Industry Trends: The Future of Digital Imaging

Can DSLR Brands Compete Against Influx of Smartphone Users?

The digital imaging industry is in a state of flux. Smartphone cameras make it easy for consumers to snap and share high quality photographs or videos instantly to their friends. Apps such as Instagram and Snapchat have amplified this trend, as usage figures indicate that over 40 million photos are shared everyday on Instagram alone. With these trends in mind, how can the digital imaging industry design products with features that appeal to the average consumer?
Digital Imaging Industry Trends
Using Crimson Hexagon’s patented ForSight™ platform to identify and assess new industry trends, we uncovered some interesting insights that give us a reason to believe the digital imaging industry can bounce back. To frame our analysis, we focused our study on the rising trend of Wi-Fi and photo sharing integration into digital cameras. Using the ForSight platform, we analyzed over 4,700 relevant posts about Wi-Fi and photo sharing integration since January 1st.
Digital imaging industry trends opinion analysis
Our analysis shows that consumers already desire or enjoy cameras with Wi-Fi capabilities and integrated photo sharing, as it represents almost 20% of the total conversation. However, consumers express that they are unsure which camera brands actually have these capabilities.

Digital Imaging Industry Trends Tweets1Almost 25% of the conversation surrounds this issue, which shows that there is no true market leader that has established itself as the go-to brand for Wi-Fi enabled cameras. This creates an attractive marketing opportunity amongst digital imaging brands to endeavor to emerge as the brand associated with digital camera Wifi and photo sharing integration. Companies that want to compete in this space need to make sure consumers are informed and aware of new cameras featuring Wi-Fi and photo sharing integration through advertising and relevant social media channels.

One of the more interesting findings, which bodes well for digital imaging companies, is the fact that some consumers who are using camera phones see them as a gateway for upgrading to a dSLR or other higher quality cameras.

Digital Imaging Industry Trends Tweets 219% of the conversation revolves around this topic, demonstrating that while apps like Instagram may take away some valuable customers who are unwilling to pay for an expensive dSLR camera, they are also cultivating a portion of consumers who are taking photography on as a serious hobby. This increased interest in photography, whether on a smartphone or on a digital camera is a good thing for brands as they can try to capitalize on the current interest in picture-taking. The influx of images on social media also opens the door for brands to start analyzing social images to identify the top scenes, objects, logos, and more that appear within a social conversation. However, brands need to keep in mind that consumers expressing these sentiments will also most likely desire Wi-Fi and photo sharing features, as that is how they have experienced photography on their smartphones.

Digital Imaging Industry Trends Digital Imaging Industry Trends Clusters
Taking a look at our cluster analysis for this study on photo sharing, it is no surprise that Instagram features heavily in the conversation. Through our analysis we were able to identify different groups of Instagram users that brands should make sure to keep in mind as they integrate Wi-Fi and photo sharing features.
Most troubling to digital imaging brands is the group of consumers who own a dSLR camera, but find themselves not using it in favor of using Instagram, which represents 7% of the conversation.

Digital Industry Trends Tweet 5

Brands need to keep an eye on the 10% of dSLR owners who use their high quality camera for the purpose of posting to Instagram. This group will desire the ability to share their photos via Wi-Fi directly on their digital cameras as evidenced by this example tweet.

Digital Industry Trends Tweet 5

The last group, which represented 21% of the conversation, by far the largest group, is the Instagram purists. They take the view that Instagram should only contain photos exclusively from a mobile device, and that those who use digital cameras to post photos on Instagram are “cheating.”

Digital Imaging Industry Trends Tweet 7

These three key groups of consumers represent the new normal for camera companies who need to find a way to integrate their needs or else get left behind.
Using ForSight, we were able to glean information surrounding the ways consumers use and interact with digital imaging products, what needs they desire in future products, and different consumer types all from one, simple analysis. Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight social media analysis platform allows precise and distinct themes to emerge, showing that the digital imaging industry can rebound in the near future, if they focus on listening to the consumer and marketing their products with their needs in mind.
For more insights into uncover insights from visual data, download our guide The Fundamentals of Image Analytics.

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