Sony beats out Nikon to take the number 2 spot in camera sales

Dec 2, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Sony beats out Nikon to take the number 2 spot in camera sales

Dec 2, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Well, it was bound to happen, wasn’t it? Nikon has been slacking on the mirrorless front and Nikkei now reports that they are projected to take 3rd place behind Sony in camera sales for this fiscal year. In a year where Nikon is set to record their first loss, at around $92 million (way down from their initial projections of $110 million profit), this isn’t good news for the company.

Much of Nikon’s problems have been attributed to their late entry into the mirrorless market, allowing Sony to develop and refine several generations of mirrorless bodies before Nikon had even released their first. It probably doesn’t help that features promised almost a year ago still haven’t been implemented, either. It doesn’t exactly fill customers with confidence. And things were looking so promising, too.

It’s not all Nikon’s fault, though. Sony hasn’t overtaken them by default. Sony has been aggressively going after both Nikon and Canon for a long time, and they’ve been sinking a lot of money into R&D in order to do it.

But all three manufacturers are actually seeing a downturn in sales. So, it’s not that Sony’s sales have massively increased over Nikon’s. All three have dropped. Sony just hasn’t dropped quite as much as Nikon has. Canon still maintains their lead, for now, and has a goal to own 50% market share by 2020, so it will be interesting to see how this next year plays out, especially with mirrorless cameras now starting to be more accepted at a professional level.

While professional users are a small fraction of each of the three companies sales, they’re still who the less experienced users turn to for advice on what to buy. Much of the time, they’ll buy whatever those working professionals they look up to recommend. And I don’t see a lot of people recommending Nikon lately (except when the D750 is on sale).

I live in hope that Nikon is gearing up to make a big announcement. The Z6 & Z7 finally get raw video support. They along with the XQD DSLRs all get CFexpress support. They finally start adopting things like dual card slots in their mirrorless cameras, and proper fully articulated LCDs and not just tilting ones.

And I’m not just saying that as a Nikon shooter of 20 years. Competition drives innovation. Sony seems to be the only one who realises that at the moment, though.

One thing I am curious about is how Sigma will fare in the future. Now that their cameras seem to be going a little more mainstream, and with the technology they own, they could produce a lot of very unique and interesting kit.

[via FStoppers]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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23 responses to “Sony beats out Nikon to take the number 2 spot in camera sales”

  1. Viggo Næss Avatar
    Viggo Næss

    Yes, the only one, clearly shown in the useless lenses Canon keeps pumping out for the RF, just horrible… and of course, they won’t release any other R bodies ever, dead I tell you…

  2. Michael Bray Avatar
    Michael Bray

    Canon is only that popular because of all the YouTube influencers like Peter McKinnon, Matti Haapoja, Manny Ortiz etc.. all their followers think in order to get great photos and video like them, they have to use the crippled Canon cameras and shitty lenses. You couldn’t pay me all the money in the world to use one of Canon’s useless paperweight cameras, I am Nikon for life even if it means I am not one of the cool kids.

    1. Howardo Mansfieldio Avatar
      Howardo Mansfieldio

      Michael Bray Canon is popular because they’ve been sharing the position of market leader since the late 1980s.

      I’m also a Nikon user.

    2. Geoff Louis Avatar
      Geoff Louis

      I’m a Nikon user as well but Manny Ortiz is my guru…..The man’s work is incredible.

    3. Viggo Næss Avatar
      Viggo Næss

      »shitty lenses» troll alert?

    4. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
      W Douglas LeBlanc

      Blah, bla bla, I’m not listening to a nobody like you. Bwah! ?

  3. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
    Jolyon Ralph

    Innovation certainly drives competition, and I don’t think we’d see the new generation of Canon RF lenses and bodies if it wasn’t for the serious challenge that Canon have faced from Sony.

    But has Sony peaked? Canon and Nikon are both aggressively taking on Sony in the mirrorless space now.

  4. LaShondia Chambers Avatar
    LaShondia Chambers

    Hmmm…is this a propaganda article to sell more Canon products????

  5. Clayton Glover Avatar
    Clayton Glover

    Canon is popular because it’s less expensive and you can get a variety of lenses cheaper. It’s a good camera.

    But think Nikon is a bit better. I own canon and sometimes shoot Nokon. Nikon also has more menu options which can be a little confusing.

  6. Alan Gamble Avatar
    Alan Gamble

    Sorry Nikon, I’m one of the people that just jumped from Nikon to Sony. Nikon Mirrorless, single SD slot, nope sorry.

  7. Dennis Vandermeersch Avatar
    Dennis Vandermeersch

    Because nikons don’t break so you don’t need to buy a new one ;)

  8. Jonny Costa Avatar
    Jonny Costa

    Canon drop ball big time this year…

  9. Kryn Sporry Avatar
    Kryn Sporry

    Canon spends more money on marketing, and that includes incentivizing “influences” to promote their equipment. So people are more likely to get canon stuff simply because of marketing. And in fairness, canon quality is more than good enough for most consumers, who just put stuff on social media. Thus, unless the other two do something about their marketing, canon will stay there. Don’t forget, these numbers are based on sales not preference polls.

    Quite honestly, I see comments that have nothing to do with professionalism or quality of products. And in some cases unfounded dissing quality of products.
    For example, the distinction of dual card slots has never stopped professionals using hasselblad or phase one. It’s a non issue. Also, canon glass it’s pretty stellar, especially the L series.

    Sony isn’t that good when it comes to durability, and their Man Machine Interface is considered flawed by most people.
    However, their sensors are unparalleled by canon (Nikon uses Sony sensors for their mite significant cameras).

    Nikon has been plagued by poor management and quality issues. And thus it’s not a surprise they don’t come out on top. (And in fact I expected them to be lower than 3rd place). But their mirrorless offering does seem to best Canon’s on most fronts. (Partially thanks to the use of Sony sensors).

    I’ve used all three brands, and none of them are perfect.
    Personally I prefer both canon and Nikon cameras in general, but the Sony sensors (Sony and Nikon cameras) beat canon by miles.
    Ergonomics, including UI, are personal.

    I do think Sony WAS miles ahead of the others for mirrorless. Now the others have good offerings on the market too, and I anticipate Sony to decline in favor of Nikon.

  10. Carl Wilson Avatar
    Carl Wilson

    Nikon shooter: THAT’S IT! One card slot…..and some other stuff I saw on YouTube! I’m switching to Sony. Dumps all Nikon gear, spends thousands on Sony gear to replace what they already had in Nikon gear and get’s that coveted second card slot and Eye auto focus. Ergonomics suck but that’s OK because everyone else is doing it. The menu systems suck but that’s OK because everyone else is doing it etc. Months later, “hmmm… my photos are still the same. I still miss shots. I still struggle with composition at times. I still struggle with motivation to get out and shoot at times”. Thinks to himself wow, moving to Sony hasn’t made me a better photographer. It has made me an in debt photographer. But that’s ok, everyone else is doing it so it must be the right thing to do. After all, specs are the most important thing in photography. Even that dude with the giant fro is selling his Nikon gear so I guess it’s the right thing to do……

  11. Klodjana Xhambazi-Neziri Avatar
    Klodjana Xhambazi-Neziri

    “Nikon” for life!

  12. Anthony Woodruffe Avatar
    Anthony Woodruffe

    DIYPhotography conveniently omits FujiFilm

    1. Evel79 Avatar
      Evel79

      I own Fuji. But if it’s not in the top 3, and that is the focus of the article, then I don’t see cause for complaint. There’s also Panasonic, Olympus, Ricoh…

  13. Christine Kwiecinski Avatar
    Christine Kwiecinski

    I love my Sony a6000

  14. Michael Dennis Avatar
    Michael Dennis

    Nikon’s last 4x longer than competitions upgrades and replacements

  15. Evel79 Avatar
    Evel79

    What about lense sales? I have never owned either of the brands. Just curious as surely that is more significant in indicating how many of the respective brands are out there in people’s hands.

  16. Robert Bray Avatar
    Robert Bray

    Is that because Nikons just last longer?

  17. Ruslan Bezruchuk Avatar
    Ruslan Bezruchuk

    I am a Canon shooter.Sometimes I have to photograph with Nikon for a company I work, They provide Nikon equipment and I love it, but I love Canon more… lol!

  18. Gábor Perényi Avatar
    Gábor Perényi

    fuck sony..