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Nikon prices continue to rise on low inventory, rebates unlikely to be extended

Canon reported a drop in their profit for Q1 and lowered their sales forecast. Expect similar results from Nikon when they publish their financial results on May 12, 2011 @3:00pm Japanese time.

Nikon prices continue to rise in the US while inventory continues to dry up (see previous price checks on March 23rd and March 15th):

Nikon D300s body only

Nikon D700 body only is currently out of stock at B&H, Adorama, Amazon and J&R. The prices are:

Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VRII lens

Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 lens is also out of stock at most stores:

The latest Nikon instant rebates will be expiring on April 30th in the US and the rumor is that they will not be extended:

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  • Rob

    Any news on production levels at any of the plants? I’m surprised some manufacturers like the automobile makers are very open about their situation while others like Nikon seem to not be giving out any information. If the car makers can build at about 50% capacity with thousands of outsourced parts, I’d be very surprised if Nikon isn’t producing at least at some level. Perhaps their switch to unannounced models has kept them from being forthcoming/specific about their capacity.

  • Zerocool

    I ordered a Nikon 24-70 f2.8 recently because I thought it would help both of our countries’ economies in tough times. I wanted a precaution against any production issues post-tsunami/nuclear radiation bath. Probably unnecessary precaution, but like Forrest Gump said, GOOD! One less Thang! I’ve wanted it for awhile, so everybody wins. Picked it up at Unique Photo for 90 less than Amazon.

  • Roger

    Well, I can’t say the shortage affected Montreal, Quebec. We can still get D700′s for $2350.00 CDN and D3s at $4850.00 CDN and a D3x at $7100.00 CDN. And they are in stock. My favorite Nikon dealer just re-plenished his stock from Nikon without any problems. I can see prices increase on Ebay and the regular US suppliers like B&H, Adorama etc…but here…no problem. Which led me to wonder… with the D800 and D4 scheduled to come out in August 2011, imagine the frenzy one can create taking advantage of what happened to Japan to liquidate old stock before the new one comes out….hummm, as a corporate person myself, this is an unfortunate event, but at the same time an opportunity too good to pass up to get rid of shelf stock by keeping everybody wondering if the new stuff will come out….I trust Nikon to be the corporate giant that it is and have a proper Disaster recovery plan to minimise the losses…….I’ll gamble on the D4 and wait for August…

    • Rob

      This is what I’ve been thinking. I’d be interested in more people reporting new shipments arriving as well. We still have people screaming that Nikon isn’t producing anything when obviously a shipment arriving now was put on the container ship long after the tsunami. It’s unlikely a company like Nikon had excess stock sitting around, so that product was at the very least assembled, if not manufactured, after the earthquake. I even read a post in the forums claiming they have 4 hours of electricity a day, when I don’t even think any of Nikon’s plants are in rolling blackout zones anymore, and when they were, they were WITHOUT electricity for 3.5 hours a day.

      I don’t know if these people are just stupid, or if they’re trying to make money off selling their stuff. Either way, I’m glad they’re wrong.

    • broxibear

      Hi Roger,
      It would be interesting to find out if the stock your dealer received was a new shipment or was stock that Nikon Canada Inc redistributed from another part of Canada…I suspect the later.
      Nikon’s plants are within the power blackout areas. Japan is split into two power grids, Northwest and Southwest http://www.npr.org/news/graphics/2011/03/map-japan-power-300.gif
      Japanese companies have agreed a 25% power usage cut to try and avoid even more power blackouts in the summer, wether it’ll work they don’t know.
      Just a few days ago the first bullet train service from Tokyo to Sendai City resumed…it didn’t last very long, three power cuts during the journey caused them to stop the service.
      Maybe Nikon’s next press release will be a bit more detailed although I wouldn’t hold your breath.

      • broxibear

        Oops that should be Northeast and Southwest, Thom Hogan’s got an interesting article about power and supply isses on his blog called “Camera World Still Shaking”
        http://www.bythom.com/2011 Nikon News.htm

        • Rob

          From what I’ve read, Thom’s predictions seem like they’ll turn out false. They’ve already increased power output beyond their predictions, and recently revised their predicted shortfalls to be much lower than before.

          http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2011/04/japans_energy_crisis

          Schedule work-arounds like the auto industry are planning, along with overall conservation in the residential and commercial sectors could prevent blackouts except on the hottest of days.

          • broxibear

            Hi Rob,
            They could well do, there’s talk of only a 15% cut in power consumtion needed to avoid blackouts…but that doesn’t address the supply issues.
            If you look at the recent images of the disassembled D5100, it’s got Sony, Samsung and Toshiba parts…not to mention all the other third party bits and pieces.
            The supply chain is long and complex, just one problem and it all comes to a halt.
            It’s good fun isn’t it lol ?

            • Rob

              But my logic behind my previous post is that that should also be solved. I’m sure a car has 10 times as many parts from 10 times as many sources as a camera, but they are able to maintain SOME level of production on those. While I do see delays as their suppliers have decreased output, I doubt anything will be halted because of one part or two. Unless it’s something like a sensor, every part has a replacement vendor by now.

            • Darkness

              Rob, you dont know anything more about car production supply chain than camera production supply chain (apart from the what the car company PR guys tell you).

            • broxibear

              hi Rob,
              I understand what you’re saying about car companies, but the reason they are able to keep 50% of production could be down to various factors. I know that certain Toyota models can’t be made at all while others can…this might be down to them having enough parts for that particular model, or it might be a far simpler car that uses more generic parts, I don’t know ?
              Your point about replacement vendors is completely wrong, for a part to be made elsewhere involves a great deal of time because it has to be designed, tested over time and be of a high enough standardfor flagship products…it’s not as simple as saying we’ll get our parts from here instead of there, these are handbuilt cameras with high precision custom parts. Those parts are designed and made by machines that are only available in the Sendai plant.
              You can’t compare it to car manufacturing. A Honda Jazz factory in the UK has the same equipment to make the car as a Honda Jazz factory in Mumbai so you can shift production…that can’t happen with Nikon pro cameras as they’re only made in one place, that one place has all the equipment needed as well as the highly qualified staff.
              If it were simple we wouldn’t be having this conversation and there would be no shortages or price increases.

            • Rob

              Well the Wall Street Journal disagrees with you two. But I’m sure you’re much smarter than their writers, who, you know, are in Japan researching before they write.

            • broxibear

              Hi Rob,
              No one’s having a go at you…post the Wall Street Journal information and we can all read it .

    • D700guy

      Used Nikon gear does seem to sell.
      I dumped my D300 and 3 lenses last week on ebay.
      Everything sold in under 4 days.

  • Simon

    When the D7000 was released I just wanted the camera and didn’t bother with the rebates as I didn’t need any lenses. And I decided to wait until around this time period. However, now looking at the supply I’m thinking about buying from costco the D7000+18-200 w/$250 rebate and selling the lens.

  • Dean Forbes

    So many big e-tailers being out of stock could also signal that a D700 replacement is on the way. That’s the kind of news I want to hear.

  • http://www.amanochocolate.com Art

    You could make an argument that NOW is the time for Nikon to release the D400 and/or D800.

    Clearly the damage to the Nikon facilities has used a lot of Nikons excess cash. With the release of the D400 and D800 cameras, a huge new buying wave would occur helping to increase Nikon’s cash flow in these difficult times. (I hope you are reading this Nikon. ;-)

  • Roger

    Hi Broxibear,

    I agree with your statement, but keep one thing in mind, If the plan was to announce a pro body for August…it’s already assembled by now….as for the plants in Japan, I understand that production “there” will be near non existant….but that’s what a DRP is, disaster recovery and as I said, I’m sure that they have one hell of a good one. Yes they will suffer losses, but maybe not as bad as you think. The real tragedy in Japan are the lives lost and destroyed because of the earthquake/tsunami. Any serious corporation having a large market share of a product, regardless of what it is, has a DRP. As a matter of fact, all major banks and investors/stock market etc… require it. So weather they divert production to another part of Japan or Malaysia or China….the truth is….they’re in business, they’re sharp people and very disciplined…..and they are selling a shitload of D700′s D3s’s and D3x’s because hey….the D4 and D800 may not come out for another year!!!!! Oh, I forgot….yup, the stock may come from another Canadian location and not new stock….but again, I don’t think Nikon corp would be making “new D3 series stock” when there are still some on shelves no matter where they may be. It’s also understandable that stock is slower to move in Canada (33 million people) than in the US (over 300 Million). :-) I love Vegas and am a gambling man….I can’t see myself spending 5K on a D3s now and have it worth $3800.00 if the D4 comes out in August…a 20% loss minimum for 3 1/2 months wait….nah….I still have faith in Nikon….pretty shure they’ll be on track or close to it….

    • broxibear

      Hi Roger,
      The August announcement rumour was just that, a rumour…it was based on information Peter/admin received well before the earthquake, I’m sure it was mid January when it was suggested.
      Don’t confuse announcement dates with release dates…It’s possible Nikon will announce a D800 at CliQ Las Vegas in September 2011, but I don’t think it’ll be released until 2nd quarter 2012.
      Why do you think cameras due for release in the 4th quarter would be assembled in February ?
      Moving production from the Sendai plant would take a very long time and would be very expensive. I think it’s far more likely production will pushed back several months for FX bodies.
      There’s no way they’ll move production from Tochigi.
      Nikon, Canon and Sony have all been pretty quiet about what’s going on so lets see what they say ?

  • The invisible man

    The Cameras/Lenses made outside Japan should not see their price go up.
    Maybe the retail prices were too low with little or no profit for retailers stores or online.

  • J0rge

    I don’t fully understand the shortage on cameras that are NOT made in Japan, like the D300s. For the same reason I also I don’t understand what’s stopping Nikon from releasing the D400. I agree with Roger because at least in some cases, (non japanese models) the shortage really seems to indicate that they want to get rid of the old cameras before releasing the new ones. Anyway I’m glad that I found these interesting comments and I’m not the only one wondering about the Nikon situation. Thank you!

    • Hectic3

      Perhaps that is due to the fact that some of the components are still made in Japan but are assembled elsewhere. This is akin of the Japanese Automaker’s current conundrum.

      • http://www.russbarnes.co Russb

        Exactly. There are plenty of Japanese car makers in the UK, and all of them are on extended leave due to a total unavailability of parts which come only from Japan. Apparently there was a six week supply chain which flows parts from Japan, and that has simply dried up. This means that even once full capacity is reached in Japan, it would take a further six weeks for those parts to become available in the UK through the normal channels. I can only deduce the same or a very similar situation applies to the production of electronic equipment like the D300s which will still heavily rely on parts coming from Japan.

  • Anonymus Maximus

    The price level in Dubai has so far always been on the higher side.
    Now with the discounting falling away in the rest of the world the prices reach parity.
    Everything in Cameras and Lenses seems to be in stock.

    However I have no idea how deep the inventory is.

  • Roger

    Hey guys….Maximus….this is not a news flash….price levels in Dubai are always on the higher side…for whatever you want to buy or lease lol…just kidding. Well this is interesting and all comments are relevant….because they are all based on….Rumours and educated guesses, and so far, the industry has us all guessing. This will be an interesting one to follow through and we’ll see who was right on the money…and who was wayyyyy off track…..Either way…the industry wins…..gotta love capitalism!!!!

    • http://www.russbarnes.co Russb

      Those comments are all very odd. This isn’t rumour, it’s based on a very physical and obvious event AND the industry isn’t winning. There isn’t any stock and that means Nikon isn’t making much money. See line 1 in the news item – Canon have already downgraded their profit forecast – the rest of it is all about supply and demand, just simple economics.

  • hah

    lol all those people waiting for “street prices” got exactly that. street prices. get ready to pay up dudes… I payed 1400 bucks for my 14-24 brand new from bh. Payed 2200 bucks for my 70-200VRII also new from a dealer. you snooze you loose.

  • try again

    Well even if they announced aD400/D800/D4 next week, normally it would take another 8 months before most people could touch one. Just look when the D7000 got released and when people could find one in stock. This camera is not even what most people on here were wanting to buy. Now with production at least reduced by 25% if not more depending on the camera I give the following…release it August of 2011, might be able to get it a year later. My 2cents.

  • http://flickr.com/vidaextinta joaquim Prado

    I am Afraid that D700 replacement will cost 3k, this is kind of expensive!

  • http://go-dslr.com Flosse_r

    I ordered my D7k a week before the earthquake from Adorama. They didnt have it in stock and estimated end of MArch. The next day I got a mail saying they got 3 in and that mine shipped. a few days later the earthquake happened. since then the combo that I bought has increased at all the big photo retailers by about 400 USD.
    Over here in Europe however, the prices remain solidly “low” AND there is plenty of stock everywhere… i just wonder why that is… I mean we even nowadays have campaigns up in the north where they offer a d7000 and a sb-900 or about 1100 euros…or a grip with the d7000 for 1100 etc. so why are prices going nuts in the US?

    • broxibear

      Hi Flosse_r,
      Here in the UK the prices rocketed…the D7000 hasn’t gone up very much but higher end products have including the SB -900, and stock is difficult to find.
      Where in Europe are you ?

  • mandrake

    I just picked up a D3s myself and was happy to pay MSRP. I want a 14-24 but not at $2k…may look for a used one.

    • Mike

      I picked up a D3s for $4450 a week before the earthquake. It’s now $4999 (what i paid after taxes) at a Toronto retailer known for low prices. A major Canadian chain says they can’t even order pro stuff from Nikon Canada as it’s apparently being reserved for NPS.

  • http://www.didierbeunas.com Didier

    In France the price have not changed. But for the first time the D700 is not referenced on the shop “digit photo” an the D300s is not available without a lense

  • http://www.didierbeunas.com Didier

    Oups, it was a bug I Think the D300s is in stock now

  • Bigus Dickus

    those who believe that D800 comes this year live in real nice dreamland lol

  • Rob

    It’s definitely to Nikons (and dealers) financial advantage to move all their old stock. This disaster will cost Nikon big in the long term though they must have some insurance cover? I guess a lot depends on how quick they recover, they will have a plan like Roger said. Here in New Zealand grey market prices are on the rise while genuine dealers are keeping prices level even though stock is expected to become scarce. Our Nikon importer should be ok as long as supplies show up in the next month or two (October latest), they survive on our summer/xmas season anyway. The retailers will be less effected and will benefit more from a stock clean out, though I’m sure they would like some stock by xmas.

    • Anonymus Maximus

      Problem is that most insurance excludes earthquake and Tsunami (which is a Japanese Word after all). Even if it would be included (expensive) I doubt that it would cover more than the damage to facilities and mashinery. Again any policy covering losses due to business interruption would be prohibitively expensive. Not likely.

      • Rob

        We have compulsory earthquake insurance in NZ. It won’t quite cover the hiccup we had in Christchurch late last year. I hope the Japanese would have something similar, though if they did there would never be enough to cover business losses as extensive and catastrophic as this. As far as predicting camera releases I think Nikon will try and stick to the timeline they had prior to the quake, they’ll just be slower at supplying the new cameras, which we are all use to and we’ll forgive them, for they have just had the mother of all quakes.

    • http://www.bing.com/ King

      That’s not just logic. That’s really sbensile.

  • http://www.chriswrightphotography.com Photographer Dundee

    I dont see the D400/D800 release coming anytime soon to be honest. Happy to be wrong of course :)

    • DX2FX

      Well, the longer we wait, the sooner it will come…

  • CFH

    Shouldn’t the headline read -

    Dealers raise Nikon prices on low inventory, rebates unlikely to be extended?

    I don’t believe Nikon have changed any of their prices.

    • Rob

      No. His title has no implication as to who is causing the increased prices, be it Nikon or dealers. The way he wrote it just suggests that the prices of Nikon products is changing.

    • broxibear

      Hi CFH,
      There’a a bit of confusion about pricing and how it works…maybe Peter/admin can help us out but this is how I was told it works, I may well be wrong…
      Nikon says to it’s distributor (in Europe that’s Nikon Europe BV) this is our manufacturers recommended retail price (mrrp)…the distributor then sells to the retailer at any price it wants up to that mrrp.
      Although Nikon themselves haven’t increased their mrrp I think distributors have increased their price to retailers, hence the price increases we’re seeing.
      Here’s the official UK mrrp price list from Nikon UK http://www.europe-nikon.com/en_GB/service_support/Price_List.page?lang=
      The mrrp for a D3x is £6259.99 and £4381.99 for a D3s

  • Nicko

    Aw this is not nice :( Exactly when I was going to looking for some new equipment the earthquake came and struck japan. Now the prices is going up and stock going down :(

    BTW, anybody know how much a D3s cost before the earthquake? Now it’s like $5199.

  • Roger

    The D300s prices listed may not be accurate – I saw just now:

    B&H is $1,549 … lower by$50 (you have to add to cart to see prices)
    Adorama is $1,699 … accurate
    Amazon is $1,599 … lower by $100 (you have to add to cart to see prices)

    That said, the prices have certainly gone up.

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