Widespread reports of camera supply problems from around the world are supported by the latest CIPA shipment figures out of Japan.
While shipments are down near the miserable levels of 2020, after dropping steadily for the last five months, July production figures show an encouraging uptick over the previous month. It may be that the camera manufacturers are on the path towards overcoming supply-side problems, which include a shortage of components and widespread disruption to international shipping:
A director of one of Australia’s leading photographic distributors said that ‘more camera supply shortages are anticipated in the coming months and into next year caused by these component shortages.’
When it comes to production, cameras were being manufactured in numbers significantly great than both the previous month (June) and the same month last year, July, 2020. The exception is DSLRs, where production was down to 74 percent of the previous month. (Most camera brands can’t abandon the DSLR segment fast enough, leaving the segment clear for Pentax, which has announced it will stick with the venerable pentaprism.)
There were over 30 percent more mirrorless cameras produced compared both to the previous month and the same month last year.
But there’s no polishing the shipment figures, which when placed against the number of popular cameras on backorder and delayed product launches, point to supply shortages.
‘Yes, there are definitely supply shortages at the moment. In particular, we are experiencing this on some of the very popular Sigma lenses,’ CR Kennedy director, Clem Kennedy told Inside Imaging.
‘The supply shortages are caused due to lack of availability of certain components,’ he explained.
‘An example of this from Ricoh is the supply of the popular GR III model, will be temporarily stopped due to the global shortage of electronic components, especially the LCD panel. This will affect many of the major camera manufacturers too. Right now, we are securing all the stock of the Ricoh GR III we can get our hands on.’
He anticipated a rally towards the end of the year, so long as sufficient stock can be secured: ‘The good news is we are anticipating a strong finish to the year and good Christmas sales. It’s important we can secure the stock now to make this happen in the back end of this year.’