Digital camera sales growth to slow

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Alan Browne, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    "Slow" here means 13% growth which is pretty healthy.


    Study Predicts Slower Digital Camera Growth

    Thursday, February 10, 2005; 5:08 PM

    NEW YORK -- The photography industry expects U.S. digital camera sales growth to
    slow to about 13 percent this year, as the market matures after growing at a
    breakneck pace for almost a decade, according to a report released on Thursday.

    Unit sales of digital cameras, which use no traditional film and record images
    on a memory chip, will rise to 20.5 million this year from an estimated 18.2
    million in 2004, industry trade group Photo Marketing Association said in its
    annual photography industry report.

    The increase pales beside the rapid gains of more than 30 percent in each of the
    last three years.

    "Digital cameras are expected to continue their growth in 2006 before reaching
    their peak at the end of that year or the next," PMA said. "As the digital
    camera market matures, industry revenue will increasingly depend on accessories,
    consumables and services."

    The rapid transition to digital photography has forced companies like No. 1 film
    maker Eastman Kodak Co. to shift their business strategy away from film. It also
    hurt the retail photo developers where most consumers took film to be turned
    into prints, although use of retail printing is rising.

    The overall camera market, including film-based models, is expected to be flat
    in 2005, after growing by 3 percent in 2004.

    Total film sales are expected to fall 18 percent in 2005 to 532 million rolls,
    after sliding 19 percent last year. Sales of single-use cameras -- which are
    also called "disposable" and are counted as rolls of film -- are expected to
    slip to 217 million in 2005 from 218 million.

    PMA also said that more consumers are printing digital photos at local shops
    like pharmacy chain Walgreen Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. , but the majority
    still develop their snapshots at home,

    Some 40 percent of the 7.7 billion digital images printed in the United States
    this year will be made at retail stores, up from 31 percent in 2004. By
    contrast, 18.2 million traditional film prints will be made in 2005, down 18
    percent from last year.

    Printing of digital pictures at home will shrink to 52 percent in 2005 from 61
    percent in 2004. Online photo developers are seen staying at about 8 percent,
    the study said.

    Digital snapshots can be e-mailed, viewed on a computer or television, stored on
    a computer or deleted. Most are never printed.

    The group came up with its projections after surveying retailers and about
    10,000 households.
    Alan Browne, Feb 11, 2005
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  2. Alan Browne

    bmoag Guest

    All markets saturate eventually
    bmoag, Feb 11, 2005
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  3. Moreover, for film cameras, specially 35mm, photographers often carry two
    camera bodies loaded with slow & fast films. With digital, there is no need for
    Gautam Majumdar, Feb 11, 2005
  4. Alan Browne

    Scott W Guest

    I have been seeing this headline all over, it's great. They are not
    saying that the sales of digital cameras are slowing down, what they
    are saying is that the rather incredible sales volume will in fact
    increase but that the rate of increase will not be as high. But when
    we are talking about 20 M unit /year so just keeping that level of
    sale it pretty impressive.

    I can see the sale going up more however, depending on developments in
    the cameras. We are getting very close to the point where a $50 digital
    camera will make great looking 4 x 6 prints, I figure it takes about a
    2 MP camera to do that and even 1.2 MP is not too bad. These are at the
    $100 mark which puts them out of the impulse buying range for many
    people but at $50 I think a whole lot of people who have not yet bought
    a digital camera would say what the hell I'll give it a try.

    But I think there will be a real flattening of the market in not too
    many years. It is sort of like computer in that you can try to get
    people to up-grade there cameras, but for computes the push to get new
    ones has large been to be able to run the new software. What will
    happen when everyone who wants a digital camera owns one?

    Scott W, Feb 12, 2005
  5. Alan Browne

    Alan Meyer Guest

    I agree with that.

    Two things may happen at the low end of the market:

    1. Electronic integration will lower the parts count.

    Various chip companies are hard at work building integrated
    circuit solutions to the entire digital part of the digital
    camera. As component feature size shrinks, integration goes
    up, and more and more complete solutions appear, we may see
    a single chip incorporating a sensor, digital image
    processor, control processor, memory, and software all in
    one device that can be manufactured and sold in millions of
    parts per year.

    2. Pixel counts will go up.

    You can't buy a 386, 486, Pentium I or II computer these
    days. Nobody makes them. The cheapest and slowest
    computers made today are tremendously faster than the chips
    made 10 and 20 years ago. I'm thinking that the same thing
    may happen with pixel counts on sensors.
    A very interesting question. What will the next big thing be?
    Are they working on an integrated cell phone, digital camera,
    GPS, PDA, video and sound recorder, radio and TV?

    Capitalism has many flaws, but one of them isn't that there's no

    Alan Meyer, Feb 12, 2005
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