Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Casio Won't Make Digital Compact Camera Anymore

     Last week, Casio, one of the largest Japanese electronics manufacturing companies, announced that they would stop making digital compact cameras.
Casio Digital Compact Cameras

Casio is not only a Japanese wristwatch maker. They have been making digital compact cameras for 23 years.
     You probably know that Casio's famous watches, Casio G-Shock series. (By the way, these years, affordable Casio watches have been very popular for young Japanese people. You can check my previous entry, Cheap Casio - Popular Inexpensive Casio Watches. ) In Japan, Casio makes cameras, watches, calculators, electronic dictionaries and so on. According to Wikipedia, a number of notable digital camera innovations have been made by Casio, including the QV-10, the first consumer digital camera with an LCD screen on the back (developed by a team led by Hiroyuki Suetaka in 1995), the first consumer three megapixel camera, the first true ultra-compact model, and the first digital camera to incorporate ceramic lens technology. Since 1995, Casio has often released new smaller digital cameras which allow you to take better quality photos. Every time Casio released a new digital compact camera, I was surprised that newer model was thinner and lighter but had a larger screen. 

     Many Japanese companies make digital compact cameras such as Casio, Canon, Nikon and Sony. Casio compact camera, Exilim, has been pretty popular in Japan. I used to have one and remember that many of my friends in Japan also had ones. That's why I was very surprised at the news that Casio would pull out of the digital camera business.
Casio Exilim

Why will Casio stop making digital compact cameras?
       The reason why they will stop making digital compact cameras is vanishing demand. Now, so many people own a smartphone. When you have a good smartphone, you don't really need a digital compact camera. Indeed, I still have some digital compact cameras, Sony Cyber Shot, but I haven't used them at all since I purchased my iPhone years ago. Because I am a blogger, I often take photos for my blog. When I want to take casual photos outside such as foods at restaurants, I use my iPhone. When I want to take photos at home, I use a larger digital single-lens reflex camera, Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR, for better quality photos. When I go to beach to see wild animals, I use a larger digital camera with 50x optical zoom, Canon Power Shot SX50 HS (This camera is actually categorized as a digital compact camera, but I don't think it's so because it is heavy and large.). Even if I didn't have my large Canon cameras, I would be still able to take pretty good photos with my iPhone. Smartphone cameras have dramatically improved in recent years.

Digital Compact Camera (2011) vs Smartphone (2016)
      In 2013, I recorded this video with my digital compact camera, Sony Cyber Shot, which I purchased in 2011. I really loved this camera, but now I think that the quality of video recorded with the digital compact camera was not good enough back then. Yet, quality of my old smartphone camera was worse, and it didn't have enough memory for videos. At that time, I never though taking a long video with a smartphone would be a good idea.

Sony Power Shot 2011 Model

        In January this year (2018), I recorded this video with only my iPhone SE, which I purchased in 2016. I think that quality of iPhone camera is pretty good, and I don't think I need a new digital compact camera anymore.

Apple iPhone SE 2016

       I think that Casio made a big and smart decision. More and more people take photos with their smartphone, and less and less people use digital compact cameras. Casio will use its digital camera technology to focus on imaging opportunities in sports and medical fields.

Will compact camera soon vanish from market?
      I think that even though most people don't really need digital compact cameras anymore, few people still need waterproof action cameras for sports and water activities. Yet, I guess that more of Japanese electronics manufacturing companies will withdraw from digital compact camera market sooner or later. What do you think?

Famous Japanese Digital Compact Camera manufacturing companies

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