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Camera Production Figures (CIPA)

Using the CIPA numbers, I graphed the year over year production figures.

One should note that about 3/4 of total unit volume is point and shoot style cameras (“Built-in Lens”), a market in decline. But the vast majority of those cameras are low-end small sensor cameras, not premium fixed-lens cameras like the Ricoh GR or Sigma DP Merrill or Nikon Coolpix A; these could be on the upswing even as the entry level type are in serious decline: the entry level cameras are being displaced by smartphone cameras, their existential moment. Unfortunately the CIPA numbers do not distinguish between the two.

Observations:

  • February was an inflection point at which production of all types of cameras was cut drastically relative to 2012.
  • Interchangeable lens cameras (green lens) have held up far better than the low end point and shoot market (red line).
  • Reflex (DSLR) cameras have held up better than non-reflex (mirrorless) interchangeable lens cameras in the March - June timeline.

This last point is interesting: it suggest that interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras are losing market traction relative to DSLRs! Which makes me wonder whether the demise of the DSLR is farther off than I had thought. The DSLR market is well established . It might be that the mirrorless alternatives still have to close many gaps to be a true replacement (lens selection, autofocus speed, image quality, usability, etc). Or it might just be that buyers anticipate new models this fall, such as a full-frame Sony NEX.

Year over year percentage change in the production of still cameras of various types.

Year over Year Camera production (percent)
per CIPA numbers

Cameras produced Jan - June 2013

Observations:

  • Cameras with built-in lenses in unit terms outnumber interchangeable lens cameras by about 4:1.
  • DSLR (reflex) cameras still dominate the interchangeable lens market, which says that systems like Sony NEX and Fujifilm X are still very small players by comparison.

Jan - June 2013 production of still cameras (millions of units).

Still camera production Jan - June 2013 (millions of units)
per CIPA numbers
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