By Matthew Henry and James Wells
SYDNEY: Canon Australia has corrected media reports that the company plans to exit 35mm film cameras, but has confirmed it will reconsider further development of film cameras due a significant swing away from analogue film to digital camera technology.
According to Canon marketing manager – consumer imaging products, Stuart Poignand, a Reuters article misquoted the company’s new CEO, Mr Ushida, by saying that Canon would completely pull out of the SLR and compact film camera market.
“What he did say was that clearly the market for film cameras is in decline and that we’ll assess new product development and continuing market of film cameras on an ongoing basis.
“While a market exits we will continue to offer these things, Canon’s history is that of ‘last man standing’ in declining categories such as typewriters and that is what we expect to be in film cameras.
“A small market remains for people who really like film and the ability to deal with it in the same way they have always dealt with it as long as there are accessible developing options.”
Canon Australia product manager – consumer imaging products group, Scott Jackson, also responded to the claims in a statement to current.com.au.
“In Australia we plan to continue the marketing of analogue cameras in our range while demand continues to exist, albeit in a rationalised way that’s best matched to the demands of our local market,” said Jackson
The Photo Imaging Council of Australia (PICA) estimates the 35mm analogue camera market will represent 40,000 units in 2006 compared to 1,000,000 units in 2000.
In 2006, over two million digital cameras are expected to be sold. In 2005, 1.85 million digital cameras were sold.
“I think it is a shame but inevitable,” said Michaels Camera managing director and Narta member, Peter Michael.
“It is sad to see the end of an era, but digital is so affordable and good quality. There are some customers who say they haven’t touched film for seven years, and there are others that still shoot film because they can see a difference and believe at the upper end film product is just that bit better. But for 99 per cent of people, digital has come up to a high standard and is practical.
“There has been a shift over the last few years, When someone comes in and asks for a 35mm camera we ask them these days whether they are sure as we only have half a dozen on offer.
“My kids are Generation Y and they now print their own photos – sometimes up to 1500 at a time.”