Photo by Arno Body

According to the latest data released by CIPA, the number of cameras made and shipped in the first month of 2018 barely reached 70% of the volume for the same period last year and the year before that. Not a great start to the year...

As usual, cameras with lenses built in—compacts and bridge cameras—continue to show the worst decline, with only half as many of these models shipped to the USA and Asia in January 2018 as there were in January 2017. But while production and shipments were quite dramatically down by volume, measurements by value are not quite so bad, indicating that a more high priced cameras are selling... or that camera prices are rising.

The value of interchangeable lens system mirrorless cameras produced actually rose by 8% even though the volume produced was only 80% of production last January—just fractionally ahead of DSLRs. Interestingly, DSLR shipments to Japan in that period were up on the previous year by volume and by value, but it was the only region that didn't see a decline in this category.

Further figures released by CIPA demonstrate the market’s decline since 2016, and show that while January 2017 was almost level with January 2016, this year has started very differently. The decline of cameras with built-in lenses has dropped to only 60% of the number shipped in 2016, and more worryingly, graphs show that January 2018 shipment figures are well below almost every other month in the last two years.

Hopefully this is just a blip, and we'll see the numbers jump back into the black (or closer to it) in February. For more information, visit the CIPA website, or check out the full report here.