Entry-level compact cameras may soon be a thing of the past as companies like Canon India are dumping basic models, in favour of more advanced ones, in a bid to grapple with the rise of smartphones and a year of potentially flat growth.
According to Alok Bharadwaj, Executive Vice-President, Canon India, the company’s camera business will see no growth this year on account of poor consumer sentiment and stiff competition from the smartphone industry.
“The industry is caught in a peculiar situation…we cannot compete with the rise of smartphone cameras by lowering our prices. We can only go higher, in terms of price, and pack in more advanced features,” said Mr. Bharadwaj, during an interaction with The Hindu on Wednesday.
The company receives 50 per cent of its Rs.1,850 crore revenue from the ‘photography’ business.
“We’ve discontinued our entry-level line of compact cameras, which was priced at Rs. 4,995, starting from this year. In a few years, over 80 per cent of the cameras we sell will be in the over-Rs. 7,000 segment,” he added.
The photography industry, Mr. Bharadwaj said, needed to be more compact, sleeker and attune with technology.
“Over 50 per cent of our models already come with Wi-Fi. Nobody will be surprised, that in the future, all digital cameras will be Internet equipped,” Mr. Bharadwaj said. The silver lining for Canon India and other digital imaging firms such as Xerox is the growth of other verticals such as commercial printing and managed print services.
On Wednesday, the company re-entered the wide format printing business in India, with a tie-up with Monotech Systems Ltd.