Annual Camera Wrap-Up – Mirrorless Models March In

Carrie Sylvester
Dec 14, 2015

For the last three years we have done a year-end round up of the cameras that were introduced. It’s always an interesting exercise to take a look back on what features and technologies vendors have chosen to feature in their products.

Although there were many, 72, cameras introduced this year, the number pales in comparison to years past. That number of models, although impressive, is over 20% lower than the 98 models introduced in 2014. Just a few years ago in 2012, there were 146 models introduced almost double the number of cameras introduced this year (Source: InfoTrends U.S. Camera Model Tracker). Just because there were fewer cameras released doesn’t mean there weren’t some great new cameras.

We have broken out some of the introductions by popular features and functions, including Wi-Fi connectivity and mirrorless.

Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (MILCs)

Point and shoot models were the most popular camera type introduced, with 42% of the new models. This is down from 71% in 2014. Mirrorless cameras made up a little more than 20% of the camera models in 2015 and 2014. MILCs have been in the market for around 7 years but have seen slow consumer adoption. Although the adoption curve has been slow for MILCs, they are an ideal camera choice for smartphone photographers that want to combine the portability of a smaller camera and take their photography to the next level utilizing advanced camera features and interchangeable lenses.

Wireless /Wi-Fi

The ideal way for a traditional camera to compete with the ever-connected smartphone is to make taking and sharing photos more convenient. Connectivity has been the key to convenient sharing. Each year, the number of Wi-Fi enabled cameras coming to market has increased. Last year 60% offered built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. In 2015, this figure jumped to 78% of new models. All the major brands are supporting Wi-Fi. Nikon continues to have the most Wi-Fi enabled models with 12 (75% of their 2015 line-up). Panasonic introduced 7 models, while Fujifilm and Olympus introduced 6 connected cameras each.

In 2014, we estimated Wi-Fi would be in 80% of new cameras in 2015. We were a little too aggressive but pretty close overall. In 2016, we estimate that close to 85% of new camera models will be connected.

Viewfinders

If you are looking for a camera with a traditional optical viewfinder to frame your photos, a DSLR is the camera. The majority of cameras introduced this year (49%) use an LCD screen to frame a photo. Almost 33% featured an electronic viewfinder (EVF) while 14% had the more traditional optical viewfinder (OVF). DSLRs are the biggest supporters OVFs, but Ricoh did come out with a large sensor point & shoot model with an optional OVF. Canon had four models (Rebel T6 and 5D series cameras). Nikon had three models with an OVF (D5500, D7200, and D810), and Ricoh introduced the GR II with an optional OVF accessory.

InfoTrends Opinion

Because smartphones continue to expose people to photography that might not have had interest until they got a new smartphone or cool new editing app. This interest in photography may lead to buying (or at least wanting) a standalone camera. Because they have already been taking pictures with their smartphone these new camera buyers might be more interested in stepping up to a digital camera with advanced features, enhanced image sensors, interchangeable lenses or a camera with all of the above.

To learn more about the latest InfoTrends digital camera coverage and insights, contact Matt O’Keefe with questions.

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