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The 10 best-selling cameras in Japan: no full frames, no DSLRs, no Nikons!

BCN Retail Top 10
(Image credit: BCN Retail)

The year-end retail report for Japanese camera sales in 2021 has been published, and it paints a fascinating picture of the camera landscape: not a single full-frame camera cracked the top ten, and neither did a single DSLR, nor a single camera manufactured by Nikon.

The sales data revealed that the single most popular camera was the Sony A6400, which appeared twice in the top ten (both in dual lens kit form, with black the most popular followed by silver). Closely following it were the Canon EOS M50 and Canon EOS M50 Mark II, which again made two appearances apiece (also in dual lens kit form, first in white then in black).

• Read more: Best mirrorless cameras

The report was published by Japanese body BCN Retail (thanks to Digital Camera Info) , which accumulates data that accounts for approximately 40% of Japan's sales market – including the nation's major camera retailers. Here's how the top ten list shapes up:

1) Sony A6400 – Double Zoom Lens Kit, Black
2) Canon EOS Kiss M2 (Canon EOS M50 Mark II) – Double Zoom Kit, White
3) Canon EOS Kiss M (Canon EOS M50) – Double Zoom Kit, White
4) Sony A6400 – Double Zoom Lens Kit, Silver
5) Sony ZV-E10 – Power Zoom Lens Kit, Black
6) Canon EOS Kiss M2 (Canon EOS M50 Mark II) – Double Zoom Kit, Black
7) Canon EOS Kiss M (Canon EOS M50) – Double Zoom Kit, Black
8) Fujifilm X-A5 – Lens Kit, Silver
9) Olympus PEN E-PL10 – EZ Double Zoom Kit, White
10) Fujifilm X-A5 – Lens Kit, Brown

As fascinating as it is that full-frame cameras, DSLRs and Nikon are all conspicuous by their absences, it's also intriguing that of all Fujifilm's cameras it is the four-year-old X-A5 that outsold all others. Indeed, the Canon EOS M50 is also four years old, while the Sony A6400 and Olympus PEN E-PL10 are both three years old. 

In fact, the only camera that was actually released last year was the Sony ZV-E10. As much as this may tell the story of new cameras being in short supply, due to the ongoing global component shortage, it also gives us some valuable insight to consumer behavior. 

It isn't the biggest, baddest, latest and greatest cameras that are in hottest demand; smaller, simpler, casual user and content creator-friendly APS-C bodies (and Micro Four Thirds ones, too) are what people seem to be after. In Japan, at least – although given that this is the home territory of all the major camera manufacturers, this will surely have a direct influence on where they put their efforts going forward.

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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 MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Phot0: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show. 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.