Printing and Camera Trends

Printing and Camera Trends

by Ron Leach

Once or twice a year we like to take a look at what types of cameras are being purchased and how photographers are printing their images. The latest report from the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) provides an interesting overview of these trends through the end of 2007, so let's take a look.

Last year the volume of prints in all sizes made from digital camera images increased by 27% over 2006. The volume of prints made on home printers grew by 9 percent, while images printed by online services grew by a whopping 64 percent. The volume of prints made at retail minilabs and instant kiosks also exhibited a healthy increase last year, growing by 24 percent and 35 percent respectively.

When it comes to image capture, the overall demand for still cameras (both film and digital) was down 4.5% in December 2007 as compared to the same month in 2006. Digital cameras clearly dominated the market, but their sales were down 3.3% last December as compared to December 2006. In the same period, the sales of 35mm cameras plunged 67%. On a positive note, digital camera sales grew by a healthy 10 percent in terms of total units for the full year of 2007.

Some predictable trends emerged in 2007 with respect to the types of digital cameras being purchased. Nine out of 10 cameras sold in December 2007 were models with 6-megapixel resolution or greater, while the entry resolution level for new cameras shifted above the 7-megapixel threshold. There was also a dramatic growth in the sales of cameras with 10-megapixel resolution or greater; up 162% for the full year of 2007 as compared to 2006. So if you think the "pixel race" is finally over, stay tuned.