Decline in Camera Sales Continues While Sony Outpaces Nikon

Nikkei has unveiled the 2019 sales and market share data for digital cameras, and numbers are looking bad across the board:

In 2019, camera units sold dropped by over 22%, which mirrors last year’s 22% decline, and suggests that the shrinking digital camera market won’t stabilize anytime soon.

Nikkei also revealed individual market share numbers:

  • Canon is the industry leader (45.4% market share)
  • Sony is now second (20.2% market share)
  • Nikon comes in to third (18.6% market share)
  • Fujifilm claims fourth (4.7% market share)
  • Panasonic nabs fifth (4.7% market share)

Last July, we reported on market share data, and the biggest news was Nikon’s decline. If you compare the 2019 data (above) to last year’s data (here), you’ll see that Nikon has descended yet again, dropping from the second spot to third (to be replaced by Sony, which increased its market share after a 2018 downturn).

This is in spite of the Nikon Z6, Z7, and Z50 models, which were Nikon’s (seemingly unsuccessful) attempt at refreshing its DSLR-centric camera program to compete better with major mirrorless players. As is clear from the numbers, a few high-performing mirrorless models just weren’t enough to outcompete Sony, a company that has been steadily capturing photographers thanks to a well-rounded APS-C and full-frame camera lineup.

But despite Sony’s impressive array of mirrorless models, it is Canon that managed to capture the largest digital camera market share in 2019, and has continued to eclipse its competitors by showing significant overall market share growth from 2018.

And while Canon has gained a lot of negative press lately thanks to EOS R5 overheating issues, it’s tough to see Canon losing its dominance anytime soon, especially when you consider the company’s “full steam ahead” approach to mirrorless development in 2020, with the release of both the EOS R5 and EOS R6, new RF lenses, and more.

Also notable is the fifth position in the market share rankings, previously occupied by Olympus but now held by Panasonic. This is hardly a surprise, given Olympus’s decision to sell off their camera division, but note that Panasonic is now pretty much on par with Fujifilm (a company that had seen a significant increase of market share in 2018, only to drop again in 2019).

Now over to you:

When do you think the camera market decline will end? Or is this the end of mass-market digital cameras? Also, how do you feel about Nikon’s descent? Do you think the company will rebound for this year’s data? Share your thoughts in the comments!



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