At the beginning of the year, in my article “What can we expect from the photography industry in 2023?“, I speculated on what the year would look like for the photography industry. Now, in December, it’s time to summarise how the year has gone and whether there have been any innovations.
The figures of the photography industry
The CIPA figures show a mixed trend over the year as a whole. Compared to 2022 the year started weakly in the first two months but was stronger in the following three months. After that, the figures were at the same level as in 2022.
The two missing months of November and December will certainly not change the picture significantly, so we can say that sales figures in 2023 will be at a very similar level to 2022. The good news is that the figures have not fallen any further. But you certainly can’t talk about growth.
Product launches in 2023
On the whole, 2023 was a rather boring year in terms of product launches. In principle, there was no real innovation to be seen. Except for the Sony A9 III, which saw the light of day at the end of the year. However, this camera is not yet available. Nevertheless, the global shutter attracted a lot of attention. The other product presentations were also to be expected. More or less all cameras that represented a further development compared to what was on the market.
Special mention should be made of the Leica M11-P, technically a variant of the Leica M11, but the first camera to support the C2P standard, which makes it possible to track that the picture was taken with a camera and what processing was done. In times of artificial intelligence, this is very good news for camera manufacturers and photographers. However, the other camera manufacturers have not yet followed suit. Let’s see how this will develop.
On the lens front, however, a new trend has crystallised. Driven by the Micro Four Thirds standard, these are becoming ever smaller and lighter, even with 35 mm cameras. Sometimes with compromises in light intensity or image quality. Nevertheless, this is a development that should please every photographer. Your back will thank you if you no longer carry so much around with you. However, Panasonic and OM Digitalsolutions should be concerned about this trend, as it invalidates one of their main arguments.
2023 is another year for the camera industry to move away from the mass market and towards a niche product. Compact cameras have not been popular for a long time and system cameras are only interesting to amateur photographers. The number of such customers is much smaller than that of the average person. We will therefore see ever higher quality cameras and prices will also rise. This is also because the quantities that manufacturers produce are no longer at the level of previous years and will no longer be.