Canon has released their Q3 2019 financial results, and it seems the Imaging Business sales are down 13.9% and profit overall is down 56.8% compared to the same quarter last year! Those numbers are pretty bleak and mind blowing, but, on trend with some previous reports coming from CIPA and the industry as a whole.

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Canon q3 Financial results by business Unit - SLR Lounge
Canon Q3 Financial Results by Business Unit

Within the Imaging System Business Unit, unit sales of interchangeable-lens digital cameras decreased compared with the same period of previous year due to continuing market contraction, centered on entry-class models. However, unit sales of mirrorless cameras increased, owing to solid demand for new models equipped with full-frame sensors launched in the second half of the previous year as well as solid demand for affordably priced models. For inkjet printers, although unit sales in Japan increased compared with the same period of the previous year, unit sales decreased overall compared with the same period of the previous year mainly due to the slowdown in emerging markets affected by the sluggish economy. As a result, sales for the business unit decreased by 13.9% to ¥189.2 billion year on year, while income before income taxes decreased by 57.8% year on year to ¥10.4 billion. Sales for the combined first nine months of the year totaled ¥570.2 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 16.5%, while income before income taxes totaled ¥28.8 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 67.3%.

Canon Q3 Financial Results
Canon Q3 Financial Results

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What Does This Mean?

So, this news, while substantial, isn’t exactly new or shocking at this point. With all the major camera brands shifting their focus into mirrorless, it takes a heavy investment on their end to make that happen. So lower profits may not mean things are dire, it could mean that this year things are in a transition phase. And a key thing to make note of here, is the report doesn’t say “loss” but instead just said it’s “profits” are lower.

It’ll be interesting to watch it play out over the next few months, seeing what truly starts to dominate the market. Will it be mobile? Will the investment in Mirrorless for all the major players pay off and take the lead back? Or is Film truly being resurrected? That last one was a joke…sort of, but regardless of the grim looking financials, i’m excited for what the next few years are going to bring in terms of technology breakthroughs and advancements in both mobile and mirrorless. Things may get “tighter” all around, but that seems to always be the case when an industry pivots and adapts like they are currently. Anyway, let us know your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to get a discussion going on what’s happening in the industry and where we think it’s going!

For more information from Canon you can view the entire financial report here, and the summarized “Presentation Materials” here.