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Camera market share: Canon owns 48%, Sony 22%, Nikon drops to 14%

worldwide camera share 2021
(Image credit: Nikkei / Mirrorless Rumors)

The latest figures reveal that Canon owns almost half of the worldwide digital camera market with Sony holding almost a quarter, while Nikon's share has dropped to around a seventh. 

While Canon and Sony's market share climbed by a combined 4.4%, compared to the pre-pandemic figures published in 2019, Nikon's share dropped by 4.9%. And with Fujifilm's share also increasing, albeit by a more modest 0.9%, it provides further proof that Nikon's slow start in the mirrorless sphere has directly affected the amount of the camera market it controls.

• Read more: What is the best camera? (opens in new tab)

The data was published by Japanese news outlet Nikkei (opens in new tab) (behind paywall, via (opens in new tab) Mirrorless Rumors), as gathered by Techno System Research, analyzing the entirety of the digital camera market – which includes all kinds of devices from compact cameras (opens in new tab) to DSLRs (opens in new tab) to mirrorless cameras (opens in new tab)

The figures reveal that shipments dropped by 40.3% year on year, with 8.85 million cameras shipped in total. Of that, the top five manufacturers accounted for 93.8% or 8.30 million cameras. 

That breaks down as the following market share for the top five brands (with year-on-year changes in parenthesis):

Canon 47.9% (+2.5%)
Sony 22.1% (+1.9%)
Nikon 13.7% (-4.9%)
Fujifilm 5.6% (+0.9%)
Panasonic 4.4% (-0.3%)

The remaining 6.3% is accounted for by manufacturers like OM Digital Solutions (Olympus), Hasselblad, Pentax and others, for whom data was not supplied. 

The takeaway is that Canon, Sony and Fujifilm all saw growth, while Nikon and Panasonic saw their shares decline, with the biggest changes (in different directions) represented by Canon and Nikon. 

Clearly Nikon's reticence to fully commit to the mirrorless market led to Sony and Fujifilm making gains, though Canon's growth is also intrinsically linked to its DSLR business – along with its efforts to release more experimental products, such as the Canon PowerShot Zoom (opens in new tab), to expand the core camera market. 

Read more: PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)

Read more: 

Best Canon cameras
(opens in new tab)Best Sony cameras
(opens in new tab)Best Nikon cameras
(opens in new tab)Best Fujifilm cameras
(opens in new tab)Best Panasonic cameras (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.