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Camera and lens shipments dropped again in 2015

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Camera and lens shipments dropped again in 2015

The Camera & Imaging Products Association has published the digital camera and lens sales report for 2015, showing that shipments of both cameras and lenses have dropped in 2015 compared to 2014.

It is that time of the year again. Companies are revealing their camera and lens shipments, while the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) is raking up the numbers and compiling a report to see how many units have been shipped throughout the past year.

While some people had hoped that shipments will remain at 2014 levels in 2015, it seems like there is still room to decrease further. Unfortunately, camera and lens sales have dropped once again in 2015 and there are little to no encouraging signs for the digital imaging market.

CIPA reveals report detailing camera and lens shipments in 2015

The latest CIPA report is showing that almost 35.4 million cameras were shipped from January to December 2015. This amount is 18.5% lower than the total of digital shooters shipped throughout 2014, when they reached more than 43.4 million units.

digital camera sales 2015
Digital camera sales in 2015 compared to 2014 and 2013.

The worst month of the year was December. Digital camera manufacturers recorded a huge drop in sales in the last month of 2015, as only 2.1 million units were shipped. Considering the fact that 3.2 million cameras were sold in December 2014, it means that year-over-year shipments dropped by more than 35% in December 2015.

On the other hand, the best month of 2015 was October, when over 3.7 million units were sold. Nevertheless, it was still a 17.5% drop compared to October 2014, when 4.5 million cameras were shipped.

Compact camera segment continued to shrink at an alarming rate

As usual, compact cameras underperformed. CIPA’s report shows that shipments of fixed-lens cameras reached 22.3 million units in 2015, a 24.5% drop compared to 2014, when 29.5 million compacts were shipped.

compact camera sales 2015
Compact camera shipments have dropped once again in dramatic fashion.

Fixed-lens camera sales have been particularly poor in December 2015. Only 1.2 million units were shipped, which amounts to a drop of 45.1%. When it comes to a region, this type of cameras performed badly in Asia throughout the whole year, as shipments decreased by 35.9% year-over-year.

It is worth noting that compacts have not done so bad in Europe. The sales dropped by 14.3% in this region, however, they have done far worse in other parts of the world.

CIPA has revealed that shipments dropped by 25.6% in Japan and by 29.6% in the Americas. Furthermore, they dropped by 35.9% in the rest of Asia (except Japan) and by 38.5% in other areas of the globe.

By the looks of it, compact camera shipments will continue to drop dramatically in 2016, despite the fact that Nikon has just revealed three new premium models earlier this year.

DSLR sales down, mirrorless camera shipments up

Shipments of digital interchangeable lens camera dropped, too. However, the drop has not reached compact camera levels. A little over 13 million units were sold in 2015, 5.7% fewer than in 2014, when 13.8 million units were shipped.

interchangeable lens camera sales 2015
Consumers have also bought fewer interchangeable lens cameras in 2015 compared to 2014 and 2013.

Out of the 13 million interchangeable lens cameras, 9.7 million were SLRs. The report confirms that the amount is 8% lower than in 2014, as 10.5 million SLRs were shipped by camera makers during that period.

Perhaps the only good news is coming from the mirrorless segment. CIPA has confirmed that 3.3 million MILCs have been sold in 2015, which means that sales increased by 1.7% compared to the 3.2 million unit sold a year before.

Still, mirrorless camera sales continued to drop in Japan. Fewer than 650,000 units were shipped in this area, amounting to a decrease of approximately 10% year-over-year. However, shipments increased by 2.1% in Europe, by 10.8% in the Americas, and by 5.1% in other parts of Asia (except Japan).

The worst month of 2015 for all interchangeable lens cameras was January. Digital imaging companies sold only about 826,000 units during this month, following a YoY drop of 8.5%.

Interchangeable lenses also performed worse in 2015 than in 2014

The final category of the report consists of interchangeable lenses. CIPA revealed that companies shipped 5.5% fewer optics between January and December 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, meaning that sales have decreased about as much as the ones of interchangeable lens cameras.

interchangeable lens sales 2015
Digital imaging companies are also selling fewer lenses than before.

The total amount of lenses sold in 2015 reached 21.6 million units, so the drop is not as big as the one in 2014 compared to 2013. Back in 2014, almost 23 million lenses were sold across the globe.

Getting back to 2015, data shows that 15.9 million units were designed for cameras sensors smaller than 35mm. Most of them were sold in Asia, as shipments topped 7.3 million, while in Europe and the Americas sales got past the 4 million mark in each region.

Some positive signs are coming from lenses developed for the full-frame format. In Japan, Europe, and the Americas shipments have increased by 7.4%, 2.2%, and 0.9%, respectively. Moreover, sales grew in other areas except Asia, Europe, and the Americas by an impressive 32%.

Unfortunately, it was not enough, as overall shipments reached only 5.6 million units, meaning that they dropped by 3.2% in 2015 vs. 2014.

The exact numbers and more details can be found at CIPA’s website.

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Camera and lens shipments dropped again in 2015