Smartphones & Professional Video Production Services Cause Dive in Sales of Video Cameras

The rise of the smartphone and the increasing demand for professional video production services are eating away at both ends of the video camera market.

At the one end we have an increasing quality of video from smartphones; so much so that an iPhone can quite easily be used to shoot a customer testimonial video for your website or a How-to video for YouTube.

At the other end of the spectrum we have corporates and medium to large businesses increasingly wanting to differentiate themselves from the opposition by hiring professional services for video making that mark their businesses out as industry leaders or trailblazers.

So the humble old video camera is taking a bit of a battering. We take a closer look below.

Smartphone Video Capabilities

The latest iPhone 4S includes a Full HD 1080p record mode. Of course an iPhone will cost you far more than a cheap video camera but, with all the other features that the phone offers, the impressive video quality is enough as part of a package to convince people that one device can now do it all.

Most reviews of high-end smartphones like the iPhone say that sharpness, color, light, motion and sound performance is as good or better than what you will get from most lower-end camcorders but not as  good as mid to high-range camcorders.

The ‘Flip’ and Beyond

Cisco’s ‘Flip’ video camera acquisition was a hot start-up in 2007; by April 20011 it was dead in the water despite selling a couple of million in the first two years.

This crash was partly due to the rise of the smartphone during the same period, and the perception that a phone can do everything that a cheap video camera can do… so why waste money on another device?

Elsewhere, it was reported that between 2010 and 2011, sales of point and shoot camera units were down by 17% and “pocket” camcorder unit sales were down by 13%.

As Brent Bracelin, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, says, “The rapid innovation of smartphones one of the most disruptive trends we’ve seen.”

Mid to high end video cameras still have a place in the market because there are enough enthusiasts out there to need video quality higher than smartphones can deliver.

Professional Video Production Services

At the very top end of the market in Australia you have a whole clutch of video production businesses, which have been set up to feed the growing demand for high-end video.

This extends from the college student who specialises in shooting weddings, to large video production companies offering corporate video production, marketing and distributing, looking after everything along the way from scriptwriting the video and preproduction to uploading the finished videos to multiple websites.

Increasingly businesses which are serious about using video as a key differentiator in their market are taking a more professional approach and not trying to do it in-house.

Therefore, even though businesses may not be investing in their own cameras to shoot video, the future of mid to high-end video camera sales looks a lot more secure than at the lower end of the market.


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