Digital imaging major Canon expects the market for single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras to double in India this year to 400,000 units, and saw the industry co-existing with mobile phones, despite losing some share in the lower segments.
"The market size of single-lens reflex camera will double this year from 200,000 units sold in 2012," Kazutada Kobayashi, president and chief executive of Canon India, told IANS.
Asked how much the influx of mobile phones with cameras was hurting the entry level camera sales, he said there was a drop of 30 percent unit-wise of simple, compact cameras.
"But there is a growth of 28 percent year-on-year for the interchangeable digital single-reflex cameras. Price of simple compact cameras is between Rs.6,000-Rs.10,000 while for SLR cameras it's from Rs.30,000-Rs.500,000," Kobayashi said.
"So, clearly it has offset the loss, and value-wise it's increasing," he said. "Mobile phone cameras and stand-alone cameras can coexist."
The company on Tuesday launched two cameras EOS 5DS and EOS 5DSR, full-frame DSLR cameras in India with 50.6 megapixels. These are priced between Rs.250,000 to Rs.270,000 -- and with lenses they could go up to Rs.400,000, Kobayashi said.
These cameras will target professionals in fashion, landscaping and studio works.
Canon India clocked a turnover of Rs.2,026 crore in 2014 and expects to grow 14 percent more in 2015. "The key drivers for the growth will be our B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) segments. Both ranges are expected to grow faster," Kobayashi said.
In India, the company has two focus areas. The B2C is dominated by image creation activities that start with cameras as an input device, and the photo printer as an output device. And B2B has in its range printers and scanners with software services in the portfolio.
What about making these gadgets in India, as it does not have a manufacturing base here? "No plans now," was the chief executive's reply.
"But we have a software development centre in Bengaluru with 70 people. Software products from India are exported to China, Malaysia and Vietnam."
The company has launched around 20 products so far in 2015, including cameras, accessories and lenses and plans to unveil more products during the Diwali season.
Kobayashi, however, said India's turnover was just 1 percent of the global sales, but the speed at which the market was growing has placed the country among the top five rapidly-growing markets.