I think that it has just taken time for the better sensors to get into camera models that actually get attention: D800 & D600.
Three years ago, the D7000's APS-C sensor was way 'better' than it's competitor, the 7D (in DxOMark-land). Which was more popular?
Yes, which one was it , I have not seen any soner SRL figures then this.
Photoscala has posted an interesting Gain & Loss analysis of the worldwide DSLR market, for the period 2006-2008. According to their findings Canon, who were the undisputed worldwide leaders in 2006, have lost 9 percentage points and barely managed to keep their number one position against Nikon, who have gained 4 percentage points in the meantime. The biggest winner is Sony, who managed to more than double their market share, and took the third position from Olympus with ease. The rest of the market is devoid of any major changes, although Panasonic has managed to double its share, partially owing to its introduction of the DMC-G1 (which is, technically speaking, not a DSLR, but is nevertheless included in the figures). Nota bene: Photoscala warns that these numbers, which were derived from multiple sources, are to be taken with a grain of salt, but allegedly “the tendencies have been captured quite accurately”.
Do you have actual numbers? Last I heard (and this is for 2011-2012, a far more relevant timeframe than 2006-2008
), Canon held around 45% of the digital camera market, Nikon held about 28-29% of the market, and Sony around 10%. It is easy to grow, relatively speaking, by a huge amount when your market share is still only a fraction of what your main competitors have. Sony doubling their market share would mean going from 5% to 10% market share...which is still 1/5th of Canon's market share. (Ironically, I think Sony actually had a far greater percentage of market share in the past than they do now...on the order of 30%. Goes to show that as Nikon grows, it's Sony, not Canon, who is losing out. Makes for strange bedfellows.) And how does Canon having a 17% lead on Nikon mean they are "barely managed to keep their number one position against Nikon"? If the race was neck and neck, 30% vs. 29%, I'd call that "barely holding the lead"...but Canon is solidly in the lead right now. In 2010, Canon still had almost 45% of the market, and Nikon still had around 28-29%, so things have not really changed all that much lately.