The meat of the story is to be found in Bloomberg's article, reporting on the Japanese market for interchangeable-lens cameras, where leaders Canon and Nikon have seen a 35% drop in their combined market share according to market research firm BCN Inc. The fast-growing compact system camera market, dominated by Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, and Olympus, is said to be responsible for the fall in Canon and Nikon's share of the overall interchangeable-lens camera market.
According to BCN's figures, mirrorless cameras now account for an impressive 40.5% of Japanese-market ILC sales, up from just 5% in early 2009. Sony is singled out as the biggest winner, having doubled its market share in its home market.
Overseas, the CSC market hasn't grown as rapidly as it has in Japan, currently accounting for just 16% of ILC sales worldwide, according to separate research from Macquarie Group Ltd. The projection is that this will grow to some 23% by the end of 2011. Even outside of Japan, Sony's aggressive strategy with its NEX and SLT-series cameras has seen its ILC market share climb to 15% in the last financial year, up from 10% a year earlier according to a company spokesperson.
With Pentax having recently launched its first compact system camera, and Fujifilm apparently also considering a possible mirrorless debut, many see it as only a matter of time before Canon and Nikon also throw their hats into the ring. Bloomberg's article sees industry analysts in agreement, and goes on to suggest that Nikon may be ready to make that step imminently. A spokesperson for Nikon reportedly told Bloomberg that the company has already finished development of a next-generation camera, and while she didn't state whether it would be mirrorless, that's clearly the inference.
Reuters, for their part, have posted a video looking at Nikon's financial performance. At the mid-point of the video Erol Emed, Senior Director at Thomson Reuters Markets in Tokyo, stated his belief that Nikon would "very likely" have an announcement this month, with a "high chance" that the announcement would be mirrorless.
Likely in answer to the news from Bloomberg and Reuters, Nikon itself issued a terse statement acknowledging the media reports, and stating that the company " has made no announcement in this regards".
As regards Canon, the news is a little less clear. Bloomberg quotes a company representative as stating that the company acknowledged the importance of camera size and weight in the ILC marketplace, and that it planned to address this need, but offered no comment on upcoming products, or its plans in the mirrorless arena.
For more details, read the full article from Bloomberg, and watch the Reuters video.