Amateur Photographer delves into the troubled sales of mirrorless cameras (VIDEO)


posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:35 PM EDT


For mirrorless cameras, 2013 was a banner year, with models like the Sony A7 and A7r and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 really pushing the boundaries of optical excellence, and cameras like the Panasonic GM1 wowing us with small form factors. Yet, despite these advances, sales of mirrorless cameras were disappointing. Now UK publication Amateur Photographer has put together a special report on why the UK saw mirrorless camera sales fall by 30% in 2013.

There's a lot to pick apart in the report and video (the latter embedded below), but it really does seem like it's a combination of problems that lead to the decline. For one, DSLR sales fell 11% that year too, and a big culprit in the UK seems to have been the closing of prominent camera chain Jessops.

One of the more interesting things they delve into is the naming conundrum. The article refers to them as CSCs—compact system cameras. But sometimes people call them mirrorless cameras, ILCs (interchangeable lens compacts), or even the short-lived EVIL (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens). It makes for confusion about what the camera actually is if no-one can agree on a nomenclature. Trying to sell them as a a smaller alternative to DSLRs becomes tricky with large mirrorless cameras like the OM-D E-M1 and small DSLRs like the Canon SL1.

It's an interesting look into what, by all rights, should be a booming industry. Thankfully, the first indications for 2014 look like something of an improvement—so let's all just hope that it stays on that path!