Sony, Nikon Narrow Gap to Canon With New Digital Camera Models

Sony Corp. (6758) and Nikon Corp. (7731) narrowed the gap to Canon Inc. (7751), the world’s largest camera maker, last year after introducing a new lineup of models.

Sony, the world’s second-biggest camera maker, controlled 17.9 percent of the market, improving from 16.9 percent a year earlier, researcher IDC said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg News yesterday. Nikon had 12.6 percent compared with Canon’s 19 percent, which remained unchanged from a year ago.

Worldwide camera sales jumped 10 percent to 141 million units last year, helped by the introduction of new models and economic growth in markets such as China. To win new customers, Sony and Samsung Electronics Co. are among companies unveiling devices that eliminated the need for a mirror in professional- grade cameras, where Canon has the lead.

“Sony’s and Samsung’s launching new mirror-less digital cameras helped them obtain more market share,” said Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.

Samsung had 11.1 percent of the market last year, improving from 10.9 percent. Kodak Co., Fujifilm Holdings Corp. and Casio Computer Co. were among manufacturers who lost market share last year, according to the data.

In the market for cameras with interchangeable lens, or single lens reflex cameras, Canon controlled 44.5 percent of the market, followed by Nikon with 29.8 percent and Sony with 11.9 percent, according to the data.

Following is the table for worldwide digital still camera shipments by vendors from IDC Japan in an e-mail release yesterday.

Worldwide Digital Camera Market Shares by Vendor
Vendor                 2010             2009
Canon                  19               19
Sony                   17.9             16.9
Nikon                  12.6             11.1
Samsung                11.1             10.9
Kodak                   7.4              8.8
Panasonic               7.6              7.6
Olympus                 6.1              6.2
Fuji                    4.9              5.4
Casio                   4                4.7
PENTAX                  1.5              1.7
Vivitar                 1.2              0.7
Other                   6.7              7

To contact the reporters on this story: Kazuyo Sawa in Tokyo at; Mariko Yasu in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at

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