When Olympus Corp. announced in June that it was selling its 84-year-old camera business to an investment fund, many camera lovers were in shock.

But analysts who closely watch the industry saw it coming. Standalone cameras just aren't used that much anymore. When people take snapshots, they’re using smartphones, not the bulky devices Olympus and other dedicated camera-makers are producing.

The demise of Olympus was simply a reminder the market for digital cameras, dominated by Japanese, is in dire straits and stuck in a downtrend that hasn't hit bottom yet.