Can Canon and Sony Both Be Number One in Mirrorless?

Can Canon and Sony Both Be Number One in Mirrorless?

If you happened to see the recent press release and subsequent articles, you may be under the impression that Canon has become the number one brand of mirrorless cameras. And this data is probably correct. But after their release, Sony was asked about it and decided to share their end of the same data, which also says they are number one in mirrorless. So what's the deal?

If you take a look at the Canon press release, what you will see is their announcement of taking the top spot as the number one mirrorless camera brand for 2023. You will then see them laying claim thanks to their continued innovation and product development. Listing cameras like the EOS R6 Mark II, EOS R5 C, EOS R5, and EOS R8, they explain that this award comes because of their robust Rolodex of cameras on offer for professional photographers who are on the sidelines of world-class sporting events, weddings, and other important storytelling events.

On the other side of the fence, it was noted here that Sony’s own accolades seem to contradict this, with the company receiving a slew of its own "number one" accolades from the same Circana/NPD agency that Canon also used. Sony had decided not to make a public release of this information but provided it when asked. According to Circana/NPD (which I verified with Sony), Sony is the number one full-frame mirrorless camera brand in the US, with the Sony a7 IV being the number one full frame camera (in units and dollar sales), the number one full frame mirrorless camera (in units and dollar sales), as well as the number one mirrorless camera (in dollars), while the Sony ZV-E10 is the number one mirrorless camera (in units).

So how can Canon and Sony both be the number one brand? What I think might be happening here is that Canon could be the number one mirrorless camera brand if you include every line of cameras from budget, to prosumer, to professional while also including all sensor sizes. Or, maybe Canon is the number one mirrorless brand in the crop sensor market and simply left that part out? The problem is that Canon made their claim while giving thanks to their high-end full frame lineup and the robust Rolodex of cameras for the professional photographer. But now with Sony's data, Canon's claims seem incomplete, given that we now know that Sony holds the top spot as the number one full frame brand and the Sony a7 IV holds the top spot for full frame camera.  

It's important to say again that both Sony and Canon are getting their data from the same source, Circana/NPD, which is an industry standard. Unfortunately, the data produced is not freely available to the public. 

So to answer the initial question, both brands may be number one. We just don’t have a clear idea as to what area of the market Canon is number one over. We also know that Sony is number one for both full frame camera and full frame mirrorless brand.

As for these specific awards as a whole, I'm not entirely sure they make a difference to us as consumers (which is maybe why Sony never intended to make them public). While the number of units sold and dollars sold is one indicator of a brand's success, there are other factors I'd argue are more important, especially to us as consumers. 

Jason Vinson's picture

Jason Vinson is a wedding and portrait photographer for Vinson Images based out of Bentonville, Arkansas. Ranked one of the Top 100 Wedding photographers in the World, he has a passion for educating and sharing his craft.

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Yes. Canon most likely are selling more cameras than Sony but a big part of those are entry level budget type like Canon M50. Sony A74 is the most popular full frame camera and Sony are selling more full frame cameras than Canon. I think it’s like that and I just hope Nikon will sell good too, so we have those to choose from.

About Sony do you still have the A9m3? Not that I am planing to get one, but I am still waiting for someone to tell how the global shutter will compare to hi speed sync - up to /8000. Did you test that? Evidently due to flash duration you will loose some power with global shutter also, in hi speed sync shutter speed. And does the camera work with high speed sync even with global shutter? If so does it perform better?

Article coming soon on a9iii and flash, but with global shutter, even losing flash power due to flash duration, is still drastically better then HSS

good point , I m also curious !

I will say that Sony is number one, if they give me a free new Sony A7MV. Likewise, for Canon too. But I want a free new Canon R5M2.

Canon has been leading for years by a large international market.
Sony picks and chooses niche markets then try to sound like it's global.
Gee, the Z9 is the #1 mirrorless Z9 in the world according to Nikon. 😆

Who really cares? I see the almost intense competition of the big 4 (Canon, Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm) as a good thing, pushing the technology envelope and keeping prices reasonably under control. The real winner is us, the photographers.

How does this matter to photographers? Canon, Nikon, Sony, and other brands produce top-level photographs in the right hands. That includes many “consumer-grade” cameras. No one ever looked at a great photo from camera X and said “You should have used brand Y or Z.” It is in the interest of all photographers that the various brands continue to do well in the market.

Please reference the last paragraph of this article ☺

Who gives a rats a**!!!
All we as consumers (hobbyits, semipros & pros) care about is that the price is right and that the manufacturer delivers in its promise!!
That my friend is the bottom line and the real #1 thing!! 🙋🏻‍♂️😉🙏👍