Camera Sales Are Exploding in Europe, But Still Declining in the Americas

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Camera sales may be down in some parts of the world, but things are starting to look good in Europe.

All eyes have been firmly planted on cameras sales ever since Canon came out and said they expect the camera market to decline rapidly in the coming years. While recent numbers from CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) seem to suggest Canon is on to something, the data for May 2019 indicates that, in some parts of the world, camera sales have improved. Join us after the break to take a peek at the numbers.

There is no doubt about it: camera sales in the Americas (North, South, and Central), and Asia (excluding China) seem to be in somewhat of a freefall right now. For May 2019, the shipments of cameras to the Americas totaled just 325,806. That’s a considerable decline compared to previous months.

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The figure of 325,806 represents a 21.8% decline over units shipped in April and a massive 34.1% decline over the same month the previous year. Year to date, camera shipments to the Americas are down 30.1% compared to last year. We in the Americas just aren’t buying as many cameras as we used to. For the Americas and Asia at least, this means Canon’s predictions about camera sales are holding true. Shipments to Asia are down 31.1% for May 2019 compared to April and down 30.7% compared to May of 2018. Sales in Asia are down 6.6% YTD.

Judging by the number of cameras shipped to Europe in May, one would have to say camera sales seem to be doing much better than in other parts of the world. During May 2019, camera shipments to Europe totaled 504,962. This represents a 5.5% increase over shipments from the previously reported month, and just a 0.6% decrease compared to May in 2018.

While that represents a decrease compared to this time last year, the numbers are so much better than in other parts of the world. From January through May 2019, 1,995,431 cameras shipped to Europe. That’s 527,841 more cameras than were dispatched to the Americas during the same period.

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Unfortunately, the camera market has become a rat race, much like other tech industries. Camera companies are releasing new models faster than ever before, but the cameras they are replacing are so good that photographers just don’t see the need to upgrade. The Smartphone market is in a very similar predicament right now. Just go and ask Apple how sales of the iPhone are going.

For example, the Sony A7 R III is fantastic, and is honestly more camera than anyone could ever need or want, yet here we are, 19 months later, with the new Sony A7R IV. Will it sell? Sure, Sony will sell units, but only to those who must have latest and greatest, and to those who like to brag about the number of Megapixels they are carrying around. For the rest of us, cameras like the A7 R III, and heck even the A7R II, are still more than enough to create stunning images. What do you think about the current state of camera sales and the camera market place? Let us know in the comment section below.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.