Poor May camera shipments - miserable mirrorless

Started Jul 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Abrak Veteran Member • Posts: 3,314
Poor May camera shipments - miserable mirrorless

The poor camera shipment numbers continued into May as CIPA released their monthly data today.

Compact camera shipments were down 48% YOY for May and 47% YOY year to date. CIPA's current forecast is for compact camera shipments to fall 18% for the full year.

DSLR shipments are the nearest to a bright spot in the figures. May shipments were down only 5% but remain down 15% for the first 5 months. DSLR manufacturers also have relatively good news from lens sales. Although 35mm lens sales were down slightly in unit terms in May YOY, they still rose over 30% in terms of value for both the month and for the first 5 months.

Mirrorless shipments were particularly miserable down 25% for May compared to May 2012. Shipments for the first 5 months are down 18% - while CIPA still has a forecast that mirrorless shipments will rise 26% in the current year.

Mirrorless shipments to the US were practically non-existent in May - 20,000 units (1.5% of total camera shipments) and down 64% YOY. Shipments to Europe were little better - down 46%. Although mirrorless is doing better in Japan and other parts of Asia, it is losing market share. Mirrorless in Japan is 35% of ILC camera sales (30% by value) for the first 5 months compared to near 50% for much of last year.

Of course mirrorless sales numbers are not particularly disastrous if taken on their own or compared to compacts. The problem is that mirrorless is declining of an incredibly low base - mirrorless accounted for less than 5% of camera shipments in May.

A year ago expectations for growth of mirrorless were exponential. Look at this article from the Wall St Journal from a little over a year ago. It talks of mirrorless sales growing to over 6m in 2012 and increasing 5 fold by 2015. Actual sales were 3.9m in 2012 and are likely to fall to around 3.0m in the current year. Given that shipments for the first 5 months are just 1.0m units even that might prove to be optimistic.


We are unlikely to see better figures for June. May production numbers were down 18% for DSLRs and 35% for mirrorless. June 2012 was also a strong month for shipments. It is about time that camera manufacturers cut back their profit forecasts.

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