Christian Sandström holds a PhD from ChalmersUniversity of Technology, Sweden. He writes and speaks about disruptive innov...
In the last 10-15     years,  photography has exploded.
With the rise of digital imaging,everyone is   taking  photosnowadays.
Casio is one     of the  companies that has been  driving this   shift, and   prosperedfrom doing so.
Interestingly, the company   had no experience ofproducing cameras prior to the rise of digital imaging.
Yet still, the company has  emerged as one of the survivors in this fiercely  competitive industry.
In order to understand whythis happened, we must look    at the history of Casio.
The company has a fantastic track record of introducing electronics, destroying old   industries and reaching        mass ...
It all started   back in the1960s and 70s  when Casioand Sharp lead the electronic    calculator   revolution.
Within a few years in the late60s and early 70s,these companies destroyed many industrial giants   by launching  cheap, po...
Just take a look at all the mechanical giants that collapsed in this shift:
Monroe…
Victor…
Burroughs…
Remington Rand…
Olivetti…
Facit…
With a competence base inmechanics, these firms could notkeep up with Casio, Sharp, Texas  Instruments and the others.
After the shift to electronics,   the calculator industry    became a warzone of competition. New, cheaper  and better mod...
Many companies entered theindustry in the early 70s to diggold, but very few survived this      Klondike business.
Casio andSharp emerged as two of thesurviving giants after the war.
In the 70s and 80s, thecompany thundered into the watch industry and     massproduced   electronic watches.
Casio and its electronic relatives Seiko and Citizen put 1000 of the 1500 Swiss watch manufacturersout of business from 19...
The eternally    increasing  performanceand decreasing prices implied that Casio had   to integratemany functionsinto one ...
Creating a calculator-wrist- watch was one attempt to deal with the continuing    decrease in prices.
After these two electronic revolutions, Casio emergedas a household name with avery strong consumer brand.
The success was  essentially built around an ability   to rapidly wire  new and better  electronics intoconsumer-friendly ...
Both these   products were    based uponintegrated circuits    and an LCD screen. The LCD was perfect since    it was ligh...
As time passed, thesemarkets became saturated  in the early 1990s and Casio started to look for new applications for its  ...
These were the early   days of digital  photography…
In 1994, Apple launched the QuickTake camera.
It looked like a pair of  binoculars, could store  32 photos and was thefirst camera that could be     connected to a PC.
The price? 800 dollars.
Kodak launched the DC40  and DC50 in 1995-96.
What about putting an LCD display into a  digital camera?
Remember, the LCD was cheap, consumed   little energy and its performance had been improved significantlysince the calcula...
By using their core technologies, Casio came up with the QV10 in 1995,the first digital camera with       an LCD display.
It had an image qualityof 0,25 Megapixels andrequired 4 AA batteries.
Not the greatest gadgetmankind has invented.
But the concept ofhaving a LCD screen andthis design turned out to    be very attractive.
Photos could now beviewed instantly, bad onescould be removed and new    ones taken directly.
Now the big Japanese  dragons like Canon,  Nikon and Olympus    invested a lot indeveloping this concept.
The Japanese firms worked   jointly in an industryassociation to solve critical     technical issues.
The QV 10 came to define   the core elements anddesign of a digital compactcamera and now it was just a matter of improvin...
However, Casio hadlittle past experience in   optics and therefore     collaborated withPentax in the beginning.
The Pentax Optio was co-developed with Casio. Pentax provided the optics and Casio made the electronic components. Thanks ...
The corresponding Casio camera       was called Exilim.
Once the digital cameras had reached goodprice and performance levels, sales exploded.3025201510 5 0 1994   1995   1996   ...
Having destroyed  mechanical companies  and fought similar warsbefore, Casio went into the fight and crammed more and more...
Casio kept breaking records, launchingthinner and cheaper cameras with more pixels every year…
Casio was the first company to launch a 3Mpixel compact cameraand the second one after Toshiba with 4 Mpixels.
The company was also the first one that broke the 10Mpixel barrier for compacts.
But the Megapixel war wasover only a few years later    and the market forcompact cameras becameincreasingly unattractive.
There were 3 main reasons for this:
1. More advanced’Prosumer cameras’ went down in price and could   offer more features.
Canon and Nikon  had launched  SLR cameras  which offered   much better optics and only cost a few 100$   more than acompa...
2. Mobile cameras started to capture the low end users    of compact cameras.
3. Compact cameras      couldn’t reallyincorporate more features and no one needed more    pixels at this point.
Most people can’t tell the difference   between 6 and 10 megapixels.
All this implied thatCasio’s compact cameraswere stuck in the middle, in a segment that wasmaturing and increasingly     c...
How do you break out of the commodity trap?
Well, Casio had done it before…
Remember?
Already in 2000,they launched a camera-wrist-     watch.
It was a fun gadget that could     take decent photos:
Casio also usedits Exilim brandto launch a fewmobile cameras.
So far, the  company had kept away from    the highlycompetitive SLR    segment.
In recent years, the market fordigital camcorders had exploded.
What aboutdoing it over again and  make an integratedcamcorder-  camera?
In March 2008,     Casio launched the   EX-F1 – a  camcorder-  camera with  the world’s fastest burst   shooting performan...
The camera can capture 60images in one second, which is about 20 times faster than any    SLR has done before.
This is amazing, becausethe camera can take photosof events that are not visible     to the human eye.
A few examples:
A drop of milkhitting the water:
This camera opens up anew world ofphotography   since  virtually   everymoment canbe captured.
Photographing nature and extreme events    becomes much easier than before.
Moreover, it has greatrecording abilities, just takea look at the following slow-       motion video:
For less than 1000 USD, youcan now freeze time, slow it down and take photos of events you have missed.
The camera has 6 Mpixels, which is pretty good giventhat takes 60 such photos in        one second.
But the EX-F1 has a couple of weaknesses and sales have been somewhat restricted.
Thus, one can partly regard it    as a prototype and anindication of what is coming.
Instead of fighting the megapixel or SLR wars with Canon and Nikon, Casio re- defined the camera industry  once again by f...
Will the EX-F1 become another landmarkcamera from Casio, just like the QV10 forever        changed the camera industry?
We’ll see, personally Ibelieve that this camera willhave a profound impact on        the industry.
It’s interesting to see how  many big changes in thecamera industry have beeninitiated by companies like     Casio which h...
It seems like Casio had learntquite a few thingsfrom the previous digital wars they    had fought.
1. Being a    follower is  simply not an option. In Pixel and Calculator    wars, you  should eitherfocus 100% and be a le...
Once the race  is about to reach a deadend, you need to wire morefunctions into   the same    gadget.
SourcesNY Times review of the EX-F1Luminous LandscapeEX-F1 ad on youtubeAnother video
Image attributions
Find out more:www.christiansandstrom.org
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging
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Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging

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How Casio pioneered digital photography.

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Casio and the Rise of Digital Imaging

  1. 1. Christian Sandström holds a PhD from ChalmersUniversity of Technology, Sweden. He writes and speaks about disruptive innovation and technological change.
  2. 2. In the last 10-15 years, photography has exploded.
  3. 3. With the rise of digital imaging,everyone is taking photosnowadays.
  4. 4. Casio is one of the companies that has been driving this shift, and prosperedfrom doing so.
  5. 5. Interestingly, the company had no experience ofproducing cameras prior to the rise of digital imaging.
  6. 6. Yet still, the company has emerged as one of the survivors in this fiercely competitive industry.
  7. 7. In order to understand whythis happened, we must look at the history of Casio.
  8. 8. The company has a fantastic track record of introducing electronics, destroying old industries and reaching mass markets.
  9. 9. It all started back in the1960s and 70s when Casioand Sharp lead the electronic calculator revolution.
  10. 10. Within a few years in the late60s and early 70s,these companies destroyed many industrial giants by launching cheap, portable and good electronic calculators.
  11. 11. Just take a look at all the mechanical giants that collapsed in this shift:
  12. 12. Monroe…
  13. 13. Victor…
  14. 14. Burroughs…
  15. 15. Remington Rand…
  16. 16. Olivetti…
  17. 17. Facit…
  18. 18. With a competence base inmechanics, these firms could notkeep up with Casio, Sharp, Texas Instruments and the others.
  19. 19. After the shift to electronics, the calculator industry became a warzone of competition. New, cheaper and better models werelaunched at a furious pace.
  20. 20. Many companies entered theindustry in the early 70s to diggold, but very few survived this Klondike business.
  21. 21. Casio andSharp emerged as two of thesurviving giants after the war.
  22. 22. In the 70s and 80s, thecompany thundered into the watch industry and massproduced electronic watches.
  23. 23. Casio and its electronic relatives Seiko and Citizen put 1000 of the 1500 Swiss watch manufacturersout of business from 1970 to 1985.
  24. 24. The eternally increasing performanceand decreasing prices implied that Casio had to integratemany functionsinto one gadget in order to remain competitive.
  25. 25. Creating a calculator-wrist- watch was one attempt to deal with the continuing decrease in prices.
  26. 26. After these two electronic revolutions, Casio emergedas a household name with avery strong consumer brand.
  27. 27. The success was essentially built around an ability to rapidly wire new and better electronics intoconsumer-friendly applications.
  28. 28. Both these products were based uponintegrated circuits and an LCD screen. The LCD was perfect since it was light, cheap, required very little energyand could displaythe simple figuresthat were needed.
  29. 29. As time passed, thesemarkets became saturated in the early 1990s and Casio started to look for new applications for its core technologies.
  30. 30. These were the early days of digital photography…
  31. 31. In 1994, Apple launched the QuickTake camera.
  32. 32. It looked like a pair of binoculars, could store 32 photos and was thefirst camera that could be connected to a PC.
  33. 33. The price? 800 dollars.
  34. 34. Kodak launched the DC40 and DC50 in 1995-96.
  35. 35. What about putting an LCD display into a digital camera?
  36. 36. Remember, the LCD was cheap, consumed little energy and its performance had been improved significantlysince the calculator era.
  37. 37. By using their core technologies, Casio came up with the QV10 in 1995,the first digital camera with an LCD display.
  38. 38. It had an image qualityof 0,25 Megapixels andrequired 4 AA batteries.
  39. 39. Not the greatest gadgetmankind has invented.
  40. 40. But the concept ofhaving a LCD screen andthis design turned out to be very attractive.
  41. 41. Photos could now beviewed instantly, bad onescould be removed and new ones taken directly.
  42. 42. Now the big Japanese dragons like Canon, Nikon and Olympus invested a lot indeveloping this concept.
  43. 43. The Japanese firms worked jointly in an industryassociation to solve critical technical issues.
  44. 44. The QV 10 came to define the core elements anddesign of a digital compactcamera and now it was just a matter of improving key components such as the image sensor, the batteris and the LCD display.
  45. 45. However, Casio hadlittle past experience in optics and therefore collaborated withPentax in the beginning.
  46. 46. The Pentax Optio was co-developed with Casio. Pentax provided the optics and Casio made the electronic components. Thanks tothe modular structure of digital cameras, this kind of collaborations worked well.
  47. 47. The corresponding Casio camera was called Exilim.
  48. 48. Once the digital cameras had reached goodprice and performance levels, sales exploded.3025201510 5 0 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Number of film and digital cameras sold in the United States.
  49. 49. Having destroyed mechanical companies and fought similar warsbefore, Casio went into the fight and crammed more and more pixels into their consumer cameras.
  50. 50. Casio kept breaking records, launchingthinner and cheaper cameras with more pixels every year…
  51. 51. Casio was the first company to launch a 3Mpixel compact cameraand the second one after Toshiba with 4 Mpixels.
  52. 52. The company was also the first one that broke the 10Mpixel barrier for compacts.
  53. 53. But the Megapixel war wasover only a few years later and the market forcompact cameras becameincreasingly unattractive.
  54. 54. There were 3 main reasons for this:
  55. 55. 1. More advanced’Prosumer cameras’ went down in price and could offer more features.
  56. 56. Canon and Nikon had launched SLR cameras which offered much better optics and only cost a few 100$ more than acompact camera.
  57. 57. 2. Mobile cameras started to capture the low end users of compact cameras.
  58. 58. 3. Compact cameras couldn’t reallyincorporate more features and no one needed more pixels at this point.
  59. 59. Most people can’t tell the difference between 6 and 10 megapixels.
  60. 60. All this implied thatCasio’s compact cameraswere stuck in the middle, in a segment that wasmaturing and increasingly commoditized.
  61. 61. How do you break out of the commodity trap?
  62. 62. Well, Casio had done it before…
  63. 63. Remember?
  64. 64. Already in 2000,they launched a camera-wrist- watch.
  65. 65. It was a fun gadget that could take decent photos:
  66. 66. Casio also usedits Exilim brandto launch a fewmobile cameras.
  67. 67. So far, the company had kept away from the highlycompetitive SLR segment.
  68. 68. In recent years, the market fordigital camcorders had exploded.
  69. 69. What aboutdoing it over again and make an integratedcamcorder- camera?
  70. 70. In March 2008, Casio launched the EX-F1 – a camcorder- camera with the world’s fastest burst shooting performance.
  71. 71. The camera can capture 60images in one second, which is about 20 times faster than any SLR has done before.
  72. 72. This is amazing, becausethe camera can take photosof events that are not visible to the human eye.
  73. 73. A few examples:
  74. 74. A drop of milkhitting the water:
  75. 75. This camera opens up anew world ofphotography since virtually everymoment canbe captured.
  76. 76. Photographing nature and extreme events becomes much easier than before.
  77. 77. Moreover, it has greatrecording abilities, just takea look at the following slow- motion video:
  78. 78. For less than 1000 USD, youcan now freeze time, slow it down and take photos of events you have missed.
  79. 79. The camera has 6 Mpixels, which is pretty good giventhat takes 60 such photos in one second.
  80. 80. But the EX-F1 has a couple of weaknesses and sales have been somewhat restricted.
  81. 81. Thus, one can partly regard it as a prototype and anindication of what is coming.
  82. 82. Instead of fighting the megapixel or SLR wars with Canon and Nikon, Casio re- defined the camera industry once again by focusing oncompletely different attributes.
  83. 83. Will the EX-F1 become another landmarkcamera from Casio, just like the QV10 forever changed the camera industry?
  84. 84. We’ll see, personally Ibelieve that this camera willhave a profound impact on the industry.
  85. 85. It’s interesting to see how many big changes in thecamera industry have beeninitiated by companies like Casio which have a background in consumer electronics and not in analogue photography.
  86. 86. It seems like Casio had learntquite a few thingsfrom the previous digital wars they had fought.
  87. 87. 1. Being a follower is simply not an option. In Pixel and Calculator wars, you should eitherfocus 100% and be a leader or stay away.
  88. 88. Once the race is about to reach a deadend, you need to wire morefunctions into the same gadget.
  89. 89. SourcesNY Times review of the EX-F1Luminous LandscapeEX-F1 ad on youtubeAnother video
  90. 90. Image attributions
  91. 91. Find out more:www.christiansandstrom.org

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