Olympus still dominates Japanese mirrorless market – 4 of top 10 cameras!

Olympus still dominates Japanese mirrorless market – 4 of top 10 cameras!
(Image credit: Olympus)

Despite being in the process of selling its camera business, Olympus remains the dominant force in mirrorless sales in Japan. In fact, for the first half of 2020, it is the dominant force when it comes to mirrorless cameras. 

The manufacturer has four slots in the top ten best-selling cameras, with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III at both number one (in silver) and number ten (in black) position, and the Olympus PEN E-PL9 at two (in white) and six (in brown).

• Read more: Best Olympus cameras

So how does that compare to the rest of the top ten? Well, Canon is in third and fifth place with the EOS Kiss M (sold as the Canon EOS M50 in the west), Sony is in fourth and eighth position with the Sony A6400, the Nikon Z50 nabs the seventh spot while the Panasonic GF9 (aka the Panasonic GX800 / Panasonic GX850) squeaking into the ninth slot. 

Here's the full list courtesy of BCN Retail (by way of Digital Camera Info), which collates sales data from Japanese retailers:

01 – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III EZ double zoom kit (silver)
02 – Olympus PEN E-PL9 EZ double zoom kit (white)
03 – Canon EOS Kiss M double zoom kit (white)
04 – Sony A6400 double zoom lens kit (black)
05 – Canon EOS Kiss M Double Zoom Kit (black)
06 – Olympus PEN E-PL9 EZ Double Zoom Kit (brown)
07 – Nikon Z50 Double Zoom Kit
08 – Sony A6400 Double Zoom Lens Kit (silver)
09 – Panasonic Lumix GF9 Double Lens Kit (orange)
10 – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III EZ Double Zoom Kit (black)

It all paints a very curious picture. Obviously Olympus is selling its camera business to Japan Industrial Partners, but here we see that the manufacturer is still very much in charge of the mirrorless market in Japan – and global sales are generally healthy. 

Of course, the E-PL9 is the company's entry level camera and the E-M10 Mark III is the entry level model in the OM-D lineup. So while they clearly sell in volume, they are two of the company's least profitable products – which may be why Olympus could be discontinuing its entry level cameras, according to the latest reports.

Still, it's proof that yes – Olympus makes great cameras, and it sells a heck of a lot of them. If savvy business people at JIP can balance the spreadsheets a bit better, then the company will continue to make fantastic photographic products. 

Read more: 

Olympus PEN E-PL9 review
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III review
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV review
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV vs Mark III vs Mark II

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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.