Many have hailed mirrorless cameras as the smartphone-beater, but on this evidence it's looking increasingly unlikely. Nikon this week posted a drop in the sales of its range of compact system cameras that again raises the question of the future of the industry.
While sales of mirrorless cameras remained strong in Japan, abroad the situation was much grimmer. Reuters reports a 48% ‘plummet' in shipments of compact cameras.
Yasuyuki Okamoto, president, said ‘In Europe and the U.S. the ratio of mirrorless to SLRs hasn't grown at all, unlike in Asia, where it's quite popular with women because it's light. We had higher expectations for other regions. But people who like cameras tend to just go for SLRs, even though they're very heavy.'
He also expressed concerns that the falling prices for mirrorless cameras were cutting into the healthy margins made from the still-strong sales of SLR cameras.
While on the face of it this is grim news, it could mean a renewed focus on the enthusiast rather than the casual user, with products tailored more towards serious than casual, smartphone-using photographers.