A few weeks ago a Canon exec went on record and said that due to the popularity of smartphone cameras, the camera market will decline by 50% in the next two years; that sentiment isn’t shared by the industry as a whole though. Fujifilm firmly believe that the market will grow or decline for each company based off of their own innovations. Burn! Join us after the break to see what else Fujifilm shared, and what we think manufacturers need to do to combat the rise of smartphone photography.
A recent article on Canon Watch shared an interview that took place between Imaging Resource, and Fujifilm execs Toshihisa Iida and Makoto Oishi. During the interview the pair were asked questions about the camera market and where Fujifilm thought that it might go in the next two years. As you can tell by the title, Fujifilm do not agree with Canon’s assessment of the camera market. In fact they believe the camera market will grow, and will go from strength to strength.
Fujfilm’s assessment of the camera market is much more positive, and as they stated in the interview, the camera market is firmly in the hands of the manufacturers, and each companies success is determined by the level of innovation of each brand. Manufacturers like Fujifilm, and Sony have been turning the camera world on its head with products like the Fujifilm X-T3, the X-T30, and the Sony a9 and the A7R III. When you also look at Fujifilm’s work to make Medium Format cameras like the GFX 50R more affordable and accessible to the masses, and the upcoming, ground breaking GFX 100 which should really wow people, you can see why their outlook is different from Canon’s who are just pushing out more of the same over, and over again.
Canon took far too long to enter the Mirrorless camera races, and as a result they saw a large chunk of their market share shrink. Photographers were jumping to Sony, and Fujfilm left, right, and center, and while those companies sales figures went through the roof, Canon’s went into free fall.
Sure, Canon have released the EOS R and the EOS RP, but they are still far behind the competition, and they really lack any sort of innovation. The EOS R uses the same sensor found in the aging 5D MK iV, and the EOS RP uses the same sensor as the mediocre 6D Mk II. Their Mirrorless offerings are hardly ground breaking. With Sony and Fujifilm leading the charge, and with a ton of people just opting to use their smartphone cameras, you can see why Canon are worrying.
We have talked about the smartphone camera revolution before, and we totally agree with Fujifilm in regards to innovation. Smartphone manufacturers are seriously innovating on the photography front, and the camera industry really does need to take notice. Current smartphones are capable of producing some really nice images, and when you add in things like internet access, the ability to post to social media, and the ability to edit your pictures really well all in one device you can understand why so many people just use their phone as their main camera.
Yongnuo understand this and they have been busy innovating. While the Yongnuo YN450 might not be the camera to really wow the masses and make them put away their phones, they are trying to move things in the right direction. The YN450 is powered by Android, which is a familiar operating system to millions of people, the camera will have access to 4G LTE data so images snapped with the camera can be shared instantly, and it will have access to an app store so applications like Lightroom Mobile, and Snapseed can be used to edit pictures on the go. This is the type of innovation that the camera industry needs.
While Fujifilm And Sony are busy innovating in other areas like creating APS-C powerhouses, and Full Frame cameras that are packed to the rafters with features, perhaps Canon should look at something like the Yongnuo YN450. Adding features like the ones the YN450 has to their cameras could really make Canon’s offerings stand out again. Instead of deliberately crippling their cameras, perhaps they should push the envelope so that they can compete.
Surely Canon’s outlook on the camera market will be much more favorable, and would be much more in line with Fujifilm’s views if they do this. It’s not all doom and gloom. Manufacturers in general need to embrace some of the features of smartphones, and they need to bring them into the camera world. We live in a digital, always connected age. Instead of being scared of smartphone cameras, perhaps camera manufacturers should incorporate some of the technology that makes smartphone cameras fun and easy to use into their products.
What do you think about both Canon’s and Fujifilm’s outlooks on the camera market? What do you think camera manufacturers need to do to make more people put down the smartphone camera and pick up a dedicated camera? Let us know in the comment section below.