• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

How do the UW Camera Housing manufacturers do business?

Discussion in 'Underwater Photography' started by grtday, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. grtday

    grtday Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Katy, TX
    I know we are a small exceptional niche group to the multi-billion dollar world of the camera manufacturers. Or, are we?
    When a manufacturer decides to build a housing for a particular camera, how many do they build to satisfy demand? How many do they sell in the US or worldwide? How many Underwater Photography shooters are there?
    For,example Ikelite. Say they decide to,build a housing for the new Nikon D5. How many do we think they will sell worldwide? Do they build "some" and then warehouse them waiting for,orders? What about the mass priced mirror less cameras?
    Sea and sea....how many of the new YS-D2 strobes will they build and expect to sell?
    Hugyfoyt (forgive the spelling) is very small. How many do they build, sell, and warehouse? Subal, Nautica, and the others?
    Nikon...(just my gear of choice). They have "built" (outsourced) 3 housings for their UW houssed miorrorless cams and are now dumping their third. The Nikon SB-N10 strobe is the Sea and Sea YS-D2 in a white jacket. How many did they buy and sell?
    I'm just trying to get an idea of the size of the UW photography marketplace and try to understand how they do their business.
    Where to get this info? Any input would be welcome?
  2. bvanant

    bvanant Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Los Angeles (more or less)
    Same way that most companies do business. You won't find any data on sales volumes etc, these are all private companies that don't have to share financials. Some one in marketing decides that the Nikon D800 will be popular so we better build a housing. As for sales expectations that too is secret.
  3. grtday

    grtday Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Katy, TX
    Just heard from a Subal rep that they make 1000 units worldwide, modifying them as needed for each camera/brand before shipping/delivery. Do you think that number holds water? (Pun intended)

    I am just trying to understand the breadth and scope of the UW photography marketplace.
    How do all these brands survive?
  4. TravisD

    TravisD Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Westminster, MD
    They charge enough to make it possible and worthwhile to remain in business. They have the resources available to get what they need manufactured at the price they need to make them viable.

    Some may have other related lines of business too, that aren't obvious from their consumer presence -- serving custom and professional markets, which can help them amortize the cost of development and tooling/overhead.

    Just because something looks polished and mass-produced doesn't mean that it's not actually being build by a small company. *Not* tooling up to do 10,000 copies or more may mean that they actually have more capability and capacity to cover more brands -- instead of re-tooling a production line, you tell the guy at the work bench to build X instead of Y today.
    Don't forget about other sources of income, such as service and support. Some folks are more than happy to send stuff back to the folks who made it and pay them to maintain things -- cheap insurance when you're relying on the gear professionally.

Share This Page