Way back in 2010, camera sales peaked out at around 121 million units per year, but by 2019 this figure had slumped to around 15 million. With sales figures in 2020 predicted to be around 11 million units, and huge investment costs for new ranges of mirrorless cameras, the camera manufacturers are hurting badly. Particularly Nikon, who have seen their 38% of the market share in 2015 slump to around 18% by 2020.
The functionality of the camera phone now means that the average man in the street just doesn’t need to carry a bulky camera, as they have the ideal device with them anyway. Add in the convenience of being able to upload straight to the internet and the compact camera is now about to be consigned to history.
Whilst small cameras and DSLR’s are still selling in moderate numbers, camera sales are likely to become mainly the province of the enthusiast and professional in the foreseeable future. So where does that leave us photographers who actually enjoy the world of cameras and all the clutter and processing that goes with them? With sales numbers declining and development costs spiralling, we are likely to see our cameras get more expensive, in fact we are already seeing that with the Canon R5 at £4.5K and the Sony A1 at £6.5k.
With Nikon announcing the Z9 as a successor to the D6 and rumoured to be launching its 60mp Z8 later this year, it will be interesting to see what price they come out at, but that is likely to be at least £4.5k for the Z8 to match the Canon R5 and £6.5K for the Z9. So where does that leave the bulk of the camera buyers who can’t afford £4.5-6.5K? The manufacturers need to be careful and not kill off the market by pricing out the average enthusiast, so it will be interesting to see where the “pain threshold” actually is.
So where does that leave the average camera buying enthusiast, who could until recently, upgrade to a near top of the range camera for little more than £2k? With high Mp cameras set to filter down through the camera ranges, it will be interesting to see what camera the manufacturers offer us below their flagship models at prices the man in the street can afford?