Companies in this industry manufacture photographic and optical equipment and supplies, such as cameras, photocopiers, projectors, and film editing equipment, as well as lenses used in scientific instruments and consumer products. Major companies include Bushnell, GoPro, II-VI Incorporated, and Sony Electronics, all based in the US, along with Carl Zeiss (Germany) and Japan-based Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, and Ricoh.
Demand for optical instruments is driven by technological advancements and R&D spending, while demand for photography equipment largely depends on consumer income and corporate spending. The profitability of individual companies depends on product innovation, raw materials costs, and effective pricing. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in design, manufacturing, and purchasing. Small companies can compete effectively by offering more specialized and innovative product lines. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest manufacturers of lenses and optical instruments account for about 80% of revenue in that industry segment, and the top 50 photography and photocopier equipment manufacturers account for more than 90% of segment revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products in the optical equipment manufacturing sector include lenses used in cameras, binoculars, telescopes, weapon sights, and laboratory instruments such as microscopes. Companies in the industry also make interferometers and other optical products that are used to inspect materials in the semiconductor fabrication process. Key products made by photographic equipment manufacturers include digital, film, and motion-picture cameras; photocopiers; projectors; film editing and developing supplies; and photography accessories such as external flashes and light meters. Optical instruments and lenses account for about 70% of industry revenue; photographic and photocopying equipment makes up the remaining 30%.