Figures show that between February 2018 and February 2019, camera shipment figures were down 35 percent, meaning 250,000 fewer interchangeable lens cameras were dispatched.
Via Digital Camera World, a new announcement indicates the industry has gone “from decline to freefall.” The figures themselves come from the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA), the international industry body whose latest report calculates 521,217 shipments of interchangeable lens cameras for the past year. For context, the total number of cameras shipped (fixed lens systems included) was 935,148 — just shy of 70 percent of the number shipped (1,340,995) in February 2018.
It correlates with a concern shared by Canon CEO Fujio Mitarai, when he admitted he was anticipating that the camera market could shrink by 50 percent over the next two years, blaming the sales decline on a surge in smartphone sales:
People usually shoot with smartphones. The digital camera market will keep falling for about two years, but professional and [advanced] amateurs use about 5 to 6 million units. Finally, [the market] will hit the bottom.
A separate report unveiled last month from LensVid noted that the camera market has collapsed 84 percent since 2010.
What does this spell for the future of photography? Should we be concerned?