Think about how many point-and-shoot camera companies there are today. I’m inclined to think that there are absolutely too many choices. Some of the most popular ones that come to mind include: Leica, Kodak, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Casio, Nikon, Olympus, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Samsung and Sigma. Then, there are those branded by Vivitar, Polaroid, Minox, Ricoh, General Imaging, Intova Agfa, and so on.
Consumers looking at all their choices can easily be baffled. Features tend to often mirror themselves in terms of specifications. How do these camera companies hope to stay competitive? Casio, with its new Tryx, continues to think outside the box. Fujifilm was first to try and lead photographers into the digital third dimension. For example, Pentax has produced a rainbow of stylish colors that overshadows what the products are capable of accomplishing. Leica and Panasonic rebrand specific cameras. One company has claimed that its cameras are made in the same factory as Olympus. Over the past couple of years the trend has been to go retro reminding us of cameras past. And, we don’t even have to discuss those insane collectible cameras produced in limited editions. These have been priced as to be reachable by fanatics and the ultra-rich dawgs who won’t even put them in the field.
On top of all of this there are other issues to consider. Consumers should consider what happens if a company goes out of business or merge with companies who have no interest in photography. This year we’ve already seen major companies introduce digital cameras that have respectable specifications that costs less that $100. We’re on the verge of disposable product consumerism. Use, toss, and recycle.
In the end we must ask if there are simply too many choices from too many trying to get a piece of the pie.
Mull this over and see if you agree. Then vote for the companies you feel that the industry would no longer cry over if they disappeared from today’s point-and-shoot segment of photography. Tell them “See Ya — Wouldn’t Want to Be Ya!”