The latest CIPA data: 2017 is shaping up to be a good year for camera companies

Nikon is not the only camera manufacturer that is currently having problems (see the latest rumors about Panasonic and Ricoh). The overall camera and lens markets have shrunk significantly compared to a few years ago, but the latest data shows some signs of improvement (I usually cover the monthly CIPA reports over at PhotoRumors). Here is an analysis of the latest CIPA data by Lauchlan Toal:

CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) has recently released more statistics on worldwide camera sales, and as always this has sparked a fair bit of online discussion and speculation. Their graph of total DSC (Digital Still Camera) shipments below shows that 2017 is looking a bit better than 2016, though still not nearly as good as 2015:

Keep in mind however, that this chart encompassed both compact cameras and interchangeable lens cameras. Since the release of the camera phone, compact cameras have become something of an endangered species, so it’s no surprise that 2017 numbers don’t match 2015’s, as cellphones continue to improve their image quality with each iteration. So let’s look at the data that’s specifically for interchangeable lens cameras:

Now this is looking promising - 2017 significantly beat 2016 in February, and is on par with 2016 and beating 2015 in March. The question is, will 2017 have the slump in the summer that 2016 suffered from, or will it retain high sales like 2015?

To try to determine the trend, I focused on February since it most closely matched between 2017 and 2015, and looked at the percentages of sales in different regions. Looking at both the percentage of worldwide shipping volume that each region accounts for, and the percentage of worldwide shipped goods value, we can notice some interesting trends.

Below is the data for compact cameras:

Remember, this is not total shipped units, it’s a percentage relative to the total shipped units of the month. So it’s a comparison of each country’s market share, so to speak, which is unaffected by the total number of units shipped or revenue. Europe dominates the market in terms of both volume and value, and have held at a pretty steady level for the past three years.

However, Asia has a disproportionately huge percentage of value relative to shipped units. This could indicate that Asia is the most profitable market for compacts. They may have lower volume than Europe, but their total value is approaching Europe’s, signifying higher-end products which could have better profit margins.

Another interesting aspect of this graph is that both the Americas and Japan follow a very symmetrical trend, with the Americas having lost a great deal of the market in 2016 and regaining it in 2017, and Japan doing the opposite.

With such similar market distribution in 2017 as 2015, it looks like the compact market might be able to have a better summer than it did in 2016. If we look at total figures, in February 2017 983,000 compacts were shipped, resulting in 15.23 billion Yen of revenue. Relative to 2016’s 985,000 units and 14.94 billion Yen, this is fewer units but higher revenue which is a good sign. Of course, it doesn’t come close to 2015’s 1,588,000 units and 22.08 billion Yen, but we can’t expect the compact market to recover.

Now let’s look at DSLR cameras:

Again, we see some interesting similarities between market distribution in 2015 and 2017. Asia in particular is a surprisingly massive market - not only do they have both the highest volume and the highest revenue, they also have the highest per unit value, which means higher-end products and better profit margins. And luckily, it looks like Asia has that same symmetry around 2016 that suggests similar performance in 2017 to what we saw in 2015.

The other regions also show some similar symmetry, but it’s not as pronounced as Asia. We do see that Europe’s revenue and unit percentages are getting closer though, which means that they’re slowly edging towards more profitable products. Not dramatically, but with Europe having such a high volume it definitely matters. We’ve seen many companies, such as Nikon and Sigma, edging towards more expensive products and favouring that higher end market, so this isn’t a surprise. What does surprise me is that the Americas have done the opposite, but when we look at the mirrorless numbers this will make sense.

There we go - the Americas are going towards higher-end mirrorless cameras, while at the same time going towards lower-end DSLRs. This makes sense - the entry level DSLRs are rarely rivalled in price, whereas more expensive mirrorless cameras like Sony’s A7 series and the Panasonic G series are growing in popularity.

However, we don’t see as much symmetry in this graph. That said, I wouldn’t be too concerned - the mirrorless world is more turbulent, as it’s newer technology and still gaining traction. Sales of mirrorless in February of 2016 and 2017 have been around half of DSLR sales, and back in 2015 it was closer to a quarter of DSLR sales.

With that said, mirrorless is definitely a major part of overall sales, and it’s the only category that’s steadily increased both sale volume and revenue over the past three Februaries, increasing revenue by about 3 billion Yen each year.

Thanks to mirrorless’s growth, and looking at the similarities in market distribution for DSLRs in 2015 and 2017, I expect that camera sales will see much less of a dip over the summer this year than they did in 2016. Due to the declining compact market I’m not sure that overall camera sales will reach 2015 levels, but interchangeable lens cameras will likely pick up some of the slack.

One other factor that points to a successful year is the average revenue per unit. For DSLRs, the price per unit went from 49,514 Yen in 2015 to 39,961 Yen in 2016, but now it’s back up to 49,497 Yen. Mirrorless follows a similar, but less exact trend. In 2015 mirrorless’s average unit revenue was 42,729 Yen, rising to 53,887 Yen in 2016. Now it’s dropped back to 47,101 Yen. I’m guessing this makes for a good balance between sales volume and revenue per sale, but time will tell.

So keep an eye on CIPA’s data here, and we’ll see if this prediction comes true. Even if we don’t see the same revenue as 2015, 2017 should definitely do better than 2016, and if we’re lucky some of that revenue will result in more useful tools being created for us.

Lauchlan Toal is a food photographer and writer based in Nova Scotia. You can get his free guide to learning photography from his new site on creative photography.

If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

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  • silmasan


    Anyway, the last post is going to break 1000 comments soon. ^_^ Good to see that happening, which is not very often…

    • Bob Thane

      Yep, we all love speculation, but when the real deal’s announced we don’t have as much to argue about. Much more fun to guess at specs and insult people’s camera preferences.

      • silmasan

        yeah well your nikon sucks though. iphone ftw xD

        • Hans J

          haha! XD for sure.

    • Nikon’s base is still very strong, we just did not have many good products to talk about in the past 1.5 years.

      • Thom Hogan

        I would phrase it differently. Nikon’s core enthusiast/pro base is relatively intact, though its shed a measurable number of customers in recent years. Nikon’s consumer sales are off the charts bad.

        Those two things taken together imply contraction. And recent negativity about the D7500 update indicates that it’s quite possible that Nikon will continue to shed a measurable number of customers if they don’t somehow add some “magic” to their updates.

        • HD10

          The vocal negative response by some on the D7500 (removal of the 2nd SD slot, removal of metering support for old lenses including AF-D) hopefully means that Nikon will avoid the same mistake when configuring the D750 replacement.

          • Thom Hogan

            Okay, but where are they going to take costs out of the D750 replacement? Because they will have to.

            • Aren’t they driving out cost through yield enhancement and packaging over time?

            • Thom Hogan

              I am telling you that EVERY camera company is driving out costs in each and every way they can think of at the moment. That means everything from continuing to use USB 2.0 to building the cameras with robots (Canon). Everything is under scrutiny now.

              I will say that this is the way a lot of companies make huge mistakes. At some point you cross a line that the consumers refuse to cross with you. I would argue that Nikon is already at that line, not so much because of the actual camera/lens, but because of everything else associated with it (e.g. support, repair, information, etc.). Leaving a Nikon-labelled strap in the box while taking something out tells you where their priorities are.

              Now Sony has an interesting dual benefit at the moment. First, the move to mirrorless took costs out of the camera. Second, they’ve added tech and especially marketing of the tech while raising the price of the camera. For the moment, they’re benefiting from this. But long-term, they have the same problem as everyone else.

            • HD10

              Nikon would have to spend more in marketing and advertising to counter the negative publicity if it removes the 2nd SD slot and metering support for older lenses. Whatever is saved by removing these 2 features will be lost for this added marketing and advertising expenditure. Nikon might as well just leave these two features alone for which it may even receive some faint praise.

            • Pippo

              Nothing wrong with D7500. New buyers not interested dinosaur era lenses and second card slot. . He buy camera kit with 18-140.
              Personally waited from Christmas D7500 specs, all ok, but price is so small gap to D500. Got D500, Nikon happy, I’m too. Later, price go down, and Nikon sold it (D7500) as hot cakes.
              Nikon’s big mistake is DL cancellation. I have Pana LX 5, today I’m looking at LX10, very nice pocketable compact camera for my bicycle trips. Sony has RX100 five versions, Canon has. Never today buy 100$ compact, but this small beasts hold compact line on promising note.
              Overall future, cameras prices rise up, new replacement models with longer delay.
              Yes, Nikon needs FF mirrorless for rich clients. Good specs or not so good, that will be secondary. He 2-3 times use and let on shelve to forget it.

            • ZoetMB

              The features you quote only make a difference to existing customers who are upgrading from a D3xxx or D5xxx and who have older lenses. It makes almost no difference at all to new Nikon DSLR customers because they won’t be aware of the differences and it makes no difference to users who never use the second slot anyway or who don’t have older lenses. If you’re referring to AI-S lenses, you’re talking about lenses that are over 35 years old. If you’re referring to AF-D lenses, the lenses still in the lineup are all 16-24 years old.

              The vast majority of customers who buy a D7500 (and a D3xxx or D5xxx) buy the kit lens and never bought anything else.

              Nikon sells fewer than 1.5 lenses for each body sold.

            • HD10

              The majority of kit lens camera buyers buy will not opt for the D7500. Instead, they will likely get the D3400. Few will buy the D5500/D5600 and very much fewer still will buy thr D7500. The D7500 is essentially an enthusiast camera and many buyers of this will know what they have lost in terms of features. Perosnally I think the D7500 is an excellent upgrade from the D7200 but as I am a D500 user, I am in no position to argue against many D7xxx users here who have objected to the D7500 lost features.

            • DaveyJ

              The D7200 features NEEDED to be retained better, the 2nd card slot hurt them more than they know. I use both the D7200 and D500. I also shoot with family who own REDS etc.

            • HD10

              I see that in the many comments posted here at NR. This makes me wonder whether given the negative impressions the removal of the 2nd SD slot and old lens support in the D7500 caused among Nikon owners, whether Nikon might be better off just charging a bit extra (like $20-$25 more) to retain these features. But given that Nikon has decided the way that it has, the D7500 sale numbers will speak better whether Nikon did right or could have done better.

            • Taking costs out is one side of the equation. I recently purchased a Nikon 105 F1.4 and I think I’ve had fast food that came in better packaging. Hyperbole, but not that far off. Even Microsoft has figured out that in order to sell high priced electronics against Apple, the package better also look high priced.

            • ZoetMB

              Disagree because most photo equipment sales are no longer in a physical retail environment and even when they were (or are), lenses were kept behind the counter or in a back inventory room – it’s not like the consumer pulls them off a shelf. And Nikon’s lens packaging was never extraordinary but neither is anyone else’s. It’s a shiny cardboard box and I assume the interior was styrofoam to protect the lens during shipment and the lens itself in a plastic bag. What else could you possibly be expecting? Maybe some cheaper and smaller/lighter lenses use cardboard instead of styrofoam. I’ve never seen a lens from any manufacturer packed differently.

            • I guess I’m just spoiled because my Sigma Art lenses come in a squarish case that is very useful for storing lenses when not in my backpack and not being used.

            • ITN

              They may not have to cut costs if they increase the performance and the price, essentially similar to what they did with the D7200 -> D500. Nikon can replace the D750 with a D820H and D810 with D820(X), or simply make one model which replaces both and is higher priced and better featured.

              What people are upset about in the D7500 is that it has some features removed and others added. But what really happened is Nikon replaced the D7200 with two models: one is higher end (D500) and one in some ways lower end in terms of physical components but newer and better electronics (D7500). They should see the D500 as the D7200’s upgrade option (whereas the D7500 is the upgrade option to D5x00 and D3x00 models) and be happy that the D500 exists. As there sales volume decrease, prices go up. As a photographer evolves from a beginner to advanced user, they’re expected to move to the next class of camera instead of staying in the same class.

            • Thom Hogan

              That may have been what they did (replace one model with two, one lower and one higher), but just try marketing that ;~). We already know what the reaction is. The perception remains among D7xxx users that the camera has been stripped of things that were useful. What was gained?

              The business optics are where Nikon keeps making mistakes. Perception is driving their word of mouth negatively now.

            • ITN

              The D500 was what was gained. I thought that was what you wanted all along (though you called it “D400”).

            • DaveyJ

              Many people I talk to, including full time sales people, think Thom Hogan should be part of Nikon’s decision making team! It is indeed a mystery to me how Nikon is not better at reading tea leaves than they are…….

            • Thom Hogan

              Well, thanks for that. Thing is, I talk to and correspond with many photographers every day. I ask questions, I get answers. It’s actually not a hard thing to do. Coupled with my high tech and digital camera design background, it’s easy enough to see trends and predict likely futures.

              I’ve offered my advice to Nikon in the past. I’m more than happy to provide it in the future. But frankly, Nikon management has to be the ones that understand what it is they’re doing and why. I’m getting less and less sense they do. See my article today about their financials: they seem to be still chugging through management issues while their market share just goes down in a straight line. If that enables Sony to grab that market share, Nikon will find that the other things that they’re talking about as managers are going to be harder to achieve.

            • DaveyJ

              I am always amazed at Nikon Rumors. Peter and moderators and members have collectively done a great job. Very few times do I miss my era when I could buy mega expensive cameras. I owned some prestigious rigs, but when it became more and more obvious that My Nikon F5 and 35mm glass were producing some of the best images, I finally sold that 4×5, 8×10, 10×30 gear. Only rig I miss is my Fuji GX 617 and the four lens panels. Years ago I contacted Fuji Japan and tried to make a case for long lens panoramic. They WROTE back and said panoramic by definition was wide angle. I sent them transparencies of 6×12 (2 1/4) I had shot of 180 mm shot on a Horseman rollfilm back. They responded by saying that had inspired them to produce a 2 1/4 panoramic with 180 lens backs plus a 90 mm for wide and 105mm for more normal. After that we corresponded about 300 lens panel and I got them all. I also got a Linhoff 72mm lens panoramic.
              The Fuji was my favorite though. Nikon has never answered letters from most of us. My hope is that they answer your correspondence. Your input on Nikon Rumors is about the best that it gets. I have also learned much from others.

              Two personal objectives I have short term is acquisition of a longer zoom lens in the ultra tele category for D7200 and maybe another Nikon body. Our D500 is not mine alone and at this point my son uses it mostly. The D7500 may be the one I get. I bought a D70 with very little research. My deciding income may be the tip of the iceberg in today’s market. I may not be the only one who is trying to keep our 900 acres of farm and ranch land?

        • ITN

          Every new Nikon product gets a lot of negative comments from forum commenters and Monday morning quarterbacks. If the product is recognized as good, commenters state it is overpriced. If there is a single spec “flaw”, perceived or otherwise, there is a flood of commenters saying how Nikon have lost it. There is nothing new regarding the D7500’s response. The D750 also got a large number of negative comments for specs trivia.

          • Thom Hogan

            Yes, it does. Why? Because Nikon has allowed public perception to change. Who exactly are the Nikon cheerleaders?

            • ITN

              It hasn’t really changed. People bitched about the D70 far more than D7500, and you yourself claim they’re the same class of body. The D70 deserved every bit of criticism it got. It’s clear that the D7500 will never get as much complaining as the D70 did. What the real complaint today is that some people would like to get more in every sense and pay less for it each time. But as the market for dedicated cameras shrinks, they will not be getting more without paying more. It’s better to get used to the idea.

            • Thom Hogan

              I think you’re remembering wrong. The D70 was one of the most well-received cameras Nikon has made. The only criticism came when they started dying from BGLOD (blinking green light of death).

            • ITN

              I don’t remember wrong. The viewfinder and AF were worse than anything that Nikon had made until then and they dropped support of Ai metering so a lot of people had to rethink their lens lineups. The digital imaging was good, the camera was in other respects really quite bad. Try it out some time and compare the viewfinder, ergonomics, and both manual and automatic focusing with, e.g., the F100.

        • manattan

          They obviously need to add an “s” or “Pro” to their product names. That’s how you make them “magical” 😉

        • Andrew

          I would not be too concerned about the success of the D7500 as it does not lose anything that matters to prosumers but comes with massive gains. Anyone that looked at the D750 and wished that its form factor would make its way to the D7100 should be pleased with the D7500 especially as it in herits D500’s capabilities. The D7200 is sophisticated and refined but was not a compelling upgrade for many. If we are talking about the Nikon faithful, I am certain that the D7500 will attract many holdouts from the D90 to the D7100. It is also a compelling upgrade from the D7200 for sports photographers.

          As far as the broader market is concerned, if Nikon does a better job (no shortages!) with the rollout of the P950 (125x Optical Zoom) than they did with the immensely popular P900 (83x) ultra-zoom camera, they could see a reasonable revenue boost. I bought a Panasonic 60x Zoom a few years back but wanted to wait for the successor to the P900 before upgrading. This camera might be the one bright sport for Nikon even as emerging markets keep expanding, but Nikon would need to do some pretty impressive marketing to take full advantage of their lead in the ultra-zoom camera segment. But I am concerned that Nikon’s management team might be risk averse (or lack the vision of gaming console and cell phone manufacturers) and as such would not build up the manufacturing capacity needed to manufacture these cameras in large quantity.

          The P950 is Nikon’s best chance of attracting new first-time customers from other brands. In business, once you get a new customer, it is easier to entice them to your other products. Zoom cameras have a potentially large audience among youths, nature photographers, vacationers, sport fans, and anyone that is just curious about what is going on around them but at a distance.

          • Thom Hogan

            The P900 is a “fad camera.” This is exactly where Nikon often gets things entirely wrong. Does it shoot raw? Does it use DSLR accessories? Does it lead to buying another Nikon product?

            You want long-term customers in imaging. Ones who start with something and grow into your better products over time.

            More problematic: when you “upgrade” your P900 (83x) to a P950 (125x) is that because you want more lens? You’re throwing away a perfectly good product to buy something with a higher number, not necessarily something that really gives you new types of images. This is lazy marketing (“Bigger Number!”).

    • Aldo

      Really around 500 comments if you subtract Tim’s 😛

      • Eric Calabros

        We need another storage slot dedicated to him

      • lol 🙂

    • Shutterbug

      It’s hilarious that a post with zero new information has 1000 comments – shows how ready people are for the D810 successor I guess.

    • Shutterbug

      It’s hilarious that a post with zero new information has 1000 replies – just shows how bad people want a D810 successor haha. The rumor was basically “it will be better than the D810” and it exploded.

  • Bob Thane

    Hopefully 2017 is a better year, especially for Nikon! Good to see some indications of a better market this year, though we really need the D820 to live up to expectations in order for Nikon to profit from it.

    • Yes, I hope Nikon can take advantage of this uptrend while it lasts.

      • Thom Hogan

        There’s no doubt that Nikon can take advantage of this uptrend: just ship more units. CIPA is showing you what the Japanese think will sell, not what is selling. Thus, all you have to do is think you’ll sell more and you can up your unit volume just fine ;~).

        The actual sales trend in retail numbers looks the opposite for Nikon. My charts are now projecting that they pass (in the wrong direction) 25% market share in ILC this year.

  • Hans98Ko

    I really doubt that these kinds of data will mean anything to real market performance for 2017. Yes, I too expect 2017 to be better than 2016 because of a number of things like more new products are coming into the market after a slow 2016 year, as well as Nikon’s 100th anniversary and companies are pushing for more sales by offering special offers.
    The next thing is there is still no actual and official data showing the breakdowns of mirrorless between P&S, compact and interchangeable lens systems. Even for MIL, there is the high end like Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony. And low end like Canon M and Nikon 1.

    • Lauchlan T

      Remember that while a summer/fall D820 release will drives sales of the new camera when it’s released, it will slow sales of the D810. And with Nikon’s market share in the camera market having fallen a fair bit, I’m not convinced that Nikon will ship more units due to new releases. It’s entirely possible, but we’ll see.

      I agree that it would be good to have more detailed data on specific brands and models – if anyone knows of places that provide such data let us know!

      Note that the data I used and my terminology has three distinct classes – cameras without interchangeable lenses (compacts), interchangeable lens cameras with a mirror (DSLRs), and interchangeable lens cameras without a mirror (mirrorless).

      It’s not perfect, since high end compacts that have fixed lenses are lumped in with all the others when they may better represent the mirrorless market, but it’s at least well defined.

      • Hans98Ko

        I don’t think we will ever get a complete picture for the breakdown of sales for any particular company because almost all companies will try to muffle their sales data as much as possible to give a positive outlook.
        Take for example Nikon’s recent propaganda about how good was the KeyMission 360 doing, we now knew the truth.
        I pointed out the incomplete representation of data is not saying you are not doing your best to give us a simplify representation, but rather the possibility of individual companies manipulating the true sales data that many do.
        Let’s take Sony for example, they only presented their sales for mirrorless. But not the actual breakdown of mirrorless like P&S, compacts, low end MILS and high end MILS.
        It is so easy to give a false impression of how well their high end MILS, the A7 series are doing. They can always offer their P&S, compacts, and entry level MILS at very attractive prices and booze sales to give an overall good sales figure, but that is not the true picture for their A7 series sales. But consumers will never know and will use their overall mirrorless sales figures as a representation, or rather the overall mirrorless market figures which will definitely out pace the high end models.

  • HD10

    I am more interested in understanding what NR reader prefer:

    Which of these will you prefer that Nikon release as a true D700-replacement?

    1. D500 body + 24.3mp FX sensor from the D750/D6xx (DR excellent at ISO 100 up to ISO 1600)

    2. D500 body + 20.8mp FX sensor from the D5 (DR not as good at low ISO but excellent above ISO 1600)

    3. D500 body + 16.2mp FX sensor from the D4s/Df (DR good at low as well as high ISO)

    • Eric Calabros

      3 is out of question. 1 is meaningless. We ask santa for 2.

      • HD10

        Thanks for replying. Let’s wait and hear what others have to say.

    • Thom Hogan

      Understand that the D5’s dynamic range, like that of the D3’s, is adjusted in a way that the electronics get in the way until about ISO 800. You don’t have to run the sensor that way. I see this as one of the reasons why Nikon might resurrect the X model, as this seems to be a return to Nikon’s old design philosophies.

      • HD10

        I see … like what Nikon did with the D4, D4s and Df? So Nikon can make the D5 sensor perform better at low to mid-ISO while sacrificing a bit of the high ISO performance in the D700-replacement. Does this impact on the maximum frame rate?

      • br0xibear

        “I see this as one of the reasons why Nikon might resurrect the X model, as this seems to be a return to Nikon’s old design philosophies.” lol

        D3, D300, D700, D3x becomes…
        D5, D500, D900, D5x

        Sounds like a plan.

        • HD10

          More like:

          D3, D300, D700, D3x becomes…
          D5, D500, D900, D5x, new D8xx, new D7xx

        • Thom Hogan

          I think everyone knows that I approve of such a plan, though I’ve specified it as:

          D5, D500, D850x/D850h, D5x

          As for the other comments about D7500, D750, and other models and where they fit in, that’s a bit of a different problem.

          1. Own the pro market with a full set of tools (see above)
          2. Extend to enthusiast pricing levels, fill niches, space price points, etc.

          • br0xibear

            “As for the other comments about D7500, D750, and other models and where they fit in, that’s a bit of a different problem.”
            Yeah I know what you mean, personally I’d like to see Nikon being as ruthless as they were with the DLs…no drip drip, Scrap the DSLRs that don’t fit into a new streamlined, and better defined, line up.

      • HD10

        So like what Nikon did with the D4/D4s/Df.

        Personally, I would really like to see Nikon use the Nikon D5 FX sensor, but trimmed it to perform like the D4/Df sensor. This sensor is 4K capable, and would be a better balanced sensor than the current D5 sensor. It is unlikely that the majority of would be buyers of the D700-replacement will be shooting at ISO 3200 where the current D5 will start to have an advantage. At ISO 1600 and below, the D750 and D4/D4s/Df sensor performs better than the D5 sensor.

    • manattan

      Your poll is useless. Any new camera introduced now will likely have 4K video, so the sensor choices need to support that. Only 2 has that capability, but that does not mean that Nikon will use that sensor

      • HD10

        Snarky … got up on the wrong side of the bed or is this just really the normal you at your best? There are 2 sensors that Nikon currently uses that has 4k video capabilities but it does not mean that Nikon will only have these 2 sensors to choose from. Assumed premise is vacuous.

        • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

          True but at the moment the 4K Capture is a crop of the sensor and not the full readout like A6xxx, A9, etc.

          • HD10

            2 sides … with the crop, the coverage is not as wide but an advantage when shooting a narrower or longer field of view. As video for me is more subject centric, the narrower FOV works well so the crop us not a disadvantage.

    • DaveyJ

      I would take option one from that list.

  • HD10

    I am also interested to know which of these are of a greater interest to NR Readers:

    1. $2000 for a D750-replacement (D750 body plus D7500 enhancements).

    2. $3000 for a D700-replacement (D500 body plus FX sensor from either the D750, D5, D4/Df.

    • Eric Calabros

      Why not both?

      • Thom Hogan

        You need product line rationalization. Nikon really needs more product line rationalization, for sure, but the question is where do you put the pivot point around which you place product?

        • Eric Calabros

          D6xx converts to midrange mirrorless, D7xx as “high-res for enthusiasts”, D8xx “high-res for pros”, D9xx “high-iso for pros”.

          • HD10

            I too expect Nikon will replace the D6xx with a mirrorless FX F-mount but this may be an entry level camera.

            D750-repacement will likely be closer to the 24mp of the D750 is today as the move up to the 36mp will add to the cost which Nikon wants very much to avoid and even cut down on.

            D8xx is really “high-res enthusiast” and a D5x the “high-res pro” camera.

            • Ande Notos

              D8xx cameras are definitely pro.

            • HD10

              In terms of performance, yes. But in terms of how rugged and how well it can take physical punishment,no. This is my view. If you have a different view, this is fine by me.

            • Ande Notos

              How so? They’re weather sealed and magnesium. There aren’t that many cameras that are much rougher than that.

            • HD10

              I have four units of the D8xx and two of that had needed repair. Based on my limited experience with the D8xx, it is nowhere close to the D3, D4 and D5. The D700 is better than the D8xx in this respect.

            • Ande Notos

              4 units??? What do you do with 4 units? Lol well it’s still tough enough for most pros, I don’t know what kind of use would bang them up that bad, do you shoot nature?

            • Allen_Wentz

              Nah. Handle a D8xx then handle a D3/4/5 or even a D500. The D8xx is not in the same league.

            • Ande Notos

              What is the difference? I’ve only handled a D810.

        • dabug91

          I think they should still release a 16MP, 9fps, non-4K, non-flippy screen, non-Snapbridge, 51-point AF, dual SD D400. Just give it the exact same shell of the D500 and price it at $1400 because why not? 😀

          • Thom Hogan

            Technically, the D7200 lives at that price point (now D7500). I’m not sure how your suggested product is better than what exists at the price point.

            • dabug91

              Why, the 9FPS and pro-body controls, of course! Nikon should give the world the D400 it deserved in 2012! 😛 If someone wants 4k and flippy screen and 153 AF points, then they can spend $600 more on the D500. If they want a higher-res, slower-shooting, non-pro body DSLR for $150 less with Snapbridge and only a single-card slot while also forfeiting compatibility with older lenses, then they can get the D7500 ;D

          • Allen_Wentz

            Why not? Because Nikon needs to be culling models not adding models in a shrinking market space. Like Thom said, D7500 already lives there.

      • Sawyerspadre

        Both works, if the new D760 is the replacement for D610 and D750, which it should be. If they converge two models into one, they should be able to leave the good stuff in. If they model a D760 after the D7500 and take out a bunch of stuff, then it will be received with a Luke-warm reception.

    • I will do a poll next week.

      • HD10

        Great! Thanks Peter. That will be most interesting.

    • br0xibear

      A “D700 replacement” as you mention has to have the flagship sensor (D5), otherwise it’s not a D700 replacement since the D700 had the D3 sensor (the flagship at the time).
      That was the whole point, flagship sensor inside a body without the vertical/battery grip.

      • smith0100

        D700 was one of the best cameras ever made. Nikon just need to repeat the recipe. Why is so difficult?

      • HD10

        I agree that this is how the D700 was set up. If you had the D700 then, you had the best FX sensor Nikon had – period. At the time the D700 was available, along with the D3, it had the best sensor performance in terms of SNR, DR, Tonal Range and Color Sensitivity. There was no other FX sensor choice available.

        But this is not where we are today. By necessity, the D700-replacement needs to have a be able to shoot at
        high frame rate (ideally 10fps) and as such, needs to be of moderate
        resolution. Within that mid-resolution frame work, there are several existing FX sensor options available. Depending on whether the priority is best overall performance across low to high ISO range or best performance at high ISO range at the expense of low ISO performance, or somewhere in between, there are now choices.

        This is the at the heart of the poll suggestion … what do the NR readers prefer. I suspect that for every NR Reader that chooses the D700-replacement to adopt the D5 sensor that optimizes high-ISO performance, another would likely opt for the D750 sensor (enhanced version that is 4K capable) so that it will have good low and mid-ISO performance. Somewhere in between these two would be the FX sensor performance possible in the D4/D4s/Df cameras. Depending on one’s preference, one of these three can be considered by an NR Reader as the best sensor for a D700-replacement. I will add however that the last one (D4/D4s/Df) is the the most unlikely choice as it will not provide Nikon with the economies of scale of maintaining still yet another sensor and which will need to be enhanced to be 4K capable.

        In sum, the choice of what FX sensor to use in a D700-replacement may not be a simple slam-dunk choice as it would appear to some NR readers.

        • Allen_Wentz

          Agreed, the choice of what FX sensor to use in a D700-replacement is not a simple slam-dunk choice.

          IMO the whole discussion is flawed because we cannot start from a presumption of existing sensors. Any new camera at this level will have modernizations applied, even if some existing sensor is used as the basis.

          • HD10

            “IMO the whole discussion is flawed because we cannot start from a presumption of existing sensors.”

            No one is stopping you from making your own suggestions. On my part, I start with what is already there and assumed that it will be improved (if the sensor is old) or will be reconfigured or retained (if the sensor is new) rather than conjure up some imaginary sensor with magical performance from nowhere.

        • br0xibear

          I disagree, I think it is simple…very simple.

          If you don’t use the flagship sensor inside the baby version of it (ie almost identical but without the battery grip) then it’s not what the D3/D700 combination was and you can’t call it that…it just becomes another camera model.

          • HD10

            I disagree. I personally would like Nikon to use the Nikon D5 sensor but configure and trim it so that it performs more like the Nikon D4/Df sensor rather than the current D5.

            At any rate, let’s find out what NR readers think when Peter publishes the poll next week.

    • Ande Notos

      Am I the only one who thinks an FX D500 style body selling at less than 3000$ would be a great thing? Come on, the D800 was less than 3000$, why can’t we have that any more?

      • HD10

        Sure, but why stop at less than $3000, why not less than $2000?

        I am certain that everyone would be happy if Nikon prices the D700/D800 replacements lower than $3000 but given that Nikon wants to price its new products as it can for as long as it can, it is unrealistic to assume that the new camera would be priced lower than what Nikon has priced a similar camera in the past. The D800 was priced at $3000 when it was released and while it has dropped since then, the list price upon product announcement is what is relevant here – simply because one has no idea what the price will be after a year, two years, or 3 years later.

        • Ande Notos

          Because a D500 FX body for less than 2000$ is probably a bit unrealistic.

          Yes, the D800 was priced at 3000$. Why can’t Nikon have a line at that price? Why do the prices have to go up and up and up? Oh well, I guess I know the answer to that…

          • HD10

            The D700 was priced at $3000 when it was announced in 2008.

            The D800 was priced at $3000 when it was announced in 2012.

            It is unrealistic to expect anything less than $3000 for a D700/D800 replacement even as I will very much welcome this.

            • Ande Notos

              I didn’t ask for a D800 replacement priced at below 3000$… And the D700 was a LOOONG time ago, sort of irrelevant.

      • Allen_Wentz

        A fast FX in a D500 body (a D850h) could certainly be priced at $2999 with a slower, higher priced D850x to balance it out for folks wanting higher MP count. Thom suggested that quite a while ago and I think it makes a world of sense.

        • Ande Notos

          It does sort of make sense.

  • HD10

    Here is another poll variation:

    Which of these cameras will be your likely next Nikon purchase (Choose one, two or all three!)

    1. $2000 for a D750-replacement (D750 body plus D7500 enhancements).

    2. $3000 for a D700-replacement (D500 body plus FX sensor from either the D750, D5, D4/Df).

    3. $3400 for a D810-replacement (D500 body plus FX sensor of at least 46-48mp resolution)

    • mariusvr

      either 2 or 3. don’t really need to go overboard with the megapixels. just bigger file size. i don’t need to print billboards and can just use zoom or foot-zoom to compose rather than crop

      • HD10

        The difference primarily is that choosing No. 2 means primarily choosing higher frame rate with a lower resolution while choosing No. 3 means choosing higher resolution at a lower frame rate.

        • Allen_Wentz

          That is your simplistic assumption (and of course it is your poll) but IMO the reality is far more complex because there are many more very relevant parameters than just frame rate and pixel count.

          • HD10

            A Nikon Df will be best for you then.

    • Ushanas Trivedi

      I may be thinking aloud but what if no.2 & no.3 is merged in single line. If Nikon implements sRAW better so that it can operate at 46MP, 24 to 30MP & 16 to 20MP by choosing different RAW image sizes. But sRAW should result in corresponding decrease in file size & subsequently faster FPS, deeper buffer & quicker workflow. I guess, those who are waiting for D700 replacement are looking for faster machine, better High ISO & Top end body (3rd is critical as earlier two are already catered by D750 which in my opinion is good enough for D700 replacement but not for many). I don’t know if this is technically feasible but if yes, this can be a master-stroke & it can complete with both 5DSR & 5DIV. Comments are welcome with regard to technical possibilities.

      • HD10

        sRAW is not a solution as the resulting file has already been demosaiced. In effect, it is nothing more than a glorified JPEG.

        Pixel binning will be a more elegant solution and will result in an improved image quality as the resolution is scaled down but as this is done during demosaicing, then we are still in the same position in that we are still working on the same full high resolution to begin with.

      • Allen_Wentz

        A) The trouble with such poll questions is that the devil is in the details. I will be buying a new FX body in the next year, but it could be #2 or #3 listed choices or a D5s/x – – totally depending upon the specifics of a given camera.

        B) Sorry but I consider sRAW a flawed premise. Lossless compressed 12/14-bit NEF is my choice and I will configure post-processing hardware however necessary to cope.

  • Eric Calabros

    These numbers are about SHIPMENT, not sales.

    • Lauchlan T

      Ah, my apologies! I tried to avoid saying sales and used shipment or shipped units in most cases, but it looks like a few slipped past my filter. You’re absolutely right, this is shipments and not sales.

  • Thom Hogan

    You can’t isolate to a single month because you’d have to account for new product launches. Even doing it with a quarter is problematic in that respect, as I noted for ILC shipments in 2017 (more new mirrorless launches than DSLRs). For a full year, that would be a trend, and indeed it is a trend (more new mirrorless launches than DSLRs now).

    There’s much speculation about whether this early 2017 trend is accurate or not. The sensor shortage definitely held back volume. The market declined to match that. The question is whether that user buying decline ended up being permanent or not. As I noted on Friday, retail sales numbers for the period don’t match the CIPA shipment numbers, at least for the US and for much of Europe. Thus, the channels are getting stuffed is one analysis. See my article on Monday for one aspect of this that’s clearly impacting Nikon.

    But I’m not sure it matters.

    Olympus, for instance, finally reported a profit for the first time in seven years on cameras/lenses, despite missing their unit sales mark. You see the same words in every financial realease: cutting costs and moving upscale. The two together mean “more expensive cameras put together at less cost.” (Of course, for Olympus to get there they had to run multiple years of huge write-offs, which they’ll never recover.)

    What’s going to happen everywhere is that every Japanese company does the same adjustment. If unit sales are up, whoopee (and the cost cutting will make the profits look great). If unit sales are down, the cost cutting will keep them in the black (or get them to the black for those that aren’t there). Companies like Ricoh only look bleak because they’re now writing down the goodwill/assets of the Pentax acquisition (i.e.. didn’t pay out as they expected), not really because they’re not making units profitably in small volume.

    Panasonic is the biggest question mark, as their CEO seems serious about not going the Toshiba/Sharp/Sanyo/ route. He’s been pretty fast to cut out products and product lines that aren’t generated a useful ROI and show growth, and still cameras are next on the cusp of him jettisoning.

    • Eric Calabros

      They can’t go upscale forever. Just look at D800 users.. we need to invent a wishful spec list for upcoming D820 to make them just start thinking about upgrading 🙂

      • Thom Hogan

        Certainly. But right now the direction that “works” is up. Even Sony is headed that direction in case you haven’t noticed. Funny thing is, I didn’t see anyone really lament that the A9 was more expensive than the A7rII, or that the RX100V went to US$1000.

        The types of people still buying cameras have disposable income. So it really becomes convincing them that the camera is upscale, that’s why the price is upscale.

        • Eric Calabros

          A7r3 is going to be interesting update. If they don’t cripple it and yet stay in $3k range, that just proves A9 was overpriced..a lot.

          • A. F.O.

            At BH the Sony A9 is the #1 seller!
            4500 dolars! without a lens!…

            • Those short term #1 rankings do not make much sense unless they are talking about the whole year or a longer period of time. Pretty much every new camera released becomes #1 because of the high number of pre-orders, then things settle down. For example:
              here the the best seller is a Nikon Coolpix:
              here the first Sony camera (a6000) is at the #4 spot:
              even in the mirrorless category, the a9 is not even in the top 20:
              in the DSLR category Nikon has the top two spots and Canon still sells more cameras than Nikon:

            • A. F.O.

              You’re right…
              I know that’s short term rankings… but…nevertheless…even if it is a huge market like the US it puzzles me people spenting 4500 $ for a FF body only…by this route in 2027 we’ll get whatever we will use to take pictures with some 10000 US dolars!?…
              I’ve spent 850 euros for the D7200 and I think it was way too expensive!… I think this “highway to heaven” of profits will send some cameras manufacturers to leave the business sooner or later.

            • Lauchlan T

              I think it’s because the A9 more directly compares to the D5 and 1DXII than the A7 series, D810, or 5DIV. So relative to $6000 cameras, $4500 is a very nice discount.

              With that said, camera prices overall do seem to be going up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the top cameras in 2027 indeed did cost around $10000. (Not counting medium format, which passed that mark long ago.)

            • Yes, photography is going to be an expensive hobby.

            • It’s beginning to compete with golf as a hobby. A nice round of golf at Pelican Hills in Newport Beach is only $320 for one player. A foursome is $1,280 and it last less than 6 hours. Digital photography is a bargain. (Facetious comment.)

        • Yes, slowly every camera manufacturer is turning into a Leica. The Fuji X100F is $1,300… I mean a nice camera but $1,300?

          • A. F.O.

            yes! too expensive…
            the “old” Sony alpha a7+kit 28-70 mm is at 1098 dolars at BH and it’s a full frame…
            the sony A9 is too too much…expensive.
            Even if I would get that money to spend in a FF I wouldn’t. I would prefer the D500 and spend the rest with a very good zoom lens.

          • Pippo

            Engineering resources same or more, marketing more expensive, sales less, prices up. Mirrorless line is something like gadget of welthy people. Pro DSLR are workhorses and earn money back. Consumer line cheep, for masses.

          • Maksim

            X100F is equipped with a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder which is expensive to make. The same reason why XPro bodies are always more expensive than XT bodies.

            Fuji makes 2 less expensive rangefinders without this hybrid of EVF and OVF: X70 and XE2s. Both cameras are rumored to be upgraded with 24MP sensor in 2017. X70 is more likely to get upgraded sooner, although to be honest, 16MP is plenty enough for a little camera with a fixed lens in your pocket.

          • Chewbacca

            The problem that seems to be occurring now is that an unfathomable price point has been reached for most normal folks. Yet, lower level models are giving you less and less and the price is increasing.
            An example is 1 inch point and shoots costing as much as a fairly solid DSLR. The top of the line point and shoot used to cost around $500.
            Also, I really can’t even think who would be willing to be drop $3500 on a new upscale camera body unless you operate a highly successful business or you are just plain ol’ rich. Is this where Nikon and the rest are heading? It seems so.
            I like to think of guitar companies in this way. Not many working musicians are out there purchasing $15,000 Collings guitars or collectables. They are buying normally priced guitars or used ones that get the job done. Are real professionals really sitting around waiting for a new Nikon body such as a D850 that have a few upgrades, cost $4000 and not going to make a massive difference?

          • Thom Hogan

            The 23mm f/2 lens is a US$450 lens if you buy it for your X mirrorless camera. The body is state of the art, basically an Xpro-2 in miniaturized form, but with the X-T2 focus system. I think it’s reasonably priced.

            Everyone wants a US$500 camera. What are they really willing to give up to get such a camera? The camera maker would need to have a fully landed cost of about US$275 in order to sell such a beast.

        • Ande Notos

          “The types of people still buying cameras have disposable income.”

          What? How so?

          • Thom Hogan

            Unfortunately that data analysis is covered by NDA. There’s always been a higher income bias in DSLR sales, but all evidence I’ve seen suggests that has become more the case recently.

            • Ande Notos

              Well, if the prices keep going up like that, it will definitely become even more the case. It better stop before every brand becomes Leica.

        • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

          On D-Income for now but keep on increasing camera and lens prices push the no of punters that can afford these products in a downward spiral and them buying alternatives, e.g., second hand or cheaper brands / solutions.

          However some of the punters purchase could be on adding to their Debt (e.g., Credit) along with other purchases like Car, food, petrol/gas purchases, where if there is another banking crisis / local / global recession could spell doom for many. Some scare stories; UK 2.2$ Trillion, Germany 2.4$ trillion and Usa 19.8 trillion $ to name a few G8 countries debt.

    • Lauchlan T

      Very good point. I’m working on trying to look into other factors and analyze more long term trends, but February was the most interesting month for this year and thus the first I really looked at in depth.

      The distribution of market share in different regions is what I think makes this information more reliable than simple sales figures though. That generally correlates with market preferences and camera choices on a broader scale than investigating individual releases does, and when we’re averaged across all the manufacturers we shouldn’t see too much variation.

      As I said though, this is definitely being looked into more, and I’m going to be trying to determine just how much of an impact individual product launches have on the overall market.

      Panasonic’s indeed worth looking at – the G4 was revered, but relative to other electronics lines it’s a lot of investment for a small market. If they do opt out though, that gives Nikon or other manufacturers a big opening to introduce a solid mirrorless offering.

    • MB

      Nicely elaborated … so unless someone else starts making cameras as good as Japanese do but at lower prices photography will be nothing more but an expensive hobby because with current and expected prices I doubt too many people could live of photography alone …
      Could some Chinese company save the day … there is no way to beat them in keeping the cost of production down … and I think Ricoh will be more than happy to get rid of Pentax …

      • Thom Hogan

        I still believe it will be a Western company that takes down the Japanese in cameras. It almost has to be, because the way images are being moved, stored, viewed, etc., is being currently defined in the West.

        As I’ve tried to say for way too many years now, we need workflow changes, not necessarily more speed or pixels or dynamic range or edge MTF. All those things are well and good, but they don’t actually catch us up to what is needed in the market.

        Nor does the Light approach, IMHO, at least as far as I can tell from afar.

        The problem is a software one, not a hardware one. Personally, I wish I were head of a group at Apple taking on this task. That’s where the most likely solutions are going to come from, the Amazon/Apple/Facebook/Google/Microsoft grouping. The reason is that they’re more at the center of what is happening with the actual images.

        • Allan

          “I still believe it will be a Western company that takes down the Japanese in cameras.”

          The amount of money that can can be made selling cameras not in smartphones is not worth the time of Amazon/Apple/Facebook/Google/Microsoft grouping. I just can’t see someone at these companies saying, “Hey let’s make a lot of money making cameras with excellent workflows”.

          I think, ideally, camera bodies, sensors and lenses continue to be made by camera companies, and the workflow/software aspect is handled by experts in these areas. The exact business structure of how this is accomplished (one or more companies, licensing, etc.) is not important to consumers.

          You hit the nail on head many years ago, by pointing out how workflow is not keeping up with how people capture and view images.

          • Thom Hogan

            Maybe. If I’m calculating correctly, compact cameras as a group would just barely be a Fortune 1000 company. But that’s today, when “nobody” wants to buy one.

            But let’s do the back-of-the-envelope thing and calculate the other way, much like Light did for its investors. Let’s assume we can make a US$999 NewCam that has DSLR-level quality, a wide focal range, fits in a big pocket, and is superb at the workflow of the modern world. How many do you have to sell before it’s “worth the time” of the big boys?

            Again using CIPA numbers we have 12m compact units sold in 2016. What if we sell 1m units? That’s a billion dollars. Have we got the attention of the Silicon Valley folk yet?

            The problem isn’t the money (both R&D and likely sales). The problem is the risk. There’s a lot that would have to happen to make that NewCam as I described it and to sell 1m units, and to do so soon enough that the market doesn’t somehow change/morph before you get there. And it’s capital intensive to get there, and will require real marketing effort to launch right, which is why it has to be one of the big boys behind it.

            That’s the main reason why I didn’t start a camera company earlier in the century. I had VC interest; indeed, they were more interested than I, as they approached me first. I thought we could do it technically. Indeed, I thought that was the simplest job. The problem was the risk. So much up front capital to get to unit one, and we could see the market was changing as we were adding up all the investment needed and the task timeline to get there. Big risk.

            But I’d also say that little risks don’t tend to pay off in tech, only the big ones do.

            • Allan

              “Let’s assume we can make a US$999 NewCam that has DSLR-level quality, a wide focal range, fits in a big pocket, and is superb at the workflow of
              the modern world.”

              I thought we were close to that point. Isn’t the main problem the “workflow of the modern world”? If you can put in tech in smartphones to easily transfer photos, how hard can it be now or within 2-4 years to put the tech in cameras to easily and reliably transfer larger files like smartphones?

            • Thom Hogan

              It depends upon how we define DSLR-level quality, I suppose.

              We have 1″ cameras, of course. The Sony RX100, for instance, works about as good as a 12-14mp APS-C DSLR at base ISO. Things go downhill from there. I’m surprised we don’t have any m4/3 compacts as of yet (the LX100 really isn’t due to the cropping).

              This is part of the “moving puzzle” part. One would expect that we’ll eventually get a 24-70mm f/2.8 APS-C camera that’s about the size of the LX100, which would indeed leave the workflow problem.

              Now, as to your question that implies that smartphones actually do it well…I don’t think so. I believe that Apple and Google are still chasing getting the workflow right on smartphones, they’re just further down the road than the camera companies. Both want everything to live in the cloud, which is incorrect. Cloud should just be one place images can go.

              I’ve actually been scribbling some notes on how I think a real social network works–one that isn’t focused on ad revenues, that is. We don’t have one, but it’s clear we’ll eventually have one.

            • Allan

              We live in interesting times.

              Thanks for your insights.

            • thundrrd

              Thom, as always thanks for your input on this site. It is why I keep me coming to Nikon Rumors.

            • Allen_Wentz

              Also go to Thom’s own sites, which tend to complement NR.

            • What Hasselblad is doing with Motorola is interesting. It’s the wrong two companies, but it’s interesting. Imagine an iPhone with an attachable Nikon accessory that would turn the ensemble into a very nice consumer camera. For $179 they’d sell tens of millions.

            • Thom Hogan

              Imagine instead a single cable between the DSLR and your iPhone sitting in a holder in the hot shoe. And an iOS app that wasn’t designed by an intern ;~).

              Hmm, let’s call that WireBridge(tm).

            • EcoR1

              I have always dreamed such a thing. Of course the camera just wouldn’t be a DSLR, but a mirrorless. I have also imagined a verical-grip with iOS-variant. System would be controlled with an oled-touchscreen. Apple could use one of those nice Apple-watch displays for the job. Pictures would move automatically to the iCloud and any iOS-developer could do software for the system. If only…

            • Allen_Wentz

              Correct: “The problem is the risk.” So for NewCamCo the risk is too high – – because of startup costs and task timeline.

              But for CaNikon the risk is reversed; their well-developed businesses are now at risk because they have failed to pay attention. They should have invested in substantial skunk works operations more than a decade ago.

            • Thom Hogan

              I can’t speak to Canon, but I’m pretty sure that Nikon has invested in multiple skunk works projects and continues to do so. Technically, the Nikon 1 was one of those. While the Nikon 1 was a failure, it wasn’t a failure in manufacturing simplification, focus and high speed performance, downsizing, or even image quality for its time.

              The problem is that Nikon is so isolated from the customer that they sell to that they really aren’t understanding the user problems they need to solve. And they just can’t seem to understand that it shouldn’t matter where they sell a camera (CX, DX, FX), that they’re trying to build a long-term customer who buys again. Getting that wrong is why the Nikon 1 didn’t use DSLR controls or accessories.

            • Tony Beach

              “…they just can’t seem to understand that it shouldn’t matter where they sell a camera (CX, DX, FX), that they’re trying to build a long-term customer who buys again. Getting that wrong is why the Nikon 1 didn’t use DSLR controls or accessories.”

              Exactly why when my nephew told my brother he was interested in the Nikon 1 when it first came out I said he should get a D3200 instead. I should ask my brother what his son got, but I bet it wasn’t a Nikon 1 and I am pretty sure that now that ship has sailed, and a potential new photographer more likely than not isn’t now using Nikon gear that he now has disposable income to upgrade (back then he was a student, and now he’s an economics professor).

        • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

          Maybe Talking Cobblers / Rubbish…. Could be a good opportunity for Cross Venture between Apple and Nikon ? With traditional Mid-High DlsR’s and lenses still made by Nikon but Apple doing the lower / commercial side and they putting Apple Software / workflow in both cameras and on the software front.

        • MB

          When I think about it you are absolutely right … cameras are just a special purpose computers …
          I believe we will all wish you at the had of Apple photography department 🙂

          • Allan

            The guy/gal presently there would not be a happy camper.

      • Nakayamahanzaemon

        Camera business needs superior optical technology which Japanese have. That’s why they have dominated the market for SLR/DSLR with a mirror/prism inside, along with lens making.

        Mirrorless camera doesn’t need a mirror/prism inside, which should make it a bit easier for new comers to enter into the market. In that sense, the worst enemy for Japanese would be Samsung, the world’s largest electronics maker.

        But Samsung has practically retreated from camera business. Europeans are vulnerable. Given that image sensor market is also dominated by Japanese, it looks like there is no threat for them so far in camera business.

        Chinese could be like “big Samsung”. They have money without competitive technology. It could turn out differently If they buy a Japanese maker.

        Software isn’t important for camera business. Because you make a lot of TV contents doesn’t mean you make a lot of TVs. There is no TV factory in the US.

        • MB

          You do realize that TV sets are used to watch the content not to make one …
          The TV content is made by using cameras and the best one are currently made by Ari, RED, Blackmagic using superior optics lens made by Zeiss, Leica, Schneider … using the best software made by Adobe, Apple, Pinnacle Systems … none of these companies are Japanese … and none of this would work without a software …
          You should also realize that Japanese companies started as low cost OEM factories for western companies, similar to Chinese these days … and that Japanese optical industry started by stealing optical technology from German companies they used to work for because after the WW II Germany lost all their patents …
          And if Chinese managed to develop their own cell phones photo cameras really should not be a problem, optics is not all that advanced technology and by using software (again) it is much easier to design good lenses these days, just look at all those newcomers like Samyang, Venus optics …

          • Nakayamahanzaemon

            You are not following my point. My point is that it’s Korean or Chinese companies which might take down Japanese makers in camera business, not Western makers as Thom says.

            Japanese once swept over TV production, but now Korean and Chinese makers are dominating the market. There are many other sectors which Japanese used to be the king but Koreans or Chinese are now prevailing. I haven’t heard of any Western makers to get back a significant share from Japanese.

            That’s why Japanese would be threatened by Koreans or Chinese in camera. But as I wrote before, Samsung is retreating from camera business which is odd, and it looks like there are no Chinese manufacturers except a few to have genuine interest in camera manufacturing even when Japanese makers are struggling. That’s why I wrote “there is no threat for them so far in camera business”. I should have written it as a reply to Thom.

            By the way, TV cameras are mostly made by Panasonic and Sony. You are wrong. If you doubt, go and check out at a TV station. I think that their share combined is more than 70% in the entire world. Most of Zeiss lenses including recent Otus are actually manufactured by Cosina which is a Japanese maker. Zeiss relegates manufacturing to Cosina.

            Even if Adobe or other Western makers are making good software, it hasn’t affected any camera making. Have you ever heard of Canon or Nikon changing camera bodies or lenses as Adobe changes its software?

            Manufacturing is rapidly declining in the West as well as Japan. Only China is gaining a share. If Chinese makers are reluctant, Japanese can have a time to breathe at least for a while.

  • Captain Megaton

    Three months only allows a rough confirmation that the market has stabilized after the tailspin of 2011-1014. To say things are looking up is an overly positive take. 2016 was exceptionally poor, 2017 is only back to 2015 level, which was not good by any metric.

    Every company still in business is learning to cope with reduced sales volume by shifting product mix to higher-end models. While the correct strategy, diminishing returns and overcrowding must soon start to take their toll.

    • Lauchlan T

      Very true. There was a huge bubble when digital cameras became truly viable, and there were massive sales of both DSLRs and compacts. Now the compact market has mostly died, and even the DSLR market (at least at the consumer level) has been satiated.

      So I don’t expect that the market will ever reach the same levels as it did during the bubble, but it looks like things are indeed stabilizing. That’s a good thing for camera companies – consistency allows for making better judgements and investing in what turns a profit.

      Look at Nikon’s attempt at an action camera – they managed to come in too late for the action camera market, and too early for the VR/360 market. Rapidly changing trends are not good for big companies, they take too long to bring products to market. But stable, predictable trends suit their style perfectly.

      I think this means the camera market will become less of a features race, with more focus on dependability, quality, and other more professional oriented goals. More refined products, slower release cycles, and a closer business model to what we had before digital.

      • HD10

        “I think this means the camera market will become less of a features race, with more focus on dependability, quality, and other more professional oriented goals. More refined products, slower release cycles, and a closer business model to what we had before digital.”

        This is an ideal state and is what I also prefer. Sadly, camera manufacturers have focused on cost cutting so the quality and reliability of their products and services have suffered.

        The emergence of forums such as this while helpful in many ways has added and contributed to the features race. The push for new and better while an essential ingredient for business growth has resulted in immature products being released before these have been properly sorted out. This has made me sit back and wait out the bugs and gremlins that afflicts many new product releases.

  • MonkeySpanner

    There is no reason to think that sales won’t continue to dive as cell phone cams become better. This little blip won’t last. I am not a pessimistic person – but I know what the trend is – I have seen nothing that makes me think it won’t continue.

    • RC Jenkins

      Agreed, but at the same time, phones will never exceed their physical capacity. The segments that will suffer most are those targeting consumers who dont take full advantage of the light gathering capabilities of their cameras. This is small sensor / slow lenses / point-and-shoot.

      Advanced shooters won’t be satisfied with phones in the near future. Hopefully the camera and lens companies go back to catering to us instead of attempting to grow the industry unnaturally.

      • Allen_Wentz

        In 2010 I upgraded my iPhone to the 4s and walked out on my deck and took a quickie handheld snapshot of a cactus to see what the camera quality was. The competence of that pic FROM A PHONE in 2010 blew me away – – and I knew the camera world was changing forever.

        • RC Jenkins

          Good pic, and yeah, phones today are incredible for what they can do.

          What they won’t be able to overcome are the areas limited by physical size & optics:

          -Overcoming shot noise, which is only affected by light captured (the combo of sensor size, lens speed, and exposed time). This is a majority of noise we see today, since sensors are incredibly efficient now.
          -Shallow depth of field, which requires physical distance between light samples
          -Diffraction and other optical resolution limits

          There are techniques to sample various bits & ‘fill in the blanks’ using camera arrays–one notable example is the Light L16 camera. This camera:
          -Takes several simultaneous images and combines them to increase signal-to-noise ratio (and effectively simulate reduced shot noise)
          -Places lenses/sensors apart to sample various angles (effectively simulate depth of field).
          -Interpolates combined images to increase resolution (effectively simulating reduced diffraction and increased resolution)

          Interestingly, the new iPhone (and others) do something similar using their dual cameras.

          It’s cool stuff–but nothing that dedicated cameras can’t do better for pro-level applications. 🙂

    • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

      Don’t see Digital cameras with every increasing costs keeping or maintaining sales for new purchases. Most of the imagery volumes will be in phones no and their convenience. For traditional cameras quite bit of purchases will probably be on second hand stuff or on discount.

      The dangers is people adding purchases more and more on Credit where one day this bubble will burst and pain ahead will ensure.

      Remember that people have less disposable incomes now with more pressures on our costs, e.g., Mortgage, private medical care, petrol / gas.

      One area of concern is the mounting debt that is being built in the West, e.g., US Debt standing at eye watering $19.8 trillion, UK $2.2 trillion, $2.4 trillion Germany, etc.

      • To add a little perspective, I remember when the mortgage on my house was 500% of what I earned annually. The US government debt is now about 100% of what it brings in annually. (number rounded) I don’t like debt but the current US debt really isn’t all that bad. However, the upward trend is really troubling.

  • I’m not sure this tells the whole story, all of this data is for shipment not sales…

    • Lauchlan T

      Indeed, shipments aren’t the perfect measure. While shipments do tend to correlate with sales, it’s not perfect and there’s always room to be surprised. Unfortunately, it’s the best data we have so far.

  • azur

    HD10 asked which sensor in a “D500 body” we would prefer as a true D700-replacement.
    I for one would prefer the 24.3mp ‘FX sensor + processing profile’, enhanced from the D750/D610.
    So far I think that this sensor has the most vibrant and pleasing colors and the most popping contrast curve out of the box, and I would prefer it over the ‘sensors + processing profiles’ known from D4, Df, D4s and D5.

    • HD10

      Thanks for the feedback. It’s a real conundrum for Nikon because the different sensor it uses in its various FX camera can be biased for either the low ISO or high ISO setting. Which one more buyers will prefer and will buy is the million dollars question for Nikon.

      I fully understand how an improved 24mp 4k-capable sensor may be the best choice for many but also see how some others may prefer the current 20.8mp sensor used on the D5 even if low to mid-ISO performance is inferior to the 24mp sensor (e.g., those who prefer low best ISO performance and very good mid-ISO performance may be best served by the high-resolution D8xx-replacement and should choose that instead).

      Combining the performance of both in one sensor would be ideal but alas I fear this will not be possible. This is why I suggested to the NR Owner/Admin Peter to conduct a poll. Hopefully, this will shed some clarity and better insight as to what the NR readers prefer and will actually buy over the other. This is by no means representative of the bigger Nikon owner population but it will still be of some help in getting Nikon to bring us the product we want.

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