Compact camera makers innovate to retake market

Compact camera makers innovate to retake market
Vloggers" ― or video bloggers, who film or live-stream their thoughts, ideas and interests, have become tremendously popular here in the past years.

New compact cameras including those that allow users to easily take selfies and other pictures with high-definition waterproof features are gaining popularity. Compact digital camera sales have dropped after losing out to smartphones with high-quality camera functions, but camera manufacturers hope to regain market share by offering improvements.

For example, Casio Computer Co. introduced a new camera that specializes in taking selfies. The camera's rear has controls and an LCD screen that revolves 180 degrees, allowing users to press buttons while pointing the lens at themselves.

Casio also introduced the latest model of its line of cameras where its lens unit and LCD-equipped controller can be separated for wireless operation. The camera unit can be set at a certain position allowing the photographer to hold the controller and move around freely.

Selfies can be taken with existing digital cameras, but taking good ones can be difficult. An official at Casio's public relations department says the company wants people to enjoy photographing themselves with its new selfie-friendly camera.

Camera manufacturers have also stepped up efforts to improve waterproof digital cameras. In many cases, the image quality of conventional waterproof digital cameras is not as good as that of ordinary models. But Olympus Corp. has improved its waterproof digital camera's optical performance, allowing users to take beautiful photos underwater as well as in dark locations. The camera's shock resistance was also improved to survive such shocks as a child dropping it, expanding its applications for use even at construction sites.

According to research company BCN Inc., photos taken by smartphones are increasing. But some consumers are complaining that adjusting smartphone cameras is difficult or that the image quality is poor. One the other hand, compact digital cameras have a relatively high photo quality.

At the same time, photo functions on smartphones are continuing to improve. BCN analyst Ichiro Michikoshi says, "Unless compact digital cameras offer something that smartphones don't, it's possible that the image quality of smartphones will catch up.

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