Sony Gaining Steam. Takes #2 Spot for the FULL FRAME Market

Sony Gaining Steam. Takes #2 Spot for the FULL FRAME Market

Whoa! Sony is doing it, and just as I predicted long ago. They are creeping up in the full frame market, and now sit at the #2 spot for all out sales in the interchangeable lens segment (for full frame). Thanks to the A7 series, Sony has kept full frame alive basically and they show no signs of slowing. I feel if this new model comes sometime this year, (rumored A9 pro) they may jump to #1 by next year. Sony is KILLING it and for good reason. If you want to know why I think they are going to be #1 soon, be sure to see this.  But who is #1? I would think Canon holds that spot with their 5D series being so popular for photo and video duties but does that mean Nikon slipped to #3?



SAN DIEGO, April 14, 2017 – Sony Electronics – a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has announced today that their continued growth has vaulted them into the #2 overall position in the U.S. full-frame interchangeable lens camera market. (see footnote 1)

Sony’s interchangeable lens cameras and lenses have seen record sales in 2017, in particular within the U.S. full-frame camera market, where they have experienced double-digit growth (+23%) (see footnote 2) compared to the same period last year. The popularity of key models including α7R II and α7S II has been paramount to this success.

Additionally, Sony’s rapid growth has helped to drive growth of the overall full-frame interchangeable lens camera market compared to the same period last year. Without Sony’s contributions, the full-frame market would be facing a slight decline. (see footnote 3)

“Our commitment to the industry is stronger than ever,” said Neal Manowitz, VP of Digital Imaging at Sony North America. “We are always listening to our customers, combining their feedback with our intense passion for innovation to deliver products, services and support like no other.”

(1) The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, U.S., Detachable Lens Camera, Full Frame, Based on Dollars, Jan- Feb 2017

(2) The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, U.S., Detachable Lens Camera, Full Frame, Based on Dollars, Jan/Feb 2016- Jan/Feb 2017

(3) The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, U.S., Detachable Lens Camera, Full Frame, Based on Dollars, Jan/Feb 2016- Jan/Feb 2017


  1. Even if this data is skewed it’s not a great sign for Nikon.

    I don’t understand what Nikon is doing here. Could you imagine the sales if Nikon released a proper FM2 styled mirrorless body that is the same size as the film camera with an evf and a full frame sensor. If they’d done it 3 years ago Sony wouldn’t creeping up on them so much.

  2. Good for Sony…but this press release is a bit of hype.

    First it only mentioned revenue, not unit volume or marketshare. Why? Because in those metrics apparently Sony did not surpass Nikon or else they would have touted it.

    Second, this is only for a 2 month period…and a time when camera sales are slow, due to many having purchased prior to this during the holiday season, and if you are a business, at the end of the calendar year. During this time Nikon pulled their promotions and Sony run promotions, including I believe a trade in program.

    Now if Sony had outsold Nikon during the holiday season, that would have meant more…but apparently not, because Sony would have mentioned it.

    So this PR is a bit of spin…again, good for Sony…no doubt they have gotten some attention in the market…but in no way does this mean that Sony has surpassed Nikon for good in the US FF market. My prediction is that when we see the numbers for the entire year, Nikon will still be comfortably ahead, and Canon will still be comfortably number one.

  3. It’s fake news to the extent that it’s a very selective analysis of a restricted set of data. I have little doubt that Sony will continue to do well, but this release is curiously timed amid speculation over Ricoh and Panasonic via more fake news. I think the intention is to say hey Sony is strong but their claims to market position are not well supported given the data.

  4. Steve, I know mirrorless is doing well, and that Canon and Nikon are struggling. Claiming Sony is number two based on Jan/Feb data is hardly amazing, and might even be considered misleading. Most of these types of claims are not based on a self-serving time period. They might be based on annual sales for all of 2016, or the last rolling 12 month period (including Nov/Dec). Apparently during more statistically relevant periods, they are not yet number 2. I am glad Sony is doing well – that is good for all photographers. I just shudder at the clear marketing hype of a two month sales period. If they can honestly claim this at the end of 2017, then a WHOA is indeed deserved. Maybe then Nikon and Canon will figure out there is real competition in the marketplace.

  5. “Based on Dollars, Jan- Feb 2017”: is that one month or two months? Either is statistically irrelevant, though apparently a marketable “fact”.

    Year-on-year figures would be relevant.

  6. This is bogus.

    First the title is incorrect as the claim only concerns US market. Not fixing it would represent what is lately commonly referred to as “fake news”.

    Second, the claim that without Sony the market would have shrunk, purely based on these numbers, cannot be verified. This suggests that Sony buyers, had Sony not been in the market, would instead not have bought full frame at all. Obviously it is very unlikely, unless you can provide insights into that scenario.

    Don’t get me wrong, Sony has been making waves in this market with really good cameras, and I have nothing against them (or any other manufacturer, fwiw). But as it is presented, the content of the article is meager in comparison to the title. This too, has a trendy name: “click bait”.

  7. The nutty thing about this is you’d think Canon and Nikon, after seeing Sony getting closer in their rear view mirror all these years, would have released their versions of full frame EVF cameras by now.
    What are they waiting for?!

    • I agree. If their mirrorless full frame models took sales from DSLR’s, so what. They will sell both and make a profit from both. In the mean time, they are being left out of what must be a lucrative market. I have tried two mirrorless, an APSC and a M43 and like them both. If I want a full frame mirrorless, I can’t even consider Canon or Nikon… Weird.

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