Canon begins transition to mirrorless market dominance


With 2021 nicely and really over, producers who align their funds to the calendar yr at the moment are getting ready their monetary reviews. Canon’s newest figures reveal sturdy and sustained efficiency even in the course of the pandemic, a results of the shift to mirrorless digital camera manufacturing and facilitating the beginning of a brand new market dominance.

This is a take a look at what Canon’s newest monetary report reveals in regards to the firm’s present place and trajectory within the digital camera business.

The Loss of life of the DSLR and the Rise of the Mirrorless

The emergence of the COVID pandemic got here on the mistaken time for a digital camera business already shaken by the affect of gross sales, main to an enormous contraction out there and an exodus of once-household names. It did not begin there, because the seeds sown by Sony with the discharge of the E-mount and later the Alpha 7 have been referred to as the dying knell on DSLRs.

What’s clearer than ever – and particularly taking a look at CIPA cargo information for 2021 – is that mirrorless cameras at the moment are the beating monetary coronary heart of the business, accounting for 38% of models however 67% of worth . In truth, the information comes thick and quick: Ricoh tries out “workshop-like” manufacturing fashions for Japanese DSLR prospects, Canon closes its final remaining Chinese language manufacturing facility (Zhuhai) to mass-scale built-in cameras. ends manufacturing, and the BCN Awards present that Canon and Sony are stealing the present.

It is a pivot the business has seen as no different, and it is largely cut up into two camps: Sony, Fuji, Olympus, and Panasonic all developed viable mirrorless methods within the early 2010s and noticed success. seen to a larger or lesser extent. Canon, Nikon and Pentax tried alternate options that failed primarily as a result of they by no means supposed to exchange their money-making DSLRs.

Canon and Nikon have needed to substitute their digital camera methods in instances of dramatically falling gross sales, declining market share and now COVID.

After years of pushing aside critical mirrorless cameras for worry of harming their DSLR companies, Canon lastly jumped in with each ft in 2018 with the introduction of the Canon R and Nikon Z6/Z7 respectively.

A take a look at Canon’s 2021 financials

So how did Canon fare? The important thing outcomes for the enterprise as an entire are an 11.2% improve in web gross sales, to three,513 billion (~$30 billion), nearly bringing it again to parity, up from 3,160 billion and three,593 billion within the pre-COVID 2019 yr. Working revenue rose 155% to 282 billion and beat 2019 by some margin. It is a results of elevated gross sales in 2021, however a considerably decrease price than in 2019 because of medium-term restructuring (and it’s important to think about that the Zhuhai manufacturing facility closure was a part of this).

So, whereas the general enterprise is doing nicely — very nicely — how is the imaging division performing? First, the printing division is, by a big margin, crucial for Canon, accounting for 55% of gross sales and 60% of working revenue. Imaging is the second largest division with 19% of gross sales and 21% of working revenue.

Roughly all divisions bounced again to pre-COVID ranges of gross sales, however imaging did notably nicely (20.7% improve in web gross sales to ₹654 billion) partly as a result of it is extra critical than printing. was considerably affected. Given the outperformance throughout all divisions, Canon expects a ten% improve in web gross sales for 2022, primarily from printing and imaging.

It’s price noting that Canon has restructured the reporting of its divisions; Oddly, inkjet printers used to function inside imaging, but it surely has now moved into printing, a division renamed “Workplace” and encompassing all of its print applied sciences. Canon does all comparisons retrospectively in order that the anticipated teams are within the right divisions.

Canon offers extra element round its imaging division, dividing its merchandise into “cameras” and “community cameras and others.” “Community cameras” accounted for 34% of whole gross sales, though the overall “cameras” sector is extra and has seen a 24.6% improve in web gross sales. Canon confirms gross sales of two.74 million interchangeable lens cameras, a decline of 1% in comparison with 2020.

CIPA information for 2020 reviews a complete of 5.27 million models, near Canon’s determine of 5.38 million, which the corporate believes will improve to five.65 million models. It additionally reveals that Canon has about 52% of your entire ILC market, which is a exceptional achievement. Canon additionally confirms 1.15 million compact digital camera shipments, representing 38% of CIPA cargo information and fairly near the 34.1% proven in latest BCN Awards information.

All Canon divisions are again to pre-COVID ranges of gross sales together with kind of imaging.

Digicam business in 2022 and past

Contemplating that mirrorless cameras are the one class that has elevated shipments, my expectation is that mirrorless models may even see cargo development of round 3.5 million models. Canon want to seize as a lot element as potential mirrorless Pi and – surprisingly – tasks grabbing all of it! As I discussed earlier, and maybe counter-intuitively, Canon expanded DSLR gross sales in 2021 on the expense of Nikon, so it could be trying to promote extra on this market.

If — and it is enormous — BCN awards market share displays a broader pattern, then Canon might want to take market share from Sony. This appears unlikely given each the historic efficiency and the discharge methods of the present producers.

The mirrorless market just isn’t just like the DSLR market the place Canon and Nikon have lengthy dominated and Canon has probably elevated its share to round 60%. There are lots of, many profitable producers that also make vital gross sales and are largely not competing instantly with Canon. Olympus, Fuji and Panasonic all fall into this camp and none (apart from the Panasonic S1) produce a full-frame vary but have vital gross sales. Together with Nikon, this group makes up 50% of mirrorless shipments, a big proportion.

With the closure of the Zhuhai manufacturing facility, it’s fascinating to see that compact digital camera shipments are predicted to drop to 600,000 for 2022. A number of lower-priced fashions are anticipated to be pulled from the cabinets as Canon shifts its focus to the excessive worth, excessive mileage, section.

Canon has already stated that we have seen its final flagship DSLR, however may we see a brand new mannequin in a special DSLR line?

Canon is efficiently shifting in the direction of mirrorless

Total, this can be a compelling set of outcomes for Canon that reveals a extremely profitable pivot to mirrorless, the shuttering and useful resource consolidation of its compact cameras. Its single most essential aim is to determine larger market share within the mirrorless sector, with a watch nonetheless on DSLRs.

If Canon had one query in thoughts, it could be this: Is the previous canine lifeless? The gradual tempo of DSLR implants suggests there could also be a protracted tail (oh pricey!), so is the unthinkable potential? Might we see a brand new (non-flagship) DSLR mannequin hitting the cabinets? It might not occur in 2022, however we’ll know extra about how the DSLR and mirrorless sectors are performing by the top of it.



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