Two interesting vectors this morning. ExploreCams, a site that allows you to look up images based on the camera or lens used, has updated its massive data crunch analyzing eleven and a half million pictures uploaded to enthusiast photo sites. They graphed the most popular cameras used, and then, for each camera, the five most popular lenses. Coming in at no. 1 is the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (now newly updated) with the EF 24–105mm ƒ/4 lens (in fact it's the most popular lens with all three of the top Canons...apropos Harold Merklinger's comments here the other day about the desirability of ƒ/4 lenses. Just sayin').
Of course this is a popularity contest. Being something of a natural contrarian, my immediate knee-jerk reaction to finding out the results of any popularity contest is to want to do the opposite. And of course results always depend on what data was used and how it was collected; doubtless there's a bit of anti-recency effect in this de facto poll...most photographers are using cameras they bought on average several years ago, and uploading pictures they took at some point in the past. The recent past, but the past. So it might be considered most accurate as a snapshot of enthusiast camera use at some point several years ago.
Speaking of which, here's a recent graph sourced from CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) charting camera sales. The horizontal lines are millions of units shipped, with zero at the bottom and 5 million at the top; and each line is a successive year month-by-month: 2014 is the dotted purple line, 2015 the solid black line in the middle, and this year, 2016, is the solid orange line at the bottom, up to July.
This comes from an article at a site (no, the site is not about Sony despite its name!) for investors and money managers. The article is titled "Nikon Has Little Growth Potential Because of Rapidly Declining Camera Sales." Which pretty much gives you the gist of the article. Note, however, that the author is disputing another evaluation that came to the opposite conclusion. Note also that at the ExploreCams chart, Canon grabs the top three cameras and seven of the top 10. Although Nikon dominates the 11–20 bracket. Together, the Canikon duopoly's dominance shows very clearly.
I don't know what to conclude from all this, except that it's apparent that most photographers are still using DSLRs even if they're largely happy with the ones they already have and aren't in as big a hurry to upgrade. The most-used mirrorless camera is the Sony A6000 (that thing really has been selling) at no. 22. The next one is the Fuji X-T1 (my current camera, also recently replaced) at the 28th slot.
I'm considering changing cameras again (more about that eventually) and I'm curious how my own consumer behavior intersects with the trends these links show. I'm already curious to see what the ExploreCams' chart will look like three years from now. Will DSLRs still dominate so thoroughly then? Will mirrorless start showing greater infiltration on the list? Time will tell.
(Thanks to Kevin Purcell and John Camp)
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