Photographers these days are taking their hobby seriously and are ready to invest in expensive and sophisticated cameras, says Nikon India Managing Director Hiroshi Takashina in an interview

The Indian photo hobbyist has come of age and no longer shies away from investing in expensive cameras, says Nikon India managing director Hiroshi Takashina.

The Japanese imaging and optics major, which made a rather late entry into the Indian market in 2007, should know the photo consumer in India best: last year, the company sold 3.2 million cameras in the country. It is currently the leader in the DSLR market with a 55 per cent market share, which Takashina says is growing at a faster pace than even the digital point and shoot cameras.

Nikon's latest launch in the premium segment is its mirrorless Nikon 1 series which, despite being as small as the digital compact, offers the flexibility of inter-changeable lens.

The Indian photography enthusiasts no longer hesitate to invest substantially in optics.

Takashina sees no threat to the camera segment from the smartphones that seem to be dramatically improving their optics capabilities. “Photography enthusiasts are paying more attention to detail,” says Takashina in a telephonic interview. “There is awareness today that the image sensors in camera mobiles can be very restrictive. People want more flexibility. If anything the smartphones are helping us as people see digital cameras as graduating from a basic experience.”

One of the key aspects where Nikon is trying to improve has been its service networks. The Japanese company has 23 service centres across the country. Through its sales partners, it has 76 collection centres consumers can approach to submit their cameras for servicing.

Nikon schools

Nikon runs photography schools in five cities, teaching hobbyists courses such as DSRL-Basics and has even been organising special programmes by way of wildlife photo walks with professionals. This year, Takashina said, Nikon was considering setting up new schools and some of the cities being discussed included Hyderabad and Chennai.