No. 1: Sony. No. 2: Canon. The difference is not even a percentage point, but for a relative newcomer such as Sony this is quite an achievement. For the first time Sony beats market leader Canon in sales of system cameras. And not anyplace, but in South Korea, an important consumer market with an highly ambitious own camera maker. Koreans prefer Sony mirrorless to Samsung and the more traditional Canon DSLR cameras.
This is in fact an important milestone for the Japanese tech giant whose Alpha camera brand was only founded in 2006. After the acquisition of the Konica Minolta photo imaging unit, Sony became the fastest growing company in the DSLR market. The rest is history you all know.
Sony achieved its first no. 1 position this February with every third system camera sold being a Sony. This is no random accident, this is a trend. Soon the A7S hits the market and towards Photokina the A9 — while Canon’s usual three-year innovation cycle points to something major by the end of the year. My guess though is Canon starts feeling the heat and will positively surprise us pretty soon.
Blame Sony’s success on the Asian markets’ easier adaptation of mirrorless. Americans and Europeans still love their DSLRs. It’s only a matter of time though until Sony’s innovation drive gets rewarded by these more established markets.