2010 worldwide digital camera market shares by vendor

Bloomberg published data from IDC Japan about the 2010 worldwide digital camera market shares by vendor:

Compared to 2009, Nikon gained market share but still remained at the #3 spot after Sony and Canon. It seems that only Sony, Nikon, Samsung and Vivitar were able to increase their market share in 2010 compared to 2009. In the DSLR segment Nikon has the #2 spot:

"In the market for cameras with interchangeable lens, or single lens reflex cameras, Canon controlled 44.5 percent of the market, followed by Nikon with 29.8 percent and Sony with 11.9 percent, according to the data."

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  • Nikon is growing up, but must take care about the next generation of Full Frames. If makes a mistake in Video Feature, Nikon will fall. Canon will win.

    Just advised.


    • Chris Williams

      Ehhh, if I want a video camera, I’ll buy one.

      • ACS

        I guess all the big companies are making a whole new high-end video DSLR equipment market because it’s not any good.

        Bet you’re the type that said Nikon didn’t need full frame the night before the D3 was announced. Or 12MP is all you need… etc.

    • PHB

      This is the share of the digital camera market. And thats rather a different beast.

      The compact camera market is being rapidly eroded by smartphone cameras which are good enough for many purposes. So players like Casio and Kodak are getting squeezed out at the low end. Kodak is currently trying to force Apple or someone else buy their imaging business to avoid patent litigation.

      In the mid range, I suspect that we are going to see every manufacturer other than Canon and Nikon exit the DSLR business. For Pentax and Olympus its a question of when, not if they fold. They have had to jump to EVIL early because they have little other choice. Within 5 years the people who buy a D3100 or a Pentax or an Olympus will be buying compact EVIL cameras. Sony has already folded it hand in the FF market and will likely fold on DSLR altogether. This is why Sony has to continue to give Nikon 110% support for its market efforts, if Nikon loses share to Canon, the Sony fab will sit unused.

      Nikon has clearly seen that coming as well which is why they have made a renewed effort in the professional DSLR space, looking to extend the capabilities of the professional F-mount cameras into medium format territory.

      By 2016 I expect that Panasonic, Pentax and Olympus will only be players in the consumer EVIL space, Sony will be a player in both the consumer and professional EVIL space (including pro-video) and Nikon and Canon will have EVIL and DSLR lines that both move from consumer to professional.

      Leica will survive in its niche. Hassleblad and the other medium format makers probably won’t. But like certain niche supercar companies, they will be bought and sold by rich tycoons who run the company as a hobby. Red will be acquired by Nikon, Sony or Canon.

      At this point I would not want to buy a DSLR that was not F-mount or Canon mount.

      • Gerry

        Nice take on the future of cameras. I have to say that I pretty much agree. I am still surprised when somebody tells me they bought a sony DSLR.

        • dude

          And still people underestimate Sony’s SLR department.

          PHB is absolutely wrong in thinking Sony has given up on the FF market.
          They have not released a new FF camera: true.
          But look what their FF Camera is (it’s 2 but they are siblings).
          It’s entry level FF camera without extras, no sports camera and no Studio camera with professional support system.
          Neighter Canon nor Nikon have refreshed their 5D II and D700 just like Sony.
          what Sony clearly does is still releasing professional FF lenses.
          (24mm Zeiss is out, 500mm is coming)

          It’s ironic that Sony has the best OVF for 35mm cameras in their A900 and likely will not release any more OVF DSLRs.
          They see the future of their SLRs in the EVF.
          People have been highlighting the problems with that (in the A55).
          But if Sony works out the problems for the A77 (or what it’s gonne be called) they will convince most people.
          With the EVF you can display any kind of information and can make big VFs even with cropped sensor.

          You can know that Canon and Nikon have their eye on the EVF and will bring such solutions as well in the future.
          If they keep OVFs in top models these models will be very expansive.
          The future is ELV only a matter of time.
          And Sony is already ahead on the way there.

          Of cause it’s possible to run all this in E-Mount EVIL as well.
          And make A-Mount obsolete.
          But Sony learned (the hard way) that in DSLR business backwards compatibility is important.
          If they would jump on E-Mount in short future, they wouldn’t work on A77, 500mm that much but on a NEX-7 and more E-Mount lenses.

          I hope I didn’t missread your posts.
          I included their “SLT” line into the DSLR business because it keeps the A-Mount alive.

          PS2: I’m two System user – the grass isn’t completely greener anywhere

      • Rob

        Will they keep the F-mount for mirrorless? And next weeks Lottery numbers please?

        • There’s no way they will keep the f-mount for mirrorless. The mount is going to be quite a bit closer to the sensor plane.

    • Mike Devonport

      Your mistaken on your theory. The title of this discussion, “2010 worldwide digital camera market shares by vendor”. Meaning DSLR’s and low end cameras (aim and shoot). People have to understand that there is another digital market, in the form of low end cameras, that make up larger portion of the industry. Not the other way around.

      • Mike Devonport
        • We should all pray that Sony doesn’t become the dominant and/or only major force in the DSLR photographic world. If they were disproportionately larger than Nikon and Canon, they would turn the world of photographic equipment into a closed, inferior, bait and switch, highly proprietary market that they would squeeze for every last penny they could——at the expense of any customer, and even long term profits.

          Sony is about as trustworthy as I am alone in a room full of gold bullion. Don’t believe me? Put me in a room full of bullion and see for yourself.

          Nah, just kidding. But seriously, read up on PS3, Sony CD Rootkit, Sony Batteries, or Memory Stick.

          • I agree, I’ve aways said that Sony is the one to watch out for, not Canon.

            • PhotoCat

              I agree also and offer into evidence Sony DSLR having a different flash hot shoe than the standard hot shoe.

            • Wow, really PhotoCat? I didn’t know. I am both
              a) in no way surprised, and
              b) shocked
              all at the same time.

            • Vandyu

              You are right on about Sony being aggressive and ambitious. They’re not competing as well in the LCD/Plasma market as they used to. Panasonic, LG, and Samsung are taking their share. When Sony’s Trinitron technology became outdated, their TV dominance took a hit and they’ve been living off their reputation. I would hope that Nikon is never in a position of having to accept a takeover by Sony.

            • Amen to that, brother. Amen to that.

            • dude


              Sony took over the hot-shoe from Minolta.
              It’s there since the late 80s.
              And 3rd party flash makers support it.

              It was invented because at that time flashes didn’t have clever plug on/off solutions like today.
              The Minolta hot-shoe is a easy snap mechanics, releasing and plugging it in miliseconds.
              And the flash never loosens or falls off.

      • ZoetMB

        Yes, but these numbers seem totally inconsistent with CIPA numbers. According to CIPA, from April – December, Nikon had a 29.5% share of the DSLR market (by units), 13.5% of the P&S market and 27% of the removable lens market, which works out to a total share of 17.1%. Including Jan-Mar 2010 wouldn’t throw it off by very much.

  • Stephen

    I wonder what that’d look like in the total DSLR market. And then just the pro bodies.

  • “Chris Williams
    Ehhh, if I want a video camera, I’ll buy one.”

    DSLR Market, Video and Photography nowdays are crossed. I´m photographer, but my clients always ask me if can do video jobs. In one of those oportunitys, i signed a contract with Universal Music Group, to create 25 video teasers. I have a Nikon D7000, it´s a great camera. I done the job, but i missed the 720p 60p feature for slow motions.

    That´s the new market o Photography, when the photographer, become movie director too.


    • PHB

      The formats are crossing, but they have not yet crossed.

      There is at this point no camera on the market that I would consider an ideal professional video camera.

      Using a DSLR gets the results, but the ergonomics are totally set up for still photography. No power zoom for a start, limited format support, pulldown from a different sensor size.

      But the so called ‘professional’ video cams are mostly obsolete already: tape based models launched five years ago, too heavy, too bulky. The solid state media cameras rarely have interchangeable lenses and when they do the lenses are exorbitant.

      Give the EVIL lineups a few years and that will change. Video does not need a FF sensor, not unless you want to shoot in pitch black. A dedicated video sensor with fewer pixels can provide D3s low light performance on a 2.5x crop factor without problems. We are just starting to see EVIL pro-video starting to emerge. Its going to sweep aside all the current pro-level junk.

      • Stephen

        TV show House films a lot of their stuff on a 5D MKII. Seems like it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for a lot of things then.

        • PHB

          Using a still DSLR is certainly the best option for shooting HD video at the moment.

          But that is still kind of an indictment of the ‘professional video’ products on offer.

          I think they need to produce bodies optimized for video use that take pro still camera lenses.

          • I *rarely* agree with Ken Rockwell, but he’s right about video on DSLRs. You really still need at least a small team for them to be extremely effective in a high-end production environment.

            And to a team, they are a very affordable way to achieve high quality.

          • @PHB As has been the case for decades. BTW, I totally agree with all of your points. I would guess about 98% of people that poo-poo video on DSLRs haven’t tried either A)Non-DSLRs, B)DSLRs for video, or C)Either.

            If you don’t like it, don’t use it. It’s not like Nikon isn’t giving you the best quality you can find in still imaging. What do you want, 100mp?

  • Just A Thought

    The change looks to be in the P&S segment. For one to gain market share, then someone else has to lose market share. Kodak, Casio, Fuji and Other lost the most market share for example and they are all primarily in the P&S segment.

  • Will it come back to 20 years ago when new high quality equipment only offered to professionals and rich amateurs?

  • Tom

    It is very interesting to read these speculations.


  • Mark

    Simply put, I want a 1st rate camera, not a video. Nikon ought to focus on the needs of the perfect shot, not Hollywood’s next blockbuster. If video is Nikon’s game, they have to fight Red.com. That game is not Nikon.

    Shrink the lens. Make the camera smarter. Let me capture the moment. That is Nikon.

    • Tom

      but if they do that, they will loose customers who want both, video and photography, and as you know in this economy, a company as big as Nikon doesn’t want to loose part of a customer base to another company.

      If Nikon becomes photo only, then Canon for sure will gain the market share, and Nikon will loose huge profits, and eventually, Nikon would get to be at the bottom of that list above

      If you want to compete, you need make products where the demand is, and the demand is DSLRs with really good video capabilities. I for sure wouldn’t want to carry a DSLR and a separate camcorder, especially when a camcorder wouldn’t be able to reproduce the beautiful video that a video capable DSLR can do

      Honestly, I think camera manufactures should be worried more about their point and shoot market, I agree with Nikon, smartphones are taking away customers from Point and Shoot, its those people who use smartphones for their everyday photography that won’t ever buy a P&S but otherwise would if 8 megapixels smartphones didn’t exist. Its smartphones that are slowly approaching P&S quality, not DSLR quality. DSLRs are for people who care about their photographs, photographs with quality. I am upgrading from my Nikon D40 soon to a D7000, I rather carry something bulky and have great quality, than carry a P&S and always miss out on some great photos.

      Just my opinion, don’t forget.

    • sflxn

      If you can’t “capture the moment” with what they have now, then it’s not the camera that is the problem. Cameras have reached the point where consumers have no more excuses.

    • Craig Houdeshell

      Nikon is about creating lenses that others cannot match.

      • Just A Thought

        “Nikon is about creating lenses that others cannot match.”

        Except for Canon and Leica and Zeiss etc etc etc. Heck some of Sony’s lenses can play. Pentax is known for its superb quality primes – easily on par with NIkkors. The Sigma EX line is no slouch either. Take the Sigma 100-300mm f4 – resolution as good as primes – no Nikkor om the same range can match it. Sure Nikon makes some nice Nikkors, but then so do the other companies – many other companies.

        Almost forgot – What about the Tamron 70-300mm?? See http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/70300af.htm

    • PhotoCat

      I agree with Mark. If I can create great still images then I am happy. I most likely will ignore the video option if it is there (that is what I do with my D90).

      So sez PhotoCat (aka the other Mark)

  • Ali

    Technically Sony is out of the SLR market (they said that all of their future models will be transuclent mirror, I switched from Sony for this reason). I see Fuji doing very well with the X series. Canikon will continue to be the leaders in SLR.

    • Ali

      I have to add SLT’s are stupid, 30%!!! 30%!!! of the light bounces off the mirror during shots! Photography in Greek means the drawing of light (recording), well isn’t it a bit counter productive to have 30% of that light bounce in the opposite direction? I hope Sony fails in this endeavour, and shuts down there interchangeable camera lens department, this is revenge us ex-Minolta users are waiting for.

      And don’t get me started on the electronic viewfinder!!

      /rant off

    • Tom

      I hope Fuji does well with the X series. Looks like a great camera. Maybe if it becomes very popular and take some market from Leica, Leica will be forced to lower prices. Now we need Fuji do to a full frame camera in a X series package. I don’t know, maybe a FF with a 18-55mm noninterchangeable lens or 18-35mm.

      Don’t forget, once you get interchangeable lenses, the camera needs to get bigger or the sensor does, just engineering. Otherwise, might as well get a Nikon D700. Though the future Nikon D800 sounds interesting.

      • Tom

        engineering wise, Nikon would have no problem doing a Nikon D700/D800 in a similar Fuji X100 style. Nikon just needs just to change the body of it. Keep the internals the same and get rid of the flash. No flash needed with such high iso capabilities, a hot shoe is enough.

        • I’d *love* to see the D700 sensor (with a couple tweaks) live on in a vintage-style rangefinder!

          • Jeremy

            Why not the D3s sensor instead? 🙂

      • PhotoCat

        If Nikon made a FF camera and the lens is fixed to it, I would want some in the 28-75mm range (prefer it to be constant f/2.8 low aperture).

  • Simon

    No point trying to put a positive spin by saying Nikon has increased it share of the market from 2009 to 2010 because they are still a distant 3rd and is threatened by Samsung.

  • Greg Ferris

    I’m surprised Canon didn’t drop a little given they didn’t refresh the 5DII and 7D in 2010…

    • spidercrown

      yes, neither do D300s and D700. But the point is, most of the volume is contributed by P&S here. dslr <10%?? anyone has that figure?

      • Mistral75

        > anyone has that figure?

        2010 shipments by Japanese manufacturers:

        – cameras with built-in lens: 108.6 million
        – cameras with interchangeable lens (SLR and mirrorless): 12.9 million

        Source: Camera & Imaging Products Association http://www.cipa.jp/english/data/pdf/d_2010.pdf

    • Keith

      “given they didn’t refresh the… 7D in 2010”

      Why on earth would they refresh a camera they only released at the end of 2009? And it’s still the best all-round APS-C/DX camera on the market, even now.

  • Ali

    Rumors indicate that Fuji will release an inter changeable lens version of the x series I hope that this lens like other mirrorless will have a small flange distance this way one can mount many different lenses without needing extra glass to maintain infinite focus. X100 with leica glass would be interesting.

    What I really would like is a dslrmicro fourthirds (to keep it compact to compete with the mirrorless cameras) Fm3 body f-mount with a x-100 like hybrid viewfinder. I would buy it right away.

  • Ali

    Of course first thing I would want more than said camera is for the great nation of Japan to fully recover from this terrible tragedy.

  • Am-Expat

    I do not see the future of still cameras being dominated by video has it has been for a couple years, it makes no sense to tack on video to something optimized in planform and controls to still photography as a feature. Serious video shooting is a different animal and is best done with devices optimized for it, both in physical design and circuitry. As video compatible sensors or large format 3 or 4 color sensor arrays become available and proper video electronics is attached to them, all the advantages of DSLR’s in video application will evaporate. It is easier to adapt a video system to still capture than the other way around. Hi res video does not produce anything of value, our eyes and brain combination interpret action very differently than a still life. A great deal of data compression can be applied to video for example without anyone noticing but not stills. No one pixel peeps at 100% with video since context is everything in video or in the brain following movement. For human perception there are different priorities for video and stills.
    The other stumbling block besides planform for DSLR video is not being able to accomodate video production and post production industry standards in interface, signalling and syncronization. There is no color clock or sample clock input on DSLRs so adding segments into multi-unit productions is a pain and not optimum in results. Having DSLRs with clocks running wild introduces a lot of hard to correct variables. Real video systems all talk to the same clock and frame references so editing, syncing sound and effects is possible.

    When those features are available, as they surely will be shortly, only rank amateurs will use Canon DSLRs for video production. DSLR video is and will be a blip of forgotten history of video production in a few years. For amateur moment capture at parties and such the smart phones will be more appropriate.

    The notion that since customers ask about video, still photographers need to add it is a problem. It ignores the fact that the skills and talents required to do either are interchangable. They are not. Video production worth watching is a true art form very different from the art of still work, the brain perceives the products differently and responds to different cuing. Saying that a wedding photographer is going to add video as in “fries with that?” is a guarantee of not excelling in either. If someone really wants to learn, and has the talent and creativity….by far most people wanting to do video or stills do not…than learn it, study it, experiment, and master it as very different communications forms but simply adding a service because a camera can do both is just lazy and results in lousy work being done. If they had the passion for video or film production they would have already d9ne it. The excuse that budgets did not allow it before the DSLR ignores that budgets are not the problem, it is talent. There is plenty of money for gear and productions if the talent and project is worth doing. It also ignores that the big savings in getting a $2000 DSLR is undermined by the $15000 in accessories needed to make the cheap camera compatible with production techniques and operation.
    I will be glad when Nikon engineers can get back to focusing on superior imaging instead of shoehorning video into otherwise perfectly suitable cameras so the current youtube video fad be catered to. People will get tired of shooting and editing videos that no one will or wants to watch. If they had a message and talent, they would already have the gear available to them.

    • Tell all that to the crew of House.

      • Nek Wellrock

        No need to,..when Arri and Red get their prices/stock in check,…these “teams” will oust Canon for 2k and 4k resolution….

        Unless Canon follows them down that data bandwidth road,…this DSLR video phenom will be rather short.

        Dedicated video cams always win….always.

        Ask Lucas how the Attack of the Clones looks these days shot in HD-CAM @ 1080p…

        There will always be a few who use the cheapest way,…but when you do that,..you really lock yourself down to a “look” that you had better like,..because it will never get any better in post,..ever.

        JVC just released a prosumer 4k camcorder,…

        Honestly,…The Black Swan makes a better argument than a TV show,..shot mostly on super 16mm and on a 5Dmk2 in the subways,..it’s look is on purpose,but at the same time never really becomes “great” because it’s a farking nightmare.

        I saw that episode of House,…and TBH,..they did meld it in good,..but we are talking about a show shot in 1080p anyway,…and then broadcast at 720p.

        • They didn’t do it because Red or any other option was too much money. They did it—largely—to prove a point, and I have to admit, prove a point they did. They have used it a number of times since, and while I usually can’t spot where it was used, I could in the last episode due to it being mounted in a car and rolling shutter artifacts presenting.

          One of the key reasons they love the DSLR form factor is due to the fact that it ISN’T the size and girth of a camcorder or dedicated cine camera.

          Either way, it’s the complainers and naysayers that will never really understand that the equipment, almost exclusively, never the most limiting factor in their work. I think DSLR video is a godsend, and if you disagree, ignore it. As I stated higher in the comments, it’s not like Nikon hasn’t exceeded our wildest expectations time and again over the last few generations.

          Now if we could only change our focus to learning how to use it instead of raising our expectations beyond meteoric…

          • Sky

            “DSLR video is a godsend – godsend only for SOME uses. It’s something people forget – you cannot use HDSLR for all the kinds of video, or even: most of it. It does the job when you need shallow DOF and don’t have any quickly moving objects / patterns which generate moire. For anything else the regular camcoder, even a cheapest, consumer one, is much better choice.

  • broxibear

    Here’s the guy who started it all, Steven J. Sasson, inventor of the first digital camera…

  • broxibear

    Damage to Sony’s Sendai plant is causing massive problems for the broadcasting and film industry, it was the only place in the world that makes Sony HDCAM SR Tape.
    “The Sony plant, based in Sendai, was shuttered after the devastating earthquake and tsunami, halting production of the coveted Sony HDCAM SR Tape, which is used to create multiple copies of films and TV shows for distribution. Two-hour tapes ran $250 before the shortage. Now, a 90-minute HDCAM SR tape goes for $999.
    “Unfortunately, Sony had a monopoly on the product and they made it in one place,” Miller said. “So, a confluence of factors together make it a large emergency because a lot of people in broadcast have come to rely on this format — they have the cameras, they have the decks. … It’s how this content is being produced and distributed across the country and across the world now to a larger extent.”
    “Sony has shipped nothing, and is not being very informative when they’re going to get production on their key lines again,” Miller said. “And the other major manufacturers, they can’t double production in a week or frankly in a month.””

    • Sony is a mighty scary beast. I pray they make some big blunders that kill their chances in the photographic market. Thankfully, history is on my side in hoping that….

      • MJM


        One thing Sony doesn’t have that Nikon does is heritage. When will Sony be able to look back and say they’ve produce 60million A mount lenses like Nikon has done with Nikkors..? In another 30 years? This is the reason why Voigtlander was never left to subside and bought out by Cosina. The company had way to much history and following just to go down the drain.

        • Sky

          Sony has Minolta heritage – that reaches times before Nikon even knew what a DSLR is. *eyerolls*

          • Actually, it looks like Nikon was founded over a decade before Minolta. So technically, Nikon spanks Minolta both in experience AND quality. *ballrolls*

    • ZoetMB

      I heard this report, but what’s going to happen is that production and distribution will simply move far faster to file-based workflow. I can tell you that there are cable networks that are already about 90% file-based.

      Sony being the only company producing this tape is partially the result of Ampex, 3M and Agfa either getting out of or spinning off their magnetic tape manufacturing. Checking online, I see that Sony closed a magnetic tape plant in Alabama a year ago. Wonder if they’ve given any consideration to getting that plant rolling again.

  • Joe

    What’s up with this rumor dryspell? Is there really nothing in the works? Any more news on the status of Nikon in Japan?

    • broxibear

      Hi Joe,
      I think Peter’s going to post some more info about what is or isn’t going on in Japan regarding the earthquake repercussions.
      My personal suspicions are that things are a lot worse than Nikon, Sony, Canon etc are revealing…press statements by them have been thin to say the least.

    • yes, post is coming up online shortly

      • The Man from Mandrem

        Sony plays in alot of markets but I can’t think of one place Sony has put other guys out of business. PS3 is great, but Nintendo and MS aren’t out of the game. Sony LCD’s are okay but Samsung and others are there. I get the impression Sony ensures it is in the top 3 (frequently 2) but other than PSP can’t think where they have a claim to #1.

        • Irfan

          Pro Video, especially pro Cine cameras. Sony is #1 by a huge margin. Look up what the new CineAlta F65 that can go do 4K 16-bit RAW ! (that’s several gig of video data per second).

  • Sony is going to have most of the market share in the future, that is for sure. I knew this from the start , when Sony planned a strategy to dominant by first buying out Minolta. And added with their partnership with Zeiss Lens, their is know doubt Sony will dominant.

  • Koos

    It is interesting that the quote and many of the responses ignore the other very interesting figure for DSLR’s sales where Nikon get 29% and Canon 45% of market share in 2010.

    • Gerry


      • Koos

        Your Nikon rumour guy only posted 1/2 of the press release-read the full one!

        In the market for cameras with interchangeable lens, or single lens reflex cameras, Canon controlled 44.5 percent of the market, followed by Nikon with 29.8 percent and Sony with 11.9 percent, according to the data.

    • I added this to the post to avoid confusions.

      • pfft

        lies. You didn’t add it because it’s not nice Nikon news. You always post the Nikon trumps Canon stuff, but when the shoes on the other foot, well see above. You’ve even made it more of a “footnote” than an actual important point, which it is.

        Canon Rumors is right. Nikon was destroyed in 2010. Them’s the facts.

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