MUST READ: First Look at the XF 16-55mmF2.8 WR
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Hard times for Film aficionados.
Not only Fujifilm is discontinuing their popular films like last the Fujichrome Velvia 100F 120, but they also closed important film factories. The one in Tilburg (Netherlands) was closed several years ago, and its equipment is now on sale via auction (look inside the factory and check the auctions at troostwijkauctions).
There seems to be just one last bastion for Fuji’s film: the booming world of Instax! As I told you here, Instax cameras and instax film are stable at the very top of the OVERALL AmazonUS camera & photo ranking,
Instax are winners! That’s why Fujifilm continues to develop new models. The latest one is the new INSTAX WIDE 300 camera, launched along with the X100T and graphite Fujifilm X-T1. My personal favorite is still the Instax Mini Neoclassic 90, launched about a year ago. The success of the Instax cameras pushes, at the same time, the sales of Instax Film.
The earnings from the booming Instax Business are also used for developing the X-line.
However, as said, Instax Film is probably the last bastion, where film is still selling well.
Look at that:
Here is a graph (via Mirrorlessrumors) that shows the inexorable decline of film caused by the arrival of digital photography, and the ongoing decline of digital cameras due to the smartphone-selfie-era. But the interesting part is also that little red bar… curious to see how it evolves in future ;) .
Howard Curtis Smith commented this graph on facebook here and said:
“There are a couple of interesting things in this chart. Camera production while down significantly from its peak, is still ahead of 1999 which was the zenith of film camera production. There was a large run up in sales as customers purchased digital cameras in huge numbers rapidly causing market saturation. Now that the market is saturated it needs to find a new level. Sales growth of three fold over a 10 year stretch was not sustainable. Add to that the point and shoot market has been decimated by the camera phone and probably will not recover as camera phone quality is good enough for most uses and is only getting better.
The high-end DSLR market is hurting less, but still hurting as the newspaper/magazine industry is in free fall and so not replacing older equipment. The rate of improvement in DSLRs has slowed causing a slow down in customers upgrading. Mirrorless systems stand to gain share from prosumer DSLR and high-end P/S cameras, but they are still building out their lens lineups and feature sets. I would not be surprised if sales halved again before stabilizing. 4K video will probably be the next driver in the upgrade cycle.”