New Models, Price Cuts To Rule Digital Camera Market

New Delhi: | Updated: Nov 4 2003, 05:30am hrs
With a deluge of new digital cameras in the domestic market, prices have fallen, and Cetma estimates that the Rs 200-crore market has grown 100 per cent over last year. The deluge continues, with companies across-the-board, including Canon, FujiFilm, Casio, Nikon, Kodak and Sony launching cameras by the handful across the festive season between Diwali and New Year.

Prices of entry-level digital cameras (digicams) are also falling below the Rs 10,000-barrier. While a large part of the Rs 200-crore market is still governed by the unorganised market, companies are gearing up to tap an increased amount of digitalisation in Indias camera market.

Jindal Photo Films Ltd (JPFL), the exclusive partner of Fuji Corporation of Japan, will begin advertising its 10-odd FujiFilm digital cameras in India this year. The cameras range from Rs 15,000 to Rs 1.45 lakh.

The market is progressing so fast, India is in the process of digitalising its camera industry, JPFL managing director RB Pal told FE. There is still a huge share in the grey market, but with more companies bringing in more models, prices will go down, with entry-level cameras breaking the Rs 10,000 mark.

Canon India manager (digicam products) Shyam Sundar said, Digicams are definitely a focus area for us in India. In the next few days, we will be launching another five models, adding to our existing 11-strong portfolio.

Canons portfolio ranges from Rs 17,995 to Rs 7.5 lakh.

Kodak currently has seven models, all in the lower-mid range, with grey market prices touching new lows of Rs 8,000. Dealers who buy from independent importers quote prices of cameras at about 75 per cent of that quoted by licensed importers. The unorganised sector also makes available brands like Minolta and Olympus.

Nikon, with its Mumbai-based distributor Prerna Enterprises, also plans new launches this coming year, having already rolled out an advertising campaign.

There is no organised study of the market, and that is because the market is still small, but it is growing rapidly and will need attention soon, said Mr Sundar.

Casio Indias digicams range from Rs 16,000 to Rs 50,000. The company launched two new models under the Exilim brand, and another QV model camera last month.

Casios chief manager (new products) Kulbhushan Seth said, We are trying through our below-the-line activities to educate dealers and enable consumers to choose.

People are now willing to pay between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000 for a camera with advanced features, and the obsolesence rate of lower-end cameras costing below Rs 10,000 is high, making that sector highly unsustainable. Moreover, considering the grey market services the

lower-end already, the organised sector compliments upgradation to better quality, said Mr Pal.