Ever since I got started in film and video back in the early 2010s, Canon cameras have been at the center of the industry. Of course, this was in large part to its dominance in the DSLR market thanks in no small part to the uber-popular 5D. However, that name recognition for color science and quality traveled up and down the industry as Canon cinema cameras and prosumer models seemed to be just about as popular as well.
Nowadays, while Canon is still very much a top brand (and in this case, according to recent sales data, the top mirrorless brand), the market is a bit more wide-open with greater diversity and competition from the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Blackmagic Design, and many others.
Still, it’s with little surprise that we get reports from Canon that boast that their mirrorless cameras were the #1 best selling for the third year in a row. Let’s take a look at what Canon cameras in particular stood out to shooters, and explore if we suspect anything will be different in 2024.
Canon Cameras are #1 Once Again
According to reports shared by Canon’s newsroom, the Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo has once again taken home the top spot in total mirrorless camera sales for the past calendar year. The data in question is pulled from a retail tracking service called Circana and is compiled from the 12 months ending in December 2021, 2022, and now 2023.
“The needs of our customers have always been at the forefront of our business at Canon and it’s why we have worked so hard to maintain a number one position within the industry. I am proud of our team for not only achieving this great success, but for also empowering our visual storytellers.” — Brian Mahar, senior vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group.
And, regardless of the dataset source, it really shouldn’t be much of a surprise to hear that Canon is at the top of the list. It’s been no secret that Canon has remained one of the most popular brands world wide for all types of camera and lens needs for photographers and videographers alike.
Canon cameras and lenses
The Most Popular Canon Mirrorless Cameras
In particular, Canon reports that their EOS R system has continued to be one of the most popular mirrorless camera systems on the market since it was introduced back in 2018. According to the same data, Canon reports that their top mirrorless cameras include their EOS R6 Mark II, EOS R5 C, EOS R5 and EOS R8 cameras.
“Canon mirrorless cameras have impacted my business’s bottom line as well as my client experience. With the advancement of technology, I’m able to concentrate more on client interaction and higher quality production. I’ve seen an enhancement in my photography, my profit and client satisfaction.” — Vanessa Joy, Canon Explorer of Light and award-winning wedding and brand photographer.
Obviously, these numbers most likely skew to the photography side of the market which has traditionally been greater than the video-side for these hybrid photo/video cameras over the years. But video popularity continues to trend up and could eventually surpass photography as the chief reason consumers purchase cameras like the mirrorless options from Canon.
The Future of the Mirrorless Camera Market
While Canon of course shared the data about them being number one, they didn’t include much info about how close that race was and how large the divide might be at this point. Without hard numbers to go off of, if we were to just speculate based on popularity of comments and what we see out in the wild, it wouldn’t be off-base to assume that Canon’s dominance might be dwindling.
This is more due to the sheer amount of great competition that Canon faces these days, rather than any indication of Canon’s mirrorless cameras themselves. With the brands we mentioned above like Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Blackmagic Design and many others all offering great and affordable mirrorless cameras that can provide many of the same specs and features as Canon cameras, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the market is diversifying at a rapid pace.
With new cameras already rumored for 2024, and with NAB a few months away, Canon’s chances of being the best selling mirrorless for a fourth year in a row might be harder to lock down than ever before. But, then again, it’s hard to bet against Canon.
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