September 7, 2018
Tokyo- Mirrorless cameras are overtaking long-beloved single-lens reflex cameras in popularity in Japan, with their shipments ranking first in the domestic market for interchangeable lens digital cameras in January-June this year.
With their lightweight bodies and enhanced shooting capabilities, they are proving a hit.
According to the Camera & Imaging Products Association, domestic shipments of mirrorless cameras in the first half rose 9.1 pct from a year earlier to 292,269 units, while those of SLRs dropped 24.9 pct to 246,150 units.
Shipments of mirrorless cameras have topped those of SLRs on a monthly basis in the past, but this is the first time that they have done so for a half-year period.
The brisk demand is expected to continue as digital cameras outsold SLRs in July.
Mirrorless cameras' popularity stems not only from their compact size, making them easy to carry around, but also their features allowing users to make more detailed adjustments than is possible with smartphone cameras, enabling users to create the images they want.
Mirrorless cameras meet the need of women who wish to post high-definition pictures on social media, an observer said.
Nikon Corp., which is to launch its first new mirrorless camera models in three years, held a promotional event in Tokyo earlier this month.
"I can take a picture of my pet while it's sleeping because I can turn off the shutter sound," a 32-year-old housewife attending said.
A male office worker, 56, who has been taking photos for more than 40 years, said, "Functions such as autofocus are getting better with the newest models."
The new models, full-frame Nikon Z6 and Z7, will be released later this month.
Canon Inc. said Wednesday that it will launch a full-frame mirrorless camera, EOS-R, equipped with the company's latest image processor.
Predicting that the mirrorless camera market will grow further, the major manufacturer is targeting the market for high-end models.
The new model carries a price tag of 256,500 yen and is slated to go on sale in late October.
Demand for compact digital cameras has declined significantly since the emergence of smartphones.
Camera manufacturers have been pinning high hopes on mirrorless cameras, increasing the likelihood of competition in that market segment intensifying even further. Jiji Press
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