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Mirrorless, compacts show 2017 growth

The half-yearly (Jan-June) camera and lens production and shipment figures from CIPA (the Japanese camera makers association) show mirrorless interchangeables continuing to increase market share; a surprising uptick in shipments of digital compact cameras; and the DSLR segment in the doldrums.

Mirrorless camera shipments are way up so far in 2017, while digital compact shipments are also on the rise, though not as emphatically. The DSLR segment is now the problem child for the camera makers, with shipments 5 percent down compared to Jan-June 2016. The overall outcome is total digital camera shipments up 11 percent in unit terms and about twice that in value (yen) terms. 

What CIPA terms ‘non-reflex’ interchangeable lens cameras (mirrorless) are shipping 65 percent up on Jan-June 2016 levels in units and 85 percent up in dollar terms. By comparison, DSLRs are five percent down in units and line-ball in dollar terms.

The unexpected ray of sunshine is with digital compacts, which are 11 percent up in units and 21 percent up in value. 

The Kumamoto earthquakes, which severely impacts camera manufacture from April through to September last year, have made the 2017 camera figures less comparable than would otherwise be the case. Nonetheless, growth is good! 

Accessory lens shipments – not directly impacted by Kumamoto – are also in positive territory, up by just under 4 percent in unit terms and a little more in value terms. CIPA divides its lenses into 35mm (full frame cameras) and smaller than 35mm. All growth is in the ‘smaller than 35mm camera’ category.  


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