Camera shipments from Japan have fallen — but their value has increased!

Sony cameras
(Image credit: Sony)

A recent report by from CIPA, Japan's Camera and Imaging Products Association, shows a 3.8% decrease in camera unit shipments from Japan when comparing October 2022 and October 2023. In the previous year, Japan exported a total of 831,031 units of digital cameras (including fixed lens and interchangeable lens models), falling to 799,184 in 2023. Despite declining unit numbers, the industry experienced a slight increase of 102.4% in terms of overall value, indicating a shift in consumer preferences towards high-value products.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a big difference in the cost of digital cameras. It seems we’ve said goodbye to the days of affordable, beginner DSLR systems and hello to more expensive, more advanced entry-level mirrorless cameras. Top-of-the-range flagship cameras usually cost more than $4,000/£3,500/AU$6,000 but according to these stats, that isn’t putting photographers off buying them. 

Check out the best professional cameras as we round up the most advanced DSLRs and mirrorless cameras from Canon, Nikon, Sony and more

The report shared by DigiCame.info shows that through the summer, and into October, camera shipments to Japan remained relatively stable. This year's figures closely mirror the results of the previous year. However, one of the most notable changes was the type of camera being bought; we saw a 65% drop in the number of fixed lens cameras (such as the Sony ZV-1F) shipped, and an 8.7% increase of interchangeable lens cameras.

Breaking down the interchangeable lens camera category, digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras showed a sharp decline of 58.2%, with only 101,865 units shipped, while mirrorless cameras marked an impressive 129.8% increase, accounting for 542,647 units. This trend follows what we have known for a while – DSLRs are on their way out as more and more people make the move to mirrorless camera systems.

The October 2023 CIPA report is unsurprising. With so few camera manufacturers still making DSLRs (Canon and Pentax seem to be the only ones), there’s no way DSLR shipments could ever compete with shipments of mirrorless cameras. Consumer preferences are reshaping the digital camera landscape and it is clear that the biggest players in the industry are evolving to suit market demands.

See which we think are the best mirrorless cameras that are driving the adoption.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.