Japanese electronic industry analysis company BCN has published a new report (in Japanese) on the current landscape of the mirrorless camera industry. Using data gleaned from retailers and manufacturers over in Japan, it reports that three companies — Olympus, Sony, and Panasonic — account for nearly 70% of mirrorless camera sales in Japan. Nikon and Canon, both relatively late to the mirrorless game, are fourth and fifth (respectively), with a combined share of 22%.
Bloomberg reports that Canon and Nikon’s failure thus far to enter the mirrorless camera market has allowed Sony to eat into their combined market share — at least in Japan:
Canon and Nikon’s combined share of the Japanese market [for interchangeable lens cameras] has fallen by 35 percent, while Sony’s share has doubled
“Mirrorless cameras are a threat,” said David Rubenstein, a Tokyo-based analyst [...] “If the western geographies follow the same pattern as Asia, then it will be negative for Nikon and Canon.”
“In the long run, Canon and Nikon will have to enter the market,” said Hideki Yasuda, a Tokyo-based analyst [...] “Still, it won’t be too late for them to enter the market after mirrorless cameras become a global trend.”
Although mirrorless cameras are becoming all the rage in Japan, its adoption outside the country is much slower. Canon still owns a 45% share of the global SLR market, while Nikon remains at 30%. Canon also earned $1.5 billion in profit from selling SLRs last year, four times the profit generated by its compact cameras. SLR cameras and lenses were also Nikon’s biggest moneymaker.
Canon Clinging to Mirrors Means Opportunity for Sony Cameras [Bloomberg]
Production issues experienced by Canon and Nikon (caused by the earthquake and tsunami) may soon allow competitors to eat into their dominant DSLR market shares and, according to a story by USA TODAY, Sony is pegged as one of the main benefactors:
Canon has 44.5% of the digital SLR market, followed by Nikon at 29.8%, Sony with 11.9% and Olympus at 5.1%, IDC says.
[...] At a time when many Canon SLRs are hard to find, due to production issues, the Sony models are not only in amply supply, but discounted to sell with special promotions.
[...] Sony has the name recognition, and ample shelf space in prominent stores.
These gains would likely be limited to first time buyers who are looking for their first DSLR — camera owners already committed to Canon or Nikon’s mounts are unlikely to switch systems just because of a temporary shortage.
Sony could benefit from shortages of Canon, Nikon SLRs [USA TODAY]
Image credit: SONY A55 by 246-You
Market research firm IDC released its findings about the worldwide digital camera market recently, with interesting details about the current market shares of camera manufacturers. From 2009 to 2010, Canon’s share remained perfectly constant at 19%, while #2 player Sony increased its share from 16.9% to 17.9%. Nikon also grew from 11.1% to 12.6%. The worldwide market for digital cameras is also growing — last year it increased 10% to 141 million cameras sold.
The camera market may look vastly different in the future than the Canon and Nikon dominated one we see today if recent trends continue. Amateur Photographer is reporting that the combined share of Canon and Nikon dropped a whopping 11% in Japan through 2010, and is currently at 60.4%. What’s more, Sony has increased its share to 15.2%, and has in fact overtaken Nikon in the UK, capturing 25% of interchangeable cameras sold compared to Nikon’s 20%.
Sony received a lot of attention in recent months for its innovation, launching the world’s first translucent mirror DSLRs and the NEX line of EVIL cameras. Canon and Nikon have yet to enter the EVIL market, though Nikon is rumored to have a pro-level mirrorless camera ready by April.
Photokina 2010 came and went without any bombshell EVIL announcements by Canon or Nikon, but murmurs about impending cameras persist. According to Taiwanese newspaper DigiTimes, Nikon is ready to enter the “mirrorless DSLR-similar camera” market:
Japan-based camera brand Nikon expects its new mirrorless DSLR-similar camera will help expand its market share in the interchangeable-lens camera (ILC) market in the Asia Pacific to 40% in 2011 and 50% in 2012, according to the company.
As Sony and Samsung Electronics have both recently entered the DSLR-similar camera market, Nikon pointed out that the DSLR-similar cameras should not cause damage toward the sales of traditional DSLR, instead the model has helped increase consumer acceptance of ILC.
For comparison, Nikon’s market share in Taiwan was about 25% earlier his year, but they hope to reach 35% by the end of 2010 by addressing supply issues.
If the details posted by DigiTimes are legitimate, then we should be seeing a Nikon EVIL camera announcement very soon… perhaps at CES 2011 in early January?
Nikon to enter mirrorless DSLR camera market (via Nikon Rumors)
Image credit: Pie Chart by atomicShed
According to Hoya founder Shigeru Yamanaka’s grandson, Yutaka Yamanaka, Hoya’s acquisition of Pentax may not have been the best business move. The younger Yamanaka said the $1 billion acquisition in 2007 was made mostly to expand Hoya’s involvement in medical optics, but turned out to be “overpriced.” Yamanaka, a Hoya shareholder, went so far as to say it was one of Hoya’s business “failures” which led to financial turbulence over the last three years until Pentax turned profitable.
In spite of Yamanaka’s disapproval of the Pentax purchase, it’s rumored that other companies might be interested in buying up Hoya’s unwanted acquisition. Canon Rumors reports that Canon attempted to buy Pentax, perhaps in order to control more of the DSLR marketshare, in direct competition with Sony. Sony may also be interested in Pentax’s user base. But so far, no word on whether Hoya’s ready to hand off Pentax anytime soon.