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October 13, 2012

New Top Selling Cameras Snapshot posted

Now that the Photokina 2012 madness is in the rear view mirror, we took another snapshot of the top selling cameras at Amazon. You can see today's snapshot at the Top Selling Cameras blog.

REMINDER: These are snapshots of the top selling camera charts at Amazon. Since almost everyone reading this is a photographer, I don't think I need to explain the meaning of "snapshot". These are not the best selling cameras of the year. While they are snapshots, the Amazon data in itself is using some form of averaging/smoothing-out/weighing algorithm(s), so it is not a random hourly snapshot. We have been observing these for around ten years, black box style [we do the dirty work so you don't have to!]. This exercise is helpful in observing overarching patterns and trends over a long period of time. A stand-alone snapshot chart alone does not say much.


If you discount them, they will come
As you can see above, the discounting process is making new friends for the discounted cameras. The black Panasonic GF3 w/14-42 is currently hovering at around $300, while the not-that-old Sony NEX-5n w/18-55 is hovering around $480. It is quite telling that even non-entry-level mirrorless cameras are selling for less than many of the fixed-lens compacts with RAW.

Camera Demographics
Here are some "camera demographics" based on the Top 20:

+ seven interchangeable lens cameras (five DSLRs, two mirrorless)
+ one fixed lens compact with RAW (the Sony RX100)
+ five superzooms
+ one waterproof/elementproof
+ six under $100
+ five at $500 or more

Those sub-$100 cameras
It is no secret that prices have been squeezed the last few years, and I am guessing camera manufacturers are not particularly thrilled to be selling sub-$100 digital cameras with zoom lenses. There's only so much profit you can squeeze out of a $100 camera. They must be very jealous of Apple being able to get away with selling memory upgrades at a 90% profit!

While the talk of tech and gadget blogs are the ubersmartphones with ever-improving imaging modules, let's not forget that not everyone can afford those buzzworthy uberphones. A typical monthly payment on a typical smartphone contract with the big carriers is about the same price as a sub-$100 digital camera. So for many people, a $100 camera is a lot more affordable for picture-taking than a popular cameraphone.

Yet with so many other camera models out there above $100 and under $300, and many superzooms under $200, it feels rather uncomfortable (from an industry perspective) to see so many sub-$100s in the Top 20.

Nikon Coolpix P510 Color Attack
The Nikon Coolpix P510 has multiple body colors, and it is an interesting coincidence that three of them are clustered together, between #23 and #29 in today's snapshot.

Since the ranking is of actual individual products you can add-to-cart and buy, and the data is not tabulated by model name (eg all P510 colors are not added together), we have no way of knowing how far higher the P510 would have been if there was only one body color instead of three. The same goes for all the other cameras with different body colors and interchangeable lens cameras in various kit options.

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