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Mirrorless now industry’s ‘MVP’

The CIPA camera shipment figures from January to June are a pig. Here’s the lipstick; they were better in June than May and better for interchangeable cameras than compacts.

Overall, camera shipments are down to less than half of the January-June 2019 levels. In unit terms, that’s a drop from  7.3 millions cameras to just 3.5 million.

The glimmer of hope amidst the gloom is that after a horrendous five months to May, there was a bit of an uptick in June. So June camera shipment overall were up to 119.5 percent of May shipments, and interchangeable lens cameras in June were up to 152 percent on May levels. Rather than a hope-sapping downward spiral in demand, perhaps its more a supply side issue brought about by the COVID-19 shutdown, and the camera makers are busy re-filling the pipeline.

This trend looks like it will continue into July, as production figures were also up for both DSLR and mirrorless segments in June.

Mirrorless milestone reached
May 2020 actually marked a milestone in the history of cameras; for the January – May period, there were more mirrorless shipments that DSLRs. The tide has finally turned – for the first time, over an extended period of time, there were more mirrorless cameras shipped than DSLRs.

Mirrorless has been threatening to knock the DSLR format off its perch for a while. It is now the most important format for the industry as a whole. Why? Even with market share currently around 50/50, its worth a lot more than the DSLR segment. In value terms, DSLR sales from Jan-June were worth around 43 billion yen. Mirrorless sales were worth 73 billion yen. Mirrorless is not only accounting for half of interchangeable lens cameras, it is far stronger in the premium/professional end of the market.

Lens shipments have also enjoyed an uptick in June, to 171 percent on May levels.






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