The changes sweeping across the camera industry continue to reflect themselves across company broadsheets as smartphone camera sales explode and other segments wane, some much more so than others.
In a bit of disheartening news, digital camera shipments fell even lower than their nadir in 2016, posting one of the lowest volume years on record according to industry analytics group CIPA (Camera and Imaging Products Association).
A little over 2 million digital cameras were shipped in November 2017, 17% lower than in that same month in 2016. That’s a massive decline year over year and even more troubling when taken into consideration with prior years like 2015.
Looking back at November 2015, the numbers become even sadder as DP Review notes 2015 saw almost a million more units shipped than in 2017.
This larger trend probably explains why many major optics manufacturers are shrinking their digital camera output with some even shuttering factories that produce digital cameras exclusively.
A lot of the low-end camera market is now part of the burgeoning (and highly profitable) smartphone camera sector.
This isn’t to say that smartphone cameras are cheap or less advanced; on the contrary, it is smartphone cameras’ growing adaptability and technical prowess that puts that segment on such a growth trajectory.
The digital camera shipments now mirror the interchangeable lens segment shipments with system cameras and DSLRs experiencing less dramatic shifts in units shipped.
As industry analysts predicted for some time, the advance of smartphone cameras would have wide-ranging effects on the industry at large, reshaping entire segments in its wake.
November is a typically strong month for optics manufacturers as the winter holidays approach – a major buying season in many parts of the world. Softness during this time period could signal larger worries for camera companies relying on the revenue from this sales period.