These are Japan's 5 favorite camera brands… you won't believe who's first!

Camera brands

If we told you that Japan's favorite camera brand is Canon, you'd believe us. The same if we said it was Nikon or Sony. You might even believe us if we told you that Japan's most beloved brand is Olympus, or Fujifilm. But no… in fact, Japan's favorite camera brand is Pentax / Ricoh. 

That's according to the latest results in a survey being conducted by IT Media, asking Japanese consumers to choose their favorite digital camera maker. And despite the best Pentax cameras (opens in new tab) all being DSLRs, and facing quite a technological disparity compared to the likes of the best Canon cameras (opens in new tab) and best Sony cameras (opens in new tab), that hasn't stopped Ricoh being Japan's most beloved brand in the camera industry. 

• Read more: The best camera in 2021 (opens in new tab) 

The survey (opens in new tab) (spotted by Pentax Rumors (opens in new tab)) still has another ten days to run, closing on 27 May, but so far the results are pretty eye-opening. Almost a quarter of Japanese users say that Pentax / Ricoh is their favorite brand, with nearly a fifth pledging allegiance to Nikon. 

Surprisingly, Canon and Sony are a distant third and fourth, with a neck-and-neck 13.3% and 13.2% following respectively. And it's Olympus coming in at fifth, with 10.1% of votes, edging out Fujifilm's 9.7%. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Japan's favorite camera brands (updated 19 May)
Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1 Row 0 - Cell 2 Row 0 - Cell 3
1Pentax / Ricoh25.1%Row 1 - Cell 3
2Nikon19.7%Row 2 - Cell 3
3Canon13.3%Row 3 - Cell 3
4Sony13.2%Row 4 - Cell 3
5Olympus10.1%Row 5 - Cell 3
6Fujifilm9.7%Row 6 - Cell 3
7Panasonic4.8%Row 7 - Cell 3
8Sigma2.2%Row 8 - Cell 3
9Leica1.4%Row 9 - Cell 3
10Hasselblad0.3%Row 10 - Cell 3
11Other0.3%Row 11 - Cell 3

The second half of the table is very interesting, too – and doesn't portray a very loyal following for the L-Mount Alliance. Panasonic is the most unfashionable of the major consumer brands, with just 4.8% of votes, while Sigma scrapes in with 2.2% and Leica just 1.4%. 

Still, spare a thought for Hasselblad – which is so unloved in Japan that even the "Other" category matches it with a paltry 0.3%. 

Obviously this list doesn't really amount to a whole hill of beans. It certainly doesn't mean that the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) and Sony A1 (opens in new tab) are huge failures, for example, though it does illustrate that there are people in the world who really do bleed Ricoh – and helps explain why the Pentax K-3 Mark III (opens in new tab) makes a whole lot of sense for at least one territory. 

And with Ricoh and Nikon at the top, it's interesting food for thought regarding the whole DSLR vs mirrorless camera (opens in new tab) debate as well.

Read more: 

Best Nikon cameras
(opens in new tab)Best Olympus cameras
(opens in new tab)Best Fujifilm cameras
(opens in new tab)Best Panasonic cameras
(opens in new tab)Best Leica cameras (opens in new tab)

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web 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 as diverse as 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, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). 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.