Camera manufacturers (Canon/Nikon/Sony/Pentax/Fuji/Olympus/Panasonic) ignored the potential of the iPhone & other smartphones for too long, and now they’ve lost the consumer camera mark. The industry is devastated. If they don’t act fast, they’ll lose the enthusiast market, too.
The excitement in the consumer camera photography world is not the latest cameras from Nikon, Canon, Samsung, FujiFilm, Sony, Leica, Panasonic but its the latest smartphone from Apple.
Smartphone cameras have reached the point of quality and convenience that consumers have little need for stand alone consumer cameras. The consumer camera is totally inconvenient for the photo sharing apps that the average consumer needs – Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram.
Unfortunately camera companies have always relied on the lower level consumer cameras to help defray research and development costs for their flagship professional level cameras and lenses.
What does this eventually mean for professionals who are not about to show up at a fashion shoot or wedding with a smartphone? Hopefully high end photography enthusiasts will continue to purchase pro level cameras for their vacations. The retired dentists and doctors who buy the best equipment and become camera equipment collectors help supplement the sales and allow companies like Canon and Nikon to continue to bring out new cameras and lenses.
Smartphones like the upcoming iPhone 7 will impact the point and shoot camera market and it already has – the high end market will continue but will it be more expensive without the low end suppliementing the R&D? In someways art and professional photography will become more rare and exotic and hopefully more valuable as the difference between snapshots taken casually on a phone verse well thought out compositions from a fine art photographer with a high end camera become more apparent.
Maybe we’ll see a resurgence in film and alternative camera processes as the digital cell phone snapshot becomes nothing more than noise.