For the first time since 2010, annual Japanese camera and lens shipments increased in 2017 – up 3.3 percent and 0.2 percent respectively, according to the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA).
Within the camera figures, compact camera shipment grew 5.7 percent year on year to 13,302,797 units, while shipments of digital cameras with interchangeable lenses grew 0.6 percent to 11,675,689 units. (Note that interchangeable cameras are now approaching 50 percent of the total camera market.) The real stellar performer, however, doesn’t get a mention in the CIPA press release: Mirrorless interchangeables had a year on year increase in shipments of 30 percent in 2017, and just short of 50 percent in yen terms.
The outlook from CIPA for 2018 is less rosy, with a prediction that camera shipments will decline by 6.4 percent (3.4 percent for interchangeable lens cameras). CIPA further says that lens shipments will fall by 3.1 percent.
HOWEVER: CIPA tends to be better at accumulating shipment data than making predictions. Last year at this time they were telling us that shipments of digital cameras with built-in lenses would drop by 16.7 percent (they rose by 3.3 percent) and shipments of interchangeable lens cameras would drop by 3.4 percent (they also rose slightly). .
Below is an edited version of the CIPA statement:
Since CIPA began compiling records in 1999, digital camera shipments have recorded steady growth, surpassing 100 million units for the first time in 2007. However, shipments fell for the first time in 2009 due to the global recession.
Although shipments returned to growth in 2010, they fell again in 2011 because of the serious impact on production from the Great East Japan Earthquake and flooding
in Thailand. Since then, shipments had continued to decline. However, it turned into an increase in 2017.
The Kumamoto Earthquake in the spring of 2016 had an impact on production of digital cameras, including causing the big factory of major digital camera parts to shut down its operation temporarily by the direct hit. However, when considering that supply of the parts
has resumed since the fall of the same year, it can be considered that shipments in 2017 reflected real ability of demand while having an aspect of counteraction from a downturn due to the Kumamoto Earthquake.
Shipments of lenses for cameras with interchangeable lenses (interchangeable lenses) in 2017 (the cumulative total of shipments from January to December) totaled 19,220,599
units, a year-on-year increase of 0.2 percent.
From showing a slight increase in shipments of interchangeable lenses that can be considered to have a minor counteraction due to the Kumamoto Earthquake, we can perceive the existence of solid demand for the products of the industry.
Shipments of both digital cameras with built-in lenses and digital cameras with
interchangeable lenses grew. Shipments of digital cameras with interchangeable lenses grew 0.6 percent year on year to 11,675,689 units.
Both categories exhibited an increase. In particular, digital cameras with interchangeable lenses in themselves are high-added-value and high-price and at the same time they are platforms when purchasing a full set of interchangeable lenses compatible with them, and play a central role in a photographing system. Shipments of this category turning to a slight increase can be considered a quite positive sign for the industry.
Boosted by enthusiastic camera fans and photo-lovers who work on varied photographic expressions with various kinds of equipment, shipments of digital cameras with interchangeable lenses account for a greater share of total shipments…
On the other hand, broken down by regions, total shipments of digital cameras to Japan remained the same scale year on year, while shipments to regions outside of Japan grew
3.8 percent. As for shipments of interchangeable lenses, those to Japan contracted 6.4 percent year on year while those to regions outside of Japan rose by 1.2 percent.
Outlook on shipments in 2018
Total shipments (the cumulative total of shipments from January to December) of digital cameras in 2018 are projected to be 23.40 million units, a year
-on-year decline of 6.4 percent. Of those, shipments to Japan and those to regions outside of Japan are projected to be 3.30 million units (a year-on-year decrease of 5.7 percent) and 20.10 million units (a year-on-year decline of 6.5 percent), respectively.
Broken down by product type, shipments of digital cameras with built-in lenses are projected to be 12.10 million units (a year-on-year fall of 9 percent). Of those, shipments to Japan and those to regions outside of Japan are projected to be 2.10 million units (a year-on-year decrease of 8.7 percent) and 10 million units (a year-on-year decline of 9.1 percent, respectively.
Shipments of digital cameras with interchangeable lenses are projected to be 11.30 million units (a year-on-year fall of 3.4 percent). Of those, shipments to Japan and those to regions outside of Japan are projected to be 1.2 million units (remaining at the same level year on year) and 10.1 million units (a year-on-year decrease of 3.8 percent), respectively.
Shipments of interchangeable lenses are projected to fall 3.1 percent year on year to 18.6 million units. Interchangeable lenses…are another leading role for expanding potentials of photographic expression remarkably, with users buying another one each time.
Since shipments of interchangeable lenses boast quantities 1.6-1.7 times those of digital cameras with interchangeable lenses, shipments in 2018 are projected with the same ratio.