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Lens Buyer's Guide. Panasonic GH4 review.

My lens reviews: Olympus 9mm f/8 fisheye, Lumix G 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6, Leica 25mm f/1.4, Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8, Lumix X 35-100mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm f/2.8, Sigma 19mm f/2.8, Lumix X PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6, Lumix X PZ 45-175mm f/4-5.6, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Panasonic Lumix G 100-300mm f/4-5.6, Panasonic Leica Lumix DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro, Panasonic Lumix G 45-200mm f/4-5.6, Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 pancake, Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 pancake, Panasonic Lumix G HD 14-140mm f/4-5.8, Panasonic Lumix G HD 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6, Panasonic Lumix G 8mm f/3.5 fisheye, Lumix G 7-14mm f/4, Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye, Tokina 300mm f/6.3 mirror reflex tele, Lensbaby 5.8mm f/3.5 circular fisheye lens
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Tuesday 10 January 2012

Camera sales statistics from Japan

BCN Ranking produce camera sales statistics from Japan of many kinds. The most interesting, from my point of view, is the category "interchangeable lens cameras". This includes DSLR cameras, typically sold as kits, and mirrorless cameras, including Micro Four Thirds, Sony NEX, Samsung NX, and so on.

Here are the yearly statistics of the 20 most sold models in this category, with 2011 to the right:

To make the statistics more useful, I have compiled it into categories, given by the lens mount. Keep in mind that the percentages are taken from the 20 most selling models only (for 2008-2011):

There is a lot to comment about these statistics. Regarding the big two, Canon and Nikon, Nikon had a smash hit with the D40 in 2006. But since that time, Canon has taken over the leading role.

Pentax were also rather large with the K10D in 2006, offering good features at a reasonable price, but has not been able to retain the same market share since. Their newer models have not had the same combination of value for money and features, in my opinion.

Sony launched their DSLR series aggressively in 2008, and got a very healthy initial market share. Two years later, they repeated the same strategy with the mirrorless Sony NEX system, getting pretty much the same market share.

Micro Four Thirds, of course, has grown quite well in Japan, and are now quite close to Nikon in terms of market share. M4/3 is much more successful than Four Thirds ever was. Olympus has three models on the top twenty list in 2008, but their DSLR models have never since made any significant market impression.

The Panasonic G10 was probably intended to be a volume model, with a low retail cost. Perhaps Panasonic hoped to get a Nikon D40 like hit with it. However, we see that it did not reach the to 20 list at all, and that may be why it was discontinued rather soon.

Also worth noting is that Canon have had two models on the list for three consecutive years: The Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the Canon EOS 7D. This shows that Canon have been able to design camera models that stay relevant and desireable for a long time, however, I anticipate that both are due for a replacement in 2012.


  1. Interesting! Are these figures domestic sales in Japan or do they show global marketshares by Japanese manufacturers? :) Tony

  2. The statistics are from camera sales in Japan only, as I understand the BCN Ranking source.