CIPA closes out 2018 sluggish.
The last CIPA report of 2018 has been released, and we see that after the rumors started with full frame mirrorless from Canon, Panasonic, Nikon the market has a whole took a step backward that continued all the way through the end of 2018.
The new systems from Canon and Nikon did little to compensate for the loss of DSLR shipments (and most likely sales) through that period. Of course, this pain is something that most likely Canon and Nikon both knew would happen once they came out with new systems, which is probably why they delayed it until the last possible moment.
Armed with the Canon financials we can see that there was a large difference in between the amounts of cameras shipped in 2018 versus sold. Canon through their internal research came up with 10.3 million units sold, whereas CIPA has 10.8 million. Nearly a half a million cameras were shipped and not sold this year.
Mirrorless is becoming more and more expensive, the new “norm” is a $2000 which is causing the per unit value of shipped units to soar for mirrorless. What remains to be seen, is will Canon use that $2000 as the new normal or come out with much cheaper model(s) as what they have done with the Rebel series with the EF mount, and will Nikon follow. Sony has had limited success selling older units of the A7 series camera as cheaper alternatives, and we can see by the value increases over time for mirrorless that what is being shipped is most likely a lot of the new cameras, and not the older ones.
Overall DSLR shipments continue to crater this year, as would be expected with the focus of Canon and Nikon now firmly with the RF and Z mount respectively, and the fact that both company’s DSLR products are mature products well into their lifecycles and require less shipments.
One surprise has been how fast Europe has become the second hotbed for mirrorless cameras, with unit volumes now exceeding 50% for mirrorless.
If we look at value, it's basically all mirrorless almost hitting 70% of the overall European market. Europe right now is being dominated by shipments of mirrorless and very little in the way of DSLR’s being shipped. If you follow the money, it's all mirrorless.
Americas, for the most part, have continued the trend of mirrorless still showing signs of a strong DSLR dominance, however, if we look at value, we see that even though DSLR's lead greatly by marketshare, mirrorless is certainly catching up fast when we look at value. It would seem that the Americas market is dominated by cheaper DSLRs and very expensive mirrorless. If we look at this graph that is the DSLR Marketshare in both value and units we see that value has dropped significantly.
Over this year we have seen a lot of disruption in the industry. Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic either launched or announced entirely new systems which caused significant disruption. DSLR shipments and most likely sales slumped hard, the new RF and Z mount systems did little to compensate for the overall loss in DSLR shipments. The tough thing about the new RF, Z, and even L mount systems is the price. We can see that the camera manufacturers are shipping very expensive mirrorless systems, and there’s only going to be so many people that want to buy into a $3000 or over $4000 system (including kit lens), with little in the way of other lenses to support the systems. What we don’t know is if there will be a point soon where things stabilize, with mirrorless shipping in mass volumes, and mirrorless picking up the slack as DSLRs continue their fast decline. We can hope that it stabilizes sooner than what Canon is expecting, which is by around 2020 and around 50% less volume.
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