Statistical data is now available for the period up to September 2017 from CIPA. I thought readers may like to read a quick overview of how the camera market has been performing thus far in 2017. The positive news is that the camera market is tracking for some increases in 2017 in most product categories.
I took a little bit of a different approach than I usually do with this analysis and rather than compare year-end data from previous years, then estimate 2017, I have compared data on a year-to-date September basis. This will make it easier to see increases or declines in unit shipment volumes over identical time periods.
In the chart above, the first thing that is apparent is that the total camera market in 2017 is showing shipment volume growth over the past two years, based on a comparison of the first 9 months in each reporting year. Compared to the same period last year, 2017 is showing growth of about 13.6%.
This chart shows the fixed lens camera market only. As you can see based on a comparison between the first 9 months of each reporting year 2017 is showing some decent growth of about 18.1% over 2016. You can see the impact that Smartphones have had on the fixed lens camera market over the past 5 or 6 years.
We can see that growth is also occurring in the interchangeable lens camera market with 2017 running about 8.7% higher than last year. When comparing the first 9 months of each reporting year we can see that 2017 is ahead of the 2007 through 2010 period.
Breaking the interchangeable lens camera market down between DSLRs and mirrorless units, we can see in the chart above that DSLR shipment volume has declined slightly year-over-year when comparing the first 9 month period, about -4.3%. Whether new DSLR products like the Nikon D850 will shift this into a growth position by year end remains to be seen.
The shipments of mirrorless cameras, which has been relatively flat since 2012, have spiked in 2017. Compared to the first 9 months of 2016 mirrorless cameras are showing a growth rate of 46.9%.
While the shipment growth of mirrorless cameras has been strong thus far in 2017, it should be noted that DSLRs are still outperforming mirrorless cameras by a ratio of just under 2:1. The chart above compares year end mirrorless market penetration with September 2017 year-to-date market penetration.
Since the shipments of mirrorless cameras has grown strongly in 2017 it is interesting to look at various regions to see how much of the mirrorless camera market those regions achieve. You can see in the chart above that Asia accounts for 46.3% of the global mirrorless camera market, followed by Europe at 22.2%, the Americas at 14.8% and Japan at 13.6%.
As a point of clarification, the percentages noted above are not the relative market penetration of mirrorless cameras of the total interchangeable lens camera market in each of the regional markets. Here are the mirrorless camera market penetration percentages of the total interchangeable lens camera market in each regional market: Japan 45.5%, Asia 42.7%, Europe 29.7% and the Americas 21.6%.
In the final graphic we can see that the shipment volume of interchangeable lenses is also up over 2016, with an increase of 4.3%.
Whether the volume increases we are seeing during the first 9 months of the year will carry on into 2018 remains to be seen. We could be witnessing some pent up demand from the 2016 Japan earthquake. Once the final 2017 data is available from CIPA, likely sometime in February 2018, I’ll update this brief article.
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