Mirrorless war: Canon EOS R outsells Nikon Z7 two-to-one in Japan

Mirrorless war: Canon EOS R outsells Nikon Z7 two-to-one in Japan

When the playground rivalry between Canon and Nikon moved up to the sixth form, as both companies released their full-frame mirrorless cameras, the industry was eager to see who would establish dominance.

Well, the first official sales figures are in from Japan – and it's first blood for Canon. According to sales data from BCN Retail, the Canon EOS R has sold around twice as many units as the Nikon Z7 –  and is even outselling each of Sony's models.

The report (hat tip to Canon Watch) paints a fascinating picture. Until Canon and Nikon entered the fray, Sony enjoyed a 99.5% share of the full-frame mirrorless market (the other 0.5% belonging to Leica).

In Japan, the Canon EOS R has been outselling all its rivals

In Japan, the Canon EOS R has been outselling all its rivals

Now that the big boys have arrived, Sony's share has dropped to 67%. The Nikon Z7 grabbed 10.4%, while the Canon EOS R stole a whopping 22.1% of Sony's lunch money – impressive, considering that it only came out in October, while Nikon's camera was released in September.

More alarming for the previous ruler of the playground is that the EOS R is outselling the Sony A7III and the Sony A7RIII, which are widely considered the "best" full-frame mirrorless bodies (while the EOS R famously has many limitations).  

Where does this leave Panasonic, set to enter the full-frame mirrorless market in 2019? And where does it leave the APS-C and micro four-thirds formats, both of which saw big sales dips (particularly the latter)? The mirrorless war may soon claim its first casualties…

Read more:

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.