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Canon dSLR king, but Nikon is catching up

Posted on Monday, April 07 2008 @ 10:33:11 CEST by

New market research figures from IDC indicate Canon has lost some marketshare in the digital SLR market to Nikon. Canon is still the top dog with 3.18 dSLR cameras sold but Nikon is coming closer with its 2.98 million units.
Canon sold 3.18 million single-lens reflex cameras in 2007 compared with Nikon's 2.98 million, according to a study released Tuesday by market researcher IDC. That represents a 42.7 percent and 40 percent share, respectively, of the 2007 SLR market. It's a much narrower margin for Canon than in 2006, when it had 46.7 percent of the market, compared with Nikon's 33 percent.

Nikon SLR shipments grew at a 71.1 percent rate, much faster than Canon's 29.3 percent rate, IDC said. To be sure, unit shipments don't reflect another important aspect of market share--revenue, which IDC didn't detail. But Nikon released competitive higher-end models, the D3 and D300, in the second half of 2007, so there's plenty of pressure on Canon there, too.

The SLR market is of major importance to camera makers: it's competitive, and the SLR market is far less saturated than the compact camera market, where camera makers are focusing on getting people to buy replacements or multiple models. SLRs offer much faster performance and higher image-quality than compact models, and lenses can be changed for different shooting styles. Thus, photographers have been flocking to SLRs as prices drop.

The overall SLR market surged 41 percent to 7.45 million units, much faster than the 22.7 percent growth to 123.3 million units for compacts, according to the IDC stats.
In the total camera market the top five brands are Canon (18.8%), Sony (16%), Kodak (9.6%), Samsung (8.4%) and Nikon (8.3%). Canon is still clearly the marketleader but IDC analyst Christoper Chute says Canon's position is coming under pressure as the firm is trying to maintain higher average selling prices even as its rivals cut prices.



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