The research firm's survey of third-quarter U.S. camera sales, released on Friday, found that Sony sold 1 million units to command 20 percent of the market.shifted only 10,000 fewer, to grab 19.8 percent of the market.
Canon was third, moving 800,000 units for a 16 percent market share, followed by Olympus, with sales of 600,000 and market share of 12 percent.
Chris Chute, digital imaging analyst for IDC, said this is the first time since IDC started compiling such surveys that Sony hasn't had a clear lead.
"Thehas made in digital imaging are really starting to pay off," Chute said. "They're not just the low-cost guys now; they're starting to get higher marks for product quality. And Kodak is much more aggressive in pursuing a proliferation strategy with partners like Dell."
Kodak, which pretty much invented film photography as a commercial business, has invested billions of dollars over the past few years to shift its resources to digital imaging, where it has developed technology covering everything fromto .
Kodak's sales surge sets the stage for an unpredictable holiday quarter, when camera makers typically amass almost half their annual sales, Chute said. "At this point, it's really tough to say how things are going to add up for the full-year sales figures," he said.