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That easy-to-use camera that Coolblue web store recommends? temporarily sold out. Other large web stores such as Bol.com and Kamera Express offer the same result: many inexpensive models are not well stocked. The shortage is also noticeable in small independent shops specializing in photography.
If you’re still looking for a digital camera to take with you on a trip at the end of summer vacation, you’ll likely be disappointed.
June and July are the two months that web (web) stores traditionally sell a lot of digital cameras. Usually they can fulfill this request. But that was more difficult last summer and this summer, says Michelle Maas, of CameraNU.nl, one of the largest online sellers of digital cameras. “And this year is very intense.”
Until a couple of years ago, we had almost no shortage. The shortage of cheaper models is already emerging now.
The biggest cause of scarcity is that The shortage of chips, which remains. There are several explanations for this, but the COVID-19 pandemic plays a major role. In 2020, many chip manufacturers had to close their doors due to the pandemic.
In addition, due to the war in Ukraine, it became possible to export important materials that are processed into little or no chips. “But other materials like rubber are also less available due to selective distribution,” says Bol.com’s Lessylor Stuart. The increasing demand for other electrical home appliances such as laptops also plays a role as people are working from home more.
“There is a shortage of all models,” says Maas. But the cheaper models stand out with an additional deficiency. We have a lot Return orders of customers representing products that are not in stock. We didn’t have that until two years ago.”
Chip makers are currently working hard to meet the growing demand, including by expanding capacity. But this shortcoming will not be resolved until 2023, as we expect major chip makers TSMC and Intel, among others.
“There is a slight improvement.”
Maas sees improvement already happening. “In recent weeks, we’ve been getting more and more mid- and higher-end system cameras in stock. But it’s not known how long we’ll have in stock. It’s still going to be exciting in the coming months.”
A Media Markt spokesperson also confirms that “the chips available are mainly reserved for the higher segment.” “Compact cameras are not part of that and therefore they are less productive at the moment.” According to him, the market for compact cameras is shrinking for some time and more and more alternatives are being chosen.
An alternative to a (cheaper) digital camera is the one in a mobile phone. But there is also a lack of chips in mobile phones, which has made the models more expensive. And a cheap smartphone usually takes pictures of lower quality than those of compact cameras.
Although the quality can’t be compared, Stuut van Bol.com sees a shift towards other types of cameras, such as the instant camera and the analog camera, due in part to the imperfection. Maas does not call this a complete alternative, but at the same time sees single-use cameras and analog photography as “booming”.
Ask at the right time
But those who still want to go on vacation this summer and want to take a disposable camera with them should order in time. Here, too, there is a significant shortage or high prices are demanded.
The last alternative is the flea market. Although new models are not very popular on Marktplaats, there are still plenty of offers for slightly older models.
The platform saw an increase in the number of searches for the word “compact camera” by more than 200 percent from January 1 this year to August 23, compared to the same period last year. The search term “digital camera” was also used 34% more than the previous year.
In addition, the asking price of digital cameras on the platform has risen sharply. Between June 1 and August 1, the price of the cameras on offer has gone up by 100 percent. At what price the cameras eventually disappeared is unknown, but it seems to say something about the increased demand.
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