Japan Mid-Tier Camera Makers Face Shakeout as Smartphones Shatter Mirrorless Hopes – NYTimes.com

Japan Mid-Tier Camera Makers Face Shakeout as Smartphones Shatter Mirrorless Hopes – NYTimes.com.

Interesting article about how the big Japanese camera makers are reacting  – if at all – to the new paradigm of smartphone cameras. The face-off between ‘quality’ or ‘connectivity’ and sustaining or reinventing a profitable business model has left everybody involved in traditional camera making in a bit of a quandary. Selling expensive high-end SLR’s to the amateur market is a rapidly shrinking niche – but profit margins remain high. The increased megapixels and sensor sensitivity of smartphone cameras are increasingly eating into point-and-shoot camera market share. And everything in the middle is disappearing. As with most things concerning today’s photographic world, contradictions abound, and polarisations of opinion are a plenty. Kodak has imploded, yet we have art photographers gravitating in sizeable numbers back to old analog cameras and emulsion film to rediscover some sort of authenticity in a sea of digital sameness. Increasingly, we ‘consume’ images of low technical quality on small digital screens and want to share them on the matrix immediately. Photography used to be a painstaking process with a high cultural value and the camera manufactures took pride to building machines that facilitated a photographer’s quest for technical perfection. Today, it is all about connectivity. Technical quality can seem like an anachronism when most photography viewed today is at 72dpi on a small handheld digital device. No wonder the camera manufactures are in a quandary. Time to get as smart as the phones methinks. Think outside the box. Literally.

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