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When was the last time you used your digital camera (excluding your smartphone)? Remember that fancy Canon you got for Christmas a few years ago? It’s probably building dust on a shelf like mine. Ten years ago digital cameras dominated the market offering affordable, high quality camera’s to the general consumer. Fast-forward to 2012 and Kodak has filed bankruptcy, Olympus was over-swept with an accounting scandal, all while Instagram was acquired for a billion dollars. Smartphones have taken a slice out of the traditional camera market offering megapixel images, abundant photo editing apps, and instant sharing capabilities. Why haven’t the traditional camera companies capitalized on apps and social – did they not see the social web coming? Photos in themselves are meant to be social.

The “like” button on Facebook and Instagram provide immediate social gratification. Be honest, you post your picture and get excited when you get 10 likes and compulsively keep checking the next few hours. It makes you feel good and relevant. Your social profile is a popularity contest. When you are at a Cubs game and catch a fly ball, you want everyone to know. You pull out your smartphone, snap a picture and within seconds you’ve shared your glory on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and texted your dad to make him jealous. If you had taken that picture with your digital camera, you would have had to go home, find your cord to plug into the computer, open the program to upload, save, and then maybe you would share, but by then who cares? You don’t get instant social gratification by using a digital camera.

I pose this question to the reader:
Is there a way that these traditional camera companies can tap into the app and social market or is this a lost opportunity for them? Personally, it seems to me that the only way to draw in the social-user is to be able to wirelessly send photos from your high-end camera to your tablet or phone or computer? Everyone likes to be liked; traditional camera companies should take note.

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Category: BRAND STRATEGY, INTERACTIVE MARKETING, Medill IMC, Mobile Marketing, SOCIAL MEDIA

About the Author: Susan Butler is a student in the Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. She can be reached at susanbutler2013@u.northwestern.edu.

Comments (2)

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  1. Susan Butler says:

    Thanks Jeanine! And thanks for sharing this nugget of new info. It will be interesting to see the price point and actual design of the camera. From the specs, the capabilities nearly mirror smartphones, excluding apps and the ability to make calls (but who uses their smartphones for calls, these days?!… kidding, sort of).

    Cannon will need to make sure they really differentiate themselves from smartphones. Props to Canon (although I feel like they should have come out with this a few years ago)! Better late, then never.

  2. Jeanine Jiang says:

    Very good point Susan! I read in the news previously that Canon is actually developing such kind of camera that allows wireless transfer to tablets and phones. Check their website out! You are totally right. Traditional manufacturers def want to keep up with the game!

    http://www.canon-europe.com/For_Home/Product_Finder/Cameras/Digital_Camera/IXUS/wifi/

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