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Smartphone photographers driving DSLR sales

Canon’s India division saw a spike of 26% in DSLR sales figure in the first half of 2016 and the company said that it was looking to ride this wave. The Japanese giant launched its 200th store in India recently and aims to open another 40 by the end of the year.

tech Updated: Aug 19, 2016 12:32 IST
Anirban Ghoshal
Canon’s India division saw a spike of 26% in DSLR sales figure in the first half of 2016 and the company said that it was looking to ride this wave. The Japanese giant launched its 200th store in India recently and aims to open another 40 by the end of the year.
Canon’s India division saw a spike of 26% in DSLR sales figure in the first half of 2016 and the company said that it was looking to ride this wave. The Japanese giant launched its 200th store in India recently and aims to open another 40 by the end of the year.

An Apple iPhone 6s made Avishek Chakroborty develop a passion for photography, which the 27-year old practices after dispatching his duties as a business consultant at IT giant Infosys.

But with more and better snaps, Chakroborty started feeling that the device’s camera — considered one of the best among smartphones — could not match his abilities.

“I could never take good pictures with my smartphone camera. This pained me and I finally decided to buy a DSLR. Smartphone cameras area gimmick ,” he said. DSLR is jargon for digital single-lens reflex.

These type of cameras are used by professional photographers and people such as Chakroborty are helping boost their sales. This is contrary to the popular belief that smartphones are killing the sales of full-fledged cameras because they are portability and can snap decent quality pictures.

“More than 55% of sales in the DSLR category are now coming from amateur photographers as more people are switching from a smartphone camera,” Kazuo Ninomiya, managing director of Nikon India, said adding that “Nikon has been using the hype created by smartphone brands as an advantage to promote photography.”

Nikon India currently has over 55% market share in the DSLR category.

Further explaining Ninomiya said that Nikon was holding nearly 1,000 workshops under the name of ‘Nikon School’ in India and has a started YouTube channel to help consumers learn the ropes.

Nikon is not alone. “With the advent of smartphones, the number of clicks has increased considerably and the market for the imaging industry is set to expand. With so many images being uploaded every moment, the differentiator becomes the quality. And this is where a DSLR camera scores heavily,” Kazutada Kobayashi, president and CEO of Canon India, said adding that “this phenomenon has led to the demand for DSLRs increasing at steady pace.”

Canon’s India division saw a spike of 26% in DSLR sales figure in the first half of 2016 and the company said that it was looking to ride this wave. The Japanese giant launched its 200th store in India recently and aims to open another 40 by the end of the year.

But one’s gain is another’s loss. Smartphone, though not good enough to compete with DSLRs, are killing off point-and-shoot cameras or the compact digital still camera (CDSC).

“Smartphone cameras have had an adverse effect on the beginner’s segment of CDSC cameras priced between ₹3,000 to ₹9,000. Industry wise, sales of simple zoom lens cameras have also slowed a bit,” Sajjan Kumar, senior vice-president of corporate sales and strategy at Nikon India, said.

Smartphone score where professional-level quality is not the biggest concern — selfies are a case in point.

“Camera continues to be an important factor in a smartphone and this is why we chose to partner with Leica to for the Huawei P9 and P9 plus,” P Sanjeev, vice-president of sales at Huawei India, told HT.

But one’s gain is another’s loss. Smartphone, though not good enough to compete with DSLRs, are killing off point-and-shoot cameras or the compact digital still camera (CDSC).

“Smartphone cameras have had an adverse effect on the beginner’s segment of CDSC cameras priced between ₹3,000 to ₹9,000. Industry wise, sales of simple zoom lens cameras have also slowed a bit,” Sajjan Kumar, senior vice-president of corporate sales and strategy at Nikon India, said.

Smartphone score where professional-level quality is not the biggest concern — selfies are a case in point.

“Camera continues to be an important factor in a smartphone and this is why we chose to partner with Leica to for the Huawei P9 and P9 plus,” P Sanjeev, vice-president of sales at Huawei India, told HT.