonic) because there is still more profit made on a DSLR than on a point-and-shoot where competition is really fierce.

    For France the digital point-and-shoot market still represents 97% of volume sales, with largest volumes in the 300-500 Euro range. 107,000 DSLR's were sold in 2004 against 60,000 film SLR's. Medium format sales aren't out yet but in 2003 there were only 390 medium format cameras sold. Highest volumes of all were the 20 Million throw-away film cameras.

    Charles

  2. #2
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution of the marketplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    in 2003 there were only 390 medium format cameras sold.
    That's a bit of a surprise! Is this in Europe or worldwide? I realize that many people are dumping MF for digital and because of that used equipment is a bargain, but with systems like the Hasselblad H1 (I think it came out late '03 but maybe it was early '04) and the Mamiya 7ii I thought there would be higher numbers than that.

  3. #3
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution of the marketplace

    Those are some interesting numbers..
    I wonder how 35mm SLR's faired?
    Thanks for posting this Charles.
    Brian
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  4. #4
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    A bit of arithmetic

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    That's a bit of a surprise! Is this in Europe or worldwide? I realize that many people are dumping MF for digital and because of that used equipment is a bargain, but with systems like the Hasselblad H1 (I think it came out late '03 but maybe it was early '04) and the Mamiya 7ii I thought there would be higher numbers than that.
    390 is the figure for France only (Hasselblad just announced that they are going to close their subsidiary in France and work by distributors). Lets not forget that the marketplace for medium format and 2000$+ DSLR's is basically professional and insignificant in numbers compared with the consumer market.

    How about a bit of arithmetic?

    - Assume that the sales of DSLR's are uniquely linked to the lowest price model on the market
    - In 2002 the lowest price was $2500 and sales in France were too low to be measured
    - In 2003 the lowest price was $1500 and sales in France were 22,000
    - In 2004 the lowest price was $1000 and sales in France were 107,000
    - In 2004 worldwide DSLR sales were 2,000,000

    1. What will be the lowest price of DSLR's in 2005 to sell 3,500,000 worldwide?
    2. What will be the lowest price of DSLR's in 2008 to sell 6,000,000 worldwide?

    Charles

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    Re: Evolution of the marketplace

    Is this an evolution or a repeat. Notwithstanding the MF, there was a time when people were buying 35mm film cameras by the hoards. Of course, you'll need to look at those number and adjust them for a comparison with dslr's today.

    Still, I am amazed. It seems SO many people I know who haven't touched their 35mm slr, in decades in some cases, are buying a d70, drebel, even 20ds. A few of the well off even purchasing cameras like the 1ds!

    My question is why the sudden interest? Is it just technology? A feeling of being left behind? Is it a good use for their computers that were only being used for email and surfing?

    I don't know the answers. However, I find it hard to believer it's a sudden interest in photography. I think it is more of a keeping up with the joneses and worrying about being left behind technology wise (my dad fits this bill).

    Granted, I understand it's fun to snap shots, instance pleasure, and email your friends. This in of itself doesn't explain the drive towards dslrs. In fact, I'm amazed how many people worry about the pixel counts when they mostly just view images on their computers and occasionally print an 8x10 on their inkjet. More often than not, one of these slr like digicams will go beyond meeting their needs. I'm suprised how often I can get by with one...

  6. #6
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution of the marketplace

    Quote Originally Posted by darkman
    Is this an evolution or a repeat. Notwithstanding the MF, there was a time when people were buying 35mm film cameras by the hoards. Of course, you'll need to look at those number and adjust them for a comparison with dslr's today.

    Still, I am amazed. It seems SO many people I know who haven't touched their 35mm slr, in decades in some cases, are buying a d70, drebel, even 20ds. A few of the well off even purchasing cameras like the 1ds!

    My question is why the sudden interest? Is it just technology? A feeling of being left behind? Is it a good use for their computers that were only being used for email and surfing?

    I don't know the answers. However, I find it hard to believer it's a sudden interest in photography. I think it is more of a keeping up with the joneses and worrying about being left behind technology wise (my dad fits this bill).

    Granted, I understand it's fun to snap shots, instance pleasure, and email your friends. This in of itself doesn't explain the drive towards dslrs. In fact, I'm amazed how many people worry about the pixel counts when they mostly just view images on their computers and occasionally print an 8x10 on their inkjet. More often than not, one of these slr like digicams will go beyond meeting their needs. I'm suprised how often I can get by with one...
    I don't think it's a repeat of what happened with film. I think that the market share of SLR's is declining (only 3%). Some digital point-and-shoots (example: bridge cameras) have become almost as good as DSLR's with the advantage of being smaller, lighter and cheaper.

    The digital camera market has taken off because the products look like fun and it gives people something to do with the computer they just bought. Digital point-and-shoots, portable telephones and MP3 players are attractive gadgets that people have a use for and are cheap enough to be pleasure purchases (under 500$).

    My guess is that by 2008 the bulk of DSLR sales will be made with cameras that come with the kit lens for just under 500$, and are smaller and lighter than today's models, and look more fun.

    Charles

  7. #7
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    Re: Evolution of the marketplace

    Quote Originally Posted by darkman
    My question is why the sudden interest? Is it just technology? ... I think it is more of a keeping up with the joneses and worrying about being left behind technology wise (my dad fits this bill).
    Digital P&S cameras are a very competitive market. There are tons of ads on TV (HP's come to mind) showing how great digital cameras are. Photography is cool! If you don't have a digital camera, you're behind the times. I hear people (non-photographers) say things like "Is that a digital camera?" "No, it's just a regular camera". Personally, I shoot film and digital and each has it's advantages. Digital doesn't solve every problem, and it does create some of it's own. But it is pretty cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by darkman
    I'm amazed how many people worry about the pixel counts when they mostly just view images on their computers
    Exactly. People seem shocked when I tell them that 1024x768 monitor resolution (very common) is less than one megapixel. More MP doesn't really make a difference here - and that's assuming you're looking at a photo on the whole screen. You're probably seeing it inside a frame as part of the software that allows you to view it. 2mp cameras can make decent 8x10's. More MP gives you more features, but most "normal" people don't use things like spot meters and flash compensation. But I do! And pixels ain't pixels - a 4mp DSLR with it's 1.5x sensor will give you a nicer image in many situations than a P&S 8mp.

    I think it's a psychological thing - if you don't know much about a product, you zero in on a spec. More equals better (we're told by ads) so I should give up my 4mp camera and get an 8mp, etc.

    OK, done venting now!

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