Nikon Japan apologizes for Nikon 1 V3 camera shortage

Nikon 1 V3 camera5
Nikon Japan released an apology that the number of Nikon 1 V3 camera and DF-N1000 EVF orders have surpassed the production capacity of the factory. The V3 has been out of stock at all major US retailers (B&H, Adorama, Amazon) for a while.

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  • Hm…

    I guess that’s a good thing, sort of.

  • jefferylewis

    Good news for Nikon! I’d like to try one for surf photography. Might be nice with a 70-200 2.8…

  • Eric Calabros

    Accepted. But they also need to apologize for its price

    • They’re sold out at full price!

      Or is there some shenanigans going on with intentionally constrained supply?

      • Eric Calabros

        that “capacity” word there is a bit annoying I think.. How small is your factory then?

        Btw, I dunno why google translate still cant distinguish we/us from I/me in Japanese

        • RMJ

          I only know little bit of Japanese and I can’t distinguish any personal pronoun from the text either. Most likely because it doesn’t have any, as they can be omitted in Japanese. Often you need to know the context, the speaker (and his status) and the person to be spoken to (and his status) before you can tell for sure what it says. I can assume that it’s Nikon apologizing to us but obviously machine translator can’t understand that from the context (as nowhere is mentioned who is apologizing, not even “Nikon” is mentioned anywhere) and has to throw a wild guess.

          Japanese has several dozen words for I, we and you, but they are used rarely.

          • PhotoAl

            I speak and read Japanese. The linguistic term you are referring to is called “pro-drop” by the way. In any case, you are correct that there aren’t any subjects mentioned in this short statement, and that by context (it’s posted on Nikon’s official website) the reader would easily assume it’s Nikon giving the explanation/apology.

            As for I, we, and you, I wouldn’t say that they are rarely used. They are often omitted, especially in casual one-on-one conversation, but in situations where the subject isn’t obvious or when changing subjects, it must be stated.

            • RMJ

              Thanks for the clarification.

      • Arkasai

        They’ve stated in past earnings reports that in the future they planned to push higher end cameras, and make fewer of them to keep inventory down.

    • Neopulse

      Well they did include a free FT-1 adapter upon pre-order which is quite a steal in my opinion.

  • Eno

    They need to apologize for the astronomical price first!

    • Allan Smith

      What part of the price is astronomical?

      • RMJ

        The part with the numbers.

        • Eno

          LOL, good one RMJ!

        • Fly Moon

          I’ll give you that. Smart answer 🙂

        • Funduro

          (cymbal crash)

      • B

        the part after Nikon reduced the V1 to $300 and realized this is the price that made people buy into this system.

  • Morris

    ok now a d4s for every disappointed future nikon1 customer!

    • waterengineer

      They need to apologize for the price of the D4s, too.

  • kazziz


    • Eno

      Indeed no one is buying it, and they now this. I bet they produce only a couple of cameras, and make those kind of news for people to believe they have demand for them.

      • Mike D

        I just got back from the Wedge in Newport Beach this morning and there were several photographers at the beach who were on a waiting list to buy the Nikon 1 V3. It’s fast speed and surfing capturing capabilities with a moderate telephoto are quite attractive. I own a 21 MP Sony RX 100 II with 1″ sensor and regularly make photos in the 13×18″ range. These sensors are sharp! I think prosumer photographers greatly underestimate the capability of the 1″ sensors on the market.

      • mikeswitz

        And why would they do that?

        • megadon357

          They probably read Nikon Rumors and actually believe the negative opinions are from people who know what they are talking about….poor fools.

    • HotDuckZ


  • Alex

    Ah ah, it is always funny to see someone apologizing publicly. There is often poor humanity behind that decision. In that case it is mainly the way to advertise this product is a good product and its price is fair. Nikon apologize because the outcome is economically positive. I do not remember any voluntary apologies on D800’s autofocus troubles or D600’s oil issues … but that’s allright, problem has been fixed!

    On a philosofical note, we have to accept that corporations take their decisions based upon economical outcomes. Because the world we live in is a capitalist one. I wish every man would not be so afraid to lose money and make his decision upon his moral views. Most of us have some.

    • Sebastian

      “I wish every man would not be so afraid to lose money and make his decision upon his moral views.” Well there is a nice little wisdom: One can only spent, what one gained before. Of course during the last years one may rather come to the impression, that one can spent on everything one get a credit for…
      The point is, there is a connection between ease of gain (e.g. ear by work) and ease of spent.
      And if companies ask you what the benefits are for them, before they hire you, I think it’s rightfully to ask the same question before we buy any given product.
      As for me, the price benefit ratio of Nikon 1 has never been well.

      Well, Nikon shall apologize but rather for still clinging on this system, as this is far, far of the state of the art in mirrorless.

  • Alex

    … but maybe should I just start by writing “philosophy” that way … oops!

  • Tommy

    They sold all two of them already?!

    • Eno

      No, I think only the prototype was sold. LOL

  • Marcel Speta

    who cares… i am looking forward to have D810 in hands and wish D4s cost less… 😉

  • rearranged

    When thinking they needed 1 year to acknowledge the d600 problem this apology seems like a slap to the face for nikon users.

  • Rmills

    Perhaps it is selling well in asia, user reviews have been excellent. A handful of haters here is not reflective of the entire market.

    • stesk

      No, not many shops in Hong Kong sell Nikon 1.

      • Shagx

        Sorry, loads of shop sells Nikon 1 although no shop has V3 on display which I’ve seen. The V3 with the 10-30 PD is going for a little over $6K. The V3 with 10-30 PD + grip + evf is going for $8XXX.

  • jk

    I cannot understand why people buy it but I see the V3 and V2 very often on a small mountain area or some mid sized cities in Japan. So I guess it is selling well these days, maybe because of the reach that the 70-300VR lens gives it.

  • FujiGuy

    Gee Nikon, maybe there is something to this mirrorless thing that you refuse to put much effort towards.

    • Eric Calabros

      a FujiGuy said

  • jk

    another point is the IQ this sensor produces is not acceptable at all for over 1k bold price.

    • vFunct


      Is image quality important?

  • Denis Lynch

    Sounds like just a game to hype this poor selling camera.

  • John Miguez

    I bought the camera and it took about six weeks for it to come in. I like it a lot. Now I am waiting for the 70-300 lens to come in. I just received another “still on back order” email.

    • broxibear

      Hi John Miguez,
      As one of the few who have bought a V3, what attracted you to this camera over others and what type of photography do you do with it ?

      • John Miguez

        I purchased it as a travel camera. I already had the V1, so this wasn’t my first Nikon1. I find the cameras to be far better than the nay sayers claim.

        I am primarily a nature photographer. I also own a D4 and a D800. While the V3 will not match the low light performance of either the D4 or D800, it can hold it’s own in decent to less than perfect lighting conditions. It is also, a whole lot lighter and smaller.

        I have the 70-300 lens on order. I am looking to see if it can function as a backup to the D4 in wildlife photography.

        • broxibear

          Going by the comments posted here nature/wildlife photography seems to be the main thing for the V3.
          Do you see yourself switching completely to the V3 at some stage or will dslrs always be your main cameras ?

          • John Miguez

            I don’t think so? Not with this model, at least. I want to see what it can do with the new 70-300 lens. However, based on the limited use I have had so far, it can’t match the D4 in ability to track flying birds, handle low light and hi ISO, or ease of use. The D4 and the new 80-400 is a killer wildlife duo.

            I will say that it is better than the D40 with which I started the digital photography age. For wildlife, I think it is more of a backup camera. However, remember why I originally bought it, as a travel camera.

            There, I think it excels. It is small and light. Easy to carry through airports with a couple extra lenses and battery. There is still room to pack my iPod, sunglasses, a snack, etc. It is very versatile and can handle situations that will stop an iPhone or compact camera. So, I get the best of both worlds, quality pictures with a light weight small camera.

            • KnightPhoto

              Well put, matches my motivation and experience too.

              And comparing to the D4, I find that camera the easiest to shoot in just about any situation, whereas the V3 requires a little more work, but still doable as you describe so well.

  • Nikon User

    I am still very happy with my V1 for 350 bucks with the kit lens.

    1200 bucks for the V3, even Nikon knows they are not going to sell it.

    • Evidently you’re wrong. They’ve sold so many they’re out of stock.

  • Ms. Snow White

    Heard around Nikon H.Q.:

    “…now, how many V3’s are we expecting to sell?””
    ” Hard to say, Boss. Maybe we start cautiously at first and only produce 500 on the first run.”
    “Yes. Remember what the Big Boss said. NO WAREHOUSE INVENTORY!”
    “Right. We all remember getting handed our butts in the boardroom from selling off V1 and V2 for only 50% mark-up.”
    “We can always say we are sorry in case we run out. Everyone wants us to say sorry about everything we do these days, it seems. Apologizing for our very existence is Nikons 2014/2015 marketing push, so this can fit with our new slogan: Nikon: Sorry about that…shame on us.”

    • Eno

      LOL good one, the new Nikon 2014 slogan must be:

      “I AM SORRY”

  • Spy Black

    I bet dealers don’t want to stock them because they got burnt holding the bag with the earlier models, so they know these things won’t sell.

    • Thom Hogan

      Not just dealers, but subsidiaries, too.

      • Spy Black

        Right, what they’re really doing is apologizing for creating a eunuch system.

    • broxibear

      In the UK only two Nikon pro dealers, WEX and Park sell the V3. Apart from grey market you can’t buy it anywhere else and both WEX and Park have them in stock.

  • Mark

    Pretty funny to read all the armchair conspiracy theorists here who think they have the slightest clue what’s going on at Nikon, always assuming the worst. The camera has been incredibly well reviewed and many consider it a bargain in the target segment. Just because you don’t have a use for this particular camera, doesn’t mean others weren’t on waiting lists for it. Sometimes companies sell more than expected, and to think they only made a few hundred of these is laughable and a gross exaggeration.

    • broxibear

      Hi Mark,
      What is the “target segment” for this camera ?

      • Mark

        It’s a niche camera. It shoots 20 FPS with full (reliable) AF between frames. Not even the D4S can do that. The people thinking this camera is a rip-off have no need for that, yet it does some incredible things. With the FT-1 adapter it is a wildlife/bird photographer’s dream (and many use them already). Think parents shooting kids sports as well. It’s small, compact, and the fastest camera around. I would not buy this camera to take random snapshots while traveling, or as a general P&S. Whether Nikon intended to or not, they have created a niche camera. Just look at the forums, some people hate it, and a large number of people also consider it their dream camera – it’s very polarizing, but a failure it is not.

        • broxibear

          Hi Mark,
          Do you think Nikon targeted that niche of wildlife/bird photographers and parents shooting kids sports with the V3 ? I’m asking because you posted “Whether Nikon intended to or not, they have created a niche camera.”.
          If they didn’t intend to, then the original question I ask is still valid, What is the “target segment” for this camera ?…or maybe it should be What is the intended “target segment” for this camera ?

          P.S. You’re not hitting the “vote up” button on your own posts are you ?

          • Mark

            I answered you already ,yes I think that was one of their many targets with this camera. Don’t like it? Well it’s not for you then, and there are dozens of other options. They made a speed demon of a camera that actually works (i.e. focus isn’t locked at 20 FPS). Clearly they are targeting people who want a blazing fast small camera, I personally know a number of wildlife photographers who already own this camera and use it as a great 2.7 TC. It’s selling well to people who value size and speed, what’s wrong with that? At my local camera store the pre-order list was a mile long, not sure about anywhere else. Good for Nikon, they have another winner.

            PS: No?

            • broxibear

              Hi Mark,
              It’s not about whether I like it or not, I’m just trying to understand from your post who you think the camera was intended for.
              You say “many consider it a bargain in the target segment”, which other cameras in this taget segment are not a bargain…ie which cameras are people not buying in favour of the V3 ?
              I’m not trying to have an arguement with you, it’s a discussion as I’m still not clear about the whole “niche” and “target segment” idea.

            • Rmills

              It’s for me as an excellent complement to my D600 when I want to travel light and get great image quality of a very small package

            • Mark

              I’ve clearly answered your question 3 times now, so this will be the last. It has no competition, because of the handful of mirrorless cameras that even have PDAF, it’s the only one that has a usable buffer and frame rate combined. It can do that because it has a 1″ sensor and the processing pipeline isn’t overtaxed. They are doing something in the segment nobody else even comes remotely close to, so it has no competition. Look at what the camera does, it’s painfully obvious who the target market is.

            • broxibear

              It has no competition…ok.

            • C.L.

              I understand your point but why don’t they really should focus on making a mirrorless camera for the many people that wish to support Nikon but are not being offered a product that many others are. They are losing business and that can’t be good.

            • KnightPhoto

              If you mean that Nikon should make an APS-C mirrorless using the Nikon 1 technology, then yes, agreed – they should.

              Nikon talked last year about the challenges of doing so (fast Nikon 1 AF) with a larger sensor. Clearly they ARE working on this challenge, or at least have been working on it, and unlike they just threw their hands up in the air and gave up already 😉

          • Q

            Who cares who is hitting the vote up or not…you are a paranoid spaz.

        • Rmills

          You hit the nail on the head Mark, I’m getting excellent results with my V2/ft1/70-200f4 combo!

      • vFunct

        If you have to ask, it’s not for you.

        • broxibear

          But you can ask out of interest as a photographer and for a discussion on the topic.

  • Thom Hogan

    No one seems to have picked up on the reality of the statement so far. What reality? That Nikon has no idea what people will buy and for how much money. They overproduce many things, underproduce others (including accessories), and someone in Japan seems to think that this is okay.

    The fact that their Chinese plant is “at capacity” is a non-starter. First, Nikon made a big deal of how much they could expand that plant when they first introduced the Nikon 1. Given that they’re making fewer Nikon 1’s today than when they started tells me that they’re using the plant for other things, and given that several things that plant makes are in very short supply tells me that they’ve probably prioritized what they’re making completely wrong. Again.

    But there are other sub-texts going on here. My guess is that if Nikon thinks the V3 is being better received than expected, they also think they’ve solved the design issues that held back the V1/V2. They haven’t, as my upcoming review will clearly point out. People are buying the V3 despite its flaws, but I’ll bet that Nikon thinks it isn’t flawed.

    Finally, there’s another aspect of this that will go completely unnoticed by people outside the company. This apology is also likely a rebuke. Most of the subsidiaries had a tough time selling V1/V2 cameras and didn’t want the V3. Now corporate is telling them they were wrong. “See, the customers who want one now need an apology from us.” This apology is as much internal politics as it is actual apology.

    In fact, as I’ve pointed out before, an actual apology does much more than say “I’m sorry.” Note that there’s no recognition of what really caused the problem (factory at capacity is a symptom, not the problem), no indication of how they’re going to address it, no promise to fix the underlying problem so it doesn’t happen again.

    • broxibear

      Hi Thom,
      Are the Nikon 1 cameras made in the same Chinese factory as the f/1.8G lenses ?

      • Jeff Curtner

        Yes but at a different (old) factory in Southern China, not the Wuxi plant.

        • broxibear

          Hi Jeff,
          So it is a different factory, I was asking because many of the f/1.8G lenses have been out of stock for a while and when available there’s very few…I thought they might be coming from the same factory as the V3 hence the shortages of both.

    • The Nikon Way

      At least there is some consistency with Nikon now.
      Everything is overpriced, under-researched and under-developed.

    • Jeff Curtner

      I have been to Nikon’s China (Wuxi) plant back in 2012. It’s a huge plant with a lot of floor space. They had over 10,000 workers at the peak but down to less than 7,000 during my visit in 2012. Back then they had one assembly line for the V series and two for the J series, plus separate lines for lenses.

      At the time when I visited, most of their capacity is dedicated to the 1 series. They also made some compacts and sub components of DSLRs.

      I agree with Thom that whatever they make for the 1 series now is nowhere near what they used to be a few years ago. The compacts are down significantly so I can’t think of other products they are building there.

      The Wuxi plant is also relatively low-tech and relying on a lot of manual labors. For example although they use machine to do logo painting they also use manual labor for some of the body and lens letter painting. The official answer is that they will mainly decide to use machine or labor depending on cost factor.

      If there is one thing that really impressed me there it’s their bus fleet, close to 100 buses to shuffle workers between the plant and the city as the plant is located in an industrial zone away from the city.

      • Jeff Curtner

        Just found my report:

        54,000 sq. meters building space, 5,800 employees in May 2012, three lines for the J1 and one for the V1 back then.

  • FredBear

    Increase demand by limiting availability to give the impression of popularity.

    Nikon’s first choice would probably have been to have the V3 declared illegal 😉

  • koenshaku

    I guess Nikon is even surprised people are buying them lol.

  • AnotherView

    Honestly I just do see what the big deal is…the Nikon 1 system isn’t that good and is WAY overpriced.

  • koenshaku

    There is no reason I would buy this over a much less expensive A6000 with a larger sensor…

    • KnightPhoto

      Absolutely the A6000 looks interesting. Just not for telephoto (due to lens size).

  • IainGFoulds

    … Sorry. Another 1″ sensor, and you have to buy the grip and the ugly EVF.
    … Sony NEX for sure. Almost double the sensor size- grip and streamline EVF included.

    • Mark

      Was the 1″ sensor a surprise to you? Nikon isn’t going to change the sensor size in the 1 series, that would require entirely new lenses and a new mount. Some people also do not want the EVF, so I don’t see them problem keeping it a separate accessory. I’m pretty sure they are committed to the 1″ sensor. The V3 does have a body only price listed, so hopefully they sell it that way soon. IMO the current issue is making people pay for the 10-30 power zoom lens that 99% of people do not want with a V3. They are/were offering a free FT-1 with it, which is great.

      • KnightPhoto

        The detachable EVF is a good one. At first I didn’t use it much, but after getting the 70-300mm CX, have come to appreciate the EVFs speed, and of course utility in both low and bright light. I’m likely to leave it on most often now, and it attaches well and solidly, so not a problem. And the bonus is I can still detach the EVF when I am going with the V3 in a pocket. So far the EVF seems fast (keeps up with BIF) and a quality image.

        • mikeswitz

          Thanks for all you’ve posted about this camera. They should counter the incoherent blathering of people like Amoeba who can’t really look at pictures as anything other than a series of specs. Nice work!

  • Amoeba

    Even Nikon is surprised that anyone buys this expensive camel dung.
    Perhaps there will even be a take up for NX-D!!

    • Q


    • Mark

      The amount of gross exaggerations in these comments is comical. Just because a camera doesn’t suit your particular needs, hardly makes it garbage. There are a lot of folks who love these things.

  • broxibear

    Nikon USA are asking for your opinions on the Nikon 1 V3, here’s the link…

  • KnightPhoto

    Wow if this is the new Nikon I am liking it 😉

  • KnightPhoto

    Here’s why (aside from it makes a great travel and family snapshot camera too):

    • KnightPhoto

      BTW, DisQus compressed the bejesus out of these, the images I uploaded are sharp and larger sized.

  • KnightPhoto

    Here’s another set from it’s first day out (lighting was a bit on the harsh side):

  • KnightPhoto

    A few more examples, simply put the A6000 and XT-1 can’t do this, and they certainly can’t do this at this level of portability.

    • raist3d

      I wouldn’t say the A6000 can’t do that. Level of portability maybe but the tracking AF of the A6000 is pretty darn good too. To be fair at telephoto the Nikon 1 does better but in some other situations like at the 50mm equivalent focal length with primes, the A6000 seems to do better with more flexible options too.

  • KnightPhoto

    A couple more (sorry but Disqus is compressing the heck out of these):

  • KnightPhoto

    A couple more (Disqus is compressing the heck out of these):

    • KnightPhoto

      Ahhhh, if you click on the photo, an 1100-pixel wide photo appears in a separate tab that shows the quality. Strips the EXIF unfortunately. The majority of these are ISO 800. Only two, the Marmot and Brewer’s Sparrow are base ISO 160. There’s also a couple ISO 400. These are all handheld with VR on.

  • Rmills

    I recently added a few bird shots to my website taken with the V2/ft1/70-200f4. I’ll bet no one could tell them from the Fx shots.

  • KnightPhoto

    Might as well show you the super-tele landscapes:

  • whisky

    the N1 system might yet succeed, despite all the artificial barriers Nikon imposes atop it. i can’t consider it a primary tool, but locked and loaded as a backup … it has it’s merits. YMMV.

  • Are these selling like hot cakes ?

  • megadon357

    I really like the Nikon 1 for travel and family snaps. It is very simple to get sharp, action-stopping shots of my hyperactive kids.

    There are a few really nice lenses. I would buy a V2 or V3 on sale, but the V1 is very capable and I am spending on lenses right now anyway. Just got the wide-zoom and am, once again, really impressed. The standard and portrait primes are really good also. This camera meets my needs so well that I am willing to overpay for good lenses. I wish for a optically faster mid-zoom than the 10-30 with the build quality of the wide-zoom. Also, a wide prime on par with the standard prime would be a delight. The 10 is very useful, but not as sharp as the 18.5.

  • Gabor Takacs

    Finally they managed to translate the word “apologies” – missed so much by D600 owners – from Japan.

  • bgbs

    I believe Nikon is ready to introduce a Mirrorless FF camera because it is the only one that has AF figured out. Why they don’t introduce mirrorless FF baffles me.

    Oh, and that supposed V3 shortage, lets not fall for it. There is no shortage at that insane price.

  • frank

    Why would anyone consider this CX-format camera when for the same price one could get the Fuji X-E2 with a sensor about triple in size?

    • Andy Aungthwin

      You know of course that you can even get a Nikon D5300 with a lens for less than a V3.

      I have the V1 and 5 CX lenses. I also have a NEX 5. I don’t use the NEX anymore. Just don’t like it even though it has an APS-C sized sensor. Not everything is about sensor size.

      You really need to use the CX format to see why there are people like me who just love it. I also have a D800 which I use for serious stuff but for anything else it’s the V1.

      • Saldahna

        I fully agree with you 🙂

    • Rmills

      You just answered your question, size.

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