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Popular Digital Cameras

Which brand to choose
Today, when the overall demand for digital cameras continues to grow, the shares of specific brands and models are evening out, so it’s becoming increasingly difficult to advise anything specific. Reliable data on the brands sold in Russia, of course, are not available, but according to the number of requests on the Internet in Russia, Canon digital cameras are most interested in more than 30%, then Olympus / Nikon – 15-17%, then Sony / FujiFilm – 10- 15%, then Konica-Minolta / Pentax / Samsung – less than 10% and, finally, Casio / Panasonic – about 5%. In this sense, we are closer to Europe than to America or Japan, where the statistics differ markedly from European. For example, Europeans also prefer Canon – a little less than 30%, then Nikon / Sony – about 12-15%, then Olympus – about 10%, followed by FujiFilm / Konica-Minolta / Kodak – 5-7%, then Panasonic / Pentax / Casio – about 5% and, finally, HP / Samsung – 1-2%. For some reason, Americans love Sony – more than 20%, then they have Canon – 17-19%, then Olympus / FujiFilm – about 15%, Nikon – less than 10%, Kodak / Casio – 5-7%, and finally HP – 2-3%. However, this does not mean that only the listed companies buy cameras – the market today is very diverse. By the way, Sony has been the leader in the world for about the fifth year due to sales in Japan and America with about 20% of the market, and its share in Russia (and throughout Europe) is not too large.

As for the general situation with sales in the world, although digital cameras still continue to enjoy steady and ever-growing demand, growth trends have slowed significantly and today’s pace is no longer record. For example, according to RBC Capital Markets, in August last year, an average of only 4% more cameras were sold worldwide than in July (and, as you know, in the summer months, cameras are most in demand). However, the numbers of various agencies, and even for different regions, vary greatly: for example, in the USA and Japan, demand growth amounted to 4 and 6%, respectively, but in Europe, demand even fell by 6%. Meanwhile, according to Japanese marketers, despite such a slight increase in demand for digital cameras, there may be a shortage of CCDs (CCDs) used in these devices, since many companies today are switching to the production of CMOS sensors for mobile phones (camera phones).

According to the Association of Camera and Image Processing Product Manufacturers (CIPA), the global market for cameras for the 2004 calendar year is expected to be 60.9 million units. This is 40.3% higher than in 2003. The best growth indicators remain with Canon: a doubling of sales in 2003 and 76.7% growth this year, which is 15.2 million units.

For the current fiscal year, which will end in March, Sony predicted the release of 15 million units, Canon – about the same amount, Olympus – 11 million (48.6% increase). Sanyo, an OEM, sold 11.1 million devices in fiscal year 2003, and in 2004, an increase of 80.2% from 20 million.

But although the percentage of sales growth in this market is declining, in numerical terms it still remains very significant. Nevertheless, the global market for digital cameras is moving towards saturation and is stabilizing in a few years. However, companies do not yet undertake to predict when this will happen.

At the same time, manufacturers of film cameras suffer enormous losses. For example, the Japanese corporation Nikon in the 2003/2004 fiscal year lost almost $ 10 million due to the high yen and weak demand for film cameras and chip manufacturing equipment. For comparison: Nikon ended the fiscal year 2002/2003 even with minimal, but profit. At the same time, sales of film cameras, a significant market share of which Nikon holds, have seriously declined, and company sales in the digital camera market have soared.

In fiscal year 2002/2003, Nikon controlled about 30% of the global film SLR market, but lagged behind its main competitors, Olympus and Sony, in the rapidly growing digital camera sector. And in the 2003/2004 fiscal year, Nikon controlled only a little more than 10% of the digital camera market, being in fifth place after Sony, Canon, Olympus and Fuji Photo Film.

At the same time, manufacturers of digital cameras are concerned that due to the mass appearance of mobile phones equipped with built-in digital cameras with a resolution of more than a megapixel, a significant part of consumer demand, previously attributable to digital cameras, is now shifting towards camera phones. According to the forecast of the Japanese analytical company Techno Systems Research (TSR), in 2005 global demand for digital cameras will increase by 29.5%, which will be 64 million units, respectively, and for camera phones these figures will be 139% and 83.4 million units . At the same time, last year, JP Morgan predicted in 2005 the demand for digital cameras in the amount of 83.4 million.

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