Canon Has Been the Number One Interchangeable-Lens Camera Brand for 20 Straight Years

Canon ILC Number One

Canon is celebrating its dominance of the interchangeable lens camera (ILC) market, as it says it has been the top dog for 20 consecutive years.

The company says that it has maintained the number one share of the global market for ILC devices for 20 years, from 2003 to 2022. The company cites its own internal survey as the basis of the claim, but it doesn’t sound implausible. Canon considers ILC cameras to be both mirrorless and DSLRs, and while the latter has been slowly phased out over the last several years, Canon still sells a lot of them and has for quite a long time. So while it took a while for Canon to catch up with Sony on the mirrorless front, it was still moving a lot of DSLR camera units.

Canon cites the beginning of its ILC dominance as the launch of the EOS Kiss Digital — known as the original Digital Rebel or the EOS 300D in regions outside of Japan — which launched in September 2003.

“This groundbreaking camera, which was competitively priced and featured a compact, lightweight design, became the engine for growth in the digital SLR market, capturing the top share of the global market and heralding the age of digital SLR cameras,” Canon says.

“Since that time, Canon has continued to launch a range of groundbreaking products, including the professional-model EOS-1D series and the EOS 5D series, which paved the way for digital SLR video recording.”

Canon rode the success wave of its Rebel series for several years until mirrorless became too much of a technological breakthrough to ignore. In October 2018, Canon finally made the transition with the launch of the EOS R system. In July 2020, the EOS R5 became the first camera to feature 8K video recording (among digital interchangeable-lens cameras released prior to July 8, 2020) and followed that with the R3 in November 2021.

“In addition, Canon launched the EOS VR System, designed to record video for virtual reality content, in December 2021,” Canon adds.

Canon has continued to add to its mirrorless lineup since, launching the R7 and R10 in the middle of 2022 and the R6 II in December. The R50 and R8 followed this past February.

“Canon will continue to refine its proprietary imaging technologies while further strengthening and expanding the EOS series of cameras and RF/EF series of lenses, opening up new avenues of image capture to meet the needs of increasingly diverse users and to promote the spread of photo and video culture,” the company says.

Image credits: Canon