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December 28, 2011

Year in Review (Episode #2): Big in Japan:: Mirrorless Gains, M43rds Wins Mirrorless segment

We continue our Year in Review series with episode #2: "Big in Japan", which mirrors last year's episode Big in Japan (2010). Here we look at the market share of interchangeable lens cameras in Japan as set forth by BCNRanking (computer translated). The data covers the period from January 1st until December 20, 2011 - for the Japanese market only!

Mirrorless gains, more models means less top heavy top 20
The Nikon D3100 was the most popular interchangeable lens camera in Japan for 2011 according to the BCN Ranking data, with a 9.7% market share among interchangeable lens cameras. Canon held the next two spots with the Digital Rebel T2i/550D (Kiss X4) and T3i/600D (Kiss X5), and the Panasonic GF2 came fourth (and first among mirrorless cameras). Last year the top two cameras had two digit market shares (the Canon D-Rebel T2i/550D and Nikon D90). Just like last year, the top (and only) 35mm full frame camera in the top 20 was the Canon 5D Mark II.

Overall, the top twenty models have 83.3% market share, compared to 88.1% in 2010. This is not a surprise, since we had 25 new interchangeable lens camera models this year, including the launch of two brand new mirrorless systems (Pentax Q, Nikon CX) adding even more choices to the market.

Since 16.7% of the total market share is outside the Top 20, we cannot tell for sure who is the overall market share winner in Japan. But we can count the totals in the Top 20, where Canon leads with 27%, Nikon follows with 22.5%, followed by Sony with 11.9%, Olympus with 10.9%, Panasonic with 8%, and Pentax with 3%.

(if you want to speculate as to whether Canon won the overall market, keep in mind that the last camera in the top 20 has a market share of 1.5%, so the maximum market share any individual camera outside the top 20 can have is 1.5%; so for Nikon to win, they would need to overcome the 4.5% deficit from the Top 20 and also overcome the market share of the remaining Canon DSLRs (T3, XS, 1D*, etc))

Within the Top 20, the DSLR vs mirrorless battle has DSLRs winning with 55.1% vs 28.1% with 12 DSLRs vs 8 mirrorless cameras. This shows that mirrorless cameras are making gains, last year's Top 20 was 64.9% vs 23.2% with 13 DSLRs vs 9 mirrorless cameras.

bar chart showing the top 10 DSLR/iLCs in Japan for 2011 based on

CaNikon vs The Field - where is the red panic button for the duopoly???
Within the Top 20, the combined Canon + Nikon market share is 49.4% versus 33.8% of The Field (the rest of the manufacturers, namely Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax). As you can expect based on the DSLR-vs-mirrorless numbers, the Field has made progress! In 2010, the Top 20 score was 58.9% for CaNikon vs 29.2% for the Field. Where is the big red panic button for the duopoly? :)

Micro Four Thirds wins the Mirrorless War in Japan
When you page down to the second half of the BCNRanking article (computer translated), you will notice a second table, the top 10 of mirrorless cameras. When you add up the market share numbers for Micro Four Thirds within the top ten, the total is 53.6% with six camera models. Sony NEX E-mount has 27.6% with four camera models. The top ten cameras have 81.2% of the overall mirrorless market share.

By using basic math, we can deduce (without doubt) that Micro Four Thirds has won the Japanese mirroless market for 2011 (spoiler alert: M43rds already has more than 50% inside the top ten so it is mathematically impossible for them to lose or tie)

Notes and Footnotes
+ Percentage totals mentioned are the sum of the Top 20. They are raw percentages, they are not normalized. They do not add up to 100% because we do not know the market shares of individual cameras outside the Top 20 [with one exception: one could perhaps use the mirrorless top 10 to reserve-engineer the numbers for the E-PL3 and NEX-5n]
+ Please note some of the cameras were released prior to 2011, while others were released during 2011. The ones released prior to 2011 that continued to be available throughout 2011 obviously had an advantage over other cameras since they had been available for purchase for more days
+ typos, errors and confusions are always a possibility; we not Popes

Reference material
+ (computer translated)
+ calculator

2011 Year in Review series
+ #1: Camera Announcements in Charts and Graphs
+ #2: Big in Japan - interchangeable camera market share (spoiler alert: M43rds won the mirrorless war)
+ #3: Interchangeable Lens Cameras by the Numbers
+ #4: Top Sellers among our Readers

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