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Farewell to Digital Camera?

By Vincent Wang
Published: Feb 07,2014

Figure I: Since the rising of smartphone and tablet have built-in camera, digital camera has fallen victim to which.
Figure I: Since the rising of smartphone and tablet have built-in camera, digital camera has fallen victim to which.

It's 2014, probably it's time to say farewell to digital camera now. According to many experts and statistics that have shown once-popular digital camera is turning into a has-been and becoming a flash in a pan soon. Since the rising of smartphone and tablet have built-in camera, digital camera has fallen victim to which, and at the high risk to be an endangered species.

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What is digital camera? A digital camera (or digicam) can encode digital images and videos digitally and stores them for later reproduction. Most cameras sold today are digital, and digital cameras are incorporated into many devices ranging from smartphone, tablet, and vehicles.

Digital cameras can display images on a screen immediately after being recorded that also can be stored and deleted from memory. Many digital cameras can also record moving video with sound. Some digital cameras can crop and stitch pictures and perform other elementary image editing.

Better, Cheaper or Simply more Convenient

According to Wall Street Journal that has come up with advice on what not to buy in 2014. It's primarily a list of technology that has been passed by, replaced by stuff that's better, cheaper or simply more convenient, that's why the built-in camera of smartphone and tablet overpowered digital camera.

Cited from Wall Street Journal “Their small size and sleek look made digital “point and shoot” cameras all the rage for years. Now, demand is sunsetting. Roughly 11.5 million are estimated to have sold this year in the U.S., down 44% from 2012, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, which represents consumer technology companies. Sales are expected to drop to just under 8 million next year:2014.”

Figure II: iSuppli sees sales of digital cameras leveling out in coming years. (Source: isuppli)
Figure II: iSuppli sees sales of digital cameras leveling out in coming years. (Source: isuppli)

Indeed, digital cameras are suffering from an serious identity crisis. Consumers who want high-quality photos are opting for the larger, DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras. Others prefer to stick with just one gadget — their smartphone or even tablet — which takes pictures.

Moreover, there’s new competition from cameras designed for the outdoor thrill-seeker, like the GoPro, for people who want photos capturing action (the camera attaches to your body while white water rafting or scuba diving, for instance) rather than stopping to pose for a picture.

Not only in the US market that indicated the trend, same thing also happened in Taiwna. Because of camera has become a basic spec either for smartphone or tablet, market of traditonal digital camera has been shrinking seriouly in these two years.

BusinessTransformation is Best Solution for DC Firms

Business transformation is probably the best solution for all the digital camera firms, making fundamental changes in how their business is conducted in order to help cope with a shift in market environment.

From the upstream camera lens firms Kinko Optical Co. and Calin Tech. to the downstream differential scanning calorimetrydigital (DSC) ODM Altek Co. or digital camera cover firm AVY Precision Tech. all go with the flows and have lowered their camera's revenue, adjusted their product lineup in an effort to reach diverse development due to the dramatic market share declined of digital camera.

Calin will expand its non-camera product to 25 percent. Liu Jia-bin, General Manager of Calin said that the company has already seen growing profit in Optics, and is expanding R&D bases to focus on CCTV, IP camera, and industrial, medical lens, in 2014 it will invest on mold and plastic lens. And its glass molding can be made as tiny as 1mm, which is one-third of competitors.

Kinko is benefit from shipment growth for game console, notebook, security control, and mobile car lens and already became a supplier of Toyoto, while Altek said that the revenue from camera won't be more than one-third.

Differenciate From Smartphone and Tablet is A Way of Surviving

Kinko chairperson Chen Qing-qi remarked that the company strived to manufacture plastic lens and the revenue of which has edged up to 12 percent and anticipating to reach 25 percent this year.

Chen forecasted that low-end digital camera will disappear from the market, along with M-shaped tendancy, and DSLR edged up 46 percent in its 2013 revenue, while non-DSLR camera occupied 28 percent.

“Either smartphone or DSLR, and the demand of DSLR this year is steadily strong.”

Futhermore, regarding to the smartphone built-in camra lens Kinko has developing 8 megapixel lens in collaboration with Chinese firms. AVY is actively stepping into contact lens production and even touch panel business, smartphone cover as a crossover.

George Wang, Vice President of Cloud Computing Association in Taiwan said, “It's rational to see that the market of digital camera is shrinking because of the rising of smartphone and tablet.”

According to the folks over at Sony Alpha Rumors, the camera maker is working on developing a dedicated black-and-white camera that features a full-frame sensor, appealing to those who enjoy the art of black and white photography rather than the application of a B&W filter to a color image. The information is said to come from unnamed sources apparently familiar with the matter.

To differenciate from smartphone and tablet, maybe it's a way of surviving for digital camera.

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