Camera Market Decline Risks

The latest CIPA data for November shows that the camera market has continued to contract for each month in 2019. While some folks seem to enjoy speculating about the failure of one camera brand or another, camera market decline risks have broader potential impacts for all of us who are interested in photography.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge. Photographs have been added to serve as visual breaks.

Camera market decline risks impact not only camera and lens manufacturers, but other companies and individuals that are linked to the photography industry. These include software developers, camera accessory makers, and photography related media.

Sally Gap Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 29 mm, efov 78.3 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-160

It may come as a shock to you that some of the most popular photography websites that many people have enjoyed and trusted for many years… may be at risk. Blatant intellectual piracy has become a significant and potentially devastating plague for many well-known, and highly respected, photography websites.

Cabra Castle Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 87 mm, efov 235 mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-800

Internet thieves, usually located in countries that have very lax Copyright laws, are openly stealing articles and publishing them as if they originally produced them. They then ‘monetize’ their pirate websites and siphon off advertising revenues from legitimate photography blogs. This is compounded by the fact that search engine companies don’t seem to care about intellectual property theft. They still get their cut of advertising revenues… even from these pirate websites.

Rathdrum area Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-160

The camera market decline along with pirate websites hurt the financial viability of many legitimate photography websites. Most of these sites rely, at least in part, on advertising revenues to cover their costs of operation, and provide a degree of income. Some photography services like Flicker, are having to rethink their strategies and indeed their future. Even if a small percentage of their users signed up for a paid membership, Flicker could continue its service.

Belvedere House Gardens & Park Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 14 mm, efov 37.8 mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO-800

The ongoing camera market decline also reduces commissions from camera equipment sales. Many popular photography websites have Affiliate relationships with various retailers and depend on sales commissions to help cover their website operating costs and provide some income.

Belvedere House Gardens & Park Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 22 mm, efov 59.4 mm, f/8, 1/25, ISO-800

As a reader who visits various legitimate photography sites there are things that you can do. When you buy camera gear and use a link that creates income for a website, make sure that website is a legitimate one.

Torr Head Northern Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 11 mm, efov 29.7 mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO-400

Do not support pirate websites that steal intellectual property. Do your best not to even visit these pirate websites as pay-per-click advertising revenues help sustain these pirates. Inform your friends and associates. Encourage them to avoid pirate websites. Remember, some of your favourite, legitimate photography websites are at risk. These sites are produced by dedicated, caring people who love photography as much as you do. Your actions can help them survive.

Powerscourt Estate Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3/5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/5.6, 1/2 second handheld, ISO-400

When we put our business plan for this website together in late 2014 we decided that we would not be reliant on advertising revenues for our survival. The camera market decline was already clear to us. We saw no future in following the existing advertising based approach used by other photography blogs. This photography blog has never carried paid advertising… and never will.

Cabra Castle Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/4, 1/60, ISO-1600

The majority of our revenues come from readers purchasing our eBooks and from their donations. We have a lot more work to do in terms of creating a broader selection of eBooks for you. We have six eBooks currently available. Another four are in various states of active development. We have four additional e-publications on our original strategic plan… and more may be added in the future. All of these additional eBooks will be completed and introduced to our readers over the next few years.

Giant’s Causeway Northern Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 27 mm, efov 73 mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO-160

With all of the challenges in the photography business many folks wonder what will happen. Some of you may be wondering if our photography blog will still be here in another 5 years. We certainly plan to be. At this point, we are only half way through our initial 10 year strategic plan for this website and our related offerings. So far things are on track. It is still too early to know if our approach will meet the long term objectives we set for ourselves.

Giant’s Causeway Northern Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO-160

We deeply appreciate the support that we have received from our readers from around the globe… in more than 30 countries thus far. You can all rest assured that we will continue to provide you with new articles for many years to come. We will continue to create new eBooks for you. And, hopefully we will continue to earn your trust and ongoing support.

If you enjoyed the photographs in this article that were captured with the Nikon 1 system, you may find our eBook, The Little Camera That Could, of interest. This eBook is available for purchase and download. It is priced at $9.99 Canadian. Readers interested in purchasing a copy can use the link below.

A Note about the Download Process
The download is a two-stage process. When you first click on the Buy Button there will be a pause for several minutes while the website prepares a personalized copy of the eBook you just purchased. This delay is normal. Do not click a second time as this will interrupt the creation of your personalized eBook. After a few minutes, the download will then begin. Your copy of the eBook you just purchased will have a QR code unique to you, and your password will be your email address that you used when purchasing the eBook.

Technical Note:
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

Blennerville Windmill Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 52 mm, efov 140.4 mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO-160

How you can help keep this site advertising free
My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work, you can purchase an eBook, or make a modest $10 donation through PayPal. Both are most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to tom@tomstirr.com through PayPal.

As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.

Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles, or any of the images contained in them, on another website or in any social media posting is a Copyright infringement.

Article is Copyright 2020 Thomas Stirr. Images are Copyright 2019 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!

2 thoughts on “Camera Market Decline Risks”

  1. “Blatant intellectual piracy has become a significant and potentially devastating plague for many well-known, and highly respected, photography websites.” — The same thing is happening with art and DIY craft/home decor websites too. And I keep finding many photos posted on Pinterest that do not lead to the original website that first posted the photo! This is hurting a lot of people. I don’t know what can be done to stop it. It is a sad state of affairs.

    1. Hi Joni,

      Yes… it is a very sad state of affairs that hurts many people. And, not only the folks who create content that gets stolen. Some times these pirate sites steal credit card information from unwitting victims. There’s not much that can be done other than encourage people we know to be aware of pirate sites and not to support them.

      Tom

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