Facebook Pixel Massive Decline in Digital Camera Sales, Plus Nikon Sees Market Share Decrease

Massive Decline in Digital Camera Sales, Plus Nikon Sees Market Share Decrease

Earlier this week, Nikkei revealed the latest digital camera market trends.

And for camera manufacturers, things are looking dismal.

The market share breakdown

First, let’s take a look at the market share breakdown:

  • Canon: 40.5% (an increase of 3.9% from 2017)
  • Nikon: 19.1% (a decrease of 2.7%)
  • Sony: 17.7% (a decrease of 0.7%)
  • Fujifilm: 5.1% (an increase of 1.3%)
  • Olympus: 2.8% (an increase of 0.1%)

Notice that Canon had the biggest gains, followed by Fujifilm and Olympus. Nikon’s market share took the biggest hit, with Sony seeing a decrease, as well.

For Nikon, these numbers are not encouraging. The 2.7% drop in market share suggests the company’s latest big move – its leap into the full-frame mirrorless market – hasn’t held up well against the competition.

Massive Decline in Digital Camera Sales, Plus Nikon Sees Market Share Decrease

In some ways, this might be expected. Nikon is a small company compared to competitors such as Canon and Sony, and this puts a clear cap on its resources for innovation. On the other hand, Nikon has remained a dominant player in the digital camera market for decades.

Which begs the question:

Are we about to see Nikon losing its footing?

Unfortunately for Nikon and the other camera manufacturers, the bigger problem has little to do with reshuffled market shares, and everything to do with surging smartphone camera technology.

Because, as Nikkei’s report revealed, digital camera unit sales are down 22% from 2017.

This may come as a surprise to some, who see mirrorless cameras representing the future of photography. After all, mirrorless camera innovation is at an all-time high, with Canon and Nikon just recently joining the fray.

But here’s the issue:

As impressive as mirrorless cameras have become, smartphone cameras are still far more attractive – at least for the casual photographer. They’re smaller than the smallest mirrorless body. You always have them with you. And the simple camera interface, bolstered by features such as ‘swipe to change the exposure,’ make smartphone photography an extremely enticing option.

So in the wake of smartphone camera improvements, would-be DSLR and mirrorless photographers are consistently turning to companies like Google and Apple to satisfy their photography needs.

And it’s a trend we’re likely to see into the future.

So now I’d love your input:

  • Do you think that smartphones will completely replace hobbyist digital cameras?
  • Could you see yourself using a smartphone camera instead of a DSLR or mirrorless body?
  • What do you think about Nikon’s decline and Canon’s rise?


What camera brand have you purchased in the past year?

  • Canon (20%, 1,100 Votes)
  • Nikon (42%, 2,322 Votes)
  • Sony (13%, 734 Votes)
  • Fujifilm (8%, 465 Votes)
  • Panasonic/Lumix (5%, 283 Votes)
  • Olympus (5%, 298 Votes)
  • Pentax (2%, 129 Votes)
  • Leica (1%, 61 Votes)
  • Phase One (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Hasselblad (0%, 17 Votes)
  • Sigma (1%, 53 Votes)
  • Casio (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Mamiya (0%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,653

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Jaymes Dempsey
Jaymes Dempsey

is the Managing Editor of Digital Photography School, as well as a macro and nature photographer from Ann Arbor, Michigan. To learn how to take stunning nature photos, check out his free eBook, Mastering Nature Photography: 7 Secrets For Incredible Nature Photos! And to see more of Jaymes’s work check out his website and his blog.

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