Analysis by Photography Week.
The total number of interchangeable lens cameras (SLRs and CSCs) being produced has jumped by around 34 percent according to Japanese trade figures, amidst a market which has shrunk by around 15 percent overall.
According to Japan’s Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA), which measures production and shipments of digital cameras, total shipments were down, but this also includes compact cameras. The association expects total shipments to fall a further 11 percent in 2013, but system camera shipments to rise.
Figures reveal that production of interchangeable lens cameras jumped from 15.7 million to 21 million units in 2013, when compared with 2011 figures. This represents a 43.5 percent increase in terms of value. Total shipments, to include compact cameras, dropped to 98.1 million units – down from the all-time high in 2010.
Unsurprisingly, the compact camera market is showing a steady decline as the increase in popularity and quality of smartphone cameras improves. In 2012, shipments of these dropped by around 21.9 percent year-on-year to 78 million units.
This isn’t necessarily bad news for the consumer. Camera manufacturers now have to work harder to compete for our business, and as a result we’re seeing very interesting developments in the areas in which mobile phones can’t compete (yet), especially in the high-zoom, premium-model and rugged sectors.
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