Digital Camera Market Continues to Shrink – Canon Still Dominates

August 17th, 2020 Jump to Comment Section 1
Digital Camera Market Continues to Shrink - Canon Still Dominates

According to Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei Inc.), the worldwide digital camera market (derived from “Inspection World share 74 items”) was down 22.4% in 2019 in comparison to 2018, which was already down 22.2% from 2017 continuing a worrisome spiraling downward trend.

Digital Camera Market in 2019 – An Overview

Despite the overall market shrinking, Canon was able to gain 2,4% in market share, dominating the market once again with a staggering 45.4% ahead of their fellow Japanese competitors: Sony (20.2%), Nikon (18.6%), FUJIFILM Holdings (4.7%), and Panasonic (4.7%). All of them together hold 93.7% of the market. Canon sold and shipped approx. 6.7 Mio units in 2019, which was more than Sony, Nikon, and FUJIFILM combined. Sony was also among those to improve its stake, increasing their market share by 0.9% from the previous year.

CMOS Sensor Market 2019

Also noteworthy, while the overall digital camera market is shrinking significantly again, the CMOS sensor (Information/Device) market was up 22.8% from 2018, with Sony controlling the market at 53.5%, extending their share by 4.4% ahead of Samsung electronic with 18.1% which lost 1.9% of its share. This is clearly mostly due to the increasing use of (more than one) CMOS sensors in smartphones, where Sony dominates global supply.

Graphic visualization of the CMOS Sensor Market 2019 according to Nikkei Inc. data
CMOS Sensor Market 2019 – Inspection World share 74 items (Credits: Nikkei Inc.)

Digital Camera Market 2019 – Data, Considerations, and Outlook

The Nikkei Inc. data and the evaluation of the data by Digital Camera Info are only looking at data that was updated on August 13th, 2020, but referring to compiled information on the market and sales in 2019. The impact of the currently still developing global COVID-19 situation is, of course, not reflected yet by the presented data set. It remains unknown how much more the digital camera market will suffer due to the current pandemic and how this will reflect on the overall sales, units shipped and the market shares of all the companies.

Market Scenario for 2020 Shaped by COVID-19 Pandemic

In a scenario or prognosis where the market in 2020 would be down another 20% – 25%, that would mean only approximately 11.86 – 11.12 Mio units will sell in 2020. This estimation for 2020 would mean roughly 3 to 3,7 million units fewer sold than the 2019 shipment data shows if the downward trend continues similarly to previous years. Of course, we don’t know how the market situation unfolds precisely in 2020 until the beginning of next year.

The fact that trade shows like NAB, photokina, IBC, and other consumer or professional fairs are not happening this year might additionally affect sales negatively. Additional possible consequences of the pandemic, which will presumably lead to another drop in purchases this year, are less overall worldwide filmmaking and photography projects and much less travel, which would also certainly boost sales.

However, new camera announcements of long-anticipated camera releases like the Sony a7S III or the Canon R5 and R6 might spur some long-delayed investments from filmmakers who have been waiting for these releases for a long time. We will know more early next year.

What do you think about the significant pre-pandemic declining sales spiral in the digital camera market?
How do you think the pandemic will further impact the market?
What is your prognosis, estimation, or projection for the 2020 digital camera market?
How do you think the mobile phone market with its ever-improving digital cameras for photography and filming will impact the year 2020 and the next three to five years?
In what way do you think will this influence jobs, product developments, and the competitive situation of the market in the future?

Let us know in the comments below!

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