6 July 2004
Cameras & Photographic Equipment(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 07,2004)
Cameras & Photographic
Get the Picture
These cute and colourful action 35mm cameras that feature four lenses to create multiple image photos come from Konwa Industries Co
The application of digital technology has resulted in the development of numerous innovative cameras and accessories, and Hong Kong manufacturers produce a wide variety of models with many user-friendly features.
One such company is Konwa Industries Co, which has built up a sizeable market share for its cameras, according to sales manager Agnes Siu.
"One of the most successful cameras that we have developed recently is a 35mm four-action model that is ideal for taking pictures of any fast-moving activity. In addition to the US, this model is very popular in Europe, in Germany, Spain and the UK for example, and other international markets," she explains.
Set up in 1994, Konwa makes a range of plastic cameras and accessories such as flashlights and binoculars. "We turn out about 100,000 cameras and 200,000 pairs of binoculars a month," Siu says.
Konwa sources ABS and other components, mostly from Taiwan, for making the cameras at its factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. Cameras are sold under its Konwa brand name or under OEM contracts to other companies.
"FOB Hong Kong unit prices for cameras are generally below US$1, but the exact price varies depending on the quantity and other order specifications. We require a minimum order of about 1,000 cameras," Siu notes.
Another maker of special-use cameras with a 10-year track record is Vastframe Camera Ltd. Its popular product line includes a series of 35mm motorised underwater cameras and 35mm single-use cameras with or without flash.
"We are ISO 9001-certified, which is a key factor in ensuring the reputation of our products in major markets like the US and Europe," says sales executive Shebby Cheng.
The company, which also makes optical products and premiums, sells some of its cameras on an OEM basis while others are sold under its two brand names, M-Cam and 1Shot.
"Since 1998 we have found that the increasing popularity of underwater sporting activities has translated into rising demand for our motorised underwater cameras, which are also fitted with flashlights," she says.
"Another discernible trend is the popularity of single-use disposable cameras. In both these ranges we have introduced a number of best-selling models. Our in-house designers, based in Hong Kong and on the mainland, help us to introduce new models with eye-catching features every two months to sustain market interest."
Vastfame makes about 100,000 cameras a month, using materials sourced from Japan and the mainland, at its 15,000-square-metre, 900-worker factory in Xiamen on the mainland.
"We require a minimum order of 1,000 pieces per model for delivery within 30 days of receiving a confirmed order," Cheng explains.
A 35mm underwater camera with flash has an FOB Xiamen unit price of about US$6, while a 35mm disposable camera costs US$4.
Industry veteran Lenmar Enterprises (HK) Ltd's parent company was set up in California in 1965. The firm specialises in rechargeable batteries and chargers for many electronic products, including digital cameras, camcorders, laptops and phones.
The batteries are sold under the Lenmar brand name and also on an OEM basis in the US, France and Australia.
"As digital cameras have become more popular there has been a need for quick-charging and longer-lasting rechargeable batteries. Our metal hydride and lithium ion rechargeable batteries have proved to be far superior to normal alkaline batteries," claims general manager Catherine Mok.
"We are also all set to upgrade our charger series with the introduction of an all-in-one charger for laptops, camcorders and mobile phones."
The chargers and rechargeable batteries, utilising IC chips and other components sourced from the US and the mainland, are produced at Lenmar's 1,000-square-metre factory in Suzhou on the mainland. The ISO 9002-certified plant employs about 60 workers.
Prices for the rechargeable batteries and chargers can vary based on the client's specifications. The minimum order is 500 items for delivery 30-45 days after confirmation.
Another well-known player in the sector is Tokina Co Ltd. Set up in 1979, this company makes photographic lighting equipment and accessories.
Tokina's MDSK-1 model Mini Digital Studio Kit is very popular in major markets such as the US and Europe, according to marketing executive Wendy Chung.
"This model, which is sold either under our Medalight brand or on an OEM basis, can be shipped to clients 2-3 weeks after receiving a confirmed order. The price depends on the quantity and market," Chung explains.
Manufacturing takes place at Tokina's ISO 9001-certified factory in the mainland's Dongguan, using materials sourced locally.
When it comes to shipping an innovative variety of products in a flash to markets worldwide, Hong Kong makers of cameras and photographic equipment are second to none.
WRITTEN BY RAJ KUMAR
Konwa Industries Co
36 Chong Yip St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Lucky Door Industries Ltd
Rm 7, 12/F, Blk A
Hi-Tech Ind Centre
5 Pak Tin Par St
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
More Charm Ltd
Rm 801, Tower 1
Tokina Co Ltd
Wing On Cheong Bldg
5 Wing Lok St