Fascinating new data reveals that Canon and Sony both produced over four times as many mirrorless cameras than Nikon last year, adding some context to the true scale of each of the "big three" camera manufacturers.
Sony led the way in producing 1.15 million mirrorless cameras, with Canon closely behind at 1.05 million, while Nikon made just 250,000 mirrorless bodies.
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That accounts for 2.45 million of the 3.26 million total mirrorless cameras manufactured in 2020 – so the remaining 810,000, divided between Olympus, Fujifilm and Panasonic, shines in intriguing light on the footprint of the secondary camera brands.
Of course, Canon and Nikon don't just produce mirrorless cameras; their bread and butter is still in DSLRs. However, while Canon is gearing down its production in favor of mirrorless, Nikon's output is still very lopsided towards DSLRs – which analysts, and Nikon itself, attribute to the company's recent struggles.
In total there were 2.39 million DSLRs made in 2020, with 1.71 million of those coming from Canon and 650,000 from Nikon. That would leave approximately 30,000 DSLRs produced by Pentax, which again is an eyebrow-raising insight.
Clearly there is still a market for DSLRs, but there has been an obvious shift in the market and consumer demand – and Nikon is falling far short of meeting it.
The manufacturer has made strides in redeploying its resources towards mirrorless cameras, with the recent launches of the Nikon Z6 II (opens in new tab) and Nikon Z7 II (opens in new tab), and the announcement of its first ever mirrorless flagship, the Nikon Z9 (opens in new tab). With Sony and Canon having established such a lead, though, has the "big three" become the "big two… and a distant third"?
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