Nikon losing market share in Japan

Bloomberg published an article on the current mirrorless camera market based on latest BCN ranking results. In 2011 mirrorless camera sales surged in Japan compared to previous years. With the lack of mirrorless solutions, Canon and Nikon’s combined share in Japan has fallen by 35%, while Sony’s share has doubled.

This is what a Tokyo-based analyst said on this topic:

“Mirrorless cameras are a threat, if the western geographies follow the same pattern as Asia, then it will be negative for Nikon and Canon.”

The articles mentioned also a quote from a Nikon spokeswoman:

"Nikon has completed development of a next-generation camera and is considering when it will reveal the product."

This Bloomberg article will probably explain why Nikon will release a mirrorless camera before a new full frame DSLR later this month.

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  • I guess you meant losing, not loosing.

    • I don’t get it. How can the most innovative camera company lose market share??

      • Patrick hall

        Well they aren’t that innovative if they are being outsold on something they haven’t yet made 🙂

      • InfraRed

        Because size matters!
        – Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Ricoh can assign ten times more engineers to a project
        – They can repurpose existing imaging technologies
        – They start from a blank sheet of paper; They have to be innovative and take risks.
        – They have access to signifficant shelve space and executive relationships with large retailers
        – They can dedicate resources for co- marketing activities in addition to advertizing budget. Their push-pull is more attractive to BestBuy, Ritz, FNAC in Europe or even Walmart (although P&S are a better fit for this market).
        My two cents!

        • iamlucky13

          They can’t really dump 10 times more engineers, etc at a project unless they think it will yield 10 times more than they would get with 1x engineers – their development programs have to pay for themselves just like Nikon’s have to.

          However, if they think they have a promising project, they do typically have more engineers available to shift around to it. They may not be experienced in design of the specific product (and I think sometimes it shows), but they can be made available.

          As far as taking risks and being innovative: absolutely. The small players have to be different than the behemoths. You can’t start a new fast food restaurant based on being a clone of McDonald’s. McDonald’s will kill you based on brand recognition (not to mention economy of scale – it’s hard to create a supply chain and work process that can make a 99 cent cheeseburger profitable). You’ve got to differentiate. In the food industry, that’s typically by offering higher quality, advertising sustainable practices, or simply coming up with different flavors and styles.

        • > Because size matters!
          It matters in both directions ;~)

          > – Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Ricoh can assign ten times more engineers to a project
          Well, they could. But I suspect that they’ve read the Mythical Man Month. If they haven’t, well, I suppose I should short their stock. But beyond that point, there’s another: just because a company is big doesn’t mean that its camera division is. Indeed, putting too much expense into a smaller division that then doesn’t produce the bang is a good way for a big company to get smaller. I assume you’re trying to say that Nikon is too small to compete with Sony Imaging’s budget. Funny thing is, Nikon Imaging is one of the five largest imaging divisions in the world. The number of engineers they have and the amount they spend on R&D is competitive.

          > – They can repurpose existing imaging technologies
          Nothing is stopping Nikon from doing so.

          > – They start from a blank sheet of paper;
          So can Nikon. The question is whether there’s a real need to do so or not. Considering that Nikon thinks they’re on target to make a billion dollar profit this year and the majority of that is being driven by the camera division, I suspect that their perception of the urgency to introduce incompatible new systems is lower than you or Bloomberg suggests ;~).

          > They have to be innovative and take risks.
          Here I would agree with you. Nikon and Canon have for so long locked up the higher end camera market that it’s difficult for anyone else to out maneuver them by just playing the me-too game. Thus, the other players HAVE to take risks. Given that we know that Nikon has a mirrorless system they think is competitive sitting in their back pocket and has for some time, I think the logical conclusion is that Nikon didn’t feel that they had to play that card yet. The real question is Canon, where it doesn’t seem there is a mirrorless system ready any time soon.

          > – They have access to signifficant shelve space and executive relationships with large retailers
          True in one sense, but these days you PAY for shelf space. I have to wonder what’s happening in that huge section that Best Buy reconfigured to show a gazillion tablets. We’ve already had one major player fizzle out there, with several others looking like they won’t be far behind. Big Box shelf space is dangerous, as HP just found out. When you stuff hundreds of thousands of units into a Big Box and they don’t sell, the results are not pretty. Put another way, you have to manage to get those units OUT of the Big Box and into customer hands, and that’s a daunting task, especially since Nikon and Canon still have profit margin they can give up to create price wars.

          > – They can dedicate resources for co- marketing activities in addition to advertizing budget.
          Here in the US, the most successful push/pull program has been run by Nikon for several years running (Panasonic gets most dealer’s, including Big Boxes, nod for worst).

          • paf

            “…The real question is Canon, where it doesn’t seem there is a mirrorless system ready any time soon…”

            Perhaps Canon knows that the EVIL realm is going to be cutthroat for a while and they prefer to dominate the DSLR and compact market instead? In a sense, a high quality compact offers pretty much the same features mirrorless can – so if the formula ain’t broke why fix it? Manufacturing resources aren’t infinite and to enter a competition like the mirrorless market right now it means to shift from other priorities weakening the production #’s and sales of the other side of the biz. Once the dust settles there still will be a market for DSLRs and pocket sized zoom compacts and perhaps Canon cares to position itself to be the leader in those 2 areas.

          • NG42

            If the rumors about the sensor and lenses of the upcoming mirrorless system are correct it sounds extremely uninspiring. We’ll see what the final camera can do- but I suspect it will be a failure. Not a failure on the level of a Pentax Q but there won’t be the massive sales Nikon is expecting. We’ll see.

            • SiliconVoid

              They are ‘uninspiring’ and that is because they is no real benefit of the mirrorless systems other than as a gadget, another electronic gadget. The fastest focusing mirrorless system us still ten times slower than the slowest dslr, you cannot follow a moving subject looking at the display, the bodies are too small to provide any functional controls, the list goes on. Why consumers are whinning about mirrorless bodies from the only two professional imaging companies I cannot say. I am sure Canon and Nikon will have them eventually, but when that happens, how soon that happens, most photographers could care less.

            • SiliconVoid

              Sorry for the spelling – stupid iPhone spellcheck… =/

      • Lonnie Utah

        It’s not. Didn’t the article say that Sony’s market share is increasing…

    • matgay


      • Rob

        Doesn’t matter how many cameras you have or how great they are without the pro glass.

        • Bigus Dickus

          there is lot of pro Zeiss glass for sony

          • Sahaja

            A lot of pro Zeiss glass for Sony?
            16-35mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f2.8, 135mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.4, 24mm f2.0.

            Nice lenses, but I wouldn’t call 5 lenses “a lot”. If you are willing to go with manual focus primes, there are more Zeiss lenses (ZF, ZE) available for Nikon and Canon. Those lenses don’t come in A mount.

        • Lonnie Utah

          And you can adapt about anything you want to the NEX system. I’ve seen pics out of a nex5 taken with a $10K Leica 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux that were simply amazing. Think about that for a second. A $10K lens on a $600 camera. A sensor and body that is regarded highly enough that folks will use it with some of the best glass ever produced.

          And BTW, you can fit that body in your shirt pocket….

      • Robert Falconer

        It comes down to three things here:

        1) Useful pro glass that is not just high quality, but with optical formulations that are color consistent across the range.

        2) The system’s the thing – Nikon’s pro system and accessories blows Sony’s out of the water.

        3) Legacy. Pro reputations don’t happen over night. They’re hard to cultivate and difficult to keep. Nikon lost some of this market share to Canon for a while, but regained most of it with FX. Sony is unlikely to be taken seriously by professionals for along time to come. If ever.

        4) Ergonomics. Nikon has been building pro cameras for much longer than most of the posters on this forum have been alive. They know how to build cameras that work well, handle well…and do both in extremely trying conditions.

        • Sky

          1. Zeiss, Sony G, Minolta G. Plus: Sony cameras are actually more respected for their colors than Nikon ever was.

          2. Well, Sony just starts to aim at pro market so no wonder that they don’t have any recent pro-accessories, though they catch up quickly (external screen, quick-shift flashes, coldshoe, etc)

          3. Minolta legacy. it’s actually longer than Nikon camera legacy, though certainly not as known and acknowledged as Nikon. Plus: many people, including Pros, have no idea that Sony DSLR/SLT division is made of Minolta engineers.

          4. Sony is actually best-scored for ergonomics of all systems by the users, even if it lags badly behind Nikon in other matters. They have really good interfaces and well-made bodies if you only keep the mind open and look above entry-level cameras (though even them outclass Nikon alternatives in real-life ergonomics).

          Right now the greatest issue Sony has is customer support. There are no programs made for pro-photographers and that’s a huge issue when comparing A-mount with EOS or F-mount.

        • Sahaja

          If Sony double the number of ZA lenses, and update some more of the best Minolta lenses, they will start to look like a much more serious system.

          Colour and tone rendition of Sony cameras is already good (some feel better than Nikon) – but Nikon still beat them on high iso using basically the same sensors.

          The a900 and a 850 were the first generation of Sony cameras used by pros – give it another 2 generations and many more pros could be taking them seriously.

          Customer support. Sony already have a pro service network for cine and video cameras – it wouldn’t take much to include pro service for their top end still cameras in that network.

          Sony software (JPEG engine, RAW conversion) is not up to scratch – but that isn’t hard to fix.

          Flash system etc is poor – but that should not be too difficult for an electronics company to fix.

          If they make one, a full frame camera similar to the NEX 7 would certainly make a lot of pros sit up and notice.

          Sony are now the number one camera sensor manufacturer – and sensors are now getting almost as important to a camera systems success as lenses. But Sony certainly do need more top quality lenses to really compete with Canon and Nikon at the top end.

  • Bart B

    This will speed up things 🙂

  • wake up call….

    • Carlos R B


    • Noktonite

      It’s a wake up call, but Nikon is answering the call with a smaller than M4/3 sensored mirrorless camera. Nikon might as well be in a coma.

      Nikon, please bring out a Full Frame Mirrorless camera that can accept Leica & Voigtlander M lenses (with adapter). If you don’t, Sony and Fuji will beat you to the market with theirs in 2012.

      By keeping the registration distance short, and hopefully a large mount diameter. Almost any lens ever made could be adapted to the system. This could include a specialized F mount AF adapter in the future.

      Wake Up Nikon!!!

      • Joahnna

        Nikon Losing Market Share….maybe because there still hasn’t been an update to the D700 or D3s….

  • patrick
  • Trevor

    Again, I think this bodes well for Nikon’s mirrorless. The Asian markets apparently have been demanding smaller. Nikon’s smaller than 43 sensor has a big edge here.

    • Lnoseda

      So we’re going to get some idiot mirrorless cameras just because Japanese need a camera that fits in their tiny handbags?? WTF!

      • lolly

        smaller is better … even for a pro 😉

        • jacob

          In this case smaller is worse, because you can’t get even “same” performance from a small sensor.

        • matgay


      • It’s going to hurt, but you aren’t the centre of the universe. Get over it. 😛

        • sirin

          you should use spoiler alert next time. )

  • d

    I’ve just come back from Japan. micro43 cameras e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, though surprisingly I didn’t see many Sonys, it was mostly Olympus and a few Panasonics.

  • It was obvious this would happen.

  • chuck

    No worries, Japanese are smaller folk and thus mirrorless is a bigger deal for them. Real men photographers have no need for mirrorless. Lets be honest size matters, and bigger is bettter!

    • ya might be forgetting *these japanese folks MADE the DSLRs we have now, they are the real MEN ;p

      • Banned

        Yea or maybe they just copied on us westerners as usual, because back in the 70 the Japanese were like the Chinese now.

        • and which western camera company would that be that they were copying?

          • Kon_head

            Kodak brownies.. 🙂


              And where is Kodak, now? 🙂

            • enesunkie

              Rochester, NY 🙂

        • IanZ28

          Racism much?

          Or do you actually have a valid explanation for this idiotic statement?

          • Nikonlvr

            How is his comment racist?

            The average Japanese male is 5′ 6.5″, the average American male is 5′ 9.5″

            Its a fact we are bigger Mr. PC don’t even elude to the fact that we aren’t all equal in every possible way.

            Feel better?

            Oh btw what every Nikon makes is better.

            • IanZ28

              Maybe you should learn to follow the lines in order to figure out who someone is replying too?

    • it’s all about my FX


      Them: Smaller bodies, bigger brains.

      You: Bigger body, smallest brain.

    • Even if this wasn’t an idiotic reply, or a try at funnyism on the internets, it basically blows in the face of 40 years of SLR development, where SLR cameras were not much larger than rangefinders. Current SLR’s are massive, and only getting bigger. The only small SLR’s are plastic and can’t use old lenses.

      Nikon’s stodgy strategy of bigger is better and there must be every option inside the large cameras precludes good quality, full-featured small cameras.

      Leica are a European company made by big, beefy Germans. Look how much smaller and nicer they are to tote.

      Nikons from 15 years ago, too, were much smaller, and in a pair of normal sized hands, almost disappeared. Nikon have been drinking the wrong stuff lately.

      • Sahaja

        Yeah, I’ve always wondered about that – the Japanese have always been masters of militarization and simplicity but Nikon cameras seem to get ever bigger and more complex – while it’s the Germans who can still make a small simple full frame camera . Heck even the Leica S2, with a bigger sensor, is smaller than a Nikon D3.

        Nikon, please give us full frame digital equivalents of the FM3a and SP2 alongside the hulking DSLRs.

  • jesse

    Meh. Not for me. This could create some market separation though. I hope Nikon does well in that segment.

  • This certainly explains a lot and confirms my and others suspicions why Nikon would rather throw a lot of attention and funds to capture the upward movement in the mirrorless camera market, instead of making semi- and pro- DSLR users happy first with the upgrades and new development in their higher-end camera market.

    Nikon following the money trail. Unfortunately, for more advanced users it means longer wait in line, while grey masses have their fun first.

    • I think this is exactly what is going on.

      • Carlos R B

        Well, if they only announce what you told us, they are not doing their job very well. Slow (2.8) fixed lenses and smaller sensor (unless something new and great) will not compete against what others are offering…

        • Banned

          Exactly, if I have to invest in a new lens system for the Nikon mirrorless and on top of this it has a smaller sensor I would rather go to 4/3…

          • MJr

            m4/3 has some really interesting high-end lenses today so yea

        • LGO

          The Nikon mirrorless with an estimated 10-12mp 2.7x sensor plus the rumored 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens for this camera means that the lens needs to be shot wide-open at its long end as it is already at the limit of the lens theoretical maximum resolving ability.

          Nikon’s primary differentiating trait is its skills in making good lenses. This will clearly not the emphasis if Nikon releases only slow lenses.

      • paf

        I tend to agree with this…

        Which brings us to a point that Nikon is becoming quite reactive not proactive. So they will try to go up against a giant like Sony and other mirrorless boxes who already have a strong presence. A total misallocation of resources while putting other priorities (DSLR and lens market) down the priority ladder. As far as I am concerned they already lost the EVIL battle by being simply late to the game. And this catch-up strategy is costing them FF+video market share that could still promote their “secondary products”. While I am not a CEO — I just can’t see how the EVIL camera will magically catapult Nikon to the #1 spot. It was the Pro gear that always sold the “not so pro” items for Nikon not the other way around — and by shifting away from this marketing strategy Nikon all of a sudden becomes “one of the crowd”. Oh well…

        • jacob

          +1 Well said!

        • Lonnie Utah

          The real problem here for Canon/Nikon is early establishment. Sony learned that hard lesson long ago. Remember the Betamax? Sony does too. VHS by all accounts was an inferior product, but got to the market first, and got the early toe hold, and eventually won the war. I think the NEX has surprised even Sony with it’s popularity.

    • Moth Flopwell

      But? Why couldn’t They and Canon do both? What am I missing here? This is what I truly don’t understand about Nikon and Canon.

      There is a major market for mirrorless cameras…and please don’t forget kiddies…mirrorless doesn’t have to be in the smaller cameras….why not DSLR?

      I truly believe that Sony has a major hit on their hands in the A77 and Nex77…and with the new Full Frame A99.

      IT truly looks from our vantage point..and if NR is correct, the new DSLR that is about to be announced from Nikon is the D3100 replacement..that Nikon is not going to give the Semi- and Pro’s their Camera till the end of the year or next year. Which is truly 100% frustrating.

      Because the new announcement is the D3200 and plus their own version of mirrorless design on Sept 21st.

      • Sahaja

        The NEX 7 is already out-selling the A77 and neither camera is released. Yet there are virtually no native E-mount lenses. A full frame camera similar to the NEX 7 could be even more of a killer than an A99.

    • iamlucky13

      I’ve been saying for a while that the development pace of DSLR’s is bound to slow down as genuine innovations become harder and harder to achieve, and incremental improvements become less and less significant.

      Going from 2 MP to 4 MP, and then to 8 MP are all very significant. At that point you can print very good 8×10’s, and often acceptable larger images. Going from 8 MP to 16 MP is less so. Especially when you factor lens resolution in, going to 24 or 32 MP (especially on APS-C) benefits only a few to a significant degree. Only a few among us need to print bigger than what they can reasonably achieve from 12-16 MP.

      Of course I expect those who need to print big to clamor for higher resolutions, but with each step, the number of users whose needs aren’t satisfied decreases, and therefore so does the payback to manufacturers. At the same time, the technical challenges increase.

      Likewise for ISO capabilities. A camera with a maximum useable ISO of 100 is extremely limiting. Each step up to, I’d say, about ISO 1600 is very useful. Somewhere around that point, you start to be capable of getting good images of sports activities through fast lenses under stadium lights. Very few people are trying to photograph bats in flight on a moonless night.

      Again, that kind of capability is potentially useful for some, but it’s a small market.

      Mirrorless is almost certainly distracting resources from SLR development, but I still contend that’s not all that is in play here. Same for video – it may not be something many serious users are clamoring for, but once Live View was proven out, video was relatively straightforward to implement, and casual users viewed it as must have technology.

      • Danyyyel

        Why do people always say stupid things as if the video side is for the people that are serious in photography. The contrary is happening, more and more pro photographers are told to shoot video with their photography. I do commercial and wedding photography. The other day I was talking to the video guys who does most of the filming with me. He wanted to know more about the HDslr since more and more of his competitors were using at least on hdslr. The consensus was simple the future of wedding photography and video will be two people with hdslr and perhaps a traditional camera on tripod. Imaging a world that you are filming and taking shots as seem fit. Two people would replace at least 3 to 4 because you would have so many point of view. One could concentrate more on the photo and the other on the video, but in the end the sum of the two would ad up to be much more than the two separately.

  • MrPink

    I dunno, Nikon would have to come out with something spectacular (for me) to even consider their mirrorless solution… given the smaller sensor…

    • Ke

      I guess their ‘something spectacular’ will be the focus system & hopefully a few 1.8 primes.

  • D700guy

    there ya go. They’re going to panic over potential lost revenue on these rediculous little mirrorless rigs, while the pro DSLR products will be put off indefinitely.

  • BetaHal

    Mirrorless with big sensors are serious photographic tools. Everything else is a passing phase. I’m not saying that you couldn’t do something useful with small sensors (like the one expected to appear on the next nikon mirrorless), but IMHO the immediate success of the Sony NEX7 on amazon is a clear indication of what people are going to ask from this kind of camera…

    • Moth Flowell

      You are 100% correct. If you go over to Amazon. com….The Sony Nex77, when announced…jump to 2nd in pre-sales…without anyone seeing and touching it in person. Major Coup for Sony. I am impressed. I am a Nikon user..and it seems my Nikon is slow to take care of my needs.

      WE all know that the cycle of a D300, D700, D3s, and so on is about 3 years…Well I think Nikon needs to re-think that practice. Tech in these cameras changes much quicker now.

  • I like to think I have something big, sturdy and elegant when I’m taking photos, if even for money. Its as if Hollywood suddenly switched to DSLRs because they’re smaller, doesn’t make sense. Either you get a DSLR for the performance, or a P&S for portability, or a bridge for slightly of both worlds… I’ll stick with mirror’s until there’s good reason to switch, and not for the fact that I’ll be carrying a smaller camera.

    • But SLR’s were never so big as they are today. SLR’s are breaking their own heritage. It has nothing at all to do with quality. My wife’s D5000 takes far better photos in most situations than my D200 has even though it is smaller.

      What SLR’s do better than rangefinders is telephoto and macro. Nothing else, really. If people get annoyed with you because you have massive AFS lenses and a massive camera and you cannot take the shot, or because everything is so heavy, you have to stop the hike short, you are not taking the shot.

      Naturally, quality is 100% worse in those situations. The size of the camera has nothing to do with quality, unless a small camera has no viewfinder, so you have to hold at arms’ length, inducing camera shake.

      I was an FM2 user, and now I’m considering selling it and my D200 in two years and not coming back to Nikon. Owning AiS lenses for their size and build quality is silly now. To equal or better their quality, I have to pay 2x more than any AiS lens was ever, PLUS pay for heavier, bulkier stuff.

      No wonder Sony are doing well. If Nikon could make smaller 35mm~ SLR’s with good finders, they would make a number of enthusiasts and a number of non-burly adventurers would enjoy more freedom.

      I’d love to stay, but no way. I don’t for the size/heft investment needed to stay in the SLR camp.

  • Dandydon

    It’s all about time to market. The early bird gets the worm and Sony was the early bird.

  • Anonymous

    Goes to show the demand for smaller cameras and why Nikon is trying to get the Coolpixes out.

  • Ren Kockwell

    Good to know that the Nikon rep quoted a few threads ago was right when he said, “No one is really asking for mirrorless.” Nikon is conservative and slow and they’re paying the price in lost market share. A retarded monkey could have read this niche 3-5 years ago if he didn’t have his head up his ass. Nikon wants to follow on strategy and innovate on tactics at this point (i.e. let mirrorless emerge, learn from first-to-marketers mistakes and capitalize). It’s marketing vulturism, and it’s a game better played by behemoths like Panasonic, Samsung and Sony. That’s why it’s all the more disappointing that Nikon is not trying to innovate from the start more. They behave like a company 10 times their size. They need to understand that brand reach and brand legacy are two different things entirely.

  • Gary

    Mirrorless/EVIL will replace the DSLR the way digital replaced film. Everyone here clamoring for new DSLRs are going to be disappointed, expect new DSLRs to come out haphazardly and slowly over the next few years before tapering off to nothing.

    DSLRs are bulky stopgaps that make about as much sense in a digital imaging workflow as putting a fake plastic horse in front of your car to make it resemble a horse and buggy. Photographers liked DSLRs because they were familiar and felt pretty much like a film camera, except you didn’t have to spend money on film or wait for processing. The general public thinks DSLRs are too big and heavy to carry around. I agree with them, if I could get FF image quality and RAW out of a mirrorless body I’d switch in a second. Why not eliminate all those moving, failure prone parts, weight, and bulk?

    Mirrorless is the future. DSLRs are the past. You don’t want to hear this but it’s true.

    • BetaHal

      “When Theremin provided an instrument with genuinely new possibilities, Thereministes did their utmost to make the instrument sound like some old instrument, giving it a sickeningly sweet vibrato, and performing upon it, with difficulty, masterpieces from the past. Although the instrument is capable of a wide variety of sound qualities, obtained by the turning of a dial, Thereministes act as censors, giving the public those sounds they think the public will like” (Cage 1973, 4)

    • kyoshinikon

      There is one thing that compact cameras haven’t solved… Manual shooting. The D3100 is useless on auto as any mirrorless is just as good but just like film didn’t die neither will dslr’s (maybe as a consumer product) but as an advanced tool
      It’s not going to die soon. I (and some of the pros I know) like the heft and weight of a dslr because it is easier to hold steady in extremely low light settings. Nobody (except possibly leica) has managed to stuff a Fx sensor in a D3100 sized body (although the n50 film body proves it is possible) and without fx many pros will definitely refuse to jump ship…

    • FYI, when my film camera “Zenit ET” died many years ago I went to local photography store specifically to purchase a Canon camera.

      Held and tried a few and then got a Nikon and never looked back.
      I had open mind at that moment and could not care much which brand to pick up, but was looking at Canon because of the seeming popularity of it.

      What swayed me towards pricier Nikon you ask? WEIGHT.
      Canon cameras felt silly and light, while Nikon had the ruggedness and stability that I required.

      Sufficient camera weight (and proper balance) is a must if you are more or less serious about photography, whether it is low light settings or not.

      Needless to say again that professional can take a good picture even with a cell phone, but we are talking about day to day routine here and not creative experiments.

      • Gary

        If you’re really serious, your camera is on a tripod or monopod anyways, and the lens provides plenty of weight for stability. If you’re shooting handheld, then you need to hold the camera for hours and less weight = less fatigue.

        Weight and solidity ‘feels more expensive’ in the store and influences buying decisions emotionally. It has little to do with performance or even ruggedness.

        • There are many circumstances when tripod or even monopod is out of the question that is when your hands and camera stability plays the crucial role.

          I’ve also mentioned a “balance”. Shooting with professional lens attached to a lightweight camera handheld will be very inconvenient, it basic physics if you think about it.

          Personally, I was way beyond being taken on “feels more expensive” tune, having about 10 years of shooting experience at that time and knowing the difference between p&s Lomo and SLR camera. I’ve indicate a switch from “Zenit ET” not for nothing – that SLR had sufficient weight and I would not take anything less.

        • st r

          > If you’re really serious, your camera is on a tripod or monopod anyways

          yes, certainly war reportage (is it serious enough?) can wait for you to place your tripod, level it, and place your camera on the head. Then remove the camera, close your tripod, and move to the next location.

      • kyoshinikon

        It is still comforting psychologically to feel that If you drop or smack your camera against anything It wont break, and based off my track record Nikon Dslrs DON’T break because of their heft(except in really extreme odd circumstances). Iv’e killed several canons for various things (sometimes petty) and am now prefer the weight as it allows me to not focus on the condition of my camera…

        As to tripods I almost never use them because most of my shooting is action sports or in street/art… I will with landscapes and any large format I lay my hands on because I enjoy the precision that goes into landscapes and macro… Always keep a mini tripod on me though…

    • IanZ28

      Japan is a very trend driven market – always needing to have the latest fashion and electronics devices.

      Small mirrorless camera’s are a good fashion accessory especially when looking at the Olympus with a pancake lens.

      It’s quite easy to fit this $1000 accessory in a $2000 purse. Makes the statement “I have class, style, and money”.

      I’m not surprised at all about the success of mirrorless cameras in Japan.

    • jacob

      …and reading your post took minutes of my past, a time I will never get back…an incredible waste.

  • TJ
  • peter

    Some of this I really agree with. The RAW part in these things would really make a lot of us add if not some day switch. That water proof coolpix is an example. If it did RAW I would have gotten one for, if nothing else, all the rain we have been having on the east coast of the USA for so many weeks. I personally don’t like the idea of an E viewfinder, something about it just seems like another potential point of failure ( that may be simply WRONG but I’m not that into everything electronic. But for me the other salient point would be the ability to stick my ‘F’ mount lenses on this EVIL thing. I do photography because I like to take ‘snapshots’ but I also find it very satisfying to go in search of a picture to take that requires extra glass and if Nikon would hear me…

    ‘F’ mount
    water proofy
    big sensor


    • F-mount is cool, but in order for the f-mount to work with f mount lenses, the camera would have to be very thick, and there would be very few advantages to having the small body.

      I’d love for Nikon to bring out a 35mm~ sensor and make a new, shallow distance mount so that it could be adapted to older Nikon lenses, or better, smaller lenses from Leica, Zeiss, and even Pentax.

      It was only since July that I felt how horribly heavy my D200 is to carry around and how much, even with small lenses like the 28 2,8 AiS, how much attention it attracts.

  • Dan blom

    Yeah nikon was great, wish they still made cameras…

  • Merv

    Beside small, which can fit into a purse, these cameras also need to look a bit stylish.

    Having these cameras bought and being shown off by celebrities and celebrity-wannabes is probably far more important image wise than someone like me carrying around their consumer level dSLR + lenses.

  • sflxn

    Nikon needs to get done in by their conservativeness. At one time, Leica was in the same boat, following the same business script. Look at where it lead them. Even as a Nikon DSLR user, I can see the future appears to belong to Sony.

  • grumps

    I agree that Nikon has not been innovative for a long time! Neither in the Pro market or consumer market, some my argue this point, but the figures still show otherwise!

    Sony, Fuji, Pentax, Samsung, Panasonic and Olympus have all been innovative with their camera systems, bringing new ideas into the Market. Canon together with Nikon have been less so.

    Worst still, my brother and I have been thinking about selling all our Nikon gear, I’ve already sold my D700 camera. All that quality glass… I am still thinking if I am sure to let it all go. I’ve also been shooting my 5Dmark II and love it over the D700. Sure Nikon has the absolute best AF System, but that alone in photography isn’t enough!

    Leica too hasn’t so much been innovative as so much changing with the world by offering a FF digital rangefinder, however, that style of photography is for purists and offers great glass at a price, so effectively still a niche market. Nikon has been slow and if Canon follows suite by being slow with what they can bring into the market, surely Sony, Fuji and Pentax might be the heroes of tomorrow! Is it really time for this change?

    • Anonymous

      So you are using Canon now… good for you. Good luck and go troll the Canon boards and stop trolling the Nikon boards. Good riddance!

    • kyoshinikon

      Unlike canon nikon patents a crapload of innovative stuff. Sadly the 14-24mm was the last one that made it to the assembly line…

  • Steve Starr

    For any camera company to get it’s name out in the public, it has to be BIG. If someone sees a huge Nikon DSLR they associate it with a PRO. If they seem the same person holding a small cigarette-packaged sized Casio or Ricoh they think AMATEUR.

    To that extent, smaller is not always better. If one sees a Linhof or Toyo 4×5 view camera out someplace, they don’t think amateur at all.

    Sony can try, but they will never hit pro status. They cannot repair what they make as they would rather replace it with a refurbished product at wholesale prices or dump the line and just move on in 2-3 years. Their audio and video equipment is proof of that. Even their own repair stations don”t want to fix their stuff. Repair has no input to whether or not a product is good or needs an improvement someplace, just dump it and move on. Heaven help you if you need a Sony lens fixed in 3-4 years. It’s obsolete and no parts available.

    Mirrorless? The tablets and iPads and cell phones will kill that sector off faster than it will grow a market share. A Nokia N8 cell phone with a 12GP camera is not far from killing mirrorless as it is now. Why carry a mirrorless camera if your phone can do it? HP learned that outcome the hard way and gave up.

    • Gary

      If a phone or an iPad has an interchangable lens mount and you can put a 500mm super telephoto on it, then maybe. What I am talking about will inevitably replace the DSLR is a mirrorless camera body with FF or medium-format resolution in a small lightweight package. Technology inevitably moves towards smaller physical form and fewer moving parts.

      The arguments I’m seeing against mirrorless and in favor of DSLRs are exactly what film snobs said about digital cameras ten years ago. This is what technology does, it disrupts.

      You will still be able to use your DSLRs ten years from now, and some will still be made, just like film cameras are still periodically made and updated. But the drive of technological progress will be elsewhere. DSLRs will upgrade slowly if at all.

      I think lenses are almost immune to this as optics and the laws of physics and light aren’t likely to change, but who knows. Perhaps some kind of liquid filled lenses will make giant super teles or fast primes obsolete.

    • Spoon

      Don’t mistake consumer support with pro support. Whatever anyone’s experiences are with consumer support (positive or negative), their pro support in the high end video business (think Cine Alta) is incomparable and proves they can do it.

  • grantourismo

    This will be the fall of a former great camera brand, nikon was once a “purist” choice of camera, now the have been run over by sony, sony is the big brother who makes the sensors and taking more and more customers, nikon cant do it on their own anymore. They can´t do anything besides watching sony grow larger and larger while nikon sinks lower and lower. My heart is broken, i grew up with nikon. Nikon for me was the brand that made those masculine amazing performance dslr-s. Now nothing but a memory who´s indipendent of sony. Once again RIP Nikon.

    • IanZ28

      Hahahaha so dramatic.

      So simply because Nikon missed the boat with mirrorless the death toll has begun for Nikon?

      Yeah right.

      Hopefully it will be a wake-up call that Nikon needs to be a little more active and aggressive with design and innovation.

    • paf

      my thoughts exactly…

      The King is dead, long live the King!

      +1 for the pity party (I am in)….

    • Flash

      It is real hard to compete with one of your suppliesr in any field.

      • Lonnie Utah

        ^^ You are 100% right…

  • Bart B

    Quote: “Nikon has completed development of a next-generation camera and is considering when it will reveal the product.”

    I would like to know what makes the mirrorless a next-generation camera?

    What are the innovative features that will make this camera a good choice over a FF Sony or a small 4/3 mirrorless camera?

    • paf

      “I would like to know what makes the mirrorless a next-generation camera?”

      Pretty much what makes each coolpix a “next generation camera”…

      ….more choices of colors
      ….new battery and charger
      ….new menu system
      ….new sticker price
      ….new ads with Ashton

      Shall I go on?

  • This is a very big trend change. In 5 years most IL cameras will be mirrorless, then the top ranges will also go ML. When the D3100 came I asked in the DPR lower forum if that was the last entry-level mirror box camera from Nikon, people jumped on me. Nikon better get the tech quickly or they risk being left out. Video and other aspects, including all-frame focus will be much easier on a ML system, video already is.

    Those that talk against Nikon developing the technology, no matter what the sensor size, don’t seem tograsp the major paradigm changevthat’s under way, the final transition from mechanical/film era to a full electronic based system.

    • Gary

      Yes, it’s not surprising that people here can’t see it. This is what technology does. Go back to film if you want things to stay the same forever.

      • tifkat

        I think Sony has some killer DSLT’s in the A77/A65. Without the MOVING mirror, you can get high speed continuous shooting with continuous autofocus, and use the same best-in-class auto focus with video and stills.

        The EVF seems quite useable, although I have little knowledge of the difference in light quality (brightness, contrast, colour etc) between an OVF and an EVF. However it stands to reason that if you’re seeing what will be captured, it has to be a decent solution, and could have some advantages when taking photos, compared to seeing actual source light through the OVF.

        If image quality is up to it with these new DSLTs, I think Sony has just become a major contender and will enjoy some popularity with people changing systems and new people choosing Sony over Canon or Nikon.

        • LGO

          I think it is a major mistake for Sony to use SLT. The SLT is primarily a way for Sony to use its existing A-mount lenses and adopt it to a new EVF-based camera but suffers from several major disadvantages when compared to a true mirrorless EVF IL camera . The higher sales of the NEX-7 over the A-77, both still unreleased, is an indication that many see and understand the drawbacks of the SLT.

          The disadvantage of the SLT will become more evident as a much-improved EVF, very fast auto-focus capable of 3D tracking, and global-shutter will be integrated in new mirrorless cameras 2-3 years from now. Those who invest in A-mount lenses today face a worrisome future as Sony splits is effort on A-mount and E-mount bodies.

          Canon and Nikon are fortunate in that that are not enough native E-mount lenses in the market and that Sony has not released a FF NEX. But that will slowly change pretty soon. Sony’s likely success with the E-mount ironically will further undermine its own A-mount platforms. The Sony SLT and A-mount lenses thus faces the same challenges as Canon and Nikon dSLRs

          What Canon and Nikon will do in response to the fast market and technology shifts will be interesting to say the least.

          • Lonnie Utah

            That’s all fine and good, except you can use all of you A-mount lenses on the NEX. With the LA-EA2 you can even get Phase detect AF…..

  • Combined

    I think Canon should buy Nikon now.

    • kyoshinikon

      That’s a horrible Idea!

  • TheThing

    We should stop posting on NR. Nikon will think their potential customers have gone somewhere else. That will be their wake up call:)

  • big eater

    I’m just back from a weekend trip that required going through four airports; I was carrying one Nikon body, three lenses, a Speedlight, and the necessary magic arms, grids, gobos, and batteries, and filters and honestly, I’m READY for something lighter and smaller even than m4/3rds setup. It’s a lot to schlep for the picture quality of a DSLR.

    My dream is to own smaller, lighter, cheaper bodiesa and lenses for photojournalism and scouting; then I could afford to rent a Hasselblad or Mamiya or Pentax medium format for those times when I need the resolution. It doesn’t seem like full-frame DSLRs are going to catch up to medium format digital anytime soon, so why bother?

  • the early bird …… nikon and canon slept

  • peter

    I don’t really understand the kvetching. There was a funny post about photographers here last year. If you own Canon you will abandon it and move to Nikon, if you own Nikon you will abandon it and move to Canon. The gal/guy who just tossed a D700 and glass in favor of a Canon, I hope you studied what you are doing, and I would like to know the whys. I used to oppose Canon for all the knobs and switches, and prefer resolution to contrast in blow ups. Hate losing that detail even at the limits. Still, they both make wonderful pictures, that is not going away anytime soon. They all have so many knobs, dials, switches, and COME ON, a +400 page user manual. Have real doubts that Nikon is going to slip away, and will likely embrace the full electronic system once it is stable, tough, and here to stay. Nikon does not do a lot of here today gone tomorrow except maybe coolpix. Solid, ergonomic, reliable, tough, when they build an all electronic system like that that can easily handle going to temperature extremes and not make me carry my portable fusion generator when I go camping or on safari – what a joy it will be to take that paintbrush into the “out there.”

  • peter

    Sorry the Tylenol #3 for my back made even my usual run on sentences pale in comparison.

  • Worminator

    I have a theory:

    For most people the ideal camera is the Olympus Trip 35.

    Small enough to carry without looking like a photographer, simple enough to use without having to think too carefully, and good enough to get decent snapshots.

    With the kit 3x zoom, even a small dSLR like the D3100 or K-r is a turn off, size-wize, for most people. Compact cameras, on the other hand, are overly complicated, fiddly to use, and more often than not give lousy results.

    Before m43 came along, a lot of people bought Nikon and Canon dSLRs who, really, didn’t want them, but wanted something – anything – that was better than the compact cameras of the time.

    The attraction of m42 / NEX is they are just about the right size, flexible, good quality images. The dSLR market has gone back to being the enthusiast market, people who do photography for a hobby, as it was in the SLR era.

    So while Canon and Nikon are losing marketshare, it’s more like a settling back into the natural order of things.

    To make more sales, both will have to come up with “Trip 35” type cameras. Simple, good image quality, medium size. In this respect Nikon is making the right move, and one wonders when Canon will jump on board with a “digital Canonet”

    • big eater

      The Worminator nails it.

  • sflxn

    Maybe Nikon is afraid and waiting for Canon to make sure they didn’t make a mistake with their design. The more I think of it, the more I think this is the true reason. Although they’ve made mistakes in the past, Canon really knows how to answer the market. 5D, G series, s95, etc. They always leave everyone chasing them.

    It’s sad that Canikon left us with a great Sony mirror less system with giant lenses and m43 system with lower than DSLR image quality to chose from. We’re all still waiting for that one great mirror less system that will allow us to ditch our dslrs. Maybe Nex-7 with Leica lenses and focus peaking? Maybe a Leica mirror less with evf?

  • Diehard KR Fan

    Nikon needs to release more DX lenses and more Coolpix

    • Young Boy

      Heeeeeeey!!! There is still NO WIDE ANGLE prime for DX users! Not even from third party! (And prime I mean cheap prime, not zooms costing more than whole DX camera or fish-eyes distorting image too much!)

      • Sahaja

        DX DSLRs and good prime lenses – Pentax seem to be the only company catering to that market

  • coco

    lower price, more buy

  • Roddy

    This is “moth to a flame” business. This may work in the short term, but without a longer term vision, they are doomed to fail. I disagree that Nikon is is not able to keep up with larger companies like Sony because of their resources. It is this small size that should allow them to react quicker and be more innovative.

    Just over two years ago, I walked into a Ritz camera store. Soon afterwards, I forecasted they would be out of business soon. In less than a year, they filed Chapter 11. Why? They changed their business model and wanted to be a part of the boom in P&S cameras. The problem is they could not compete with mega-retailers like Walmart and Target. They had very few pro-sumer cameras in the store and maybe one pro camera per store.

    Ask yourself: where do you buy your pro-level gear? I believe the majority would say B&H, Adorama, or Amazon. These companies have continued to focus on the pro market, realizing there is a niche that needs to be filled.

    Nikon needs to do the same. Stop chasing the P&S market and specialize in pro and pro-sumer level cameras. If you want to develop a mirror-less camera, it had better be focused on pros.

    The current real threat to Nikon is the translucent mirror from Sony. This technology will allow them to take the pro-level camera market by storm, as long as they continue development. Then Nikon will lose the P&S war and the pro level war.

    Remember, it was one product only that made Apple great… The iPod. It was the launching point for their best selling products to date. I love Nikon and would love to continue my loyalty, but Nikon is making it difficult.

    Any venture capitalist want to fund an engineer with the marketing vision to attack this market? This market is ripe for the picking.

  • Drew

    As a pro I don’t think a mirrorless camera is a real option for primary shooting and personally don’t want my professional gear getting too small. Having said that I think what we’re seeing is a new growing market (mirrorless) displacing portions of two existing markets (high end point-and-shoots and low end DSLR). I’m going to guess that both Nikon and Canon will eventually enter the mirrorless market and will (and probably should) reduce the number of point-and-shoot and low end DSLR models they produce.

  • wakeup Nikon. That long awaited successor to D700 is due. If you dont launch it this month, am buying a Canon 5D. I waited almost a good 8 months for a decent FX with good pixel count.

    • Dave

      I agree 100%! I have spoken with several sales reps at camera stores here in the DC market and they all indicated that many NIkon users are moving towards Canon because of Nikon’s inability to listen to their customers. I will never buy the mirrorless camera they are going to announce. Nikon being “coy” with announcing new cameras is backfiring in a big way.

      I personally want a new full frame camera, but it they took the D7000 guts and put it in the D300s body I would buy it in a heartbeat. One would think that it would be easy to do. I personally do not like the “feel” of the D7000 in my hands.

      I do not think there is going to be a new full frame camera out for a while. Maybe Sony will not sell the sensors to them yet because Sony wants to enter into the DSLR business.

    • Curt

      I think Nikon may lose its mid range DSLR market. Many of those folks that were brought in with the success of the D90, are probably looking to move up. The D300S is that next step, yet in some ways inferior to the D7000. But the D7000 is really the replacement for the D90. There’s no logical next step for those folks (I’m in that boat). If I’m going to take that step, I do want the newest tech.

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