Does the future of Sony cameras lie in smartphones?

Does the future of Sony cameras lie in smartphones?
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony cameras are a formidable force in the camera market, coming second only to Canon with their market share – and rapidly rising. Sony have released incredibly exciting cameras over the years, including some Sony Alpha camera technology that has been far before its time. However, with the camera market in a steady state of decline, many eyes are on Sony to see how it maneuvers this interesting time.

Sony Electronics President and CEO Shigeki Ishizuka and Representative Director and Vice President and COO Ichiro Takagi recently gave an interview to Business Inside Japan regarding the future direction of Sony.

• Read more: Best Sony camera

Regarding the challenging state of the camera market, CEO Ishizuka said: "We have been ahead of our competitors in the high value-added strategy of digital camera since 2012. In the [interchangeable-lens] world, we have become a top brand and have been a driving force in expanding the market. It's tough, for the time being we'll have a certain size. Therefore, the focus is on 'video'. Video needs [to] grow as a digital camera. Alpha will be launched in the video main."

Sony pursuing video isn't overly surprising, considering that many of their current cameras are fantastic cameras for video. Plus, with some of the best camera phones producing photos comparable to (and sometimes even better than) compact cameras, less and less users are turning to 'proper' cameras for their everyday snaps. 

It can sometimes be easy to forget that Sony has fingers in plenty of other pies outside of the camera market. However, Sony's sheer size and scale gives it a unique advantage over other camera manufacturers – namely, its investment in smartphone technology. This new interview suggests that Sony will be looking to combine its smartphone and camera technological expertise in the future.

CEO Ishizuka said: "We will aim for a complete fusion of how to integrate the smartphone and camera. Sony is the only company in the world that has a full-fledged smartphone and camera business. I would like to make a considerable investment in development of the hard-to-[be]-reproduced telecommunications business and solutions for cameras and professionals, and strengthen the development for the short and long term."

Whether Ishizuka's statement means that we'll be seeing cameras with more smartphone technology baked inside, or smartphones with even better cameras, we'll have to wait and see. However, the future of Sony cameras certainly looks interesting.

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Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine and  Digital Photographer. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.