Friday, January 11, 2008

Nikon #1 in DSLRs in Japan for 2007 (updated)

Nikon has won the Japanese DSLR market for 2007 according to the end of year data published by BCN. A summary can be found at, and more details (also computer-translated) at the BCN website.

Nikon won with 43.8% of the votes (oops! market share), with Canon at 40.0%. Combined they had an 83.8% DSLR market share which clearly shows that this is a two-party system duopoly.

Pentax led the "independents" with a 5.8% market share, leaving 10.4% to be shared among the remaining brands. We don't know the ranking of the remaining brands, but here are their names: Olympus, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, Samsung, Shiguma (Sigma), and any leftover models from the past.

Fixed lens cameras (non-DSLRs)
In the non-DLSR segment (the term Point and Shoot (P&S) is extremely silly in our opinion), Canon won the 2007 battle with 19.8%, with Panasonic (Matsushita) at the #2 spot with 16.1% and Sony at #3 with 14.1%. Our brain-calculator tells us that that is exactly 50% of the market share, leaving the other 50% of the pie to the remaining companies. We don't have the ranking for those, but they are Olympus, Fuji, Nikon, Kodak, HP, Samsung, Ricoh, Hello Kitty, Pentax, Casio, Sanyo, "rebrandos" and more. "Rebrandos" are a new term I just made up to refer to all the rebranded cameras :) For more new terms, visit 1001 noisy terms.

As we already know, the fixed-lens digital camera market is wide open, with the latest numbers showing the top three companies having 50% of the market share. In contrast, in DSLRs, the top two companies have almost 84% of the market share, and the top three almost have 90% of the market share. The DSLR market needs more diversity :)

Nikon's victory was not a surprise because they had already pulled the big surprise in the first half of 2007 by beating Canon then for the first time in quite a while.

Some could point out that the trio of D40, D40X and D80 was what outsold the Digital Rebel Kiss duo and the EOS 30D. While there are no data to prove or disprove this, it makes sense, since the lower priced DSLRs are the ones that sell in big numbers. The D3 and D300 duo won a lot of PR for Nikon, but they came late in 2007. I'm sure they had their impact though, as the Nikon D300 has the monthly production output of a mid-range DSLR, despite its $1800 price.

Number crunching is fun but of course it doesn't affect the quality of a camera or the pictures you take. So if your brand did not do well, go out and take pictures! Don't grab a pint of ice-cream and cry uncontrollably while hugging the empty box of your favorite DSLR that failed to win the market share war! And don't toss the "failed" DSLR out of the window. Send it to me instead :)

More BCN data from Japan!
dpreview has posted more BCN data, providing the overall digital camera market rankings in addition to what we mentioned above. Head over to dpreview to find out who jumped from #4 to #2, read DSLR projections from Nikon, and a few more numbers. There you will also find why this innocent P&S camera was important in the Japanese market.

Everything you are reading in this post is about the Japanese Market!

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