Nikon announcement this week


A quick update: the March 14 date is the actual Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR release date for Japan. I expect the shipping date for the two new Coolpix cameras also to be before the end of March. This means that the official announcement should be this week - probably on Wednesday or Thursday (for some reasons Nikon prefers to introduce new products in the middle of the week). The quick availability of the newly announced products makes sense - Nikon wants to sells as much as possible before the end of this quarter (March 31). This is also probably the reason why the Nikon D7100 will be available a week earlier (March 14th). The Nikon instant lens rebates were also extended till March 31st.

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  • My understanding is that Nikon did not plan to announce all those products now, but was forced because of the bad financial results reported few weeks ago. I think this is a new record for the amount of new product introduced for a 60 days period (CES, CP+, D7100).

    • I hope they don’t rush themselves into quality problems.

      • Now I see why Nikon takes so long to release new products – they don’t have to, as long as they could meet their financial goals which has been the case for the past few years. Once they have a bad quarter, they started to release new products left and right. Everything is driven by their finances, not customer demand.

        • PeterO

          I believe a couple of months ago, I said exactly that. Nikon doesn’t feel pressured to do anything until the red ink flows. Silly Nikon. It seems that they’re leaving money on the table with various products such as the 80-400. How about the 300 f4? There also looks to be a lot of “me too” going on at Head Office: Nikon 1, Coolpix A. By then it’s too late.

        • I don’t doubt them for making decisions based on business. I just doubt their business decisions.

        • Brian

          Well.. unfortunately it is like this for 99% of companies.

        • bjrichus

          So more “not too wonderful” quarters for Nikon and we’ll get close to the product mix most people want from Nikon?

          Cynical? Moi? 🙂

        • jan

          About no customer demand, i was really waiting for a faster 80-400 lens from nikon because the old one was as slow as a turtle with focussing and the VR wasn’t doeing much either.
          I also know people who traded thier 80-400 and nikon stuff for canon camera’s with a100-400 because of this.
          And it was along wait for a follow up…….

        • dredlew

          Unlikely, there are multiple factors that play a role in a product’s release: finances, marketing, demand, competition, technology and quality, being the main ones.

          For some reason there is this silly notion that finished products sit on a shelf for months or years until marketing or finance decide it’s time to release them. That’s humbug, a product is released whenever it’s ready/complete, which is usually within a few months of it’s scheduled completion date. It makes absolutely no business sense to hold a finished product, potential customers are lost to the competition in doing so.

          Finance or competition may pressure to release a product earlier to get more sales in, but with the risk of facing quality issues and supply constraints.

          • Then it must be a coincidence that they started releasing new products every other week, slashing prices, delivering products before the expected release date right after they reported a bad financial quarter.

            • dredlew

              As I stated, there are multiple factors involved, not just financials. That’s not how a business runs. And Nikon’s finance team didn’t just find out the day before reporting their numbers that they missed the goal.

              As I said, finance may accelerate plans but with the risk of running into quality issues and supply constraints. D4 & D800 being prime examples, although that was more driven by competition, in light of the setbacks experienced during the floods.

              Again, no “complete” product just sits there and waits until marketing or finance decide it’s time to go. It’s in finance’s best interest to have it go earlier rather than later.

          • Also, Focus on Imaging show in the UK started yesterday, if Nikon has planned that in advance, they would have released their new products last week, so they can show it to the world during the expo.

            • We have WPPI coming up, too. Not sure if the UK would be the preferred market to launch a totally new product in.

          • Actually, for years Nikon would make a new camera for two or three months in Thailand prior to launching it. Why? Couple of reasons: first there’s the cost of air freight versus slow boat freight. Second, it allows them to build enough product prior to release so that supplies aren’t limited. Third, sometimes part supplies dictate using batch building like that.

            Nikon isn’t alone in this. You can see it in the CIPA numbers: there are separate numbers for Production and Shipped, and it should be quite clear from reading them that Shipped comes after Production in many cases.

            • dredlew

              Let me clarify what “complete” means: the product has been sufficiently tested and enough product has been manufactured to fill demand and supply channels. Every company does that. No one would ship the first product that comes off the assembly line.

              Therefore, a “non-complete” product would either not be sufficiently tested, with quality issues still lingering or supply could not be met or both.

              The argument I’m making is; no company has a “complete ready-to-go” product sitting on the shelf for several months or years just because it’s not convenient from a finance or marketing standpoint. It’s always inconvenient for finance not to release a ready-product but that doesn’t mean that finance dictates the release schedule. Other factors involved decide whether finance can or will be accommodated.

        • So you’re saying the D400 is imminent? ;~)

          It’s actually stranger than that. The D4, D3200, D5200, and D7100 have all been late, given Nikon’s previous release cycles. The D400 is also late by historical standards.

          Then there’s the D5200 being released outside North America in 2012 but in North America in 2013. That argues both sides of the coin: they shipped in some places early to try to boost numbers, they really would have shipped it later otherwise as they hadn’t built up the requisite numbers to do a worldwide launch.

          The 20mp Coolpi that are getting individual launches are another strange one. I wonder if they haven’t gotten enough sensors to launch them on the usual cycle.

          What seems clear is that Nikon is late but rushed. Something pushed them back further in cycles than they had planned, now they need shipments to keep the numbers up. That’s not a happy place to be.

    • Nikon should wish it were so easy. It’s unclear how they book revenue: whether it is booked as a sale when it’s sold to a subsidiary or when the subsidiary sells it to the dealer. Worse still, for dealers with return privileges, technically you’d have to either not book the revenue or create a reserve for possible returns. Japanese financial law doesn’t seem to have the requirements in the required postings that would force this disclosure. In the US, you’d have to disclose it in your 10k filing, and companies that stuff the channel like that to make quarterly numbers can get themselves into trouble very easily.

      • MyrddinWilt

        Ah booking revenue, now that might be it.

        The way Japanese companies work I would not be at all surprised if they covered up the revenue shortfall due to the two disasters by playing with the way they book revenue pushing all the bad news out.

        Now they are having a bad news quarter.

        The announcements haven’t been brought forward, they were pushed back.

  • nikkor2

    Will be interesting to see images generated with new 80-400. As a long-time reader of NR, this lens was perhaps the one with the longest wait; yes?

  • Zinchuk

    Would be nice to see one at WPPI in Vegas. Doubt that will happen.

  • M35G35

    Now for the obvious question… Where is the D400?

    • Calibrator

      Yawn… This is really getting old…

    • Discontinued

      Now for the obvious answer … There is the D7100!

    • Fran

      Have a cookie.

    • D7000

      I was hoping they’d make a 100-500mm AFS VR 🙁

  • niXerKG

    Is it really 80-400? No chance of it being 70-400? The 80mm wide end seems so old generation. Maybe it just shows how old the lens design was.

    • Dyun27

      Will anyone ever be happy about anything Nikon does?

      • niXerKG

        Hey I am happy they are updating it but they waited this long and their not going to make it 70mm on the wide end.

        70mm is sort of the defacto standard now. That’s why they discontinued the 80-200mm AF-S, to give it 70mm on the wide end to match it up with the 24/28-70mm better.

        • OMG now how are we gonna fill that 70-80mm gap… Nikon do something now!!!

          • AlphaTed

            it’s the end of the world!

          • Discontinued

            How about a 70-80mm zoom?

            And while you are at it, Nikon. I have a lot of gaps to fill between my primes. Where are the long awaited 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 … 49, 51 … 84, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 106, 107, 108 … 134, 136 …179, 181 … 299, 301 … 399 primes ? ? ?

            • Don’t forget the 15.8 mm DX lens!

        • nobody

          The Canon counterpart is 100-400, no?

          80-400 is a large zoom ratio already that puts optical qualities at risk. They better don’t go beyond, IMO.

          • niXerKG

            Are you forgetting there is a 70-300? If they can make 18-300, they can make a 70-400.

    • Pat

      To be fair, the Sony 70-400 f/4-5.6 G lens is very decent. I really can’t see why it can’t be a 70-400 either.

  • denz

    Where is the large sensor compact?

  • Eric Calabos

    What a day is 3.14
    Galaxy S4 and 80-400

    • “Day of Pi”

    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will publish their decision on March 14 as well…
      I hope I live to see the day

  • Hope it is compatible and yield good results with the TC’s especially the TC 1.4 which being F/8 should be able to AF on F/8 aF system like the D800, D4, D600, etc.

    Being interesting to see the quality or lack of quality with the TC 2.0 III although it won’t AF and be bit slow at F/9 – F11 the reach will be quite large at 160 – 800mm

    • Iapetus

      None of Nikon’s VA zooms are compatible with TCs, not sure why this should be different (it’s already the longest telephoto zoom they make). I’d rather they design a 100-300 f/4 that is light but as good with TCs are the latest 70-200s, than try to work compatibility into a consumer zoom.

  • ScottnLaguna

    Having never tried the 80-400, I wonder if it is similar to 18-200 on DX in quality? Every time I go whale watching the ship is packed with Caononites and their 100-400 lenses. Good range but IQ?

  • Vaibhav

    Wow. Great news! I have to pick up a telephoto before I leave for South Africa towards the end of the month! I really hope it’s available in India before that. I was hoping this announcement would happen soon! The other option was the 70-300mm, but I tried one and it was soft at 300mm. Probably a bad piece.

  • Vaibhav

    Wow. Great news! I have to pick up a telephoto before I leave for South Africa towards the end of the month! I really hope it’s available in India before that. I was hoping this announcement would happen soon! The other option was the 70-300mm, but I tried one and it was soft at 300mm. Probably a bad piece.

  • quest

    Pole pros with 200-400…

  • Arthur

    “We need to reach our financial goals before the end of the quarter”
    “Damn…then for once let’s release a product the costumers are actually waiting for”

  • saywhatuwill

    lens rebates = best news I heard all day. Missed the last one.

  • MyrddinWilt

    Great news!

    But I think that it is a mistake to think this is being driven by last quarter’s results. It takes years to develop products like this. If Nikon could just pump them out they would have updated it years ago.

    I think it is rather more likely that this was planned for the same timeframe as the D800 and should have come out last year but got knocked out of the schedule when the meltdown and the flood hit.

    • grant torres

      Haven’t you heard that some people now are constructing buildings by 3D printing? Nikon just printed last week that 80-400, and if we wail loud enough to annoy them, they will print for us a new 300 f4, 58 f1.2, or a cx 24 mm f0.95 lens 😀

  • mike kobal

    anybody still hopeful about a high end apsc sized S3 or Ti35 (more likely) with the 18mm f2.8?

  • SleeperSmith

    Was hoping it goes a bit wider to 14mm and a bit longer to 500mm, and just make it a bit faster at f/2.8.

  • mikko
  • PeterO
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