Camera sales history from 2011 till today. Mirrorless hype is over. DSLR rules.


Worldwide shipments of DSLR and MR like cameras

Vitaly from Personal View (Click here) analyzed the worldwide shipment data from Japanese companies and made those graphs.

It looks to me that the Mirrorless sales are stagnating while DSLR is doing pretty well. I have not the experience to tell you why it is so. Certainly Mirrorless lacks in some areas like:

– missing FF mirrorless cameras (except of course the super expensive Leica M niche).
– people perception that “Bigger is Better”.
– Nikon and Canon conservative approach to the mirrorless world.
– Limited marketing resources of companies like Panasonic-Olympus-Pentax compared to Canon-Nikon impressive PR machine.
– limited lens range compared to DSLR systems.
– lack of optical viewfinder tech (except Fuj X PRO 1 hybrid solution).

Shipping by type in Americas and Europe.

If things will keep going like that Panasonic and Olympus may should consider to reinvest in the DSLR business. Although I don’t think that’s their plan (at least for now). Olympus is supposed to launch a new E-5 successor in early September while Panasonic quietly stepped out of the DSRL market. Maybe they should just make Mirrorless cameras…bigger? ;)

More graphs at Personal View (Click here).

  • A.Riley

    Olympus’ bread & butter is medical imaging, so it makes sense to me that they might be using M43 (especially EVFs) as a sandbox for medical imaging R&D. That’s fine with me. Engineers can experiment freely where lives aren’t on the line.

    If their product schedules annoy the photographers, well, maybe it’s because they’re not actually working for us, they’re working for the surgeons.

  • derek

    I think many of us have both mirrorless and D-SLR ,in addition to that, I even own a few digital range finders (Lieca M9P , Leica M and Epson RD1).
    so , it is not which is better but which is the best camera system for you.
    I shoot landscape and macro with my D800E , D600 kit.
    I use my Canon 5D3 kit for action photography and video.
    And for everything else my OM-D or Leica M240.

  • derek

    just horses for courses , that’s all.

  • IMO, 2013 has been a disappointing year for mirrorless innovation. Last year we had the OM5 and the XE1. This year, um a Samsung Galaxy NX camera and a cheaper Fuji X without a viewfinder?

  • S.W. Anderson

    Many years ago, Woody Allen famously said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” If anyone at Pentax marketing heard that, they evidently filed it and forgot it. As Don Pope noted, in most places that sell cameras across America Pentax is a no show. While I don’t think you can pick up a Nikon, Canon or Sony at 7-11 — yet — virtually anyplace that sells cameras sells two or more of the big-three brands. Olympus’ marketing seems to be a bit better, but still falls short of the big three.

    Another factor is that camera magazines push DSLR’s from cover to cover, every issue. Major camera makers buy full-page and multi-page spreads in those magazines, almost exclusively to advertise their DSLR’s. So, someone looking to get pointers on what camera to buy when moving up from point ‘n’ shoot gets wall-to-wall DSLR everything when he/she picks up magazines.

    I think many consumers who move up from point ‘n’ shoots have seen and heard enough about “SLR’s” since childhood that the term is burned into their brains. This is what pro’s use, so must be the best. Add to that, the shorthand way for a person who knows a thing or two about digital photography to help out someone looking to buy their first “serious” camera is to say something like, “The bigger the sensor the better the image quality.” So, of course, DSLRs have the bigger sensors. In many cases, I’ll bet it’s game, set and match right there.

  • Gil

    The Hype is over and so is some of the magic surrounding those cameras.
    What’s left now is the quality of the product vs the brands.
    It’s too early to announce that the mirrorless market is dead. But it is certainly in a dire situation.
    Let’s all wait and see what happens next.

  • perhaps they should have gone the route like wifi look how long people had a CAT5 cable to connect their internet, even though wifi started out and in the beginning was not as secure as it is today. But eventually it caught on and the name wifi (wireless fidelity) is catchy.
    Perhaps the name mirrorless is not as catchy but hard to change now as too many have heard it. But a acronym can hardly be made from mirrorless that is catchy.
    A good term might have been mifree (mirror free).
    Most people these days are not upgrading from a P&S camera but rather want a better more versatile high end quality camera than their “smart phone”. When they see a E-PL5 so tiny they more associate it with their phone. They see a BIG Clunky DSLR, OH it MUST BE BETTER than my phone.

  • Don Pope… you nailed it. People don’t are as familiar with these names, and more so, they don’t see cameras like the Fuji X in stores.

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