The Camera Industry Crisis: Who Will Fall and Who Will Survive? My Opinion, Your Vote!

Recently we published an article, where Nikkei experts predicted a dark future for the camera industry. It’s an interesting one, that goes beyond the statement “smartphones are to blame for that“. Make sure to read if first here.

This is kind of a follow up article to that.

Here are a few considerations, and then feel free to say your opinion in the comments and to vote the survey down below.

Let’s start!

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Nikkei: “Japanese Camera Industry Strangles Itself. 88% Decline in 10 Years. On the Brink of Extinction, Unless…”

Triggered by recent failure of the Olympus imaging division (which FujiRumors dedicated an own – and very personal – article here), Nikkei deputy editor Masamichi Hoshi has published a rather dark overview over the current camera market situation and an even darker forecast.

The article starts by taking into account two rather obvious reasons, why the camera industry struggles, and that surely Japanese camera makers are not responsible for:

  • the rise of smartphones
  • COVID-19 (which lead to only 2.63 million shipments during the first four months of this year, down 44% from the same period last year)

The numbers of the decline are dramatic:

  • 2010: a total of 121 million digital cameras shipped
  • 2019: a total of 15 million digital cameras shipped
  • … this means there was an almost 88% decrease in 10 years only!
  • 2020: a total of 2.63 million digital cameras shipped in the first 4 months

A special mention in regards of struggling companies goes to Nikon, which has photography as a core business (unlike Fujifilm), but also all other brands are having hard times.

Nikon’s imaging unit, which has focused on digital cameras, finished the fiscal year that ended in March with an operating loss of 17.1 billion yen ($158.7 million), down from a profit of 22 billion yen the previous year. In November, the unit drafted a rebuilding plan focused on the “pro-hobby class,” which consumes 3 million interchangeable lenses per year. It aims to cut 50 billion yen from its fiscal 2019 operating costs by the end of fiscal 2022. The cuts will come from a reorganization of production plants, a narrowing of products and a personnel reduction.

The digital camera operations of companies like Ricoh and Panasonic also continue to struggle. The operating profit at Canon’s imaging system units fell by 48.2 billion yen in the year through December, a 62% drop the previous year.

But beyond smartphones and COVID-19, there is a third reason highlighted by Masamichi Hoshi, which is the one we want to focus on here today: excessive competition.

Here is what Masamichi Hoshi writes on Nikkei:

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These Guys Left Full Frame Sony, Canon and Nikon for Fujifilm APS-C

Switch to X

Here is a roundup about photographers, who are switching from full frame Sony, Canon and Nikon to Fujifilm X.

Mostly they say that the difference in image quality compared to full frame is negligible. But the difference in ergonomics, functionality, menu system, look, size, beautiful lenses, color science etc is much more significant. These aspects make the real difference and worth it to go with Fujifilm APS-C.

At the end, the most important thing is getting into a system that makes you want to shoot more, and Fujifilm is, for some, the best choice for that. As one of the them said:

There is something about Fujifilm, where they want you to get the most for what you pay for.

And to be clear: if you shoot any other brand, and are happy with it, then you did everything right, and you should not care about what the people below say. You have your needs, and you are right to ignore Fujifilm.

But here we are on a Fujifilm blog, so we talk about people, who shoot Fujifilm.

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Cure Your Bokeh Addiction… or When Too Much Background Blur Removes the Story and Creates Distraction

The Bokeh

We recently posted this story, about a Canon shooter, who tried Fujifilm for the first time, and there was so much she loved about it (starting from the fun using Fuji and the inspiration that comes with it), but one thing she missed: the bokeh she had with her Canon f/1.2 lenses.

So I thought to dedicate an own article to the “bokeh-discussion”, starting from two youtube videos below, that I have summed up for you.

And to give it all are more light and fun touch, I’ll share also the recent Camera Conspiracies video :).

I just remind you, that for the ultimate bokeh Fujifilm is going to release the Fujinon XF 50mm f/1.0.

  • fujirumors.com  – Fujinon XF 50mm f/1.0 Accurate Size Comparison with XF 56mm f/1.2 and XF 50mm f/2

Camera Conspiracies

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