Looking at the Digital Camera Market in 2013 we can see the importance of the Compact Camera type in terms of unit sales. This was a world where the use of smart phone cameras was growing and starting to bite into the sales of more traditional stand alone cameras. Still the signature seasonal roller coaster ride especially for the compact camera. DSLR's were still king of quality whilst Mirrorless were slowing creeping up in sales.
So the pattern of total shipments value shows a similar seasonal pattern but identifies just how important the DSLR market was. Now clearly the biggest type sector but also with further potential sales of lenses and other accessories it was the sector that mattered most. Whilst Mirrorless had a steady year there was a surge in overall value towards the end of the year.
The slide in overall sales in all types continued into and throughout 2014. Shipments are down in all types with a slightly smoother flow throughout the seasons. Compacts still rule the quantity market whilst there is little evidence the Mirrorless market is catching the DSLR in terms of unit sales. Total market values may show a different story.
During 2014 there was a significant decline in the global total value of shipments of compacts and DSLR's but a steady rise in Mirrorless. DSLR's still proved the biggest market type whilst compacts waned most in overall value.
The camera market has seen a large downturn in unit volume so far so 2015 was a crunch year. Could the slide be halted or even reversed. Whilst the slide in units was still there the pace has definitely slowed down. Compacts continue to shrink in units but DSLR's are just about holding on to units shipped. Mirrorless had shown good growth both during the summer sales period and now also the winter holiday season. However, another dip towards the end of the year has put a dint the prospects for each major camera manufacturer.
2015 has been a more erratic year with compacts running at 85.5% of same period last year, DSLR's at 91.6% and Mirrorless at 108.9% of total shipment values. Mirrorless had made good progress but there appears to be a weakening towards the end of the year. DSLR's have seen a more erratic year in terms of total value, perhaps as prices are cut to compete with high end compacts and mirrorless cameras.
The market share that Compact cameras enjoyed in units shipped has shrunk greatly since 2013. Down from 72.7% to 63.1% in 2015. DSLR's have gained in market share to 27.4% as have Mirrorless to 9.5% but that means little in the context of a shrinking overall market.
From a total value point of view DSLR's have had the biggest market share and have increased that share to nearly 50% but now starting to pull back. DSLR's still control the market as they can be quickly reduced in price to counter competition. Mirrorless have made gains at the expense of Compact cameras taking 16.9% of the market by value and growing. It will be interesting to see if Mirrorless can hold off the advance of the high value, high quality Compact cameras with fixed lenses being introduced into the market.
So the 12 month trend is down over the market in terms of unit sales with Compacts leading the fall. DSLR's have slipped but now leveling out on unit sales this year, 2015, whilst Mirrorless slipped but are now recovering.
In terms of Yen value the DSLR's have overtaken the Compact as the biggest market. Mirrorless have gained in value. As we move to the close of the year Compact and DSLR's have started to slip again in value whilst Mirrorless make good progress. What about unit value for each type?
Unit value has risen steadily for all types. Mirrorless however has seen a number of step increases over the last 2 years. This may well be due to some high spec Mirrorless camera launches that have increased the average unit value. Mirrorless are poised to overtake DSLR's in unit value as DSLR values are cut to boost sales. Will the DSLR's fall from grace, probably but not for some time yet.
The digital camera market started 2015 with hopes of a change of fortune with global economies stabilizing, better employment and a more positive outlook. The first half of the year must have given further hope that this was the case. Sadly the second half was to dash those expectations. We saw a return to falling unit sales although average unit cost have risen as more buyers opt for quality. Compact Cameras continued their heavy decline in units shipped but unit value increased as more advanced compacts hit the market. Mirrorless have made inroads into the high end market but falling DSLR prices mean they are still way below in unit volume.