Cameras in the wilderness.
Seems like we always end up the year with a blog post of predictions for the next year. Some of them actually pan out. Some are the stuff of hopeful fantasy. Most predictions are obvious because most of us can't imagine things that don't exist yet. But with that said, here we go:
The business of photography.
The world will enter a recession in the first quarter of 2019 which will drive down sales of cameras, lenses and accessories and delay or kill some (unannounced) new product introductions. Stuff that's already in the pipeline will get to the market but overall sales of dedicated photography equipment will decline. This means camera makers will emphasize the products they already have in place in lieu of investing in upgrades. Expect to see Nikon advertise how easy it is to adapt F mount AF lenses to the new mirrorless cameras; they'll need continuing sales of their current lens line to prevent a sharp decline in their bottom line. Look to companies like Fuji, Canon and Sony, all of whom have deep pockets, to try to increase or consolidate market share at the expense of the other players in the camera industry. Coincident with these trends I think we'll see price drops on more luxe products in order for each company to try and cement the loyalty of current customer and to try and effect trial by new customers. The price drop on a camera like the Panasonic G9, and the aggressive pricing of some Sony products shows the way...
The new and improved video and photographic quality available on cellphones like the Apple iPhone 10 XS will erode more and more sales from the bottom tier of dedicated camera makers product lines. More importantly, the capabilities and ubiquity of the phones coupled with the lowered bar for production value on YouTube will make video crew less important for marcom departments nearly everywhere. I predict 2019 will see a decimation of even the idea of an in-house video crew; at most, companies will keep bright young staff as editors and group source most non-critical content from a bevy of phone P.O.V.s. Editing is the one position that's currently safe because good editing counts on lots and lots of work, good decision making and, at least, a modicum of good taste and education. This contraction of professional positions and expansion of corporate "citizen" content creation has been going on for years and will only accelerate, especially when one