Magazine Article


The State of the Imaging Industry 2004

Indeed the rise in popularity of digital SLRs shows no sign of stopping. In 2002, some 90,000 digital SLRs—primarily pro-models—were sold industry-wide. This year, we expect digital SLR sales to exceed 850,000 units. This growth benefits everyone, with a higher Average Selling Price, dealers can generate sales of lenses, accessories and larger capacity storage media to accommodate larger images and an array of accessories, once again building a loyal customer base and re-invigorating photography.

As we see the average household purchasing a new digital camera within every five years, many buyers are educated second and third time purchasers. Industry-wide, this year's more affordable compact digital cameras have higher resolution, are easier to use, and are on target to generate sales approaching 19-million units, an increase of 27% over 2003.

Sharing photos on a digital camera's LCD screen frustrates consumers. They want pictures…printed pictures. Customers are looking for digital photo solutions that are easy to use. As an industry, we have to continue to educate the consumer that digital photo printing is simple and cost effective, whether it is in the privacy and convenience of their home, or at retail. And for the retailer, printing, at home or in-store, represents more consumables sold and more repeat customers.

At Canon, our business mix encompasses still and video image capture as well as high quality digital output, offering consumers complete digital imaging solutions. Like our cameras, lenses and camcorders we design, develop, create and manufacture our own line of extraordinary ink jet and dye-sublimation photo printers. Home printing has never been easier, more affordable higher quality or more popular and the paper and
ink it uses represents an ideal, renewable source of sales in the digital photo age.

Diversify and Be Flexible

by Stanley Freimuth
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer The key to success now and in the future for the photo imaging industry is diversification and flexibility–adapting to new trends and offering quality solutions to meet consumers' shifting needs ahead of the curve.

For example, camera phones—not long ago considered a novelty—are on a fast track to capture "print-worthy" images, behaving more like cameras then ever before. The fact that they are always at hand, ready to capture that unexpected shot, opens huge opportunities for printing. Considering the quick ascent of digital cameras and their impact on the photo finishing industry, we are encouraging our customers to consider an incremental investment in kiosks and online services that link camera phone owners and their pictures directly to retailers.

Technology also has provided the consumer with a greater range of choice than ever before in both image capture and output. We already know that consumers take their pictures, print them and store them in ways that differ from past models. Our job is to make sure products and services match their diversified needs. This includes products such as flash media, CDs, DVDs and photo paper for inkjet printers that may seem to compete with in-store offerings, but in the long run will give your customers new reasons to shop at your store.

Pro Camera Market At a Turning Point

by Toshiyuki Masai
President and CEO, Nikon Inc. The professional camera industry is at a pivotal position right now. Professional digital camera design and performance has been refined to a level where overall image quality and innovative features far eclipse megapixel count alone in terms of importance to today's working photographer.

Professionals can now look to their cameras for innovative new technologies that allow them to do things with their pictures never before possible. Features like wireless camera control and data transmission via Wi-Fi and i-TTL wireless flash control inspire photographers' individual creativity. New software developments and new lens technologies further the prospects for great images.

The professional 35mm film business has essentially been distilled to two major players, and Nikon plans on capturing the largest share of revenue within this specialized market.

The advanced amateur consumer is just now beginning to relish sub $1000 digital SLR cameras and this segment is slated to grow aggressively in the coming years behind groundbreaking cameras like the D70.

In the compact digital category, consumers are becoming more educated and better skilled in digital photography. This new breed of photographer looks to manufacturers like Nikon for more capable cameras with features like Vibration Reduction and In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, at accessible price points. The category will continue to introduce new technology designed to help photographers capture better pictures, quickly and more intuitively.

Nikon is deeply committed to creating technologies that inspire professionals and consumers to take pictures like never before.

Digital Photofinishing Comes of Age

by Bing Liem