Although almost 200 years since it was invented, photography is enjoying unprecedented growth thanks to the rise of social media. With one in four people around the world now accessing social media platforms on a regular basis – Instagram alone receives 40 million uploads a day -, social photography is fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
It is also giving rise to a new generation of amateur photographers and a new range of devices and technologies that are in growing demand around the world. Enthusiasts in the Middle East can snap up unbeatable deals on everything from smartphones to selfie-sticks, digital cameras with inbuilt Wi-Fi, to remote-controlled flying drones and tiny GoPros with waterproof capabilities at the upcoming GITEX Shopper, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 27 September – 4 October.
“The trend to see, shoot and socially share images has generated enormous consumer demand for the products and technology that can deliver this. The development within this industry is as fast-paced as the shutter-speed on a digital camera, and the options are as wide-ranging. Whatever the personal preference, our exhibitors at GITEX Shopper will be offering expert advice, the latest products and the most competitive prices,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre.
The UAE is said to have the highest smartphone penetration rate in the world, with 73.6% of the population using smartphone devices, according to Statista. The inbuilt camera has become an essential feature, with manufacturers placing greater emphasis on this as a point of differentiation. Nowadays, mobile phone camera resolution can range from 2 – 41 megapixels, with some even allowing control over shutter speed and exposure.
The rise of social photography is not limited to smartphones, but is increasingly driving interest in learning the technical aspects of photography and sales of DSLR cameras.
Narendra Menon, Regional Head of Sales and Marketing of Nikon Middle East and Africa said Nikon will be offering photography demonstrations at this year’s GITEX Shopper: “The rise of social media and smartphone photography is not a coincidence. Most photos shared on social media are moments. This does not mean that only smartphones can capture moments; DSLR cameras, especially those equipped with features such as in-built Wi-Fi, capture better quality pictures that one can share online instantly. Moments are much like new smartphones, they stay with you for a while, but their importance fades with time as they are replaced with new ones. Compare this with DSLR cameras’ photos that have a timeless quality about them, being guarded as valuable possessions along with the priceless memories they helped capture.”
Raj Varma, General Manager – Mobility Sales Group of Samsung commented: “Social media has become fully ingrained in most people’s lives; not only altering the way we interact with technology but also affecting almost every aspect of our lives. With consumers looking to experience new possibilities every day, we always strive to get a deep understanding of consumer trends and provide the best products for them. As with Samsung’s NX range, the cameras allow users to instantaneously share their images through Smart Camera technology, NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity features, letting friends and family experience the beauty of photographs anywhere at any time.”
In addition to flying off the shelves during GITEX Shopper, camera devices that fly in the air are expected to generate record sales. Mohammad Aziz, Sales and Marketing Manager of alGadgets elaborated: “Being part of the Instagram and hashtag society, the purpose of clicking a picture is no more for personal use. Intentionally or unintentionally most young people only click a picture or a video for the purpose of sharing it on Instagram and other social media platforms. With this being the scenario, manufacturers seem to be putting great focus on easy sharing and uploading techniques. The DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ flying camera which is our top seller allows users to share pictures on social media through their smart phones while the flying copter is 700m away from the user. Other brands like Samsung have also been launching Smart Cameras with Android systems on them in order to allow easy sharing and to eliminate the old traditional system of connecting to the computer to upload.”
Whatever your preference, and whatever your level of social or professional photography, GITEX Shopper 2014 has something for everyone.