2018 has been a very exciting year for the imaging industry. The launches during the year wowed everybody in the imaging world. The passion with which photography is followed in the Indian subcontinent is only increasing. And so is the quality of talent. Such a scenario can only make one very optimistic of the future.
The launch of full-frame mirrorless cameras has certainly given much needed breathing space for the future. It is very likely that 2018 will go down in history as a watershed year for the industry.
That said, smartphones continue to surprise everybody and reach new quality levels with their impressive optics. Huawei, Google and Samsung have impressed heavily with the quality cameras in their smartphones. This means that the mainstream camera manufacturers can hardly rest on their laurels in 2019.
As for the Indian market, after several years of rapid growth, D-SLR sales are estimated to have grown in single digits (near 5%) to circa 550,000. The pangs of demonetisation and the high GST rate of 28% (fortunately now reduced to 18%) are to blame. Compact camera sales stood at between 150,000 and 175,000 units and have become a niche market. Mirrorless cameras are estimated to have taken 10% of the D-SLR market. The smartphone market, of course, continues to explode with several Chinese manufacturers producing cameras of a high standard.
H. S. Billimoria