Smartphones taking their toll on compact camera shipments

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Smartphones taking their toll on compact camera shipments

CIPA has compiled a detailed report regarding the sales of DSLRs, mirrorless, and compact cameras throughout 2013.

The financial reports of digital camera manufacturers are becoming a little too complicated for  people who are not experts in economics and statistics.

They seem to be aimed only at experts who want to find out how the companies are doing. However, there are some whisperers claiming that Nikon, Canon, Sony, and others are trying to hide the fact that they are doing really bad in terms of shipments.

Either way, the Camera & Imaging Products Association, commonly known as CIPA, is always compiling detailed reports to show everyone how digital camera makers have fared in a specific period of time.

As most companies have revealed their earnings for the last quarter of 2013, CIPA has released its statistics for January-December 2013. For those of you who do not want to get lost in the details, you should know that we have drawn a few simple conclusions and we have decided to share the findings with you.

Compact camera shipments have been dreadful throughout 2013

Digital cameras shipments 2003-2013
Digital camera shipments across the world between 2003 and 2013, according to CIPA report.

First of all, compact camera shipments have been “maintaining” their steady decline as about 45.7 million have been shipped between January 2013 and December 2013. As smartphone sales are increasing, sales of compacts are going down at a rapid, but already-predicted rate.

To put things into perspective, more than 98 million compact camera units have been shipped in 2012 and more than 115 million in 2011, respectively.

Unfortunately, there are some major problems when it comes to system cameras, such as the DSLRs, too. About 13.8 million DSLR-like units have been shipped in 2013, down from 16.2 million in 2012.

In 2011, the manufacturers have shipped about 15.6 million units, therefore it has been a major surprise that the DSLR sales have not increased last year.

The third quick conclusion is that mirrorless camera shipments are going well in Japan. However, Europeans and Americans are still failing to adopt this type of shooters, which probably proves why Canon is reluctant to launch the Canon EOS M2 in markets other than Japan.

Either way, MILC shipments have also gone down in Japan, albeit at smaller rates compared to other markets.

Mirrorless camera shipments are still “thriving” in Japan

Digital camera shipped regions 2013 vs 2012
Distribution of digital camera sales across various regions in 2013 compared to 2012.

Mirrorless camera shipments have recorded an amount above 316,000 units during December 2013 . Last year’s total shipments have reached 3.3 million, which is down from the 3.9 million units shipped in 2012.

More than 880,000 units have been dispatched to Japanese retailers in 2013 out of the aforementioned total. Sales of MILCs are going well across Asia and they would be even greater if the rest of the world followed the same path.

The distribution ratios show that 43.43% of all mirrorless units shipped in December 2013 have found a home in Japan. As for the whole 12 months of 2013, this ratio stands at 26.8%, which still is an impressive percentage.

DSLR camera shipments going down everywhere except Japan

Digital camera shipments distribution 2013
The distribution of all digital camera shipments in 2013, including DSLRs, compacts, and mirrorless models.

For those of you who want to learn more, you should know that there is some bad news for the DSLR market, too. As stated above, more than 13.8 million units have found their way into a store last year, a decrease of 2.4 million units when compared to 2012.

As for the distribution, more than 4.7 million units have been moved by Europeans, 3.6 million by Americans, and only 1.4 million by the Japanese folks.

CIPA says that the DSLR shipments have decreased by almost 22% in Europe year-over-year, down from almost 6.1 million units back in 2012.

A rather unexpected fact is that Japan has moved about 40% more DSLRs in 2013 when compared to 2012, a period that has seen manufacturers ship about one million units across the Asian country.

What’s next for digital cameras?

Although DSLR shipments are still decent in Europe, while mirrorless models are doing really well in Japan, the shipments have gone down worldwide. This is something that CIPA has noticed in the past, as illustrated by last year’s report.

CIPA has also released its forecast for 2014. It appears that the total shipments will decrease once again by almost 20% with compacts taking the biggest hit this year.

According to CIPA, the amount of compact cameras shipped in 2013 has reached the levels of 2003. As the “year of the horse” is not showing any good signs, it means that compact shipments will go below the amounts recorded in 2003.

The total digital camera shipments have reached 62.8 million units in 2013, fewer than the 64.7 million amount registered in 2005. With a 20% drop, shipments will go down to 50 million this year, an amount comparable to the 2003 and 2004 levels.

Although predictions are really grim for 2014, we will continue to monitor worldwide camera shipments, so stay tuned for more information!

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Smartphones taking their toll on compact camera shipments