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The 2013 DSLR vs. CILC Study How to Influence the Next Wave of Buyers

Published: November 2013


Since 2008, InfoTrends has been offering the vendor community detailed segmentation and profiling studies of both current and future owners of digital interchangeable lens cameras in the U.S. These individuals continue to invest heavily in cameras, accessories, software, output, and related connected mobile devices. They are serious about photography and are the most engaged segment of the digital imaging population. It’s a dynamic segment that requires constant monitoring, and InfoTrends remains well positioned to take the lead as it’s able to access a growing base of buyers and likely buyers to do research work with (providing unparalleled insights).

According to InfoTrends’ latest forecasts, DILCs are expected to account for over 50% of total U.S. digital camera market revenue by 2016. Those that follow the market know that InfoTrends breaks the segment into two sub-categories: the digital SLR and the compact interchangeable lens camera. The DSLR segment will continue to account for the majority of sales in this market. Compact interchangeable lens cameras (CILC) are now gaining significant shares in some regions around the world, but still have not gained a strong enough foothold in the U.S., only garnering a 15% market share in 2012. InfoTrends is forecasting that CILCs will see its share grow significantly by 2016, as consumer awareness of the category grows.

Today’s digital imaging vendors must understand the attitudes, needs, desires, and purchasing decision drivers of current and future customers. Monitoring year-over-year changes and trends among the targeted consumers also remains critical from a product planning, marketing and marketing communications perspective.

This study will explore what drives specific user groups to buy (i.e. hobbyists, advanced hobbyists, females, young adults, etc.). It will also consider what products and services they use and anticipate using in the future. It will re-examine brand perceptions / attributes, investigate their use of mobile devices, evaluate their image workflows, and look at their use of software / services / apps. All players in this marketplace, including digital camera vendors, accessory vendors, software, service, and output vendors will benefit directly from the findings of this study. It will provide a complete understanding of the consumer digital interchangeable lens camera owner today and what may be in store for the future. It will segment, size and forecast the camera hardware market by specific price bands, and provide new recommendations for both vendors and service providers.

Project Objectives

InfoTrends has been surveying the consumer digital camera market for over a decade, and has leveraged existing information and insights on DILC owners and segments that are most likely to purchase an interchangeable lens camera product.

This 2013 study will build upon the results of our 2012 study, and will provide insights on topics of growing importance including:

  • Why these consumer-level hobbyists and photo active consumers are choosing one particular class of interchangeable lens camera over another
  • What will motivate current owners and non-owners to enter the buying cycle or upgrade
  • The impact of significant market events, like Canon’s entrance into the CILC category
  • HD video (significant year-over-year changes)
  • How the photo workflow is changing (impact of cloud-based imaging, etc.)

Additional information objectives include:

  • Time series analysis (important changes in the data sets from 2008 and 2013)
  • Demographic profiling of owners and future owners
  • Examination of owner and future owner attitudes, behaviors, and preferences
  • A more detailed analysis of the DSC buying process (awareness, consideration, purchase)
  • Current feature usage and future feature requirements, like connectivity
  • Lenses and accessory purchase patterns by type of consumer
  • Use of software and apps (creative, editing, management, workflow)
  • Printing and storage behaviors
  • Size, segment, and forecast the market by price band
      - Units
      -  Revenue
  • Identify opportunities and strategies for technology vendors and service providers

Analysis & Project Deliverables

There will be extensive analysis of the desk research, structured survey, and industry interviews to develop a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities and issues for vendors. Clients will receive:

  • A written report detailing key findings with market drivers and barriers, the market size / forecast and trends, and overall recommendations
  • PowerPoint summary slides (including a CILC owner only summary)
  • Data cross tabulations from the consumer survey for additional analysis of key market segments
  • Optional on-site presentation

Getting Started

For more information on the study, contact Matt O'Keefe at 781-616-2115 or e-mail


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