According to market experts who have carefully monitored the various trends in the electronics industry over the past few years, digital cameras (the point and shoots) have been progressively going down that slippery slope towards extinction as they become more and more obsolete. Given the presence of powerful camera phones in the market today, there simply doesn’t seem to be a need for the single-function digital still or video cameras. After all, most of these photos end up on Facebook or some other social networking site; and people aren’t really discerning.
The Camera industry looks to those who want quality
While the teeming masses of Facebook-ers and Instagrammers are happy enough with their camera phones, there is still an emerging market of people who very prefer high-quality photos. No mere blurry camera or iPod-cam is enough for them; they need equipment take clear, sharp, photos even in unfavorable situations such as night time. These are usually the ones with a more artistic disposition and who enjoy creating photographs that capture beautifully composed portraits of daily beauty. They may also be social media hounds or bloggers, but they focus on circles that cater to the artistic life, such as the photography and art blogs of Tumblr or Pinterest users looking to create their own brilliant images.
The Long Zoom Fixed Lens Bridge Camera
This may be the target audience that Fujifilm and other camera makers are aiming for—the crowd that demands quality so that they may produce images that appeal to their aesthetic senses and the tastes of those who enjoy their photographs. Often, these people want a camera of quality, such as DSLRs, which would give them the flexibility and image quality they need. But DSLRs are costly, and often owned only by professional photographers and bloggers. Fujifilm bridges the gap with something that isn’t quite a digital camera, and part way to becoming SLR.
In CES 2013, Fujifilm released a whole new line of this type of camera. At first glance, the set does look like a DSLR in its somber black matte. A closer look reveals that it doesn’t have quite all the bells and whistles. While that means that it doesn’t have the same manual flexibility of a DSLR, there’s without a doubt a far more impressive quality of photograph that can be taken from it when compared to a high class point-and-shoot.
It is a “bridge” camera in all senses of the word, since it has features and calibration that can be likened to an SLR while still being as simple to use as a digital camera. They are capable of surviving rough-and-tumble usage, which means they are hardy cameras that can take excellent photographs even when you’re going on nature adventures or fighting through crowds at a concert. Waterproof, shock proof and dustproof, with incredible zoom qualities—the SL1000 in particular goes right up to 50x zoom, which makes it perfect for long range spotting at big events—and they cost far less than a DSLR.
Budding photographers or even casual users who want something a little better than a grainy iPhone photo without jumping to pro-level would benefit from at least checking the line out.