DSLR & Mirrorless Camera Market Shrinking Rapidly

February 17th, 2016
DSLR & Mirrorless Camera Market Shrinking Rapidly

Is the camera market shrinking? It seems so, and the statistics from LensVid.com‘s full analysis of the industry in 2015—they have also taken a look back over previous years, for comparison.

Camera Market Shrinking While the List of Models Available Continues to Grow

It’s very clear that the glory days of photo cameras seem to be numbered—2010 marked the peak in numbers of cameras being sold overall, and in 2015, the total sales were less than ONE-THIRD of the total photo camera sales of 2010. Those figures are certainly a little worrying. As LensVid point out in their video, it is surprising that there haven’t been more manufacturers that have stopped making photo cameras altogether. Quite contrarily, there seem to be more different models on the market than ever before; all of which are competing for an apparently shrinking market.

camera market shrinking

When looking at these rather alarming figures, it is important to consider the fact that LensVid is a photography site—they focus on photo cameras only. While these photo cameras do shoot video nowadays (luckily for us), the statistics do not include our beloved professional video cameras or their non-professional counterparts. In all honesty, though, I can already see the video camera market shrinking over the years without even looking at the numbers.

I think it is safe to say that we all expected mirrorless cameras to overtake DSLRs rapidly, but that has not really been the case. Whereas Panasonic and Sony have lovingly embraced the mirrorless format, some manufacturers have not. The photography world is still clinging on to the mirror—even Canon and Nikon, photography’s powerhouses, will not loosen their grip on their mirrors. What does remain to be seen is whether or not this will change once Canon and Nikon introduce mirrorless technology into their high-end cameras.

What are your opinions? Do you think it is a case of the camera market shrinking for good, or are you expecting manufacturers to turn this slow patch around? Let us know in the comments!

 

via LensVid

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Member
February 23rd, 2016

Huh, CIP’s own take on their numbers isn’t as gloomy as LensVid…

It is expected that not only will there be strong demand from users who have come to enjoy taking photos because of low-end digital cameras and smartphones and want better digital cameras—so-called step-up demand—but also that demand for digital cameras with an exchangeable lens will remain firm compared to that for digital cameras with a built-in lens.

Evan Shaw
Guest
February 19th, 2016

It is definitely a sea change in both photography and videography. 5D has covered this phenomena. Everyone considers themselves a photographer and videographer. In the next two years I believe the lines will be further blurred by further massive improvements in multiple mini lenses being used for one camera both for photography and video. The images will be combined by internal processing to yield very wide dynamic range, low light ability, and wide ISO capability and well as large megapixel clarity. We will not need all these lenses and complex rigs and VNDF, slogs, etc. Photography will also profit from this approach.

The downside of this will be that every person will have the ability to shoot incredibly lovely images and video that is of such good quality and stability even hand held that professionals will need to find new ways to appeal to audiences thru editing dramatic storytelling and cinematic methods more and more. Expensive equipment will not longer be necessary nor look any better.

Yes this a radical notion but I believe we are already beginning to see these results happening today.

Member
February 18th, 2016

The amount of pro cameras

Member
February 18th, 2016
Reply to  Doug Laurent

The amount of pro cameras in the hands of people is on a historical record high today. People just don’t need a new camera each and every year, which is why this topic is about an internal problem of the camera industry. The better the cameras become, the less likely it is that people will replace it fast. This is probably the reason why companies like Canon try to slow down the evolution as much as possible, like with their new 80D that still has the 2008 style 2 megapixel video resolution.

Kamto W
Kamto W
Member
February 18th, 2016

In addition, maybe the digital technology has plateaued a bit? Maybe lot of people turn to second-hand market for a decent/good camera (5D II, 550D etc.) Various 5 years ago you can’t buy a decent second hand digital camera. Now you can buy a 5 year old camera and hardly make much difference at all for most people. Would be interesting to have second hand market figures as well.

Member
February 18th, 2016

This is how I look at it.

The market is gaining CERTAINTY. When it shrinks, what the pie is left with are the hardcore users who KNOW what they want.

So the problem becomes more clearly defined.

If I were the manufacturer I’d be all over it now that there is more certainty in how to solve the demand problem.

As a matter of fact, I would say 90% of the hardcore users are in fact on DVXUSER.com alone. So the market research and marketing becomes much easier than trying to be all things to all people of the entire planet.

Companies like Atomos for instance serve this super high certainty market and I believe are doing very well.

As long as the manufacturers adjust their costing, pricing and expectations they can still find this market very lucrative.

Look at a guy like Philip Bloom and how many cameras he owns!

Member
February 18th, 2016

This year I spent nearly $10,000.00 for a nikon d750, 4 premium lenses and a few other necessities to get back into what for me is a hobby. I think the bulk of the hobbyists would have to ask if it’s worth that much since the camera phone quality is for many acceptable and the cost of top grade glass is a gut punch. Camera manufacturers use extortion tactics to keep prices high by refusing to even service their own products if not purchased in your own country. I get protecting the local dealer but frankly dealers here are just pumping product the same as online dealers. Not much benefit to me. I’m not shocked that the door market is shrinking. The pros don’t change systems all that often. The bulk of hobbyists can’t afford the top gear since it’s all out of pocket with no return. When you price yourself out a huge portion of a market, sales drop off.

Member
February 18th, 2016

In Marketing..there is a concept called the Universe… It’s a number of potential users or buyers of a product or service. And it’s a finite number. The folks in R&D, Product Production, and Finance/Investment and the Big Board behave as if, they can magically wave their wands… and produce a higher number of users. More or less they can’t. The cameras made in the last few years are of better quality, last longer, and have technologically raised the bar in reproduction. Mirror or DSLR…DX or FX doesn’t matter..you can’t increase the Universe. So congratulations to Nikon, Cannon…and others…you may have burnt thru all of your Universe, plus your products are made better—no real planned obsolescence or product wearout. Make as many different camera models as you can, but remember…a person who is into loomwork..and has $5k…isn’t going to take that 5k and buy a top of the line Nikon DX…they are going to buy a bigger loom. A person whose a professional or hobbiest Hunter with 5k is going to buy a better gun…not a camera.

There is the sense of corporate cowardism…to tell the boss…we have a product with low failure rate…low replacement rate…we need to deversify…but not take a current product…tweak it…and sell it as something new and wonderful. That’s a waste of corporate financial resources and decent margins/ROI. AND IT ERODES BRAND CONFIDENCE AND LOYALTY.

Member
February 18th, 2016

I wholeheartedly agree with both of the previous comments. My only addition is that there will continue to be a market for the dslr and mirrorless camera,and a much smaller market at that. The professional photographer, amateur and enthusiasm will always go for the best tool for the job. Even if that tool turns out to be a smartphone.

Eric Darling
Member
February 18th, 2016

The rise of the smart phone with sufficient optical quality has led to this decline. Most of the total market is just fine with the iPhone as their only photographic device.

 Bernhard Pusch
Bernhard Pusch
Member
February 17th, 2016

The market is in fact growing! People just dont like to double up devices. If the phone can do the photos i want to shoot, i will not have a 2nd photo unit with me. Thats the mass market.

 Bernhard Pusch
Bernhard Pusch
Member
February 18th, 2016
Reply to  Nino Leitner

I think the overview on DSLR vs Mirrorless MUST NOT aside the impact of mobile devices such as smart phones. I wanted to mark out that the mirrorless cameras are somehow closer to the mobile phones, a vital rival in terms of mobility and in some cases even in performance. The DSLR Cams are more distinguishable from the phone and therefore DSLR is not suffering that as much from the presents of phones. Thanks for your share Nino – you re doing good work around here

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