The Japanese imaging manufacturers association, CIPA, has just released its global production and shipments report for the first half of the year, and there's not a lot of good news in it. Between January and June 2013 Japanese manufacturers shipped just short of 30 million digital cameras - that's a 43% drop in a single year.

According to the CIPA (Camera and Imaging Products Association) report, production of compact ('built-in lens') cameras fell by almost half in the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period last year, and total camera shipments fell by 42.7% in the same period.

It's no surprise to see mass-market point and shoot cameras bearing the brunt of the decline. In volume terms they dominate the market, and sales are falling fast - not helped by the rapid rise of the smartphone as the camera of choice for casual snapshooters.

A little more surprising, though, are the year-on-year declines in shipments of DSLR and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, both down around 18.5% in the first half of 2013 compared to last year. The DSLR market has grown steadily since 2003, and it's going to be an uphill struggle to continue that growth in 2013 without some blockbuster autumn launches to drive the all-important peak buying season in Q4.

These numbers don't tell the whole story - shipments are not the same as sales, and CIPA reports don't include non-Japanese manufacturers such as Samsung (though they do include all overseas manufacturing done for and by Japanese companies). But the drop in production levels does suggest that the industry is not expecting a big surge in demand for the rest of the year. Average selling prices (specifically on fixed lenses) are also on the rise as manufacturers abandon the entry-level to concentrate their efforts on high-end cameras.

 
CIPA Global numbersProduction Prodution
vs 2012
 Shipments Shipments
vs 2012
Total cameras 29.6 million  - 45% 29.7 million   - 43%

Built-in Lens

22.4 million  - 49% 22.2 million  - 48%
Interchangeable Lens 7.2 million  - 24% 7.6 million - 18%
   - DSLR 6 million  - 23% 6.3 million - 18%
  - Mirrorless 1.2 million  - 29%  1.3 million - 18%