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Nikon working on a “secret” product (smart phone?)

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In a recent interview at Nikon's headquarters, the company's president Makoto Kimura raised concerns about falling sales of compact cameras due to the growing market share of smart phones:

“The number of people taking snapshots is exploding by use of smartphones that sold 750 million or so last year and are still growing. We’ve centralized our ideas around cameras but can change our approach to offer products to that bigger market.”

Nikon President Makoto Kimura (Bloomberg)

Nikon President Makoto Kimura (Bloomberg)

Apparently Nikon is looking for alternative ways to generate growth - they have assembled a new Nikon Imaging team that is working on secret products that will be available in less than 5 years:

“We want to create a product that will change the concept of cameras. It could be a non-camera consumer product.”

The president Makoto Kimura did not comment on whether Nikon is working on a smart phone.

Nikon Phone

Photo by Jonny Johansson

Via Bloomberg

Flashback:

Nikon-S800c-Android-camera
Last year Nikon announced their first Android based Coolpix 800c compact camera.

nikon-logo  MICROSOFT LOGO
Few months ago Nikon and Microsoft signed Android patent agreement.

Nikon-camera-in-Nexus-phone
The upcoming Nexus 5 smart phone is rumored to have a Nikon camera module inside.

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  • Caw!

    this is going to be awesome!

    • Roscoe Tanner Jr

      Is it, Sherlock?

      • Jorge

        +1

  • http://www.DumpThePicayune.com/ TPWatcher

    How can a “non-camera consumer product” “change the concept of cameras”? Is Nikon coming out with a “Non-Camera Camera”?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      I think this means they are coming with a smart phone. it is a consumer product and it is not a camera.

      • brian

        Maybe they’re thinking more of wearable tech. Like a Google glass type product.

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors
          • bossa

            Like this?

            • bossa

              ..like this

            • bossa

              The only thing wrong with The Borg concept is that their modus operandi doesn’t gel with Nikon’s “I AM” marketing blurb. That would need to change to something like “We are…..” and the usual references to futility. But just don’t mishear Borg for Bored although it does seem to fit the bill if this report is correct.

          • Thom Hogan

            This is actually the much more likely possibility. I can’t find any patent or R&D activity that would indicate that they’ve got something else they can pivot to.

            The problem I have with the “wearable device” concepts to date is that none of them are mainstream enough and smartphones aren’t going away any time soon. Thus, the wearable device almost always becomes a peripheral to the smartphone (or tablet or laptop or something else). The problem with peripherals is that the main device maker (e.g. smartphone) always has an advantage, because they know where they’re going and control access.

            While some believe there’s a social stigma to things like Google Glass, I think that’s short-lived. There was a time when cell phones had a social stigma, too. These things evolve.

            • Sundra Tanakoh

              Swap that eyeglass for an eyeball with communication to your hardware devices. Less Borg and more organic? Or do I need to wake up again, I mean what can’t happen in 5 years? Any country not under the thumb of the FDA …

      • Sahaja

        A Nikon smartphone doesn’t sound like a good idea. Smart phones are an already very overcrowded market and they are fast becoming a comodity item.

  • One More Thought

    Nikon would be wise to just sell the camera module to the smartphone manufacturers. The smartphone business is very tough, and it would be very difficult for Nikon to compete against the likes of Apple and Samsung.

    Nikon’s goal should be to get vendors like Apple using their camera modules. A Nikon smartphone would at best gather a very small niche market.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      This is a possibility, but then why are they saying that this product will be available in less than 5 years? They can start supplying smart phone manufacturers with camera modules right now, they certainly do not need 5 years to develop this tech.

      • Neopulse

        Guess it might take long in order to draw up contracts, patents, projections, testing, who gets certain percentage of money, make new machines that can make these new age smart phones, internet security, etc. God knows when. As long as the ball gets rolling with a partner company, we’ll know that it will eventually come to light.

        • bjrichus

          I suspect its the glacial speed with which Nikon’s board usually does any kind of change these days…

      • Thom Hogan

        This (Nikon Inside) is what I suggested to Nikon several years ago as the only viable approach to entering the cell phone market. But at this point, I’d say it’s too late, as there aren’t any large enough candidates other than perhaps Motorola that they could target. (Apple = Apple, Samsung = Samsung, Sony = Sony, Nokia = Zeiss, etc.)

        Right now you’d need to be showing working proof of concept and a clear manufacturing plan for things going into smartphones about two years out, I’d guess. Exactly where Nikon would make such a module also seems unclear, though I suppose they could convert some China plants as Coolpix drops.

        • Sahaja

          Why would that take four or five years? Sony, Samsung and other companies already making camera modules for smart phones are hardly going to be sitting idle for the next five years.

          • Thom Hogan

            Right. One additional problem is that smartphones are a moving target with some far bigger players than Nikon seriously investing in moving the target.

            Look at Nikon’s businesses: they were a big fish in a small pond (steppers). They were a big fish in a small pond (SLRs -> DSLRs). They were a big fish in a small pond (binoculars/scopes/optics). Coolpix was their first truly successful attempt to be a big fish in a bigger pond, though that pond has now evaporated. The problem I have is that I don’t see how Nikon becomes a big player in a big pond. They’re simply not set up for that. If people think their QA and customer service are not good enough in the small pond, what will it be in the big pond?

            As for the “five year” thing: the Japanese companies all seem to always have five-year plans. As tech has sped up, those rigid five-year thinks have turned out to be less and less useful. They’re up against companies that think in terms of “continual change.”

            Five years is a very long time in today’s tech. It was fairly long period back when I was running product businesses in Silicon Valley. QuickCam, for example, was a six month project from start to finish and caught everyone by surprise. Similar things have happened with products like GoPro, RED, and others. The potential for disruption occurring that causes problems for any five year plan is very, very high now.

            • Thom Hogan

              I should point out one more thing that no one seems to be mentioning: the market for smartphones is nearing the point where it will plateau, too ;~). If you’re not already in, by the time you do get in you could be facing the same kind of prospect that a company trying to enter the camera market today would face: how to dislodge established players who are getting hungrier due to reduced sales.

            • Sundra Tanakoh

              In 5 years every Chinese citizen will have a smartphone, starving children in Africa will be carrying the latest iPhone … low growth market unless they are counting on the 4 and 5 year olds today to grow up and expand the market.

            • Sundra Tanakoh

              You think they are giving us the Montgomery Scott speech then? “I’m giving all it’s got Captain and it will take 5 hours to repair.” –20 minutes later the warp core is repaired and the Enterprise is at warp 8…. Seriously 5 years? Who the hell is gonna invest in their stock with a statement like that?

    • http://loewald.com/ Tonio Loewald

      The main rival would be Sony which sells the camera modules for most of the better smartphones. Is this a high margin product? Seems unlikely. Can Nikon outdo Sony/Zeiss? Again seems unlikely.

    • Thom Hogan

      We’re probably talking about the need for a ten billion dollar plus business here. Something that would replace 10m Coolpix or more. I just don’t see them being able to do that in smartphones.

      I agree that Nikon hasn’t a chance against Apple and Samsung at the moment, and both those companies shouldn’t be counted out when it comes to camera abilities, either. The problem for Nikon selling a cell phone would be the same problem that even Samsung had with the Android-based cameras: you’re at the whims of the service providers. You don’t have strong control over pricing, you don’t control data plans, the service providers want to put their software on your device, and much more.

      The good news for Nikon is that smartphones are going bigger sensor (as large as 1/2.3″ in the coming iterations) and more complex. Coupled with all the other things that need to be done internally in a phone, there’s potential for selling an imaging ASIC (e.g. EXPEED), but others are already working that market, including Qualcom.

      I would also say this: Nikon entering smartphones in almost any way is about the same as anyone entering interchangeable lens cameras at this point. The big growth gains are already in the past. Large established players have pricing/positioning advantages. Thus, the only way you can really get anything other than a teeny piece of the market would be to disrupt it. What that disruption is, no one knows, and I’d expect it from Apple or Nokia more than anyone else at this point if there is one to be made.

      • Michael Sloan

        It is a case of too little, too late…I can’t agree more, Nikon needs to disrupt the market, but I fear they are too cautious for such a move. Microsoft on the other hand, has been trying to get a foot hold in the smartphone business for some time, but all of their efforts have been iterative and nothing world shaking. Now only if they (Nikon/Microsoft) would make a customer serviceable, modular, smartphone/camera device that let people upgrade components instead of replacing the whole unit every year; that might be a significant disruption. Let’s say you could select your own processor/memory module, your own display size and display type, and then finally your own camera sensor/ASIC package and optics. How far of a stretch would it be to put a Nikon 1 mount into a cellphone/camera with a simple optic included? A year later, new processor and new memory anyone; that display is still great, why replace it? Tired of the simple Nikon optic? Buy one of the other Nikon 1 series lenses and get a bit more versatility. Not enough battery life? No problem, add 5mm to the thickness of your camera/phone and double your run time. You want an electronic viewfinder, add Google glasses and an app. Intervelometer app anyone, get the best one! Want to know your DoF, buy an app that displays it on the screen as you zoom the lens or change your subject to camera distance or aperture. Tired of bracketing limitations, buy an app that addresses the manufacturer’s own camera shortfalls. In the grand scheme of things, software is cheap and these companies are missing BIG opportunities for creating systems which compliment each other and make there products more desirable as a whole; they just need to hire forward thinkers to bring it to the market before someone else does and they end up history!! Like I said, too little, too late…the bad thing is the fact that Nikon probably already possesses the talent but they don’t let them bloom.

        • kotozafy

          This is the scenario I’ve been dreaming of. Unfortunately, Nikon was not even able to create a D7100 having the same battery grip as the D600. So it will need much more than 5 years to create such a modular system offering!

        • Thom Hogan

          Modular is just a variation on Nikon Inside. Technically, most of the current smartphones are buying pre-assembled modules from others already. The only thing that’s missing in that is the imaging ASIC, and I hear rumblings of three companies trying to build that integrated module.

          If a camera is a plug-in or external module, that’s no different than the concept I’ve been showing on my site for the last five years. The problem with that…well, I can’t exactly talk about the problem for a few more days. Let’s just say that there are other smartphone announcements in the pending queue that change the nature of the “camera in the phone” which are going to impact what you have to do downstream.

          1″ is a bit much to put into a phone and not distort the package size. You’d also likely be talking about a fixed, plastic molded lens, too.

    • zoetmb

      Absolutely, but the problem is that Nikon is five years too late and if it’s going to take several years to develop, we’ll probably be using surgically implanted devices by then. The other problem is that cell phone makers aren’t willing to pay very much for components.

      What Nikon could do, although this is a niche market, is to make accessory lenses for cell phones. There are already some other vendors out there doing that.

      I would have said that they should come out with a version of Capture NX for cell phones, but there are already hundreds of other apps out there and they’re frequently free or low-cost.

      So I think that Nikon has to concentrate on the “upgrade” market – people who want something better than a smartphone camera (even though they’re getting better all the time), but with something more advanced than a P&S, the market for which is disappearing. The Nikon 1 series was supposed to be that, but they haven’t found the right formula as yet. Every camera Nikon produces for that market should be WiFi compatible and have instant and one-button posting to Facebook, etc. For that market, lack of those capabilities makes it a non-starter.

      Every new camera in the DSLR lines should have both software and hardware to support wireless transmission of photos to a computer or the Cloud without the use of the convoluted and absurdly expensive accessories. There should be a 1x setup and then a toggle on the camera to turn it on or off. I think this could be a big win for Nikon even if the practical use is more geared to the studio.

      I also think they have to make cameras with a body size about the size of the Nikon 1, but with at least a DX sensor size, accompanied by pancake lenses. The small sensor (2.7x factor) of the current Nikon 1s doesn’t make it viable replacement for a DSLR.

      The other thing Nikon could do is to develop a pro-level video camera – a pro, highly modular system to compete with Red, but at a much lower cost and with a larger sensor, since the sensor in the Red is actually quite small (39% of the area of full frame). If they really want to blow minds, they should make it 4K from the start. The question is whether they could compete with Sony and Canon in this market, both of which have had decades of experience.

      • Thom Hogan

        Right. But note that I believe that Nikon is probably more likely thinking Google Glass competitor than Smartphone. If they aren’t, then they’re evaluating future opportunity incorrectly.

        Remember, Nikon is in the eyewear market, though not particularly big time. They’ve already shown prototypes of things similar to Google Glass (though not based on Android). There’s far more design space open for Glass than for Phone, and there’s no clear indication yet as to what that product will actually do, though I think it will more likely operate as a capture device than an all-in-one device. That’s more like what a “camera” is.

        • jeffp3456

          If I pull out my corporate dictionary, he said, “We have no idea where the market is going. We have no idea what to do about these changes. We are scared shitless and see you all in hell.” In Japanese, of course.

        • Murat

          “Right. But note that I believe that Nikon is probably more likely thinking Google Glass competitor than Smartphone. If they aren’t, then they’re evaluating future opportunity incorrectly.”

          Seriously? Of course you think you are right but on the other hand you don´t run a multibillion company Thom.

          I have read your rants on your site before and honestly, your guesses, because that is what they are no matter what you try to make them look like, shows that you seem to have a not enough insight in how a large business operates.

          This of course dosen´t mean that you don´t have the right to have your opinion, you certainly do, but it is not the same as knowing or even being able to make correct assessments.

          Sorry for my bad english but I hope I made my point.

          And for the rest of “we know all” people here, why not wait and see what they have in store?

          • Thom Hogan

            I haven’t run multi-billion dollars businesses, but I’ve run multi-million dollar businesses. I’ve also never tried to disguise when I’m speculating versus when I have inside information.

            As for your implication: that Nikon should go for the smartphone market because that’s the biggest market, I strongly disagree. We have two dominate players there in a market that’s starting to lose its growth. Those players are both aggressive in protecting the market share they’ve gained, much like Canon and Nikon are in the DSLR market. The same reason why I say that Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, and Pentax won’t make a tangible run at interchangeable lens camera sales against Canon and Nikon and Sony is the same reason why Nikon wouldn’t be able to make a tangible run at Apple, Samsung, and Google in smartphones. The market has already spoken, as Blackberry and Nokia and Microsoft are finding out. Nikon can’t outspend Microsoft to make inroads, that’s for sure. So the question quickly becomes “can they carve out a useful, meaningful niche where they can differentiate?” The answer to that will be obvious shortly, with announcements from both Sony and Nokia coming shortly in the very space that Nikon would want to be in.

            Then there’s the issue of product margins. If you look at the players outside of Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market, none have a tangible margin. Nikon doesn’t currently make ANY of the components that are used in smartphones, meaning that they’re buying from the same supply chains as others, and at lower volumes initially.

            On the other hand, Nikon already has investment and patents in the eyewear and wearable electronics field, and there is no one currently producing anything of note there (despite Google Glass–it’s not a consumer product yet). The Glass idea plays into a number of Nikon strengths, increases the reason to have an eyewear group, and if Glass is a peripheral to smartphone as most of us expect (ditto smartwatches), you can play off the big size of the smartphone market AND get some early mover advantage.

            I’ve been predicting the camera business for a couple of decades now. And I’ve proven that I can identify gaps in the business that will eventually become widespread (my QuickCam project was the presage to all those in-laptop and in-tablet cameras for Skype and other uses, and we were pretty sure how big that would get eventually; most people don’t realize that Connectix got into QuickCam not for the hardware business, but because we wanted to be the first mover in the consumer software business for in-device cameras).

            I’m not always right in my predictions, though the biggest problem with my predictions has only tended to be timing. Back in 2003 I predicted that the DSLR sales peak would occur in 2011. I missed by two years and 15% in terms of units. Not a big miss when you’re considering trying to predict future tech.

            So I’ll stand by what I wrote. Nikon will fail if they do a smartphone. They have some chance of winning if they do a Glass-type device. Note how cryptic the statement made by Kimura-san actually was. In my dealings with him and his staff, they are not cryptic like that unless they WANT the statement to be misinterpreted. My reading of the original is this: he was implying something other than smartphones.

            Moreover, if he was really saying they’d do a smartphone in the next five years, he would be talking about competing with products that three, four, or five generations newer than the current models. I find it a huge stretch to believe that Nikon’s first smartphone could be better than Apple’s iPhone8, 9 or 10.

          • preston

            Murat, the only point you made is that you don’t like people making honest, well argued predictions. If you want to be taken seriously and not come across as a grumpy jerk then you need to explain WHY you think his predictions are bad!

          • preston

            And your english was perfectly fine.

            I don’t care about the grammar, just the message :)

          • cgw

            Hogan’s forgotten more than you’ll likely ever know about Nikon, Murat. Your language skills seem sufficient to dish out drive-by insults but not up to making a point.

            • Johno

              One of the first sites I go to for info is Thoms. Best one there is. He does know photography and I value his opinion.. I agree with cgw..

  • Paul

    I certainly hope that “less than 5 years” means next year if Nikon hopes to actually innovate and not play catch up.

    • Richard

      Hold your breath. By late 2017 Nikon will announce a revolutionary new cable to connect your smartphone to a D90 (only) and the body must be sent in to Melville so they can install the state of the art 57 pin connector…

      • Gerard Ona

        +1

      • Chantung

        Nikon President can’t have his teeth done right so why expect them to revolutionize anything? And I’m not sending my D90 although I will buy that cable at the incredible low price of just 349.99, yeah!

  • slimysnot

    I am a bit doubtful about this non-camera. “ok” camera on a good smartphone will sell. Good camera on a “ok” smartphone, I’m not so sure. (Samsung galaxy camera and nokia lumia 9XX series had some sales. Not sure if they were that profitable though).

    However, I’m still interested to see what Nikon and do to recapture the market.

  • slimysnot

    I am a bit doubtful about this non-camera. “ok” camera on a good smartphone will sell. Good camera on a “ok” smartphone, I’m not so sure. (Samsung galaxy camera and nokia lumia 9XX series had some sales. Not sure if they were that profitable though).

    However, I’m still interested to see what Nikon and do to recapture the market.

  • AllDay Joe

    Nikon Mobile run as windows os *0*

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgnixer niXerKG

    If Nikon teams up with Motorola/Google to make a smartphone I would buy it in a heartbeat, outright.

    Love my Droid Razr Maxx HD’s battery life, if it had some of that Nikon magic inside, Oh boy I’d be living the dream.

    • bgbs

      You know you could already be living a dream if you switched to apple? It’s right there in your neighborhood retailer. I guess some people like chasing dreams more than living them.

  • DonD

    Maybe Nikon should produce something that makes very blurry photos. From what I see on fb that’s what people like.

    • Ricardo

      And yellow toned

    • Paul

      LOL. Maybe someday high-end cameras will get a blurr or out of focus filter to satisfy demand of that generation “photographers” ;-)

    • Fred Flinstone

      And don’t forget a good dose of red eye ;-)

    • Nope!

      They make that already. (D800)

      • Jorge

        +1

      • Aldo

        oh no you didn’t!!!

      • Sundra Tanakoh

        Photoshop Filter>Sharpen>Smart Sharpen>Camera Blur fixed the D800′s problems. A crappy “work around” to be sure…I mean for those who still have a bad D800 that is.

        • Tom

          total nonsense… the Camera Blur in PS corrects motion blur, not focus errors, which was the problem for some early D800s when an edge sensor was used. The problem has been resolved.

          • Sundra Tanakoh

            Duh… I was being sarcastic. Relax.

    • Aldo

      I have a profile in LR that simulates the effect lol

  • http://www.fritzasuro.wordpress.com/ Fritz Asuro

    Hm, like a 36mp full frame sensor in a smart phone that would be as thin as an iPhone5. Lololol

    • bjrichus

      HA! Think Nokia on July 11 – already doing more megapixels than 36….

  • DonD

    I want a full frame cellphone that shoots 12fps at 102k ISO.

    • Ian G

      you want an F mount with that?

      • A. Lurker

        Nice.

    • FDF

      So.. basically you want a DSLR that can make phone calls?

      • groucher

        Now I’m starting to feel sick.
        How about a D800FM – no useless featuroids, lightweight, compact and able to fit into and ever-ready case. Come on Nikon, you know you can build the extra factories to deal with the demand that such a camera would bring.

    • Anto de Chav

      How about a D800A.. (A for Android..)

      • MOSSjr

        How about a D i800?

    • banzaii

      I vote Chuck Norris as their official spokesperson!

      • reductron

        I vote Peter Falk as their official spokesperson

        • http://micahmedia.com/ Micah

          …as long as they aren’t doing 3d.

  • J. Dennis Thomas

    The D400 phone?

    • Spy Black
    • Johno

      Good point….How long have we been waiting for a D400….Nikon isn’t big about sharing even vague plans. Are they still in the high end DX market? Why not just tell us, yes or no.. Are they going to give us a new FX with a D400 build quality only without three thousand pixels? They aren’t the only game in town. Technology is changing too fast for Nikon. My opinion is that they are lost in both technology and direction.

  • http://loewald.com/ Tonio Loewald

    Better be a lot less than 5y.

  • AnthonyH

    A smartphone with Nikon camera is not a good idea–the market is already saturated with manufacturers of smartphones, just like the compact camera market. One need only look at BlackBerry to see that Nikon making a smartphone is a potential disaster. Instead, Nikon needs to think about other products that people carry, use, and/or wear with them daily, much like a smartphone, which might also play into Nikon’s strengths (whatever the heck those might be). For example: many people still wear watches; how about a wrist-camera/phone/watch. Sunglasses or pendants with cameras (e.g. costume jewelry/fashion accessories with high quality cameras built-in). Tablets with built-in xenon flash and high quality camera; since they are computers, you’d essentially have one device to take the photo, post-process it, and upload it. It might even be possible to add an interchangeable lens mount of some sort to a tablet camera with large sensor.

  • Jorge

    WELL, If they do to a phone, what they’ve done to some of their cameras, and don’t QC them well, it will be an epic fail. Again.

  • Henry Osho

    This doesn’t make sense: Signing agreement with Microsoft on Android patents.

    • Neopulse

      Microsoft is a patent troll with Android (as I recall)

      • A. Lurker

        The business landscape is littered with the corpses of companies that thought they had “partnered” with Microsoft. The company needs to die.

  • Brian

    EPIC FAIL!

    • Studor

      You haven’t even seen what it is and it’s an EPIC FAIL?

      Tell us exactly how it fails given that you have zero reliable information.

      • PeterO

        Hey, lighten up on poor Brian. He’s just doing his “Epic Fail” job. I think he’s doing it very well. Look, he used capital letters AND an exclamation mark! The seven years he spent in grade 3 were not in vain. :-)

  • Aldo

    at this point they can put a camera on a known cellphone like the S3 for example and then put “nikon” in small letters. Include manual controls.

    • Italo Fontana

      Panasonic never put a Leica logo on their cameras, they aren’t allowed to do so anyway.
      You’re confusing a Lumix logo with Leica logo. The Leica text on the lens is different as they’re made by Leica not Panasonic.

      • Milla J

        That’s correct.

      • Aldo

        They got me then. Thanks for the info

      • Spy Black

        “Panasonic never put a Leica logo on their cameras, they aren’t allowed to do so anyway.”
        http://tinyurl.com/kuyjwbv

        • Milla J

          Just a text on the lens, never a logo, as Italo mentioned above.

      • Aldo

        the “L” logo stands for Lumix then? The point is that they also advertise Leica in some way and I think it works.

        • Summicron

          It’s a Panasonic branded Lumix logo, not a Leica logo. The only thing Lumix and Leica logo share is the first letter of the name, everything else is different, color, font, style and the fact Leica never had a single letter logo, always a full word.

          I don’t see how would someone link the Lumix with Leica just by having a gold ‘L’ logo badge on the bottom front.

          • Aldo

            I disagree… I think the font is very similar if not the same. They also gave the L an “oldish” vanilla look.

            • Pablo Ricasso returned

              Only people like you would get confused by it, my dear boy.

            • Aldo

              oh my number one fan =] … looked up what a smart phone is yet? :P

  • Spy Black

    A “non-camera consumer product” could be anything, a TV, a washing machine…

    • Johnny Dough

      …Nikon line of sex toys … just sayin’

    • Sahaja

      Get them while they’re young – Nikon Nappies.

  • Captain Megaton

    Nikon branded smartphone camera module + Nikon branded Android camera app + Nikon branded photo editing/sharing/curating/browsing software.

    Nikon is leaving money on the table by NOT moving into this market. The problem is any kind of software they might come up with will either suck, be redundant, or both.

  • rich

    good, because I was planning on getting a Samsung Galaxy NX if reasonably price, so I will wait what Nikon has to offer. Sony could easily combine the nex series with Sony Ericsson, Nikon needs a cellphone partner like google or htc.

    • Pablo Ricasso returned

      So you will wait 5 years for the Version 1 of the product to arrive?

      Really?

  • AaronShep

    It’s glasses that snap a picture of what you’re looking at. Only problem is it will freeze the frame while processing. Will have to be made illegal for driving.

  • Jebagi Erol Paker

    Nikon’s preperation may be for a very small recording core unit, capable of transmitting Raw data via wi-fi to an external Cloud.The data there can be processed any way one wishes and be reachable by any media device as well as a computer.

  • John Thornton

    Just add a phone to Nikon Coolpix A, simple!

  • Jeff

    Hopefully the 5 years time-frame is BS to snow their competitors or else they’re completely clueless!

    • Sahaja

      Unless they are deperate, why would anyone say that they are working on “something” that far away?

  • mimmo

    No, smartphone no please!
    Why not a great mirrorless system like and more good than Fujifilm one???
    Why not a new sensor like (and better) the Bayer one?
    Why not a D900 with a 24mp sensor with a magnific dynamic range?

    • bgbs

      why? because you sound too logical.

  • Tomas Piliponis

    “secret product” you say…?

  • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

    Certainly sounds a good way to go and team up with HTC, Google, Nokia etc but my criticism should have done this couple of years ago when Smart phones were in their infancy.

    Hope Nikon also becomes serious in semi pro and pro video, full work with JVC, RED (open up their tech so that their Nikon F lenses can be fully operational AF, IS with these 3rd Party Video Camera) and also work on their own make, e.g., Nikon D4c (similar to Canon 1dc), mirrorless APS and also do a similar model to VG100, etc and also bring out and expand Nikon A – with a RX1 and RX100 equivalents.

    Seems like Sony has done a good job at establishing some good ground models and working on enhancing and expanding their foot-hold.

    Must say still love Nikon and wouldn’t switch to Canon but do own Sony Nex (Mirrorless) which have improved and are quite good – apart from D200′ish power life on the Nex 5N.

  • krikman

    Since
    “We want to create a product that will change the concept of cameras. It could be a non-camera consumer product.”
    It would be an eye-phone camera like a google glass. But agreement with microsoft garanteed troublesome unusable solution. Microsoft can easily lose another 10 billions, but Nikon plays very dangerous game with such a corporate monster.

  • wags

    I wish the secret product was Capture NX3.

  • kj

    10 years ago: trying to fit a camera into a smart phone, today: trying to fit a smart phone in a camera…hmmm… or a better camera in a smart phone? What am I trying to say????

  • Federico Zaza

    They are idiots, no doubt. Do they want a profit? Correct your BIG mistakes… just to say one…there has been no professional 50 mm since AF was introduced. I’m shooting with a 58 Noct, today.

  • Brian

    How about….a freaking pro camera!?!?!

  • DJK

    A sensor that’s implanted into your head and records an image of what your eyes are seeing every time you blink your eyes. A special sequence of blinks and whistles triggers its video function.

    I’m about 80% sure this is what they’re doing.

    Unfortunately for Nikon, it won’t revolutionize photography the way they hope until Apple comes around and makes a version of their own that includes wifi.

    • BroncoBro

      Already done in a way…see Google Glass.

  • Sundra Tanakoh

    I was thinking, they could get an extra D4 sale out of me by lowering the price by $3000. (wakes up)

  • Dante D’Money

    I know what it is….it looks like an “i-watch”and shoots 1080video, counts milage you walk, you can talk into like an smart phone. The camera is attached to your nikon “eye-lens”, so you can see what the wrist camera is shooting. Also monitors your heart rate, has a finger print scanner and up loads all your video so you can edit it from your nikon eye lens…sunglasses. yep that it…..I remember seeing it in a “dick tracy” movie!

    Now you can throw those 150 million nikon lenses away or make them into paper weights. There are a lot things Nikon could be doing but a smart phone with a Nikon camera as a license deal….seriously.

    A better smart phone camera…I’m not interested

  • gly

    “Nikon Imaging team that is working on secret products that will be available in less than 5 years” means “it” will late to market by 4 year as someone else will have “it” a year from now.

    • PeterO

      Exactly right gly. It’s the same “me too” all over again. And seriously, how much more secretive can it get? Nikon is all about secrecy for all of their products. How is this any different?

  • Lcky

    I would think a team aimed at better refining their product evolution would be a wiser investment than branching to new territory..

  • Sahaja

    A “non camera consumer product” could mean almost anything.

  • MB

    Yeepee, Nikon 2, all new 1/3″ inter changeable lens cellphone!

  • c.d.embrey

    The tuture isn’t full frame. The future isn’t gear collection as a hobby. What is the future?? Got me, but if Nikon doesn’t get it right they be gone in less than ten years.

  • sperdynamite

    The current product line up shows that Nikon does not have the balls to introduce anything remotely innovated, so don’t get too excited. Hopefully they figure out a smart phone would be stupid. iPhone users are not going to leave ios for some shit Nikon software. vscocam and the iphone 5 are already better than most coolpix cameras.

  • JMD

    This post is useless,…it would have been a good post some 3 years from now,…but now we have to weed through this subject post for the next 5 years!

    ARRRG!

  • CJ

    They need a new marketing research team !!!!

  • whmitty

    Dandy if one doesn’t require quality telephoto shots or other images needing specialty lenses. If just snapping happy faces and drunken parties there’s little need for anything more than what is in the latest cameras anyway.

  • Phonton

    It’ll be a coolpix that will also be a fully fledged phone.

  • Robert

    meanwhile, still suffering from the auto-focus unsure of my D700

  • One More Thought

    There may be no good answer for Nikon. The fact is that P&S sales are drying up and being usurped by smartphones.

    Nikon would have enough of a challenge establishing itself as a go to vendor of camera modules for smartphones.

    I will say that there is virtually no way that Nikon establishes itself in the smartphone market. That market is way too tough to play in, and Nikon shows little savvy in software or UI design, which is crucial to smartphones. Nikon entering the smartphone market would make as much sense as their entering the PC market…and in reality smartphones are pocket computers.

    And as Thom Hogan pointed out, then you have the complexity of managing the relationships with the cellular carriers, who are notoriously difficult to deal with and don’t really care about the phone vendors.

    I don’t see any good answers for Nikon; perhaps try to do mirrorless really really well (better than the N1 series) and then promote it properly? Give us a large sensor MILC system done in a superlative fashion…that may help.

    But the reality is that Nikon may need to plan on a future without P&S, and only their dslr and other higher end offerings, and just be content with a smaller niche.

    • BroncoBro

      I appreciate what you’re saying, but the real world numbers don’t support it. There is no way that Canon or Nikon could support themselves solely on DSLR and enthusiast cameras…there just isn’t enough money in it because the unit volume is so low. They need to adapt their core competencies to a consumer-type product. Smartphone sales are in the 750 million unit range. Why not go after 4% of that market with a high-end product that features enhanced photo capability? That’s 30 million units, almost double what they sell now in terms of P/S. Enlist the help of a truly talented industrial design team to work out the touch and look of the product. How about a $750 Porsche-Nikon phone that looked and felt amazing and sported some kind of visual identifier that let everyone know how cool you are for having bought one of them? 30M units worldwide? Probably not that impossible. You are correct in that it would face stiff competition from an UI point of view. But screw it, just license the Google OS and get over it. There are a bunch of scenarios along this line that would work. The Nikon name carries a lot of cachet with the folks that wear Rolexes and write with Mont Blanc pens.

  • BroncoBro

    Maybe this means they’re coming out with a D400s.

  • zorwick

    Everyone thinks now that a faster better smart “phone” is the answer….I think that is there already. Don’t need to make a new crap and flushing down in the toilet after few years. I definitely would gather an open minded team and watch all the sci-fi movies since moving picture exist, and get a great idea from them.

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