Mirrorless sales in the USA are rising, with sales values up 16.5% over the past year, says market researcher NPD Group. Sony highlighted the figures while celebrating its own success: with the success of the a7 series helping it generate 66% more revenue from mirrorless sales over the last twelve months. NPD Group says DSLR sales values fell 15% over the same period. Sony also points out that the Consumer Electronics Association has recently chosen 'Mirrorless' (short for Mirrorless Interchangeble Lens Camera) as its approved term for the class of cameras, with ILC as an umbrella term for Mirrorless and DSLRs.

Looking at trade body CIPA's most recent shipment data to the Americas (CIPA's grouping that also includes South America and Canada), tells a similar story. Shipments of DSLRs in the twelve months to April 2015 fell 19% by volume and 9% by value, compared to the previous year, while mirrorless grew 36% by volume and 50% by value, over the same period.

This leaves shipments of mirrorless cameras making up 16% of ILC shipments by volume: still some way behind the 26% figure they represent in the rest of the world over the same period. This suggests there's still room for growth, unlike Europe, where volumes have contracted slightly (amidst sharply dropping DSLR figures).

Press Release:

The Mirrorless Movement: Sony Boasts Record Growth in Expanding Mirrorless Digital Camera Market

SAN DIEGO, Jun. 3, 2015 – Sony Electronics – an overall leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer – is experiencing record growth in sales of mirrorless cameras, a rapidly expanding segment of the interchangeable lens camera (ILC) business.

According to The NPD Group, overall mirrorless camera revenue has grown 16.5% over the past 12 months, with DSLR sales declining approximately 15% over the same period.  During this time, Sony has experienced a robust 66% boost in their company’s mirrorless camera sales, strengthening their dominant position as the #1 overall mirrorless brand, a position they have held for 4 consecutive years.*1

“Growth in the mirrorless segment shows this new technology and form factor are resonating with consumers,” said Ben Arnold, executive director, The NPD group. “Going forward, mirrorless will continue to command a greater share of the interchangeable lens camera category.”

On top of the sales momentum, InfoTrends’ customer surveys demonstrate how strong innovation in the mirrorless space is continuing to attract a younger and more photo active ILC customer.  The latest data shows that over 61% of first time ILC buyers are under the age of 35, up from 54% approximately two years ago.  Key motivating factors for their photography include travel and family.

“First time buyers in today’s ILC market will play an integral part in future growth of the segment, especially considering the increasingly younger customers that are buying into new systems,” said Ed Lee, group director of the Consumer and Professional Imaging group at InfoTrends.

 This news comes on the heels of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) decision to recognize “Mirrorless” as the official term for interchangeable lens cameras that do not include a mirror mechanism. 

 “This information shines a spotlight on where the mirrorless market has been, where it is today, and the bright future it presents,” said Neal Manowitz, director of the still image business at Sony Electronics.  “Our business continues to thrive based on strong innovation and the unique value propositions we are delivering with products like the α7 series and the α6000.  Their impressive imaging credentials allow photo enthusiasts, hobbyist and professionals to capture content in ways they never before thought possible.”

*1 Monthly NPD data, Amount, 12 months ending April 2015