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Nikon: “rapid deterioration in the market occurred”

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Nikon published their Q&A for the third quarter of the Imaging Company which they describe as "rapid deterioration in the market" and "fiercer market competition":

Q: What can you tell us about the revision of the financial forecast in the imaging products business?

A: While we increased production and inventory of digital SLR cameras as one of measures against the risk of floods in Thailand, rapid deterioration in the market occurred late November and continuing into December. That resulted in a reduction of unit prices and additional sales costs in fiercer market competition. This is the main reason of a significant adjustment for Imaging Company which had been making stable earnings, and we have taken this fact seriously.

Q: What can you tell us about forecasts and future plans?

A: Though we expect the market environment for the imaging products business to remain severe in the 4Q, we will be aiming to bring the inventory level on line by the end of this fiscal period. According to the 2013 outlook on DSC shipment forecast announced by CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) on January 31, 2013, the market of compact digital cameras continues to post negative growth and digital cameras—interchangeable lens type is forecasted to show 2-digit growth.

We will try to be more sensitive to changes in the market and make adjustments faster. We will also be reviewing and improving our cost structure including sales and general administration costs again from the fundamentals.

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  • benZ

    “rapid deterioration in the market” and “fiercer market competition” ___ Is this because of the QA ISSUES that hit the D800 and the D600 ??? And / or because Nikon have been ignoring their customers by not giving them the camera that they want ie D300 and D700 successors ???

    • Charles

      And also D7000 succesor. And be more serious about the mirrorles options, no more cheating costumers with fake upgrades, make real changes Nikon!

    • HotDuckZ

      Nikon was killed by this comment. :)

      PS. I think QA issues because of flood and tsunami, brutal.

    • Arkasai

      Way off. Nikon would be in this position even if those cameras were flawless. Much of the enthusiast market is shifting away from these large DSLRs to small highly capable cameras from Fuji, Sony, Pentax, Panasonic, etc – I’m sure you’ve heard something about this trend, as it’s been going on for years.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joel.coulson Joel Coulson

      The D800 has been a massive seller for Nikon, far outstripping their expectations in fact. The three month wait before I was able to collect mine late last year is certainly a testament to that.

      I’d argue that rather than QA issues (auto-focus/LCD), the hit has been to the bottom end of the product lineup – the compacts and the D3xxx’s as mobile phone cameras slowly start to become your average Joe’s primary photographic device.

    • Pete

      You mean, they aren’t making the camera YOU want. When you decide to build a new camera, you need to make something that a LOT of people want.

      • Greg Heller

        Hey Pete what are you a Nikon employee? Here you have hundreds of Nikon customers expressing their anger with Nikon and you have made it your mission to slam quite a few of these individuals, if there are this many people upset — seems to most rational people there might be a problem. If you feel Nikon is doing such a good job thats fine, just don’t use this forum to snipe other people like you are the only person who really knows the truth. Grow up.

        • KnightPhoto

          I think Pete’s point is perfectly valid, Nikon has to make cameras that a LOT of people want, in order to maximize any return on investment.
          So you guys who want a manual focus-only, digital FM-2, with no rear-LCD, that doesn’t do video – guess what ;-)
          And I was going to observe anyways, the level of “upset people” in this thread is remarkable; way out of proportion to people who actually owned a D800 with a problem. I can understand if you actually owned a D800 and it had an actual AF problem that you competently tested for and diagnosed, but not if you are just “chiming in”.
          Best Regards, SteveK

        • KnightPhoto

          I think Pete’s point is perfectly valid, Nikon has to make cameras that a LOT of people want, in order to maximize any return on investment.
          So you guys who want a manual focus-only, digital FM-2, with no rear-LCD, that doesn’t do video – guess what ;-)
          And I was going to observe anyways, the level of “upset people” in this thread is remarkable; way out of proportion to people who actually owned a D800 with a problem. I can understand if you actually owned a D800 and it had an actual AF problem that you competently tested for and diagnosed, but not if you are just “chiming in”.
          Best Regards, SteveK

      • Greg Heller

        Hey Pete what are you a Nikon employee? Here you have hundreds of Nikon customers expressing their anger with Nikon and you have made it your mission to slam quite a few of these individuals, if there are this many people upset — seems to most rational people there might be a problem. If you feel Nikon is doing such a good job thats fine, just don’t use this forum to snipe other people like you are the only person who really knows the truth. Grow up.

    • Johno

      Agree that pretty much sums it up. Nikon is out of touch with their customer base.

  • http://www.facebook.com/indiproject Tadas Indi

    They should focus not on money making first of all, but on treating their customers fairly admitting problems past couple of camera’s had (dust/oil in D600 & left focus flaw on D800 left) I thing they lost million customers if not more only because of these issues. Why market is not deteriorating for Canon, uh?

    • lorenzo

      +10E64

    • Micah Goldstein

      If you’re familiar with the D7000 or D800, you’ll know that they do have an issue with focus.

    • Johno

      Agree!!

  • dan

    rofl @ rapid deterioration in market

    i can answer that for you

    because you fucked up on your quality control
    because you did not admit to your mistakes
    because you ignore building products that your customers asked for

    • Banned

      Are you new to this? It’s obvious the problem is Nikon new fixed price scam, funny nobody mentions it. I guess you’re all a bunch of rookies.

      • Micah Goldstein

        …they’re not alone in attempting that. Nor are they along in their new attempt at a repairs racket.

      • cobby64

        Canon has also fixed their prices.

    • Captain Megaton

      Nikon already makes the perfect camera for you:

      http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/coolpix/life/l27/

    • Captain Megaton

      Nikon already makes the perfect camera for you:

      http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/coolpix/life/l27/

    • http://twitter.com/prevedovich Prevedovich

      “rapid deterioration in the market” started when they announced long waited D600. they “implemented” such features as HDMI pseudo FullHD output, soapy video sampling, spots on the sensor and shaky sensor when mirror moves. then “fiercer market competition” began because customers moved to 6D, 5D Mark III, Panasonic GH3, Olimpus, Pentax, etc.
      They could update the firmware, but they will not let you believe in miracles.

      • Johno

        I completely agree. This move was clearly a mistake. Nikon cannot afford another major mistake.

    • Pete

      Wow, Dan, sounds like you have it all figured out. Probably time to start your own camera company.

  • dan

    put a d4 sensor + AF module in a d800 body. a true d700 successor, and I will purchase TWO of these.

    • KnightPhoto

      Nope, Nikon is saying get one D4. Seriously ;-)

    • Joven

      It’s funny how many people were scolding prospective D600 buyers for “wanting too much” for what the cost of the camera (e.g. High sync, faster max shutter, wider AF coverage, etc), but so many people want a $6,000 camera for half the price, but think that’s OK.

    • Theo

      After the last update, I went through the painful process of changing camera bodies and lenses. The D700, D800 and D3s were sold and replaced with the 5D Mk III. The D800 was great in many respects, stopped way down. I could never get the focus to quite get it – just never quite there. Then there was the “more accurate” screen. I didn’t want to move to the D4 – and then I happened to try the 5D Mk III and found that it had the best AF that I’d ever encountered, it found and grabbed, and held and the software interface to support it was brilliant. It was as if Canon were so sick of people moving to Nikon during the D700/D3/D3s years because of better AF that they focused on coming out with a stunning system – mission accomplished. And there was also the buffer, and a great MP target that gave me much more to work with than I had with my D700/D3s. And then there was the high ISO – surprisingly clean low light color at 12,800. And priced right around $3K (or less – even down to $2799 from auth during promotions). There are still things that I liked more and miss – the auto ISO is more configurable. The D800 sensor is fantastic. But your comment brought to mind that someone else put those elements together (smaller body, top AF, good MP density), it just wasn’t Nikon – this time (it was Nikon back when then they put the D3 into a D700 package when Canon refused to put 1 Series features into a 5D-line).

      • http://www.facebook.com/joel.coulson Joel Coulson

        Have you tried to shoot that 5D3 in -1eV of light? Say, the sort of light you’d experience at wedding reception or a fashion show?

        Whilst you’ll get no arguments from me that the 5D3 and the 1DX has *the best* good light AF by a long shot (it’s so damned fast in comparison to the D4 or the D800), it absolutely falls flat on it’s face and hunts continuously when you start to lose that light. For me, it’s just not worth the compromise. The CAM3500AF in the D4 and D800 just seems to be more reliable in all conditions.

        • cobby64

          If it was that much of a problem it would be on forums the way Nikon has messed up with green screen, left AF issue, dust etc..

    • http://www.facebook.com/joel.coulson Joel Coulson

      Yes Nikon, please give me what amounts to a $6000 D4 with half the frame rate for half the price. What a brilliant idea..

      The D4 sensor will moved down into a new, cheaper model once the D4S is released in the next year and half. If you want it prior, you’ll just need to start earning a little more money off your photography :).

    • Pete

      Wow, there you go again, Dan. TWO cameras! Wow! Looks like Nikon’s next quarter will be HUGE!! I’m sure the CEO is already planning a golf trip!

  • cppguy16

    You wanna bet that they don’t even understand why this is happening? Have they never noticed what camera the average non-photographers shoot with? They’re using their phones. The phone industry offers a fully programmable interface with a powerful communication layer, with apps like Instagram, CameraBag 2, and Snapseed. Tell me what a Coolpix offers. Nikon Image Space, really??

    Can you imagine what software the community could write for a fully open Nikon hardware? Do they realize that us software engineers are enormous camera fans? The Android Coolpix is one step to the right direction, but its current implementation is misguided. What the market needs is a Nikon sensor with zoom lens assembly that is part of an actual phone, with its full AppStore ecosystem.

  • Funduro

    What a bunch of BS from the upper mismanagement @ Nikon.

  • Captain Megaton

    Nikon has a good Q3 when they release a new mid-range dSLR model, like the D7000. Last year in the run-up to the holidays they didn’t have that and they didn’t have much else in lower categories either: D5200 was probably not in wide availability, and anyway, the D3200 and D5200 were only minor updates on long running series with steadily declining popularity. Then there was the V1 firesale, and, well, clearly nobody much is buying Coolpix cameras anymore, not least the Chinese, who probably boycott Nikon cameras even if they are all made in China anyways.

    Rough times, but all things are relative. How was the camera section of Sony doing?

  • Captain Megaton

    Nikon has a good Q3 when they release a new mid-range dSLR model, like the D7000. Last year in the run-up to the holidays they didn’t have that and they didn’t have much else in lower categories either: D5200 was probably not in wide availability, and anyway, the D3200 and D5200 were only minor updates on long running series with steadily declining popularity. Then there was the V1 firesale, and, well, clearly nobody much is buying Coolpix cameras anymore, not least the Chinese, who probably boycott Nikon cameras even if they are all made in China anyways.

    Rough times, but all things are relative. How was the camera section of Sony doing?

  • PeterO

    “We will try to be more sensitive to changes in the market…” So they’re actually admitting to being oblivious/arrogant toward what really has been happening in the market lately? You mean Chairman Nikon was thinking that Coolpix was still going to keep selling the way it always was. How much research is still going towards Coolpix? I suppose it’s a step in the right direction that they’re even admitting that they might be wrong about something. Dare we think that they might admit that there were a few QC issues? As Steve Martin used to say: “Nah”.

  • PeterO

    “We will try to be more sensitive to changes in the market…” So they’re actually admitting to being oblivious/arrogant toward what really has been happening in the market lately? You mean Chairman Nikon was thinking that Coolpix was still going to keep selling the way it always was. How much research is still going towards Coolpix? I suppose it’s a step in the right direction that they’re even admitting that they might be wrong about something. Dare we think that they might admit that there were a few QC issues? As Steve Martin used to say: “Nah”.

  • dr.no

    if you look at Flickr camera finder data.
    Point&shoot went down.
    DSLR went down.
    iphone is top 3 most used camera.

    Sony RX1 is most compelling camera in recent memory.

    basically Nikon will have to bring RX1 type to
    the point & shoot space.
    In terms of resolution, a plateau has been reached.
    may be you can get rid of color filter like recent Panasonic news.
    only other thing would be to bring prime lens to the consumer.

    • chubbs

      How is a 2500$ camera compelling?

      • dr.no

        a compact camera with full frame and prime lens.
        First of its kind.
        It is right now selling to the Leica crowd that
        doesn’t mean Nikon can’t knock $1000 off the price.

        Pictures from RX1 look compelling to me. different
        from the usual DSLR.

        If Nikon had designed their mirrorless like RX1, they
        wouldn’t need to reduce the price.

  • Rhonbo

    Lets say Nikon filled all the gaps in lenses and bodies and had 2 really good quarters as we consumers brought the gear we wanted, then what? Once I have what I want I’m not going to buy anything else for a long time. Its like the film camera days once everyone had a good camera and lenses there was not much reason to keep spending money unless you just wanted to keep up with new gear. In this economy which appears to be here to stay for a while I can’t see real growth long term unless they keep reinventing themselves with new products that people just can’t do without.
    I’m still waiting for small attachable cameras / lens modules that connect to a iPhone that are really tiny and provide what photographers want in their smart phone. I hardly ever see anyone shooting with a P&S anymore its smart phones I see people using as a camera and that’s not going to change. Nikon needs to get involved in these products somehow before Apple and others go to the next level. Once I have the DSLR & lenses I want and a camera module for my smart phone and a few accessories I’m done until a real leap in tech comes along.
    My next DSLR purchase will be the last for a long time. For many its their phone and larger camera, not too many of us will have 3 camera systems. Gear heads & rich amateur photographers make up a very tiny section of the market, its the masses that will determine if NIkon or any other survive.

    • Micah Goldstein

      Yes, but if they made the gear and people bought it, they’d have sales. If they had sales, they’d have income. If they had income they’d have money to pour back into improvements, which would mean they’d have upgrades available to sell…see how it works? It’s nothing new.

  • trialcritic

    They must improve their quality control. I was lucky to get a good D800. Considering how expensive they are, they must be careful. It did not happen with the D700.

  • Spy Black

    I wish Nikon wasn’t a publicly owned company. This way they could bang to the beat of a different drum.

  • CJ

    Do what Leica does, bring real DSLR to real still photo users !

    • danpe

      I’m not that convinced that the medium format market is what Nikon needs right now.

    • Micah Goldstein

      …you’ve noticed that the new “M” offers video, ya?

  • http://www.humanovation.com/ Jon Mentor

    Hate to say it … if I could trade all of my Nikon gear for equal Canon gear, I would.

    • Joven

      You can, so go do it. Seriously, no one is stopping you.

      • KnightPhoto

        The key is “equal Canon gear” – there are none ;-)

        All of the crop Canons perform WAY-below the equivalent Nikon DX cameras and even the full-frame Canons are comparatively much lower dynamic range under-resolving banding machines ;-)
        Best Regards

        • Joven

          That’s kind of my point. There are problems on both sides, but people would rather cry about what they’re not getting from Company X than take corrective action; whether it’s improving their photographic talents or jumping ship.

          Canon focused on improving their AF system while Nikon focused on improving the sensors. You’re going to miss out on something, no matter what camera brand you use.

      • Johno

        No one is gonna buy Nikon gear at a reasonable price so making that switch is economically unrealistic.

    • Johno

      So would I..

  • FuriousNikonian

    Don’t cry Nikon, you start the D600 +2.200 USD, what a joke, I still waiting the D600 replace for less than 1500$ with Wi-Fi and GPS incluided for example, and 1/8000 sec.

    • Arkasai

      People get all caught up on these features that deep down they don’t even care about or even understand in many cases. Built in wifi, GPS, touch screens, 1/8000sec – none of it is really critical to taking photos or video. When did all this extraneous functionality become necessary?

      • Didge

        It isn’t, but I personally would love to have built in wifi instead of a dongle. Mostly because of what I do and how much easier it would be for me.

  • aham noor

    just build a camera that cosumer want..

  • Roberto

    the nikon cameras produced today that impress novice photographers for their specifications, only forgets she already won.

  • aekn

    The deterioration in the market occurred because Nikon and other mfgs didn’t launch anything new worth buying for the masses…

  • Did u know that

    “Rapid detoriation” = We f’ked up with the quality control when it comes to the D600 and it bit us in the a*s big time.

  • Gert

    NIkon, You just do not have a camera I would like to buy. D7000 looks nice, but I would like to get a few extra enhancements. (like 25p/30p video). Will I buy D7100? Dunno, if it has 24MP sensor then perhaps not. I really need do upgrade my current camera (Canon 350D), I wanted to do it 2 years ago already. I might go with Canon again. Hopefully they are not going to introduce 24MP APS-C sensor in next models…

  • Humpf

    $600 for a battery grip should be an indicator for much, much too high prices. No wonder the market reacts the sells decreases.

  • Danonino

    They should release a digital rangefinder and compete with Leica. A Nikon S-d. Same mount as the S. No electronic contacts needed in the mount, just pull out the old blueprints and incorporate an FF sensor from Sony and a simple screen on the back.

    Good Luck Nikon!

  • Alwyn Smit

    The deterioration was caused by Nikon turning their backs on quality control and ignoring customer complaints. Ignore it and it will go away. Yes, and so will your customers

  • http://www.facebook.com/alan.young.12345678 Alan Young

    Last year saw for the first time in Nikon history, the selling of Nikon new cameras – D4 & D800/E, at list price in Singapore. For example, the D4 was sold for close to US$7888 while those in the US were sold for around US$6000. Nikon Singapore is greedy and that is bad for business and Nikon’s reputation. People will just buy from another country. I don’t know what Nikon is trying to achieve.

  • Plug

    I am lucky enough to be able to indulge financially with my camera stuff. I have held back recently because Nikon does not yet offer what I want. Specifically: a D400, 300f4 with VR update. I have picked up a 70-200 f4, the portability and quality of which I really appreciate but I wish they would give me the opportunity to spend more!

  • http://www.facebook.com/DenkerMichael Michael Denker

    its typical a company that does not listen to its customers, take the D800 – it should and could have been a major switch camera from other systems especially at the price point. but when they do not make any updates to the firmware people go back or finally they dont switch…. word travels fast on internet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DenkerMichael Michael Denker

    its typical a company that does not listen to its customers, take the D800 – it should and could have been a major switch camera from other systems especially at the price point. but when they do not make any updates to the firmware people go back or finally they dont switch…. word travels fast on internet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DenkerMichael Michael Denker

    Not to mention Nikon 1 system – just admit they are really lousy and produce a bigger sensor with a real nikon IQ.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DenkerMichael Michael Denker

    Not to mention Nikon 1 system – just admit they are really lousy and produce a bigger sensor with a real nikon IQ.

  • David

    As a Nikon shooter for a couple of decades, I speak only for myself on this — The D800/E was very much anticipated but I was disappointed with the quality control; quite frankly after comparing the D800 with my D3x, I prefer the D3x for shooting people, especially when using the 85mm 1.4G AF-S. The D4 is great on so many levels, but unfortunately the four samples I had all had problems with focusing (and I also tried different lens sample variation). The D800/E, when stopped down, has been an unbeatable camera for landscape IQ. But I am also a Leica shooter so if/when the new M240 comes out and blows everyone else away on IQ, then my reasons for keeping the D800/E, and all the landscape lens that goes with it, is substantially reduced.

    And quite frankly I don’t get why all the so many lens choices out there, many of them overlap. Some of the older lenses should be discontinued, and Nikon should consider consolidating the remainder of the lens line. There is something to be said about making something for everyone, but I think Nikon is taking it too far. A more simpler, streamlined product line would be easier to manage inventory of.

    My two cents.

  • cobby64

    Nikon should create cameras that their customers want: Real upgrades as someone put it and stop the ‘this is a totally new camera’ thing. Whats the point of a whole new camera if it wont get better with software upgrades or a newer model?

    manual controls for video in live view. They haven’t heard it yet.

  • Jorge

    Hey Nikon:

    Rapid deterioration in Quality Control = Rapid deterioration in profits

    Heck, as soon as I get my D800 back from Nikon service it’s going on the auction block. Together with my D700, and my Nikon glass. Fuji (X series) here I come!!! I’m coming home Fuji!! I’m coming home….

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