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Mirrorless cameras outsell DSLRs for the first time

Mirrorless cameras
(Image credit: Future)

If you still prefer DSLRs to mirrorless cameras, then you're now officially in the minority. A new CIPA (Camera and Imaging Products Association) report has officially confirmed that mirrorless cameras now hold a larger portion of the camera market than DSLRs for the first time ever. 

CIPA is an association of members that operate in the imaging industry, providing insights into how the industry is performing. CIPA has recently released (opens in new tab) its figures for 2020, including the number of units shipped and the number of units being produced. 

• Read more: Best mirrorless camera (opens in new tab)

The latest figures (opens in new tab) show that the industry at large has shrunk quite considerably. Both DSLR and mirrorless cameras have seen a quite a radical reduction in units being produced in 2020. DSLR cameras saw production rates drop to 2.4M units, down from 4.4M. Mirrorless cameras have also seen a reduction in production, although not quite as severe as DSLRs, dropping from 3.9M units to 2.9M units. 

However, one of the most interesting market trends revolves around how many camera units are being shipped. Mirrorless cameras now make up 33% of the market, whereas DSLR cameras now sit at 27%. This change in the number of units being shipped could be attributed to Canon and Nikon's newest mirrorless releases.

Cameras such as the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) and the EOS R6 (opens in new tab) have performed extremely well for the company with better than expected results (opens in new tab). Meanwhile, the Nikon Z6 II (opens in new tab) and the Nikon Z7 II (opens in new tab) have also been very well received. These new cameras could have been the magic touch that helped to push mirrorless cameras ahead of DSLRs.  

Read more: 

Best Canon camera (opens in new tab)
Best Canon RF lenses (opens in new tab)
The best mirrorless camera (opens in new tab)
The cheapest full frame cameras today
Best professional cameras

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Usman is a commercial and architectural photographer based in West Yorkshire, who has been working professionally for over seven years. He has also spent over four years as a writer for the biggest photography sites in the world, including Staff Writer for Digital Camera World, senior staff writer for FStoppers, and tech writer for Petapixel. 


With a particular interest in technology developments, high-resolution imaging and the high-end cameras, Usman has been on the cutting edge of camera news as well as writing features about medium format systems and global shutters, and has reviewed some of the latest Leica cameras as well as a tripod that’s even taller than Andre the Giant!