The collapsed camera market is kept afloat by very expensive cameras. Figures
Despite the general decline in the global camera market, premium devices continue to gain popularity among consumers, also contributing to the growth of the interchangeable lens market. This situation is in the hands of sellers of digital cameras, almost 70% of the profits of which come from the sale of devices worth over 1,000 euros.
Smartphones continue to crowd out cheap cameras
World sales of cameras in the first half of 2018 decreased by 11% compared to the same period in 2017 and amounted to 3.9 billion euros. In real terms, the market declined by 15%. The only sector where sales and sales are growing are premium cameras. Gfk, the largest German research company, came to such conclusions.
Allied industries, including telecom, have a significant impact on the development of the camera market. The better the camera in the consumer’s smartphone, the less he thinks about buying a camera. This is especially true for the mass market segment.
Compact cameras, popularly known as “soap dishes”, can be replaced with a phone with a dual or triple camera, which offers a wide-angle lens and beautiful bokeh effects. So, the segment of cameras with integrated lenses in the period from 2013 to 2017. declined on average by 30% per year.
Gfk analyst Marcus Kik, an expert on the market for photographic equipment and consumer electronics, believes that manufacturers will be able to reorient their focus on the production of cameras that can meet the needs of modern users to ensure the growth of the camera market.
“The consumer wants to apply technological innovations in his device: use the opportunity to upload video to the network or send it to a friend directly from the camera,” said Kik. “This is the only way the camera can compete with a smartphone.”
System cameras are willing to buy, despite rising prices
As interest in compact cameras diminishes, interest in system cameras – modular devices with removable lenses – continues to grow along with the average price tag. So, for the first half of 2018, the average bill for a system camera grew from 148 to 240 euros.
Worldwide sales of system cameras approached 1 billion euros in the first half of 2018, a decrease of 21% compared to the same period last year. In Russia, “sistemniki” are also very popular among amateur and professional photographers. Over the year, the segment of system cameras in Russia grew by 35% in money and 24% in units, exceeding 1 billion rubles. The shift towards premium models affected the growth of the average check: over the same period, it grew from 58 thousand to 63.5 thousand rubles.
Most actively in this segment, premium models are growing that support 4K shooting and Wi-Fi. Their sales in the world grew by 90%. The premium segment generates almost 45% of the profit among cameras with removable lenses.
Increased demand for premium cameras is observed when selling the so-called carcass of the camera, that is, the device without a lens in the kit. According to Gfk, one in five cameras sold in the first half of 2018 was sold without a removable lens.
The buyer buys separately a camera and a lens for him, depending on his needs (portrait shooting, landscapes, fisheye). Such cameras are sold at a price above 1.5 thousand euros. Their average price is higher than the price of the camera, originally sold complete with a lens. This trend is typical for cameras with removable lenses of all types (both SLR and mirrorless).
World sales of cameras with removable lenses in the first half barely exceeded 3 billion euros and fell by 8% compared with the same period last year. In Russia, this segment is growing due to system cameras and a full-length mirror.
The popularity of expensive cameras is the driver of the lens market growth
The shift of the photo market towards the premium segment also affects the lens market. In the first half of 2018, the market for removable lenses amounted to 1 billion euros, and in Russia – 1.4 billion rubles.
The most popular lenses for mirrorless (system cameras) are currently – their turnover over the past six months has increased by almost a quarter. In the first half of 2018, more than 700 thousand lenses for mirrorless cameras were sold. In Russia, this figure is much lower – in the first six months of 2018, only 12 thousand lenses for mirrorless cameras were sold, and their price increased from 560 to 580 euros. In Russia, the price of such lenses reached 40 thousand rubles. The most popular lenses are fixed focal lengths: more than 80% of lenses sold are just that.
The situation in favor of retailers
Retailers specializing in the sale of photographic equipment (photo specialists) benefit from a new trend in the purchase of premium cameras. At the global level, the share of photo professionals has grown to 44%. Almost 70% of their profits come from the sale of cameras worth 1,000 euros and above.