The Camera & Imaging Products Association of Japan has released its statistical data for last year showing monthly breakdowns for camera and lens production and shipment figures.

This chart compares worldwide camera shipments over the past three years. (Source: CIPA.)

Last year’s camera shipments showed a rise from mid-year on, reflecting the opening up of markets as countries around the world began lifting COVID restrictions. The decline in December is, as always, due to the arrival of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the seasonal holidays during the month.

We’ve done our own analysis, using CIPA’s data to graph the status of the three main camera types: fixed-lens cameras, DSLRs and mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras. We’ve provided separate graphs for unit volumes and sales value (shown as increments of 1000 Yen). By way of comparison we’ve provided graphs for the 2021 year, based on similar figures.

These two graphs show the unit volumes of cameras shipped from Japanese manufacturers, with the top graph showing the 2022 figures and the lower graph the 2021 figures.

These two graphs provide a similar comparison between the 2021 and 2022 sales values for the three camera types.

The volumes comparison shows clearly the increase in production volumes with the lifting of COVID restrictions. The values comparison also shows the consistently higher value of mirrorless cameras, when compared with fixed-lens and DSLR models.

This chart compares worldwide shipments of interchangeable lenses over the past three years. (Source: CIPA.)

Last year’s lens shipments largely reflected the camera shipments, with a similar dip in November and December as winter set in. In our breakdown of the interchangeable lens market, we have separated lenses designed for cameras with larger sensors (35mm and medium format) from the more compact ‘cropped’ formats (APS-C and M4/3).

The dominance of the mirrorless sector is more difficult to indentify precisely in the interchangeable-lens market, although the mirrorless sector is likely to be becoming increasingly strong as it would be linked to camera sales. The relatively close relationship between both sectors in the volume graphs confirms similar moves in favour of mirrorless cameras. Readers should note that all M4/3 cameras and all cropped-sensor cameras from Fujifilm (a major market player) have been mirrorless for more than a decade.

This graph shows the unit volumes of interchangeable lenses shipped from Japanese manufacturers during 2022.


This graph provides a similar comparison between the 2022 sales values for the three camera types.

These graphs confirm the conclusions drawn by leading industry commentators that mirrorless is the dominant market sector. Mirrorless cameras are being produced at roughly double the volume of DSLRs and the market value is far greater and continuing to rise. Paralleling this is the decline in fixed-lens cameras, which are now a relatively small and low-profit sector. Both fixed-lens cameras and DSLRs will probably to drop more precipitously in 2023 in terms of volume and value.

The CIPA statistics also show the camera market is now ‘mature’. Total camera shipments for 2022 were 8,011,598 units, with a market value of 681,232,643 Yen. Whether the 2023 market figures will reach that high is up for debate and it will depend largely on whether predicted increases in mirrorless volumes can make up for the expected decrease in DSLR volumes, which are likely to be substantial. February is usually considered a good month for predicting market movements for the rest of the year. With the opening to visitors of CP+, one of the few remaining big consumer trade shows in Japan on 23 February, the first half of the year is likely to see numerous new product launches that will set the way for the remainder of the year. Photo Review will be attending this year’s show and we’ll publish a report at the end of this month.