"[Nikon's] not going to be around in 5 years"

shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
edited October 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
There we go, that's nice and sensational eh? Here's the article, including that opinion by Christopher Chute:
http://business.financialpost.com/2013/10/05/point-shoot-collapse-why-big-camera-companies-are-the-next-blackberry/?__lsa=2257-c074

Thrust of article:
--78% of Nikon revenue from Camera/lens sales
--Sales declining at a faster rate each quarter
--It's not so much that smartphones are true competitors optically, but rather that the Great Unwashed find smartphones to be "good enough" and that they prefer the near instant uploadability to FB/Twitter/etc. as opposed to improved IQ offered by DSLRs.

We've kicked around the hypothesis of mirrorless replacing DSLR. Should we consider the idea that, in a few years, Nikon becomes Kodak?

Not sure what would be more depressing to me:
1) Nikon shutters up shop and there's a short orgy of gear buying
or
2) Nikon survives as a Leica type niche, with pricing to match.

Here's hoping for neither.
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Comments

  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member
    Lame article from an even lamer newspaper. And the emphasis was on point&shoots going to way of the blackberry, not DSLRs.
    Mike
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,200Moderator
    I think the question is would DSLR's or the mirrorless version sustain Nikon at its current level without the pointnshoot sales? I think not. HOWEVER, their diversification into supplying cameras for phones may help. Probably prices will rise as the market changes as they need to keep up R&D at the same rate as present to ensure they continue to compete.

    Just my humble opinion.
    Always learning.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Nothing more than a poorly informed reporter making a incorrect correlation. Year over year sales is a terrible metric with DSLR and even compact sales. DSLRs are usually on a 2-4 year cycle, Nikon nor Canon has released much lately due to being in the mid-cycle refresh period but are moving into the new releases cycle this next 12 months. Canon and Nikon released the "big guns" last year and most users upgraded then so the sales numbers are always elevated in those years and naturally drop in off years.

    The other main slow down is that cameras (less than DSLR) in general, have reached a "plateau" where IQ does not significantly improved with new yearly releases and compact cameras from 4 years ago still have the resolution and performance that are still more than acceptable to post images to internet sites with really good quality. To me the market more reflects the Fim camera's markets where camera bodies where users did not upgraded bodies very often.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    While Nikon has a number of high-profile customers which help to promote its premium brand image (e.g., NASA, WireImage/Getty, etc.), I still see a LOT of knee-jerk consumer demand for Canon DSLRs. While professional shooters now seem almost evenly split between Nikon and Canon pro bodies, Nikon still appears to be losing the lower-tier DSLR segment to Canon (at least upon casual observation).
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited October 2013
    Nothing more than a poorly informed reporter making a incorrect correlation.
    +1
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    edited October 2013
    The fact is, both Nikon and Canon themselves forecasted higher DSLR Year-over-Year sales this year as compared to 2012.

    Thom Hogan crunched the CIPA numbers a few months ago and predicted 14% decline in sales instead of growth, which is inline with the "10-15%" decline in DSLR shipments cited in the above article.

    Don't blame the messenger if you don't like the news. Nikon, Canon, and the rest of the industry must be prepared to make some dramatic adjustments.
    Post edited by Ade on
  • psdragepsdrage Posts: 15Member
    I love my DSLR, however do think Nikon need to focus on Mirrorless more as Sony, Olympus and Panasonic are all inovating in that area.

    Consumer that want to move up are being tempted by mirrorless. Agree with @TaoTeJared in that I think IQ is now so good that people will keep bodies for 5+ years, which isgreat from a capital purchase POV, just badfrom salescycle POV.

    Manufacturers are stuck between a rock and a hard place, consumers keep bodies longer but they have to keep inovating and realsing new products for fear of looking old and stale.

    Maybe nikon should focus more lenses, Sigma have shown recently some inovation is possible.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    Nikon survived with one pro model (the Nikon F for 10 years) I suspect they made fewer Fs in 10 Years than the number of DSLR they make in a month
    They are fully aware of NAS and will continue to feed us for a few more years yet
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    If you like Financials and investor info - here is Nikon's official stuff. Click

    The one thing that Nikon is lacking in vs the other camera makers is that their holdings are not as diversified and are very heavily weighted in cameras. One thing the Nokia phone has shown is that companies marketing push for "must have more megapixels" backfires when it comes to explaining things to investors. Multiple companies have ran into a wall on conference calls in regards to that and have had to explain why an increase in pixels is not good (m4/3) and why less could be better. Most traders/analysts are fickle when it comes to understanding the engineering behind products. Most people just don't understand how a 41mp sensor in a phone is not better than a 36mp sensor in a D800.

    One thing that has been interesting that @studio460 mentioned is that many pros have moved from Canon to Nikon in the last 6 years. That is big and does help with sales long term as well as short term. The real hard thing to figure out is where the customers are coming from in regards to mirrorless. Most DSLR shooters I know also have a mirrorless camera - a few years ago it was a compact camera. Many mirrorless users I knew from a few years ago have moved up to DSLRs due to the better performance. It seems that more photographers are buying multiple systems, better lenses and more accessories. Non photographers are moving completely away from compacts. That scenario creates more lower margin but higher dollar sales from photographers and a loss of high margin but low dollar sales. How that all offsets will be a mystery but I think we are seeing it play out with the pricing with the Nikon One system.

    Nikon is going nowhere. Hell look at Olympus and Pentax who were (still are) in the doldrums teetering on financial collapse. Olympus bought an insurance company and Pentax merged with Ricoh. There are always options.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,200Moderator
    Nikon survived with one pro model (the Nikon F for 10 years) I suspect they made fewer Fs in 10 Years than the number of DSLR they make in a month
    They are fully aware of NAS and will continue to feed us for a few more years yet
    The rate of development in the days of film was a lot slower (read cheaper) than it is in the digital age, and if NAS is all they've got, they're screwed.
    Always learning.
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 958Member
    Christopher Chute is not an authority on the future of photography and whether or not nikon will survive the next five years. DSLR sales will still probably far exceed film camera sales five years from now. And frankly rather than worry about nikon surviving it might be better to worry about what the interest rate payments on US debt might foretell. If this world economy can stay right side up in that timeframe I think Nikon will still be a camera company to be reckoned with. I do see a fairly high number of Nikon both big cameras and modest DSLRs out there compared to Canon. I also know beginning photographers who are buying their FIRST DSLR camera and are torn between two Nikons, not between Canon and Nikon. But those are minor number I KNOPW ABOUT not industry statistics. Thom Hogan's predictions are far more researched than my take on this.
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 958Member
    I meant film camera sales volume when film cameras were in their era not as they are now heading towards even lower interest and sales.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited October 2013
    I can see the merger now....a Nikanon..or Cakon...or Nicanon...or... LOL
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    Not so sure
    I acquired NAS 40 years ago and to date have bought 9 Nikons


  • kenadamskenadams Posts: 222Member
    Frankly, I'm wondering whether in ten years there will be any SLRs left at all, "D-" or "A-"/analog doesn't matter. With the advent of high resolution LCD back panels, the concept of looking through the lens optically by means of reflecting light inside a prism became obsolete. The look and feel we've probably all come to like in the traditional SLR design is completely due to the mechanical/optical requirements. Current mirrorless cameras reflect (haha) that. The design of the OMD5 is a nod towards those who can't quite let go of the classic design, yet are not willing to haul around gear many times its size.

    That being said, you have to wonder where Nikon is in this game. They're not the most innovative company in my book.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    A far as I am aware. the fastest mirror less cameras cannot focus fast as the slowest (current) Nikon DSLR

    when someone brings out a compact Mirrorless that comes close to my D800. I will be first in the queue
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,200Moderator
    ....So long as it has a viewfinder. I would rather give up photography than join the hoards of zombies standing with their arms outstretched squinting at a screen unable to see a damn thing in bright sunlight!
    Always learning.
  • kenadamskenadams Posts: 222Member
    I'm not saying mirrorless cameras can keep up as of yet with the upper class of DSLRs. But in the near future, they'll be level, and there will be no reason whatsoever to keep DSLRs alive.

    Spraynpray, that's a given. Higher end models have viewfinders as of today.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @sevencrossing

    For sure...and this will happen....a non-mirror body which looks quite similar to a D4 or D800 with less bulge on top, slightly thinner, and with an EVF which is seen through the same window as one finds on a D4/D800, and which cannot be distinguished by its performance from a direct view of a ground glass. Yup, once the phase detect continuos servo focus matches or exceeds current DSLR bodies...this is the future. And, my guess is Nikon and Canon are working on this with a lot of resources. Possibly a square format sensor which electronically can be set to 3:2 horizontal or vertical without turning the body 90 degrees...

    This is the future....
    Msmoto, mod
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    edited October 2013
    DSLR sales will still probably far exceed film camera sales five years from now. And frankly rather than worry about nikon surviving it might be better to worry about what the interest rate payments on US debt might foretell. If this world economy can stay right side up in that timeframe I think Nikon will still be a camera company to be reckoned with. ...
    I never meant that they would have comparable numbers, just that the sales model will mimic the time of the film camera days.

    As for a country's "debt" and interest payments, that actually has very little impact to a single individual companies sales or how well they would do - especially a global one not based in said country. Japan's Debt-to-GDP ratio has been well over 100% for decades and they are still the hottest market for cameras.




    Post edited by TaoTeJared on
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    ...The look and feel we've probably all come to like in the traditional SLR design is completely due to the mechanical/optical requirements. Current mirrorless cameras reflect (haha) that.
    I would disagree with "due to the mechanical/optical requirements" (although there is some requirements) but looking to the evolution of camera designs every design aspect has been tried and mechanical designs seemed to be tailored to designs that people enjoyed holding. That design battle happened for over 70 years and has been static (with a base two different designs of the DSLR and Rangefinder) for the last 30 years. There are aspects that will eventually go away as technology advances but the basic "comfortable" design will always be there.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited October 2013
    Msmoto @sevencrossing

    For sure...and this will happen...


    Absolutely ; but in the next 5 years? by which time the OP is suggesting Nikon may be no more ?

    I don't know and I have to confess, I don't care

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited October 2013
    And I quote: "....As it turns out, they don’t have to. When it comes to image quality, the real problem is that consumers no longer care...The focus on hardware, which has driven [Canon and Nikon] to success over fifty years – the ground has shifted underneath them and it’s all software.....Nokia, with its eye-opening 41 Megapixel smartphone camera, actually relies heavily on software algorithms to down-sample and resize the gargantuan images the sensor on its new..."

    These statement alone tells me that Matthew and Chris don't understand the photography market, the photographer itself, nor the fundamentals behind taking an image. Moreover, I have a feeling neither one of them owns a DSLR. They are the ones that don't care about image quality or photography itself. They should just come out and say: "Lets short the stock."
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,098Member
    edited October 2013
    @Golf007sd The problem is that "photographers" make up a small segment of camera buyers. The camera makers need to start thinking like they did in the film era again. Why? They need to keep in mind that as the market shifts more towards cell phones, with good enough image quality (for most people), that they need to shift away from making cameras for the mass market and go back to making cameras for "photographers."
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited October 2013
    @PB_PM: I understand the correlation you are making...as did Matthew in his article. But, here is were I believe the argument goes astray: a person that is seeking to take photo's will not walk into a cell phone store (like At&t, Verizon or T-Mobil), they will go to an electronic store where they sell camera gear. Moreover, I strongly believe that the sales staff is not going to take that individual to their cell phone section and show/sell them a new cell phone and a new 2 year contract.

    Today's modern portable electronics, such as the cellphone, have merged numerous end user gadgets into one: a clock, but we still have watch on our hand; stop watch and timers, but their are still people that buy stop watch's and timers for cooking; a built-in calendar, but we still buy calendars to put up on our walls and office desks....I will stop here because their are plenty of more correlation I can make, but I hope you get my meaning and direction of looking from the outside in.

    In the world of photography and the process involved in taking an image, for the end user, I strongly believe it will always come down to: 1) quality and 2) the price the consumer is willing to spend in order to get it. In fact, this point is even made more profound by the cell phone companies is seeking to make the lenses within their cellphone that much better. Thus, Matthews assertion is incorrect: "...when it comes to image quality...consumers no longer care(s)..."

    The D-SLR is here to stay, much like exotic sports cars. Hence, even though their might be a small portion of the consumer market that will buy or invest in such line of equipment...it will still be around...be it Nikon, Canon, Lecia, Fuji, Sony, Pentax, Phase One, Hasselblad.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
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