“We May Be Seeing the Beginning of the Collapse of the Compact Camera Market”

Hiroshi Hiyama over at Phys.Org reports that smartphones are crushing the point-and-shoot industry, putting compact cameras in the same group as video game consoles and portable music players — devices that are having a hard time competing against all-in-one phones. The numbers are crazy:

Just as digital cameras all but destroyed the market for photographic film, the rapid shift to picture-taking smartphones has torn into a camera sector dominated by Japanese firms including Canon, Olympus, Sony and Nikon. “We may be seeing the beginning of the collapse of the compact camera market,” said [analyst] Nobuo Kurahashi. Figures from Japan’s Camera and Imaging Products Association echo the analyst’s grim prediction. Global shipments of digital cameras among Japanese firms tumbled about 42 percent in September from a year ago to 7.58 million units, with compact offerings falling 48 percent, according to the Association. Higher-end cameras with detachable lenses fell a more modest 7.4 percent in that time, it said.

As the compact camera market shrinks, the war over mirrorless camera dominance is growing. All the major camera makers now have a horse in that race, which will only be heating up as consumers discover that they no longer have a need for small-sensor cameras.

Smartphones crushing point-and-shoot camera market [Phys.Org]

Image credit: Photo illustration based on still from Inception by Warner Bros. Pictures

  • Craig Dickson

    The compact P&S is being pounded from two directions — from below, by smartphones, and from above by the mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras. Low-end DSLRs are suffering too, squeezed between the mirrorless cameras and higher-end DSLRs.

  • Fra Lippi

    While I’m sure the market will shrink quite a bit, I can still see use cases for dedicated compact cameras. For some people they will want better image quality than a phone, without going up to a interchangeable lens camera. Others will be put off by the idea of paying $30/month for a data plan on their camera. The market shrinks, but does not disappear.

  • 32323

    i predictate that since the iphone 2

  • Renato Murakami

    Nokia probably hammered some nails to the coffin when it announced 808…
    I’ll have to say I’m part of that. Couple of years ago I was considering a lot to buy a P&S just to have a camera I could take with me vs my dSLR which I’d only take on jobs and when the objective was solely photographic.
    But when I finally decided to make the purchase this year, I went with a smartphone with decent camera.
    I guess there will always be room for point ‘n shoots, and several companies are struggling to differentiate them… with apps, filters, different modes, higher res, bigger sensors, good glass among other directions. But I guess most camera manufacturers are kinda prepared to face this.
    Maybe the spirit is in that interesting Sony NEX video: lots of people buying dSLRs only to use it on auto.

  • 32323

    compact cameras are to expensive and they don´t offer enough over smartphone cameras for most people.
    in my family only my father an myself know what “aperture” mean or how it affects DOF.
    all other family members are happy with their “everything is in focus” smartphone pictures. they only want to capture a moment and don´t care about a artistic look.

  • YouDidntDidYou

    There will only be a market for p&s aimed at children and the tough/waterproof segment, point and shoots began to die a year ago and won’t be around in 12-24 months….it will either be mirrorless or “full frame”

  • agenius

    “better image quality than a phone”. let me tell you a story. I work for a magazine, and just earlier today, I took some photos with my SG S4 that I’m going to submit for an assignment for said magazine. like to be published. blown up, & in color. theres still a market for Atari games, but let me tell you, I wouldn’t want to be in it!