Nikon D3s, “the unicorn”

Today even Engadget chimed in on the lack of Nikon D3s stock in various stores and this the official word they got from a Nikon spokesman:

"A company spokesperson has told us this week that there's nothing more to blame than extraordinary demand, seeing how a single factory produces units for the entire world"

The rumor mill says otherwise: the first rumor I heard was that the delay (at least in Europe) was caused by that volcano with the weird name in Iceland. The second tip I received recently is even crazier:

"I was talking to the Nikon rep at the *** today and he told me that one reason for the shortage of various Nikon items in Europe at the moment is the 'loss' (possible theft) of a shipping container full of Nikon equipment whilst in transit from the Far East."

Maybe pirates? They was another tip few weeks ago (from a different source) that a container with Nikon SB-600 flashes got damage during transport.

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  • First again, yeah! 😀

  • The rest of the world might still be waiting, but it only took me about 4 weeks of backorder at B&H to get mine. They’re shipping ’em out as fast as they get them, but that’s happening slowly but steadily.

  • mfotom

    damn pirates!!! Arrrr. they got some nice things in somalia.

    • The invisible man

      Pirates from Somalia should go to school and learn how to read.
      They need ship marked “FOOD” not “NIKON”.

    • SBGrad

      Somebody go find those pirates and get them to send me one of the 100-500mm teles they stole!

  • Nikon Canon

    From the D700 thread,: Short supply = discontinued.. 🙂 May be?

  • Phillip

    I would think the World Cup starting next month could also increase demand for the D3s.

  • Anonymous

    charlie the unicorn!

  • Bruno

    The country is named Iceland, not Island.

    • Iceland=English. Island=All scandinavian languages (including Icelandic) plus German. So in many ways it’s called Island, too 😉

    • A Viking

      …not according to the native inhabitants at least (btw, “Is” means “Ice”).

  • Charles

    News Release: The Nikon D800 was shipped to dealers last month, but pirates took the cameras to Somalia. Nikon will not replenish the supplies until 7/2011.

  • Photogradstudent

    So all the new Nikon stuff (unused) I’ve been seeing on craigslist is due to pirates? Damn it!

    Gotta make sure you get the original reciept that’s for sure.

  • The invisible man

    LOL !
    Let’s blame on the volcano !
    Everyday I’m shipping my TC all over the world and so far not even 1 got late !
    I think Nikon should let me handle the D3s packaging and shipping !

  • daniel

    Where’s the D4 already!??!!?!!?
    I need 200 AF points!!!

  • The Raze

    Bruno —>
    Quote: “The country is named Iceland, not Island.”

    In Icelandic, it’s called “Ísland”

  • Hobbit

    New Rumor: I have inside info that the D800 will be released on December 21, 2012.

    • Anonymous

      to record the world’s end, lolz…

    • enesunkie

      I thought 12/12/12 was the end of the world!

    • Banned

      Ok what’s up with this world end rumor? Why 12/12/12 and not, say, 6/6/66? On 6/6/66 nothing happened. Why on 12/12/12 then?

  • Gonads

    where’s my new camera already :O

  • Why would you need a D4 already?

    You can’t even push the D3 to the limits

    • zzddrr

      Especially when you cannot even buy it.

    • enesunkie

      I can’t drive a car faster than 65mph (legally) anywhere near home but if I could afford a Lamborgini Countach, I’d buy one of them AND a D4 when it comes out! People don’t need 5,000 sq.ft. homes, but if they can afford them, they can justify them in there minds.

  • No D3s stock here in the Phil also. Been waiting for several months now.

    • Anonymous

      Henry’s has it,

      • Really they have stock? Hoping its Columbia (legit Nikon dealer in the Phil) warranty. Its hard to buy grey units with a pro body. I bought my d3 at Columbia and broke my shutter already in less than a year, it has 356k shutter count, good thing its Columbia warranty if not they would have charged me twice the amount. I paid Php18k to replace the shutter of my d3. I had my sb800 fixed there also and they gave an estimate of 7k++, but when they check that it was a grey unit they immediately changed the amount to 14k++

        • oops sorry not less a year but in about 3 years. Its my d300 that broke in less than a year.

  • Bryan

    Pirates huh? That’s a shame.

    On a completely unrelated note, I have 10,000 D3s’s for sale, $800 each. While supplies last 🙂

  • zzddrr

    Simply, Nikon did not do the homework. The argument that they 1 factory that produces is not true. I mean, it’s true that Sendai produces but when they produced the D3 they did not have problems. I think it is more have to do with Nikon got the big middle finger from sony and others and Nikon cannot get enough 12MP sensors anymore. The point is that Nikon stuck too long at 12MP now it cannot even get the sensor.

  • low

    D3S > *

  • zzddrr

    Hey, I know why we cannot find products except crap from Nikon. Just read their financials its there. Basically to make it look like the losses are not that bad they cut all inventory to almost zero so no wonder they have nothing. Now, this inventory boils down to ordering parts as well for all the 12MP Nikon beauty.

    I think it is just a shame for Nikon and it is full of BS that the demand is that high. Didn’t that fuckin’ idiaots at Nikon get the memo that World Cup is coming about 4yrs ago? I guess they could not figure out this.

    • Banned

      Yes they did and they released a superb camera called D3. If that’s not good enough for you to shoot the WC then you should change jobs.

  • Mike Bisnett

    I have been waiting for over 3 months for the new TC 20E III from adorama!! Why does Nikon sell so many items when they do not have enough in stock to sell? I can see a few weeks to maybe a month but multiple month delays are not reasonable. I dumped all my Canon equipmet when I ordered my new Nikon stuff, come on Nikon get me the stuff I ordered.

    • Mikils

      3 MONTHS for TC20 III? I got mine from Cameta via ebay just fine, and I had it shipped from US to Italy!

  • Ronan

    Canon Fanboys going crazy… they are now attacking container ships… xD

    • Canon Fangirly

      Actually it was a horde of wild Canon amazons.

  • MM

    If anyone is interested in purchasing mine, let me know. NEW pretty much, used just once. Have original receipt from bhphoto, was purchased less than 2 months ago from Bhphoto.

  • Me

    But wait! Ninjas are from Japan like Nikon…so that means pirates can beat Nijias?

  • zzddrr

    No matter how I look at this story but it is a shame for Nikon. I guess the new president of Nikon (or Ni-con) just stepped into something really stinky. Probably it was not the smaertest idea to fire those poor employees of Nikon (aka Ni-con). I wonder about what conversations do they have nowadays around the Nikon boardroom. Perhaps they just constantly watch 2 movies:
    1) Volcano
    2) Pirates of the Caribbean I, II, and III
    This keeps them busy and that’s why they don’t show up in the Sendai factory.

  • Huggs

    I would love to get one of those D3s from that “lost” container.

  • The pirate thing was a joke, ok?

    • I think this would have been a better image for this post:
      The lost Nikon

      • Richard

        I am locking for a seller with wood-leg and eye patch.

    • Huggs

      I know, but a guy can dream.

    • Yeah, the pirating did sound a little off. But still, cargo ships lose many, many containers every year. If Nikon were stupid enough to put all pro gear in the same basket, (almost like the Polish government flying in the same airplane) then I’m not surprised this happened. The following site probably has the worst web design in the world, but it’s worth it considering the contents they’ve got:

      (scroll down or follow the links for the pictures of shipping losses ;))


    • The visible woman

      Peter, I really like the D3s picture, very nice work, where did you get it from ?
      Is it possible to download it in larger size (1600×1200) ?
      Thank you.

  • Tim

    Interesting, here in EU i know 2 stores just in my town that have the camera on hand. Just walk in and buy… any1 want 1 for some extra $$? 🙂

  • Simon

    Nothing to do with volcanic ash because deliver y is by shipping. More likely it is not selling in enough numbers so production is cut. It is no longer profitable to keep producing numbers that greatly exceed sales hence the shortage if people want to buy.The 5DMk2 is wiping the floor against high end Nikon.

    • jimmy

      prove it.

  • Habitak

    I’m still waiting since 2 months for my D3s here in switzerland. I hope I will get one before the summer.

  • M!

    i’m glad i had mine since 2009 december. 😀

  • Habitak

    Next time I will buy at the first day of release, maybe will be that faster.

  • Ant

    Nikon running down their inventory for year end in March is the most likely culprit. They will have received components in April. Add on a couple of weeks to manufacture and the shipping times and I guess you’ll see stock arriving mid June.

    • Habitak

      I hope so. In July I have important job, where I need it.

  • GC

    A highly plausible explanation is that the D3s sensor and other components from the D3s are being allocated to ramp up production on a new model. The D3s sensor in particular, is a very large CMOS chip whose cost and availability is determined by yields. Only a limited number can be produced in a given month.

    If Nikon wanted to fill their distribution pipeline with a new model to replace the D700 that uses the same D3s sensor, and the D3s sensor is production-limited, then you would see a “shortage” of D3s cameras while sensors were reallocated to production of the new camera model. Whenever you introduce a new model, you have to produce greater than normal volumes initially, in order to fill the distribution pipeline, especially if you are expecting a high initial demand for the product.

  • alex

    in europe is easily available
    it’s even on sale in some countries

  • Just A Thought

    Volcano ash does not affect shipping by sea. Camera gear for distribution is not shipped by Air. Besides they could have flown East to West with no problem – landed in Berlin (or a bit further East – say Poland) and then distributed everything by train. BTW if Global Warming was real then those pesky glaciers would have melted and there would not be any Volcano Ash – just lava flows like in Hawaii..

    What country is in the news lately? Greece ?
    What country is huge in shipping by sea? Greece ?
    In what country are the unionized dock workers refusing to work? Greece?
    Do you think that the cameras made it to Greece and are now stuck because no one wants to transfer the containers to another freighter headed for Northern Europe?

    I wonder how long it will take for someone to go thru the shipping manifests and figure out just how valuable the contents of those containers are? Who is this Nippon Kogaku and what the heck is this D3S thing in those containers? Lets go have a peak.?

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