The BCN Awards for technology products sold in Japan have been released again to cover the year 2016. These awards are based on actual sales and represent the majority of all sales for each category. They provide a good way of seeing how the major Camera Brands have performed throughout the year.
The compact camera market is becoming less desirable and hence more spread out as manufacturers head for more profitable niches. Of those listed Canon again had the largest share with 27.3% but this has to be taken into context with disrupted production caused by the April earthquake that effected the outcome.
Nikon came in second with a slightly improved 22.1% of sales followed by Casio who jumped up to 19.3% of total sales. This still left nearly a third to the other brands.
There are really only three brands of DSLR's on the market. Again topping the sales list is Canon with 63.3% an increase from 56.2% in 2015. Nikon run in second place again with 31.6% and down from 36.7% the previous year. That is nearly a 12% swing towards Canon. Coming in third was Ricoh-Pentax with a drop to 4.8% up from 6.7% in 2015
Mirrorless camera sector has been much more competitive with positions changing hands. Olympus maintain top position but with 26.8% down from 34.5% the previous year, of unit sales. Canon shoot into second place with 18.5% and Sony meanwhile drop back to third with just 17.9% of unit sales. Given Sony’s desire to buy up the market that is going to hurt.
What the figures don’t show is that 36.8% of the market went to other brands, mainly Fujifilm and Panasonic. Both must be close to Sony in third position.
Canon again show that high quality, uncompromising cameras that are straight forward and priced right will always win the day. Gimmicks and gadgets (read 4K video) are just is not necessary.
On the DSLR front, Nikon have slipped back in the wake of Canons onslaught. They are hampered by their relationship with Sony and appear to be heading, nowhere.
Sony have a lot invested in the camera business and pose the biggest threat to Canon. Their full-frame alpha series are doing well but they need to kill off the dead SLT technology and concentrate on what customers really want.
Olympus have had a difficult time as a business but continue to produce high quality innovative cameras. Their PEN-F and OMD 1 MkII are examples of this. If they keep this up they will always find a niche in the camera business.
To me, Fujifilm are the years biggest surprise. Not on these awards but they have produced by far the best, most saleable camera, the X-T2. Again, they are reverting to a niche market, but a very profitable one if they keep it small.