With the sole exception of Canon, Japanese camera manufacturers have a fiscal year from April 1st till March 31st, so the results of the fiscal of the last year have just recently been announced.
Among the major manufacturers Sony did not release a lot of camera numbers but certain figures are given out. According to the report, Digital Imaging at Sony has declined by 22.5% between 2010 and 2011 in terms of sales. The main reasons that are considered the causes of this drop include flood in Thailand, the appreciation of the yen, and the softness of the economies in a few of their key markets. The compact camera sales of Sony also fell from about 24M units to about 21M units over the same period. As for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, Sony does not release their data. Sony has said that recovery in the domain of Digital Imaging would take place for the next fiscal year, but the sales of compact cameras would most probably remain flat.
Olympus underwent a complete re-evaluation of assets during the last couple of years which resulted in something that is being called “impairment losses on asset mainly in the Imaging business,” by the company. These losses amount to about 14.1 bn yen, which is equivalent to about US$177 million. The overall loss in sales happens to be about one-third, with the loss in Imaging group declining by 2%.
According to Olympus, the sales of Pen and high-value compact cameras was pretty stable which means that the deciding factor in the loss happens to be the sales of low-end compact cameras. At present, the overall camera market share of Olympus happens to be 7%, which amounts for about 8.15 M units. An interesting point in this regard is that the sales of Olympus within Japan went up by 22.4% but were down outside Japan by 7%.
Nikon is among the top manufacturers who are still enjoying profit in almost all areas. Digital Imaging is one such group where the company earned a profit of 45b yen, with the year ending with 587b yen in imaging sales. Increase in the sales of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras was also seen, with the number of units sold rising from 4.29m last year to about 4.74m this year. Besides, the sales of lenses also went up from 6.36m last year to 7.13m this year. Finally, in the domain of compact cameras, Nikon managed to sell 17.37m units, up from 14.26 units sold last year.
So basically Nikon has been very successful over the last fiscal year and now, the company claims about 29% market share of interchangeable lenses, 17.5% of the compact market share and 19% of overall market share.
Among other major manufacturers, Fujifilm and Panasonic were reported to be in loss just like Olympus and Sony. So basically a lot of shifting of trends has taken place in the market of digital cameras and various manufacturers intend to completely shun the further production of compact cameras, Samsung being one of them.