Friday, 1 January 2010

Market shares in Japan

Update: I have compiled newer statistics based on 2010, which supersede this material.

The Japan market shares are usually published every year. The figures comprise system camera units sold in Japan, mostly DSLRs, but the new Micro Four Thirds cameras are included as well. Only the 20 camera models with the largest sold volumes are included in the statistics. Other camera models, with less sales than these, are in the "Others" category.

I have concatenated the 2009 statistics (as at Dec 23rd) with the 2008 statistics, to be able to see the development better:

To make it easier to digest, I have split the figures into camera systems:

Before starting to comment on these figures, it is useful to note that the "Others" category is larger in 2009. This means that the volume of the smallest camera models has increased. We don't know how large the volume of various camera systems are here, but it is reasonable to guess that we would find some more Olympus, Sony and Nikon models in the 2009 "Others" category.

Canon has held their market share remarkably well. It is also worth noting that the full frame camera Canon 5D Mark II has a fairly high market share at 2.1%.

Nikon appears to have lost significant market shares, which must be very bad news for them. On the other hand, it is reasonable to guess that they have somewhat more volume in the "Others" category in 2009, with, e.g., the Nikon D300 and Nikon D700.

Sony must also be very disappointed, with less than 50% of the 2008 market shares. Again, though, they probably have more camera models in "Others" in 2009.

Pentax have succeeded with their strategy of launching entry models packed with features.

Olympus have only got one Four Thirds model in the 2009 list of the twenty most sold camera models, compared with three in the 2008 list. On the other hand, the E-P1 camera has been very popular, and made up for the lost Four Thirds units.

The Micro Four Thirds system has a total of 11.5% of the new sales in Japan in 2009, which I think is very remarkable. After all, the system was launched in 2008, and only two small players in the system camera market are behind it.


For the fiscal year 2007 (actually only January through November), I could only find DSLR sales in summary form: Nikon 43.3%, Canon 39.9% and Pentax 6.3%, with the other producers being smaller.


This table contains DSLR market shares in Japan by December 2006, for the largest ten camera models. I find it hard to believe that the D40 has already captured 15.5% of the total market in December 2006, since it was introduced the same month. However, this table might have been adjusted for the introduction time of each model.

Summary 2006-2009

All of this information can be summarized into one table, but please be aware that the numbers are not entirely comparable from year to year. Still, there is a trend to be seen.

2005-2009 from another source

BCNranking has published statistics for the three most sold brands within interchangeable lens cameras, meaning DSLRs and hybrid systems like Micro Four Thirds. This table shows the same trend as the other material:

We can see that while Canon has had a stable marked share the most recent years, they have actually had a significant decline when looking back five years. Also, Nikon had a good period around 2007, probably due to the launch of D40, but has not been able to sustain the growth.

Panasonic is the big surprise in 2009, with a third place due to the Micro Four Thirds bodies, probably mostly the G1, having been on the market for the whole 2009.

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