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May 01, 2012

DSLRs production beats mirrorless 5 to 1 in Q1 2012 according to CIPA

Since we fell into the numbers trap in the previous post, it is time to look at another snapshot of the market! Take a look at the CIPA production data in the March 2012 PDF file. Look at the columns named "Jan-Mar" and check the production and shipment data for SLRs vs Mirrorless (non-reflex) cameras. DSLRs are outproducing/outshipping Mirrorless cameras by a near 5-to-1 margin in the first quarter of 2012 for the whole world. The comparative numbers for production vs shipments are similar.

Now it is not possible to tell from the data whether this result is partially because manufacturers are trying to catch up with DSLR production after last year's tragic natural disasters in Japan and Southeast Asia. It is not also not possible to know what impact the camera release cycles may be having on the numbers. There is also the production vs shipment vs purchase vs actual usage debate which is also not captured by these numbers. But a 5-to-1 global ratio is not a rounding error.

Region-wise, as most of you may have suspected, mirrorless cameras are doing a lot better in Japan (only 1.5 to 1 DSLR-to-mirrorless ratio) and a lot worse in Europe with a dramatic near 10-to-1 ratio.

Camera Shipments data for Q1 2012 by CIPA

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