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A Snapshot of the Imaging Market's Hot Products and Trends

Global Imaging Market Analysis and Commentary

24 Nov 2017 - Black Friday and Cyber Monday mark the beginning of a chaotic retail sales period that Futuresource Consulting continues to track across multiple categories. This peak sales period is key to capturing the key consumer electronics and imaging trends, highlighting sought after product features and technologies, which provide a clear industry snapshot of important trends that will unfold and develop for the year ahead.

Futuresource Consulting anticipates an extraordinary peak in consumer demand for dedicated imaging devices such as Compact System Cameras (CSCs), as they offer the most differentiation from smartphones. "CSCs, also referred to as Mirrorless Cameras, have certainly been gathering pace and are set to represent one of the hottest imaging product segments during this retail period," commented Arun Gill, ‎Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

This statement is reinforced by the Weekly Digital Camera Sell-Out Tracker report looking at the US market, were approximately 40% of CSCs/Mirrorless sold in the USA during 2017 (weeks 1-44) offered 4K video resolution, compared with less than 10% of DSLRs during the same period.

"The popularity and consumer awareness of CSCs/Mirrorless has risen considerably over the past year due to a number of factors, including improvements in technology, widening range/availability of lenses, a move to video, more affordable prices (in higher-end models versus alternative products e.g. DSLRs, camcorders) and wider support from the channel/retailers," continued Gill. 

The report also looks at regional trends, highlighting that the CSCs/Mirrorless category is set to grow across all major geographies globally during the full year of 2017. Particularly impressive market growth is currently being witnessed in the USA, where volumes are set to rise by 24% (year-on-year). Meanwhile, a shift in product mix towards higher spec/priced models are contributing towards an even higher retail market value trend, with a forecast of +42% (year-on-year).

Capture and consumption of video content is also becoming increasingly important to consumers and the brand new 'Imaging Ecosystems' consumer research by Futuresource highlights the importance of 4K capture for both interchangeable lens camera (e.g. DSLR) and smartphone owners. Of the total base (1,250 smartphone and digital camera owners), almost half of respondents suggested that high video resolution (e.g. 4K) was the most important feature when purchasing a new interchangeable lens camera. 

"Instant print cameras are also likely to be a winner with consumers this holiday period," added Gill. "This is fuelled by the recent resurgence in demand for tangible outputs and the opportunity to be creative with physical prints." According to Futuresource, the USA market volumes are on course to rise by approximately 30% year-on-year. The majority of models offered from key players Fujifilm and Polaroid retail under $100, and this makes instant print cameras an ideal/affordable gifting item for the mass market during the deal driven Black Friday period.


Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. 

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