Update: four Nikon Coolpix cameras coming next week

Nikon Coolpix B500 Nikon Coolpix B500 camera
A quick update on my last post - there will three more Nikon Coolpix cameras announced next week for the CP+ show in addition to the B500 I already reported on:

  • Nikon Coolpix A300: available in black, silver and pink, priced at ‎¥20,000 or around $170
  • Nikon Coolpix A900: available in black and silver, priced at ‎¥50,000 or around $440
  • Nikon Coolpix B500: available in black and purple, priced at ¥35,000 or around $310
  • Nikon Coolpix B700: available in black and red, priced at ‎¥60,000 or around $530 (via Digicame-info)

Some of the above models could be compatible with the new external EVF I already mentioned few days ago. I don't think any of those Coolpix models will be the already rumored "premium compact camera" with 1" sensor - I expect that Nikon will drop the "Coolpix" name for this new product line.

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  • Eric Calabros

    Did you know if you don’t use a collapsing lens compact camera for along time, lens elements stick to each other and when you turn on the cam, lens can’t move or may break the motor? 🙂 hope Nikon address this issue, by improving lens material, or by making it attractive enough that people don’t put them on the shelf for months.

    • chkchkboom

      Damn, that happened to my old powershot, thought I just stored it incorrectly and it jammed, didn’t realise it was a widespread problem.

    • Jebagi Erol Paker

      also my wife’ coolpix had similar problem. Plus the the protective curtain leaves at the front does’t close completely when the camera is off.I would think its a loosing avenue for Nikon to keep producing so many variaty of coolpixes

      • KnightPhoto

        My friends RX-100 III has the ‘protective leaves not closing’ lens cap problem too. It’s in the shop right now for estimate.

        • Cinematismo Cultura

          I have the same problem with my RX100

        • Mr_Miyagi

          I have the exact opposite problem with my RX100-Mk3. When I power it up after it’s been off for a long while, the shutter leaf blades don’t always open completely and I have to snap the lens barrel with my finger to get them to open fully. After that bit of encouragement, the camera almost always works fine even if I turn it off for a short time, as long as I don’t power the camera down for too long a time.

  • PhilK

    Boy they definitely don’t seem to be breaking any new ground here, judging just by the drawing of that camera.

    Interestingly their P&S marketshare is actually increasing these days, since their sales are decreasing less than the general market.

  • Wally Brooks

    I havent followe the coolpix line curious what the global sales numbers ar for these cameras

  • Cinematismo Cultura

    For the prices and colours I doubt these are the high end 1″ sensors cameras. A300 is cheap, as cheap as the S7000, and will came in three colors, usually in the S line. The A900 (by its name and colors: silver and black) seems to replace the S9900, and this may could have a 1″ sensor, or be in the line of Canon with 40x or Panasonic with 4K. If it is the announced 1 sensor 25-500mm, I thing at that price could be the SX720, HX90-80, TZ80 killer, because all of them has 2/3″ sensor. The TZ100 has 1″ sensor, but cost $ 800 USD, and is only 10x Zoom. The Coolpix B couple seem to replace P5xx and P6xx line, also its colors suggest that.

  • Kyle

    Thom Hogan’s latest analysis gives an interesting chart of the sales decline in Nikon’s compact sector.
    Unless these new cameras have some sort of intuitive easy share feature for direct social media (Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr)…. fail out of the gate.
    Even though my D750 and D7200 have built in wi fi, it is still sometimes a little wonky to get all connected and then transmit images.

  • Thom Hogan

    Since I’m in an analytical mood this week, I thought I’d just run some back-of-the-envelope numbers. Using average prices from CIPA and Nikon’s last four quarters of unit volume we get:

    Coolpix: US$808m
    ILC: US$1.57b
    Lenses: US$1b

    So, if as Nikon expects, Coolpix volume will decline another 25% and ILC will be flat, that means Coolpix is about a quarter of their Imaging sales moving forward.

    • still not bad I would say given that smart phones have basically destroyed that market

      • omrx

        Coolpix can be saved moving all the cameras to four thirds system.

      • Thom Hogan

        I guess I should have added some other numbers to make my point. If we go back four years and do the same analysis we get:

        Coolpix: US$1.9b
        ILC: US$1.7b
        Lenses: US$1.4b

        So here’s Nikon’s problem that a lot of people aren’t recognizing: while over the past decade it has mostly maintained its core ILC user base:

        * first the company shifted from being business-to-business related to being consumer related (the decline of Precision)
        * second it went from being higher end consumer to being lower end consumer (a shift from DSLR to Coolpix)
        * now it’s losing the lower end consumer

        If you evaluate Nikon on the basis of what they’ve proven sustainable (as opposed to growing or declining market), they’re a far smaller company with only a handful of products that are still vulnerable to disruption.

        Management has been running around looking for something to grow with. Even the Nikon 1 was approved as an effort along those lines. None of those have proven to have traction.

        • Well, the only thing they have not tried yet is a full frame mirrorless – I don’t see what else they can come up with.

          • Thom Hogan

            Yes, but this shows that they don’t understand the actual transition that took place in photography. It’s not sensor size or mirrorless/DSLR or any of the things they’ve been iterating. It’s that photos are now social documents that live as bits transferred via the Internet.

            My hypothesis has been and continues to be that trying to find the “better camera” via performance and specifications and even feature list inclusion is pursuing the wrong horse. If done perfectly, all these things lead to is lower declines in sales.

            What will lead to an increase in sales is making a modern camera that lives directly in the post smartphone, post social media world, and is fully connected. See the last article in my series this week of what Nikon has sold for some basic thoughts on this.

            Put another way, from Nikon’s financial standpoint it doesn’t matter if we get large sensor Coolpix, DX mirrorless, FX mirrorless, more CX and DX lenses, or any of the other perceived product gaps people are talking about. The best those things will do is solidify Nikon’s market share in a declining market. That’s it.

            • KnightPhoto

              Good article on your site Thom. Sure we and the general public can really benefit from that connected/Programmable vision of yours.

              I’m happy to see the coming SnapBridge using low power Bluetooth which gets around having to connect your phone to a separate WiFi. It’s a good start and from Nikon’s promotional materials it sounds like EVERY camera to come is going have SnapBridge. Guess we’ll see starting with the 1″ sensor models, not sure about the CoolPixes, maybe not at those prices.

            • Tony Beach

              Basically, I should be able to add my camera to my devices on my Verizon plan, same as a tablet.

            • I was recently looking for a surround sound receiver and I think the hi-fi industry got it right – most amps now have wi-fi, bluetooth and incorporate all steaming services (Pandora, etc.) in addition to AirPlay, Internet radio and a bunch of other options I never heard of. Basically I have multiple way of playing whatever I want in addition to sharing music to multiple rooms and so on. The next camera should be the same – it should have multiple options of sharing pictures online. Using a smartphone app works, but it is still an extra step (switching wi-fi is a pain and sometimes doesn’t work).

            • PhilK

              Agreed but it’s a sticky wicket. Home electronics benefit from always-on, fixed-line internet access. Cameras do not enjoy that luxury. Big difference.

              Unless Nikon wants to wade into all the politics and BS involved around establishing relationships with hundreds of mobile carriers around the world like the phone manufacturers do. No mean feat. And a real distraction.

              I think the “smartphone linking” is a very good middle ground. Everyone who can afford a dedicated camera carries a smartphone around these days anyway.

            • Thom Hogan

              Seems pretty clear that IOT is going to go wireless. It has to, actually. But for some reason cameras aren’t really a T (thing).

              The question here is “what business is Nikon in?” The next question is “is that business changing or about to change?”

            • PhilK

              Wireless (especially the unlicensed free-for-all kind used for these household things) is a crap tech for IoT, especially anything security or safety-related. It’s unreliable and insecure.

              The reason cameras aren’t a “T” thing is of course because they do not have any continuous network connection of their own. Neither am I personally eager to have yet another thing on the grid that doesn’t have to be.

              Personally I think the “link to smartphone” (WiFi, NFC, BT, etc) is the perfect way to connect a camera to the cloud. I really really really really don’t want camera makers trying to be phone / cellular product makers, and think it’s a dumb idea in general.

            • Thom Hogan

              1. Wireless is going to be the way of IOT, period. It’s the same old “last mile” wire problem in a different form. While I’ve wired Ethernet throughout my 80-year old house, that was a pain in the butt to do. I don’t disagree that wireless is currently a security issue; it’s also a spectrum issue. But I have no doubt that it will be the future. I’m simply not going to bet that everything connects only with wires except your phone and car.

              2. One thing I learned back in the early 90’s that still doesn’t seem to be properly realized yet is DIScontinuous networking. Where devices pop in and out of coverage, or get turned on and off, or simply the user wishes to be off grid for some reason (then it was battery concerns). A camera would absolutely be a discontinuous networking device. Indeed, many IOT devices SHOULD be discontinuous, not continuous. My refrigerator does not need an always on connection.

              3. Nikon’s new SnapBridge (D500) looks like a good idea, sure. We’ll see how the implementation works. But–and I’ve been pointing this out for almost a decade now–we need a bridge to our computers as much if not more than to our phones. That’s especially true of DSLRs and DSLR users.

              4. I don’t believe I’ve ever asked for a cellular modem in the camera. Ever. I’ve advocated that a camera be a connected device, and that’s a different thing and can be done in many different ways. Indeed, SHOULD be done in different ways (i.e. not one proprietary and limited way ala SnapBridge).

              See my article on gearophile on “nests” (“Gear Where We Are”) for my thoughts on this.

            • PhilK

              I never claimed no one will use wireless, of course they will. A lot of people do a lot of dumb things. 😉

              Discontinuous connection is fine for some things, but it doesn’t help you if you need to remotely notify something on your home network to open your front door or security gate, and it’s currently sleeping. 😉

              To me one of the fundamental premises of IoT is continuous availability. Otherwise you might as well call that thumb drive in your pocket an “IoT device”, because sometimes you plug it into a USB port. 😉

              No reason Snapbridge can’t connect to computers, but computers already have lots of connectivity options. For example, if you’re in the field and Snapbridge has uploaded your photos to eg Dropbox, your photos from that day will already be synced to your PC when you get home via the Dropbox client. 🙂

              I discovered that all of the current P&S Nikons already have Snapbridge, BTW – the only diff is it uses WiFi rather than Bluetooth. The D500 seems to be the first Bluetooth Snapbridge device. (Though mysteriously, the Snapbridge video on the NikonUSA site shows a quick shot of a DSLR with a BT logo on the top LCD – and it’s not a D500. Looks like a D750 or D7200. I assume it was a prototype of some kind.)

              If you want cameras to be a “connected device”, presumably you mean “always connected”, because there are obviously all sorts of existing connectivity options for Nikons for intermittent connectivity. I know of no way to have independent, continuous connectivity in the field unless you are utilizing either the cellular network or have a satellite-connected device. Otherwise you are dependent on randomly here/gone again WiFi networks and so on.

              Just one example of what we have to look forward to with IoT:


        • PhilK

          I chalk up their decline in Precision to one particularly newish and thorny European competitor which sources or outsources all its hardware to 3rd-parties. And which has now increased their capital via soliciting their customers to invest in the company. Bully for them, but I think there are also some downsides to that strategy and situation. Canon just exited the high-end market entirely rather than bother trying to compete with ASML – they used to be #3. If Nikon follows-suit, then you will have one company with a complete stranglehold on state-of-the-art silicon process lithography. That monoculture is an accident waiting to happen. Pity Nikon can’t monetize that industry liability.

          As for the camera industry, it’s hard to fault Nikon for being one of 2, _maybe_ 3 Japanese companies still competing at the very highest levels. Minolta is gone, Konica is gone, Miranda is gone, Topcon is gone (morphed into a surveying-equipment maker), Bronica is gone, Yashica/Contax is gone, Petri is gone, Chinon is gone. Fuji is a minor player, Olympus is a minor player, Pentax/Ricoh is a minor player, Mamiya is mostly owned by a Danish holding company and a minor player. Etc.

          The only real news is the rise of traditional electronics and video manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic – not a big surprise after the digital transition.

          Yes, Nikon could do a little better job competing with Canon/Sony, but both of those companies have vastly greater corporate resources to draw upon than puny Nikon does. I’d actually say Nikon has been consistenly punching above their weight, actually.

          • Thom Hogan

            As The Economist clearly noted in their article on the rise of ASML many years ago, the rise of ASML was due to the poor customer relations Nikon had. When a change needed to be made on a Nikon stepper, the line was shut down, the stepper draped off so the customer couldn’t see what was done, and no communication really occurred between Nikon and the customer other than scheduling. ASML did the opposite, involving everyone, including the customers in the process.

            What exactly is Nikon’s customer relationship with camera users? Terrible, and paternal, just like it was with Precision. The problem is that when a disruption happens, if you weren’t the one leading it, the customers just go elsewhere. That’s happening now to Imaging. So the problem is systemic at Nikon, AFAIC.

            Yes, Nikon is a strong #2 in DSC. That’s because they were the key disruptor on ILCs and a quick follower of leader Sony on compacts. The problem now is that the disruption happened from outside and Nikon hasn’t responded to it (much).

            Nikon and Canon have eyes locked on each other in a one-on-one fight while a bigger battle is happening around them. If Nikon doesn’t get outside their comfort zone soon, then we’re going to see a bad result, I’m afraid. And they’ll join the league of minor players or worse.

            • PhilK

              I agree that Nikon has a ‘paternalism’ issue, but I’m not sure that explains everything about their marketshare loss to ASML, especially these days. (On the other hand, I noted with interest when reading their 2015 annual report, that almost every single company director other than the 2-3 that came from the external banking industry, started with Nikon in the 1970s. Wow. And they’re all male, of course. 😉

              In that annual report, I see some areas of hope, in particular various mentions of how they have re-organized the company and among other things emphasized customer relations and ‘solutions rather than just products’ in various divisions.

      • PhilK

        Nikon’s share of P&S/compact is increasing significantly, because their sales in that segment are declining a lot slower than Canon and Sony. They are probably now either #1 or on the verge of being #1 in that declining segment.

  • Mark

    PLEASE!!!! NO MORE COOLPIX CAMERAS!!!! STOP THE INSANITY! Concentrate on a viable mirrorless camera with an EVF BUILT-INTO the body and NOT AN ADD-ON TO a hot shoe. OH, and please make sure it has proper battery life.

    You’re welcome…

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