CIPA camera and lens shipment figures for the first quarter of 2017 show the photographic industry trending upwards after around four years in steady decline.
For the first three months of the year interchangeable lens camera shipments have matched or bettered 2016 levels and in March there were around 120,000 more interchangeables shipped than in 2015.
Even shipments of digital compacts were 7 percent up on 2016 levels for the month.
Once again, non-DSLR interchangeables generated all the growth, up 45 percent on Jan-Mar 2016 levels. In fact, DSLRs were down around 8 percent in volume terms, although up in dollar terms, indicating the market for cameras with mirrors is concentrating at the high end.
Interchangeable lens cameras are fast approaching 50 percent of total shipments – there were 3.25 million fixed lens cameras shipped in Jan-Mar and 2.7 million interchangeables. The value of interchangeables is almost three times that of the fixed lens camera market.
Lens shipments have also recovered, with Jan-Mar 2017 equalling shipments for the same period in 2016. Once again, DSLR lens shipments are down and mirrorless lens shipments are up.