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Japan camera makers battle smartphone onslaught

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© 2016 AFP

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I sold all my cameras and my cell phone. The only pictures I now take are in my mind, and they will go to the grave with me....actually the crematorium. Being buried is a waste of space.

Say Cheese!

-7 ( +4 / -12 )

“We never know how photos will come out until they’re fully ready,”

Which takes a nanosecond.

Lame product that just burdens planet and pocketbook with lame consumables. Fuji have some great digital SLRs. Stick to those.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I still have the Rolleicord, such a beautiful film camera. But these days I just don't have the time or the money I'd need to use it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Taking a selfie and a photo of your lunch and putting on a social media site isn't photography !

11 ( +13 / -3 )

Historically, the largest segment of the market, but it's easy to see why someone with a smartphone and satisfied with the images produced by one would no longer feel the need for a point-and-shoot used most of the time in the "Auto" mode. It's difficult to imagine, however, that the SLR market is at all impacted by smartphones.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is more of a plug just for the Instax cam, but having no B&W film in production for isn't a smart move.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have both a iPhone 6 and an older ultracompact Sony point and shoot. For sure the iPhone is very convenient but the years old Sony takes a far better photo.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I've got a pretty nice DSLR, and it takes amazing pictures. Yet, I've left it at home for my last few vacations, because it's big and a pain in the ass to carry, and getting the photos off it is a pain too, while I can take nice shots on my iphone and post them to facebook in minutes.

I think they have DSLRs now that you can connect to your iphone with an app, so that you have access to your pictures right away. I'd be interested in one of those.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Having no limit on the amount of photos you can take via smartphone or digital camera diminishes the amount of care and thought that goes into taking each one. And on smartphones especially can end up cluttered with thousands of photos, sometimes only incrementally different as you try to capture the same thing from various angles. There's advantages and disadvantages to both, for sure, but physical photos feel more valuable, at least.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Having no limit on the amount of photos you can take via smartphone or digital camera diminishes the amount of care and >>thought that goes into taking each one.

I believe so too....it is a major trend on every fields with the smartphone, sames goes for the App, etc... when you say to people, why do you use use this low quality product/service/app, usually the answer is "because it is free so it is ok", we do not longer strive for the best rather racing bottom to the cheap people get used to use in their every day life average product.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

These companies find themselves in this hollowed out position and forced to retrench because they were unable to respond in a timely manner to technological changes that did not occur overnight. Much the same can be said for other Japanese companies that have failed to innovate to stay competitive in a rapidly changing market. What is the last "must have" Japanese consumer electronic product you can remember?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@ Strangerland

I don’t know about the latest DSLRs because I haven’t really looked but the mirrorless Sony NEX 6 I have (a model that’s a couple of years old) takes great pictures and I can wirelessly upload my pictures via bluetooth to my iPhone. Very convenient without too much hassle.

I think that camera makers should focus on web access friendly and fast/responsive user interface similar to smartphones to go with that web access. Being able to edit photos and upload to social media directly from the camera may convince people to upgrade for quality.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan camera makers battle smartphone onslaught

Weavers battle loom onslaught

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A Leica RF is more pleasant to use than cellphone. More control, a variety of lenses and good photographs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don’t know about the latest DSLRs because I haven’t really looked but the mirrorless Sony NEX 6 I have (a model that’s a couple of years old) takes great pictures and I can wirelessly upload my pictures via bluetooth to my iPhone. Very convenient without too much hassle.

Nice, that definitely makes a DSLR more attractive. Mine is a goo decade old now, maybe it's time to upgrade.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Apple are currently shooting themselves in the foot. All these recent memory shortages, caused by heavy OS updates, coinciding with sales pitches on purchasing memory or upgrading your iphone. The vast majority of iphone customers preferred to shoot with their iphones. Thanks to Apple's new games people will look to invest in a camera instead.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Kabukilover Don't worry buddy i'm not have a dig at you I'm just jealous i don't own one.

A Leica RF is more pleasant to use than cellphone. More control, a variety of lenses and good photographs.

wondering how long it would take till a Leica fan boy would post a comment, what i've came across is a large number of people that own these kinds of cameras take pretty poor photography money doesn't buy talent ! excluding the pro's that used a m3 / m2 back in the day, why wear a Rolex when a Casio can also tell the time. and before anyone says Leica M9 50mm 0.95, Canon brought a 50mm 0.95 out in the 1960's.

The Canon AE-1 program the equivalent to a 4 / 24 mega pixel camera depending what glass you are shoot with, This was built back in the 1980's you can now pick them up with a lens for under 2000 yen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

These companies find themselves in this hollowed out position and forced to retrench because they were unable to respond in a timely manner to technological changes that did not occur overnight. Much the same can be said for other Japanese companies that have failed to innovate to stay competitive in a rapidly changing market. What is the last "must have" Japanese consumer electronic product you can remember?

Cameras, DVD players, Blu-ray players, watches, home audio components (including both stereo and AV amps, and DACs), and video displays (televisions/projectors).

But it would depend how you define "must have" - buying something because everyone else has it, or buying something because you yourself feel you must have it? I choose the second category, which is why I have a DSLR but no smartphone. The Japanese continue dominate the market in cameras: DSLRs, superzooms, and the various categories of compact cameras.

The DSLR as a camera has capabilities that no smartphone stands a shitshow of matching. It also runs for a long time on a single charge. The two devices serve different purposes, and both are entirely valid as cameras, but for more serious photography, a smartphone is just not adequate.

The photography market has changed radically - DSLRs themselves are a sign of that, as they evolved in a very direct line from film-based cameras - but I don't see these companies just disappearing. There's a tendency for the smartphone/tablet-boosting crowd to view everything that isn't smartphone/tablet-based as doomed. I think they're wrong, and that smaller markets will continue to exist for things like desktop PCs, digital cameras, quality audio components, etc for many years to come. The Japanese companies will stay in the audio, camera and optics markets, because they have particular strengths in those areas, though in audio, they'll be sharing it with European and American companies - just as they always have done.

And for the moment, they continue to do very well in the console and handheld console gaming market.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

wipeoutFEB. 12, 2016 - 08:11PM JST Blu-ray players, . . .

Anything formatted to Blu-ray has a much higher "information" content than can be handled by streaming. But if you are someone who is okay with watching a movie or even a television show on your laptop or tablet, then visual and audio quality is clearly not a priority.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Anything formatted to Blu-ray has a much higher "information" content than can be handled by streaming. But if you are someone who is okay with watching a movie or even a television show on your laptop or tablet, then visual and audio quality is clearly not a priority.

True but why reduce everything we do to "you can do it on your laptop or tablet or smartphone"? You can, but in most cases, not nearly as well. So for the many people who want to (or for professional reasons, must) do something better, which means for example, in higher quality, or with more processing power, or with extra flexibility and versatility, or on a larger screen, there are other, more suitable devices. Hence 100" projector screens versus 6" smartphone screens. Or floorstanding 3 way loudspeakers versus the internal speaker of a smartphone. Or SLRs that are hugely powerful and versatile - even before you consider changing lenses - versus a smartphone camera.

For people who want to do everything off a smartphone, of course using a smartphone is the answer. It can do just about everything. It is not however going to replace everything. But one thing is true: it doesn't much matter who makes the device - your tablet or phone or notebook or smartwatch can be made by ASUS (Taiwanese) or in years to come, any of a dozen or so mainland Chinese companies.

But there is still another world, one where more purpose-built devices have a role to play, even among ordinary consumers. That will continue to exist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wipeoutFEB. 13, 2016 - 01:39PM JST True but why reduce everything we do to "you can do it on your laptop or tablet or smartphone"? You can, but in most cases, not nearly as well.

You missed my point. I take it you are a fan of clarity, over the age of 40 and/or don't have many millennials in your life. Any one or any combination of the three and you would know that, just as with being content to listen to music via buds played on a phone, the yoof of today are mostly contented to watch movies or television productions on their phones, tablets or laptops. They will, on average, all be needing glasses sooner than any generation before them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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