Posts Tagged ‘economics’

The Economic Realities of Editorial Photography

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There are as many career paths in photography as there are food pictures on Instagram. The difference is that on Instagram, the pictures are posted for fun. When it comes to a career though, pictures are produced for profit. At least that’s how it’s supposed to be.

There is no denying that the business of photography has changed recently and so has the landscape of the clients that need pictures. From the dramatically slashed budgets at national magazines to the recent layoff of the entire photo staff at the Chicago Sun-Times, editorial photographers in particular are finding themselves questioning a marketplace that has devalued photography to the point where it has often become unprofitable to work in the editorial market — particularly if you’re a freelancer.
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Why Group Buying Deal Services Are Bad for Photographers and Customers

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The original title for this article was going to be “Group Buying Deal Review: Why WagJag Can Suck It”. After receiving an “offer” to participate in a group buying deal (also known as social buying or deal-a-day. Examples include Groupon and LivingSocial) from one of the larger local group buying companies in my area, it took me a few days, and some good advice from my wife to cool down and write this (mostly) rational analysis of the group buying deal economics.
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Fujifilm Planning to Slim Down Compact Camera Line

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Olympus isn’t the only camera manufacturer finding ways to cut costs by getting rid of their low-end camera offerings. Tokyo-based Fujifilm is expected to dramatically slim down their compact camera line by fifty percent in the near future. Read more…

Supply and Demand Pains: Fujifilm Film Prices to Jump 20% Later This Year

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Last week we reported that Fujifilm is planning to increase its film prices by 25% starting this month due to decreased consumer demand. Turns out that was specifically for the Japanese market, and that the hit won’t be as serious in the United States.

Instead of a 25% hike this month, photographers in the US will be seeing a 20% hike starting on July 1st, 2013.
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‘Consistent Quality Photographic Film Will Be Impossible to Make’

The Economist has published an article on photographic film’s “transition from the mass market to the artisanal,” writing that the future is bleak for film as we know it:

Consumers and professionals ditched film first. Then health-care services, which used it for X-rays, shifted to digital scans. The final blow came with the film industry’s switch to digital projection. IHS iSuppli [...] estimates filmmakers consumed 2.5m miles [...] of film each year for the distribution of prints at its height. That was just a few years ago. By 2012 this plunged by two-thirds. In 2015 it will be next to nothing.

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The Economics of Leica Camera Pricing

Have you ever wondered how Leica chooses its pricing for its high-end cameras? J Shin has written up a great post over at Leica Rumors that offers a geeky and lengthy explanation of the economics behind the company’s pricing decisions:

Every time there is any kind of a product-related announcement here and elsewhere, there are a number of invariable comments complaining about and/or defending Leica’s price strategy. In making these comments, people make references to various economic and noneconomic reasons why Leicas are priced the way they are. This essay is an attempt to show that, basically, almost everybody is right, at least when it comes to Leica’s profit motives. Rather than nefarious greed, devious psychological warfare, and, as some often mention, Dr. Kaufmann’s ignorance of Leica fandom, Leica prices are basically a function of mathematical inevitability.

The Mystery of Leica Pricing Explained [Leica Rumors]

MIOPS: Smartphone Controllable High Speed Camera Trigger

MIOPS is a new smartphone-controlled camera trigger that combines all of the features photographers want in a high-speed camera trigger into one convenient device.

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Photography and the American Dream

Photographer Laurence Kim wrote an interesting article titled “The Photography Business and the American Dream” in which he takes a look at the economics of doing photography as a career, coming to the conclusion that it’s one of the worst things you can do from a wealth creation standpoint.

I actually can’t think of a worse business than photography. I honestly can’t. In fact, if I were teaching an entrepreneurship class at a business school this would make a great exercise: Have my class think of a business that builds zero equity, had zero scalability and zero barriers to entry. It would be interesting to see if my class could come up with professional wedding/portrait photography. Knowing what makes a bad business would be very helpful in designing a good business.

The bottom line is this: from a wealth-creation standpoint, photography is a lousy career. But you probably already know that.

On the flip side, if you’re toiling as a photographer, you’re likely driven by a love of photography, not a love for money. Kim has some helpful tips for how to do photography as a career while staying smart financially.


Image credit: Money by AMagill

Canon Supply of 70-200mm f/2.8 Lens Low

According to the Canon Japan website, the company is experiencing a shortage of the EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II USM lens. The company says  demand for the lens, which was announced in January and released recently in the US, was much higher than expected.

The lens is a staple of a pro photographer’s bag, but apparently Canon did not anticipate such a high volume of purchases, especially with its own earlier model, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM still being sold at most retailers at a competitive price.

But there’s no need to panic; Canon assures that it knows Econ 101 and will be bumping up its production.

(via dpreview)

Top US Patents Captured by Non-American Companies

Just as the Winter Olympics are heating up international competition in Vancouver this week, the U.S. has suffered a bit of a statistical loss to non-American companies on home turf: American-owned companies have captured far fewer U.S. patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2009. U.S. corporations hold about 49% of all U.S. utility patents in 2009, while non-U.S. firms hold the majority.

In a repeat of last year’s trend, major Asian companies, such as South Korea’s Samsung, Japan’s Canon, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sony and Seiko Epson have snagged a spot in the top ten in number of patents issued in 2009, according to the IFI Claims Patent Services ranking.

An interesting note: out of the top 10 on the list, many, such as Canon (viewfinder patent sketch featured above), Panasonic, are diverse companies whose products include printers and televisions, but have a notable stake in the consumer camera industry. Fujifilm, a Japanese-owned company dedicated to consumer camera products alone, placed 19th on the top 50 list as well.

Though the sheer number of patents does imply an accelerated growth and company innovation with an intent to bring the products to a consumer market, the press release notes that America has held its own considering the recession climate that still lingers:

Although the margin of patent dominance between U.S. and non-U.S. firms is slight and has been for several years, there is no uncertainty that foreign firms are adding patents at a frenetic pace.  “Interest in protecting corporate intellectual property has become intense both in the U.S. and abroad, and as a result we’re seeing an increased level of patent activity,” continued [general manager of IFI Patent Intelligence Darlene] Slaughter.  “The silver lining may be that the high priority foreign firms place on U.S. patents is a confirmation of the value and importance that the U.S. market represents.”

U.S. companies, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard held top spots on the rank as well, at 1st, 3rd, 8th, and 10th, respectively.