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Nikon Q&A: low inventory, high profit margins, cost cutting, fewer models

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Extremely low DSLR inventory,  shift to new products that will have higher profit margins (that probably explains the Df price), cost cutting, achieve profitability by reducing the number of models - this is how Nikon describes the current situation and their plans for the rest of the current financial year ending March 31, 2014:

Q:What is the reason for the lowered market forecast for interchangeable lens-type digital cameras?

A: As the market for digital cameras expands, sales of digital SLR cameras have expanded among not only professionals and high amateurs, but sales of entry-models such as the D3000 Series have also skyrocketed, expanding the customer base globally. For this reason, sales have been affected greatly by the economy and consumption trends of each country. The market in Japan has been favorable, but the market conditions in the U.S., Europe, China and Asia have been severe, and a downward revision of the market was made from 19.5 million cameras predicted last August, to 18.7 million.

Q:What are the prospects for the interchangeable lens-type digital camera?

A: Though the annual growth of 20 to 30% experienced previously will be difficult to achieve given the current economic environment and consumer confidence, the penetration level of digital SLR cameras is still quite low in markets in China and other neighboring Asian countries. We believe these markets have a lot of potential when the economy turns bullish. We are keeping inventory of our digital SLR camera at the extremely low level. In the latter half of the fiscal year, we expect a shift from older products to newer products that have higher profit margins.

Q:What are your future strategies in response to the shrinking compact digital camera market?

A: We are adjusting production in accordance with the shrinking market. We have an extensive lineup ranging from high-end to entry-level products, and we have secured the leading or nearly top share of the market in various regions around the world since last year or so. We plan to maintain this product mix, but we will cut costs and ensure profitability by reducing the number of models.

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  • Maji

    It is important for us, with a lot of Nikon glass, that Nikon survives for the long haul and stays innovative. The bad thing is that Nikon products will be priced like Df from now on. I think the D800 pricing spoiled us.

    • Delmar Mineard Jr

      Amen. We are now going to see premium pricing on Nikon new lens and DSLRs.

      • Worldtraveler

        I think it is already there. The new versions of the 200f2, or 200-400f4 are much more expensive than the older models. Perhaps this was the market test for this strategy

        • kazziz

          but they are far more superior than the older ones and the competition (ok, 200/2 – but look at C200-400TC1.4 pricing..)

          • Harry

            I don’t know how they are “far more superior” than t he previous generation. Other than a stop of VR improvement and some new coating on the front element. The optics and most of the handling are the exact same while charging us like $1500 more?

            • KnightPhoto

              You completely left out fast AF-S vs. hunting screwdriver and price is maybe $700-900 more (not $1500). Anyhow seeing what Canon and Nikon are doing on pricing new releases it was pretty clear the 80-400 price was going to go up.

        • MB

          Lets not forget the new 80-400 at twice the price of the old model.
          I doubt Nikon will dare to lower the product quality but I am also not sure how can even higher margins help increase the sales at the current severe market conditions …

          • Saffron Blaze

            People were screaming for a long time for that lens.

            • MB

              Of course they did because previous version was lousy and together with the old 24-120 VR was one of the worst lenses on market.
              But now most people are screaming because of the insane price.

          • MyrddinWilt

            The old model is over a decade old. The price had fallen due to inflation and discounting.

            Nikon has done that before with the AFS upgrades. The 80-200 AF is still for sale at half the price of the 70-200AFS.

            I was expecting the 80-400 to cost 70-200 money. The premium over that is pretty steep though! I am currently looking to see if I get another client so I can buy a tele zoom. But which one I’ll get is still in the air. I can see advantages for the 70-200 f/4, the 70-200 f/2.8 and the 80-400.

        • neversink

          Taking into account inflation and the devaluation of the dollar and other currencies over the last five years, the products are not more expensive.

      • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

        I think we already saw it with the Df and the 58mm f/1.4.

        • Zeke

          “Higher profit margins” does not necessarily imply cameras with a high list price. I wouldn’t read to much into Nikon’s murky statements other than 1) they’re keeping inventory down and 2) profit margins should go up, both of which are things shareholders like to hear.

          • KnightPhoto

            I also wonder if controlling costs (and increasing profit margins) means moving more manufacturing to China as well. E.g. Keep the price the same but cut costs.

            • French Fries

              China is becoming more and more expensive.
              Thats why we see companies getting their manufacturing back to their ‘homeland’ and start using robotics in manufacturing lines.

        • French Fries

          You are certainly right – However the overpriced 58mm f1.4 will not stand if Sigma will introduce more quality lenses like the 35mm 1.4.

          I didn’t like Sigma at all for their quality, but the 35 beats all of them.

          • Ian Dangerzone

            This is the second post I see here slamming the 58mm 1.4. I’m not sure you understand the purpose of that particular scalpel. It’s a pro lens designed for low light shooting. The 50mm 1.4 is neither a pro lens nor is it designed for low light. It’s a cheapie walking around lens for a casual shooter on a budget. Frankly I prefer the 50 1.8G for its retardedly stupendous center sharpness, contrasty images and wonderful draw, but what the hell do I know.

      • Andrew

        I think the information is being misinterpreted. The D3x (24 MP) cost $8,000 and arguably its successor the D800 cost only $3,000. The D610 cost $2,000 which is significantly less than the $3,000 that the D700 cost at its introduction. The D4 cost $6,000, but the Df cost only $2,750 and yet comes with the D4′s sensor. To someone that cannot afford these tools, then the D7100 cost $1,150, a camera that is used by many professionals as a backup. Cameras have never been this capable and inexpensive. The prices are actually going down and not up!

        I think what Nikon is talking about is an aggressive push to introduce newer products which will always start selling at list and then gradually decrease over time. But we will always be able to get a previous model that cost considerably less.

        • catinhat

          You can’t compare D600/610 to the D700, nor D7100 to a D300. They got newer sensors, but almost everything else in these cameras, starting with the inferior build quality is not up to snuff.

          • One More Thought

            What is this problem with build quality? The D610 and D7100 are built very well and will hold up in 99.9% of real use cases.

            And Yes the sensor matters…a whole lot. To dismiss the sensor would be like dismissing the engine output of a car. At the end of the day, for most people’s real life cases, one can get better IQ with a D610 than with a D700 and at a much higher resolution. Ditto for the D7100 over the D300.

            And both newer models are smaller; lighter; less expensive, and all 3 of those variables matter a whole lot.

            • MyrddinWilt

              Hmm, my ’99 Jag has an engine output of 290 bhp, the new models have 385 to 550 bhp.

              I don’t feel like upgrading because the difference between getting to 65mph in five seconds rather than six is really not worth the $80-140K it would cost to trade up.

              The engine output of a car is pretty much irrelevant these days. What real performance car enthusiasts look at are the brakes.

          • desmo

            The newer sensor provide better image quality and vastly superior low light / hi ISO performance.

            So , your right,
            we can’t really compare them!!!

            • catinhat

              Oh, you know what I’m talking about. Should we rehash all those arguments again about the buffer in D7100 and 39-point AF of the D600. What about the exterior controls and ergonomics? What about the full metal frame that you won’t be afraid to put a 7-8 pound lens on? Yes, the D300 is weaker at higher ISOs, but it got everything else right. The D700 on the other hand can still pull its weight, even at a fairly high ISO, in today’s market.
              Sure you can take great pictures with the D7100 and D600, you can probably take good pictures with the D3000 series too. But the fact that we have the D7100 and D600/610, but not a D400 or D750 tells me that Nikon is more interested in expanding the market than catering to the dedicated base. I hope they know what they are doing.

        • umeshrw

          If you actually believe that 800 is D4 successor just because both share 36MP sensor then something is seriously wrong with you. Listening to some of the things you say to defend Nikon, have seriously started to think that you are a nikon representative. We are also nikon fanboys but when the things are not right they are not right.

        • French Fries

          The Df certainly is NOT a D4.
          The only thing it shares is its sensor.

          I wouldn’t want to call the Df a professional camera looking at a DX autofocus system that is used in mainstream and low cost cameras.

        • ronin

          “I think what Nikon is talking about is an aggressive push to introduce
          newer products which will always start selling at list and then
          gradually decrease over time.”

          This is not a new policy. This is the same policy all camera manufacturers have pursued for the last n years.

    • Eric Duminil

      Well, after this Nikon Q&A : It’s important to me, with a lot of Nikon glass, that I sell many of my lenses and only keep my loved ones (85mm 1.4, 80-200 2.8, 11-16 2.8) and invest in a company that understands photographers (Fuji).

      • Jorge

        As I have…
        Fuji X-E1, 18–55, and 35 1.4 All I need now is the new 10-24 F4 and my Nikon dSLR gear will be on eBay. I just wrapped up sale of my Nikon 24-70 F2.8 last week.

  • Eric Calabros

    But what I see is reducing the number of models in DX lineup. in past we had a pro-dx model, but we dont have it today.
    or, where is my D400?

    • Kaouthia

      Yup. Still waiting for my D400 too.

    • Avidsiman

      If Nikon had kept to it’s thin DX and FX lineup like 5-10 years ago, you would have a D400 and a D4. The serious hobbyist with money to spend wasn’t going to be satisfied with the Nikon lineup as the D4 was too expensive requiring significant investment, and the D400 was DX only and didn’t provide enough options/quality. This left a void in the $2K- $5K range where consumers were jumping to Canon where the options in the middle existed and were plentiful.

      Instead, Nikon expanded to the product line starting with the D700 and followed by D3xx, D5xx, and D7xx DX models, and D6xx and D8xx FX models. With that new lineup, both the target consumer and price points were redefined. Instead of the serious hobbyist being served by a single high end DX model, they are now served (in Nikon’s eyes) by an entry level FX model serving the $2K-3.5K range. So essentially the D6xx is the new D400 equivalent in service and price point. The DX line is targeted more for those who like photography and want something better than a point and shoot, but either cannot afford or don’t want to invest heavily in equipment and time to take pictures. Their price point is anything under $1400 because anybody willing to spend more than that likely will want better quality that comes with an FX model.

  • LarryC

    I hope Nikon survives too – I’m too invested, but “sell only a few units of a few models at high cost”, sounds a lot like the Hassy and Leica business model. Maybe Nikon is destined to be little more than another small high end niche company. If that’s their direction, they better start improving on the QC of the products they do sell.

    • Jon Ingram

      I think Nikon will survive, but they are going to have to learn the hard way and take a big hit first. It doesn’t sound like they are switching over to the Leica model because they still want to move a lot of lower end bodies. What they really want is to get more for less, but the world doesn’t work that way. It’s stupid. You can’t cut costs (corners) AND charge more. It’s a terrible long term strategy because your customers are going to realize they are paying more for less, and switch to another company. If you want to charge more you can make a superior product, with better QC as you correctly say, and charge whatever you want. Lots of people are willing to pay a premium on a premium product. The BEST idea would be to make a superior product and charge a reasonable profit margin. That is what we all want. We want the best product, at a reasonable price, and we want Nikon to stay in business making it.

      • Sloth

        “We are keeping inventory of our digital SLR camera at the extremely low
        level. In the latter half of the fiscal year, we expect a shift from
        older products to newer products that have higher profit margins”
        I actually understood this to mean that early next year the older models are going to finally go out of stock, forcing potential customers to shift into latest products that have higher profit margins.

        Also, reducing number of models was in response to “What are your future strategies in response to the shrinking ***compact digital camera*** market?”

        • KnightPhoto

          I read it the same way – the glut of D3100, D5100, and D7000 are just about over. And therefore the D3200, D5300, and D7100 selling at or near their MAP are more profitable.

          And on the FX side there is no glut. Even the D600 have pretty much disappeared.

  • Delmar Mineard Jr

    This is clearly an indicator of NO D400. The nail has been driven into the coffin!

    • Pippo

      Where is my new fast action camera? Ahoi, Nikon! No matters DX or FX. Thanks, not D4, maybe V2?

    • js200022

      “but sales of entry-models such as the D3000 Series have also skyrocketed, expanding the customer base globally.”

      This is why it has become more difficult to make a case for the D400. The cheap consumer cameras are the bread and butter for Nikon now.

      • Delmar Mineard Jr

        Exactly. The volume sales is where the money is.

        • umeshrw

          So explain Df? Atleast 400 will be bought by much more people.

      • Jaz

        ‘Now everyone can own a DSLR’ concept? Hmm…

    • Zeke

      I don’t think these vague statements by Nikon are “clearly” an indication of anything.

    • Go FX

      Forget about the D400- go full frame, the quality is better. DX is a waste of money.

  • Gedrick

    If the stock levels are low and they want to reduce the number of products why are they selling 3 d5x00 cameras?

    • Thom Hogan

      Bingo.

      The problem Nikon (and others) face is classic. They overbuilt into the peak sales of cameras. That created overhanging inventory that is hurting them in multiple ways.

      • RBR

        Yet another failure of the marketing department.

        • Captain Megaton

          err… not marketing. This would be a strategic error on the part of the company leadership.

          • RBR

            You are correct in part. Senior management, and the BOD for that matter, have left a clueless, out of touch, marketing department to steer a course for the company. I certainly do no want to sound as though I am defending any of the above because I do not think any of them have done a terribly good job.

            Cheers

          • RBR

            I certainly do not want to be seen defending any segment of Nikon’s management team, let alone the senior management and BOD, all of whom have made serious errors, but the marketing department determines the prioritization of product development based upon their reading of the tea leaves & etc. Leaving these clueless fortune tellers in place is a burden senior management and the BOD must bear.

  • Jon Ingram

    Let’s boil it down, Nikon wants to make fewer camera models, cut expenses while making those newer products (inferior quality), and sell those products for more money. What crap. All I’m hearing is Nikon trying to please their share-holders without giving a damn about photographers.

    • Andrew

      Having a manufacturing issue on a new production launch is not the same as inferior quality. Nikon cameras have the best quality in the photographic industry.

      Nikon is doing pretty well. A company that sees growth of 20% to 30% is quite impressive. So a subsequent contraction of only 3% (19.8 million to 18.7 million) is pretty insignificant, especially in an adverse global market. Please tell me which of Nikon’s main competitors are doing any better! Sure, to the shareholder any contraction is unacceptable, but I think more about the top engineers, managers, and workers who work diligently to give us such incredible photographic tools.

      • catinhat

        Nikon has some of the best technology in the photographic industry, but best quality? They had a few very troubled cameras in the last couple of years. They had some horror stories related to servicing them. I would agree with your statement between 2007 and 2009, that was the heyday of great Nikon cameras, both technologically and quality-wise. But afterwards we’ve received at least three problematic cameras in mid to high range, namely D7000, D800 (both with widely reported focus issues) and a disastrous D600. Lucky for you if you if you bought one of those cameras with any issues. But if you have to rely on luck while spending thousands of dollars, then something is wrong. Some other manufacturers had some issues too, no doubt, but this only shows how low is the bar, not how high is the quality. It is reassuring that D7100 and D610 have not revealed any systemic flaws so far. But I also read Nikon’s statement as basically an admission that they will continue cutting corners, so my expectations as far as product quality are not all that high. But maybe we’ll be lucky.

        • Andrew

          Nothing in Nikon’s products provide the slightest hint of cutting corners. A manufacturing issue is not cutting corners, it is a fact of life. Apple has had major manufacturing issues. Sony has had major manufacturing issues. Intel has had major manufacturing issues. And Canon has had major manufacturing issues.

          The bar is not being lowered, it is in fact getting higher. Companies are including more advanced features and refreshing their products at a faster rate and that gives consumers like us much more functionality in the products we buy. People are arguing like their parents and complaining how the price of bread is so expensive and it use to cost 10 cents a loaf in the 1950′s. Yes, and they also used to earn 60 cents an hour!

          If you have an issue with Nikon having early manufacturing problems with the launch of a new camera model, then may I advise that you wait for a few months before buying that new camera. I am not insensitive to people who have had problems with their cameras, I am only just insensitive to people who have unrealistic expectations – and who use these poor victims to argue their points. It is realistic to expect the high quality products which Nikon indeed does delivers, but it is unrealistic to expect no manufacturing problems on new product release!

          When Nikon released the D800, they were producing about 35,000 of those cameras each month. An industry standard manufacturing defect level of 3% will result in approximately 1,000 defective cameras each month. In 2007 and 2009, the social media had not reached the saturation point it is at today where everyone complains of problem, including those who never purchased the product.

          If you buy a new product and it is defective, then return it, no one is forcing you to hold on to the product. The few D800 cameras that had a left focus issue had the problem from the outset. If your camera had the problem, then return or exchange it within your 30 day warranty. But no, you guys flood the forums complaining. The problem is not Nikon, it is you, you are handling the issue in an unrealistic way and creating unnecessary problems for Nikon. And then when Nikon raises the price of their cameras because you have frightened consumers from buy their cameras in sufficient numbers you complain again. This whole behavior is total rubbish!

          Let me solve the problem for you. Buy your new camera a few months after the launch to make certain you minimize your chances of experiencing problems. Or go to one of Nikon’s competitors and wait a few months before you start experiencing the same types of problems all over again.

          • Sundra Tanakoh

            Well said Andrew.

          • 103David

            Amen, Bro. Well said.

          • Reality

            True. There is no escape from the probability manufacturing defects.
            Not true. Its easy to return and wait for next good one. Weeks and months are lost in this back and forth…. causes frustration, nervousness, impacts plans to sell older camera and quickly get a new working one

          • spicynujac

            Sorry, but I expect a higher than 97% success rate on a new product I buy that costs $1,000. Nikon is a Japanese company, and while I seriously doubt they have a 3% failure rate, if it was anything close to that they need to look into the concept of Six Sigma pioneered by Toyota. And they should test products before they go out the door, or else should expect consumer backlash. I’m not talking about the dust issue–yes problems happen–I’m talking about the concept that there will be a general failure rate in any of their products anywhere as remotely high as 3%!!!

            • Bapt

              And after 6-sigma concept, you have lean-6-sigma… Because 6-sigma is too expensive…

          • Federico Zaza

            I’ve bought my D800e several months after release. And, yes, AF didn’t work. And I can say the same for the D600.

          • zoetmb

            While I agree with some of your points, I disagree with others.
            - A 2% defect rate is far too high. Japanese companies formerly prided themselves on striving for 0% defects. A 2% defect rate would have resulted in over 600,000 defective Nikon DSLRs since 2005.
            - The problems with the D600 and D800 were (IMO) not so much manufacturing issues as design issues.
            - It’s not having the defect that was the big problem, it is Nikon’s continued refusal to acknowledge the problem, especially in the case of the D600, where many customers got totally screwed. Nikon should have pro-actively taken back every single D600 unit and repaired it. That’s the way you build loyalty even when you screw up.
            - While no single weakness of Nikon is all that terrible, when you put them all together, I see big problems (and I’m a big Nikon supporter):
            - Poor selection of DX lenses
            - Except in the low-end consumer line, no perceived commitment to DX
            - No D300 replacement
            - D800 focus issue in early run
            - D600 grease issues and ignoring the issue.
            - IMO, a big hole between the D600, with consumer controls and the D800 (too expensive for most non-pros, even though I bought one).
            - Overpriced Df
            - No sign yet of a compact overhaul, except for the Coolpix A, which I think is a tough sell at $1100 even though it has a far larger sensor than the Nikon 1 line.
            - Even with the cutback of new models, still confusing Coolpix product line with 32 models listed on the USA site, although at least 11 of those aren’t really available.
            - Perceived failure of the Nikon 1 line (I think there are obvious reasons why Nikon won’t break out those sales separately). [What if the Nikon 1 line was re-imagined with a DX sensor?]
            - Confusing product line with all the old models (D5200, D600 kits, D5100, D7000, D3100) still in inventory. Even the D90 is still on the USA website, although I think one would be hard pressed to actually find one from a major retailer.
            - A five-year old D3x (okay back in the film days, but not today)
            - Poor release schedule (except possibly for the Df if they get it onto shelves by the end of this month): Nikon usually releases consumer models long after Christmas.
            - Except for the Df (despite its faults), only iterative changes in DSLR models.
            - Absurd prices for accessories.
            - In 2013, WiFi is still a separate and expensive accessory on most models??
            - Expensive and slow repairs
            - Poor customer service, especially for Non-NPS members.
            - Ever increasing lens prices, even as the dollar has gained 24% over the Yen since fiscal year-end 2012 (although still 18.2% behind 2007).
            - Fewer discounts, since they’re screwing dealers on margin AND are enforcing minimum selling prices.
            - In spite of lower sales, inability to keep items in stock. Last time I checked B&H, 13% of all lenses and 20% of the lenses that are priced over $1000 were out of stock. How does Nikon expect to keep pros and high-end enthusiasts using Nikon when the 200mm, 300 2.8, 400, 600, 800, and 200 micro can’t be purchased? It’s on those lenses where all the margin is. Compare that to Canon. It’s rare that a Canon lens is unavailable.

            When you read the interviews like the one above coming out of Nikon, it’s a bunch of face-saving trash. It seems like Nikon remains in denial about their problems and it also seems like there is no sense of urgency to make the changes necessary to address the changing market. The demise of the P&S market was no surprise, it’s been predicted since mid-2008, about a year after the iPhone was released. And the decline of DSLR is not a surprise because after selling 32 million DSLRs since 2005, it’s obvious that we’re hitting a mature market.
            What is Nikon’s answer to all this? Cutting costs and reducing models? Well, that’s fine, but Nikon obviously had very poor inventory controls, otherwise the market wouldn’t be flooded with obsolete models. And when they say they’re going to reduce the number of models, I assume they’re talking about the Coolpix line. Well, that always had too many models, even in a good market.

            IMO, aside from the release of the first digital cameras, the last time Nikon did something really great that changed the market was with the release of the D70 – a high quality, reasonably priced DSLR.

            Back in the 1970s, the Olympus OM-1d took Nikon by surprise and make Nikon look “old fashioned”, especially in the SLR mid-line. Today, and although it has faults, I think the Sony A7/A7r just did the same thing. Nikon should have gotten to market first with a small, light DSLR. (The Df isn’t quite it.)

            So IMO, Nikon has lost its mojo and it has to get it back. I realize that there’s long product development cycles in this business, by I think Nikon needs to step up its game. They just can’t keep releasing small iterations on each model and hope to succeed.

          • http://loewald.com/ Tonio Loewald

            Nikon’s quality is probably not the issue. Nikon’s handling of issues when they arise is. Apple responded to “antennagate” after something like two weeks. Canon addressed the 5D3′s very minor light leak issue immediately. Nikon never even admitted the D600 had a problem (for example).

          • Mansgame

            You sound like a Nikon employee. Can I get a refund on my D600? You said I can just return it right? Nikon said no. They said no problem exists.

        • Eric Bowles

          You also need to keep in mind that Nikon has centralized manufacturing and design, but decentralized service. Unfortunately, that means service quality varies around the world and issues are slow to be identified and addressed by Nikon corporate.

          The D800 and D600 issues were as much service related as they were manufacturing related. In the case of the D800, they were slow to identify and correct the problem and first line service did a poor job of customer relations. In the case of the D600, they similarly were slow to identify the problem and customer service did a very poor job of customer relations.

          Nikon’s real problem is they are a technology oriented consumer products company. They are okay at reducing operating expenses, but poor at understanding and communicating with diverse customers and customer needs.

          The information presented by Nikon makes sense. They need fewer products – it makes them more nimble and responsive to market changes and supports faster product cycles. Low inventory is a huge benefit and promises additional products in the near future.

          • Guest

            Problems with customer communication points to problems with the Board and its captaining of the company.

        • Ronan

          You have a poor understanding of R&D and manufacturing process.

          Read what Andrew wrote for some enlightenment.

      • ronin

        A quality problem is a quality problem, period. The consumer doesn’t care if you call it a production problem or a design problem. Poor QA is poor QA.

        But QA doesn’t stand alone. Problems happen. The flip side of QA is after-sales service. Nikon has bombed abysmally, with repeated product QA problems, and deliberate ignoring and obfuscation of well publicized issues.

        A support problem is a support problem, period. The consumer doesn’t care if you call it Nikon’s problem or the local importer’s problem. Poor support is poor support.

        Saying the consumer is responsible for a) finding out that a design problem exists in some instances of a brand new $3000 model, and then b) performing tests to determine if his model is affected, and then b) pay for repeated shipping back to a poorly communicating and erratic warranty support organization is obnoxious. Blaming Nikon problems on the customer, and then making the consumer responsible for detection and hopeful repair is intolerable.

        • Ronan

          Very poor knowledge of business & manufacturing shown…

          Refer to Andrew’s posting for some intellectual reading.

          • Oasis

            But he’s right.

          • RBR

            Read W. Edwards Deming if you actually want to learn, which you need to do. Leaving a customer to find your production or design flaws does nothing to inspire customer loyalty or enhance a company’s reputation. Blaming the customer for your poor execution is not a good business practice either.

            Nikon’s “customer service” is about as obnoxious as it gets, which only serves to compound the problem.

          • ronin

            I’m sorry, but this was a solid explanation of how business works, intellectual or not. True, it is not a fanboy’s excuse making, but there you are.

      • Solved!

        Yes, Nikon is having sale issues.

        Solution — D4 internal in D800 body. aka… do the D700 again. All D4 buyers done buying. Time for new cheaper customers to get in it : )

        • silmasan

          hell yea :)

        • Olaf Hoyer

          Exactly this- this essentially would be a D800h then, make it 6 oder 7 fps like the D700 was capable to, and it shall go well. BTW: Does anyone know the rough price of the 16MP Sensor of the D4 and the 36MP D800 chip? Are they roughly the same amount?

          • http://loewald.com/ Tonio Loewald

            I expect the D4 sensor is more expensive simply because it’s made in lower volumes.

        • RBR

          Actually, it is time for the D4s. Putting together a D4 based D700 replacement would revive sales to people who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting in vain for a D3s based D700 replacement. Nikon marketing continues to be the gang that can’t shoot straight.

      • Jon Ingram

        Good responses Andrew. I know Nikon is profitable and that they make great technology, which is why I shoot Nikon. I also have no problem paying for high-priced Nikon items. My central concern is regarding Nikon’s evolving top-down philosophy of emphasizing business strategies which favor short-term gains OVER long-term gains. It is common for large cooperation’s to do this, especially in response to pressure from share-holders. Cost-cutting measures are not always mutually exclusive with delivering quality products. However, you can only cut costs so much before you end up with an inferior product. Nikon’s announcements, as of late, have not given any reassurance to photographers that
        they plan on continuing with their long-term “old” business strategy of creating the highest quality products on the market and charging a high price for them. Instead, we hear about higher prices while simultaneously cutting manufacturing costs. Meanwhile, Nikon ignores consumer outrage, refusing to assure the public regarding quality control, while making multiple press announcements to assure share-holders.

        Take Sigma as an inverse analogy. They were a company who cut costs in order to deliver products at a lower price point. Consequently, sigma got a reputation for sub-par products and poor QC. However, recently Sigma has started to emphasize quality, and thus their reputation is changing, albeit slowly. Nikon, on the other hand, has begun placing a lower emphasis on quality, and their reputation is changing too. The problem is this: A company cannot survive if it charges too much for an inferior product. You can either emphasize quality and charge more, or emphasize cost-cutting measures and charge less. You can NOT emphasize cost-cutting measures while simultaneously charging more, at least not for very long.

        Nikon needs to choose what kind of company they want to be.

        • istreetshooter

          This post makes me think of a meeting of photojournalists I was at this spring, when someone asked who was still shooting with Nikons. The words Matlock Fan Club should come to mind when thinking of the graying group still using Nikon, not Canons.

          A lot of people are feeling abandoned by Nikon and protest with their wallets.

      • Mansgame

        oil on the sensor IS a quality problem.

    • js200022

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Nikon is a corporation and at the end of day has to provide positive results for the shareholders. It is all about being profitable. And the casualty, in this case, are the photographers.

      • Beso

        It’s pretty simple: If Nikon is not profitable, they don’t exist. As much as some photographers seem to think Nikon should be a charitable endeavor existing solely to feed their desires, that is not, and never will be, the case. When you understand this bit of business principle you will see how selfish and myopic your statement seems.

        • One More Thought

          Amen. The same people who complain about Nikon pricing certain cameras too high are the same ones complaining that Nikon will seek to lower their costs.

          Most of the critics are simply not being realistic, and want everything for nothing. These are the same people who expected Nikon to bring the premium FX Df model to the market for $1500.

          • Eric Duminil

            Df is not “premium”

            • Joven

              You missed the point.

            • Rhys

              No. Sony can do it, and far more impressively. Sony are actually INNOVATING. Innovation is how you dominate the market. Nikon’s response to their competitors innovations is to save a few quid and P off all there customers.
              Won’t be long before Nikon is like Pentax, and Canon won’t be far behind.
              DSLR’s are already destined for the history books. If Nikon and others fail to see this and ADAPT they will see a similar fate as the dinosaurs.

            • Joven

              He still missed the point. You’re arguing a point that wasn’t brought up. Which means you probably missed the point, too. NO ONE was saying innovation isn’t important.

              While we’re talking about innovation, while it is GREAT, being a pioneer doesn’t mean you’re going to lead the race. Sony can go out and innovate all they want, get the kinks knocked out, but I think as soon as Nikon or Canon come with F-mount and E-mount versions, then the demand for Sony will decrease again.

              Innovation dangerous when the barrier to entry in the industry is low, or the cost of switching is low. Sadly, the “cost” of switching camera brands is expensive.

              The migration from mirrored to mirrorless isn’t as huge of an innovation as the move from film to digital.

            • nostatic

              Df is DOA (aka, dumbass) marketing.

            • Rhys

              Yep, and considering the ridiculous price of the camera, I can’t believe they dared to cripple it.

            • Joven

              Crippled? Depending on your needs, it’s a better sensor at high ISOs than the D800 and D600 senor (A7r, and A7 respectively). It has a better continuous burst rate (the A7 & A7r lock focus and exposure when in continuous burst). Plus you have to buy all new glass for the A7[r] or an adapter, which negates the “cheaper” price when compared to the Df.

            • Rhys

              The DF (D4) does not have better ISO than my D800E’s. Perhaps you are comparing files at pixel level, if so that would be foolish. If you actually care about real world results the D800E matches the D4 at the same output size. The D800E also has finer grain/more detail.

            • Rhys

              Oh, and the DF is crippled. Crap AF and 1/4000 is a joke.

          • ronin

            Simplistic. A company can charge as high as it wants for a product. The risk is that that price point, the toy may not sell sufficient units to ensure profitability. Once the company sees that and seeks to reduce the price to meet the market, a competitive model may be out that attracts would-be purchasers.

            The company in this scenario lost revenue because it’s original pricing was too high.

            Criticizing people who criticize price makes no sense. Those people are the people you WANT buying the product. Ha ha, stupid consumers, you don’t realize I deserve to get this much money from you.

            Sorry, the price is really set by what consumers are willing or not willing to pay. The manufacturer’s ‘wish’ price may or may not ever result in a profit.

          • ronin

            Simplistic. A company can charge as high as it wants for a product. The risk is that that price point, the toy may not sell sufficient units to ensure profitability. Once the company sees that and seeks to reduce the price to meet the market, a competitive model may be out that attracts would-be purchasers.

            The company in this scenario lost revenue because it’s original pricing was too high.

            Criticizing people who criticize price makes no sense. Those people are the people you WANT buying the product. Ha ha, stupid consumers, you don’t realize I deserve to get this much money from you.

            Sorry, the price is really set by what consumers are willing or not willing to pay. The manufacturer’s ‘wish’ price may or may not ever result in a profit.

        • Consumer

          Also pretty simple: If Nikon isn’t selling camera’s, they can’t be profitable, then they don’t exist. Personally if i perceive Nikon not to be charitable to my photography desires then i am fine with you calling me myopic, as long as i can go buy a camera from someone else. Which i did by the way, been waiting to buy a DSLR from Nikon since early 2010. Ended up going to m43, got an Oly EM1. Because they abandoned pro DX and DX optics, their last 3 FX camera’s have had varying degree’s of defects. And they have all but refused to come to the party on decent video specs, in fact dropping video altogether on the Df- which was the closest i came wanting anything they have done in the past 2-3 yrs.

          Pleasing shareholders is all well and good. But if you are not, at least being seen to, pleasing photographers first… well there are plenty of other options out there.

          • david distefano

            they should use the costco model, which wall street hates. !) customers 2) employees 3) stockholders

          • shanganagh

            Such as knowing when to use apostrophes and when not.

          • Tony Bologna

            What are you going to do once Olympus shuts down their camera division because it’s hemmoraging cash? I had an OM-1and loved it but emotional attachment to a brand and the perception that they are concerned with your needs doesn’t change the balance sheet.

            • Consumer

              Maybe Olympus will go bust one day because they overextended themselves trying to win customers over to their brand through making innovative, high quality cameras.

              Or maybe they won’t, because doing so wins them greater market share.

              Either way, doesn’t change for me that today the Em1 is fantastic and coupled with the 12-40 zoom, 75 1.8 and in the near future UWA and 40-150 pro zooms. While there is no DX camera from anybody with the build or features of the Olympus, or as high quality range of lenses.

            • RBR

              Olympus is a poor choice to make comparisons with. Aside from the fact that the camera division is still having trouble turning a profit, the company has been saddled with a financial scandal which is still a problem that the BOD is avoiding. Sony’s recent support of Olympus has gone a long way toward giving the camera division a fighting chance of surviving, but the jury is still out on this.

        • nostatic

          No, that’s not it at all. If Nikon alienates its customers with poor marketing strategies it will not make money. This is what’s been going on for the past few years, and will only get worse if they continue. The answer is produce better quality cameras that meet customer demand, and price them competitively. Selling less for more is a fool’s errand, and will only help Canon and the others win more market share.

      • Sundra Tanakoh

        So, maybe they have decided that a D400 will not be as profitable for them in the long run. It is not like EVERYONE is waiting for it, just some of us. Maybe the numbers just don’t add up to them even if the specs add up to us. But then they do produce things that don’t seem to add up to us, like rapid re-releases of the low end high volume cameras D3000-5300.

        Let me compare this to …uggg Apple and PCs. Early on PC’s were far less expensive to produce than the Apple 2 series (and forward) so people bought what they could afford, hence way more PCs on the market. Microsoft had an OS that went with them and people were happy. Apple sold less, as they still do. Maybe the camera makers see the same scenario? D3000-5300 is a cheaper route that does most everything we want, and hell, these are not bad cameras by any means, just like the PC market, they were not bad computers! They were affordable and expandable….isn’t this the same with that camera set?

        FX is most likely the niche market, because serious hobby and pros are in that area willing to spend extra for what the FX offered over DX. To a consumer, weather sealing, metal bodies, expensive lenses a larger sensor, weight; just doesn’t really compute when they can get a kick ass camera that is light and affordable and does the job. They don’t see the difference between DX and FX unless they look through the viewfinder … and I mean, really, in the long run most of us can’t either especially if all ya ever do is post photos on a computer screen.

        The real profit is in volume, as Charles Tandy taught his Radio Shack people years ago. Now if you have a set of products that are great and produce volume sales and you make a sell enough of them your profits will rise. FX just isn’t a volume seller at the prices charged in today’s economy. Though Nikon is pumping out FX cameras like no tomorrow hoping the high price will make profit because FX people must buy expensive FX lenses. But, the majority of the consumers can’t afford that, no matter how many FX models are out there and my guess is that the D3000-5300 crowd are pleased as punch with their cameras and have NO real desire to upgrade to the more expensive FX line of thinking.

        Or am I missing something? Besides a cup of coffee and a chocolate bar about now.

        • PieterWolters

          Looking at the current line up, a D400 will be a difficult sell. Looking at the prices in the Netherlands, the D7100 is about 900 euro, the D610 1700 euro and the D800 2100 euro. A D400 that offers substantially more than a D7100 will be close to the price of the D610 and as such also close to the D800. Most people will probably go for an FX camera at that price point.

          • Consumer

            Unless of course the D400 does things a D610 and D800 do not.. like shoot 8fps, D4 style body maybe, introduce a new autofocus system, do 4k video… any number of things really.

            Who said the D400 had to just be an expensive D7100? I was actually hoping Nikon has been working on something significant and worthwhile with all this time they have been taking

            • Ronan

              A D400 would be a smaller D600 with a DX sensor.

              Honestly it would be a D7100 sensor in the body of a D610, or something close enough.

              Makes no sense… plus most people simply bought a D600/D610. Heck who is going to NOT spend $100 more to go to FF???

            • shanganagh

              Me, for one. Don’t want the weight.

          • CV

            900 too 1700 is a huge gap. I bought my D300 for 1500, right after it came out.

            The D7100 is just an upgrade to the D90. The D400 should be to the D7100 what the D300 was to the D90. That’s not that hard: tougher body, a few more buttons, less plastic, higher-end grip, CF, higher framerate, shorter mirror blackout.

          • Duncan Dimanche

            yeah but I think that Nikon Crop guys want a real tough body to carry around with super high frame rates…. and I get it… canon 7D doesn’t have his Nikon rival…

          • Dpablo unfiltered

            There will be a d400 and it gets extruded when Canon makes their 2000+$ version next year. But I just don’t know how Nikon is going to respond to that white camera…

        • Past

          Well said. Nikon needs to think how they survived during film days… when new products were released once in 5-7 years, as opposed to every year these days. People do not need new technology every year!

          • RBR

            I will disagree in part. Nikon makes a big deal out of redesigning the camera body every time a camera is released. While I certainly agree that making the body and controls more ergonomic is desirable, why has that taken so long?

            Where I disagree is why not upgrade the sensor or ASIC chipsets as they become available ( whic is not necessarily every year, but is almost certainly less than the 4 years Nikon seems to leave a DSLR in production)?

            In my view Nikon have been slow on the uptake of DSP advances to incorporate in the signal processing side of the image capture equation.

            To agree with you though, changes should be made when it is rational to do so, keeping in mind that electronic devices change at a rapid pace.

            Cheers

          • nostatic

            I disagree. Technology and customer expectations are much different today than 20 years ago. Much different than five years ago, in fact. Consumers want and demand newer, better products at least once a year, if not sooner. And if they are truly better, they will buy them. Look at Apple as an example. People complain that they don’t introduce replacements for their laptops, phones and tablets more frequently than once a year. And when they do introduce iterations of products with significant differentiation, people buy them up. Nikon should be rolling out new cameras that appeal to a range of customers and feature significant new product features and advantages. Line extensions like the D7100, D610 and D5300 are merely lazy and cynical grabs for the customer’s wallet, offering nothing new or of real value.

        • Ronan

          Most people wanting a D400 bought a D7000 or a D600.

          I don’t know of anyone (except on the internet) that left Nikon and sold all their high-end glass due to a lack of D400.

          That would be… idiotic.

      • fjfjjj

        Nikon doesn’t exist without photographers. You jive talkin.

    • Beso

      Let’s first understand that Nikon, as a business, has to not only survive but thrive economically to produce the cutting edge, high quality gear that photographers want. In order to feed the photographers, Nikon first has to feed the bottom line. They do that through sales of higher profit, lower line merchandise that is affordable to the masses.
      Remember, it is the shareholders who provided the capital to develop, expand, and produce product. They are entitled to a return on investment.
      Nikon either has to improve its profitability or its very existence will be threatened (think merger, hostile takeover or dissolution). We all need to hope Nikon achieves their goal of profitability so that we can continue to have the high end market leading gear we all want.

    • One More Thought

      Ah, the usual Nikon bashing.

      First, Nikon needs to make profits to pay its employees a livable wage; their employees need to feed their families too. It always amuses me how many people want other companies to slash prices, but in their company, whether they own it or are an employee, they want to hold pricing as high as possible.

      So yes, Nikon needs to earn profits in order to survive and in order to innovate. Without that they cannot produce great products for photographers.

      Second, Nikon has one of the 2 best camera lineups in the world today along with Canon. No one else even comes close. Nikon cameras are of a very high quality. Is Nikon perfect? No, but I don’t think many of the whiners and complainers have any idea what it’s like to engineer and produce a product as complex as a dslr.

      The pro’s and people avidly taking pictures are not complaining about Nikon and its product line. If you cannot take great pics with something in the Nikon line then the problem is not Nikon.

      • ronin

        Consumers need to support their families with a liveable wage, and have little money left over for very expensive toys. Consumers don’t care to pay extra money because they understand all manufacturers of everything they buy are in it for business, but because they work hard and have competing demands for every cent.

        You can cry yourself a river all you want about how the poor Nikon workers have to eat, but if consumers aren’t buying the product in the numbers the manufacturer wants, either the desire is not there, the product is not there, or the prices are too high.

        Making fun of the consumers does not sell more product.

        • Ronan

          If money is that tight, don’t buy a D4/D800.

          Go buy a D610 or a D7100.

          No company could care less about your financial situation. They are busy with their’s and their hundred’s/thousand’s employee’s financial situation.

          If you REALLY are having an issue about pricing, go knock at Apple’s door and their ridiculous price scheme. Samsung equivalent laptop is like $700 and the apple is twice that. For the same guts.

          • ronin

            I’m sorry, but you’re incorrect. Company’s care very much for consumers, or potential consumers’ financial situation. Because the customer has free choice of where that money goes- to braces, to vacations, to savings, to a car…

            Nikon, in this instance, wants that money to go to them. This is their reason for being.

            To pretend that they care more about their poor employees than they care about top line and bottom line is just being not in touch.

            This is as it should be. This is the main point of a business. Revenue and margin and market share. They care very much that consumers buy their product. And they care that consumers are not doing so. Go back and read their forecast.

    • boofie

      Hi Troll,

      Shame you don’t know anything about running a business. You must be a democrat. This type of efficiency measure is commonplace in real industries these days. I guess you wouldn’t know that as someone who pumps gas for a living.

      • R!

        Republicans politic is responsable of the world recession ,world subprimes crisis,banks and insurance scandals without mansioning the Wars catastrophics economical and debts side effects…
        Just saying,shut up and no politic here It’s about Photography Thank you.

        • D!

          …plus Still no health care for evryone in the US !?

          • guest

            Excuse me mister, is this CNN?

    • ronin

      Nikon’s plan is the same as that of every other manufacturer of mass produced consumer toys: Make it cheaper, charge more, cut costs.

      Every manufacturer can give the same ‘plan.’ Doesn’t mean they can execute.

      Problem is, this ‘plan’ shows no imagination or leadership. It shows a status quo, trying to keep the enterprise afloat as long as possible. No apparent internal excitement, or eagerness to work with consumers.

      This is a mere survival strategy. It means they want to continue to get by with a minimum of effort, because said effort costs money. And it may be just enough for a few more years. Which is all any company can hope for.

    • nostatic

      Absolutely. This sort of thinking is mind-boggling. The company is experiencing lower sales and profits, so the answer is to offer the customer less and charge more? Given the past few years of Nikon rolling out meh camera after meh camera, without apparent concern for quality control or meeting loyal customers’ needs, you wonder what management is thinking. I love my Nikons but I hate the way the company is being run. I question the future of the Nikon if it continues down this crooked path.

    • RBR

      Lest you forget, Nikon is making a HUGE profit on the Dollar/Yen exchange rate. Their current pricing structure was established on an exchange rate of 78 Yen to the Dollar. The current exchange rate is hovering around 100 yen to the dollar. You do the math. That is huge! (It also results in products which are overpriced, and the public knows this, which dampens demand for those products.

    • Derek

      I do not find anything wrong with Nikon quality. What I do have an issue with is not being able to buy parts from Nikon anymore. So as things start to age and fall apart I will move on to another brand that will sell me parts. The day they stopped selling parts to the consumer was the day I stopped buying Nikon products.

  • rich

    stop producing the overpriced v1 series and get some milc like fuji or nex that can use f mount

    • Pippo

      + tons of P&S cameras.One is right – 3,5,7 series is too small gap in specifications & price.

    • KnightPhoto

      Not sure why people get into this “either-or” frame of mind.

      Better to have both a Nikon 1 and Nikon 2 (DX) series. A Nikon 2 DX would actually fit in an old FM2 size body very easily.

  • JC

    A D300 replacement and a true D700 replacement was all they needed.

    • Up $#!t’s creek!

      I have a feeling the dF is the d700 replacement. d4sensor in a lessor $$ package ie d3 / d700

      • Scott M.

        They forgot the 8fps…

        • silmasan

          … and the better AF system.

      • Joel

        Bodies too small, no grip, single card slot.. Its not a D700 replacement. The D800 is the closest you’ll get until they roll the D4 sensor into the D800 at some point in the next two years.

        • silmasan

          Actually, the D700 has only a single CF slot. Just sayin’. Other than that, I agree.

          I have yet another different ‘feeling’ though:
          Df is the Df. D800 is the D800. And D700 is the D700. Three different things.

    • Delmar Mineard Jr

      The D800 replaced the D700. That is the overall decision of those in the Forums.

      • Ian Dangerzone

        Not that popular truth is governed by mass appeal, but the D800 replaced the D700 because ’800′ comes after ’700′ in the Nikon schema. D900 will be the D800 replacement. Once one suspends their denial, they’ll come to understand this simple pattern.

      • umeshrw

        And the overall decision of those in forums supersedes that of Nikon? ( According to nikon 800 is not a replacement to 700)

        • desmo

          It could well be that when Nikon reps said the D800 is not the D700 replacement.
          They were refering to the yet to be announced
          Df …

    • KnightPhoto

      With EXPEED4 you’d have to think the D610 sensor in a D800 body with 8fps is now possible.

      As Nikon CEO I’d have my teams preparing this (and the new D400 with 300 f/4 VR).

      Cover all the bases.

      • FE10

        Totally agree with you. I would love a full frame D400 and a DX sensor P8000 compact, this would then complete the line up for the next 5 years, at least for me. Might have to bite the bullet and change lines to the D610.

      • catinhat

        Be careful what you wish for, — this forum may vote you the next Nikon CEO. :-)

  • Foolishcfo

    They forget to include “manufacture cameras the public want starting with the D400″!

    • Joel

      They would have made one by now if the D300S sales indicated thst there was a huge market for the pro bodied DX sensors. The D7100 is likely the closest you’re you’re going to get as their push now seems to be on pushing FX sales. So buy a D7100, put a grip on it and start learning to enjoy photography again.

      • catinhat

        D300s was far too similar to the D300 to generate much demand from the existing D300 owners. If they instead put the D7000 sensor into the D300 body in 2009/2010, it probably would have been a very different market situation.

      • KnightPhoto

        No. The D7100 buffer would have been 3-times the size if they weren’t making room for a D400.

  • leonrenstfeld

    Canon did the same 1.5-2 years ago, when they introduced the 5D3 (and following that, the 6D, 600XT flash, 24-70/2.8 II, etc.). I think higher profit margins for new products are ok, however it’s about time they show some effort in producing F-Mount mirrorless/ EVF cameras. There is no doubt on my mind that that technology is the future (also for professional cameras, at least as a hybrid thing for the meantime). If they neglect that, they’re gonna run into problems.

    • KnightPhoto

      Nikon is not going to neglect mirrorless, they aren’t that dumb…

    • One More Thought

      Mirrorless is certainly interesting, and it could very well be the way of the future. However, we’ve heard that for a while now and mirrorless really is not gaining much traction in the market right now.

      It’s funny how many people say that mirrorless is the future, but have no facts or sales data to back that up.

      I personally really like a lot of the mirrorless offerings out there, and do see its virtue. But I can’t discern from the sales data any hint that mirrorless is taking over.

      • spicynujac

        I’m not sure how they define “interchangeables” but 22% of worldwide sales is more than a fad. I think it’s clear mirrorless is the future and DSLR will become a niche market (as MF / FF is today).

        http://cdn.cameradebate.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mirrorless-camera-shipments-h2-2011-chart.png

        • Captain Megaton

          Amazing discrepancy between Japan and the West on this. Japan is basically mirrorless (PEN mostly from what I can see) all though the middle ranges. Sign of the way things are going to go for the rest of the world, or is the Japanese market really that unique?

      • ronin

        I know, right? People feel compelled to keep harping that mirrorless is the wave of the future. Why bother? Who exactly is it that needs convincing here?

    • TeaBreak

      Looking through the VF and trying to decode an image that never will be more as an odd artificial copy of the scence instead of truely expericence the scence itself with your own eye will be the future? Maybe for the masses who don’t care about anything but not for serious photographers.

      • orpickaname

        In that case, why look through an optical viewfinder? It will never be as genuine as experiencing the scene with bare eyes.

      • leonrenstfeld

        Obviously, the technology is not quite there yet, but it will be soon enough. There can’t be any numbers to back that up because the only one even trying at the moment is Sony, and the reason for their possibly unimpressive sales figures can be found in different areas (ever changing market strategy in conjunction with their subpar lens fleet compared to C and N).

        Also I suggested a hybrid of EVF and OVF for the time being, which, if it’s done right, would be only beneficial for the user.

        I guess what I meant to convey is that Nikon should not see higher margins for fewer products as the cure for their declining sales figures. While the products are actually very good, they don’t strike me as being outstandingly innovative and the marketing doesn’t exactly knock my socks off either (well ok, that emotional Df marketing was good). All in all they should show some balls and be courageous enough to put forward new ideas without extensive market research and putting too much stress on existing sales figures. Base your decision on those and you will always be a step behind, because those numbers are always a display of the past. In 2007 there was no obvious demand for a good smart phone on the market. Apple showed the world a new product and made them want it. They didn’t look at a survey and said “oh too bad, it looks like people don’t want smartphones” when those people hadn’t even heard of smartphones. In the same way I found that “behind the scene video” Nikon produced a while ago slightly disturbing. It showed me a company that appeared somewhat slow and cautious, afraid to be innovative. THAT in my eyes is one thing they should change in order to justify those higher margins.

  • Lubos

    DX? What for? I am waiting for my ideal camera. That would be DF with 24Mp specially tuned for high ISO, RGB sensor from D800 and U1
    and U2 besides MASP. :-)

  • Captain Megaton

    Q:What is the reason for the lowered market forecast for interchangeable lens-type digital cameras?

    A: As the market for digital cameras expands, … sales … have … skyrocketed, expanding the customer base globally.

    That doesn’t strike me as the relevant answer…

    • Can’t Believe It

      The way I interpret it is that, as we say in America, demand is ‘a mile wide and an inch deep.’ In other words I think he’s saying that they’ve sold a lot of digital cameras worldwide, but that there are millions of people in the poorer countries like China and India as well as in sub-Saharan Africa who want them but can’t afford them. But I could be completely wrong. Anyone?

      • spicynujac

        The quote sounded to me like Nikon wants to find a way to sell DSLRs to China/India. I don’t think the future is in DSLRs. I think the future is mirrorless. Smaller, cheaper, lighter, smaller lenses, etc. And with the evolution of sensors, the quality is there too (they say the Nikon 1 sensor is superior to a D40 already). DSLRs will become more of a niche product, and I hope that Nikon understands this. Heck, I am buying an AW1 and depending on the quality of shots I get, it may spend more time with me than my DSLR.

      • MyrddinWilt

        No, I think that the statement was actually trying to say that the earlier forecast was based on the earlier skyrocketing demand continuing to grow at the same pace.

        The pace has slackened suggesting that either we are getting to saturation or the global economic conditions are a factor.

        • Can’t Believe It

          Interesting… I’m in the middle of the United States farm belt so apart from global demand for corn, wheat, soybeans, and pigs, I don’t have much of a sense of what’s going on in commerce around the world. Your explanation sounds good to me.

    • Saffron Blaze

      Yes, like a great big plot hole.

    • catinhat

      The real reason is that most camera updates are too incremental in nature, so many people don’t bother to burn cash for improvements they may not see in practice. This is true at the low end of DSLR market as well as at the high end. Many likely won’t upgrade for 4-5 years or even longer, which makes it really hard for Nikon to sell new gear. The market share of compulsive upgraders is probably not that high. Someone at Nikon decided they can’t sell more of the same, and decided to try something different, — and so we have a boutique Df now.

  • Tony Bologna

    I don’t really have a problem with the Df pricing. I can’t afford it so I won’t. I’d try a lot harder to find the money if it had three things that already exist: D800 autofocus, video, and at least an EN-EL15 battery. None of these should greatly increase cost or size (the fit the EL15 in the V1) and would broaden the market base. While I’m passing on this generation I certainly hope this isn’t a one and done product line.

    • http://www.davidiam.com/ davidiam photo

      +Dual Card slots, can’t go back once you have those.

      • silmasan

        yes… even D7100 has this feature…

        • Ronan

          What do you mean ‘even’? The D7000 and D7100 have them because their are mid-high end products… It’s only normal.

          • silmasan

            Yeah, while the Df is ‘only’ $1,500 more and has only single card slot because … it is less than high-end?
            :/

            • Ronan

              The Df isn’t like regular camera’s. This is yet another way Nikon is showing you it IS high-end but not for full-time professionals.

              Heck in today’s pace, i don’t know any professionals that would require dual card slot AND have the time to fiddle with knobs and buttons…

  • lorenzo

    Cutting costs might result in a lower quality…. expect more defective units.

    • One More Thought

      Cutting costs could also mean eliminating some of the low end Coolpix models, reducing channel inventory, consolidating production lines, etc.

      At this point it’s just being cynical to make the assumption that lower costs means cutting quality.

      • lorenzo

        I am not cynical but rather skeptical after the D600 and D800 malfunctions – my recent D800E non longer has the LT AF issue of the first batch but a new UP AF problem!

        Let’s hope you are right and we won’t have a D810 or a D620 to correct more defects. We’ll see :-(

      • ronin

        If anything, recent launch debacles support speculation that aggressive cost cutting has manifested in lower quality control standards.

    • desmo

      cutting costs in manufacturing, usually means improving their processes, leading to greater efficiency. The result is usually lower cost and higher quality.
      The two are not necessarily opposites, but quite often go hand in hand.

    • PieterWolters

      Cutting cost can also be realized by removing unneeded management layers and cutting overhead in processes. There’s more to run a company than to assemble camera’s….

  • jr456

    I already see a few but I’m waiting for more of the “Oh well they would be fine if they just made a D300/D700 replacement” type responses here.

    Of course the people on this message board know more about marketing strategy than paid professionals.

    And for the record I’m not saying that Nikon is hitting home runs here but a D300/D700 replacement sure isn’t going to get them where they want to go.

    • http://500px.com/BillFord-Smith BFS

      The commercial problem with not producing a D300 replacement is that the DX line arguably lacks an aspirational product at the moment: you can’t sell D7100 and lower on the basis that it has ‘x’ feature found on the pro-spec model. We’re all familiar with this idea of having a ‘flagship’ model that mainly exists to provide credibility to a mostly lower-spec range (think cars etc).

      The question for Nikon would be how much does this mooted D300 have to generate in the way of new and/or up-sales of the lower range DX models to justify its existence.

      Presumably, a D300 replacement would sell (I’d buy one), but not in the volumes of the lower range models; if it was useful as a sales tool to Nikon, all it might need to do itself is make a modest profit to justify its existence.

      Whilst I would love a true D700 replacement, I’m less optimistic as there is a much less clear need for similar aspirational product in the FX range (the D4 and D800 already do a good job in this role).

      • jr456

        I don’t disagree with you and I would love to see both a D300 and D700 replacement. But I don’t deny the fact that these IMO are niche products that many people outside of the internet message boards aren’t nearly as enthusiastic about.

        This board, DPReview and other internet “forums” don’t represent the main market that Nikon is after. There are thousands of people off these forums taking pictures out there that make due with whatever Nikon offers.

        The D7100 is a fantastic…just fantastic camera. Granted I still think my D90 takes great pictures but this camera just goes even further. Outside of FPS and AF performance I can’t think of what more you need in a DX camera.

        The only real mistake that I can see Nikon potentially making in not making these two cameras(the D400 in particular) is that they may lose lens sales. The enthusiast market that loves these cameras are IMO the type that are going to really double-down on a camera like the D400 and buy two lenses or so. Not to mention, these people are your most vocal supporters in general.

        • http://500px.com/BillFord-Smith BFS

          Mostly agree re: D7100. Personally, I would have bought a D7100 months ago if it wasn’t for the buffer (a better one helps for sports and distant wildlife shooting).

          I agree a D400 (say) is niche, but the suggestion was that you (i.e. the retailer/Nikon) might mostly use it as a tool to up-sell non-enthusiasts a notch or so on the Dxxxx ranges; it would sell to enthusiasts, the question is would it sell enough to enthusiasts.

        • spicynujac

          I want the D7100 with movable LCD screen. Or D5300 with manual controls. I may be in the minority but that’s a huge feature that opens up tons of street photography possibilities.

          • Karen G.

            Me too in this minority.

      • Joel

        Yes, there’s a lack of anything interesting going on in the DX lineup at the moment but theres a good reason for it. They want you to have a serious look at buying the D610 instead and into more expensive glass.

  • Up $#!t’s creek!

    How much do they pay a person to realize that releasing D3300′s and still trying to sell 3100 & 3200′s as well as d90′s and d7000′s at the same time as a d7100 is a bad idea? and why do we need 85 different P&S’s?

    • Captain Megaton

      Well obviously the didn’t *want* to. If you have tons of unsold cameras, what do you do? Delay the introduction of the new model, or go ahead while keeping the older models on the roster?

      • Up $#!t’s creek!

        its overproduction. a product should not get discontinued and replaced and still have it selling 3 years later among 2 new product cycles.

  • aris

    Nikon dont understand that we are in 2013. Cameras have to be more versatile, innovating and packed with a ton of features. A retro 3k camera (DF) with no video never will be a best seller in 2013, if sales is that they want then they are in the wrong way. What it means “pure photography”? Next step is a film camera?

  • Can’t Believe It

    So does this mean it’s time to finally buy a D800, sell my DX lenses and hunker down for the next 3 to 5 years. Unless there’s a favorable yen-dollar spread, it doesn’t sound like I’ll be able to afford whatever camera body is coming out next.

    • mikeswitz

      I think so, unless you are an action photographer. That’s what I did and have never looked back. The D800 is truly amazing, even in compressed raw if you are worried about hard drive space.

    • Ian Dangerzone

      Skip a generation, is my motto. I have the D700 + 7000, I’ll wait till 9 series. I’m not always playing keeping up with the jones’ (or willing to) and still manage to stay close to the ‘best’. But then, I don’t consider the gear the photographer. I’m thinking of just grabbing a d40 used and taking that around with me most of the time. But if you’re a fat fifty-something with retirement cash to burn, no reason not to run around with a 18k rig!

      • jr456

        So true. I bought my first Nikon which was a D90 and even though I bought it new it was a three year old camera at that point. Heck I still use it with amazing results!!

        Next I bought a used D700 and that is a five year old camera I believe. I could afford a D800 or even a D4 but frankly they’re not going to make my shots any better. And I will eventually own a D800 but it may not be for two or three years. And if a D700 replacement comes out which is what I really would like…I will still wait a year or two in. I just don’t need the latest and greatest and you waste a lot of money chasing that.

        • Ian Dangerzone

          Yeah exactly. I’m a working stiff (go mounties!), but coming up with 3k to blow on a toy for a hobby (read: D800) isn’t that easy with two kids and two mortgages! I save up a grand or two at a time over months, and buy things I really need. Do I need a D4? Hell no! Do I need something that will give me full frame capability at a decent price? Yes! Get a D700 with 5000 clicks and away you go, shooting high quality shots on pro body for a good affordable price. These jokers who would rather spend huge money on gear than spend time shooting can go head to head with a committed enthusiast who focuses on composition and fine art arrangement any day and 9 times out of 10 will get schooled. Money can buy you gear, but it can’t buy you good photos!

        • tomherren

          I very much support that. My first Nikon was a D80 which I purchased new a year before the D90 was launched. Two and a half years ago I purchased a new D700, and a year ago I changed the D80 for an almost new but very moderately priced D90. I am still pleased with the quality of both cameras. In two years or so, I will probably consider a Df when prices are hopefully more reasonable for me.

        • Jeff Hunter

          If you’re ever able to buy a D800, I promise you will not regret it!

          • Jeff Hunter

            My previous DSLR was a D90. The D800 was like seeing the world afresh!

      • SJKartch

        Digital rot is a very real problem. Holding on to a perfectly functional and capable earlier-generation digital camera is a sound strategy in my opinion. Or shoot film. We’re not hearing anyone cry out for an F6 replacement which is now a 9 year old body.

      • ronin

        Very wise. None of the viewers of your photos will ever say, ‘hey, looks like you skipped a model there, partner!’

      • Jorge

        Wow. I’m fat. Fifty-something. And have LOTS of cash to spend. However I am careful with my money — OH. Wait. That’s why I have cash, live debt free, own two homes including a summer home and don’t owe a DIME to anyone in the entire world! I don’t buy into fads, or the latest. I still shoot with my D700 and am slowly transitioning fully to my Fuji X-E1 + lenses.
        Idiots like you thinking like that just irk me so much!

        • Ian Dangerzone

          I’m not sure what you’re upset about, or how I’m an idiot since you basically confirmed everything I just said. Anyone who works hard and pays their bills and is smart with their lifestyle and money *should* be able to retire comfortably and I don’t begrudge anyone that–I’m smart with my money too and will be very comfortable in retirement on the investment/career path I’m on barring some catastrophic world event that completely fucks the North American continent or razes my investment properties. I just see too many guys in photoclubs here with 15k rigs who can’t shoot the broad side of a barn and have taken the time to build their equipment portfolio but not the craft of photographic art. Sure, do what you want with your money, but if it’s courses for horses, why are so many putting the cart first?

    • Eric Duminil

      36MP on DX. Sorry, but what is wrong with you???
      I don’t think there’s any Nikkor resolving 81MP on full frame, so you’d only get all the drawbacks of 36MP without any advantage.

      • MyrddinWilt

        That is not actually a problem.

        First remember that due to the RGB issue the real resolution is actually a quarter of the sensor resolution.

        But beyond that there are several primes that will resolve at 100MP resolution in the center of the frame. They don’t do that on the outside of the frame but thats not the point.

        The birders will be more than happy with a camera that does that.

        I can get perfectly adequate 100% crops from my V1 with a Nikkor lens on it.

    • D!

      I think you got that right!
      Getting the new tech is not about money anymore.
      It is about buying at the right time,and for me It’s at the exact midle of the 3/4 years period of Full Frame Full Pro Full price just Fulling people “Pro” body upgrading time.
      We are almost there,this summer or next fall will be the right time to buy,I explain.
      By that time we will now If there will be a better high level APSC body in evry brand(D400 or 7DII) with all the best of high-tech progress;we also will know if a better full frame will come (maybe we’ll have to wait next Xmas for that)….
      … AND MOST OF ALL ALL THE PRICES WILL BE DOWNNN!!!!
      That is my right time to buy,you free to choose yours.I prefer buying safely and get my documentation on next products knowing that I shoot the best in the market for cheapest price possible waiting on the next upgrading without any regrets and only wishes for things and prices to get right !
      Cheers.

    • Captain Megaton

      For the higher end models, the trick to owning the latest model for the least money is to buy (used) 3 months after release, and sell 3 months before the successor model is released. For the 6 months in the interval, I dunno, use a F100 or something.

      • RBR

        Wouldn’t you be suspicious that a camera was a lemon if it is for sale on the used market 3 months after its introduction?

  • Delmar Mineard Jr

    Your exactly correct. The money is in the volume cameras.

  • 103david

    Before the slightest analysis, bear in mind everything said is intended for “respected competitors,” who are decidedly NOT YOU!
    Appraise accordingly.

  • Saffron Blaze

    Sounds like a suitable D700 replacement to me.

    • Bayou Bill

      No, because it will be DX, not FX.

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

    It’s starting to make sense. The D5300 is just too good of a camera. It really is sort of Nikon’s flagship video DSLR right now.

    I think we’ll see the D5xxx & D7xxx be the entry level DSLRs the D3xxx line replaced with mirrorless DX cameras and the V/J + Coolpix cameras making up their lower levels.

    As for the D400 I don’t think they’ll have a pro-level DX camera, I think what would make more sense is a continuation of the D800 but in a camera that will replace the D300S.

    I mean do we really need a D400 if they pumped out a D800 with Expeed 4 and other magic that could do 10FPS in FX & DX mode? I mean that’s really all it is isn’t it? The D7100 is great but that buffer and FPS hold it back.

    Then you got the D800 being the bridge with the D6xx line being the entry level FX and leaving the Dx line the Flagship.

    The Df being it’s own little thing, same with the Coolpix A. Testing the waters possibly.

    • Scott M.

      If they made a D800 that just did 7fps at FX raw lossless compressed, I would be ecstatic.

      • Yoshi Spendiff

        Why would anyone buy a D4?

        • mikeswitz

          If you have to ask, you’re probably not a D4 customer.

          • Jeff Hunter

            My only complaint with the D800 is that the buffer fills up too fast when taking action photos. I can easily live with 5 fps (with the attached battery grip), but having to wait for the buffer to empty can be frustrating at times. Other than that I love it!

  • usa

    Admin, Do you expect any pro releases before the Winter Olympics besides a couple of next generation teleconverters?

    Not sure modestly higher prices for pro gear is such a big problem. I think slightly higher prices would result in higher retained value in prior generation products in the used market, so may be close to a wash when upgrading, while giving Nikon the revenue it needs for profitability. I would rather pay a bit more, see Nikon prosper, and see my current gear hold a bit more value.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      I expect another D4 camera, but I have not heard anything reliable yet.

      • broxibear

      • Mansgame

        Have you heard about how many D600′s to date have been sent back for repairs and whether there is any talk of a recall?

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

          Nobody has the exact number except Nikon. My guess is 30%. Recall will not happen.

    • RBR

      There is no sane reason for Nikon to raise prices at all! Read my earlier post dealing with exchange rates.

  • Joel

    The majority of consumers simply don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on camera systems that they’re now fidnng that their phone can substitute for.

    The majority of us here would scoff at such a thing, but its the reality. Nikon would probably do well to start engineering superior small sensor and lens systems for mobile applications to compete against the likes of Sony’s small sensor industry.

    • Jeff Hunter

      Smartphone cameras can’t even come close to point and shoot cameras. It’s quite obvious by looking at photos posted on FB, which are the phone photos and which are the point and shoot photos. For the average picture taker, today’s point and shoot cameras are light years ahead of where they were 50 years ago when I got my first Kodak Brownie! All the camera companies sell far more of these cameras than the DSLRs.

      • spicynujac

        There is a somewhat well known photographer (Sorry forgot name) who has a website with only iphone photos on it, and I certainly could not tell the pics came from a telephone. There are a lot of things smartphone cameras cannot do, but under many situations they can perform as well as point and shoot or even DSLR cameras.

  • Bloombergun

    Say good bye to the D400, or say Sayonara.whatever.

  • Andrew

    Fewer models? Nikon has never had as many models as they now have, unless they are talking about their Coolpix consumer camera series. Are these not the same guys who are turning out all types of DSLR cameras and in addition introduced the new Nikon 1 models? This announcement will have absolutely no impact on their DSLR models.

  • Agusta Wynd

    But…if no one is buying your over priced product..why produce your over priced product. D800 Makes Sense. Df..makes no sense. 58mm 1.4 G…makes no sense, and 50mm 1.4 G out performs it. Come on Nikon..get with it.

    • One More Thought

      The 58 1.4g is a marvellous lens; there is much more than the usual charts. The way it renders is very artistic, and for professionals who can afford it the lens is very well worth it.

      • French Fries

        Sure the 58 is a good lens, but its not really ‘that’ much better that it can explain the price difference between the 50 1.4 and the 58 1.4

        • neversink

          The new 58 f/1.4 is a totally different lens where coma is completely eliminated, there is less falloff, contrast at maximum aperture is beautiful and even, luscious bokeh, greatly reduced flair and ghosting. Those are some of the differences between the 58 f/1.4 G and the cheaper 50 F/1.4 G. Those differences may not be “that” much to you, but they are in truth a world of difference to the exposed image.

  • aarif

    Why not target Olympus Canon Sony to increase market share by producing excellent bodies and selling them for cost price? they will end up buying your lenses and being you customers for a long time, you could have done that with the Df if it was a mini D4 with slightly lower specs and a price tag around 2000 .
    don’t make money on your bodies think long term

  • Sundra Tanakoh

    Could it be that the low penetration in China and many Asian markets be due to the fact that you will need a computer and software to do post processing and maybe a printer? Simply buying a digital camera is really not so simple when you factor in the computer +. Film can still be cheaper when shot less frequently in areas where disposable income for luxury items like a camera are not so important on a daily basis.

  • One More Thought

    Keep in mind that rumors of a Canon 7d mark II have circulated for a while… so one cannot really go by that rumor.

  • One More Thought

    It’s interesting what you see in internet comments.

    Many people make snap judgements on companies without any clue as to what is really going on inside the company or its market. People make snap judgements on engineering, design, and pricing without a clue as to the true facts involved.

    People make snap judgements about products they have never used, held, or seen.

    And all of these snap judgement are always taking the most cynical point of view. In fact the level of cynicism is astonishing.

    • Erik

      Or the longing for the products that Nikon is actually *not* putting out is astonishing…

    • Mansgame

      Oh shut up. Most of us who can afford Nikon’s high end cameras and gear are business people. You may have a 5th education and not understand how these things work but don’t paint us with the same brush.

  • Erik

    Nikon is currently doing a big mistake here.

    They should focus on what the customers really want first and then try to move as much inventory as possible at the margin they want.

    Clearly
    - The Df should have had interchangable focus screens
    - People are waiting for a mini D4 (true successor to the D700)
    - People are waiting for a D400 (high fps DX model)

    Correct these mistakes and you will see bottom line results too.

    • Bill Ferris

      Between the D800, Df and D600/D610, the D300 and D700 replacements are already out there. All three of the newer bodies deliver superior IQ. All three have significantly improved high ISO performance. All three feature full HD video recording capability. If you value the large image scale of a crop format sensor, get the D800 and crop those 36 MP files to create large, framed prints of birds in flight that impress with astoudning detail. If you value rugged pro build quality, the D800 or Df are out there. The D600/D610 may not sport a full magnesium alloy body but, with top and rear magnesium alloy panels and extensive weather sealing, it’s rugged. If you’re on a tight budget, the D600/D610 offers the best price/performance ratio of any DSLR on the market.

      The D300 and D700 replacements are out there. They’re just not named what people expected them to be named.

      • Erik

        Not true. Neither of the options you list match the fps of the D700 with the grip. There is also no DX high fps option to replace the D300S.

        • Bill Ferris

          I’d be interested in your opinion on what percentage of D300 and D700 shooters would find a 6 fps burst rate a deal breaker?

          • Erik

            For FX:
            I am saying that the 4 fps of the D800 is a dealbreaker, and while the 6 fps of the D610 is slightly better the cluttered AF points makes if unusable for anything else than focus and recompose which is a slow technique anyway. Re-using the DX AF module in an FX body shows clearly that Nikon is only looking at profit margins and ignoring their customers.

            For DX:
            The buffer of the D7100 is far too small to make it a D300 replacement. Slightly ironic as memory chips are probably quite cheap nowadays. It is more like Nikon crippling it on purpose.

            So, for those wanting good AF and high fps (sports, action, wildlife) there are no newer FX options to the D300/D700 except for the D3S/D4 and no new DX option at all. Therefore I think it would be a market for a “mini D4″ (D700 successor) and a D400 (D300/D300S successor).

            So what is it that Nikon management wants? Do they want to continue ruining their brand by putting out more and more crippled cameras (with possibly higher profit margins) or do they want to build truly great cameras for the future?

            • RBR

              +1

      • catinhat

        > The D300 and D700 replacements are out there. >They’re just not named what people expected them to >be named.
        >

        … or made the way people expected them to be made, or spec’ed the way people expected them to be spec’ed, or QA’d the way people expected them to be QA’d, or serviced the way people expected them to be serviced, or … ;-)

  • Espen4u

    Low inventory and fewer models I can understand, but higher profit margins? Nobody really needs the Df or the 58, which obviously has theese margins, and hence is a tough sell to anybody. Wouldn’t Nikons R&D be better spent on DX instead, that has a much larger group of buyers?

    • Erik

      What Nikon doesn’t understand is that higher profit margin means that the products need to be perfect. They can’t cripple the products and increase the product margin at the same time. Customers will only be pissed off and look at other brands instead.

  • Plug

    I don’t think that i really have a clue about how Nikon should face the future and the direction that they should take. I can only talk about my personal desires as to their product policy. I want a D400 to enhance my system (I have been a Nikon user for 30+ years) which includes a D300s and a D800, and many lenses including high value items such as a 300 f2.8. I get on with my hobby every day, taking pictures. In my case, if they cannot give me the body that I want, though in reality do not really need, then I shall not buy other items, lenses, flashguns etc.. But this is a personal thing, Nikon must do what they think is best and if that excludes me then so be it.

    • Erik

      I have been following the discussions here for some time now and it is quite clear what the customers want from Nikon (D400, mini D4, D4S – and if Nikon find it worthwhile fix the Df real quick by making it possible to use interchangable focus screens.) This is what the customers what, now it is up to Nikon to produce it and give it a price.

  • Steven Solidarios

    Im still deciding whether if I want the D800 or D800E. #StillLoveNikon

    • Erik

      The D800/D800E might be the low profit models Nikon wants to phase out.

      • Steven Solidarios

        I picked up an early D600 model and love the IQ. I have about 16K clicks so far and only had to clean the sensor once. I can only imagine the D800 being that much better in terms of IQ because of the 36MP. I mainly do portraits BTW.

        • Jeff Hunter

          The D800 is indeed fabulous!!!

        • Bill Ferris

          The D600/D610 is an amazing value. I picked up a refurbed D600 six weeks ago (upgrade from D90) and am thoroughly enjoying shooting with this body. The video on the D90 was heinous but the D600 has me out shooting timelapse sequences almost weekly. At about half the cost of a D800, but with IQ that holds its own against the best pro DSLR’s on the market, this is the camera body D300 owners have been waiting for.

          • Steven Solidarios

            Congratulations on your purchase! I’ve had mine for about a year now. Refurbished direct from nikon for $1600. Once the good glass goes on, you can see this camera is a great value! I don’t know why this camera got so much bad press. I had some spots but nothing major. I went to the store and purchased some wet swabs, cleaned it, no more problem! Easy! I may just save for a D4 as I have been taking more pictures at night now.

      • Plug

        I doubt this. Nikon has a major pro customer base and the top end models give the company a cachet that attracts lower end users. Perhaps that is a problem for a D400 model, Nikon thinks that it would not add to that cachet. High end model users do, I would speculate, buy many more, and more expensive, lenses, speedlights etc.

    • French Fries

      Well looking at prices in Europe D800E is still 500 dollars cheaper then the new Df….. I would opt for the E still regretting I bought the D800 instead.

      • TheLoneWolf

        is the AA filter really a big deal? i mean it depends on the kind of photographs you take i understand. But can you please tell me why you prefer the 800E?

        • FredBear

          Yeh but one won’t know that until one buys an ‘E’ – even if you don’t need it. One always picks the most ‘desirable’ choice – which is normally the more expensive option.

    • Jeff Hunter

      With the D800E there’s only a slight bit of sharpness increase in the f5.6 to f11 range. Go with the D800 and you will not have the occasional moire’ problem.

    • Mansgame

      I can sell you a slightly leaky D600 if you want.

      • Steven Solidarios

        No thank you. I think I’m going to take the plundge with the D800E. A lot of people actually liked the way the larger prints have turned out because of the higher resolution. So in turn I am bringing more revenue with larger print sales. I need a sports camera, but portraits are my bread and butter!

  • French Fries

    You can strive for high profits, but if you products are either ‘financially out of reach for the mass’ or when the price is not up to the quality, people will move to other brands.

    Reducing the number of products in the productline however is a good idea. Too much differentiation going on right now.

  • neversink

    When I bought my first Nikon, only two models were available, the Nikon Ftn and the Nikkormat. That’s it. One professional and one amateur (or consumer) model. Two choices. Two cameras with the same “sensor” (film) that could take identical pictures. Yes the Nikon Ftn was more rugged and you could add a motor drive to it, change pentaprisms and focusing screens and backs.
    That’s what Nikon should aim for today: one consumer and one professional DSLR model. Perhaps they should throw in one or two point and shoots and one mirror-less camera and improve the 1 series, but why do they need anymore. The rest of their photography lineup should be the production of stellar lenses. That is how they will take back the market. There is no need for the numerous different bodies out at any given time. Put the best they can into two DSLRs and leave it at that.

    • David

      PRECISELY!

  • ereshoping

    I am……..between a rock and a hard place.

    Whatever Nikon do it wont be right.

  • Confused

    I have to wonder what is the deal with these kind of interviews.

    Do Nikon somehow not realise that making a public statement when they announce that their genius plan as a company is to lower the cost of making their product while simultaneously charging more for that product, in addition to reducing the amount of products they intend to produce for consumers to choose from?

    Or do they somehow think that so few potential customers will ever hear those statements that it doesn’t matter?

    Its like the president of Nikon has called me up out of the blue to say “Hey just a heads up, i wouldn’t go buying a camera from us in the foreseeable future as we’ve basically given up looking for ways to add value to your photography… because we found this great new thing called price gouging that we feel is really going to revolutionise the whole business.”

    Its just strange. Needless to say i have long ago given up hope of ever seeing a D400 or the 1 system challenging m43 or the D4x being a serious stills AND video camera like the Canon 1D’s. Its a shame, they used to be a wonderful optics and digital imaging company.

    • Global

      These are for Stock holders, and Nikon is basically required to summarize their strategies in truthful ways. Almost every publicly traded corporation makes these kinds of statements regularly.

      Its a chance for stock holders to reply and say “this is crap” or “sounds good” by changing their stock holdings.

  • Bob Loblaw

    LONG LIVE NIKON.

    • saywhatuwill

      Paul Simon sang about having a Niiiikon camera and how he loved to take photographs. But he also didn’t want his Kodachrome taken away. Well, Kodachrome was taken away. Could Nikon follow?

  • T53

    Nikon seems to have fallen into the hands of the sales people and the bean counters at the expense of the engineers and product designers. Its the classic corporate pitfall. Sales brings in the revenues so they run the show. Innovation takes a back seat. The switch goes off. New products are designed from the parts bin. Steve Jobs talked extensively about this in Walter Isaacson’s marvelous biography. Companies never learn. Microsoft is going through it right now. Nikon seems destined to follow. The solution is not complicated. Build innovative, highly crafted, thoroughly tested, durable products, back them to the hilt with incredible customer service and charge more for them.

  • pix555

    This announcement is undoubtedly a recipe for disaster! Sounds very much like the Kodak strategy that put them out of business.

  • UthinkU know what I don’t know

    The company is dying……Great! 10-15 year from now all my Nikon equipments would consider an antique.

  • decisivemoment

    I can see where Nikon would want to find ways of boosting profit as they’ve had a rough year, and I can see that the market they’re dealing with is kind of saturated to the point that boosting profit by boosting volume is going to be tough.

    What makes me nervous about this statement is that I don’t see anything about adding value in return for these higher prices, in the form of things like much better customer service, faster repairs, more reliability, better quality control, a more consistent customer experience from one country to the next, and a more consistent user experience from one camera body to the next in which their entire product line is treated as a truly integrated system that you can keep adding to as opposed to having to give up on in certain cases. Would it be too much for them to simply attain Canon and Sigma levels of service by getting all repair turnarounds under a week? Is it really that hard to settle on the zoom and playback controls on the left of the screen all being in the same order, rather than some cameras having zoom in above zoom out and others with the reverse? Why do the V-series Nikon 1 bodies not have an SC flash cable or Commander mode in order to use CLS flash?

    The situation we’ve got now is one in which the V-bodies can’t run the high-profit full-size Speedlights except with old-fashioned SU-4 mode; the D610 and D800 don’t integrate well together because the zoom controls are reversed, thus encouraging the D800 user to buy the cheaper, lower-profit D7100 as a backup rather than the D610 because at least the controls are more or less in the same place; and many pros have given up on Nikon entirely and resigned themselves to Canon’s shadow banding and intolerance of exposure errors simply because Nikon’s customer and repair service is so poor.

    Nikon has the strongest technology portfolio in the business. But there’s no glue, no leadership, pulling it all together. Design teams and foreign subsidiaries seem to exist in a vacuum from one another, and a bean-counting, cost-cutting management culture seems endemic. Does it seem reminiscent of GM in the 1980s?

  • Corporate Slave

    Cutting production costs, reducing the number of models and keeping inventories down are going to improve their cost position. However, none of those will sell them a single camera. Offering innovative and reliable products and providing a good customer service will

    Let’s hope Nikon does it right

    • Anton PupkIn

      Me and my friends heve very positive experience of the Nikon Service in Germany.

      • RBR

        You are fortunate. My experience with NikonUSA customer support should make them eternally great flu you can not reach through the phone line and…. You get the idea.

  • ronin

    Nikon has been riding a bubble for the last 10 years as the interest in fine digital photography has grown. This is a bubble it never saw during film years.

    During film years, Nikon could sell very fine FM2 bodies for $210 US, and even allowing for inflation that’s a nice point. The body would not be obsolete in 20 years. Lenses were cheap. Nikon abided.

    The recent digital boom resulted in cameras costing a huge amount of money. People bought them. More, people became convinced that they had to replace the bodes in 18 months. More, people became convinced that even full frame lenses were no good unless they cost a fortune for brand new ones that would really ‘let the sensor give good results.’

    This boom was unsustainable, and Nikon should have planned for that. People can’t afford to get new thousand dollar bodies every couple years. The $500 two-lens DSLR you got four Christmases ago still work fine, and will probably work another four Christmases.

    The problem for manufacturers is not just cell phones. It is that their products are too expensive. Way too expensive. People can’t afford $900 35/2.8 lenses (looking at you, Sony).

    Product churn is not working any more, with fewer and lesser innovations apparent. Coming out with parts-bins cameras like the lovely Df is a cynical attempt to premium price a non-premium model. It’s a desperation move.

    I think Nikon has to hunker down, because the bubble is over, was never sustainable in the first place. They should have ridden it while they could, not interpret it as the new normal.

    This is the new normal. Fewer products selling, a satiated market. And a market more and more unwilling to part with hard-earned cash.

    Nikon’s new price model is risky.

    • Anton PupkIn

      it is not Nikon’s problem, it is the problem of the whole market, which relied on a constantly growing market model. On the one side the level of the devices is way higher then most people need. On the other, there is little real progress in IQ (see Canon’s 5D3 and 6D vs. 5Dmk2), on the third side people have less money now. So cameramakers have abused their horse.

  • Zero Equals Infinity

    The prescription: Make a cheaper camera, sell it at a higher price, and create value in the mind of the consumer via style and marketing.

    I thought I was buying a camera, not high fashion.

  • Plug

    Nikon have to be very careful about quality and price when one considers the new Sigma Art Series. For a company with Nikon’s reputation the relative optical quality of these lenses, though not neccesarily the build quality, should be a particular concern.

  • FredBear

    “We plan to maintain this product mix, but we will cut costs and ensure profitability by reducing the number of models.”
    So little likelihood of a D400 and some cameras to go down the tubes – probably D5000 as Nikon are pushing the FF models it would appear.

  • ronin

    From a cost reduction standpoint, I don’t know how much more they can do. The already have as efficient production lines as possible, and ignored duplicate lines (else the Thailand tidal waves wouldn’t have hurt so much).

    They used off the shelf components for a new high end camera, the Df, rather than develop new ones.

    It would be difficult to cut consumer product support any more.

    So what can it mean:
    Extended product life cycles. Don’t expect a D800 follow on for some time.

    Reduced new product development. No major new innovations in some years now, and no innnovations on the horizon.

    Increased reliance on fashion and marketing. Sell the sizzle not the product, at what we hope is a high-end price tag.

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