At gap intelligence we offer services that are quite like the eyes and ears of the marketplace. We have dedicated category analysts that serve as industry citizens and provide expert insights in each our individual markets. 

Mirror, Mirror, the Writing's on the Wall

A growing trend in the camera market is the mirrorless camera. In the market of professional cameras where DSLR has dominated the past few decades, the mirrorless camera has been gaining traction within the past few years. Just three years ago, not a single manufacturer could agree on a term for mirrorless cameras. Today, "mirrorless" is a universal term for the “compact interchangeable lens-type camera system" that has taken the photography industry by storm.

For the majority of the past decade, Canon and Nikon enjoyed success leading the camera industry in DSLR production and sales. When Sony launched its professional full-frame mirrorless Alpha series, they positioned themselves as a serious competitor in the market. Sony was a first of its kind and enjoyed an unchallenged domination of a new market.

Canon and Nikon both responded later this year with full-frame mirrorless cameras of their own (Canon’s EOS R and Nikon’s Z6 & Z7 cameras). Earlier this year, a Sony executive actually expected and predicted such, citing that the future would be one “where full-frame mirrorless is the norm." The article seems to point towards something ominous, hinting that the growing mirrorless segment is causing a ripple effect for other form factors in the digital camera market. It goes on to explain that both Nikon and Canon are now considering cannibalizing DSLR sales in order to be competitive in the mirrorless realm. With this shift in technology we will start seeing dedicated professional DSLR photographers switching over to professional full-frame mirrorless in droves.

Your Eyes and Ears in the Marketplace

So how are these developments relevant to gap intelligence? Embodying our value of willingness, we seek to never stop learning about our respective markets. We follow developments like this very closely because this information directly affects our clients. The more our clients understand the significance of the growing demand for mirrorless cameras, the better equipped they are to make better business decisions. 

So What Exactly Does Our Data Say?

When comparing the Black Friday recaps of both 2017 and 2018, one stark contrast emerged. A noticeable trend was the sharp decrease in advertisement share of the ultra-compact and compact form factors (down 10 percentage points). These smaller form factors have largely been outplayed by smartphones with superb cameras and software that produce higher-quality photos, and the decrease in advertisement count is an indicator of manufacturers moving away from the market. The more noteworthy, and probably the more important tidbit, is the significant increase of mirrorless products appearing in advertisements.

Mirrorless advertisement counts rose by 5 percentage points, replacing the space left behind by the decreasing ultra-compact and compact form factors. Even with DSLR advertisement counts staying the same, this shows that mirrorless cameras are now becoming more significant products in the digital cameras market and may one day grow to outpace the DSLR form-factor. It also outlines the shift in the digital cameras into a more professional-centric market geared towards the enthusiast and professional photographers.

For more than 15 years, gap intelligence has served manufacturers and sellers by providing world-class services monitoring, reporting, and analyzing the 4Ps: prices, promotions, placements, and products. Email us at or call us at 619-574-1100 to learn more.