Canon tops sales of interchangeable lens cameras for 19th year running

For the 19th year straight, Canon has been named the most successful manufacturer for interchangeable lens cameras, according to a news release from the company.

With a wide range of products on offer, from flagship models tailored for professionals to easy-to-use, entry-level models, Canon continues to offer different options for an increasingly-diverse customer base.

Canon introduced the popular EOS Kiss Digital in September 2003, as digital SLR cameras began to grow in popularity. The model had a compact, lightweight design, which proved popular with consumers. Eventually, the camera took the top share of the global interchangeable lens camera market, which further boosted popularity in the digital SLR market.

In the following years, the company has sought to innovate and reimagine the camera market. Canon claims the EOS-1D and the EOS-5D series, first released in 2001, led to digital SLR video recording products becoming more widespread and popular, with video capabilities emerging on the EOS-1D Mark IV in 2009.

One goal for Canon through the years was to “construct the ideal lens mount and maximise the appeal of its new RF lenses”. The company achieved this with the EOS R System, in October 2018. Following this, Canon turned its sights to “imaging creativity and new possibilities for visual expression”, with the release of the EOS R5 in July 2020. This model was reportedly the first camera to feature 8K video recording.

Mirrorless future for Canon

The manufacturer recently signalled a new era, with the release of the EOS R3 full-frame mirrorless camera in November 2021. The model features “high performance and reliability demanded by professional and enthusiast users”, along with eight new RF lenses. Canon continues to expand its portfolio, launching the EOS VR System, which has kept the company holding the number one share of the global market for the 19th consecutive year.

Following success with interchangeable lens cameras, Canon has claimed that it will produce more mirrorless models in the years ahead. (Photo: Canon)

The future appears to be mirrorless for Canon. “Market needs are rapidly moving toward mirrorless cameras”, said the Chairman and Chief Executive Fujio Mitarai, in an interview with Yomiuri Shimbun. “So accordingly, we’re increasingly moving people in that direction”. The company appears to have released its last flagship DSLR, the EOS-1D X Mark III, in early 2020.

Despite the growing momentum for mirrorless cameras, there is still a pronounced market for DSLR cameras. As headlines noted, Canon released its last “flagship” DSLR, with more models to be produced down the line, unlike Sony who quietly discontinued their production in May 2021.

“Demand for beginner and intermediate SLR cameras is strong overseas”, Mitarai told the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, adding, “So we plan to continue development and production for the time being”. Canon confirmed in a statement to PetaPixel, “As reported in the article, we plan to make future flagship models strictly mirrorless cameras”. They went on to say “The broad details of Mr Mitarai’s interview as described in the article are true […] However, while estimated as ‘within a few years,’ exact dates are not confirmed for the conclusion of development/termination of production for a flagship DSLR camera”.

Canon outlines future ambitions

Canon has stated its ambitions for the years ahead in a public statement along with the news release. “Canon will continue to refine its diverse imaging technologies based on its core optical technology while further strengthening and expanding the EOS series of cameras and RF/EF series of lenses, opening up new avenues of image capture to meet the needs of increasingly diverse users and to promote the spread of photo and video culture”.

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