CIPA—the Camera & Imaging Products Association—has released its December report (PDF), which provides data for the month as well as a clear picture of how the camera industry fared in 2019. It makes grim reading.
Overall, digital still camera sales dropped by around 14 percent year over year. DSLR sales fell a staggering 34 percent, with their value decreasing approximately 28 percent. Fixed-lens camera sales dropped by 23 percent, while their value declined 12 percent. The only positive sign was that the value of mirrorless camera sales increased by nearly 6 percent—however, unit sales of these cameras still saw a significant decline of 10 percent.
The positive mirrorless figure from CIPA does indicate that more revenue is coming from more-expensive, higher-end mirrorless cameras—which explains why we’ll continue to see a steady flow of more-advanced models in the foreseeable future. At the same time, sales of DSLRs will inevitably continue their sharp decline, while fixed-lens sales will keep on suffering as the increasingly sophisticated cameras in our mobile phones secure their dominance.
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