Mirrorless Shipments Down Year-to-Year

I've tried to point out that things weren't quite so wonderful in terms of mirrorless camera sales before, and some of you haven't believed me. Okay, we've got the first quarter CIPA shipment numbers now, and a previous year quarter to compare them against. Herewith the news (source: CIPA):

cipa q1 2013.jpeg

To put a number on it, 2013 mirrorless shipments were only 57.8% of those a year ago. Oh, right, there was a peak in March of last year, maybe that's an anomaly, right? Indeed, most NEX-7 shipments slipped into Q1 of last year, plus we had GX1, X-Pro1, and OM-D E-M5 cameras making their way to retailers during that period. (Since some people are having trouble with this statement, let me point out that "shipments" as tracked by this data are not sales to customers at retail, they're mostly comprised of movement out of corporate inventory to distribution.) 

Here are the quarter by quarter numbers:

  • Q1 2012: 1,043,846 units
  • Q2 2012: 882,783 units
  • Q3 2012: 876,919 units
  • Q4 2012: 1,456,054 units
  • Q1 2013: 603,532 units

In other words, the worst quarter in the five quarters CIPA has been separating out these numbers. 

To be fair, DSLRs didn't knock it out of the park, either (chart scaled to match mirrorless scale):

cipa q1 dslr 2013.jpeg

While mirrorless shipments were 57.8% of last year's quarter, DSLRs were 76.8% of last year's quarter. Here are the full set of DSLR numbers:

  • Q1 2012: 3,386,386 units  (3.2 to 1)
  • Q2 2012: 4,265,825 units  (4.8 to 1)
  • Q3 2012: 4,557,378 units  (5.2 to 1)
  • Q4 2012: 3,990,862 units  (2.7 to 1)
  • Q1 2013: 2,600,765 units  (4.3 to 1)

Those numbers in parens are the DSLR-to-mirrorless sales ratio.

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