Photographers often grumble about the rise of hobbyist photographers who charge little to no money across all kinds of photographic niches, robbing hard working professionals of clients and flooding the market with subpar results.
Instead of simply being discontent about how the industry has been changing, photographers Geoff Johnson and Kameron Bayne decided to do something about it. They’ve created Fotoseeds, a business that aims to make professional photography a sustainable profession by educating photographers, helping them grow their businesses, and doing away with insecurity and ignorance.
New cameras are like new computers. Both of them depreciate quite quickly as new technologies and new models are churned out year after year. This presents a perpetual problem for photographers, as many constantly grapple with the question of whether to upgrade their camera to a more recent model, or whether to purchase a higher-end model so that it keeps its value longer.
Market research software company Terapeak recently did a study that looks at depreciation in Canon EOS DSLRs. The results are pretty interesting.
Over the last couple of months, a political skirmish between Japan and China over the ownership of a set of islands has caused anti-Japanese protests all across China, affecting many of the Japanese manufacturing facilities. Some companies — most notably Panasonic and Canon — were forced to shut down operations and evacuate their premises as a result of the violent protests. Things got so bad that Chinese photographers had to camouflage their Japanese-brand cameras with red tape and Chinese flags.
Despite the political atmosphere in the world’s most populous nation, Canon has China squarely in its sights as it plans its next moves for international expansion.
Every few months, it seems, a fine art photograph is sold at auction for an astronomical price and then takes its place among the world’s most expensive photos. The price tags are large, but pale in comparison to the hundreds of millions of dollar shelled out for the world’s priciest paintings.
One reason for the price discrepancy may be due to the fact that art collectors are more wary of fine art photography’s long term value, and the fact that any reprints of the same images made in the future could drastically affect the value of their investments. However, a new report has found that confidence in the photography market is steadily rising, meaning we’ll likely see prices continue to balloon.
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
Japanese electronic industry analysis company BCN has published a new report (in Japanese) on the current landscape of the mirrorless camera industry. Using data gleaned from retailers and manufacturers over in Japan, it reports that three companies — Olympus, Sony, and Panasonic — account for nearly 70% of mirrorless camera sales in Japan. Nikon and Canon, both relatively late to the mirrorless game, are fourth and fifth (respectively), with a combined share of 22%.
In an interview we published this past weekend, popular photo blogger Thomas Hawk predicted that one of the major trends over the next five years will be “monetization for non-professional photographers.” Paul Melcher of Thoughts of a Bohemian made the exact same prediction today:
The next major disruption in the photo world will be individual licensing. The ability for any individual to license images directly [...] Getty has been fighting these trends by cutting deals with photo sharing platforms like Flickr, but for how long? Those who license via Getty do not appreciate the very low commission rate they receive and since they are already contacted by image buyers directly, can easily jump ship if offered other solution.
So what will be the effect? While, like today everyone is a publisher, tomorrow, everyone will be a photo agency capable of licensing their images with one click from anywhere. They might license only one image a year each, but multiplied by millions worlwide, they will seriously impact the photo licensing world.
So which entrepreneur or photo-hosting service will be the “first mover” in this yet-to-emerge market? Whoever it turns out to be, that person or company will both make a killing and turn a photography-related industry on its head.
The Next Big Thing [Thoughts of a Bohemian]
Image credit: Photo illustration based on hand full of polaroids by and Money Hand Holding Bankroll Girls February 08, 20117 by stevendepolo
With each new generation of popular digital camera lines, consumers generally expect that feature upgrades also be accompanied by improvements to the image sensor. According to camera testing service DxOMark, that’s not the case with Canon’s entry level DSLR lineup.
A few weeks ago, we casually remarked that the best cameraphones today can probably snap better photos than top-of-the-line compact cameras from over a decade ago. Turns out that it’s true.
An interesting headline spotted over at Yahoo News: “More Americans Becoming Serious Photographers“. In the article, analyst Chris Chute of research firm IDC says that more people in the US are identifying themselves as “enthusiasts”:
Chute said that about half of SLR owners consider themselves to be enthusiasts “who really enjoy photography and know how to use manual settings on a camera.” According to his research, only about a fifth of SLR owners consider themselves to be novices, “who just want to take pictures,” as he described it. Chute finds that surprising, since typically about half the owners of a technology would be in the novice group.
“There is a shift overall in the industry from casual to enthusiast,” said Hilton. She also found a big jump in people going from enthusiasts to semi-professionals who earn money as part-time photographers.
Chute also finds that more and more people are starting to buy a “once-obscure” type of lens: the “prime”.
More Americans Becoming Serious Photographers [Yahoo News]
Image credit: DSLR-Boy by code_martial