While Canon owns almost half of the entire market, its nearest rival Sony has less than half its share with just 20.2%. Nikon comes in third, with 18.6% market share, with Fujifilm and Panasonic trailing behind with 4.7% each.
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That's according to figures published by Japanese outlet Nikkei, the world's largest financial publication (thanks, Digital Camera Info). The numbers are based on the 14,830,000 cameras sold in 2019 – a sales figure that has plummeted by a heartbreaking 22.4% compared to 2018, which was itself down 22.2% from 2017%, continuing a troubling trend.
Regardless, Canon actually managed to increase its share by 2.4% despite the market decline, as did Sony by 0.9%. Nikon and Fujifilm's shares both contracted, by 1.6% and 0.4% respectively, while Panasonic's sales held absolutely steady.
The behavior of the market is fascinating to watch. In 2018 it was Nikon that enjoyed the second highest share, but obviously it has been usurped by Sony. Similarly in the previous year, fifth place was held by Olympus with a 2.8% share, but it has since been eclipsed by Panasonic.
There's an underlying truth here, too, which is that despite all headlines to the contrary, DSLRs really aren't dead. We know, for example, that in Japan Sony sells more full-frame mirrorless cameras than both Canon and Nikon (and, in most categories, more mirrorless cameras overall since that's all Sony makes), but Canon's continued dominance of the best DSLR realm enables it to maintain an overall sales advantage over its rival.
How will these figures look next year? The Canon EOS R5 and Sony A7S III are already selling like gangbusters, so it will be an interesting battle – though between the production problems and economic impact of COVID-19, that annual 22% decline in sales might actually be optimistic this year…
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