How Steep Was The Decline?

In another article I tracked how film sales went during the transition from film to digital. Here's how it looked like from a hardware (camera) standpoint:

film camera sales wider.jpeg

Camera sales peaked in 1997, then started a very rapid decline. 2003 was particularly brutal: not only were camera sales down about a third from their peak, but they lost another third that year. By 2008 CIPA stopped tracking film camera sales at all. 

You're probably wondering how digital cameras fared. They peaked in 2010 (with a near peak in 2008) at 121 million units. The last two years have been a faster drop than the first two years of the film camera drop (95% and 85% year-to-year for digital, versus 98% and 94% year-to-year for film). Whether this is a false peak for digital similar to the 1991 one for film cameras is open to debate.

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