2020’s CIPA Numbers Reveal the Impact of COVID-19 As Well As Continuing Downward Trend in the Industry


We’re starting to get a clearer picture of the impact of the pandemic of the consumer camera industry and it isn’t pretty.

Photo by PhotoMix Company from Pexels.

In fact, it seems that the global crisis accelerated ongoing trends including a drop in total digital cameras shipped as well as a decline in the value of those cameras shipped out when compared with 2019.

Still, the numbers are quite stark.

Compared with 2019, total digital still cameras shipped posted a whopping 41.6% decline by volume at 8,886,292 units shipped. This represents a decrease in the total value of cameras shipped by some $USD 4 billion or 29.4%, CIPA reports. Segments that bled the most include compact cameras and DSLRs. Compact cameras, defined by the CIPA report as those with built-in lenses, were down 47% by volume and 41,3% by total shipment value. DSLRs saw a 47.3% decrease in shipment volume and a 44.6% decline in total shipment value.

Mirrorless also posted a decline though one markedly less dramatic with a 25.9% decrease in volume and 12.5% decrease in total shipment value. Of course, we’ve had some preview of these numbers with the reports from Sony, Canon, and Nikon, the last of which has fared rather dismally during the past year – so much so that some have questioned whether or not Nikon will stick it out.

You can read our article on that here.

One trend that multiple outlets are noticing and one that was, again, previewed by the reports from the camera makers themselves is that, while volume is decreasing, the value of cameras shipped is not decreasing at a similar rate. This speaks to the idea that higher-value cameras are making up for the sales of lower-valued units and that this will be the path forward in the future for the industry. You can read the report here if you like.

What do you think the future will be for consumer camera sales? Continued decline or will things start to level out in the next couple of years? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section below.

Check out some of our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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