Cologne, Germany, September 28, 2006 – While the megapixel wars are going to continue unabated for the next few years, the next big feature that the camera manufacturers will be competing over is video capture, claims Chris Chute, a digital imaging analyst with IDC. At a briefing at the Photokina show in Cologne, Germany, the analyst predicted that manufacturers will be marketing their cameras as do-it-all devices that can capture both still images and decent quality video in 2007 instead of focusing on one particular feature. "Look to video capture as the next big thing" he explained. "Digital still cameras will be known simply as digital cameras at some point, as they take on more digital video features" said Chute.
However, megapixels will remain the primary criteria for choosing a camera, he claimed, although other features such as image stabilization are also becoming increasingly important. Chute also claimed that digital cameras with built-in wireless could compose up to 43% of the market by 2010. The first models with wireless weren’t big sellers, he explained, but as wireless networks become more widespread, the manufacturers will try again.
Chute also detailed research that claims that over 55% of US households now have a digital camera, and that these are being used. According to his research, people are taking more images than ever; an average of 79 images per month in 2006, up from 60 a month 2004.
And while we may be calling them simply digital cameras next year, it won’t stop there. IDC analyst Paul Withington claimed that "by 2010, we’ll be talking about cameras again, not digital cameras". He explained that as digital cameras become the norm, people will begin to assume that a photo was taken digitally, with film cameras in the minority. According to these analysts, the future is digital, high resolution, with an additional emphasis on video.