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Canon, Nikon & Sony Surge as Photo Industry Rebounds

Financial results show signs of recovery for camera manufacturers
Hero photo of Canon EOS R5

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Imaging Resource.

After years of tepid growth and even shrinkage in the camera market, it appears that economic conditions are back on the rise. Late last month, DPReview wrote about Canon’s second quarter financial results, which showed a 101% net increase in sales year over year. It’s great news for Canon following a significant loss of $189M USD during the same quarter in 2020.

Digicame-Info published an article over the weekend that outlines the results of a major Nikkei Shimbun survey in Japan that discusses global market share across many industries, including the camera industry. In the survey, we see an overall shrinking of the digital camera market but a gain in the market for Canon, which holds a whopping 47.9% market share among survey respondents, up from 45.4% the year before.

In second place, Sony holds a 22.1% share, up nearly 2%. In fourth place with 5.7% market share, Fujifilm also gained, although to a lesser degree. Of course, if some companies are getting a larger piece of the pie, others must be losing out. Nikon, who maintains a healthy hold on third place with a 13.7% share, took a hit of -4.9%. Panasonic rounded out the top five and lost a small amount of market share (-0.3%).

What stands out is primarily the large market share Canon holds in the latest survey and Nikon’s difficult position. With that said, Nikon is making excellent mirrorless Z cameras, and lenses and its new Z fc camera is poised to become popular. Some of Nikon’s recent lenses, including its fantastic Nikkor Z 105mm f/2.8 VR S macro lens, have been difficult to find due to high demand. Nikon is doing a lot right, and it’ll be interesting to see how that impacts survey results next year.

Despite losing some market share, Nikon’s first quarter financial results look good. As noted by Nikon Rumors, Nikon saw a year-over-year increase in revenue across all segments and an increase in profit in the imaging business of $158M USD. Nikon’s mirrorless cameras and lenses have driven ‘significant recovery’ in its imaging products business. Nikon also stated that ‘mirrorless and high-priced interchangeable lenses have enjoyed strong sales on recovery in demand for cameras.’

Sony is also experiencing a good recovery in its camera business. Per Sony Alpha Rumors, Sony’s revenue in its still and video camera segment increased about 150% year over year to just over $1B USD. You can read Sony’s full FY2021 financial results here but suffice it to say, they’re experiencing a strong recovery following a very difficult 2020.

Still, Canon’s performance is impressive. To gain share, especially relative to Sony, Nikon and Panasonic, Canon’s primary competition in the full-frame mirrorless market, is an impressive accomplishment. Per Canon itself, it’s an accomplishment driven largely by strong sales of the Canon EOS R5 and R6 full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Canon’s recent success led the company to update its projections, increasing its expected net sales throughout the fiscal year 2021 by 9.6%. Canon anticipates strong demand for its cameras, which is not only good news for Canon but good news for the photo industry. The industry has been hit hard by decreased demand for cameras, even before the pandemic.

It will be interesting to see how an expanding RF lens lineup and the upcoming Canon EOS R3 flagship mirrorless camera affects Canon’s performance through the rest of the fiscal year. The initial signs are very positive.

Via Canon Rumors 

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