New Tech, d-SLRs To Drive Holiday Sales

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What are you looking at as your big holiday movers this year?

Peter Palermo, Kodak:

For us, pocket video remains very strong. It continues to amaze us. We find that it’s not just the skateboarding 17-year-old teenagers who are doing some crazy things and trying to capture them on video to upload to YouTube, it’s Mom’s and Dad’s. Our pocket video cameras offer still capture, and even in video post-capture you can extract stills from videos. Consumers really aren’t using them for that purpose at this point.

For us, with video it seemed like a natural to have a waterproof product that was safe for consumers to take pretty much anywhere they were going to be shooting video. So at the pool, at the beach, hiking, biking, mountains, whatever, it’s a rugged, durable product that is also waterproof.

Chuck Westfall, Canon:

We concentrate on what I’ll say is a combination of style and substance. The most successful models that we sell in the compact camera space tend to be higher end — the digital Elf and up cameras such as the S90 and the G11 have played extremely well in the digital compact space.

The ASP for the whole industry on compact cameras is going to be below $200 substantially whereas on Canon we’re above $200, we’re like $225 or higher. And so it gives us an opportunity to kind of have our own space, basically. As far as the digital SLRs are concerned, the entry level for us has expanded just like it has for Nikon. The situation where there was only one Rebel camera like there was back in 2003 is long gone. A lot of that comes from the FullHD video that those cameras offer. I think that’s where we’re seeing the biggest bump in growth. You know, there are a lot of good cameras out there on the market, but there aren’t that many that have the 1080p.

Mark Weir, Sony:

We see the amazing acceptance of our new NEX compact interchangeable-lens cameras as being sort of an indication of customer interest in something new and different and better, and we believe that that with other introductions in the back half of the year is really going to change what the customer has to choose from. There’s no doubt that that isn’t going to entirely overcome the interest of gifting and entry-level price point, but what you’ll be able to buy as a customer in the area of interchangeable lens and compact cameras that shoot high-quality video and high-quality stills will be very popular. The explosion of interesting products is going to be really amazing in the second half of this year in a way that I don’t think we’ve seen in many, many years. That is going to catch the customer’s eye for added value because I think what’s also been said here is that price really isn’t always the number one determiner of value. Innovation and quality are drivers as well. It’s not like ASPs are going to rise in the second half, but I think it will be different than years past.

Mark Sherengo, Pentax:

I think our philosophy for the back half is “Know thy customer.” We are going to ride the momentum that’s going for the W90, we’re going to continue with the Kx. We’re going to have two more d- SLRs that we’ll introduce in the back half. There’s going to be a lot of solutions, and our goal is to be traditionally where our channel hasn’t been, and our introductory level will be in gifting, will be in scrapbooking, will be in different areas with this one solution.

Dennis Eppel, Panasonic:

Obviously 3D is going to be big for us. We are looking to go that way. There are other things we’re going to be doing as far as matching up our camcorder with video capability or Skype-type features, so with new technologies, attractive price points, price is always key in the third and fourth quarter. Our third quarter is October through December, and we don’t participate heavily in Black Friday. It’s just something we haven’t done, but we will stay promotionally competitive.

Rich Campbell, Samsung:

Samsung has done a tremendous job in its segmentation of the customers, and consumers are willing to step up and buy products that have the right feature sets for them. Last year, we launched our TL220 and 225 and there was a tremendous success story with DualView, and we expect that to continue in the fall of this year. Certainly there will be a tremendous amount of product moving at entry-level price points, but we do feel that there is an opportunity for us to help step consumers up.

Ron Gazzola, Fujifilm:

For us, it’s really three key zones in the back half. It’s the Z70 and the Z series, which is fashion, style and price point driven for a wide audience. Our XP10 will appeal to the rugged active lifestyle users, and our S-series bridge camera will have several different feature sets and price points. A fourth area of strength for us in the back half will be 3D. That will see a big push going into the holidays. All those televisions out there that these guys are going to sell I think will be a key selling point for us.

David Lee, Nikon:

I think that we’re going to continue as we have last year certainly. We want to make sure that we have an incredible value for the consumer. Last year we had a very nice market share increase in our point and shoot cameras, utilizing Ashton Kutcher as our spokesperson. So we’ll continue to have some nice offerings for the fall that will be put out there at many different price points. So I think that we’re going to have an exciting continuation of that, and then we’ll continue to be very relevant in the d-SLR segment.


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