As per their newly released financial reports covering sales for the first quarter of 2019, both Canon and Nikon suffered a decline in imaging business sales of around 17% when compared with 2018.
Canon’s report shows they were 17% down on last year, meanwhile Nikon’s results reveal a marginally worse decline of 17.9%. The news comes as both companies continue to see the market for dedicated cameras shrink, in part thanks to an increase in the capabilities of smartphones cameras, with sales cutting into those of DSLRs.
The contraction of the market for interchangeable-lens cameras, mainly for DSLRs, continued in step with the proliferation of smartphones, resulting in a significant decline in sales and profits. In the first quarter, sales of interchangeable-lens cameras were down 19% to 850 thousand units. This reflects the combined impact of accelerated market contraction for DSLRs, in particular, entry-level models, and economic slowdown in China, which is a sizeable market for interchangeable-lens cameras.
For the digital camera-interchangeable lens type, sales of the D850, a digital SLR camera, were strong, and the Group made efforts to increase sales of the new Z 7 and Z 6 full-frame mirrorless cameras, which have earned favorable reviews. However, unit sales of both digital camera-interchangeable lens type and compact digital cameras fell amidst the shrinking market.
Nikon states they are aware further declines in camera business may lay ahead, given the uncertain economy and rising camera competition. They also predicted the camera market will continue to shrink overall, while full-frame interchangeable lens cameras will hold their ground.