CIPA Report very good?

Started Jan 26, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Thom Hogan
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Re: Insufficient granularity
In reply to eNo, Jan 26, 2010

eNo wrote:

Draw me a clearer picture, Thom. I just had a big lunch. Are you saying that the m4/3 numbers can be separated from DSLR numbers for Japan, and that you've seen these numbers,


and that based on your assessment, DSLR went down even more than portrayed here?

It gets a little dicey because we don't have final US numbers yet that I know of. But yes, 2008 interchangeable lens camera sales worldwide were all DSLRs and were 9.7m units. 2009 interchangeable lens camera sales were 9.9m and some number of those were m4/3. I'm betting that that those m4/3 sales was significantly more than .2m (200k). So traditional DSLR sales dipped in 2009. Remember, I tried to map these numbers as far back as 2001 and project on them. So far, my projections from 2004 are within 5% to the reality of what happened. Adoption curves follow predictable patterns. Mirrorless is a disruption, so it's going to generate its own curve, and probably hasten the DSLR curve degeneration.

Again, forgive me for reduced oxygen in brain due to a big lunch, but on what basis can you extrapolate that the break-out of m4/3 vs. DSLRs follows the same trend/pattern in the US and Europe markets?

For the US, there are some preliminary numbers circulating, plus I have a number from an Olympus source about how many were brought into the US market in the first round, which sold out. Obviously, I've got crude data points, which means that my estimate has to be across a bigger range. I can't say for Europe as I have no numbers there at all, but I think it's safe to say that most camera companies think of their markets in third chunks: Asia, US, Europe. So if I extrapolate that from my other numbers (again crude numbers for some data at this point), I see that DSLR sales dropped in 2009 globally. Indeed, my entire range predicts that they dropped. So the only thing I don't yet know is "dropped by how much?"

Maybe, but 9.9 includes m4/3, which if we assume as non-zero, makes the DSLR number lower. By how much? That's where we have to guess and extrapolate, I guess?

Yes. But if Oly and Panny each sold 200-300k each (remember, they sold 11.3% of the Japanese market), then DSLR sales were 9.5m or so. Note that it seems that most, if not all, of the DSLR makers are trying to get mirrorless cameras out the door. They obviously see that they need to in order to grow.

(I also called price rises for the year on significant equipment.) For the record, CIPA's prediction for 2009 was 6.8% growth to 10.35m units.

Doesn't bode well for the current predictions.

CIPA's numbers tend to be a little optimistic at the start of a slow year, a little pessimistic at the start of a great year. That's because all the firms are projecting out for the full year (partly because they're in the middle of their year-end reports right now to the financial analysts in Japan, and it's a question that gets asked). But they adjust constantly. CIPA doesn't usually issue interim statistics on forecasts, but sometimes we see an "adjustment" statistic. You can also follow the month by month stats and do year-to-year comparisons to get a handle of whether the prediction is likely to be right.

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Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (21 and counting)

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