Compact Camera Shipments Sink to New Low - H1 2018

The shipment figures for the first half of 2018 have been released by CIPA. These figures relate to the Japanese companies that account for the majority of worldwide sales of stand-alone cameras.


At the start of 2018 hopes were for a -9% fall in the shipments of Compact cameras over the whole year. That is cameras with fixed lenses as opposed to interchangeable lenses. The long-running saga of the demise of these types of cameras has been the focus of these pages. A demise largely brought about by the preference of Smartphones as point and shoot cameras.

Last year saw a 5.7% rise in units shipped but this was from a low base following the well-documented production problems in Japan. Bearing in mind the overall downward trajectory of these cameras in unit sales, the question is, would this improvement continue in 2018 or not?

The total Compact Camera units shipped in 2017 was given as 13.3 million units. CIPA predicted that would fall to 11.3 million units in 2018, a fall of -9%. Given we are now halfway through the year, how is that looking?

The total Compact Cameras shipped in the H1 of 2018 was 4.175 million units. If we go back to the last normal year of production, 2015, 48% of the years’ Compact cameras were shipped in the first half of the year. In 2014, 46% were shipped in the first half, and 2013 saw 48% shipped before July.

So it is fair to say that we should have at least 46% of the expected cameras shipped by now. Hence, we should be looking for at least 5.1 million unit shipped. This means we are down a further 18% on expectation and a full 40% on the same period the previous year.

What about Total Market Value?

The total market value is following the unit sales down but with just a mere -31.7 fall from the same period in 2017. Keeping the money flowing requires that manufacturers produce higher value cameras.

What is happening to Average Camera Value?

The average price of a Digital Compact Camera has been steadily increasing as the low end is replaced by better SmartPhone cameras. The average price is still only around $185, so there is still a lot of low-cost units making up the total market. This is bound to go up as the market shifts to the high priced specialist cameras.

proMuser Take

These figures just confirm the anecdotal evidence that there has been another major move away from these type of stand-alone cameras. Even though many new models with high-specification have been developed recently, interest continues to plummet.

Those enthusiasts with a larger budget to spend are concluding the Mirrorless CSC offers better value and future proofing. This will have a large bearing on where manufacturers spend their R&D budgets and inevitably lead to fewer new Compact Cameras coming to market.

This will not impact the enthusiasm of people to take photos as there are plenty of newer forms of camera, such as Smartphones, Tablets, Action Cameras, Drones and more. Most of which are not produced by the major Japanese camera manufacturers. Photography is still very much alive.