Compact Camera Sales Continue to Slip

Canon S100

You have to wonder how secure manufacturers feel right now as they release the barrage of new compact cameras in a declining market for them. In Canon's latest financial results, sluggish sales of compact cameras were a primary culprit for their annual shortfall.

This trend persists throughout the market affecting both hardware manufacturers and accessory companies. Unfortunately for everyone, it's a fairly long pipeline for hardware product releases. So those compacts you see announced today were conceived some time ago.

It will be interesting to see how the low end market shakes out in 2012. My feeling is that DSLR sales will remain strong, but mobile devices, such as the iPhone 4S, will continue to erode compact camera sales.

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I think that between smartphones and the mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (MILCs) point and shoots will struggle. The smartphones are killing the low end snapshot models and the MILCs are killing the enthusiast models. I think to survive in this market point and shoot manufacturers will have to be very innovative.

I totally agree with you Brian. Even with my own use, the iPhone 4S and Olympus PEN Mini have been my "go to" nimble cameras.

I'm not sure about the market trends Derrick, but I just got that Canon S100 featured in the post and I love it! I hope the big camera continue to R&D cameras like this for those of us that want/need a small compact camera with all the manual features of a DSLR. Kat

I think Jeff, that your case in point is one of the directions that manufacturers realize they have to go, which is, create compacts that provide a great photography experience for enthusiasts in a small package. S100 cases a perfect example.

There's getting to be very little reason for these compacts to exist - they're the PDAs of this decade.

I too agree that the low end P&S cameras are struggling due to the rapidly improving phone cameras. Especially since you can instantly post to your favorite social media site and even edit the image on your phone prior to uploading.

I think the DSLR market will also be affected by the better quality mirror less cameras. I for one have just about abandoned my DSLR. I travel for my day job a week at a time and it became a serious burden hauling my DSLR kit with me that I began leaving it at home.

I'm now shooting with a Ricoh GXR and have just added their "Leica" M mount module and will be assembling a kit to travel with. I can have three lenses and the body and still weigh in less than my DSLR and the large travel zoom I carried. Plus, I'm really enjoying shooting with fixed lenses and the M mount does not have an AA filter not unlike the Leica M9 allowing more detail in the images.