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CIPA figures easy to swallow

Apparently it was the venerable Greek philosopher, Aristotle, in his unputdownable blockbuster, The Nicomachean Ethics, who first noted that ‘one swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day’; but the latest camera and lens shipping data from the Japanese camera manufacturers trade association, CIPA, shows an encouraging uptick compared to the previous two years.

From an unpromising start to the year, with shipments down over 30 percent on January 2022, there has been a strong increase, so that by April (latest available data) interchangeable lens camera shipments are up on April 2022 levels by almost 20 percent, just surpassing 2021 levels as well.

The upwards trend seems set to continue, with production figures, which of course are a lagging indicator of shipments, up an impressive 50 percent on  April 2022.

Digging a bit deeper into the figures and it’s clear that DSLRs are now the poor person’s interchangeable. There were approximately half as many DSLRs shipped between January to April this year as last year (344,000 units compared to 1,200,000 mirrorless interchangeables). The value of those DSLRs are just over 10 percent of the value of the interchangeables shipped.

In fact, DSLRs as a category are well down on the unloved digital compact category, which have only slipped in unit terms by about 10 percent compared to Jan-April last year,  and in value terms are actually up 20 percent.

Lens shipments also appear to be following camera shipments on an upwards trajectory.  From equally unimpressive January figures, April saw lens shipments beat April 2022 by around 10 percent. And while the Jan-April shipments are still down on the same period the previous year in unit terms, they are up around 7 percent in value terms.


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