Japanese camera makers woo smartphone users

Japan's camera industry is having a tough time against the pandemic and stiff competition from smartphones.

Domestic shipments of digital cameras last year fell more than 40 percent from the previous year. But companies are fighting back by developing services and products that might appeal to smartphone users.

Fujifilm Imaging Systems opened a shop in Tokyo this month to attract people who aren't already camera fans.

Visitors can take photos using the company's cameras and obtain the data for a fee. The shop also converts photos into digital images and makes prints from pictures taken with smartphones.

Fujifilm Imaging Systems President Matsumoto Koji said, "People are spending more time at home due to the pandemic, and we are offering them new ways to enjoy photos."

Meanwhile, Canon is developing digital cameras that go beyond what's possible with a smartphone.

One camera allows users to capture distant subjects with one hand while looking through a viewfinder.

A desktop model with a moving lens automatically tracks people's facial expressions and chooses the best moment to take a picture.