The Most Popular Cameras of 2018: How Do Canon’s and Nikon’s Mirrorless Compete?

The Most Popular Cameras of 2018: How Do Canon’s and Nikon’s Mirrorless Compete?

We all have our favorites, but what do the numbers say?

Last year, we gathered the statistics from a rental house, store, and image hosting service to figure out the most used equipment over 2017. This year, we’re doing the same, but it’s being split between cameras, lenses, and accessories. The brands have also given us a little extra insight, so we can see some clear and unclear trends.

The most interesting questions I want to answer are:

  • How did the Canon EOS R and Nikon Z series cameras fare?
  • How are DSLRs performing compared to their mirrorless counterparts?
  • Has the latest generation of iPhones seen the same adoption as the last?

This year, we’re getting data from B&H, LensRentals, and 500px. Unfortunately B&H only has the last quarter of the year, but we do know what bundles the cameras were bought with. 500px have also focused on their most widely used categories.

Most Popular Mirrorless Cameras

Buying: B&H

  1. Sony a7 III
  2. Sony a7 II with 28-70mm lens
  3. Fujifilm X-T3 (Black)
  4. Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm Lens
  5. Sony a7 III with 28-70

Rental: LensRentals

  1. Sony a7S II
  2. Sony a7 III
  3. Panasonic GH5
  4. Sony a7R III

Online: 500px

  1. Sony a6000
  2. Sony a7R II

It’s fascinating that while Sony is killing it here, nobody is buying the a7R, a7S or a9 cameras. My hunch is that since this data is only for the last quarter, most people have already bought these already. Whereas there have been some great deals on the a7 range, and there may be less anticipation the a7 III will be updated next year. I’m surprised that the Panasonic GH5 hasn’t been picked up more, since it’s been on sale and is still a killer camera for video.

DSLRs are dominating on 500px, which is why there are only two cameras in the top ten for any major category on the site. Certain categories are filled with the obvious too: aerial shots are taken on drones, and the film category is filled with film-scanning metadata.

Most Popular DSLRs

Buying: B&H

  1. Canon 6D Mark II
  2. Canon 5D Mark IV
  3. Nikon D750
  4. Nikon D850
  5. Nikon D5600 with 18-55mm and 70-300mm Lenses

Rental: LensRentals

  1. Canon 5D Mark IV
  2. Canon 5D Mark III
  3. Nikon D750

Online: 500px

  1. Canon 5D Mark III
  2. Canon 6D
  3. Nikon D750
  4. Canon 5D Mark IV
  5. Canon 5D Mark II

Canon is trumping Nikon in every space here, and I can’t see the Nikon D850 in the top ten for any major category on 500px. The Canon 5D Mark III was used about twice as much as fifth place, the 5D Mark II. Just like last year, the 5D Mark III isn’t going anywhere. It’s also worth noting that LensRentals only had three DSLRs in their top 20 rentals this year.

Canon EOS R versus Nikon Z6 Series

It looks like Canon has beaten Nikon in this race. While neither wound up beating Sony in B&H sales and LensRentals orders, 500px has some interesting data on their usage. As you can see from this chart, the Canon EOS R had more uploads than both the Nikon Z6 and Z7 combined.

What’s even more interesting is the lack of users here. Sure, there’s bound to be less EOS R and Nikon Z users than iPhones or even more seasoned DSLRs. I figured it would be higher. Maybe you didn’t?

iPhone X versus iPhone XS/XR

According to 500px, the Apple might have had good reason to stop talking about iPhone sales numbers. It seems like the latest batch of iPhones haven’t reached the same post-launch numbers that the iPhone X saw last year. In fact, user uploads fell, when last year, we saw steady growth.

One of the trends I’m looking forward to seeing next year is the use of 360/action cameras that have built-in stabilization. I think GoPro and Insta360 will need to fight this one out in 2019 to prove what customers really want. I’m also interested to see where live streaming devices go next year, since the SlingStudio Hub was on “LensRentals Most Popular New Photo and Video Gear of 2018.”

Happy holidays, and I hope everyone’s filling family photo albums with Christmas shots. Also, the full LensRentals article can be found here.

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12 Comments

this proves that canon is bigger then nikon. and thats about it. doesnt say much about the camera. mc Donalds is bigger then any health food store. a canon fan will buy a canon mirrorless, same goes for other brands.

Daniel Medley's picture

Hence the use of "most popular" in the title.

based on 3 sources. great carrier of affiliate links, news worth, non.

Bill Wells's picture

I think many users are a bit offended by all the affiliate links. They are supposed to post a disclaimer or full disclosure notice.

fstoppers is a website full of articles of other peoples work and the links to youtube video's. every single " article" holds affiliate links. one after the other questionable article holding affiliate links. " i found a youtube video, here is an affiliate link"

Xander Cesari's picture

The title implies that either Canon or Nikon was the most popular mirrorless of 2018. Is this sort of like when a race broadcast focuses on who's battling for second place because one driver/rider is running away with it and it's getting boring? :P

Eric Salas's picture

So this article proves nobody actually gives a damn about Canon or Nikon mirrorless cameras... no surprise here !

Christian Durand's picture

Spoken like a Sony user ....

Eric Salas's picture

An ellipsis has three dots.

Use an ellipsis to omit a word, sentence, or phrase, not to insinuate the nature of your saltiness.

Back to your Scrabble and licorice; carry on.

Ryan Stone's picture

Smarmy dbag. Maybe learn about upright correction since you don’t have any tilt shift lenses for your Sony junk.

The USA market might be different from other markets.

Dean Allman's picture

As a Nikon user the Z6 is a great addition to my kit. I am having a lot of fun with using glass that is 35 years old with all the manual focus assist features now available in the EVF. And I think this is the point. These cameras were built primarily for the existing user base . I could care less if people are buying more Sony or Canon cameras. What I do care about is I can use my existing trove of lenses and lighting gear with one camera system. for photography and video. That's huge.