Worldwide camera market share in 2010. Panasonic and Olympus holding their ground.


I guess you are curious to see who won and who lost market share during 2010. Bloomberg posted the market share of all units sold in 2010 (compact cameras and system cameras). It’s not a surprise to see that Canon is leading the group. But Sony is just a small step behind and Samsung is very close to Nikon. I would have almost bet a bunch of dollars on a small Panasonic and Olympus market share growth but de facto they didn’t grow at all. Panasonic and Olympus do have almost exactly the same share as 2009. It’s a bit difficult to analyze the results. Most of the sold cameras are compact cameras so m43 sales do have only a small influence on the whole data. Generally spoken worldwide camera sales jumped 10 percent to 141 million units last year.

If you need more detailed data take a look at BCNranking (Click here) which displays the weekly cameras sales in Japan. And you can check the Amazon Bestseller rankings to see what’s selling best on Amazon. As you can see compact cameras are always on top:

Amazon US (Click here): The LX5 is selling well
Amazon DE (Click here): The Panasonic TZ10 is on top
Amazon UK (Click here): Again the TZ10 on top.
Amazon FR (Click here): and for the third time the TZ10 on top!
Amazon IT (Click here): No Olympus or Panasonic cameras on top.

  • Wt21

    Given how bad Oly 43 and compact offerings are, this has to be big growth in m43

  • ObZerver

    If Bloomberg info is correct a simple math shows that last year Olympus sold ~650 000 digital cameras MORE compared to 2009.
    It represents 8,22% increase of company sales even if it appears as 0,1% points less share of the global market.

    All I am saying is the news are good!

  • bilgy_no1

    The rank is made on the numbers of 2009. Based on the 2010 figures, Panasonic would be above Kodak.

    As Obzerver and WT21 note: the number for Olympus probably means that PEN is selling rather well. Their sales for compacts have fallen in recent years. So maintainig market share can only be due to good PEN sales (most 4/3 DSLR models have been phased out in 2010).

  • ObZerver

    If we look at Panasonic, we will see they maintained the same market share, but out of some 10% BIGGER market.
    It equals to 970 000 more units sold.

    In terms of net sales (units) difference, Olympus ranks no.7, Vivitar – no.6, Panasonic – no.5, Samsung – no.4, Canon – 3, Nikon – 2, Sony – 1.

    In terms of net sales (percentage) growth:
    Vivitar – 1, Nikon – 2, Sony – 3, Samsung – 4, Panasonic – 5, Canon – 6, Oly – again no.7

    • It’s nearly impossible to make substantive statements from the IDC numbers without additional information. Unfortunately, only Nikon breaks out enough information to tell you something useful (you need unit and sales numbers broken out for both compact and DSLRs).

      You can have increased unit volume and lower profitability very easily in the current market, as per-unit-selling-prices are dropping.

      The other thing we don’t yet have a handle on is “sampling” versus “dedicated user.” In the case of mirrorless (Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus) we have a lot of sampling going on. People are buying a m4/3 camera to try because they hear decent things about it and get sold on the “competent small camera” idea. But what I’m seeing in my surveys lately is that this is indeed sampling: a lot of those sales are not turning into “dedicated user.” Too many “not there yet” responses. We saw this with early DSLR sales, too, but not at the same level I’m seeing today with mirrorless.

  • Nathan

    Notice the pattern: Companies, like Kodak, who no longer produce anything that a serious enthusiast would want are not considered photographic companies, and lose market share for each year that they don’t produce a significant camera.

    Even Fuji- my mother in law bought a Fujifilm bridge camera, and it doesn’t even have exposure compensation buttons. WTF. It’s a bridge zoom camera that doesn’t have + or – buttons. She tried and tried to get good exposure from it in a wide variety of situations, and failed.

    Olympus can keep going after the “girl with camera” market, but even those girls sometimes don’t like hitting off the ladies’ tee. Some of them look at what the photographers use, and want those things. With no significant pro presence, any camera company will be doomed to obscurity.

    They built the Dodge Viper to sell more Neons. A flagship serves a purpose. It proves that you know what you’re doing.

    • reverse stream swimmer

      Re: They built the Dodge Viper to sell more Neons.

      We similarly might see the XZ-1 as a locomotive for the P&S cameras. It seems the SZ10, SZ20, SZ30MR are from a new fresh triplet; BSI-CMOS, full HD video with H.264 encoding. The Tough series has unique selling points as well. A flagship might just be what’s needed….

  • reverse stream swimmer

    Pentax (Hoya) was surprisingly low both years. Howevver strong in Japan it seems. Might find it’s niche with the MF camera.

    Samsung on the other end keeps it’s gradient towards the top. The company has the building block components, smartphone knowledge, video & entertainment focus.

    • sparedog

      i never realised pentax was so low down the list compared to panasonic. isn’t panasonic relatively new to the camera marktet?

  • mpgxsvcd

    Basically, Canon is resting on their laurels. Sony and Nikon are killing it. Samsung is finding a way to get people to buy their cameras. And Panasonic and Olympus are still insignificant players with a lot of potential for growth.

  • atlantropa


  • safaridon

    Wish someone would break these figures down into just DSLR and ILS systems and digital cameras.

    The Amazon sales figures do not look representative as in all cases they have left out any m4/3 compact produces Pens or GFs or NEX products entirely?

    • Inge-M

      Absolute, yes ;-)

    • IDC did publish interchangeable lens numbers for the year: Canon 44.5%, Nikon 29.8%, and Sony 11.9% (that leaves 13.8% for Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Leica).

      So with Nikon’s numbers, you can kind of back into some other numbers:

      Nikon DSLR ~4m, Coolpix ~13m, so interchangeable lens sales for the year were 13.3m units and Sony therefore sold 1.6m such units (Alpha and NEX).

  • G_C

    seems a sad state of affairs when photographic companies like pentax and fuji lose out to brand companies like sony and samsung.

    even if it does mainly consist of compact cameras it goes to show that people are swayed by the marketing abilities of big companies and not the possible decency of the product.

    don’t get me wrong, sony and samsung can make a good camera, but it just shows the direction we’re heading in (the same one we’ve been on in the past decade) where more and more cameras are becoming ‘products’ and less about being a photographic tool.

    think about the megapixel race (which is still going…sigh) even though people are actually asking for less pixels now it’s still being pushed down consumers throats.

    and this way of thinking can be applied to almost everything in our lives when you think about it! :(

    • Ahem

      That’s an unnecessarily simplistic statement. Many non-photography companies are bringing innovation into cameras, while many photography companies are merely exploiting their market share and rolling out incremental updates based on legacy designs.

      • G_C

        good point, *cough* canon…

        but no you’re right, sony is making some big steps in innovation

        im just a bit sentimental that’s all :)

    • You might want to look at those “photographic” companies more closely. The “imaging” portions of Hoya (Pentax) and Fujifilm are rather small compared to the other divisions in the company, growing slower, and less profitable.

      The ONLY company on that list that makes more than 50% of its sales and profits from photography is…wait for it…Nikon. At one point the number got up to 74%, but with their Precision division (semiconductor equipment) showing a bit of a comeback, the number is dropping back down towards 60%. I don’t believe any other company on the list tops 25% of its sales from cameras and imaging equipment (yes, that includes Kodak, which is trying to reinvent itself as a printer company).

  • Inge-M

    There is something, by numbers to Pentax so not is right .!

    • I hope Kodak re-invents itself and has a good Epson R3000 competitor in a couple years. Of course we will all be printing iphone files at the store as we walk past the printer (it picks up pre-purchased orders straight from our pockets) so they’ll have to re-invent again.

  • ILO

    What is Vivitar? Never saw cameras under this brand. According to their website they make SLR and belong to mysterious company called Sakar.

    • f/128 and be there!

      I had a decent Vivitar film compact, years ago. Also a Vivitar lens (probably a rebranded Cosina.) Their growth markets must be outside of the US.
      The only hope for Kodak cameras is m4/3. Their low-end cams sell on name alone, and will soon be replaced by Samsung low-end, and phones. Back when the digital market was taking off, Kodak were still investing heavily in film. Shameful to see how far they’ve fallen.
      Shame on Walmart too, for mega printing contract with Fuji instead of American company.
      Why have consumer electronics companies (Sony, Samsung and Panasonic) passed “camera” companies Olympus and Pentax? DIGITAL – it’s a whole new ball game.

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