Compact interchangeable lens cameras are a threat to take sales away from the SLR market, says research firm InfoTrends — and “to combat this, vendors must continue to innovate in areas of image quality and sensor technology to keep photographers coming back to upgrade their SLRs.”
The firm adds that CILCs “face their own external threats, most notably point & shoot cameras with large sensors, and smartphones. Attracting new buyers will require showing consumers that CILCs offer features that are unavailable in today’s smartphones and point & shoot cameras.”
In the interchangeable lens camera market, says InfoTrends, rapid changes will affect consumer purchase and usage behaviors, vendors’ product development strategies, and retailers’ selling strategies. The company’s 2012 U.S. Interchangeable Lens Camera Market study provides a five-year sales forecast for the United States, and looks at why consumer-level hobbyists and photo active consumers are choosing one particular class of interchangeable lens camera over another.
To develop the right products and target their marketing messages at the right buyers, InfoTrends says it is important for vendors and retailers to understand how buyers of single lens reflex cameras and mirror-free compact interchangeable lens cameras are evolving. The demographics of DSLR and CILC owners look very similar: photo enthusiasts, knowledgeable about photography, weighted to males, affluent, and early adopters. Future CILC owner demographics reflect a more mainstream buyer, who may be stepping up from a point & shoot camera. Vendors and retailers should begin preparing to adjust their messages to accommodate this shift — and vendors “must target those consumers who have a strong interest in photography and care about the quality of the photos that they are taking.”