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Want to Know Why DSLR Makers Are Adding Video?

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film and seascape
Money. That’s the reason. Still cameras have outsold camcorders five to one during the greater part of this decade. That’s because average camcorders typically cost twice as much as average DSLRs.

But the DSLR market is getting long in the tooth. With the exception of professionals and hard-core enthusiasts (which make up for about 20% of the market) most experts agree that people are going to slow down their camera purchases.

With the market maturing, the DSLR makers know that they need to freshen up their offering to maintain interest. Video is the easy way to do that. The camera manufacturers already know this will work because it worked when they wanted to prop up compact/point and shoot sales.

Most compact digicams come with video today. In fact, all the high-end digicams sport a video option. This has been widely accepted by consumers. So that’s why Nikon introduced the D90 with video. That’s why Canon introduced the 5D MK II with video. And that’s why other manufacturers will follow suit.

Most agree that DSLR quality has peaked. At the low end, cell phones are starting to replace intro-level point and shoots as pocket cameras. That leaves little doubt that convergence is all the camera makers have left.

What does it all mean? I am not sure. Certainly some companies will be hurt by this move. The more things go digital, the more they go video, and the less they go to print. So companies like Shutterfly will have to find models that incorporate video. We’ve already seen video added to Flickr and iStock. Who’s next?

The trend will no doubt continue for the rest of this decade and beyond. The real question is this. What will the DSLR makers do once they’ve saturated this market?


Written by scottbourne

December 18, 2008 at 7:34 pm

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