Top 10 best selling mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras in Japan

Rank Manufacturer Model Sensor size Share of sales (%)
1 Olympus E-PL3 MFT 10.6
2 Sony NEX-5N APS-C 10.3
3 Canon EOS M APS-C 9.2
4 Olympus E-PM1 MFT 9.1
5 Panasonic GF5 MFT 8.9
6 Nikon J1 1" sensor 8.3
7 Pentax Ricoh Q 1/2.3" sensor 5.9
8 Sony NEX-F3 APS-C 5.4
9 Sony NEX-C3 APS-C 5.3
10 Olympus E-PL5 MFT 3.5

BCNranking published the top 10 best selling mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras in Japan for the period of January to September October, 2012. Some interesting points:

  • Fujfilm is completely missing from the top 10 list.
  • Canon is already at the #3 spot after they announced their first mirrorless camera in July, 2012.
  • Nikon 1 J1 sales are better then I expected (ranked #6).
  • In January 2012 sales of mirrorless camera made for 52.4% of the total cameras sold in Japan (in September 2012 this number dropped to around 45%):

BCNranking's statistics are based on actual sales numbers from stores in Japan.

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  • CHD

    Not totally surprised but it is odd that Fuji isn’t even on the list. By the looks of this, Canon will be #1 on the list before long as they literally just released theirs. I would have guessed that Sony would have been on the top of the list.

  • What !!

    The Canon EOS-M is in third place while it was not even on sale during the period covered by the list ? Did I miss something ?

    • Travelatte

      That’s my exact thought, aren’t they just become available literally days ago? How long has EOS-M been on the market in Japan?

      • kuronekoneko

        since 29-September

    • Tim

      I’d say that it will fall in the coming months. The list refers to sales in october and that is the first month the Canon M is on sale. A new camera should have a “bump” in sales the first month.
      What really surprised me was the Q. If you follow the link you see that it has been stable around 5% the whole year.

  • lorenzino

    I think the statistics relate to a period ending in Septemper (the end of the month, probably). Yes, the Canon was already available, and in any case here many stores accept pre-orders and pre-buys.

  • Jeff

    The top 10 cameras data is for the period of Oct. 1st to 22nd of 2012. The 10 month data is for the manufacturer market share.

  • mythbuster

    Who cares what is buying people who probably don´t know about photography and only are worried about fashion? For me this is absolutely pointless…

    • Nishi Drew

      It’s worth being aware of it at least as what everyone’s buying will set the trend for future products and many things photography related in general, and with a greater majority of people getting little digital cameras that are out performing some pro dslrs, the pros need to know what the average user can get these days. Sure, you need to know how to take a good pic regardless of the camera, but for all you know these fashion conscious people might be taking more pictures and learning at a rate that will put others who “know about photography” to shame. Oh and thanks letting everyone know that these stats are pointless through your pointless remark~

      • mythbuster

        No need to be so agressive but better think a little before answering. I said: “for me this is absolutely pointless”. That is only my personal opinion.
        In this list there are not cameras like Olympus OMD, Fuji X Pro 1, Sony NEX 7, or Leica M9, what do you think about it?

        • lorenzino

          I would say: price.
          After all, cheaper items are made to sell more, and indeed sell more. This table show the best-sellers, so it is normal to expect cheaper cameras. BTW: since October there are huge discounts on Oly epl-3, especially in megastores à la Yodobashi and Bic Camera. They want to get rid of the old models before starting selling the new ones (epl-5 etc.)
          This also explains the Epl-3 exploit…

          • mythbuster

            I think you are right. Latest Olympus discounts are crazy. Also fashion may have a lot to do with it as long as Pentax Q is not exactly cheap and it is selling very well. Maybe the same for Canon M system…

  • please check the source (bcnranking) again. The top-10 list is based on Oct 1-22 only, not the Jan to Sept as you mention.

  • The top 10 table that you copied is for the sales in the period from October 1st to 22nd only. It is not correct that it’s the figures from January to October of 2012.

    • Where does it say this? Why would they publish stats for 21 days – it doesn’t make sense?

  • Bare

    You got it completely wrong NR guy. That list is not for a whole year.

    • Why? See this:

      “According to the “BCN ranking” that summarize the actual sales data of retailers, manufacturers that from January to September 2012, we launched the digital camera mirrorless interchangeable lens type 8 companies. Olympus (30.9%), Panasonic (27.7%)….”

      • Bare


        If you translate that you will see that list for camera models is indeed for period from 1st to 22nd of October.

        • Thanks, I will update the post.

  • preston

    What I find more interesting than Fuji not being in the top 10 (completely expected) is that the pointless Pentax Q is in the top 10! Also that Sony and Olympus both have 3 models here and Panasonic only has 1.

    • lorenzino

      You are completely right, especially about Panasonic. There were and there are huge discounts on many models (e.g. GFX1), and still it is selling far less than Olympus. Even the position of the brand in stores show that the stars of the moment are Sony and Olympus.
      Fuji: the cheaper model just came out, and there are no cheap zooms that could appeal to the masses. Maybe in the future?
      Pentax: a mistery. But it has a strong presence of colored models just wherever there is a camera store. Pentax is marketing very well its pointless camera.

  • Photonut

    Interesting that Panasonic isn’t doing better, that Nikon and Ricoh are in the list and that the Olympus OM-D didn’t score.

  • Dr Croubie

    I was thinking that if these are the sales figures for the whole year, maybe the EOS M could be higher due to preorders etc.

    But reading through that bcnrankings page, I think I’m going with stupid on this one.
    Table below copied from the original link, in Japanese. I can’t read Japanese, but I can read numbers (and I know the characters for day/month/year).

    This table clearly says 2012year, 10month, 1day ~ 22day:
    販売台数シェアトップ10 順位 メーカー シリーズ名 有効画素数(万画素) 撮像素子のサイズ タッチパネル 販売台数シェア(%)
    1 オリンパス OLYMPUS PEN Lite E-PL3 1,230 フォーサーズ 非対応 10.6
    2 ソニー NEX-5N 1,610 APS-C 対応 10.3
    3 キヤノン EOS M 1,800 APS-C 対応 9.2
    4 オリンパス OLYMPUS PEN mini E-PM1 1,230 フォーサーズ 非対応 9.1
    5 パナソニック LUMIX DMC-GF5 1,210 フォーサーズ 対応 8.9
    6 ニコン Nikon 1 J1 1,010 1インチ 非対応 8.3
    7 ペンタックスリコー Q 1,240 1/2.3インチ 非対応 5.9
    8 ソニー NEX-F3 1,610 APS-C 非対応 5.4
    9 ソニー NEX-C3 1,620 APS-C 非対応 5.3
    10 オリンパス OLYMPUS PEN Lite E-PL5 1,605 フォーサーズ 対応 3.5

  • InTheMist

    I’m also surprised that Nikon 1 is there but no Fujifilm.

    • bjrichus

      You forget that this is for sales in Japan. A country where pink Hello Kitty gear or gadgets with the latest Anime fad logo sells in huge quantities to giggly 8th grade school girls.

      Get ready for pink D800E cameras and lenses in a selection of colors.


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