Thailand's camera market is expected to slightly dip this year from 2022, remaining a wide margin from the pre-pandemic level.
Netnarin Chancharassuk, senior director of Consumer Imaging Information Product Group at Canon Marketing (Thailand) Co, said camera sales are estimated at 93,000-94,000 units this year, down from 95,000 in 2022.
During the two years of the pandemic, the local camera market suffered a 40% decline. However, the rate of decline slowed in 2022 as the tourism industry revived.
The volume of 95,000 units last year generated 3 billion baht, a sharp fall from 230,000 units worth 6.5 billion in 2019.
Demand for cameras is expected to shrink slightly because of competition from mobile phones, said Ms Netnarin.
Hiroshi Yokota, the company's president and chief executive, said Canon remains optimistic demand for professional cameras will rebound from content creators.
Canon plans to launch new professional still and video cameras to capture this market segment.
To cater to the image and video requirements of the new generation of content creators, the company introduced several new additions to its camera and equipment lineup, including the EOS R8, a mirrorless full-frame camera, and the EOS R50, a compact, lightweight APS-C mirrorless camera designed for those new to vlogging and content creation.
These full-feature cameras come with artificial intelligence-powered features that make content creation easier, said Mr Yokota.
"At Canon, we prioritise user feedback to continuously improve our products, ensuring they meet the requirements of all groups of photography enthusiasts," he said.
"We aim to lead the imaging world with our innovative products."
The company also added two new RF lenses, the RF24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM, to the market.
Ms Netnarin said Canon plans to spend 50 million baht to promote new products this year, including the "You 'R Creator" campaign to reach the target market of amateurs and professional creators, aiming to build brand recognition, ensuring users remember Canon as a leading hybrid camera maker.
The company expects to sell 6,000 units of the two new Canon camera models this year, she said.
The Canon EOS R8 and EOS R50 should help strengthen its camera lineup to meet the demands of users, encouraging customers who would normally use mobile phone cameras to shift to the Canon EOS R series, said Ms Netnarin.
She said the company expects this strategy to drive sales of Canon cameras to grow by 20% to 700-800 million baht this year.