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Nikon talks about “The birth of the COOLPIX design”

I know, you are not interested in Coolpix cameras, but this new article on Nikon's website gives an interesting inside look of how Nikon designs a camera (ok, a Coolpix camera in this case). Some quotes:

"First, our marketing department constructs a product lineup and then they create the concept for each individual model. Naturally, camera designers actively participate in the development of product concepts. Once a general product concept has been determined, a team of designers is selected from the design department and serious work to come up with a design that satisfies the determined concept begins."

"The first step is to create mockups from those sketches. This happens more than a year before the product is released. At this stage, we examine a wide variety of possibilities."

"Each design team is comprised of two to five designers."

And finally a quote from the last question about the future of the Coolpix design:

"As advances in mobile devices such as cellular telephones continue, we are beginning to see the fusion of digital cameras and such devices on the market."

Did they say again "mobile devices" and "cellular telephones"? Remember this quote from Nikon’s president Makoto Kimura?

“Nowadays digital cameras take movies, performance of cameraphones is rapidly advancing and demand for simple movie cameras for uploading video on the Internet is on the rise. Redefinition of photography may become necessary.”

How about the news that Nikon is looking for partnership with online and mobile device companies?

Do you see a pattern here?

BTW, yesterday Samsung announced a new Wi-Fi point and shoot camera that can upload pictures and video to social networking sites, send emails, etc.

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  • zzddrr

    I guess at Nikon they finally noticed that nowadays cell phones can take pictures. I am glad that such observation took place. :-)

  • Simon

    This is about the difference between photography and taking picture.

    • Zblorg

      I agree, at the same time, many picture takers think they are photographers, so telling them their phones or whatevers are photographer’s tools opens up a large market.

    • preston

      I also agree. The term “photographer” has broadened significantly since everyone essentially carries a camera(phone) with them at all times.

  • http://www.pbase.com/jctangney John Tangney

    Notice that there is no mention of customer ideas, or testing their ideas with potential customers in anything quoted there!

    • Seppl

      Good observation!

      The idea that some marketing idiots determine which cameras are to be developed makes me want to vomit!

      From this perspective, Nikon’s pro line must have been an accident.

    • Vandyu

      That would probably be too much to ask, but as Mr. Spock would say, “It is logical.”

  • Kingyo

    If I can post a low-res jpeg version of a photo (or video) I just took on my dslr to my twitter page (or other web site) directly from my dslr..without the need of a computer…well, not so bad :)

  • NikoDoby

    So what they are really saying is that the D700 replacement will be a mobile phone?!? :)

    • preston

      no, they’re not saying that at all. This article is about Coolpix cameras.

  • preston

    General question for Nikon Rumors admin: How are these avatars selected? Is it random? Cause I always seem to get a sad face :(

    • Kevin

      It’s called Gravatar. It’s randomly generated if you don’t have an account here: http://gravatar.com/

      When you upload an image it’ll show up on (all?) wordpress sites.

      • http://www.shortfingerphoto.com nubz

        Though I don’t care one way or another, I thought I’d try it out. BTW, think the mobile device thing would be useful on a camera.

    • http://davidandstella.wordpress.com/ David

      LOL!! Your icon looks much nicer than my previous very sad and sick looking face. I changed my through Gravatar.

    • Vandyu

      I’d like to change my avatar because I look like a doofus. Maybe a smiley face in the triangle. Or some folks have their own photos, don’t they? Maybe it’s based on longevity…you have to earn a non-doofus avatar!

  • Nikonier

    Nikon talks about “The birth of the COOLPIX design”

    damn, i want them to talk about the birth of D700x !!!!

  • antoineb

    Sounds awfully BACKWARDS!?

    Most modern companies work directly with 3d design tools, which allow immediate interaction with all departments and all technological checks. Most of these tools now have user interfaces that are so easy and cool that even marketing depts use them with fun.

    How backwards can Nikon be if they work off sketches and physical mockups? That’s stuff from 20 years ago!

    • jimmy

      its been around alot longer than that brother, and actually it still works pretty darn well ;)

  • http://www.photothema.com Antonis X

    I had a client this week on a two days private photoworkshop with a Nikon Coolpix S570 and was pleasantly surprised by the dynamic range of the pictures and the quality. When you would be able to just do a bit more manual it would be a very nice pocket camera.

    (And yes, I am a ‘real’ ‘full-time’ ‘professional’ photographer.)

  • C

    It would eventually link to photosharing site / facebook so that what I have shot could be uploaded to internet instantly and share with friends. That would be a excellent idea.

  • THURO

    I want a Nikon phone similar to an HTC Evo 4G. Running Android, 16mp FX Sensor, Wi-Fi and AF video capabilities. Put it on the drawing board, mock it up, test it, and ship it out…

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

    何だこりゃ?意味ないじゃん。

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

      Don’t mind this. It was in reply to some mismash jumble of Japanese plus other nonsense that someone posted. Looks like that post has disappeared, so no reason for this reply to continue to exist, either.

  • Jay A

    I work for Verizon…love to see Nikon produce components into phones. If the rumor is true that we will have the IPhone in January…buy Verizon stock now

  • Merv

    I hope that engineers will contribute a final say along with Marketing and Executives in the design of any product. Marketing and/or Executives sometimes force some weird things in their final products-there seems to be a bit of a back-and-forth blame game going with the latest design of the iPhone for example.

  • http://www.lightshootedit.com Poisonberry

    Give me my D700 replacement before you give me a phone that rings when I get calls.

  • Zoetmb

    “First, our marketing department constructs a product lineup and then they create the concept for each individual model.
    TRANSLATION: We need models at $79, $89, $99, $119, $259, $329.

    Naturally, camera designers actively participate in the development of product concepts.
    TRANSLATION: We let the camera designers come to the marketing meetings, but we don’t listen to them.

    Once a general product concept has been determined, a team of designers is selected from the design department and serious work to come up with a design that satisfies the determined concept begins.”
    TRANSLATION: “Hey, Toshiro. You’re stuck working on the $79 model. We don’t care too much about picture quality, but it has to make coffee.”

    “The first step is to create mockups from those sketches. This happens more than a year before the product is released. At this stage, we examine a wide variety of possibilities.”
    TRANSLATION: “Hey, Toshiro. Do you think you can produce more than three sketches in six months?”

    “Each design team is comprised of two to five designers.”
    TRANSLATION: Some of our designers suck, so we have to add more members to their team.

  • Daniel

    This sounds absolutely TERRIBLE. Sites like Digg, Facebook, etc will not exist in 5-10 years, so what use will the camera be then? (Oh, I guess it will still take pictures.) Fortunately the world will still need high-quality pictures so hopefully you’ll be able to buy a high-quality camera that doesn’t do anything stupid like send photos to a MySpace account automatically. Imagine the horror people would experience when their private photos are accidentally made public…

  • boyd

    We will see a Nikon cellular telephone with a superb compact camera build in soon :-)

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