Over the past two years we have seen some significant developments in technology within the camera market. One that has truly revolutionised the digital SLR (DSLR) category is the inclusion of HD video capabilities into what has traditionally been a still camera.
DSLRs provide an unparalleled depth of field which results in stunning footage. We are now seeing top-rating TV shows such as House and 24 utilising DSLR to shoot onset and we constantly receive news of how these cameras are being used to film a movie, music video or documentary. Another benefit of using a DSLR for video is the wide range of lenses. Vendors offer many different lenses to suit every situation and the ingenuity this enables is endless. The industry has embraced this new technology and is running with it!
We have also noticed a resurgence of people embracing the ‘art of photography’. Many want to improve their technical ability and push their cameras further. The result is that digital compact camera users are moving to a DSLR as their primary camera, so they can be creative and enjoy increased functionality.
With digital compact cameras it’s not all about megapixels anymore. Users want a high-quality screen and, as the trend to capture and instantly view images continues to grow, so does the quality of the LCD screens. We are seeing bigger, brighter and higher resolution screens and now we have the development of touchscreen technology which makes reviewing images even faster and more interactive.
User-friendly technology that enables users to capture great images every time is at the heart of the digital compact market. New features are constantly being developed that give the camera intuitive control over a photograph. ‘Scene detection’ is extremely clever and most cameras can now capture up to 18 different scenes without the user even having to select them. ‘Face detection’ is also key feature in compacts, along with new inclusions like ‘smart shutter’ and ‘smart flash exposure’.
Consumers want a hassle free experience when capturing images and the knowledge that they can simply point and shoot for a perfect result. The latest research shows us that image quality is top of mind for consumers looking at purchasing a digital compact camera and with this combination of technology and features they are guaranteed to achieve that.
When advising customers on buying a camera, I suggest you speak to them about their experience with cameras to date; what they have owned previously and what they are looking for in their new purchase. Do they know little about photography and simply want a camera that will do all the work, or are they interested in learning some new creative techniques? Is their decision driven more by style and current trends or are they looking at a camera based on features, quality and technology?
I always suggest to anyone interested in purchasing a new camera to buy one that is slightly above their capabilities, so they can grow into it and push themselves to learn new techniques. I suggest encouraging
customers to purchase a reputable brand so they can be sure they are taking home a quality product and will receive after sales support, which is a crucial component that is often overlooked. When someone purchases a piece of technology, they like to know where to go if something does go wrong, or if they need some troubleshooting.
When it comes to selling cameras, the product itself is only the first component; the photography that follows and the future sales of paper, lenses, accessories and other services are equally important.