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BCN+R data shows that Canon and Sony controlled the Japanese camera market in 2021

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Japanese analyst firm BCN Retail (BCN+R) has announced the BCN Awards winners. The awards offer an in-depth summary of 2021 camera sales data in Japan. BCN+R collects data from an estimated 40 to 60 percent of retailers in Japan, so its awards offer an indicative look at the overall Japanese camera market.

The BCN Awards are split into different categories, including interchangeable lens cameras, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Looking first at digital interchangeable lens cameras, including DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, Canon had the highest market share with 34.1 percent. Canon also had the award last year and the year before, although its market share has dropped each year, from 39.3 percent in 2020 and 39.1 percent in 2021. In fact, Canon has had the top spot since 2006, save for 2019 when Nikon beat out Canon for the top spot. Canon is followed by Sony with 23.1 percent market share and then Fujifilm in third with 11.4 percent. This is the same order as last year, although both Sony and Fujifilm have gained ground.

We compiled the data from 2006 through 2021 for the top three manufacturers in the digital interchangeable lens camera market, per the BCN Awards. Note, Matsushita (Panasonic) was in the top 3 in 2006 and 2008 with 12.7 and 16.1 percent market share, respectively. However, as the data points don’t connect and we don’t have access to the 2007 data for Matsushita, it has been omitted from the graph, although you can see Panasonic with similar market shares in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

It’s no surprise that Canon has taken the top spot for DSLR cameras with a dominant 59.8 percent market share. Canon is followed by Nikon with 33.9 percent and Ricoh Imaging, likely due to the new Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR, with 5.8 percent. The order of the top three has been the same since 2014.

This chart is translated. Click here to see the original.

For mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, Sony takes the top spot with 32 percent market share. In 2021, Sony released two new high-end Alpha cameras, the flagship Sony A1 and the Sony A7 IV. Sony also released the vlogging-oriented ZV-E10. Canon was in second place with 28.2 percent and OM Digital Solutions, formerly known as Olympus, rounded out the top three with 12.7 percent market share. It’s the same top three as last year, however, both Sony and Canon gained market share in 2021 compared to the prior year.

This chart is translated. Click here to see the original.

There are also BCN Awards for digital video cameras and action cameras. Panasonic came out on top with 43.6 percent market share in the video camera category, followed by Sony with 26.3 percent and DJI with 11.2 percent. Panasonic and Sony have been first and second each year since 2009, occasionally swapping places. In the action camera segment, GoPro dominated with 70.4 market share, followed by Sony and DJI.

To see the BCN Awards and the full list of results from previous years, click here.


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