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The Relative Importance of Regional Camera Markets

There have been some interesting shifts in the relative importance of various segments of the Camera Market over the past number of years. I thought readers may like to view a few charts based on CIPA data as they relate to the relative importance of various regional camera markets.

PL regional markets 1

Everyone is aware of the precipitous slide of fixed lens cameras over the past number of years. The slide above shows that the shipment volume of fixed lens cameras by region as defined by CIPA. All regions have experienced significant volume erosion, with Europe currently being the largest global market for fixed lens cameras.

PL regional markets 2

While all regions have experienced volume declines of fixed lens cameras, the slide above shows the relative importance of various regional markets. Europe accounts for over 35% of fixed lens camera shipments, followed by the Americas. Asia’s share of the fixed lens camera market has been choppy during the past 5 years with some decline in importance noticeable. The importance of the Japan market has been steadily increasing over the past 5 years and now is on par with Asia.

PL regional markets 3

The chart above shows that all regions have experienced declines in Interchangeable Lens Camera shipments since the market for this type of camera peaked in 2012. We can also see that the volume decline has been less severe in Asia than it has in other global regions.

PL regional markets 4

We can see some quite significant shifts in the relative importance of various regional interchangeable lens camera markets since 2003. The Americas which was the most important regional market with 42.4% of shipments in 2003 has declined to third place and now represents less than 25% of global volume. Asia on the other hand which was less than 10% of the interchangeable lens camera market in 2003 emerged as the leading market in 2014 and represents approximately 35% of the global interchangeable lens camera market.

PL regional markets 5

In 2012 CIPA began to report DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras separately. The chart above shows the shipment volume of DSLRs by region. We can see that in 2012 Europe was the largest DSLR market followed by Asia and the Americas. While all regions have experienced declines in DSLR shipment volume, the decline in Asia has been less severe. This has made Asia the largest volume DSLR global market.

PL regional markets 6

In the chart above we can see that the relative importance of the DSLR market in Asia has increased and now represents over 35% of global shipments. The decline in relative importance of Europe has stabilized, and the DSLR market in the Americas has been steady for the past five years.

PL regional markets 7

Asia has been the largest global market for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras for the past 5 years and is the only regional market to show an increase in shipment volume for the past several years. Volumes in Japan have been softening, while Europe has been stable for the past four years. The Americas ranks fourth in volume for mirrorless camera shipments.

PL regional markets 8

Asia is by far the most important global market for mirrorless cameras, representing over 45% of shipment volume in 2016. The importance of the Europe market has held steady while Japan has seen a steady decline in importance over the past 4 years. The Americas remains in forth spot in terms of importance with less than 15% of global shipments in 2016. This is 1/3 the relative importance of the mirrorless interchangeable camera market when compared to Asia.

PL regional markets 9

Shipments of interchangeable lenses peaked in 2012 in most global markets, while the market in Japan peaked in 2013. All regional markets have experienced declines in interchangeable lens shipment volume with Asia emerging as the largest regional market in 2014, very closely followed by the Americas and Europe.

PL regional markets 10

The global market for interchangeable lenses has three regions; Asia, the Americas and Europe about 5% apart from each other in terms of importance. Asia has emerged slightly ahead of the other two regions in terms of being the most important in terms of shipment volumes.

It will be interesting to see if these shifts in shipment volume and changes in the relative importance of various regional markets, notably Asia, affect the product development of camera and lens manufacturers.

The final slide in this article shows the shipment volumes of the 5 product categories previously mentioned in this article: fixed lens cameras, interchangeable lens camera, DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and interchangeable lenses.

PL regional markets 11

In the above slide we can see that the shipment volume of interchangeable lenses is higher than any of the other 4 product categories. It will be fascinating to watch how the various camera body and lens manufacturers adjust their business strategies to deal with the realities of the various segments in the overall camera market.

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The Relative Importance of Regional Camera Markets


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