CIPA report proves 2020 was a tough year for camera market

CIPA (Camera and Imaging Products Association) published a report detailing camera sales for 2020 and, overall, it’s not looking good. The camera market continued to decline in 2020 and saw further declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While this is grim news, it isn’t surprising. There’s been a consistent decline in professional camera sales over the past decade. That’s partly due to the increasing use of smartphone cameras. Each year shows a lower volume of sales, showing a slow decline of the camera market. The CIPA report includes sales of all digital cameras, interchangeable lens cameras and just fixed lens cameras. There is a clear slump in sales from April to May. This is likely due to the pandemic lockdowns.

The CIPA report showed fixed lens cameras at 52.5% of volume and 56.4% of value. DSLRs were at 53.4% of volume and 55.4% of value. Mirrorless cameras were at 75.9% of volume and 86.2% of value.

CIPA report still shows hope for mirrorless systems

Last year, while DSLRs and fixed-lens camera sales declined, the mirrorless camera market actually showed growth in both China, Europe and the Americas. The value of the units increased to 113.4% in Europe and 90.7% in the Americas. At the same time, the volume of mirrorless units dipped in both Europe and the Americas. Europe in 2020 saw 74.8% of sales volume in mirrorless compared to 2019 sales. The America’s saw 81.6% sales compared to 2019. This means there’s fewer sales volume and sales values are high.

Petapixel points out that while more consumers are buying fewer mirrorless cameras, the value of 2020’s devices is higher than in previous years. So, while this CIPA report signals a failing market, consumers are still willing to buy a camera that shows significant value. Mirrorless cameras seem to be showing buyers value. DSLR and fixed-lens cameras, based on sales, aren’t showing the same level of value. This is why so many major camera manufacturers are pivoting to mirrorless interchangeable lens systems. As the market is shrinking, companies are racing to provide consumers with products they see as valuable.

Check out the full CIPA report here.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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