Camera Makers Look
To CES For New Start
By Greg Tarr On Dec 19 2011 - 6:01am
NEW YORK –
Digital camera manufacturers will
be looking to International CES as the transition
from a year of hell to what they hope will be a new
year of prosperity, if Mother Nature will cooperate.
Hit by a double whammy from the Fukushima
earthquake and tsunami in Japan, followed
months later by the flooding in Thailand that took
out many camera and components factories, Japanese
camera manufacturers will be scrambling to
bring supplies back up to normal levels in the early
weeks of 2012.
The setbacks had caused sales to slip for periods
this year, when supplies ran low, and some
manufacturers had to postpone new model introductions
in 2011. Some of those cameras are now
slated to appear in Las Vegas next month.
This marks the first year of PMA@CES, a collaboration
of tradeshows between the respective
trade associations. While most of the major camera
makers will stay on the floors of the Central
and South Halls, a number of new comers to CES
will set up shop in the Venetian/Sands Convention
Center to showcase accessories, photo printing
support systems and services.
As for new cameras, interchangeable-lens models
mark the biggest growth opportunities and that
brings with it all of the supporting accessories, including:
lenses, premium bags and memory cards.
Expect to see a lot of emphasis there in the PMA@
In the world of point-and-shoots, digital camera makers will come to International
CES looking to answer advances in
smartphone imaging systems with
step-up feature packages in dedicated
This year wireless connectivity,
which has hit virtually every other
consumer electronics segment, will
be much more prevalent in digital
camera models featuring built-in Wi-
Last year’s big new trend — 3D —
will still be part of the feature mix, but
is not expected to get quite the same
level of buzz as consumers continue
to get comfortable with the proposition.
Other hot feature areas for 2012
include super-long-zoom lenses, advances
in image stabilization technology,
new high-resolution image sensors,
more weather-proof models and
the inclusion of HD video, including
Full HD 1080 in many models.
At the same time, pricing continues
to tumble, offering consumers some
of the best bargains ever available.
The camera growth story of the
past few years has come from advanced
cameras, especially d-SLRs
and new mirrorless compact system
Showgoers should expect to see
a smattering of new d-SLR products
and a few new compact system cameras.
Now getting a strong marketing
push from Sony, Nikon, Olympus,
Panasonic and others, the compact
system camera business is expected
to see significant growth in the U.S.