The rise and fall of camera sales

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
Nov 7, 2013
2,636
453
Germany
Found this more detailed image from CIPA /GfK a few days ago on Northlight Images.

Most interesting to me is the fact that compared to the 1990ies and 80ies there are still a lot more ILC cameras and lenses sold in 2018
- even after the "fall of sales"

But - of course - the compact camera market is almost dead. That's true.


1571388393844.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4D

4D

EOS M50
Mar 8, 2012
39
4
Are you buying the 90D for your bird photography?
Probably, but I am semi-interested in the M6 II because I want a small travel camera, and also thinking about FF mirrorless. In other words, I'm torn in three ways but more pull towards 90D for sure.

Fortunately, I don't really need really "need" a new camera until about March when I had back to Southern Africa, so lots of time to procrastinate and see if any options appear
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,354
744
Most interesting to me is the fact that compared to the 1990ies and 80ies there are still a lot more ILC cameras and lenses sold in 2018
- even after the "fall of sales"
It means that they are likely still far from the bottom of the current fall.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ethanz

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
Nov 7, 2013
2,636
453
Germany
It means that they are likely still far from the bottom of the current fall.
That means that in the 1990ies and 80ies several camera companies could make a living out of a much smaller market than today.
And from the Graphics I've posted it looks like the ILC market has almost reached it's bottom at about 10 mio cams and 30 mio lenses per annum.
And that is still at least 2 to 3 times more than in the 1990ies and 80ies, if not even more, depending on the year you look at.
 

unfocused

EOS 5D SR
Jul 20, 2010
4,993
1,350
66
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
That means that in the 1990ies and 80ies several camera companies could make a living out of a much smaller market than today.
And from the Graphics I've posted it looks like the ILC market has almost reached it's bottom at about 10 mio cams and 30 mio lenses per annum.
And that is still at least 2 to 3 times more than in the 1990ies and 80ies, if not even more, depending on the year you look at.
One reason why I stick with Canon. Canon and Nikon have a long history and have weathered past boom and bust cycles. They didn't just enter the market to take advantage of the temporary surge during the rise of digital.
 

Graphic.Artifacts

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 1, 2017
453
257
One reason why I stick with Canon. Canon and Nikon have a long history and have weathered past boom and bust cycles. They didn't just enter the market to take advantage of the temporary surge during the rise of digital.
FujiFilm managed it's way through the collapse of the film industry while remaining a profitable, independent and technologically competitive company. An extinction level event in their primary business that more or less wiped out all of their competitors. Hard to overstate how difficult that must have been. I think they'll survive the downturn in camera sales just fine.

I'm taking a wait and see on Canon and Nikon. Canon has done a pretty good job of diversifying but Nikon looks like it's got a rocky road ahead. Big companies need big earnings to survive. Sometimes it's better to be small and nimble like our mammalian ancestors.
 

Aussie shooter

@brett.guy.photography
Dec 6, 2016
460
459
It means that they are likely still far from the bottom of the current fall.
Not necessarily as back then we were talking about film cameras. Therefore serious photography was still out of reach of many as the ongoing costs were far higher. The ease of taking and editing digital images is likely to mean more people are willing to make that initial outlay as ongoing costs are far more affordable.
 

LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,578
152
The compact camera market had two surge events, one smaller, one bigger. The first was the introduction of fully automated models (exposure and AF) - and we can also see how it impacted the sales of SLRs, which were more fashionable between 1975-1985 (one of the best sellers of the time was the Canon AE-1).

The second was the introduction of digital. As in phones, sales were increased also by new models bringing big improvements, especially resolution, quickly. Now even phones can't improve much - and it looks they already reached a peak too.

It would be interesting to know if the peak of ILCs that followed the compact one is also due to people upgrading from compacts, as photography became somewhat "simpler" and more popular. It also looks those users are more willingly to use other lenses beyond the kit one.

Anyway it's interesting it happened in 2012, when cameras like the Canon 5D3 and Nikon D800 were introduced.
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
Nov 7, 2013
2,636
453
Germany
... Now even phones can't improve much - and it looks they already reached a peak too. ...
When you take a look at the chart I've posted, please note (which you surely did) the different scaling on the right side for smartphones (x10 compared to cams):
1.400 to 1.500 mio seems to me simply a market saturation because one does not buy a phone every one or two years - at least most of the people ;)
 

LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,578
152
one does not buy a phone every one or two years
Many did until recently - and many weren't new users, they were people replacing their device - market was already "saturated" (at least in wealthier countries) but there was the opportunity to replace previous year devices.

It happened with digital cameras too - people replaced devices quickly when they perceived (rightly or wrongly) big improvements over previous models. Now the attempt is to replace SLR with mirrorless cameras, but may not be enough to sustain a fast replacement cycle.

Meanwhile even phone makers aren't capable to deliver newer features to keep replacement cycles short. Multiplying cameras/lenses appeals only to a subset of users (and makes designs uglier) - after all if you were fine with a compact camera you don't ask for much more, Computational imaging can take the place of Instagram filters, but not much more. They hope in 5G probably....
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,250
282
Davidson, NC
I gather that many folks get new phones to get better cameras. For me it makes more sense to spend the money on a new camera and keep the iPhone 6S a few more years.

I am traveling with a friend who left his Nikon DSLR at home and is shooting Europe with his iPhone 10.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,106
I gather that many folks get new phones to get better cameras. For me it makes more sense to spend the money on a new camera and keep the iPhone 6S a few more years.

I am traveling with a friend who left his Nikon DSLR at home and is shooting Europe with his iPhone 10.
He should have got a Canon DSLR, which he would not leave at home.