22 June 2006
Cameras & Equipment(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 07,2006)
Cameras and photographic equipment enjoy unceasing demand. People love to record their activities and, thanks to the Internet, opportunities to share, exchange and view images have zoomed. While this has certainly created a huge demand for low-end digital cameras, it is evident that the whole photographic industry is benefiting.
Web cameras, for example, are the specialty of 1999-established Banaba Industrial Co Ltd, which also manufactures regular cameras, packaged photographic film, USB drives and MP3 players.
"In addition to our range of digital cameras we have single-use disposable cameras, waterproof and swim/combo models, manual and motorised cameras, and film," says manager Frank Kam. "Our standard camera format is 35mm, available in motorised and manual operating modes."
An example is the firm's A-208P reusable camera with flash. This 35mm manual-wind camera is 'focus free', has a 28mm f/9.0 lens and is powered by a single AA battery. Dimensions are: 99mm (L) x 67mm (H) x 34mm (D).
Banaba's brand name is Ooma, but mostly the company does OEM business. "Usually, the cameras we make have plastic housings, plus a paper wrap-around jacket. Sometimes they come in custom-designed gift boxes," says Kam.
"We buy bulk film from Europe or the Chinese mainland and cut it into the required lengths," he adds. "We also buy and sell recycled camera shells, PCBs, rolled and pancake film, and we have our own warehouse in Hong Kong carrying stocks of different items for immediate delivery."
Production takes place at a 1,200-square-metre, 500-worker factory, ISO 9000-certified plant in Shenzhen on the mainland. Output capacity is one million items per month. "We have our own R&D, mould-making, lens injection, plastic parts injection, spray painting, silk-screen printing and assembly divisions," Kam says.
Minimum order is 3,000 units or US$5,000 order value for delivery in seven days to major markets such as the UK, the US, Spain, Italy and Australia.
When it comes to photographic accessories and related equipment, 1993-established Falcon Eyes Ltd provides almost everything except the cameras themselves.
"We offer items for lighting backgrounds, such as screens, also reflectors, often in the form of an umbrella, stands and tripods of all kinds and many more photographic accessories," says marketing manager Alfred Shiu.
"Our studio box set sells well, as photographers need to shoot various scenes in one place and so require various accessories for indoor and outdoor purposes," he adds.
Shiu says that Falcon Eyes sells to more than 30 countries, and particularly targets Europe. "However, a new and exciting market for us could be South America," he adds.
Raw materials include aluminium and textiles. "Reflectors use fabrics while we use aluminium for the stands and tripods," Shiu says.
There is no minimum order requirement and delivery is 30-40 days after order confirmation. Production takes place at the firm's 4,000-square-metre, 150-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
Meanwhile, among many new products offered by 1999-established Winfield Vision Technology Ltd is the True 5 Megapixel digital camera with a 1.8-inch colour display and voice recording features.
"The capability to produce such a quality camera is possible thanks to our facilities that include assembly lines for optoelectronics and high-end test equipment, plastic moulding and injection workshops and Surface Mount Technology (SMT) machines," says general manager Alan Yeung.
"We produce many different digital items, including multimedia players, camcorders, digital cameras and digital binoculars such as the e-BinoCam with its built-in camera," he adds.
"Other products include the USB DATACAM-digital camera complete with a flash drive or a pen drive. Also new is an outdoor wall light-and-security camera, and a baby monitor with a 2.4GHz wireless reader."
Winfield does both OEM and ODM business in digital cameras with a maximum resolution of 12 megapixels and interpolation. Production takes place at a 100,000-square-foot, ISO 9001-certified factory in Dongguan.
Minimum order is usually 1,000 units for delivery 35-45 days after order confirmation. The company sells worldwide, with the US and Europe its major markets.
The 1998-established Megaluck Enterprises Ltd is ISO 9001- and ISO 14001-certified. The firm exports a wide range of photo and imaging products, including ready-to-use, disposable cameras.
"A new model is a flash, single-use camera with a new body that is pre-loaded with ISO/ASA 200 (or 400, 800) film," says marketing director Leonard Wong. "We offer a choice of neutral or original Agfa, Ferrania, Konica or Kodak film, while customised logos are also welcome. This camera also complies with the EU RoHS directive in addition to the usual CE approval."
The appearance of this camera can be changed because it has a transparent front. "Usually, ready-to-use cameras have to be wrapped in a paper jacket," Wong notes. "But we wrap ours with a sticker and it looks very stylish. It is also small, compact and lightweight."
There is also a streamlined, sturdy underwater camera that can function to a depth of six metres.
Minimum order is 1,000-5,000 units in a custom pack for delivery in 14-21 days to major markets such as Europe, North America, the Middle East, Australia and Japan. Production takes place at a 4,500-square-metre, 300-worker factory in Shenzhen on the mainland.
Hong Kong clearly offers all that's necessary to stay firmly focused.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Falcon Eyes Ltd
Tristar Photo Industrial Co