Sony Disputes Canon’s ‘Number One Mirrorless Brand in 2023’ Claim

Sony Photographer

Last week, Canon claimed victory as the number one mirrorless camera brand by unit sales in the United States. While impressive, Sony says it has data from the same agency Canon used that contests the position.

Two years ago, the beginning of what Canon characterizes as three straight years of top position, Canon and Sony published conflicting statistics, with both claiming they were the number one brand stateside. Now in 2024, that has happened again.

“This year, Sony received numerous #1 claims from the Circana/NPD agency, as we do every year,” Sony tells PetaPixel.

As noted, Sony cites Circana/NPD (it’s one company that used to go by just NPD), a private firm that tracks sales and sells that information to manufacturers. Canon’s data also comes from Circana. According to the data it received, Sony says it was number one in several categories last year, but says two are worth pointing out:

  • Sony was the #1 full-frame mirrorless camera brand in 2023 (both dollars and units)
  • Sony a7IV was the #1 full-frame camera in 2023 (both dollars and units).

Without actually seeing the raw data directly, PetaPixel can’t confirm where each company is getting the data necessary to make such a claim. The truth of the matter is that both are probably right; it’s just a matter of data interpretation. Canon very likely is including non full-frame cameras in its claim while Sony focuses there, for example. Two things can be right at the same time.

Beyond this, it should be noted that Sony didn’t have any intention of publishing these numbers this year — it only provided this information to PetaPixel when it asked about Canon’s claim.

“Despite these accomplishments, we made the decision to refrain from publicly broadcasting any of these claims via a press release or any other type of formal announcement,” Sony says, a decision that stands in contrast to Canon’s strategy.

Instead, Sony says it would rather focus on its technology and the photographers it supports.

“We are an organization that is focused on innovation. On supporting creators. On bringing products to market that allow them to capture that which has never been captured before. This has been the case since 2013, when we launched the world’s first full-frame mirrorless camera. Now, 10 years, 43 cameras, and 62 lenses later, our focus remains the same. Together with our community, we changed the world of imaging, and we are committed to pushing forward on this same path.”

This is an unusual stance. Companies, especially their marketing departments, tend to want to publish as much self-aggrandizing commentary as possible to hype a brand and its products. Sony opted to not, although was more than happy to set the record straight — at least from its perspective — when asked.

It does spark a conversation: does who is number one actually matter?

Image credits: Sony