Canon still No. 1 in Dec. 2006

As of Dec. 2006, Canon retains its No. 1 position for the best-selling digital SLR and point-and-shoot digital camera in Japan.

When it was introduced in Sept. 2006, the Kiss Digital X (XTi/400D) dethroned the previous No. 1 selling camera, its predecessor, the Kiss Digital N (XT/350D). It has retained the No. 1 position ever since. Since fall 2003, no other camera maker has ever gotten close to overtaking the Kiss Digital, N, and X cameras (300D/350D/400D).

Newly-introduced cameras tend to immediately grab favorable market share. Nikon introduced two new D-SLRs in the fall so Nikon is currently ahead with regard to total market share of all its D-SLR cameras.

The Nikon D200 is also selling better than the Canon EOS 30D, probably due to pent-up demand caused by the long interval following the previous D100 model. And most EOS 20D owners are not upgrading to the 30D which is viewed as a minor upgrade.

Top Ten Digital SLRs in Japan*
1. Canon Kiss Digital X (XTi/400D), 27.3% of market share
2. Nikon D80, 16.3%
3. Nikon D40, 15.5%
4. Nikon D200, 9.1%
5. Sony alpha 100, 6.3%
6. Pentax K10D, 5.3%
7. Nikon D50, 4.8%
8. Canon EOS Kiss Digital N (XT/350D), 3.3%
9. Pentax K100D, 2.9%
10. Canon 30D, 2.5%

In the compact digital camera market, Canon again is No. 1 in Japan with its popular IXY (Elph) line. The IXY Digital 900 IS (PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH) is the top-selling point-and-shoot digicam in Japan ever since it was introduced in Oct. 2006. With a 28mm wide-angle lens and DIGIC III processor, it replaces the previous No. 1, the Canon IXY Digital 800 IS (PowerShot SD700 IS Digital ELPH).

Canon’s closest rivals are Casio, Sony, and Panasonic. In this market, Nikon is well out of the picture.

In terms of megapixels, 6 meg cameras were most popular up to Sept. 2006. Now 7 meg models are selling the best grabbing almost 50% of the market. Cameras lower than 5 megs were least popular, and 10 meg cameras have less than 10% market share.

Top Ten Compact Digital Cameras in Japan*
1. Canon IXY Digital 900 IS (PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH), 8.9%
2. Panasonic LUMIX FX07, 7.5%
3. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10, 6.6%
4. Casio EXILIM EX-Z1000, 4.9%
5. Casio EXILIM EX-Z700, 4.3%
6. Olympus u750, 3.4%
7. FujiFilm FinePix Z5fd, 3.4%
8. Olympus FE-190, 3.2%
9. Nikon COOLPIX S8, 3.1%
10. Sony Cyber-shot T50, 3.1%

Canon’s IXY/Elph line is definitely one of the most appealing and successful camera product lines in history. Canon also celebrated the IXY/Elph’s 10th anniversary this year. See how the camera has morphed over the years, getting better and better while retaining a stylish design.

I also bought the first IXY in 1996 to try out the new APS film. I didn’t like the film format, but I liked the camera. And by coincidence, I ended up buying the 900 IS during this 10th anniversary.

So congratulations to Canon! We look forward to seeing more new and exciting cameras and features in the new year.

*As of Dec. 10, 2006, according to BCN Ranking magazine which ranks cameras weekly based on POS sales statistics gathered from over 2,000 computer and camera shops in Japan (including

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Interview with Canon’s camera development director