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Japan’s Favorite Camera Brand Isn’t Canon, Nikon, or Sony, Survey Reveals


A new survey being conducted over in Japan has surprising results on what the most beloved camera brand is. While companies such as Canon, Nikon, and Sony may currently command market dominance, it’s Pentax/Ricoh that has gotten the most love.

BCN Awards‘ latest leaderboard earlier this year revealed that the heavyweight brands continue to dominate sales in Japan. In mirrorless cameras, Sony, Canon, and Olympus hold 27.4%, 23.8%, and 23.4% market shares in 2020, respectively. An in the DSLR market, Canon and Nikon hold 57.4% and 39.3% respective market shares.

In other words, the mirrorless camera market has its top 3 brands holding 74.6% market share, and the DSLR market has its mega-duopoly holding a whopping 96.7% market share.

Pentax/Ricoh has continuously reaffirmed its commitment to its DSLRs. In late 2020, President and CEO of Ricoh Imaging Shinobu Takahashi stated: “We also have [mirrorless] technology, but we would abandon the enjoyment of a single-lens reflex camera that looks directly into the subject through the finder. I cannot do it.”

Read also: Why Pentax is Making the Right Call in Sticking with DSLRs

Pentax/Ricoh only has roughly a 3% market share in the Japanese DSLR market (according to BCN Awards), but it seems the brand’s long 101-year history in photography continues to pay dividends in terms of mind share.

Japanese media company ITmedia is currently conducting a survey (spotted by Pentax Rumors) through its culture publication Netorabo that asks the question: “What is your favorite digital camera maker?”

While the survey is still in progress (it ends on 5/27), over 9,000 respondents have already voted, providing an interesting snapshot of consumer sentiment in Japan.

Image by Netorabo

Pentax/Ricoh is #1 with nearly a quarter of the votes, while Nikon, Canon, and Sony are rounding out the top 4 with 19.9%, 13.7%, and 13.6%, respectively.

“Pentax and Ricoh have been well-established since the film era, along with Nikon, Canon, and Olympus. Originally a separate company, Pentax continues to be the Ricoh Imaging brand. While major manufacturers are launching “mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras” one after another, Pentax announced that it will continue to make “single-lens reflex” cameras in 2020, saying that it will “create the future of single-lens reflex cameras.” There are many fans who are deep-rooted because of their obsession with the optical viewfinder.

“Originally a separate company, Pentax continues to be the Ricoh Imaging brand,” Netorabo writes. “While major manufacturers are launching ‘mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras’ one after another, Pentax announced that it will continue to make ‘single-lens reflex’ cameras in 2020, saying that it will ‘create the future of single-lens reflex cameras.’

“There are many fans who are deep-rooted because of their obsession with the optical viewfinder.”

Canon and Nikon have been turning their attention to winning at mirrorless while discontinuing DSLR gear without announcing replacements, so perhaps Pentax will soon find increasing sales among those who are “obsessed” with optical viewfinders and want to support a company dedicated to keeping them alive.





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