CIPA has published the reports concerning the sales of digital cameras and lenses for 2014, which show that people are buying fewer and fewer digital imaging products.
As all companies adhering to CIPA have handed in their reports for 2015, the Camera & Imaging Products Association has published its own reports to reveal the total amount of digital camera and lens sales for the past year.
The predictions of analysts have been accurate, as the sales of compacts, DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and lenses have decreased in 2014 when compared to 2013 and 2012.
One thing that is worth noting before delving into the article is the fact that CIPA is tracking the shipments amount towards authorized sellers and retailers. However, the exact amount of sales should be similar to the shipments one.
CIPA reveals digital camera shipments 2014 report
According to CIPA, more than 43.4 million digital cameras were shipped in 2014. This is about 30.9% lower than the volume shipped in 2013, when 62.8 million units were shipped.
The digital camera shipments 2014 plunge is not as significant as in 2013, when shipments dropped by 36% compared to 2012’s volume. However, it is worth reminding that more than 98.1 million units were shipped in 2012, which means that the 2014 volume is more than two times lower than just two years ago.
Such a major drop is due to the European and the Americas markets. Shipments are down 32.5% in Europe and down 37.8% in the Americas.
Compact cameras are once again the main culprit for the shipment volume plunge
The hardest hit has been the compact camera segment. The number of compacts sold is bigger than the total amount of interchangeable lens cameras sold, but it is down by 35.3% when compared to 2013.
CIPA says that 29.5 million fixed-lens cameras were shipped in 2014, while 45.7 million units were shipped in 2013.
The drop is not as huge in Japan as in other markets. Shipments have decreased by 28.9% in Japan, while in Europe and the Americas they have dropped by 32.9% and 42.5%, respectively.
Mirrorless camera sales are stabilizing, while DSLR sales continue to drop
A significant drop in shipments has been recorded when it comes to interchangeable lens cameras, including DSLRs and mirrorless models.
More than 13.8 million units were shipped last year across the world, which represented a decrease of 19.2% compared to 2013, when 17.1 million units were shipped.
In the ILC segment, over 10.5 million units were DSLRs, down 23.7% when compared to 2013. The plunge is attributed to a slow European market, where shipments have dropped by 37% year-over-year.
The fall would have been bigger if it were not for mirrorless cameras. More than 3.2 million units were shipped last year, which is just a 0.5% decrease compared to 2013. Although in Asia and Japan the sales of MILCs are down, in Europe and the Americas they have grown by 7.9% and 18.5% year-over-year, respectively.
Although DSLR shipments are superior to mirrorless shipments, the report proves that European and American consumers are finally starting to adopt mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.
It is worth noting that mirrorless sales went down by 18.1% in Japan, which is considered a surprise, as these models have been known to thrive in this market. However, CIPA’s numbers show that the European market has almost equaled the one in Japan: 724,423 units shipped in Europe and 724,775 shipped in Japan.
Almost no reasons for joy in the lens business, as well
Things are not all roses on the lens market. As the sales of digital cameras are down, the same thing can be said about lenses for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
CIPA’s report shows that over 22.9 million lenses were shipped in 2014, a 14.1% decrease when compared to 2013’s shipments of 26.6 million units. Once again, this drop can be attributed to the European sector, where shipments have decreased by 22.7% year-over-year.
The report also shows that most of the shipped lenses are designed for cameras with APS-C-sized or smaller sensors and that these shipments are the ones that dropped the most.
About 17 million lenses for APS-C or smaller cameras were shipped last year, meaning that the volume has plunged by 16.9%. It has become a habit to blame the European market, but this is where the sales of APS-C or smaller lenses have dropped by about 27.1%.
On the other hand, more than 5.8 million lenses for full frame cameras were sold in 2014, a 4.7% decrease when compared to 2013’s volume. In this segment, we should note that shipments of full frame lenses have increased by 11.5% in Japan.
What could happen in 2015?
CIPA has not given any predictions for 2015, anybody can see that the digital imaging market is unstable. However, some trends are easily noticeable. The mirrorless industry could grow in 2015, as it has only dropped a small percentage in 2014, so a growth is just one step away.
Canon has recently launched the EOS M3 in Europe and Asian markets. However, after seeing the CIPA 2014 report, the company should reconsider its strategy and bring the mirrorless camera to the Americas, as well.
DSLRs should not be counted out for the time being, as the sales volume is significantly bigger than the mirrorless one. We will have to wait and see how this turns out. Stay tuned to Camyx to find out!