Party Like it's 1999: The Downhill Path

Given the next two articles, some wonder about what really happened with film. The following chart tells the whole story:

Film Sales 1995-2010

The dark line is the PMA sourced numbers for film and single use cameras. That line is slightly smoothed to better show long-term slopes. The lighter line is the linear trend line for the data. Film peaked in sales at somewhere around 950,000,000 rolls in the year 2000 (and only a slight bump up from 1999 sales). Currently, the number has fallen to well below 100,000,000 rolls; I calculate an almost 95% drop in ten years.

1999 was the introduction of the Nikon D1, which set off the DSLR revolution, but it was really 2001 and 2002 where the significant cameras started showing up and the SLR to DSLR migration truly began (Canon 1D, Canon D60, Fujifilm S2 Pro, Kodak DCS Pro 14n, Nikon D1h, Nikon D1x, and Nikon D100).

Nikon was still making film announcements in 2001: the FM3a was introduced at the same time as the D1h and D1x. 2004 was Nikon's last film body announcement, the F6.   


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