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Day 6 - IFA International

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Special Feature Cameras

Special Feature Cameras & Camcorders Panasonic captures attention New 3D camcorder promises to be festive favourite Nine years after the launch of the successful Lumix compactcamera range, Panasonic is again revitalising the digital camera and camcorder market with the AVCHD 3D camcorder. 18 By Gary Smith Panasonic has announced the launch of a new lens that converts its HDC- SDT750 HD camcorder into a 3D device. The VWCLT-1 3D lens is a simple add-on. “We definitely sprung a big surprise with the launch of our 3D camcorder, but in order to really convince consumers about 3D we have to bring plenty of products to market — and this is what we intend to do,” said Sven Dabelstein, Panasonic’s Senior Manager of Product Marketing, Consumer Group – Digital Imaging. “The HDC-SDT 750 HD Camcorder with the 3D lens will be available from the end of September and will be priced below €1,500. We expect to sell about 15,000 units in the lead up to Christmas.” On a technical level, the viewing screen on the 3D Camcorder is in 2D and the lens has a convergance point at 1.5 metres and will film objects as close as 50 centimetres away. “Clearly it would not be very practical to have to wear glasses to view what you are filming,” Dabelstein said. “Also, to have adjustable depth of field would increase the price by around a factor of 10, which is clearly not the way to go in terms of bringing this technology into the mainstream. We knew that getting the weight balance right was also critical — I’m convinced that filming with our 3D camcorder is not only easy but that holding it is a pleasant experience.” In terms of complementary products and peripherals, expect to see a Lumix G camera with a 3D lens and a 3D Blu-ray player in the near future. “Using a 64GB SD card, you can record for up to 20 hours, or ten hours in the highest quality mode,” Dabelstein said. “We are also introducing a new compact camera called the FZ 100, which has a free angle LCD to take pictures in any shooting situation, intelligent zoom mode, and a Full HD movie mode. In terms of the potential popularity of 3D consumer devices, Dabelstein believes that Avatar’s success has been a critical factor: “I do believe that the demand for the 3D experience created by the film will drive the uptake of our range of devices, because the audience loves it and will definitely want to film their most precious moments in 3D.” On a more general level, Panasonic’s brand equity has been growing noticeably over the last few years. “We were aware that the brand needed to be pushed more than it had historically been” Dabelstein said. “We have been taking it step by step, but it’s clear that we now have one distinctive corporate identity. We were always trusted for reliability, but the brand now has an emotional kick that it didn’t previously have. That’s also why the stand is looking so different this year. It’s a highly agreeable place to spend time and members of the public are coming to it in greater numbers and also staying for longer. As a result, we are very satisfied with what we have achieved at IFA 2010.” Hall 5.2 Stand 101 “We expect to sell around 15,000 units in the lead up to Christmas” Panasonic’s Sven Dabelstein with the new 3D camcorder

Special Feature Cameras & Camcorders Good things in smaller packages Samsung shoots and scores in digital-camera space Samsung continues to make inroads into the digital-imaging business, generating design innovations such as dual-view compact digital cameras and mirror-less models with changeable lenses. Seung Soo Park, Vice-President of Samsung’s Digital Imaging Business, Strategic Marketing Team, tells IFA International what’s in the frame for Christmas and beyond… Samsung’s Seung Soo Park: “IFA is the show where we do the most business” By Richard Barnes In the second half of the year, we’ll see new valueadded versions of compact cameras, while camcorders will be smaller with Full-HD functions and new memory features. Samsung will be introducing new models that will differentiate it from the competition, as well as adding value and benefits for consumers. Last year, Samsung released its first mirror-less camera. How important is this category going to become? For the industry, the mirrorless camera is vital. Many users of compact cameras have not been satisfied with the speed and performance of these devices. Meanwhile, DSLR consumers complain about the weight and difficulty of using these cameras. The mirror-less cameras offer great picture quality but are easy to use and transport. In addition, the compact-camera market is stagnating and the DSLR market is not exploding. So creating a new market for mirror-less cameras is important for the industry. At Samsung, we want to establish our credentials as a camera specialist. To reach that goal, we introduced our first mirror-less interchangeable lens camera incorporating an APS-C sensor for the first time a little under a year ago, and it’s been going very well. In the case of the Korean domestic market, our market share for the category is more than 50% and, worldwide, our market share is in the high double digits. At Samsung, we make the key components for our mirror-less cameras inhouse. We make our own sensors, our own DSP, our own lens, our own AMOLED screen — everything is made independently from other manufacturers. Thanks to this, we were able to introduce our APC-C camera well ahead of the competition. How does Samsung differentiate its products? In the camera industry, the consumers’ main concerns are capturing, managing and sharing images. In the past, the industry has primarily been concerned with image capturing. But now, cameras are maturing, and secondand third-time buyers are also concerned about managing and sharing their images. In response, we introduced the dual-LCD camera last year. We are continuing to innovate the design and, this year, we have introduced a new model – the ST5000 — which has an oversized lens. The product also features what we call the Da Vinci Code. When Da Vinci wrote a secret, he wrote it backwards, using a mirror. Usually a camera has a lot of letters and functions written on the lens, which makes it look very complicated. We write nothing on the front, but when the consumer turns on the power, the viewer pops up and the lens functions are reflected into the body, like a mirror. So clever design is one of the factors we use as a differentiator — what we call ‘emotional design’. For managing and sharing, we are launching a new generation of wi-fi cameras. We are collaborating with the wireless internet-provider Boingo, so when consumers buy our wi-fi camera and IFA International Richard Barnes and Jooree Cho at the Samsung HQ in Seoul take photos in the street, they will be able to post their pictures immediately. We will also be introducing a new camera that features an embedded USB port. When you push a button, the USB pops out and, through the USB, you can charge the camera and stream the data to the PC. What’s happening in the camcorder market? Since the emergence of Web 2.0, camcorder usage as changed dramatically. Before, camcorders were used mostly to shoot family events. But now, driven by the social networks, the younger generation is shooting everything in their lives and posting it on the web for everyone to see. As a result, the small and compact form factor is becoming more important. Storage is also changing. Now there are no moving parts in the camcorder, which allows for more interesting designs. Full-HD is coming as well. At IFA, we are introducing a new point-and-shoot camcorder featuring an embedded USB, touch screens for ease of use and a rotating lens, which means you can film yourself. The new camcorders are also Full-HD yet very affordable. The Full-HD experience is so intense it’s like going from black-and-white to colour TV. When will we see a true converged still/video camera? This year! We are planning to release an all-in-one 10 megapixel moving-picture and 12 megapixel still-picture camera. How does Europe fit into Samsung’s global marketing strategy? Europe accounts for between 25%-30% of our sales. We hope our position in Europe will be further strengthened by the mirror-less and highend compact-product market. Europe is the largest market in the world for these products. How important is IFA to your marketing efforts? At IFA, we meet more of our global customers than at other shows, so commercially it’s a very important event. Quite simply, it’s the show where we do the most business. Hall 20 Stand 101 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Wednesday, 8 th September 2010 19

IFA International