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Old Aug 6, 2013, 3:46 PM   #11
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I don't know. I agree that the smart phone in camera seems to be the popular photographic device for the everyman.

However I still think there is a place for the DSLR and/or interchangeable type of 'serious' camera.

I use and take one or more of my DSLR bodies and lenses out with me on a regular basis.

I take specific trips (mostly day long) primarily as photo excursions. In these cases I usually carry....in my car.... about three DSLR bodies and 3-4 lenses.

At one time I worked as a photographer for a publishing company...but that was about 40 years ago.

Since then I have been in the advanced amateur/ enthusiast ranks.

Just from the number of years I've been doing this advanced amateur photographic thing....probably indicates that there will be no change until I 'age ' out and don't have the physical strength to carry heavy equipment.

So I'm not typical.

But in the past 5 years I have introduced DSLR's and interchangeable lenses to older people who never picked up a complicated camera before.

Both of them...separate individuals who have never met each other have become rabid enthusiasts of nearly 5 years standing and show no sign of slowing down or to going to their in camera phone.

So what does that all mean ?

I don't know....after all it is very small sample.

I would like to think that advanced amateurs using interchangeable lens photography is a category that remains relatively strong and will continue....no matter how convenient using a smartphone becomes.

BTW....have you seen the quality of photo that these phone cameras produce ?

Dreck....IMHO.

However....if technology continues to march on...what will the small camera phone be capable of in 10...15 years ?
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 6:49 AM   #12
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BTW....have you seen the quality of photo that these phone cameras produce ?
Dreck....IMHO.
The difference is how photos are consumed today vs. 15 years ago. Consumption in large part is now based upon social media. It's about immediacy, not quality. Photos are viewed on people's smart phone as part of a tweet or FB or instagram or a dozen other methods. A photo is viewed and it's on to the next one. We enthusiasts are not indicative of the masses. For the masses, convenience and speed-to-share-electronically are the biggest factors. Image quality just has to be "good enough". Sure there will always be a place for interchangeable lens cameras. Because there will always be enthusiasts with 27" monitors viewing photos at 100% and trying to push their skills and equipment to the limit. But millions of people don't want to be bothered with that.
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 6:59 AM   #13
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TCAV -
They're doing YTD analysis not monthly trend analysis. Now, you can say you do not believe CIPA shipment numbers are accurate. YTD analysis is designed to balance out shifts in consumer behavior. Monthly analysis isn't very useful for determining health of the business. It is helpful for shifting marketing, sales and release strategy. But we see the published numbers from CIPA for Jan-June 2013. I'm giving the article the benefit of the doubt that they use CIPA 2012 figures. In that case, for YTD analysis, the numbers absolutely support the assertion there is a drop across all segments.

Now, where things get dicey is in determining WHY there was a drop. But this is pretty entry level YTD analysis here. And it shows that DSLR and mirrorless had a drop in shipments in 2013 vs. 2012 for 6 month timeframe. Digicams were even worse.
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 7:47 AM   #14
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They're doing YTD analysis not monthly trend analysis.
Ok, so comparing the first 6 months of last year to the first 6 months of this year isn't "Monthly" trend analysis, but it is seasonally adjusted, which is not valid.

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Now, you can say you do not believe CIPA shipment numbers are accurate.
I never said that. The shipment numbers I'm referring to are CIPA's own numbers. I'm saying that the conclusions that are being drawn from CIPA's numbers are not valid.

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YTD analysis is designed to balance out shifts in consumer behavior. Monthly analysis isn't very useful for determining health of the business. It is helpful for shifting marketing, sales and release strategy. But we see the published numbers from CIPA for Jan-June 2013. I'm giving the article the benefit of the doubt that they use CIPA 2012 figures. In that case, for YTD analysis, the numbers absolutely support the assertion there is a drop across all segments.
If you want YTD analysis, here's YTD analysis. The two charts show shipments for Jan-Jun for each of 2012 and 2013. Notice that most of the trend lines are showing an increase in shipments over the period.

Now, you and I both know that this is meaningless. Therefore, there must be something ELSE going on, and we don't know what that is. This is called "Lying with Statistics", and it's simply an extrapolation of the data that is being used to support those conclusions.

While I don't necessarily disagree with ALL the conclusions they're drawing, my point is that the methodology they're basing their conclusions on is flawed.
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 9:00 AM   #15
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TCAV - Maybe some of the confusion is: I'm working off of what is in DPR. They have a simple chart with YTD analysis. I found the CIPA numbers and DPRs chart is accurate. If you want to do YTD analysis, the chart does not look like yours, it looks like this (broken apart to make axis data points more meaningful)
Total Shipments:


Built-in:


Interchangeable lens:


This type of analysis is common and is not "lying with statistics". The % drops on DPR are accurate:
Total = -42%
Built in = -48%
SLR = -18%
non reflex = -18.5%

Shipments are down across all categories. Basic YTD analysis. If you plot YTD figures on the chart when you want to do YTD anaylis it's pretty simple stuff. What is tricky is analyzing WHY those numbers are down. But, the data absolutely supports that YTD 2013 vs. 2012 all categories see a reduction in shipments. Using the correct graph shows this visually.
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 10:25 AM   #16
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It still presumes that the first six months of 2012 are comparable to the first six months of 2013, and that's not necessarily a valid assumption, any more than the first 6 months of 2013 are comparable to the last 6 months of 2012.
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 11:32 AM   #17
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I will have to agree that if there is a trend, the time period is really too short to establish that. There are many market factors which could affect sales in a given time period. If it continues for more than a couple similar periods, then one could draw valid conclusions.
You could ask a market analyst, or possibly go to see Madame Ruth (you know, that Gypsy with the gold capped tooth?), but either would just take your money and give you something murky to digest.

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Old Aug 7, 2013, 11:58 AM   #18
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Brian & TCAV. YTD analysis is standard business intelligence practice. Typically for BI work you compare current period to last period to judge performance. YTD is a very common definition of "period". Now, you can do trend analysis by reviewing several sequential "periods". So, shipments are absolutely down in 2013 they are not "holding steady". I do agree, that you cannot jump to the conclusion that the slide will continue at it's current rate into 2014 though.

I do tend to agree with one aspect of the article the OP posted - I do think a lot of people that got interested in the photographic hobby because of the digital age have gotten bored with it. But I think a larger portion of that erosion is the social media explosion and movement from photos primarily being viewed in print by family/friends to primarily being viewed via smartphone and computer. Smartphone photos for a lot of people are "good enough" for that purpose.

I also think a big part is that we're getting into a more mature market - we're not seeing the revolutionary gains we were from year to year like it was 5 years ago. So, even enthusiasts are staying with their current cameras longer now. I would expect numbers to keep going down a bit but slow down for ILCs. For digicams, I really do agree that we are way past the peak - 5 years ago, people had no other option. Now they have their cell phones and tablets. And that's "good enough' for a lot.
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 12:10 PM   #19
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I think part of the angst over this has to do with peoples' expectations. Many have known that the upward trend couldn't keep going forever, and are seeing this as the 'beginning of the end'. There are just so many other factors, though, including Eurozone austerity programs and other, temporary economic factors .
I guess what I'm saying is that you can't assume you are standing in a swamp from seeing just one frog.

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Old Aug 7, 2013, 4:24 PM   #20
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YTD analysis is standard business intelligence practice. Typically for BI work you compare current period to last period to judge performance. YTD is a very common definition of "period". ...
For seasonal things, absolutely. But cameras, especially high end cameras, are not seasonal. And, as has already been shown, while the number of camera being shipped is going down, the value of the cameras being shipped isn't going down as fast, thus the cameras that are being shipped have a higher average price. So, even if they were somewhat seasonal once, they're getting less and less seasonal all the time. Therefore, while YTD analysis may be good for some things like unemployment and new housing starts, it's not as good for cameras, especially high end cameras.
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