With Canon and Nikon announcing their full frame mirrorless camera, 2018 was an exciting year when it comes to camera industry. But how has this affected the overall results in gear manufacturing and sales? All this and more was explored in this video by LensVid. While the previous year brought us some long-awaited novelties: it seems that the market is still declining.
When it comes to the total number of cameras manufactured by year, it has been declining almost constantly since 2010. There was a slight increase in 2017 with 25 million cameras, compared to 23 million in 2016. However, there’s a decline again, with 19 million digital cameras manufactured in 2018. And when it comes to shipping, the decrease is very obvious here as well: compared to 2017, there was a 24% decrease in shipped cameras in 2018.
There is a decline in the number of manufactured lenses, too, but it’s less sharp (no pun intended). There were 19.4 million lenses in 2017, while this number decreased to 18.1 million in 2018. The number of shipped lenses also went down in 2018 by 7%.
But not everything has declined, according to the infographic. There was a 2% increase in the number of mirrorless cameras produced. However, the number of DLSRs produced in 2018 dropped by 12% when compared to 2017. There were 4.2 million mirrorless cameras manufactured and 6.6 million DSLRs. And when it comes to non-interchangeable lens digital cameras (compact), I guess we could have all expected a decline. Compared with 13.3 million in 2017, the number of other digital cameras went down to 8.6 million in 2018.
The infographic also compares different markets. Even though Canon’s EOS R took 22% of the Japanese full frame market near the end of 2018, this apparently didn’t have much effect on the overall results. The Asian camera market went down by 27%, and the market of the Americas went down by 18%. As for the lenses, the market went down by 11% in Japan but grew by 1% in the Americas.
Generally speaking, the camera and lens industry has been declining ever since 2010. Comparing the results from 2010 and 2018, we can see that the entire camera market saw a massive 84% drop. There are, I believe, numerous reasons for such a huge decline. One is definitely the improvement of smartphone cameras, which especially affects the production of compact cameras. On the other hand, it’s possible that many users don’t buy a new flagship DSLR or mirrorless. Many of these cameras don’t have major specs upgrades, so people don’t have the need to upgrade. These are only some reasons that crossed my mind, and I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the matter. Why do you think the camera market keeps decreasing?