Canon vs. Sony: Both claim number one spot for mirrorless sales — who is right?

Last week, Canon said that it was the number one brand for mirrorless cameras in the United States in 2023. However, Sony has now thrown doubt on the claim in an interview with PetaPixel.

What did Canon say?

Canon announced that it was the number one mirrorless camera brand in the U.S. in 2023. The company even prepared a special logo to celebrate the claim. Canon also stated that it had held the top slot for the past three years, 2021 to 2023. To support the claims, Canon cited sales data from the third-party retail tracking service Circana. The data showed that Canon was in the number one position based on total units sold.

What has Sony said?

Sony told PetaPixel that the company “received numerous #1 claims from the Circana/NPD agency, as we do every year.” In addition, Sony gave some specific examples of its top-selling cameras. The company said it was the number one full-frame mirrorless brand in 2023. The Sony Alpha a7 IV was also the number one full-frame camera in 2023. These top-selling positions were both for the number of units sold and sales figures in dollars.

So which company is actually number one?

Both Canon and Sony are using the figures from Circana, so which company is right? The complicated answer is both of them. Sony says it is the number one for full-frame mirrorless camera sales. However, Canon’s claim was for all mirrorless cameras and therefore could include sales of APS-C sensor cameras as well. In addition, Canon didn’t make any claims about specific models, unlike Sony with the Sony a7 IV.

What we think

This isn’t the first time the two companies have disagreed over who is number one. Back in 2021, Canon claimed to be the number one digital camera brand in the U.S. which Sony disputed. Analysis of the figures back then again showed that both companies were correct. Canon had sold more mirrorless cameras, but Sony had higher total sales in dollars. However, Canon is clearly keen to convince the market that it is leading the way in mirrorless camera sales. This might be more important to the company as it was late to enter the field when compared to Sony.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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