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Dallas

Nikon Struggling

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Let us hope that Nikon's plans are for real and that they start working real soon. 

 

Nikon is a little weaker than the other manufacturers as they have lost ground in other industrial areas such as stepper sales (were No.1 once upon a time), have less medical presence (Olympus are No.1 in endoscopes for example and are just as strong as Nikon in microscopes and binoculars), and they don't have other proftable lines such as the Canon, Panasonic & Sony conglomerates have.

 

Time will tell as they say.

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Sadly Nikon have left the adoption of mirrorless far too late. Now they are suffering from their lethargy and now seem to be outpaced by Sony by a county mile!

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Mike Gorman

 

Lumix G9 , GX8 - Leica 12, 15, 20, 25, 42.5 - 8-18, 12-60, 35-100, 45-175

 

 

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Nikon's primary issue is that they have lost the biggest part of their business, which was consumer cameras. Very few people are prepared to invest a "not insignificant" sum of money for a camera that doesn't offer a whole lot more than they are getting from a smart phone.They also see the old school cameras (we can call them that now) as clunky, too hard to master and more inconvenient than anything. Computational photography that is consumed on small mobile screens and can be shared to them in a couple of taps is much more preferable than having to carry around a dedicated camera and then also have the hassle of getting the images off the machine (even with wifi and BT) before they can share them. It's just not what the kids of today want.

 

Our world has quite literally changed under our noses in just a few short years and many companies have been too slow to adapt to this rather seismic shift in the way things are done. I said a few years ago that if Nikon wanted to remain relevant they needed to diversify and look at perhaps developing their own smart phone. I got torn a new one by the community here for suggesting that, but it seems that what I said may have been prophetic after all. 

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The camera industry is in a state of metamorphosis at the moment and none of the big players are covering themselves in glory and that includes Sony whose results are not that good considering the vast resources they have thrown at their obvious target of becoming number one in the industry. I know many that are far from happy with the constant updates that Sony are bringing to the table after they, the consumer have invested considerable funds in the latest model.

What will be far more interesting is to see what happens over the five years or so as the industry as a whole moves over to mirrorless, which it inevitably will, and stabilises. I would not discount the traditional players who are seemingly slow to the table. Innovators are not necessarily the most financially successful in the long term.

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Still trying.

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15 minutes ago, Clactonian said:

I know many that are far from happy with the constant updates that Sony are bringing to the table after they, the consumer have invested considerable funds in the latest model.

 

This is the precise reason why I won't buy Sony cameras. As good as they are, their track record speaks volumes for their fickleness when it comes to going the distance. 

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The smart mobile phone market has reached, or is very close to, saturation.

 

Not a market Nikon should dip its toe into.
As Mike correctly points out, Nikon is paying the price for its late entry into the mirrorless digital camera segment.

Zeiss is in even a worse position in this respect, but that is another story.

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10 minutes ago, vivionm said:

The smart mobile phone market has reached, or is very close to, saturation.

 

That may be true, but it wasn't the case when I wrote this article over 5 years ago. Very interesting to go back, read the comments and then reflect on the situation we see now. 

 

Something else to consider is that China are killing it in the photographic accessories market, which doesn't help the traditional makers. Bowens died recently because they simply couldn't compete with the stuff coming out of China. When the Chinese decide to start making their own cameras these legacy cameras giants will all be quaking... 

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4 hours ago, Dallas said:

 

This is the precise reason why I won't buy Sony cameras. As good as they are, their track record speaks volumes for their fickleness when it comes to going the distance. 

 

While this is true it also offers good opportunities for whomever is OK with the "dated" last years model. I am thinking adding one of these for when I want to travel light and it won't be the latest release in order to not "invest" a lot of money in it. A positive thing is that the previous generation models are still being sold brand new if one chooses not to buy used .

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Also, the technology jumps between last years models and this years models are no where near as great as they used to be.  Sure the megapixels keep creeping up, but last years models generally have plenty of resolution.

 

 

4 hours ago, Mexecutioner said:

 

While this is true it also offers good opportunities for whomever is OK with the "dated" last years model. I am thinking adding one of these for when I want to travel light and it won't be the latest release in order to not "invest" a lot of money in it. A positive thing is that the previous generation models are still being sold brand new if one chooses not to buy used .

 

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7 hours ago, Mexecutioner said:

A positive thing is that the previous generation models are still being sold brand new if one chooses not to buy used .

 

This is true. I see the A7ii is still available new here and it costs about the same as an Olympus E-M1 Mkii body. I have been tempted because the in camera HDR of the Sony is perfect for RE photography and that will simplify my work tremendously if I got a couple of Canon tilt shift lenses to go with it. But... I just don’t trust the people at Sony to continue to support their products over long periods.

 

Here in South Africa they just pulled out their TV division completely a few years ago. One day they were here, the next they were gone. I have a 40” Sony Bravia LCD set and even at around 9 years old it still makes the LG 4K LED set I bought a couple of years ago look stupid colour and contrast wise. They never said why they were pulling out, they just left.

 

Great products, terrible company.

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I note today that even the magazine editors' favourite FujiFilm reports revenue down 15.1% and income down 63.2%. No company is immune from market saturation.

I am quite satisfied with my 24Mp cameras and in particular my digital Leica rangefinder with its minimum of bells and whistles, complete with manual focus lenses that should last a lifetime if well cared for.  It's no good for action so that's when I have to succumb to the inevitable and turn to my all singing and dancing Nikons. However, I know which I prefer. 😁


Still trying.

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1 hour ago, Clactonian said:

I note today that even the magazine editors' favourite FujiFilm reports revenue down 15.1% and income down 63.2%. No company is immune from market saturation.

I am quite satisfied with my 24Mp cameras and in particular my digital Leica rangefinder with its minimum of bells and whistles, complete with manual focus lenses that should last a lifetime if well cared for.  It's no good for action so that's when I have to succumb to the inevitable and turn to my all singing and dancing Nikons. However, I know which I prefer. 😁

The Leica digital rangefinder cameras are excellent and a pleasure to shoot with. And if you don't wish to splurge on Leica lenses, the Zeiss m-mount lenses are cheaper and arguably just as good.

i had hoped that Zeiss would make a digital version of the marvellous Ikon film rangefinder, but instead they have unveiled a sort of computer with a fixed lens.

oh well ....

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30 minutes ago, vivionm said:

The Leica digital rangefinder cameras are excellent and a pleasure to shoot with. And if you don't wish to splurge on Leica lenses, the Zeiss m-mount lenses are cheaper and arguably just as good.

i had hoped that Zeiss would make a digital version of the marvellous Ikon film rangefinder, but instead they have unveiled a sort of computer with a fixed lens.

oh well ....

Whilst I have a couple of Leica lenses I have to agree that the Zeiss offerings are excellent. The Voigtlanders aren't too shabby either and very cheap second hand for those focal lengths rarely used.

Had to smile at your description of the new digital Zeiss and can't disagree.


Still trying.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, vivionm said:

i had hoped that Zeiss would make a digital version of the marvellous Ikon film rangefinder, but instead they have unveiled a sort of computer with a fixed lens.

oh well ....

 

I liked that Zeiss Ikon (and the lenses!) a lot, almost bought it but decided to stay on the digital path for convenience. My Olympus E-M10II with the smaller fast primes is kind of a digital equivalent, as is the now discontinued Olympus Pen-F.

Edited by Luc de Schepper

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Yes, the China threat is a real one.  Some  of their electronic stuff and their optics are already looking very good, e.g. the Laowa.

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I recently bought a Godox AD200 flash unit. Pretty incredible quality at a really low price.

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In addition to its belated foray into the full-frame mirrorless camera, Nikon has wasted its time and resource for the aborted Nikon DL high-end compact cameras, the virtual dead birth of KeyMission action cameras as well as the rather short-lived Nikon 1 series.

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"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

http://www.flickr.com/photos/akiraphoto/

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It is my understanding that the development period for new camera models is quite long (as opposed to simple model iterations), so it is quite feasible that the Nikon bean counters saw the bottom falling out of the compact camera market during this development period and prior to the launch of the DL range deciding at that point to cut their losses.

The loss of the innovative Nikon 1 series is harder to fathom and I can only assume that it was dropped in order to concentrate on the full frame range, although it was never a big seller.

Nikon marketing has always been curious.


Still trying.

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22 hours ago, Clactonian said:

 

The loss of the innovative Nikon 1 series is harder to fathom and I can only assume that it was dropped in order to concentrate on the full frame range, although it was never a big seller.

Nikon marketing has always been curious.

A couple of things about the Nikon 1 - it was generally priced around the same as low to mid-range dslr, but never had the features and controls to attract more serious users.  

 

Most at people I heard of with Nikon 1 cameras (myself included) picked them up at fire sale prices when they tried to clear the first models.  Later models were a lot harder to find and I haven’t heard of as many people using the later models.

 

The DL range looked like it was going to address that and a lot of people sounded like they would have bought one if they had made it into production.

 

another model that had potential that wasn’t fully realised was the Coolpix A.  

 

I think part part of the problem was cultural - in Japan and parts of Asia like Hong Kong or Singapore,  it is possible to charge a premium for a more compact model, whereas in Europe and the US the expectation is that smaller models are cheaper.  

 

After my experiment with a Nikon J1, and seeing Nikons various experiments, I finally found a camera that met the expectations of these, the Fuji X-E3.  I’m sure if Nikon had tried a more traditional or even retro approach with the 1 models, I might be using that .  

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For years I was exclusively a stills photograher. 

 

Then I began making educational video training programs for the Internet.

 

Started out using HD 1080p cameras.  Video quality was only so so.  Then I purchased a Fuji X-E2.  Wow, was I impressed with 4K video.

 

4K video what such a step forward that I was willing to open up my wallet and buy a new camera just to get it.  But these days I'm shooting M4/3, APS-C, and a couple of different full frame cameras that are from 4 to 12 years old.  I just have not seen enough revolutionary new features in new cameras in the last few years to entice me to upgrade.

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