Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Andrew Reid

Market for DSLRs shrinking dramatically and why Canon / Nikon are to blame

Recommended Posts

DSLR shipments 2014

Data from CIPA, via Personal-View

For years on EOSHD I've said that if Canon and Nikon don't innovate with their DSLRs and transition to high end mirrorless technology they risk jeopardising their business.

This advice has been met with an arrogance built on a decade of increasing sales. Now in an era of falling shipments both companies have blamed smartphones and the world economy. This is completely unacceptable.

It's the products. They're just not good enough.

The peak sales periods in each year are normally June and November. According to data from CIPA overall yearly shipments have halved in two years. 800,000 DSLRs in June 2014 of all makes but mostly Canon & Nikon shipped from factories compared to 1.2 million the year before and 1.6m in June 2012.

Meanwhile sales at mirrorless system camera manufacturer Olympus are up 22% year on year. There's something even more telling from Olympus in America, previously a market where mirrorless has been a failure, sales in this region saw a huge 70% gain for the OM range. This is despite massive competition from Sony with the A7, etc. Panasonic and Fuji's X range.

Read the full article here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Considering the accomplishments of GH4 and A7S, not including 4K ( internal or external ) in 7D2 would be suicidal at this point. Given that we can now easily migrate Canon lenses to other systems like Sony/Panasonic, cutting edge body specs are more important than ever. Canon is on thin ice here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup. Its a constant source of bewilderment to me that the only full frame camera manufacturer that has no vertical integration to worry about is not producing video cameras. Nikon could produce a raw video camera with their incredible dynamic range for $3k that would sell like hotcakes. They desperately need a mirrorless evf solution. They need someone with just the teensiest bit of vision and forward thinking to capitalise on some of their technologies which are still market leading. I've given up on canon. They've got too many reasons to cripple their Lower segment cameras. I would've sold my last one if it wasn't for magic lantern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering the accomplishments of GH4 and A7S, not including 4K ( internal or external ) in 7D2 would be suicidal at this point.

Doubtful given that their primary customer base is photographers. Suicidal for their lower end video market I suppose. It'd be nice but I'm sure it won't happen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, but it's only natural that sales drop over time.
 

Three major reasons why :

- normal people don't buy a new camera every single year, most people who buy a DSLR will use it for 3-5 years minimum before buying a new model.  Not all of us use them professionally or need to have the newest equipment the moment it comes out.

- the moment people replace their camera, their DSLR is being sold second hand.  The second hand camera market follows the new product market with a delay of 3-5 years.  Which means that the new DSLR's from 5 years ago are now changing hands.   To new owners who are NOT buying a new DSLR.  But will probably use their second hand camera for minimum 2 years.

- there's an economical crisis that affects the camera market too.

 

This is not exclusive to DSLR's.

New car sales in the Netherlands for example have dropped to the lowest level in 45 years.

 

And then to specifically blame Canon and Nikon for this doesn't make any sense.

 

Percentages don't tell a story here.  Considering that Olympus isn't shipping the numbers that Canon and Nikon are doing, absolute numbers would tell a more accurate story.  Also, people switch brands, so a decline in sales for Canon will automatically benefit other brands.  The point is, you need much more accurate data before jumping to these wild conclusions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And it doesn't have to be mirrorless, they just could stop making them so gigantic. Big is good for a lot of things, but a small option would be great. 

Just look how small,"fullframe" with mirror and f-mount:

 

10692436833_53c17fe018_z.jpg

http://www.threeguyswithcameras.com/2013/11/three-guys-first-thoughts-nikon-df

 

They just have to optimize the space needed for the sensor, and the screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And it doesn't have to be mirrorless, they just could stop making them so gigantic. Big is good for a lot of things, but a small option would be great. 

Just look how small,"fullframe" with mirror and f-mount:

 

10692436833_53c17fe018_z.jpg

 

They just have to optimize the space needed for the sensor, and the screen.

Hmm, that's a very familiar photo. I wonder who took it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry Andrew but you are speculating. As an economist your are a great cinematographer.

I will also speculate that their market is not on Cinematography but rather Still Photography, and the Canon 7D (e.g.) still is a great powerful Camera cutting it in many pro areas. Their cinema market is not as big as all these blogs may make us believe, Nikon and Canon know that their competition lies on RED, Blackmagic, Sony Video and Panasonic Video, even ARRIFLEX, companies that have eons of establishment over these two, in the TV AND FILM Industry, so they have to support the community they already know, photography.

 

All areas of growth have a curve and the tendency is to level once their market has reached a ceiling. Their products are excellent and there lies the reason why many photographers refuse to acquire newer equipment, when their bottom line is still growing. You could go back to 15 years of statistics and will find the same economic conundrum. Its about making the buck, not about having the latest equipment.  

 

I personally still have a powerful 7D that has more lives than a Cat. Makes me money in corporate video. I did buy a 4K BMCC for those "pesky clients that want the latest", but find myself shooting over and over with the trusty 7D and its beautiful image. 

 

Love the Blog, but in this case I believe you are getting in territorial waters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally still have a powerful 7D that has more lives than a Cat. Makes me money in corporate video. I did buy a 4K BMCC for those "pesky clients that want the latest", but find myself shooting over and over with the trusty 7D and its beautiful image. 

 

Love the Blog, but in this case I believe you are getting in territorial waters.

 

You can't speculate with facts! The sales are down. Fact. Fact you have a 7D still after all these years, only reinforces my argument.

 

Please try better to argue the next time :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not as simple as pointing at the whole article and saying it is merely speculation because as I have already pointed out, it is an opinion piece based on some pretty hard facts.

 

Are you going to be one of these people who can't tell the difference between facts and opinion? The sales are down, fact. The products are to blame, my opinion. It's very simple, anyone who can read English well can separate the facts from opinion in an EOSHD article.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it's a fact that Nikon/Canon are to blame. The fact is that the total market is shrinking. DSLR sales are down, that's a fact too, but mirrorless doesn't take over the market share that is lost in the DSLR segment. Mirrorless hardly shows any growth. IMO, the only conclusion you can make is that the camera markt is shrinking. The rest is opinion (which is fine).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion...

 

If you separate high end mirrorless from low end, the growth in high end mirrorless is very promising.

 

It only looks like it's stagnating due to the low end 'smartphone step up' compact system cameras not selling very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't speculate with facts! The sales are down. Fact. Fact you have a 7D still after all these years, only reinforces my argument.

 

Please try better to argue the next time :)

 

Andrew,

 

I love your site, but I have to disagree.  You *are* speculating with the facts, we all are.  No one is arguing that sales are down, we're arguing about why sales are down.

 

On Oct 26, 2013, you wrote:

 

"Consumer digital camera sales are down 36% this year. Why? I think there are four reasons.

  • Smartphones
  • Satisfaction with current DSLRs
  • Lack of innovate products
  • Global economic downturn"

Today you wrote:

 

"Now in an era of falling shipments both companies have blamed smartphones and the world economy. This is completely unacceptable."

 

Just a year ago, you agreed in large portion with Nikon and Canon, but now you find those conclusions unacceptable.  Yet I contend that the points you now reject *are* the core reasons why the market has collapsed.  Nikon and Canon spent the last 10 years feeding the market with successively-lower cost product that improved substantially annually.  Unfortunately for them, technology and economics has caught up with them and now everyone has a smartphone that does probably 90% of everything the average buyer will ever do with a camera, and they likely aren't willing to pay $600 to get that extra 10%.  Do you disagree with last statement (of opinion)?

 

It's not too different from the computer market.  After years and years of increasingly powerful and more capable desktop computers with increasingly productive features, most people now have more computing power than they'll ever use, and they've stopped buying computers.  Instead, they're buying smaller and smaller devices, because even those devices are powerful enough to meet most of their computing needs.  The smartphone has done that to the digital camera business (and the computer business!).  What possible innovations could be performed on the desktop computer that would bring sales back to the good old days when most people are already happy with their tablet?  The same question could be asked of the digital camera market:

 

What innovations do you have in mind that *would* cause the average camera buyer to plunk down $1000 (or $700) on a new camera?  Do you really think that if Canon and Nikon both released killer mirrorless full-frame 4:2:2 4K [email protected] 14-stop DR with ND for $999 that sales would suddenly go back up to the good old days of 2012?  Do you know how many people actually care about those specs?  Pretty much everyone who routinely goes to this awesome website of yours, and almost no one else.

 

Yes, there was a compliment buried in there, we all love your site and your opinions, even if we disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, but it's only natural that sales drop over time.
 

Three major reasons why :

- normal people don't buy a new camera every single year, most people who buy a DSLR will use it for 3-5 years minimum before buying a new model.  Not all of us use them professionally or need to have the newest equipment the moment it comes out.

- the moment people replace their camera, their DSLR is being sold second hand.  The second hand camera market follows the new product market with a delay of 3-5 years.  Which means that the new DSLR's from 5 years ago are now changing hands.   To new owners who are NOT buying a new DSLR.  But will probably use their second hand camera for minimum 2 years.

 

This is very true and can't be said enough.  Canon and Nikon have done such a good job with the stills side of the equation most people don't have any need to upgrade.  Just because I am not upgrading every year doesn't mean I don't use my DSLR.  When these people are saying the "market for DSLRs has tanked" they mean people have gotten off the endless consumerisum treadmill of constantly upgrading gear.  That's bad for stock prices and bonuses for 1%ers but I fail to see how that is bad for me as a consumer. 

 

 

 

4u8k5l.jpg

 

From this graph we can see DSLRs have been in this territory before.  Two out of three times they have gone on to spike well above mirrorless sales.  I don't think anyone has the clairvoyance to definitively say "this time it's different."  I didn't predict video in the 5d MK II.  I didn't predict Blackmagic cameras.  So I am no wise sage that can pick significant inflection points.  But looking around I don't see anyone else accurately making those predictions either.

 

How can anyone say that the mirrorless market is somehow interchangable with the DSLR market.  When DSLR sales nose dive there is not an equal jump in mirroless sales.

 

Canon and Nikon for the most part know what they are going.  Their core DSLR customers are stills photographers.  If you go to photography forums mirrorless cameras are not taking over the forums.  This DSLR video thing was a short term thing that has run it's course.  I have a T3i and now a BMPCC.  I'm done with the hybrid camera thing for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your red line on the graph shows exactly what the problem is. The spikes are not random, they are seasonal and predictable. Every year in June there's a spike as people buy DSLRs for the summer holidays and every November there's a spike in the run up to Christmas.

 

We are now in September and shipments of DSLRs have been flat all summer, the peak months of June and July are half of what they were in 2012. Why?

 

2013 was already a disappointing year and now this.

 

There are many kinds of customers. The most casual gave up their DSLR and embraced the smartphone a long time ago, way before June of this year. What is different between the past 3 months and the same 3 months a year or 2 years ago?

 

Obviously there are multiple things at play here but the fact that DSLRs have not really fundamentally changed with the times and that Canon haven't really done anything genuinely new or interesting since the 5D Mark II in 2008, only reinforces my opinion that overall people are bored of the DSLRs in shops and don't feel the need to buy more.

 

PS - just seen a new Sony 4K TV, 49" starting at £999 in a shop near me. 4K can no longer be counted on to drive sales and margins it seems. You have to ask yourself why such a low price is necessary to get people to upgrade to 4K.

 

There's just no easy answer in all of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...