The camera market is giving manufacturers greater profits than ever, so quit your whining Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and others.
There has been so much noise made by the industry about the rise of cell phones with cameras that are good enough for most people. There has been even more noise from camera manufacturers about declining sales, and the decreasing value of the camera market. But Leica says that’s all a bunch of baloney! According to Leica, the camera market is alive and well; in fact, they say it’s better than ever. Let’s talk about this after the break.
Let’s take a trip back to the middle of last year when a few camera manufacturers (Canon in particular) stated that the camera market was in a freefall and that sales would continue to decline for the next few years. The culprit, we were told, was the rise of smartphones and all the things that they could do. I remember Fujifilm releasing a statement basically saying that was a bunch of nonsense as they could see the camera market growing and that business was good. It turns out that Leica felt the same way too.
In an interview (which was reported on by Leica Rumors) Leica gave to a French website (Mizuwari), Stefan Daniel (Leica’s Global Director of Product Divisions) stated that the current camera market has more than four to fives times the value it had during the days of film. Stefan also said all of these camera manufacturers crying about the camera market are just blowing hot air.
So, while Canon, Olympus, and many others who talked about a declining market may well be stating the truth in regard to overall amounts of units shipped, what they don’t mention is the value of the sales they are making in terms of profits. Sure, they might be selling less units, but the profit margins on each camera sold are higher than ever. Just take a look at companies like Fujifilm and Olympus who constantly reuse older parts in their new cameras.
The ‘new’ X-Pro 3 is basically the same as the older X-T3. The ‘new’ Olympus E-M5 III and the ‘new’ E-M1 III use the same parts as a camera from 2016. These are parts they have in large supply, that cost very little to produce, and which help increase profit margin. Canon has even done this by using basically the same sensors from the EOS 5D Mk IV and the EOS 6D II in the EOS R and the EOS RP. These camera companies can cry all they like about the camera market, but as Stefan Daniel points out, the fact is camera manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank. So, make what you will of the statements released by (insert brand here), and just know that the camera industry is apparently thriving, and will be for some time to come.