Fewer digital cameras were sold in 2021 versus the previous year, yet camera makers took in more money. The average camera in 2021 was on average better specced than those bought in years past, but cost 8.1 percent more in 2021 versus 2020.
Camera maker trade group CIPA reported that unit sales decreased six percent while revenues for those cameras brought in 16 percent more.
The 8.1 percent increase in camera costs is not an inflation rate comparing the same model cameras from one year to the next, but rather an inflation rate of the average camera expenditure for the year.
Nikon and Canon previously made a much greater proportion of their revenues on cheaper DSLRs in this category, but the move to mirrorless is rapidly shifting the market to their newer, more expensive offerings – with a resulting emphasis on full frame bodies.
Canon’s financial results, reported two days ago, reflect this change, with profit margins growing rapidly in their camera division year-over-year.
Manufacturers with adequate scale to make fewer cameras and still enjoy decent economies of scale in production costs (Sony and Canon at this time) are benefitting from this movement. Nikon is a much smaller manufacturer, and the loss of the lower end of the market may put pressure on its average costs due to its smaller scale.