The last couple of years have been full of change for the camera world. We’ve all but said goodbye to DSLRs, vlogging cameras have become a main focus for a lot of the big names, and entry-level cameras are no longer the super budget-friendly models they used to be. In that context, the announcement of the top 10 best-selling cameras in Japan last year still comes as a bit of a surprise. They’re not the all-singing all-dancing flagship models, but rather – mostly – a selection of smaller, cheaper, and more accessible APS-C and Micro Four Thirds systems.
After a couple of slow years during the COVID-19 pandemic, camera sales are (thankfully) on the up. Despite the quality of camera phones such as the iPhone 15 Pro Max or the Google Pixel 8, there is still a demand for purpose-made stills and video-centric cameras. This could be down to the increase in the number of content creation jobs, an influx of social influencers who are after better video quality than you can get from a phone or because people want to be able to separate a creative outlet from a device that encourages you to scroll, stay connected and bombards you with notifications.
According to BCN Retail, a database that collects and aggregates sales of cameras, PCs, and other digital devices, it was a compact vlogging camera that was crowned champion. Released in 2021, the Zony ZV-E10 was an instant success and remains popular today, despite the lack of a viewfinder, as it offered video-centric features in a body similar to the A6XXX range.
|Canon EOS R50
|Canon EOS R10
|Canon EOS M50 II (EOS Kiss M2)
|Olympus PEN E-P7
|Nikon Z fc
|Olympus PEN E-PL10
|Olympus E-M10 Mark IV
|Sony A7 IV
In second place was the Sony A6400 with its pro-level features and reliability and sitting comfortably in third was one of Canon's cheapest and most compact mirrorless systems, the Canon EOS R50. Holding onto spot number four is Canon’s 24.2MP EOS R10 with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, 15fps continuous shooting, and 4K 60p video making it perfect for all types of content creation.
In seventh place is the retro-styled Nikon Z fc which comes in a range of funky cameras making it stand out from traditional cameras, the Olympus E-PL10 and E-M10 Mark IV fall into eighth and ninth place while the tenth spot is held by the most expensive, the most advanced and only full-frame camera on the list - the Sony A7 IV.
Surprisingly not a single flagship camera, nor a camera from Fujifilm or Panasonic features on the list. What isn't surprising is that all the brands listed are Japanese and most of the cameras come in at less than $1,000, which suggests most of the people buying cameras aren't professionals (or even semi-professionals) but instead amateurs or novices looking for an upgrade from a camera phone.
Check out the best cheap cameras and browse a range of entry-level and older models.