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Cheap MFT cameras are the most sold in Japan.


Image source: BCNranking.

BCNranking disclosed the full camera sales rankings in Japan from January 1st til the December 24th. By watching the ranking there are multiple surprises. Of course, the first one is seeing that the Nikon J1 is actually on top of the ranking. As you see a good marketing sometimes works better than the camera “WOW” factor.  The bets selling Olympus and Panasonic MFT cameras are right behind the Nikon and these are all GF and E-PL entry level cameras. The more advanced E-M5 and GX1 models lag behind them and are even behind the Pentax Q! Hands-up if you ever thought the tiny Pentax would outsell the E-M5!

Of course the Japanese market is quite different from EU and US markets. But outside Japan we usually don’t get these kind of exact camera sales numbers. You only get purely unscientific rankings from Amazon. But they change hourly and often reflect current deals status:
US ranking (Click here).
DE ranking (Click here).
UK ranking (Click here).
FR ranking (Click here).

Anyway, this year is now over and 2013 will quite an important year for all camera makers. There is a complicated economic situation that will force plenty of companies (and I mean all worldwide companies) to take some drastic if not dramatic decisions. I hope we can recover from the troubling times we are having now.

I Wish You a Happy New Year!

  • matteo

    olympus 28,8%
    panasonic 21,4%

    sony 18,4%
    Nikon 13,1%
    pentax 7,1%
    Canon 2,1%

    no bad ;-)

    • Vlad

      Where did you get these numbers? I am seeing different ones.

      • @Vlad
        Micro Four Thirds also outsold all Nikon DSLRs in Japan….oops

        • Vlad

          Not sure what is your point. I am still seeing different numbers.
          Olympus 29,8%
          Panasonic 23,6%
          Sony 20%
          Nikon 14.3%
          Otherwise Sony is doing extremely well in many countries, at least according to their numbers :)

          • BCN, like the US sources of retail sales numbers, aggregates all the kits and variations when they report overall numbers. The Olympus 29.8% is the correct aggregated number for all the various Pen and OM-D models in all the ways they’re sold (body only, kit lens, multiple lenses, etc.). That’s 29.8% of the mirrorless market, remember, not all interchangeable lens cameras.

            Also, note that the Japan market has dropped to between 8-10% of global camera sales (varies a bit with period). So while the Olympus number is good, it represents about 30% of 50% of 8%.

            • Vlad

              Interesting, thank you.

    • @matteo
      mft is probably even better than 50.4 there is another 5+5 not included in the rankings which is likely made up of mft ;)

      • Luda

        Which would be about 12% which isn’t bad at all.
        Math knowledge in a deep sleep Thom? ;-)
        Happy New Year!

  • Happy new year, admin, and my best wishes for the baby.

    In the Japanese market, mirrorless cameras are primarily bought by young women. The selling points are price, style and utility, In that order. Therefore the rankings are hardly surprising. The more “masculine” models (the ones featuring viewfinders) sold merely 12%, combined. Fuji is not even on the radar.

    • Vlad

      Here even the OM-D ad is a woman taking pics of her cute dog with the help of the 5-axis IBIS. Saw it 3 times today.

  • Raist3d

    The omd-5 is a higher priced camera so it shouldn’t be completely surprising if a Pentax Q outsells it. Bedsides the Pentax Q contrary to the small sensor=fail/suxors knee jerk reactions is really good. Yup, another “Sony inside” sensors camera… Amazing the stony sensor market share.

  • Homer

    HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!Nikon J1 beats all the other mirrorless cameeras. Goes to show you how much respect m43 and nex get in Japan…not much. LOL

    • Olympan

      Being second is not too bad and still commands respect in my opinion. At least it’s not worthless and empty as your comment. What kind of business do you own? Probably nothing hahahahahahaha

      • Homer

        Keep up with your wishful thinking, it will help you when they discontinue m4turds. Hahaahahahahahha.

        • Anonymous
          • GrauUhu

            Good choice!

          • Anonymous

            Sorry folks, that’s my new camera. I’m a dolt and a dumb blind fanboy.

        • zinjanthropus

          Didn’t you get banned under a different name? Go back to turd-grade, returd.

          • Galvin

            You should be banned, for not even having the balls to say retard, you retard.

            • zinjanthropus

              Gavin, humor is lost on you. Maybe you too should consider going back to school.

    • @Homer
      I wonder how many lenses those Nikon J1 owners purchased? Olympus have done well considering the year that they and remember the Nikon 1 was suppose to have 50% of the market within 6 months, 4 years in development, extreme price cutting and massive marketing too!
      Also this type of ranking would favour canikon as they only had 2 mirrorless cameras out for much of 2012.
      2013 isn’t looking too pretty for the J2,V2 and S1

      • Vlad

        It would be interesting to see some numbers about the lenses.

        • @Vlad
          Nikon were recently asked what the average lens ownership was for Nikon 1 users, they answered “more than one”!

          • Vlad

            Haha, that is a good answer.

          • Anonymous

            well yes,
            if every owner has 1 body and 1 lens – and a single person buys an additional lens, you would get an average above one…

      • Homer

        The future isnt looking god for m43 except japan. Too bad you dont live there. Most folks dont evn ask for m43 in camera stores, its all dslrs and ps cameras…so many damn wishful thinkers on this site.

        • Rutrem

          well, near me, the stores starts to shrinks their dSLR equipment in favor of mirrorles cameras,Oly,Pana,Sony

    • matteo

      yes 11.2% nikon j1 …. but now, 6 days after cristmas,
      after 5 days of test
      there are all on e-bay at half price :-P

      • Homer

        And you hate that? You prefer to pay over priced prices for m43? Then all the power to over the price. Who wants to pay less when you can pay more , right? Yes, that how business works, pay more when you can pay less.

        • Pavlo

          Dude, Your point is pointless and You sound ridiculous. Nobody here cares about systems, rivals etc. It’s all about photography. You missed that.

        • john

          you sound like a poor loser who can’t afford a good camera so has to come up with insults to validate your inability to make money on the camera’s website. pathetic.

  • Sony just announced today they have stopped making the Playstation 2, 6 years after the Playstation 3 was launched…. similarity to Olympus PENs EP1’s production and pricing model?????

    • Raist3d

      Not even remotely so. The ps2 was sold originally at a loss counting on software per unit sold royalties to make up for it, then re engineered for price drops and cheaper manufactured. This is not the same business model at all. Don’t even try to compare lens sales with games sold on the console. It’s not even close. Many people don’t even buy extra lenses. With the console you will definitively be buying some games.

  • Mar

    Most sold doesn’t mean they get most money out of it nor that the product is that great…

    Look at FF models – they hold very little share in %, but manufacturers make a lot of money out of those and they’re great cameras.

    Those cameras also incorporate top technologies and work well.

    m43, Nex and similar cameras are overflowing the market similarly to compact cameras and entry DSLRs several years ago.
    Does this mean they’re not good or they can’t give good IQ? Definitely not, but a lot of people buying those will keep kit lenses and not invest in something better and more expensive, unlike higher end cameras.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > Look at FF models – they hold very little share in %, but manufacturers make a lot of money out of those
      Not really directly.
      Because with small sales volume makers don’t get the economies of scale to keep all the various costs down and sensor’s share of component costs is even more pronounced with it costing easily 10x the price of APS-C sensor. (triple the silicon area, and price goes at least to square of that)

      Money really comes from selling non-kit lenses for those.
      And high end products used by enthusiast and professionals generate visibility for brand which sells economies of scale mass products.

  • Homer

    They need to rename this site, Wishful thinkers and dilusions of the 1st order. So many people here sleep and dream that the whole world is ful of ppl and pros using m34 cameras. LOL. Oh man , you folks are a hoot. No wonder Canon called your csc companies, loser companies.

    • Anonymous

      And you’re here, Why?

      I’ve done fashion photo shoots with my GX1, pocket wizard and all. Does the job very well. I have a Canon FF, but again the GX1 is more than capable for my use.

      You’re just a hater. Go play with your camera if choice and fall back.

      • Anonymous

        And I’m Angelina Jolie. i love Brad Pitt and I love to shoot his balls with my Panasonic cameras.

    • Rutrem

      :) Canon Nikon :)
      they still have to learn to debug their own firmware first,and make an decent image compressor,learn how to downsample an FF stream… we are in the 2013 now, and they still makes cameras that are bigger and heavier then the old 35mm film camera?! Are those professional cameras or carpenter tools? ha,ha,ha

    • Rutrem

      :) :)
      Canon and Nikon have first to learn how to debug his own firmware first.. and how to do a decent image compressor for .jpg… not to mention that the video footage from their “pro” FF sensor looks very alike to the m4/3 “small tiny not pro” sensor.
      … when they will start to do digital cameras? anytime i see a Canon or Nikon guy with a dSLR looks like more as a “pro”carpenter with a hammer then a photographer :D
      … u can be a pro with an Android phone taking photos if u can sell them

  • Anonymous

    How is it possible that the Pentax K-01 tops the amazon list in the US? …that is a shocker!

    • peevee

      51% off. And then the people will discover that the 40mm lens does not zoom and takes its time focusing. Que the returns.

  • street

    Happy new year everybody specialy m43 olypans and Happy new baby Ale !!!!!

  • BCN does it better than Amazon. With Amazon it is impossible to work out how many of a particular camera is sold without a calculator. They should supply a consolidated set of numbers then provide a breakdown as a sub item. The method used by most sensible people.
    The whole Amazon system is evidently based on retail box stock numbers, rather than consolidated sales. As these stock numbers are based on a manufacturers marketing department whim and variable to the nth degree, they can be initially very misleading for a consumer.
    Also, the US Amazon list is “Compact System Cameras”. How can a fixed lens with no changeable parts qualify as a “system” camera?

  • deelee

    I didn’t know that the Sony NEX 7 was a cheap MFT……..Seems on the higher price end if you ask me

  • HappyVan

    It is worrying the way that M43 market share is falling. In 2011, M43 had 65% of MILC in Japan. In 2012, just 50%. Canon-M just launched. Nikon hasn’t launched their APSC MILC.

    Bear in mind that N1 and NEX are the leaders in the European and USA market. So, M43 global share of MILC is actually in the minority. Anyone calculate the number?

    Also, unfair to compare the sales of two companies (Oly and Pany) to one company (Nikon). Fact is that Nikon ILC unit sales (DSLR + N1) in Japan is equal to the unit sales of Oly and Pany combined.

    One interesting comparison is by sensor size. APSC has >50% versus 25% for M43 and 14% for 1″ sensor. In the future, APSC dominance is likely to grow.

    Best Regards

  • We provide insurance cover for everything from cars, vans and motorbikes to homes and offices, but it’s our marriage of modern technology and good old-fashioned customer service that keeps us one step ahead of the competition.

  • Rutrem

    …best EVIL system around is m4/3, best and widest lens park to choose from, bets compatibility with legacy lenses…of any kind.Best sensor size for video.

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