What is a Camera (and a Digital Camera)?
A camera is an optical instrument used to capture an image. Over the past two decades, the evolution of digital cameras has taken photography to another level.
Instead of using film, a digital camera stores pictures in electronic memory, therefore holding many more photos than a traditional film camera. Depending on its memory size, a digital camera can sometimes store hundreds or thousands of pictures and are easily transferrable over social media and online communication platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat, and others.
The Emergence of Handphone Cameras
While the camera industry is dominated by traditional giants like Canon, Nikon, and Sony, the evolution of mobile phones has directly created a huge demand for digital photos. Mobile phones themselves are in the midst of fierce competition of manufacturing built-in camera functions that are nearly as close to the actual camera itself.
So why the craze in this pursuit? Since the first celluloid camera was manufactured by Kodak in the late 1880s, the demand has increased steadily. The competition was stiff as even the pioneer, Kodak itself, got knocked off the game. It made selling a camera a competitive challenge.
The real reason may not be the camera itself. Consumers are buying experience and memories. Tech giant Apple never sells their product based on technical specification. They are so highly successful because they sell user experience and lifestyle.
One cannot attach a monetary value to such intangible products. Using an iPhone is a lifestyle, and the next thing you know, people want to share their lifestyle via photos and videos. Social media platforms certainly help to proliferate the demand for such visuals.
Human beings love being nostalgic. Not only do we like sharing current moments, but we also love sharing our younger days. Notice how every time we attend a wedding dinner (in the Singapore context), there would always be a photo montage beginning from childhood to adulthood and the courtship period of the couple.
Significantly, the couple would decide to share their precious moments on such an important occasion. After marriage, the couple would start a family. New members of the family would be greeted like celebrities, and they would want to freeze precious moments like the baby’s first steps, birthdays, first day in school, and so forth in a picture and let it stay with them as wonderful memories for the rest of their lives.
Pictures remain as essential as they’ve ever been. Not only do they allow us to capture moments, but they also preserve them for the last generations. As such, our memories would be given life, be easily shared, and would last for generations. After all, that’s what it’s all about.
It is common to forget a name, but the visual impression is difficult to forget. Have you come across instances where you meet someone whom you are sure you’ve seen before but had forgotten their name?
Photogenic and subconscious memories are powerful tools for commercial advertisers to tap on. Big bucks are spent on creating that one visual that epitomizes the whole meaning and significance of a brand or advertisement.
We seldom come across media messages that are too wordy nowadays. Instead, the focus is on creating powerful pictures or videos that effectively send messages across to consumers because a picture says a thousand words.
The volumetric number of messages in social media also means that consumers do not have the time and patience to read every message, hence the visual and headline would have to capture their attention first.
Understanding the psychology of consumers and delivering a message through a picture becomes art; how can we tug at the heartstrings of our prospective clients using just a photo?
Do Cameras have any competitors?
It is not so much of a competition in terms of hardware, but more of how it is being used. Videography is an emerging trend, offering variations in terms of motion graphics and auditory capability.
Unlike the olden days where you needed separate equipment for different functions; a camera to take static pictures and a video camera for videography purposes, technological improvements in camera design allows dual-purpose functionality. However, the bottom line remains the same, it still captures moments and memories.
Because of the “magnetic prowess” of photos and videos, the traditional business of selling cameras remains relevant today. But even so, when advertising the camera, we do not see pictures of the camera itself, but we see the visual end product that the camera produces, so as to evoke memories and emotion and demonstrate the user experience.
This is how the company would get you to buy your next DSLR camera. Memories continue to be a very important part of our lives because it molds and makes us into the person we are today. Do you know of a friend who captures memories and moments with cameras?