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Constant Innovation and Product Refresh Pays Off for Sony

Thanks to B&H Photo for making this top-line Apple MacBook Pro available for testing. As this was written B&H Photo was offering it at a $100 discount( $100 e-gift card).

I’ve been writing for years now on the failure of Nikon and Canon to see the sea change coming even as the tidal wave engulfs them —a company-killing error in executing to market requirements. The past 5 years or so have witnessed incompetent strategies by Canon and Nikon to a jaw-dropping degree: “same old” along with a failure even to do something tactical, like refresh stale models more than every 3 years.

Sony has performed brilliantly.

The tidal wave has passed Canon and Nikon by and left them half-drowned. It is not clear to me that CaNikon can ever regain their market share given Sony’s aggressive product and technology juggernaut, particularly now that Sony makes the best sensors available.

This is the way of a free market: established players get their heads handed to to them. Kudos to Sony.

Sony Celebrates No. 1 Overall Position in U.S. Full-frame Cameras with Launch of Historic "Be Alpha" Campaign

Sony Electronics - 08/15/2018

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ Sony Electronics, Inc. – a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world's largest image sensor manufacturer – today announced that it has overtaken and held the No. 1 overall position in the United States full-frame interchangeable lens camera market in the first half of 2018, in both dollars and units(1). In fact, four out of every 10 full-frame cameras sold during this time period have come from the Sony brand(1).

Full frame interchangeable lens camera growth
through 2018 (dollars)

Additionally, Sony has announced that within the overall mirrorless market, it has held the No. 1 position in both dollars and units for more than six years(2). These strong results can be attributed to the company's leadership in transitioning the market from older DSLR technology to next-generation mirrorless cameras.

Much of Sony's recent success has been driven by sales of the acclaimed α7R III and α7 III models, as well as the rapid adoption of the α9 camera amongst professional sports photographers and photojournalists. The brand's extremely active community has played a major part as well, as evidenced by the strong engagement on key social platforms like Instagram, where the official @SonyAlpha page has just surpassed the coveted one million followers count.

As a celebration of these historic achievements, Sony has announced the launch of its extensive "Be Alpha" campaign that will connect creators of all types with the brand and its ever-growing roster of talented photographers and videographers.

"We're extremely proud of achieving No. 1 overall share in Full-frame cameras in the US market, as well as holding a strong No. 1 share in the mirrorless market for six years running," said Neal Manowitz, vice president of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. "More than anything, we owe this to our community. It is our pleasure to create for you, the true creators. You pushed us to innovate, to change, to continually adapt, and your voice remains core to everything we do."

Manowitz added, "To 'Be Alpha' is to be a leader, to be an innovator, to stand out amongst the crowd. It represents everything we stand for as a brand. Our campaign will celebrate the extended Sony community while also shining a light on the topics that we are most passionate about – diversity, conservation, equality and much more."

Sony's "Be Alpha" movement will be headlined by a series of community events in major markets throughout North America in 2018 and beyond, beginning with the official launch event on August 19th, World Photography Day, in New York City. The campaign will encourage all creators to get involved by sharing their own "Be Alpha" content on all relevant social platforms while tagging #BeAlpha. The "Be Alpha" campaign will also feature programs that are designed to foster growth in both the current and next generations of imaging professionals, the most notable of which being the flagship "Alpha Female" program. This multi-tiered, female exclusive program is Sony's thoughtful response to the imaging industry's well-documented diversity challenges. It will include a variety of grants and mentorship opportunities for female photographers and videographers, as well as the production of several large-scale industry events. Additional details to be released soon.

All key information regarding Sony's "Be Alpha" movement, including the campaign launch video, will be hosted at www.alphauniverse.com/BeAlpha. This page will be continually updated with information on new events, content pieces and more.

A variety of additional stories and exciting new content shot with Sony products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com , Sony's community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.

Source: The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Detachable Lens Camera, Sensor Size: Full Frame, Based on dollar and unit sales, Jan. - June 2018.

Source: Sony internal historical data sources.

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Sony A7R III, rear

Reader comments

Luc O writes:

Indeed, this news about US sales and market shares by SONY is impressive. However, as European and as former financial analyst, I would like to add a grain of salt about this news:

- despite US success in market share, I have not heard that Sony camera sales represent significant market share in Europe. By looking at cameras in streets in European cities, since years, I keep being surprised by the small numbers of alpha cameras among tourists, technophilic friends and even professional photographers (I know only one brave who turned into Sony last year )

- Asiatic tourists in Europe use mostly smartphone..and Canon/Nikon (if used) cameras seem more frequent than Sony alpha cameras.

- there could be several reasons:
(a) smaller Mirrorless market share in Europe
(b) Mirrorless market in Europe could be led by Olympus
(c) bad reputation of Sony in Europe: for Sony, camera sales seems to remain a niche market in contrast to PS4 sales. As such, there is a risk of sudden change of company strategy as Sony is notorious for such changes. European customers trust Sony for high end TV and PS4 but not the rest.

Anyway, fact is that innovation with Sony Alpha 7 is impressive and my guess is that Sony will increase its market share in Europe.

DIGLLOYD: I have little insight into the European market, but I do have insight into my own sales: interest in DSLR cameras and lenses is very low.

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