For Sony and other makers of cameras and camcorders, the past few years have been disruptive, to say the least, trying to introduce products into a digital-imaging landscape that’s been dramatically and drastically altered. For instance, most people take photos or video on their smart phones. Period. So, does this mean that at Sony’s CES press conference or at its booth (as well as at other booths on the show floor), you won’t see any cameras or camcorders? Not by a long shot. In fact, Sony and others are simply working hard to reinvent both categories
Here are three reasons why cameras and camcorders aren’t ready to die, at least not yet:
Going 4K. As I reported earlier, the new Sony FDR-AX100 is the cheapest full-sized camcorder to include 4K or ultra-high-def video. But other products are including 4K-related features as well. For instance, a number of digital cameras can display photos, or slideshows of photos, in 4K via an HDMI connection to a Sony 4K HDTV. So, if you’re considering or already have a 4K HDTV, you may want to think about upgrading your camcorder in the near future. And this new camcorder comes at just the right time for the camcorder industry, which has seen a dramatic drop in camcorder sales.
New camera-body designs. Last summer, Sony introduced a very enticing product in terms of product design: The QX-series of cameras look like lenses, but they’re actually Wi-Fi cameras that work in conjunction with your smart phone. So, you can shoot with a camera that has a very good lens and sensor, and then view them on your smart phone's great display and quickly upload them.
Of course, the best example of effective and inventive design is in the camcorder space: Action cams are still very hot, with GoPro and others continuing to reinvent this type of camcorder. Sony introduced a splashproof version of its action cam: the AS100 (shown above). It goes to show that a drastic overhaul of a product design can actually bring new life to a product category, as GoPro and other action camcorder makers have.