Weak Yen masks hard times as Mirrorless and DSLR sales decline
Manufacturers are putting on brave faces as compact sales continue their decline and interchangeable lens camera sales fail to shine. Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon and Olympus have all put out their financial results covering the Christmas period, and there's little to be positive about, with falling sales of interchangeable lens cameras being reported by the industry's biggest players.
Market research company IDC's report on the period describes the period as 'a bust for camera vendors.' The report's author, Director, Global Imaging Practice, Christopher Chute expresses particular concern about 'the lackluster performance of the [Interchangeable Lens Camera] segment, which had been driving market growth and profits for the past several years.'
Industry body CIPA's figures for cameras shipped during the period confirm the declines - with a 6% fall in DSLR and 22% fall in mirrorless sales volumes over the period. Mirrorless models accounted for 23% of shipments by volume and 18% by value.
|They may not generate a lot of interest on the DPReview forums, but Canon's DSLRs are some of the few models that have been selling well.|
The weakening Yen has helped companies by increasing the reported value of overseas sales. This has kept the books looking healthy, despite falls in sales volumes. Several makers pointed to sluggish sales in Europe and China, as their economies have not recovered as quickly as forecast.
Both Canon and Nikon forecast still-lower sales in 2014, and IDC predicted: 'more trouble for digital cameras in 2014, as camera demand remains anemic, second- and third-tier vendors question their long-term prospects in this declining market, and top vendors choose strategic choices based on growth opportunities.'
These lowered expectations for 2014 will factor-in a drop in Japanese sales that is expected when the country's consumption tax is increased in March.
Canon was first to announce, with compact camera sales volumes falling 20% in the three months to December 31st and 28% over the whole year. The company said sales of its larger sensor models and high-zoom SX range grew over the same period, but didn't break-out the figures.
It also reporting its first sustained fall in interchangeable lens camera (ILC) sales since the launch of the EOS Rebel / 300D in late 2003. Interchangeable lens camera sales volumes fell 7% for the year. These falls only resulted in a 1.7% decline in sales income, thanks to exchange rate changes - it would have been a 18.8% fall if currency effects were removed.
The company said 37% of its unit sales and 81% of its camera income came from ILCs during 2013. Strong inkjet sales drew a 16.2% increase in income, helping the Imaging Systems division (of which cameras are part) grow sales values by 3% to ¥1.4tn (~$14.2bn). The division saw its operating profit fall by 3% over the year, to ¥204bn (~$2bn).
Canon said it expected a further 1% fall in ILC sales during 2014, but only a further 20% decline in compact cameras. These figures would leave ILCs making up 42% of the company's camera sales in terms of units and 83% in terms of value (for comparison, just five years ago DSLRs made up 15% of camera sales and 44% of income).
Although none of these figures sound positive, IDC's research led it to conclude: 'Canon managed to gain share in the United States at the expense of nearly all other vendors with the exception of Sony, which gained a slight share in the ILC segment.'
Fujifilm's Electronic Imaging (digital) group saw sales fall 14.2% year-on-year in the three months to December, and 13.6% across the previous nine months. The Imaging Solutions division, of which Electronic Imaging is part, saw income rise 7.2% over the same period, thanks to sales of instant cameras and optical units for smartphones, TV cameras and projectors. The increased sales saw the division reduce its loses to ¥1.5bn, from ¥3.9bn over the same period in 2012.
The company doesn't give fine detail about sales of camera types, instead rather coyly saying that sales of its high-end X-series models 'proceeded smoothly.' This is contrasted with 'sales decreases due to the continuous worldwide decline in overall demand for compact digital cameras.'
Nikon blamed slow sales in the Americas, Europe and Asia for a 6% fall in net sales income - to ¥553bn (~$5.4bn). Despite this, the more rapid fall of compact camera sales, compared to ILCs and lenses meant that the higher-margin ILCs and lenses accounted for a greater proportion of sales - resulting in an increase in operating income from those sales.
|Sales in final 3 mths of 2013 (¥bn)||Digital Camera sales as proportion of whole company|
ILCs made up 33% of the company's sales volumes in the nine months to December, up from 28% the year before. However, the company made the third downward revision to its sales projections - now aiming to sell 6m ILCs and 8.4m lenses, rather than the 7.1m and 9.8m projected in May 2013. The weak Yen meant the company didn't reduce its sales target of ¥710bn, despite the reduction in unit expectations, but this had already been scaled-back from the original ¥810bn projection for the year.
Compact sales declined 33%, to 9.6m units for the first nine months of the year.
Olympus halved its camera division's operating loss over the nine months to December - losing ¥4.4bn over the period. Reductions in costs and increased mirrorless sales meant the company was able to make the improvement despite a 14% fall in overall sales values, compared to the same period the year before.
The value of mirrorless sales grew 5%, year-on-year, with them now accounting for around half of the company's camera sales by value. Much of this was generated by a 19% increase in the last three months of 2013. However, the company notes that lower PEN sales meant it didn't hit its sales target, suggesting much of this increase comes from the lower value of the Yen and a spike in sales of the then-new, range-topping OM-D E-M1 model.
The company also said it had reduced its compact camera inventory - meaning it is not sitting on warehouses full of compacts that will then have to be substantially discounted.
|And I'm feeling all fingers and thumbs by Dutch Newchurch|
from Your City - Coffee Break
|Stitch that - macro by Beatsy|
from Household objects- Macro only
|Fiddling Around by garyjb|
from Concert musician playing
|wet red by George Veltchev|
Meet the HP ZBook x2. The so-called 'world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation,' it was built with creative professionals in mind, and is being debuted at Adobe MAX.
PDN sat down with Ahmed Fakhr, director of photography at RollingStone.com, to talk about how the famed publication is adapting to the changing photo and video needs of the modern era and how he 'evaluates the skills of potential contributors.'
Kudos to Canon. Earlier today, the camera giant announced that it had produced its 90 millionth EOS camera and 130 millionth EF-series lens.
The ROV Slider is a portable, motorized slider that promises to bring 'beautiful cinematic video and time-lapse' shooting to anybody with a smartphone, GoPro or DSLR that weighs less than 5lbs.
The new Surface Book 2 laptops come with Intel's 8th generation quad-core processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 GPUs. In other words: they pack a serious punch.
Leica is resurrecting a portrait lens from the 1930s: the Thambar-M 1:2.2/90. This lens features just 4 lens elements, and was famous for its spherical aberration that creates extremely soft images.
Google's Visual Core is an Image Signal Processor designed to power and accelerate HDR+ processing and other imaging tasks in the new Pixel 2 devices (and beyond).
The Google Pixel's camera is among the best we've reviewed, and its successor has already been hailed as class-leading. With expectations set high, the Pixel 2 has nonetheless left a very good first impression on us as we shot some initial sample images.
Leica is one of the oldest names in photography, and has long been one of the most prestigious. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit Wetzlar, to see for ourselves how Leica's lenses are put together.
Canon went and put an APS-C sensor in a G series compact. The result is a mighty tempting camera for travel.
Google Photos is adding a few pet-friendly features that will make it easier to find photos of your favorite pooch. Now, you can organize your pet photos by facial recognition, and you can even search your library by breed.
Colorful tripod maker MeFOTO has launched a new tripod... and a whole new brand name. Meet the GlobeTrotter travel video tripod, the first product to be released under the MeVIDEO brand.
If you own a Moto Z, you'll soon be able to attach a Polaroid instant printer to it. Check out the unreleased Moto Mod, which was leaked earlier today.
DJI has developed a technology called AeroScope that allows law enforcement to identify and track airborne drones that are breaking UAV regulations, while simultaneously addressing privacy concerns.
The Nikon D850 is a 45.7MP full-frame DSLR with an autofocus system lifted wholesale from the pro-sports focused D5. 4K capture, continuous shooting at 7 or 9 frames per second make it sound like the ultimate all rounder. Is it all that these specs suggest?
The Mate 10's Kirin 970 chipset with integrated AI processing allows for object recognition, motion detection and automatic scene selection in the camera app.
DxO has announced version 3.0 of the iOS app for its 'One' connected camera. It adds support for multi-camera Facebook Live broadcasting and both time-lapse still and video capture. Android users will be pleased to hear that a One for their platform is on the way, as well. Several new accessories are available, including a battery pack.
Canon has introduced the PowerShot G1 X Mark III, which borrows the 24MP APS-C sensor and Dual Pixel AF system from the company's recent mirrorless and DSLR cameras, adds a 24-72mm equiv., F2.8-5.6 lens and puts them into a lightweight body – but it'll cost you quite a bit.
It's not often that we see a genuinely interesting compact camera, and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is one such beast. We've pulled out the top features of the camera and tell you why they matter – and put the Mark III up against the competition.
Apple's HDR effect in the iPhone 8 Plus is on by default and more aggressive than in previous generations. It's also good enough to convince DPR contributor Jeff Carlson to leave it on all the time.
Canon's 28mm F2.8 IS USM may be small in size, but it's big on fun. We wrote about our experience using it as our only lens in Big Sur, California, but in case you missed out on our full gallery, take a look to see what this little lens can do.
Travel photographer Elia Locardi tells the story behind this gorgeous (and rare) panorama of the Dubai cityscape draped in fog.
Bison, drift cars, horseback riders, antelope – from the beach to the race track, the Sony 100-400mm G Master is one versatile piece of kit.
"Wildlife photography in Yellowstone National Park is an incredible opportunity, yet some bad photographers are giving all photographers a bad name by not following the rules."
Casio's bionic-looking new action camera, the GZE-1, is built with extreme sports in mind. The little camera is drop-proof, freeze-proof, dust-proof, and waterproof to 50 meters.
Yashica recently released the digiFilm Y35: a camera that tries to simulate the "experience" of shooting film... and it's just the worst.
Western Digital has revealed some interesting new technology that, it claims, will allow them to develop 40TB hard drives by the year 2025.
Photographer Micael Widell wanted to see just how affordable it could possibly be to get into digital photography—so he bought a full DSLR kit with battery grip and 50mm lens on eBay for just $80.
Confused about DxOMark's scoring system? This straightforward video by Marques Brownlee breaks down how DxO gets its scores, and why you should always look beyond that "overall" number.
It's not exactly a revolutionary device, but the iPhone 8 Plus does promise some evolutionary updates in the camera department. DPR contributor Jeff Carlson has been putting the 8 Plus to the test in some everyday shooting situations – take a look at how it fared.