Canon India, a leader in imaging technologies, said using smartphones for taking pictures would only help the imaging industry grow as more people are exposed to the ‘joys of photography.’

“With smartphones, the number of clicks have increased considerably,” said Kazutada Kobayashi, president and CEO, Canon India which is eyeing an annual sales of ₹3,500 crore by 2020.

“As more and more people are clicking, the market for the imaging industry is set to expand. More people are now exposed to the joys of photography,” Mr. Kobayashi said.

Asked if the company would partner a mobile handset manufacturer for cameras, Mr. Kobayashi said, “Not as an entity…. However, organically they have been expanding the market …the number of people who are interested in clicking pictures,” he said.

“My feeling is [the] number of the people who started taking pictures or videos after smartphones came, went up at least 10 times.

“So much more people are now interested in photography, out of which, say, at least 20% want to upgrade the quality of picture, so they are coming [and] are buying a more serious device” he said.

Double-digit growth

Mr. Kobayashi said the firm expects to record double digit growth to achieve annual sales of ₹3,500 crore by December 2020. Canon India follows the January-December fiscal and posted ₹2,600 crore in sales for 2017.

The company will also be strengthening its retail network — Canon Image Square — this year to expand footprint in the country. It plans to add about 30 more retailing points, taking the total number to 280 by the end of this year.

“We are steadily growing our business…and launching more new products in the camera and printer segments,” he added. Canon, which on Friday introduced the EOS M50 camera priced at ₹61,995, is also strengthening its range of mirrorless cameras in the country.

Mirrorless cameras

“Mirrorless cameras are slowly gaining popularity…because it is without mirror, there are more chances of making the camera smaller and may be, lighter. The compactness can add more mobility at the same time users get access to new technology such as Wi-Fi etc. into the new models… by doing it you can develop a new market,” Mr. Kobayashi said.

Asked if such cameras are likely to replace point and shoot cameras that are already seeing a decline in demand due to competition from smartphone cameras, Mr. Kobayashi said, “I don’t think so. Cost will be a major factor. Initial range for cost of this camera is about ₹50-₹60,000, while for point and shoot camera it is over ₹10,000.” He added that point and shoot camera will remain relevant in particular use cases such as under water use, durability amid dust and pollution. They can also be used as a second camera to interchangeable lens camera.

On the changing trends in the camera industry, Mr. Kobayashi said, “The camera has a history of 100 years. In the past, the change was driven by hardware… because I have camera, I take a picture and show pictures to others. Now, the change happens from demand side like social media… because I want to upload small movie or a nice picture , I want a good device to take picture. So I think initiation has changed from device to demand side.”

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