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September 2014

Photo market world - Trading Up possible – Margin making in the photo market

In the 64 countries (World excl. North America), covered by the GfK, the photo market shows an inconsistent picture. The market of entry-level camera still challenges the pressure of the “Smartphone Challenge” and has negative development compared to the first half year 2013. This negative trend of the D-SLR Cameras leads to a negative development of the total market of 18% in turnover. On the other hand the market of the mirrorless system cameras increases by 7%. When looking at the market of compact digital cameras a relative stability is recognizable.

Especially simple compact cameras with low zoom factors are competing with improving photo functions. Also the wish of the consumers to quickly share their pictures is problematic for those cameras. In the whole world an estimated 1.25 billion smartphones will be sold. This means that the market increases by 25% compared to the previous year. But there is good news for the photo market, too. Because of the smartphone boom photography has never been so popular. If camera producers will focus on a better quality of pictures, haptic, functionality and more user-friendly devices, they can use their chance and differentiate from smartphones. Additionally the WiFi-function of cameras is getting more important, so that networked functions are possible. As by now 31% of all digital cameras have such a WiFi-function.

D-SLR Cameras

The total market of D-SLR Cameras has a strong negative development of -23% in turnover. Sadly this is seen by fullframe cameras and by D-SLR cameras with small sensors. On the one hand this can be explained by a certain market saturation, on the other hand by a decrease in prices by 8% to 571 EURO.

A strong relationship is seen when looking at the development of D-SLRs, mirrorless cameras and interchangeable lens. Their fall in revenues by -2% is moderate. The number of sold lenses per camera body increases to 1.35 objectives for D-SLR cameras, and up to 1.18 for system cameras.

Mirrorless system cameras

Mirrorless system cameras are reporting good news. An increase by 7% in sales and by 8% in value can be measured by the GfK. This derives out of following developments. First of all the variety of cameras got bigger last year. Further the high share of WiFi, which is a feature of 60% of the cameras, and especially the better quality of bigger sensors lead to that progress. Considering these developments it is not surprising that the average selling price increased by 6% to 374 EURO. The mirrorless cameras represent 22% of the revenues of cameras with interchangeable lens.

Fixed Lens Cameras

There are still some stabile segments, e.g. the thin Travelzoom Cameras which are equipped with a 20x zoom and more. In a difficult environment it had the same sales compared to last half year. Because of a strong pricing pressure, the revenues decreased by -14%. Currently Fixed Lens Cameras are responsible for 15% of the revenue of Travelzoom Cameras. The average selling price decreased by 12% to 210 EURO.

Having a look at Fixed Lens Cameras with a big sensor (greater or equal to 1/1.7”) an increase of 4% in sales can be recognized. The revenue on the other hand decreased by 9% compared to last year.

Beneath a focus on the market for accessories, companies are recommended to concentrate on revenues rather than on sales. They should also focus on innovation (connectivity, form factors, usability) and picture quality. Industry and Trade (at least partly) are already concentrating on these aspects. This can be derived by looking on an increase in the average selling price of digital cameras by 6%.

Source: GfK