Nikon financial results: profit and income are up, sales are down

nikon-stock-price

Nikon stock price is up (3 months graph)

Nikon released their financial results for the first half of the year ending on September 30, 2016:

  • Profits are up 54%
  • Operating income is up 23.8%
  • Sales are down
  • Nikon also "decided to conduct a fundamental company-wide restructuring in order to enhance its ability to generate profit and create value"

Quote:

"Nikon Corp. reported that its net income attributable to owners of the parent for the first half of the year ended September 30, 2016 was 17.74 billion Japanese yen, up 53.5 percent from last year's 11.56 billion yen. Earnings per share for the half-year period were 44.65 yen, higher than 29.08 yen last year." (Nasdaq).

Thom Hogan posted a nice graph showing Canon versus Nikon in terms of unit volume for 2016 (the same scale is used in both charts):

canon-versus-nikon-in-terms-of-unit-volume-for-2016
Quote:

"Just a reminder: Nikon is still a profitable company, and according to the numbers, healthily so. They’re not going out of business. But as I predicted, they’re getting smaller." (DSLRbodies)

Here are some unit sales numbers for the first nine months of 2016 collected and calculated by Thom:

Canon: 3.895m
Nikon: 2.2m
Other: 1.97m (Sony, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax)

Some additional slides from Nikon's presentation (can be found here):

nikon-financials-november-2016
nikons-financial-results-november-2016
nikon-financial-results-november-2016

This entry was posted in Other Nikon stuff and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Verco

    Like Thom’s said, Nikon needs to stop dicking around in the consumer space with the 1s and Keymissions, and work on pro video. Even Fuji can get pro video that’s comparable to Sony’s offerings. And it’s making Fuji look even more attractive.

    • I agree, but let’s keep in mind that Nikon still sales more than all other companies combined (except Canon).

      • Nimloth

        Yeah, but a lot of companies who at one point sold more than every competitor combined, ended up bust or merged into a former competitor’s portfolio. Still cause for worry in the future.

        • In that case Canon should be more concerned than Nikon. I am just emphasizing those numbers because people make up all kinds of stats on the web based on the camera they own/shoot. Nikon is still the #2 by a big margin.

          • ZoetMB

            Businesses are not evaluated on being #2. They’re evaluated on shareholder value, P/E ratios, ROI, net margins and growth. By any standard, Nikon is doing pretty badly because there’s no clear path to a future.

            Even though Nikon was a much smaller company back in the film days, once you become bigger, you still have to grow (as a public company). If there isn’t going to be growth, it doesn’t matter that there’s still net profits. Investors walk.

            Nikon is at a disadvantage as compared with Sony and Canon because it’s a much smaller company that’s not as diversified. Nikon’s other divisions are very small. If Nikon were an American company, it would probably be subject to a hostile acquisition and the investors would break it up and sell off the pieces.

            As I’ve posted before, just look at all the American hi-fi companies of the 1950’s-70’s if you think that a once great brand can’t disappear. Fisher, Scott, Dynakit, Acoustic Research, Advent, Kloss and many others are gone. A few brands have survived, but they’re just trademark licenses. (Same for the American TV industry, which died long before the Chinese took over manufacturing.) About the only one that’s truly survived is Macintosh. And it wasn’t really the fault of those companies. The Japanese took over the market and they couldn’t compete.

            • Nimloth

              And now the Chinese follows Japan’s former path.

            • Thom Hogan

              Correct: Nikon has no growth path that is visible, and the contraction in lithography and imaging is worrying because no one knows how far it will go. But in the other elements you listed, Nikon is actually not doing at all badly.

              It’s clear to me that they managed “to the numbers” far more than they did “to the customers.” Ultimately, if you get too far out of balance one direction or the other, you cause trouble. Nikon’s current numbers won’t hold unless they re-embrace customers, simple as that.

            • MB

              But Nikon does have a growth path, the thing is that growth has been postponed because Nikon will take 2 years break for lean and easy restructuring, and then they will magically start to grow steeply in FY2020/3 … unless they are looking for someone to buy them out I am not sure what do they hope for …

            • Thom Hogan

              It’s unclear whether Nikon has a growth path.

              Growth in Medical? The medical business doubled in a year, but still posts a huge loss. That kind of growth Nikon doesn’t need, though fortunately that group is a small fish compared to the current company size.

              Growth in Precision? Unclear. Nikon thinks they can grow the remainder of that business, but hasn’t proven they can. They’re still losing market share there, too, and the industry they target is getting smaller and smaller in terms of players they can sell to.

              Growth in Imaging? Nikon’s projects growth, but there’s absolutely no sign that the market for cameras has bottomed out and started growing again. There’s also disagreement on whether it ever will.

              So where’s that growth again?

            • MB

              Nikon to Thom:
              Who cares about the growth right now, we are currently in restructuring phase and we don’t have to explain our self to you…
              In the meantime we will invest heavily in Medical because we are so innovative company so we must do what everybody else does …
              We will also ditch our lithography business where we lost the entire market because we are just too good for customers to fully appreciate and they are all stupid enough to buy ASML so we hate them and will not play with them any more …
              And we will reiterate same cameras zillion times and increase the prices so fast that no matter how fast market for cameras shrinks we will increase our margin zillion times because zillion is such a big number …
              So what part of our ultimate supper supper plan you didn’t understand?

            • Thom Hogan

              Answer: all of it ;~). I’m not sure you (Nikon) do, either.

            • MB

              If by truly survived you mean the company that has been sold and resold by various owners for the last 25 or so years than yes Macintosh survived …

            • ZoetMB

              Well in that case, you’re further making my point – that all those great U.S. audio companies of the 1950’s-1970’s did not survive.

            • PhilK

              I mostly agree with your observation about Nikon, diversification and size and so on. FWIW – Olympus is a very similar size to Nikon in terms of sales/staff numbers but they have probably the inverse product mix Nikon has – most of their revenue is from the medical field.

              Re: the US audio industry – there are actually some “real” mass-market US-based audio manufacturers still in business. Bose is one example. (Never been a fan of their products but I hear their noise-canceling headphones are good)

              On the other hand there are still tons of well-regarded US boutique audio manufacturers, always have been.

              Though it needs to be said that McIntosh was actually bought by a Japanese company in 1990 (Clarion, the car-audio manufacturer), then in 2003 to another Japanese firm D&M Holdings (a holding company for Denon and Marantz among others), and then finally to an Italian company in 2012. 😉

    • SteveHood

      Unfortunately, Nikon has missed the boat for video capability. I don’t see that changing with the just announced cutbacks.

      • Verco

        They missed the initial chance to be a leader in video, but the longer the wait the more it’s going to hurt them.

        The thing is you can’t not be in the video market anymore

        • Spy Black

          All Nikon has to do is make a killer pro camera, make some cine versions of x lenses, and it would sell. They can’t seem to fathom that for some reason.

          • Thom Hogan

            And once again I’ll sound the foghorn. The same is true for video as it is for stills now. To make inroads against the established players, you have to solve the workflow problems, and there are more in video than in stills. Companies like Blackmagic Design and RED understood this.

            Simple things can kill you: use of NLE-unfriendly codecs, for instance.

            • Spy Black

              Well, it wouldn’t be surprising if Nikon botched something like that, but let’s face it, Nikon’s (and everyone else) consumer sales are evaporating, quickly. One of the things Nikon can do is move further into the pro market, and this is one way they can do it. Obviously it needs to be done intelligently, but they have the resources to do it.

            • Thom Hogan

              Let’s be clear: it’s never been about resources or technology with Nikon. I wrote recently that they’re a very good technology company.

              Nikon’s problem was, is, and continues to be simple: they don’t see customers as anything other than someone who buys their box at a store. They aren’t close enough to the customer to understand the wants/needs and user problems that need solving.

              The thing about video is this: you’d better be darned close to the customer. That’s a target moving faster than the still camera customer. And more demanding. So “botching” any video decision would be as bad as not having a video entry at all.

            • Spy Black

              Sure, but it’s not like Nikon can’t see what the likes of Canon, Sony, and Panasonic are doing in that space. This is an ideal pro market to venture into. Consumer products aren’t going to hold themthem afloat soon. They need to do something.

            • PhilK

              I agree about the customer relationship thing, that’s a perennial Nikon problem.

              But as usual I disagree on the diversity thing. Canon and Sony are way ahead of Nikon’s capabilities in the electronics area and this is critical for that market. Not to mention Canon has been producing cinema and pro video equipment at least since the 1970s, Sony since the 1950s and Panasonic/Matsushita since the 1940s. 🙂

          • PhilK

            I’d guess the pro video market in terms of dollars of revenue per year is microscopic compared to the consumer photographic market. Anyone have any numbers? (Just the core camera/lens stuff that Nikon would be making, not all the rest of the ecosystem)

            Because the investment necessary to be competitive is absolutely non-trivial and it requires expertise and expertise that Nikon will have to find outside of the company.

            Low-production/high-price markets like boutique photo products or military equipment only seem to work if A) you are a small company with unusually strong committments from customers eg military, B) the market is artificially protected like much of the military equipment market is, or C) you are a ginormous and diversified multinational corporation with longtime experience in the market like Sony or Canon and you can afford to throw resources into an area as a “halo product” which may or may not ever provide a direct return on that investment.

    • ZoetMB

      Unless Nikon could find a way to radically jump ahead technologically past Sony and Canon, I don’t think they have a chance in pro video. It’s way too late and both Sony and Canon are too established and they both have huge amount of resources dedicated to video and systems approaches. I’ll be at the NAB New York show tomorrow and Nikon doesn’t even make an appearance, which is good because they’d have nothing to show that wouldn’t be laughed at. Both Sony and Canon (among others) have large booths there. One way to jump ahead would be with an 8K video sensor, but since Nikon gets most sensors from Sony, not happening.

      But I do think they could do far more for enthusiast and pro still photographer video (there’s a big difference between shooting a wedding video or event and broadcast video). They need to develop a line of high quality lenses that incorporate stepping motors and that also maintain focus from end-to-end on the zoom. They also need to vastly improve video auto-focus speed. My D800 focuses incredibly slowly when shooting video and it frequently won’t focus at all. For video shooting, there needs to be a touch screen, so one could tap the focus point. Moving the square around is not fast enough.

      Most people shooting video on a DSLR aren’t shooting feature films. They’re shooting event video and Nikon’s approach isn’t geared towards that so far. Frankly, in good light, my iPhone actually sometimes makes better video than my D800 does.

      • Verco

        Jumping ahead of Canon’s video in DSLRs would be easy considering what the 5D4 is doing.

        Keeping up with Sony is easily doable. Fuji caught up with zero prior experience. They just need to add 4k, good codecs, LOG, focus peaking, zebras, video autofocus, etc etc. It’s mostly just firmware.

        • HF

          Even if they use better codecs etc. I can’t see Nikon delivering good video autofocus. Sony and Canon with dual pixel AF are excellent here. Nikon’s AF in live view is horrible.

          • Verco

            The reason autofocus for liveview is so bad is because nikon uses off sensor autofocus.

            However I have heard that autofocus for the Nikon 1 line was amazing, even with video. So they’d only need to port that across to either DSLRs or FF mirrorless.

            • HF

              Yes, they ned OSPDAF, if possible combined with dedicated PDAF. Maybe an ansatz like in the A99ii, however, with translucent flipping mirror.

            • Thom Hogan

              Wouldn’t call the Nikon 1 focus amazing, but yes, it was quite good.

            • 74Circus

              It doesn’t matter, if the Nikon 1 Autofocus is amazing or only good. I live in Europe and would need 50p at 1/100s and 25p at 1/50s for Video. Still their newest N1 J5 has no options for that. Since it can run on 60p at 1/120s i don’t see any technical limitations – it’s crippled Software based. A simple Firmwareupgrade could change that, but it seems that Nikon doesn’t care about those people living in countries using PAL. Losing/not getting customers with neglecting stuff that could be changed within a few minutes of work is easy.

            • Thom Hogan

              As I’ve pointed out many times, one of Nikon’s main core disconnects is its inability to actually form a truly global company. The subsidiaries are still treated as little subservient fiefdoms, and as a result bad decisions occur.

          • Thom Hogan

            Try the D3400 and AF-P lenses ;~). Nikon hasn’t been asleep at the wheel, but it requires deployment of technology.

            • HF

              Exactly, but I would need a lot of AF-P lenses. How would the performance of the new 24-70vr and 70-200iii or 105/1.4 turn out? Are they developed with CDAF or OSPDAF in mind? I don’t think so.

        • Tomas Ramoska

          They need to build good video af canon been working for years on double pixel af.. Nikon have long way to go..

      • Just out of curiosity, can one use an iphone video effectively as pro/wedding footage. Anything but web usage? I mean it is 4k but is the bit rate etc good enough? Can it be graded or seamlessly incorporated in other DSLR footage? Even in good lighting.

        • Thom Hogan

          Well, we’re back at the “good enough” question again. The answer is “probably.”

          We’ve had feature films made with iPhones, many documentaries, a huge number of commercials. Did you notice which ones those were? Nope.

          But 1080P and even many digital theatrical screens are still a fairly low bar to get over. This is changing as 4K deploys more widely. But still, it’s a “good enough” question, and enough people would probably say yes.

        • ZoetMB

          I don’t shoot weddings, but I recently made a “movie” of family members fooling around doing a Star Wars battle. The first scene was shot with my iPhone (an iPhone 6 – not 4K). The rest was shot with the D800.

          With color grading and other adjustments during editing, they matched fine – I don’t think anyone but myself could tell which was which. But one thing I noticed which I don’t really have a full explanation for is that transitions (dissolves, etc.) applied to the iPhone footage in post have many artifacts and seem to “break up” and transitions applied to the D800 footage seem fine.

          I also shoot concerts. Concert lighting can be extremely difficult, especially when they decide to bathe the artist in only red light. And of course, it’s changing all the time, so taking a custom white balance doesn’t really work even if it’s possible to do so. So in some cases, the image looks like complete crap on the Nikon screen (although it can usually be fixed in post) and I see someone else shooting with an iPad and the color looks perfect. And that’s aside from the issue that the small sensor size and lens on an iPad (or phone) keeps everything in focus and especially having to shoot wide open on the D800, maintaining focus is impossible. But the iPad/iPhone footage will of course be noisier in low light.

      • Thom Hogan

        As I reported from the main NAB back in April, the current trend in video is low-bandwidth streaming. “Streaming” is used differently here: for instance when I shoot local news I have to stream it to either a local affiliate or a national outlet, and I don’t have a mobile satellite dish. There are other workflow variations where the data has to be “streamed” conveniently, including events.

        Sony is a bit behind on this, and Canon hasn’t really embraced it yet, so clearly there are vulnerabilities that can be exploited if you actually understand the customer problems that need solving.

        How Nikon would ever understand those problems escapes me, as they can’t yet understand all the still camera user problems that need solving.

        • ZoetMB

          But don’t you think this will resolved by third party devices outside the camera, just as quality video and audio recording are?

          I was at NAB NY today and there were several companies with point to point streaming solutions. I saw one which had a small external device priced at around $1K in which you could live- or post-stream to social media sites and another for $2K which could work point-to-point. And they were both quite small.

          • Thom Hogan

            Yes, it can be. But when was the last time Nikon embraced a third party solution? ;~) (Answer: Atomos, but that seems to have gone astray.)

            • ZoetMB

              But does it matter? While it would be nice if Nikon embraced a systems approach to third party solutions by providing end-to-end solutions (like recorders, cages, streamers, microphones, monitors, etc.), if I want to stick an Atomos on my D800, I can do so whether Nikon embraces that solution or not (at least in the bodies that still have HDMI out).

              And what was Nikon’s embrace of Atomos anyway? Wasn’t it just the D750 and D810 filmmakers kits that included one? The D810 kit originally listed for $4910. I don’t think it was any bargain – it’s not like you got the Atomos at a huge discount if you bought it as part of that kit.

            • Thom Hogan

              Wait for it…wait for it…

              Nikon’s embrace for Atomos was on the Atomos standard of controlling the camera from the recording device. In other words, workflow. Oh dear, there’s that word again in another context.

              Video rigs get complex. To the point where the main body/camera is often so festooned with other things, bars, and cables that, well, getting to the camera’s little red button might not be easy. You might even be trying to control another (B roll) camera from your position.

              The video world has a number of standards and protocols that allow a disparate group of other products to be used. Even Canon now has a PL mount version of at least one of the C series video cameras, for instance. Can you imagine Nikon making a PL mount? I can’t.

              Thing is, you compete in the world you compete in. If it’s video cameras, then that’s got a lot of expectations that need to be met. Getting met less by Nikon every day.

            • ZoetMB

              Totally agree. I was looking at the 9/2016 issue of “Film and Digital Times” magazine that I picked up at the show and I noticed all the manufacturers who are supporting EF or PL mounts. Along with all the true cinema lenses that have gears and T-stops and sized for not just full frame and APS-C, but Super 35 and Vista Vision. Leica’s got their M 0.8 line of cinema lenses. The Canon C700 comes with either EF or PL mount and supports 2/3″ BF lenses as well. It’s completely modular and system oriented. It even has a hook to hold a focus tape!

              Many different manufacturers seem to be supporting a CODEX RAW recorder.

            • PhilK

              Agreed again. And in terms of lenses, one of the various ways that Canon ate Nikon’s lunch with the EOS lense transition, I would think, is that the fully electronic interface makes it vastly more flexible to switch to a videography role (or adapting to a camera like a Sony MILC) than Nikon’s still mostly mechanically-linked lenses with loud/slow AF motors. Will take a long long time to eliminate mechanical diaphragms in all of the Nikkors.

              As far as making a dedicated cinema lens line I think Nikon is already spread too thin with the FX/DX/CX lens lines. (Why they don’t kill Nikon 1 at this point is a mystery to me)

            • El Aura

              Is there any camera designed primarily for still photography that has a PL mount?

            • Thom Hogan

              Not that I’m aware of.

        • PhilK

          If they can’t even get Snapbridge right…

      • PhilK

        Agreed on all. I really don’t think people think through what is involved in building a pro video ecosystem. Panasonic’s been involved since the 1940s, Sony the 1950s, and Canon the 1970s.

        Back in the days of VTRs, both Matsushita (Panasonic) and Sony built that equipment from the bottom up, including engineering the entire format specification, creating the tape and coating technology, everything. HUGE and complex undertaking. That kind of thing would never have been feasible for Nikon in those days. (Canon was just buying/using the VTR mechanisms themselves from 3rd-parties like Sanyo or Sony back in those days)

        Now in the digital era we don’t have the same exact requirements but I still think there is a lot of specialist knowledge necessary, and a commitment as Thom said to a high-end relationship with customers (including during the R&D phase) that Nikon never seems to care to create.

        They also need to understand the video/cinema industry, which is a key component of making a credible offering. My sense is that Nikon has barely even stuck their toe in the water yet in that sense.

    • PhilK

      The pro video market is infinitesimal in size compared to the consumer camera market and it requires a lot of expertise and experience to do properly which Nikon doesn’t have. Nor does Nikon appear to have much beyond a passing interest in it for the purpose of an add-on feature for their still cameras. (Personally I don’t blame them, it’s like an automobile manufacturer deciding to start selling shoes or something.)

      I think Nikon’s idea of working on their medical and metrology products is probably a much better way of getting profitable and growing again than going into tiny niche pro markets which they are not likely to stand out in and will suck desperately needed resources away from product categories they actually stand a chance in making some decent money from.

      • Verco

        I strongly disagree with everything you’ve said.

        You’ve just said that going into video is too far off their main business, but then you’ve said they should focus on medical?
        The reason people want Nikon to get into pro video is because it’s very, very closely related to photography. I’m one of the many photographers who are being hired for video work, and I expect my camera system to be able to do both as well. Otherwise I’ll be moving to Sony or Fuji.

        • PhilK

          Sorry I haven’t been reading these threads for a while.

          Did it possibly occur to you that Nikon has been involved in the medical optical industry for generations? Nikon is not new to the medical field.

          As for video, I stand by what I said, and doing pro video at the highest levels requires a depth of industry involvement and technology expertise (including involvement in standards bodies and so on) that Nikon not only does not currently possess, but also seems rather disinterested in overall. It’s not their core competency. Neither is the sales volume and profit potential for the small specialist video market likely to make their accountants very happy I suspect.

  • ZoetMB

    I don’t know where you’re getting that profits are up. Unless I’ve lost my analysis abilities, for the first half, operating income in the Imaging Group is 15.2 billion Yen vs. 24.2 billion Yen for the first half of fiscal 2016. That’s a 37% drop. And for the full year, they’re projecting 33 billion Yen vs. 45.7 billion Yen for fiscal 2016. That’s a 28% drop and they never make their projections anyway, which will be revised again with the December numbers.

    If profits were really up, Nikon wouldn’t be “reassigning” 1500 employees, even though they should do that anyway because the compact business is obviously going away.

    • Nakayamahanzaemon

      You’re right for the Imaging Product Business but the Precision Equipment Business covered up the loss of the other business and the entire profits went up for the first half. The Precision Equipment Business is predicted to gain profits for the entire year, which is why Nikon’s profits will be up this year.

      • Thom Hogan

        Yes, and this is very, very suspicious. It appears that Nikon made a one-time deal with a Chinese fab to offload some steppers cheaply but still at a profit. This appears to be a one-time thing timed to make up for what was known to be a coming bad period for imaging. I doubt that it’s repeatable.

  • Otis Criblecoblis

    Laying off thousands of Nikon workers will do wonders for Nikon’s bottom line.

    • Espen4u

      Adaption to poor management.

    • Thom Hogan

      There’s that word again. Nikon is going to issue another press release if you’re not careful ;~).

      Nikon is embarking on “staff reduction,” mostly through a set of currently unknown early retirement offers. Nikon has been very careful–partly due to Japanese laws–not to use the words lay off.

      Indeed, if Nikon ever got to the point where they did need to let people go directly (lay them off), it would be a really, really bad signal to the world. You simply don’t do that in Japan except in desperation.

      • Otis Criblecoblis

        Thanks for the additional information Thom. It goves me new insight into the cultural context in which an underperforming Japanese company operates in. I’m so wistful for the days when Nikon meant the best in photographic technology.

  • VanHoff

    If Nikon doesn’t take advantage to surpass the crippled video capabilities of the 5D Mark IV and the also crippled (rumored) 6D MkII by giving us a D820/D850 that beyond plain 4k gives us the option of decent video worflow (With FF 4K readout) instead of that crappy 4:2:0 color sampling… what we need is 4:4:4, alongside with a proper codec for 4K (yeah that will need XQD cards), I mean Sony does that (A7rII), Canon already offers 4:2:2 and I’m 400% sure that fact alone will change the Nikon Dslrs sales worldwide, -Nikon af-D glass still has the ability to produce real Cinematic Images (Lower count elements) over the competition-… But guess what? Stupid Nikon executive board in Tokyo will be so afraid of releasing a possible D820/D850/D760 having those video capabilities over the already crippled (in video regard) D5/D500, given the absurd chances of sales cannibilize (And I ask: How many D820/D850/D760 with proper 4K Nikon will sell vs D500/D5’s?) that could put this “down at heel” company in a safe place again… but… Any Words on this Thom Hogan?

    • KnightPhoto

      Well, not Thom, but with what’s been going on this week, and of late with the D500 release being no holds barred, Nikon must be long past the point of worrying about cannibalizing. Now is the time to pull out all the stops and bring on the D850H and the DF-2 with some real specs 😉

      I don’t know about full sensor readout 4k yet though on an FX sensor DSLR… bit of a heat and computing problem, especially on what should be a 54mp sensor this go-round. Not sure how Sony is achieving that presently. But hey I’m a wildlife guy so I like the sensor crop 4k, works for me.

    • HF

      What do you mean with lower count elements? Hopefully not the Angry Photographer nonsense?

      • VanHoff

        So Mr HF, I say that because the vast mayority of Cinematic lenses used in Cinematography have low element count, this fact brings a lot of microcontrast and three dimensional rendering to whatever you are filming, please investigate the construction of well renowed lenses like Cooke S4i and how they have been afecting the Cinematographic language since Cinema was conceived, I’ll let you some material for you to fully understand this needed phenomenon which is now getting lost because the frenzy about high count ARTificial elements. http://www.thehurlblog.com/cinematography-online-why-do-we-want-flat-glass/ http://i.giphy.com/dRdIP83vroJLq.gif

  • Eric Calabros

    You guys still refuse to understand people no longer want/need/use dedicated camera, no matter how better-than-smartphone it is. Thats why Imaging sales is down almost 40%. Not that video output isn’t 10 bit 4:2:2 yet or 4k is only available in crop mode or no log profile, and things like that. Sony is offering best video features available with state of the art tech (color sciences as an exception though), why they still sell only 1 body per 6 Canikon body?

    • Max

      Exactly. As much as we all want a D970x, Nikon needs a product, and some expensive marketing to go along with it, that will create a need (a “want” actually).
      I don’t know what that product is 🙂
      I’m also not sure what the marketing strategy would be.. Imagine signing a deal with one or two major smartphone retailers or network service providers to bundle iphones with D3400 or J5 cameras.
      And get Snapbridge to work seamlessly.
      You can’t beat the smartphone market, but maybe team up with it

    • ZoetMB

      Imaging sales are not down 40%. Year-to-date, DSLR sales are down 18%, Mirrorless is down 13%. Point-and-shoots are down 49%, but that’s because most were crap and smartphones are as good or better. Lenses for smaller than 35mm are down 17% and for 35mm and larger are down 7%.

  • animalsbybarry

    Nikon has officially anounced the rumored/ denied/ confirmed layoffs

  • Per K

    Nikon management wants the company to be financially strong – and a leaner organization (fewer staff) contributes to that. And makes the company more attractive for investors. It is still a clear no 2 in market share and Sony is a distant no 3. For Sony to become no 2, as their ambition is, it will need to acquire Nikon. At least if we talk five year perspective. Considering that take overs and mergers NORMALLY are very problematic and fails to deliver results the best thing for Sony not to buy Nikon at this stage.
    In the medium perspective Nikon and Canon have a problem though: Mirrorless cameras have fewer parts and are cheaper to manufacture = better profit per unit. It means Sony makes more money on a sold A7R2 than Nikon on a D810 or Canon on a 5ds or Mk4. Canon and Nikon technology is older and they booth must go mirrorless sooner or later. Remember how Hasselblad for years refused to develop digital camera – Their reduction in sales volume in the end was cut by a yearly rate of -50%. Three years in a row. Now H-blad always small have bordered extinction for several years. CaNikon are much bigger and their fall subsequently more dramatic.
    Within 3-5 years Sony will have high end mirrorless cameras that outperforms current CaNikon DSLR technology in every sense. (just my prediction – may be wrong :-))
    Change or die

    • HF

      Canon has the tech with dual pixel AF already. The transition to mirrorless is easily possible in my opinion (judging from the performance of AF in live view). However, I don’t see Nikon in the same boat, they need to use OSPDAF which requires adapters in case of different flange distances and/or new lenses (since many lenses are not designed for CDAF and OSPDAF).

  • Ian Weir

    Kind of reminds you of Apple in some ways. Over priced photography gear.

    • harvey

      Nikon is not alone in that boat.

    • HF

      Do you find D7200,D500,D750 or the 1.8G lenses overpriced, for example?

    • nwcs

      It’s pricing by perceived value, not the bill of materials. The thing is that Apple generally doesn’t have the same quality issues as Nikon but even when they do they have stellar customer support — something no one has ever accused Nikon of in their history, sadly.

  • HF

    You are using the expression”microcontrast”, too. But how is it defined? So far I didn’t see any universally accepted definition, only vague descriptions. There are whole threads initiated by, e.g., M. Oelund at Dpreview with no clear result. You have lensrentals showing optical bench measurements showing the newer lenses like the 105/1.4 having more contrast at all lp/mm curves compared to older designs. Does an Otus have bad “microcontrast”, or a Sigma Art lens? What is 3D rendering? Without defining it we can argue forever to no avail. The material you show is pretty unscientific.

    • VanHoff
    • VanHoff

      Well Mr HF your question can be easily solved, take a Nikkor 105 f/1.8 Ais and set a comparison test, side by side against the Nikkor 105 f/1.4E AF-S. Take a deep look onto how both render textures and color tonality across the range, compare their three dimensional quality, their ability to separate focal planes from closest one to infinity, pay attention to the way the focus zone makes the transition to the out of focus zone, the way they render and separate the volume of the geometrical shapes that form a face or any object that your very own eyes render as 3d objects (non stereoscopical way, just try each of them at a time)… and came to your own non biased preofessional conclusion. Please dig inside this very interesting Canon Document which explains microcontrast on lenses: http://software.canon-europe.com/files/documents/EF_Lens_Work_Book_10_EN.pdf .Page 203 and 209. Get more information first instead of bully someone like me just trying to discredit my opinion by comparing me with people I don’t know. Now… how Canon and a professional industry Cinematographer can be so wrong as you claim? Do you have further information to prove us wrong?

      • HF

        I don’t bully anybody. I just recognize that many people recently, following the tirades of the Angry Photographer wrt the 105mm/1.4, use words like microcontrast or 3D rendering without giving a definition. This makes any discussion obsolete, as this will lead to heated debates without result, as people prefer one rendering over an other, have different ideas of what 3D rendering is, how this focus out of focus transition should optimally look like, etc.. It is totally unscientific and subjective. An expression like microcontrast itself is vague. What does it mean? At what subject distances is it measured, for what kind of test scene? What lp/mm curves? Your document from Canon is just general stuff, a kind of glossary of optical terms and the specific pages only show what MTF curves are. Known for ages. These pages are not about microcontrast, it is not defined. Using those MTF curves, the lensrentals optical bench tests shows the new 105/1.4 to have higher contrast at all lp/mm curves wide open already than most other lenses at comparable focal lenghts (https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/11/nikon-105mm-f1-4-e-mtf-bench-tests/ , only the Otus prevails at f1.4). But which contrast curve stands for microcontrast? 10, 20,30, 50lp/mm?

        • VanHoff

          Final word: As I already said, take the lenses I have mentioned or others, for example the 35 1.4G vs the 35 f/2D and make your own comparisons and tests and come to your own non-biased conclusions as I have done, I’m just a photographer and not a scientist so don’t believe in my words… but just because you deny a fact that can be (and has been) proved (see the link at the end) it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. By the way, you sound like one of those pre-paid trolls by some brands who defend new products at any cost all over the internet forums (105mm 1.4E in this case) just to make people at those forums to convince about purchasing them discrediting everyone else’s opinion with the same easy and cheap argument that has been used to death: Where is the scientific proof of God’s existence? http://www.thehurlblog.com/cinematography-online-why-do-we-want-flat-glass/

          • HF

            Certainly not. The thing is, you can have your opinion. If you say you like the rendering of a lens A better than B, fine. But if you openly say, it is because of better microcontrast or 3Deffect, it is possible that people like me ask what you mean. Why use words like microcontrast unless you thought about what they mean exactly? What you present here is no proof in the document. Take the 100mm images for example. The expression is different on the face of the girl, the angle is different, the hair is different, the coatings are different, the distortion is different. Claims like one face being more flat than the other are therfore vague and without substance therefore subjective, without a common metric to relate them to. Please show me the facts, as I nor many other people in the respective forums haven’t seen those. Only because I ask for specifics doesn’t make me a troll, my scientific background just makes me curious.

  • decentrist

    Oh god, you just said the wrong there here! If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exists.I thought this venue might escape the slide rule prairie dog mentality that infects most sites. The pack rules here, from Lord Hogan down to his minions.

    • PhilK

      I made some points on that argument to Thom again today. I agree with you. 😉

  • Back to top