Today, Sony has announced that they have overtaken Canon and held the number one overall position in the U.S. full-frame interchangeable lens camera market for the duration of the first half of 2018, in both dollars and units.
Back up to early 2017, Sony had then taken over the number two overall spot ahead of Nikon in the U.S. full-frame interchangeable lens camera (ILC) market. In December 2017, Nikon had briefly taken the number one overall position ahead of Canon and Sony in market share and revenue for full-frame ILCs thanks in part to the holiday rush for their new D850.
In the time since, Sony has released their latest, third-generation full-frame camera bodies, the a7R III and a7 III, to much fanfare. Shockingly, four out of every ten full-frame cameras sold in the first half of 2018 were Sony.
The market research was conducted by the NPD Group, Inc. This is the same company that Nikon used to proclaim them number one in December 2017 and has been used in the camera industry to monitor trends for many years.
In addition, Sony has claimed to have held the number one position in the overall mirrorless market for more than six years in both dollars and units.
The company attributed their landmark success to the popular reception and sales of their a7R III and a7 III camera, as well as the “rapid adoption” of the a9 amongst sports photographers and photojournalists. They also acknowledged their active and engaged communities playing a part across social media platforms. “It is our pleasure to create for you, the true creators,” said Neal Manowitz, vice president of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “You pushed us to innovate, to change, to continually adapt, and your voice remains core to everything we do.”
In a show of support for these loyal creatives, Sony also announced the launch of a “Be Alpha” campaign which will host community events throughout North America in 2018. Furthermore, “Be Alpha” is spearheading new programs that “foster growth in both the current and next generations of imaging professionals.” This begins with their flagship program, “Alpha Female.” Sony called this “multi-tiered, female exclusive program” a “thoughtful response to the imaging industry’s well-documented diversity challenges.” The program will include grants and mentorship opportunities for female photographers and videographers.