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Author Topic: BCN 2018 report: camera unit sales in Japan  (Read 996 times)

BJL

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BCN 2018 report: camera unit sales in Japan
« on: January 11, 2019, 05:32:05 pm »

CORRECTION: this is last yesr’s data: BCN confusingly uses “2018” to refer to data for 2017, and so on. Real 2018 data should come within a few weeks.

Yes it’s only Japan and unit sales market share, not revenues or profits, but the mirrorless market share continues to look very different than the “mindshare” seen in many forum discussions amongst enthusiasts and high-end gear-heads:
https://nikonrumors.com/2018/01/16/the-2018-bcn-camera-rankings-are-out-nikon-market-share-in-japan-cameras-up-lenses-down.aspx/

- Olympus leads, as it has almost every year
- Canon and Sony stay very close to each other for # 2 and 3
- all those top three edged up in share over 2017, so that “other” share drops significantly, from 36.8% to 30.8%
- the mid-year headline of Canon jumping to #1 was nonsense!

I also see hints that:
- the mainstream-priced gear in 4/3” and APS-C formats continues to dominate sales
- within those mainstream formats, the more affordable options much outsell the generally higher-level offerings of Fujifilm and Panasonic.

Revenues could be a different story of course, but let us not get carried away with the idea that any major brand should or soon will abandon the lower realms of the ILC market, just because we enthusiasts are not in that market

P. S. I find these rankings that aggregate all of a brand’s offerings in a sector more informative than rankings of individual SKU’s at one online merchant. E. g. Canon has one or two SKUs that dominate its mirrorless sales, while Olympus and Sony have many more.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 12:27:14 am by BJL »
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hogloff

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Re: BCN 2018 report: camera unit sales in Japan
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 06:18:21 pm »

Japan accounts for less than 10% of camera sales and are heavily slanted towards mirrorless...more so than other regions.

As far as Olympus goes...here's their latest numbers:

FY2019 (Apr-Sep) mirrorless revenue down by 19% YOY
FY2019 (Jul-Sep ) mirrorless revenue down by 28% YOY

Not the type of numbers to crow about.
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Dan Wells

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Re: BCN 2018 report: camera unit sales in Japan
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 10:57:49 pm »

And heavily slanted towards unusually small cameras, for whatever reason. The EOS-M and Fuji XM and XA series both sell poorly outside of Japan (and perhaps Thailand, Malaysia and a few other Asian markets), but very well in parts of Asia.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: BCN 2018 report: camera unit sales in Japan
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 12:53:01 am »

And heavily slanted towards unusually small cameras, for whatever reason. The EOS-M and Fuji XM and XA series both sell poorly outside of Japan (and perhaps Thailand, Malaysia and a few other Asian markets), but very well in parts of Asia.

I don’t what roles this plays, but Canon has a very impressive marketing/selling machine in Japan.

Their media/ad space/... presence is much higher than Nikon or Sony. They give the impression that they are spending 3-4 times more.

Cheers,
Bernard

DP

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Re: BCN 2018 report: camera unit sales in Japan
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 04:14:52 am »

Japan accounts for less than 10% of camera sales and are heavily slanted towards mirrorless...

the mere fact that C&N finally came out with FF dSLM this year speaks well what is happening ...
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Dan Wells

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Re: BCN 2018 report: camera unit sales in Japan
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2019, 11:43:26 am »

Sony in particular keeps a ton of old models on the market, probably reducing the sales of any one SKU...

As of January 12, 2019, B+H listed 135 configurations of Sony full-frame mirrorless, based on eight bodies, four of which were prior generations. This is actually lower than it's been (the original A7r has disappeared).

 By comparison, while they listed 6 1/2 Nikon DSLRs (the D810A is the half), the only replaced model on B&H's shelves is the D810 (arguably the D810A as well, but there's no D850A).

The 135 configurations of 8 Sony bodies is largely because B&H tries to get around Sony's fixed pricing with a bewildering array of freebies... If you buy an A7rIII, they'll throw in a free microphone. Don't need a microphone? How about a 4 TB hard drive? Got enough storage space? They'll include a backpack, a tripod and an SD card. Multiply three or four lens choices by all the freebies, and it adds up...
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BJL

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UPDATE: BCN Award 2019 (for 2018 unit sales in Japan)
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2019, 07:36:19 pm »

Let me straighten this out: the 2019 "BCN Awards" (which like the Academy Awards given out in 2019 are for 2018 accomplishments) are out now. The original site is https://www.bcnaward.jp/award/gallery/detail/contents_type=251
and there is a partial translation at https://photorumors.com/2019/01/15/the-2019-bcn-ranking-japanese-market-share-report-is-out/

So indeed, strong sales in Japan of the (heavily discounted) Canon EOS Kiss-M (EOS M50 for the rest of the world) have jumped Canon to #1 in Japanese unit sales of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, dropping Olympus to second place just ahead of Sony, whose share is essentially unchanged from the previous year.

A little surprise: Nikon edged ahead of Canon for the lead in fixed lens cameras—which AFAIK still account for the majority of unit sales of "dedicated" cameras, but dropped a year or two ago to producing less revenue than ILC's.

Aside: I see a strange asymmetry between the frequent posts predicting the doom of Olympus (down to 23.5% share of mirrorless) and MFT as a whole (clearly somewhat more; quite likely comparable to Canon's 31.6% share) versus the general lack of comment on the situation of Ricoh-Pentax (3.1% of the Japanese DSLR market share). Sony's SLT's have even less share, but that is not so surprising given the lack of new models for several years.
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chez

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Re: UPDATE: BCN Award 2019 (for 2018 unit sales in Japan)
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 08:47:41 pm »

Let me straighten this out: the 2019 "BCN Awards" (which like the Academy Awards given out in 2019 are for 2018 accomplishments) are out now. The original site is https://www.bcnaward.jp/award/gallery/detail/contents_type=251
and there is a partial translation at https://photorumors.com/2019/01/15/the-2019-bcn-ranking-japanese-market-share-report-is-out/

So indeed, strong sales in Japan of the (heavily discounted) Canon EOS Kiss-M (EOS M50 for the rest of the world) have jumped Canon to #1 in Japanese unit sales of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, dropping Olympus to second place just ahead of Sony, whose share is essentially unchanged from the previous year.

A little surprise: Nikon edged ahead of Canon for the lead in fixed lens cameras—which AFAIK still account for the majority of unit sales of "dedicated" cameras, but dropped a year or two ago to producing less revenue than ILC's.

Aside: I see a strange asymmetry between the frequent posts predicting the doom of Olympus (down to 23.5% share of mirrorless) and MFT as a whole (clearly somewhat more; quite likely comparable to Canon's 31.6% share) versus the general lack of comment on the situation of Ricoh-Pentax (3.1% of the Japanese DSLR market share). Sony's SLT's have even less share, but that is not so surprising given the lack of new models for several years.

BCN only looks at 40% of the Japanese camera market which is less than 10% of the world wide market...so basically they are only looking at 4% of all camera sales world wide. You make your own conclusions from these facts.

Personally I don’t put any value into figures that only look at 4% of the market. YMMV.
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BJL

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Re: UPDATE: BCN Award 2019 (for 2018 unit sales in Japan)
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2019, 09:18:07 pm »

BCN only looks at 40% of the Japanese camera market which is less than 10% of the world wide market...so basically they are only looking at 4% of all camera sales world wide. You make your own conclusions from these facts.

Personally I don’t put any value into figures that only look at 4% of the market. YMMV.
I agree that the data is far from an exact picture of the global market, but it is one of the best fragments of information we have. (Unless one believes that the US is inherently "normal", Japan is an outlier, and that reports at one large US online vendor that only ranks individual SKUs without aggregating over the product range of a brand are more informative!)

I would not worry about "only 40% of the Japanese market". That is a huge sample size, and if even vaguely a random or representative sample, it is likely a quite accurate measure of unit sales in the Japanese market. To extrapolate beyond Japan, from what I have seen, Japan is somewhat indicative of Asian trends, the USA more indicative of parts of the Western world, but with Europe typically in-between North American and Asian trends.

Year-to-year trends are likely a bit more universal than specific market share numbers for a particular year, but even then these probably need to be smoothed, like with three year rolling averages, to even out fluctuations from things like model release timing.
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Dan Wells

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Re: BCN 2018 report: camera unit sales in Japan
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2019, 09:25:51 pm »

40% is a huge sample unless it's skewed to specific market sectors...

There was a famous polling error where "Dewey Defeats Truman" for President. It was a huge sample, BUT it was based only on telephone polls. At the time, wealthier people (who, by and large, supported Dewey) tended to have phones, while poorer people (who voted heavily for Truman) did not... President Truman won reelection, and it took years to get the egg off the reporters' faces.

The comparable possible error in BCN rankings would be if they had (for example) 80% of all the big box electronics chains, but 15% of dedicated camera stores, or the other way around.
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mecrox

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Re: UPDATE: BCN Award 2019 (for 2018 unit sales in Japan)
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2019, 05:50:04 am »

Let me straighten this out: the 2019 "BCN Awards" (which like the Academy Awards given out in 2019 are for 2018 accomplishments) are out now. The original site is https://www.bcnaward.jp/award/gallery/detail/contents_type=251
and there is a partial translation at https://photorumors.com/2019/01/15/the-2019-bcn-ranking-japanese-market-share-report-is-out/

So indeed, strong sales in Japan of the (heavily discounted) Canon EOS Kiss-M (EOS M50 for the rest of the world) have jumped Canon to #1 in Japanese unit sales of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, dropping Olympus to second place just ahead of Sony, whose share is essentially unchanged from the previous year.

A little surprise: Nikon edged ahead of Canon for the lead in fixed lens cameras—which AFAIK still account for the majority of unit sales of "dedicated" cameras, but dropped a year or two ago to producing less revenue than ILC's.

Aside: I see a strange asymmetry between the frequent posts predicting the doom of Olympus (down to 23.5% share of mirrorless) and MFT as a whole (clearly somewhat more; quite likely comparable to Canon's 31.6% share) versus the general lack of comment on the situation of Ricoh-Pentax (3.1% of the Japanese DSLR market share). Sony's SLT's have even less share, but that is not so surprising given the lack of new models for several years.


I'd guess Ricoh-Pentax is only rarely commented on because only a few folks own Pentax or are all that interested.


There is one possible difference here, though. The signs seem to be that Ricoh aren't really running Pentax for money since it's so small it can't really make anything significant. But on the other hand, if Pentax stays small and avoids big spending it can't really lose much money either. So quite possibly Ricoh could afford to keep Pentax around for many years, on the basis of offering solid, well-made old-school DSLRs at attractive sticker prices. There are still customers for that and Pentax have built up an impressive range of features on their cameras over the years. Even old-school DSLRs can still turn in superb quality in the right hands.  Other smaller camera outfits are out there spending big, however, and could well take a tumble much more quickly if their bets go wrong. We'll see.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 06:10:04 am by mecrox »
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hogloff

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Re: BCN 2018 report: camera unit sales in Japan
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2019, 08:15:10 am »

40% is a huge sample unless it's skewed to specific market sectors...

There was a famous polling error where "Dewey Defeats Truman" for President. It was a huge sample, BUT it was based only on telephone polls. At the time, wealthier people (who, by and large, supported Dewey) tended to have phones, while poorer people (who voted heavily for Truman) did not... President Truman won reelection, and it took years to get the egg off the reporters' faces.

The comparable possible error in BCN rankings would be if they had (for example) 80% of all the big box electronics chains, but 15% of dedicated camera stores, or the other way around.

Yes, 40% is a huge sample of the Japanese market...but it's only 4% of the global market which is not a good sample. In fact it's a skewed sample as the Japanese market is much more mirrorless based than the rest of the market. It's also only a couple months of data which is also very unreliable in the long run.

Overall, a snapshot in time of a specific market...not what I'd put very much credence to.
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BJL

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Re: BCN 2018 report: camera unit sales in Japan
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2019, 08:58:34 pm »

Yes, 40% is a huge sample of the Japanese market...but it's only 4% of the global market which is not a good sample. In fact it's a skewed sample as the Japanese market is much more mirrorless based than the rest of the market. It's also only a couple months of data which is also very unreliable in the long run.

Overall, a snapshot in time of a specific market...not what I'd put very much credence to.
Actually a 4% random sample of the global market can be quite accurate: it depends on the sample size, not the fraction of all data sampled, and that 4% would be some hundreds of thousands of sales so accurate to well under 1%—error with random sampling is about proportional to 1/(square root of number of samples).

The main limitation is non-randomness, by being Japan only.

Also, I do not see that the fact Japan being ahead of markets like the USA in moving from DSLR to MILC affects the reliability of shares within the DSLR or MILC categories. There seems to  be a skew towards smaller cameras in Japan, and towards larger and more expensive cameras in the USA (with the global trend somewhere in-between), which could skew market shares in Japan towards smaller formats and in the USA towards larger formats.
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hogloff

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Re: BCN 2018 report: camera unit sales in Japan
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2019, 10:10:29 pm »

Actually a 4% random sample of the global market can be quite accurate: it depends on the sample size, not the fraction of all data sampled, and that 4% would be some hundreds of thousands of sales so accurate to well under 1%—error with random sampling is about proportional to 1/(square root of number of samples).

The main limitation is non-randomness, by being Japan only.

Also, I do not see that the fact Japan being ahead of markets like the USA in moving from DSLR to MILC affects the reliability of shares within the DSLR or MILC categories. There seems to  be a skew towards smaller cameras in Japan, and towards larger and more expensive cameras in the USA (with the global trend somewhere in-between), which could skew market shares in Japan towards smaller formats and in the USA towards larger formats.

Using a small sample set from a skewed market like Japan will give you skewed results. Take Olympus for example...if you believe the BCN numbers, Olympus is doing very well with being right up there in mirrorless camera sales...at least in Japan. Bring in the rest of the world and we quickly see Olympus market share slip to around 3% and losing huge revenue year over year the last few years.

So by just looking at Japan sales, Olympus looks to be sitting pretty...one of the leaders in mirrorless camera sales which account for more than 50% of all ILC sold in Japan in 2018...but if you look deeper...a different story unfolds.

Numbers and stats are very dangerous as they can be interpreted many different ways.
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BJL

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BCN 2019 report on camera unit sales in 2018 in Japan
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2019, 10:18:41 pm »

Using a small sample set from a skewed market like Japan will give you skewed results. Take Olympus for example...if you believe the BCN numbers, Olympus is doing very well with being right up there in mirrorless camera sales...at least in Japan. Bring in the rest of the world and we quickly see Olympus market share slip to around 3% ...
We agree that Japan is not indicative of the global market, and by it getting mirrorless earlier, Olympus does better there than in slower changing, still DSLR-dominated markets like the USA. Conversely I expect that the global performance of Olympus (and Panasonic and Fujifilm) to be underestimated by USA-only sales data. (In your phrasing, the USA market is also skewed.)

Where do you get that 3% figure? I am not aware of any global sales data comparable to what BCN gathers for Japan.
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hogloff

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Re: BCN 2019 report on camera unit sales in 2018 in Japan
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2019, 10:23:03 pm »

We agree that Japan is not indicative of the global market, and by it getting mirrorless earlier, Olympus does better there than in slower changing, still DSLR-dominated markets like the USA. Conversely I expect that the global performance of Olympus (and Panasonic and Fujifilm) to be underestimated by USA-only sales data. (In your phrasing, the USA market is also skewed.)

Where do you get that 3% figure? I am not aware of any global sales data comparable to what BCN gathers for Japan.

There were reports that showed Canon, Nikon and Sony dominate the camera sales by a figure of I believe 87%. That gives the rest of the camera manufactures 13% of the market to share between themselves ( Olympus, Pentax, Fuji, Leica, etc... ). I just guessed that Fuji has a good part of that and figured 3% for Olympus is about right.

Looking at Europe and in fact Asia...their sales mirror the US market quite well...much different than the Japanese market where mirrorless has taken over from DSLR sales this last year.
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BJL

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Re: UPDATE: BCN Award 2019 (for 2018 unit sales in Japan)
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2019, 10:31:38 pm »

I'd guess Ricoh-Pentax is only rarely commented on because only a few folks own Pentax or are all that interested.
That part is perfectly natural: what mystifies me is why instead so many folks who do not own and are not interested in Olympus or other MFT gear are nevertheless so much more active in commenting (negatively) on those systems!

There is one possible difference here, though. The signs seem to be that Ricoh aren't really running Pentax for money since it's so small it can't really make anything significant. But on the other hand, if Pentax stays small and avoids big spending it can't really lose much money either.
It seems that Olympus likely does not see or need consumers cameras as a major money maker: medical equipment is its big game, and arguably camera development benefits that too (since medical equipment includes various internal used cameras.) And I am puzzled how you can argue that lower sales make it more affordable to stay in the DSLR business; models still need to be update every few years to stay competitive, and lower sales make it more difficult to recoup R&D costs.

So quite possibly Ricoh could afford to keep Pentax around for many years, on the basis of offering solid, well-made old-school DSLRs at attractive sticker prices. There are still customers for that ...
Very few as far as I can tell from the sales data!

Overall, I am puzzled how you can spin the sales data into an argument for Pentax being better off than Olympus in the camera market.
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hogloff

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Re: UPDATE: BCN Award 2019 (for 2018 unit sales in Japan)
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2019, 10:36:38 pm »


Overall, I am puzzled how you can spin the sales data into an argument for Pentax being better off than Olympus in the camera market.

I think Pentax forming a full frame mirrorless aliance with other manufacturing is quite telling. Be interesting where they take their m4/3 system going forward. Might be Olympus standing tall by itself as others move on.
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BJL

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Re: BCN 2019 report on camera unit sales in 2018 in Japan
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2019, 10:41:43 pm »

There were reports that showed Canon, Nikon and Sony dominate the camera sales by a figure of I believe 87%. That gives the rest of the camera manufactures 13% of the market to share between themselves ( Olympus, Pentax, Fuji, Leica, etc... ). I just guessed that Fuji has a good part of that and figured 3% for Olympus is about right.

I am not sure about that 87%, but more to the point on what basis do you think Fujifilm has a big chunk of that? Both Olympus and Fujifilm are solely in the mirrorless market for ILCs, and those BCN ratings consistently put Olympus far ahead of Fujifilm (and Panasonic) — in Japan. Do you have any reason to think that this situation is so different outside Japan?
I agree with this part:
I just guessed ...
Also: while comparing Japan, Europe and the USA — aren't we missing a large part of the world, like the rest of Asia?
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BJL

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Re: UPDATE: BCN Award 2019 (for 2018 unit sales in Japan)
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2019, 10:43:08 pm »

I think Pentax forming a full frame mirrorless aliance with other manufacturing is quite telling.
Has Pentax done that? Or are you thinking if Panasonic with Leica and Sigma?
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