CIPA: camera sales down slightly, mirrorless cameras gaining ground

In Japan, the Camera & Imaging Products Association released its report on 2011 camera sales: Total shipments of digital cameras in 2011 (the cumulative total of shipments from January to December) reached 115.50 million units — not bad, but down from 2010 for two big reasons: the earthquake and floods.

“The Great East Japan Earthquake” hit on March 11; “Following the earthquake, total digital camera shipments between June and September rose year on year,” CIPA says. “In November, when flooding in Thailand became more serious, total shipments fell to less than two-thirds their level for November 2010; in the following month, December, total shipments, however, recovered to almost 90 percent their level for December 2010. Total shipments in 2011 held firm, declining only 4.9 percent on account of continued strong global demand during the period between disasters and signs of a robust recovery in production and supply systems.”

CIPA began compiling sales records in 1999, “when digital cameras were still in their infancy,” the association says. “Since then, digital camera shipments recorded steady growth, reaching 100 million units for the first time in 2007, but in 2009 sales slackened year on year for the first time due to the impact of the global recession. In 2010, total shipments started growing again and reached an historic-high of more than 120 million units.


For 2011:

Shipments of compact cameras totaled 99.80 million units, a year-on-year decrease of 8.1 percent.

Shipments of interchangeable lens cameras reached 15.70 million units, a 21.8 percent increase.

Shipments of lenses for interchangeable lens cameras amounted to 26.00 million, a 19.9 percent increase.

For 2012:

The forecast for total shipments is 117.30 million units, a year-on-year increase of 1.6 percent.

Compact cameras are forecast to reach approximately 99.00 million, a year-on-year decrease of 0.8 percent.

Interchangeable lens cameras are forecast to reach 18.30 million units, a year-on-year increase of 16.6 percent.


Also: This year CIPA offers separate figures for single-lens reflex and mirrorless cameras for the first time. The Imaging Resource reports here that compact system cameras made up just 16.4 percent of total interchangeable lens camera shipments in the Americas, from July to December 2011, and Europe was only slightly ahead at 18.7 percent . In Asia, CSCs managed 24.7 percent of total shipments, or almost exactly one system camera sold for every three SLRs. In other markets, CSC sales were slightly higher still, at 26.6 percent of shipments in the second half of 2011.

In Japan, mirrorless models comprised fully 46.1 percent of interchangeable-lens camera shipments in that market during the second half of last year, “nearing parity with SLR models in terms of unit sales,” Imaging Resource notes. “Although the market share in terms of value is lower, at 37.7 percent , it’s still a very significant portion of the market.”

The Imaging Resource story is here.