Nikon yearly financial results are out


Nikon published their financial results for the year that ended in March 2017:

Nikon slips to net loss, operating profit up; sees profit, higher sales in FY18 (NASDAQ)

  • 7.11 billion yen net loss
  • 53.37 billion yen in restructuring expenses
  • Operating income increased 60.8%
  • For next year Nikon expects profit of 34 billion yen

Nikon financial results for the year ended on March 31, 2017 for the Imaging Products Business:

Forecast for the year ending March 31, 2018 for the Imaging Products Business:

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  • animalsbybarry

    This forecast seems somewhat optimistic
    The real test of Nikon’s future will be how Nikon handles the transition from DSLR to mirrorless
    This will happen whether Nikon wants it to or not
    I hope Nikon will build the best mirrorless cameras and that they will begin soon

    • thundrrd

      You know, I have the same hope as you, but stopped really caring a while ago.

      Nikon is going to do what Nikon is going to do, but it always appears to me they are more interested in how much money they can make (not saying money isn’t important) but not as interested in the customer and their needs – unless they think it might hurt their bottom line.

      Seeing what other companies are doing with Mirrorless, I’ve stopped caring what Nikon may, or may not do. When Nikon does come out with a mirrorless at some point, I will consider it if I am in the market for this type of camera, but I doubt Nikon will think much about me (or you) when they finally announce a mirrorless camera.

      They’ll be concerned how high they can price it and not what is best for the consumer … this is just MHO. Still, hope Nikon wakes up someday to the real needs of their customers, but still do not care as much as I used to.

      • You would think that they would listen to the consumers because that in itself is profit if the consumers would be willing to pay a little more for getting exactly what they want.

        • Thom Hogan

          I run businesses this way: (1) create things that customers want; (2) then manage to shareholder results. Nikon is (1) managing to shareholder results; (2) trying to figure out what customers want.

          • I agree! Generally fend off shareholders and assure them that customers come first so that profits follow. It’s what Google does and it is proven to work.

            • Google’s a very different company from Nikon. To start with it has one profitable product, but luckily it also has a monopoly.

              A more apt comparison might be to a company like Ford which, on the verge of bankruptcy, deeply rethought its product line, doubled down on things it was good at (e.g. the F150) and then aggressively trimmed its product line (no more Mercury) and improved the products it decided to stick with (e.g. Focus).

              So far at least Nikon doesn’t seem to be in enormous danger of going out of business. Maybe Ricoh or Fuji will buy it.

            • I was never directly comparing Nikon to Google. I was just saying they should approach their consumers in the same way, regardless of what they sell.

            • I would pick a company that makes widgets, provides support, manages inventory, etc.

          • Christopher Warzenski

            I disagree. They are on fact -TELLING- consumers what they should want. If they were listening to customers they would have had a D300 and a D700 replacement 5 years ago. Instead they said tough sh!+ to people wanting those and gave us the D600 with its lubricant spattered sensor. Nikon had its chance and repeatedly blew it. What my next camera will be i,don’t know, but it won’t be another Nikon.

            • Thom Hogan

              Okay, I can go with that modification to the second #2.

          • Member

            If I understand well then they (Nikon) is trying to figure out what customers want without listening to customers or asking what they need

            • Thom Hogan

              That would be my contention.

      • Lan Jay

        Cannot agree with you more.
        Nikon is only willing to do everything to make their financial statement “looks” good but ignoring customers demand.

    • Thom Hogan

      Optimistic? No. It shows the same level of unit sales decline next year as last year, and that is significant.

      • br0xibear

        I’m optimistic…
        I’m optimistic that the people at Nikon who cancelled the DL line will do the same with other products. Become far more streamlined, concentrate on what they do really well (enthusiast and professional equipement), forget trying to match every other camera company with similar models and be known for high quality.
        Yes it’ll mean higher prices, fewer products and more time between updates, but that’s the future for all camera companies.
        The “decline of imaging market” is not due to mirrorless or Sony or Nikon doing something wrong, it’s because people use their mobile phones and don’t want another camera. Nikon, Canon, Sony or whoever cannot change that…so they’ll have to choose their own particular niche and try and be the best in that area.
        I’d rather Nikon became more like Leica than try and do everything and go out of business.
        And if Nikon doesn’t work for you anymore, if it doesn’t provide you with what you desire or need…there’s lots of choice out there.

        • I am optimistic too but I also know that Nikon will not be the only camera manufacturer in trouble – Ricoh and Panasonic are already there and more will follow in the next 2-3 years (my guess is that Olympus will be next). The entire industry is in distress and mirrorless cameras will not solve the problems the industry is facing. Even Fuji that has a great mirrorless solution can hardly gain any marketshare. Nikon should definitely have a serious mirrorless solution but don’t expect miracles.

          • hyh

            Fujifilm certainly has been gaining market share for sure – although they are still quite small. Who knows when their annual report would be released, but I suspect that their revenue (Electronic Imaging) will show a substantial increase compared to other companies. None of the companies showed revenue increase commensurate with CIPA reports so far, and Fujifilm is the only one yet to release their quarterly report.

            • I like what Fuji is doing, but they did not make it to any of the top rankings for 2016:
              https://photorumors.com/2016/01/27/2016-bcn-camera-rankings-are-out/
              Even in the mirrorless segment, Canon is before them… Canon…

              Fuji invested a lot of money in their mirrorless line and did not get much market share in return.
              Their other problem is that in general only enthusiasts are using/buying Fuji products – they are lacking the amateur and pro segment. Soccer moms don’t even know that Fuji makes cameras.
              Fuji have great products, but they just don’t have the numbers.

              Their financial reports were delayed:
              https://fujiaddict.com/2017/05/06/financial-results-for-fiscal-year-ended-march-31-2017-postponed/
              I am curious to see if they will release any camera specific data.

            • hyh

              I’m aware of all of this. I might add that Fujifilm started from zero market share, and gaining market share is easy starting from zero. FWIW, my reading of the financial reports suggest that they are/were still gaining market share every quarter in 2015, 2016, 2017… Also, I would not be shocked if Fujifilm Electronic Imaging (specific to digital cameras and lenses) reports 40% revenue increase for this latest Jan-Mar quarter.

            • Yes, we shall see – I am curious.

            • FerpectShotz

              I think Fuji is not gaining marketshare due to lack of glass rather than anything else. If Nikon or Canon produces serious mirrorless cameras that can leverage their extensive Lens families, I’d bet that whey will gain marketshare.

              I do agree that Fuji has an amazing Camera portfolio but the lack of glass is the problem (only reason why I stuck with the D500 over the X-T2)

            • nwcs

              The lack of glass is only in the super telephoto range. They’re quite well covered in the wide to telephoto side.

            • hyh

              Some might add tilt-shift, 1:1 macro, and bunch of other specialty lenses.

            • nwcs

              Yes, the specialty lenses are lacking although the Zeiss 50mm is a nice short 1:1 macro. Some of the rokinon ones in X mount cover some things. Believe me, I want them to put out some lenses I want to see: 120mm 1:1, 400 f5.6 prime, 500 f5.6 prime, etc.

            • Pat Mann

              Nikon’s T/S lenses don’t do much for DX.

            • DaveyJ

              Every Nikon specialty lens I owned was sold. As they serve a tiny percentage of camera use therefore limited sales appeal.

            • FerpectShotz

              Not really, having one lens to cover a focal range is not enough. In Nikon’s case at 24mm, you have a choice of 14-24mm, multiple 24-70 2.8 zooms, 24mm tilt-shift, the brilliant 24mm f1.4 and f1.8 lenses plus countless options from legacy glass, sigma/tamron/tokina/zeiss etc. that simply doesn’t exist for Fuji yet.

              Using adapted lens does not solve this issue either, I tried that was less than impressed.

            • nwcs

              They don’t have everything but it’s probably too extreme to say lack of glass. There’s not an APS lens set that rivals it from another company. I still say they’re well covered but they are missing specialist items and super telephotos come into that category. With The 24mm equivalent you mentioned is covered with the 10-24, 16, 16-50, 16-55 lenses. 35 equiv with the 18-55, 16-50, 16-55, 23 1.4 and 23 f2. It’s only when you get beyond 100mm that things become more scarce and after 140mm there are only 3 lenses in that range and after 230 only one. That’s still pretty good coverage and not including any adapted glass. And you have all the Rokinon lenses and a few Zeiss ones.

            • hyh

              Designed specifically for APS-C, best by far – no question.

            • Member

              Yes, agree. And none of them are crappy lenses.

            • Pat Mann

              For DX, there is no 24mm equivalent from Nikon. Wide primes are hopeless in Nikon’s DX world.

            • Pat Mann

              They’re way better than Nikon in covering APS-C format with the right lenses. There are a number of Fujifilm focal length/aperture combinations I would purchase if available from Nikon for DX.

            • Narren Rot

              The problem with fujifilm panasonic pentax/ricoh and olympus is the fact that here in US (at least where I live) in order to byu one of these brands you need to go to a camera store. No best byu, abt etc. has those brands. But they do have canon nikon and sony. Always. And the camera stores are not that common anymore. So the regular folks going shoping visit bb or abt store have no other choice but sony nikon or canon… Well to be fair abt also has leica 😉 but that doesnt really help regular folks 😉

            • Eric Calabros

              and its US. in many parts of the world, Fuji/Oly ILC camera is like a non existent device.

            • True, but I’d rather fuji grow slowly and invest their money with good return, rather than trying to expand too fast and losing capital

            • Because: them wonky sensors

              Simple solution for Fuji: offer X-Trans and Bayer side by side. They already do this for a lower end body…it belongs at the top end, where pros might not want to change their workflow to accommodate their weird sensor tech.

          • Thom Hogan

            No. The Nikon financials say they won’t have a mirrorless solution in 2017, and maybe not in early 2018.

            • Sigh. 🙁

            • Is this based on the numbers of projected camera sales for the next 12 months or there is something else that I missed? I don’t think Nikon will say directly in their report what they will or will not announce. Anyway, new mirrorless is rumored for late 2017 or early 2018 and those of course are just rumors.

            • Thom Hogan

              It’s basically a merge of my data sets. I can measure the slope of dealer sales to customers versus what Nikon is projecting. What I get is “there isn’t anything that’s going to change the current situation.” You would think that a proper mirrorless solution would change that.

            • We shall see. Maybe it will be just another Nikon 1.

            • Thom Hogan

              Well, to that point, a J6 wouldn’t move the slope. And frankly, a well done D850 probably won’t move the slope. It takes something unexpected and well beyond what’s currently on the shelves to change things. Or a complete repricing downwards. Or some new gotta have feature that no other product has.

            • Eric Calabros

              One shouldn’t expect the unexpected from a R&D team that just watching their budget decrease every quarter.

            • Member

              If it happens to be a Nikon 1, I hope it’s not “just another Nikon 1”.

            • Thom Hogan

              Sorry, but the D3400, D5600, D7500 intros tell us that cameras coming out at the moment are still in the usual “iterate what we got” mentality.

            • Member

              I fear that you are very right (like most of the time).
              I even get the feeling that Nikon is going to drop the whole 1″ line, like you suggested.
              however some of us are very happy with the Nikon 1 series, and put it to good use as an addition to our dx and fx gear.

            • Thom Hogan

              I really tried to like the J5. In many ways, it’s what we need. But the lens set really starts to let it down. Sure, I can use the 18mm and 32mm, but everything else starts to make the 1″ sensor an issue in anything but bright light, and I still can’t use my other Nikon accessories.

              Frankly, the Sony RX100V outshoots the J5 in the ways I need a small camera. I’d rather have the J5’s UI, but the RX has an EVF and gets the job done.

              This is why I was excited about the DLs, especially the engineering team’s statements about how they were trying to do right by the D800-type user. The DL 18-50 would have been a unique product that probably replaced my RX. Instead, Nikon wants me to buy Sony, apparently.

            • Member

              For some of my uses I like the J5 but in all cases I prefer my V3 (less IQ but better camera).
              Even I cheered and welcomed the DL 18-50, I had it on my wishlist.
              The RX is a nice camera with nice feature set but lacks interchangeable lenses.
              The 1 series has potential but is so poorly executed and the marketing is even worse. Even though the system is limited by purposely crippling it has unique features. I like it for its small sensor and small lenses but most because of it being ILC. I can use it mounted on microscopes (dedicated microscope cameras are much more expensive, and being small sensor it allows me to use achromatic lenses instead of plan-achromatic lenses) and when using it for macro it gives me better DoF. It takes up less space in the lab when time-lapsing processes with enough choice of apropriate lenses without reverting to low quality 1/4″ or 1/3″ cctv systems.
              I even use the 1 line for video and time lapses to combine with video footage.
              For stills I use the V series as they are ergonomically much better than the J series. I like the V3 very much but I have only 1 V3 kit (and 3 V1’s and 1 V2) it gives me best reach without being very bulky. e.g. The 1Nikkor 70-300 doesn’t yield better IQ than the AFS 70-300 with FT-1 but sure is more convenient.
              Together with the dx and fx offerings this could have been a nice integrated system (but it’s not quite there yet, will maybe never get there either)
              I can use my FX lenses on all my Nikon bodies be it with total different uses. e.g. I can use my 50 f1.4 as a medium telephone on my V3 while on DX it a nice portrait lens and a beautiful standard on FX. If I had a 35 f1.4 it would make a good portrait lens on CX a beautiful standard on DX and wide angle on FX. But I don’t have 35 f1.4 for I don’t consider the 1″ system very suitable for portraits.
              However 1″ has it’s own place. And for now Nikon is the only one offering a 1″ ILC.
              This, besides that I’m heavily invested in Nikon, is the reason why I’m staying with Nikon. In short Nikon serves me well.

        • Allan

          “…there’s lots of choice out there.”

          Presently.

          It will be a disaster for photographers if too many camera companies go under. There will be little incentive for the camera companies to innovate and maintain quality control.

          General Motors made awful cars for a period of time. At that time, their limited competition did not make much better cars. It was only when they had competition from better imports, did they improve their cars (Toyota Camries, Honda Accords and Lexus models, etc.). (It is not a completely good analogy, because we need cars but we don’t need freestanding cameras, i.e., the camera market is shrinking, the car market worldwide continues to grow).

          • Thom Hogan

            The choices are already headed downward, I think. It might be a little difficult to see in the numbers at the moment, but the lukewarm updates are a signal.

        • ZoetMB

          But the decline in share IS due to mirrorless and Nikon’s competitors.

          • br0xibear

            They can’t all increase their share, somebody somewhere has to decline.
            As I said, they’ll all just have to find their own particular niche like Leica have been doing….there’s no going back to what it was like.

            • ZoetMB

              No one said everyone could increase their share. But companies that are run well will increase share and companies that aren’t will lose it. Which do you want Nikon to be? You lose share when your competitor is performing better than you are in the same market. Who would accept that?

              And what is this magic niche that Nikon would fill?

            • br0xibear

              They can lose share and still be stable and profitable.
              Niche ?…well what have Nikon been known for ?
              High quality and reliability of their enthusiast and professional equipment. For me that’s what they should be concentrating on.
              But hey, Nikonrumors comments are about different views and thoughts and not everyone is going to agree.

            • Thom Hogan

              No, I don’t believe that. In my PhD program I charted rises and declines in tech markets. While the hockey stick upwards is well overstated for the emergence of a new tech, there is a period when the market increase slope tends to be highly positive.

              What doesn’t get talked a lot about is the post-maturity slope. Moreover, you don’t see a lot published about individual companies who are not matching the market’s slope.

              What I saw was this: the line starts on a straight course downwards, then steepens. When you think about it, you can see why: Nikon at one point was making well over 20m+ cameras a year. That’s 20m+ LCDs. Now they’re projecting 4.8m cameras for this year. That’s only 4.8m LCDs. LCDs are a part whose cost decreases with quantity. So, when you buy more, your price automatically tends downward. When you buy less your price automatically tends upward.

              That’s why Nikon is so vociferously talking about “cost reduction.” But how are they going to do that? Something has to go. Pick quality, support, testing, uniqueness, etc., or all of the above.

              People harped on me talking about Nikon cutting back on support. This was the canary in the coal mine. Evidence has been brewing for a long time that Nikon was out of whack and going to get more so.

              So, they cut quality in the LCD and they increase price. What’s your response as a customer? Right, you don’t buy. So they have to further decrease costs. The spiral starts to rapidly accelerate and get out of control at some point.

              So no, Nikon can not lose market share and still be stable and profitable. Someone is gaining market share at their expense and building better products at the same profit margin.

            • Thom Hogan

              Let’s put this in perspective: Nikon in the DSLR era has traditionally had a 32-36% market share. They’re forecasting 23% after two years sliding downwards. That’s abysmal, and it’s due to management decisions. In that same time, their primary competitor, Canon, has increased their market share from their traditional ~45% to currently 50%.

        • Thom Hogan

          Okay, let me be contrarian for a moment. I’ve written, and I strongly believe, that there is no reason for the decline in the camera market other than the poor product decisions by camera companies.

          Had the camera companies actually solved user problems correctly, they’d be selling more cameras. The camera companies got caught in this dilemma before: instant photography. You have to solve the primary user problems, not make slightly better and slightly faster and slightly more pixeled products.

          Look at GoPro. It came to being to solve a user problem, then failed to continue to solve the new user problems they created.

          Anyone that says that all photos in the future will be taken by smartphones is kidding themselves. We use images more than ever before, and making images that stand out in ways other than slapping Instagram filters on them is important. For that, you need a camera that’s well above the smartphone level.

          • br0xibear

            ” I strongly believe, that there is no reason for the decline in the camera market other than the poor product decisions by camera companies.”

            Outside the enthusiast and professional market I just don’t accept that.
            Talk to people who aren’t inside the photographic echo chamber, people who in the past would have bought an entry level dslr or compact and have no real interest in photography…they use their smartphones and nothing else.
            I’m not saying “all photos in the future will be taken by smartphones”, but an increasing number will be and those using seperate cameras will be decreasing. Those smarthphone devices are getting better and better, and more people are realising they don’t need anything else to capture the images they want.

            • Eric Calabros

              I come from a big family.. really big italian style family. The shocking news is that none of my relatives feel a dedicated camera is needed in the house!

            • Allan

              Excellent observation. True for you, me, and probably most Nikon Rumor readers.

            • Thom Hogan

              And I don’t disagree with that observation.

              Look, users are not product designers. They don’t know that they need (or want) something until product designers solve a problem they have and are able to market that. Nikon is not solving those unsolved problems, nor is it marketing. Ditto the other camera companies for the most part. Thus, it would be predictable that potential customers say “I don’t need that.”

            • br0xibear

              The other thing is, I’m sure like many photographers (amateur or professional) people ask you for advice about buying cameras…I increasingly find myself suggesting they don’t buy a seperate camera. In reality most of them don’t need anything beyond a good mobile phone.
              There’s no getting away from it.

            • Thom Hogan

              Sure, I talk to them all the time. The reason they don’t buy is not that don’t have an interest in photography, it’s that they don’t want to carry a big brick around and deal with all the complications to their life it adds.

              If instead you ask them “would you like better looking photos, photos that look different than every 28mm view the smartphones produce” you get a pretty resounding yes. They just don’t want a 2-pound DSLR with a 2-pound lens that requires them to ingest images to a computer and then deal with them there.

            • br0xibear

              That’s not what I’m hearing.

              So maybe Nikon are making a smartphone device like a recent patent alludes too, lol…

              “A camera having communication ability can switch a mode between a
              communication mode and a shooting mode. The camera combines features of a
              communication device and a digital camera. The camera comprises a
              communication device, an imaging device, and a switching device. The
              switching device switched the communication mode to the shooting mode
              responsive to completion of communication.”

              http://www.freepatentsonline.com/9641786.pdf

            • Thom Hogan

              Didn’t take the time to go look at that patent, but how would that be different than their Android Coolpix failure? ;~)

            • br0xibear

              I’m not very good at reading/understanding patents lol…I’ve no idea.

            • Eric Calabros

              Most people I know don’t have an interest in photography. They want camera for snapshots, its more like a “let me show you something” kind of demand. in this scenario, the quality of that picture is not very important. If viewer got what you mean by that visual message, its ok.

            • chromedome

              This is, to my mind, the main issue facing all camera manufacturers. My wife asked me for a good point & shoot that would (at that time) take better pictures than her iPhone (I think it was the iPhone 2 or 4). She wanted small so she could always have it in her handbag. I got her a very nice little Canon, she loved it — until she asked “where is button to upload them to Facebook?” The process of transferring them to the computer, then posting from there (or the extra steps to get them to her phone so she could post from it) were too onerous, and she never used it again. She was willing to settle on worse image quality for the convenience of doing everything from her phone.

              Cameras in phones have been steadily improving, a trend that Nikon etc. could not have missed, but perhaps chose to ignore, or simply could not figure out how to deal with.

              The disruption is real. I suspect the number of photographers who care about high quality images may not be declining as much as some think, but the number of options to satisfy that group has increased. And the number of people who now simply expect to have a camera with them all the time has grown exponentially, but they do not expect to be inconvenienced by bulk or extra steps to share images from everywhere and anywhere.

              The demographic that always expected to have to carry an SLR or DSLR is aging, and the demographic who have never used one is growing.

              And as a member of that older demographic, I also look at the weight of DSLR and one or two lens kit for walk around usage, and the logistics of keeping it with me at all times, not leaving it in the car, etc. And then I usually don’t take it. I just bought a Fuji x100F for exactly that reason. And I probably won’t bother with carrying the 50mm add-on most of the time.

              I never carried my iPad around, because that meant one less free hand, or having a bag of some sort. I was about to buy an iPad mini for carrying around, but the iPhone 6plus came out and that solved it for me. One device that fits in my pocket and is always with me.

              So I see it as a simple fact that the market for the ‘big’ cameras will shrink, and the market for the small, high quality, connected cameras will grow. What is much harder to see is how to reach the growing market with products that are incremental improvements to the legacy products. So far, all of the the attempts to market a product that ‘mates’ with a smartphone seem to have fallen flat.

              All the legacy camera makers have a tough problem here: I don’t think they will ever reach the new market with anything like the standard product. They can’t make that market come to the DSLRs, they have to create new products that reach that market directly.

          • Mike Gordon

            I agree, solving the look at me on social media is the real issue. How many of these picture were on social media within minutes? I bet 90%, look at me look at me!

            (Picture Credit = yousaf from DPR)

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7be9b87e4099cb1f443365ab721e0e13f31307e76bbd0e17dc9299745cc825bd.jpg

            • Allan

              Hey, where is the guy holding up his DSLR with the flippy screen?

              (That picture says a lot. A picture is wort….. – sorry, my bad.)

            • Pippo

              Ok, look on to brightest side. Less pseudo photographs around. Years 10 back, all, who buy entry DSLR, call himself a photograph. Maybe this country specific, but fact. Today client smarter, watching quality, before hire. Or use smartphone, if less demanding job.

          • decisivemoment

            But if the camera makers are this incompetent, what’s to say that people won’t just decide to “get by” with smartphones in most cases?

            • Thom Hogan

              You’re defining the status quo. I’m trying to say the status quo doesn’t have to be that way ;~).

            • Tony Beach

              I wanted to upvote this before I even saw its context.

    • Chris

      Just stop dreaming about throwing a budget war would solve problems today. A shrinking market is a shrinking market. The right thing to do is to downsize and raise profit margin.

      • ZoetMB

        In a shrinking market, you accept a decline in units, but you do not accept a decline in share. And Nikon is consistently losing share and will continue to do so based upon their own predictions. As far as I’m concerned, Nikon’s management is incompetent.

        • Allan

          Agree.

        • Chris

          Loosing share is also normal as customer structure change. Just remember profit=unit*profot margin.

          You throw in budget like Sony, you are on fast track to suicide. No profit, no crazy investment.

          Nikon should rethink its strength and utilize it.

          • ZoetMB

            Losing share is normal? What business course taught you that?

            • Chris

              Which course taught you loosing customers won’t change your customer base? Each age group turn away with similar ratio?

            • ZoetMB

              The one that taught me how to spell “losing”.

            • Chris

              Then you probably only learned spelling properly.

              Nikon’s current issue is that they are not as fancy as Sony, and not as popular as Canon. People who haven’t tried enough stuff doesn’t understand what Nikon has to offer. That applies to low end users and young users who have limited experiences with camera. Among Sony group, they are many who doesn’t even know what a dslr looks like back in 2007.

              Nikon’s user group is becoming a group of hardcore users along these years. Thankfully these photogs are willing to pay high prices for new toys and they can afford constant switching, as long as it’s worth the upgrade.

            • ZoetMB

              So you’re defending Nikon’s management, but you admit that potential consumers either don’t want Nikon or don’t understand Nikon, especially younger users. Which to my mind says that Nikon has no future. But you think that’s all okay. That’s like saying, “we make great products, but the market hates them and doesn’t buy them”.

              The “hardcore” group you refer to is primarily a bunch of old men. That doesn’t bode well for the future.

            • Chris

              I am saying you are wrong. Basically I think Nikon is wrong being hardcore, and should learn more tricks in marketing. But it does not mean I disagree with its philosophy.

              Sony is not winning. Sales dropped 20% last year. Olympus and Fuji are. Being cheap, fancy, and sufficient wins the mass.

              Nikon wins the minority maniacs. This is stupid as a big cooperation. But then why we buy into Nikon again if it turned?

            • Thom Hogan

              Wow. You need to actually go look at some facts. Olympus is not winning. Not even close. I invite you to look at the numbers at the bottom of this page: http://www.sansmirror.com/cameras/camera-database/olympus-m43-cameras/. They are in the same situation in mirrorless as Nikon is in ILC: they’re losing market share.

              I’m not going to even address the rest of your fantasies here, as I don’t think it’s necessary.

            • Yes, like I said in another comment – I expect Olympus to be next with the bad news.

            • I am not sure how far Olympus will go – their latest camera is priced at $2,000, most MFT lenses are more expensive than full frame lenses.

            • Chris

              They have a place. In fact in Japanthey outsells other mirrorless. In many places you don’t travel in private cars a lot, carry a big camera with young kids is literally madness.

            • Thom Hogan

              Using Japan as a predictive market for global is getting to be more and more something that’s off base. And that’s part of the problems the camera companies have: they see their own home market first and foremost, don’t really understand the global market well.

            • Thom, agreed about them being focussed on the Japan market. I mentioned that same thing when people were wondering why all Nikon could muster was a 100 year collector’s set.

              Being in my mid 40s, I am surrounded by DSLR owners here. All of them men of my age or older… and Japan has the largest number of DLSR per capita IIRC. but it’s still a declining market since among the young, only arty university students nowadays seem interested in EVIL/DLSR, the rest setting for smart phones… and DLSR is absolutely losing share.

              More off-putting (for me) is that of the 20 or so pro full time pro photogs I know, only 2 are Nikon users. The other 18 are Canon users adding a mix of Fuji / Sony as second devices.

              Haven’t met a pro in Japan yet using Olympus etc. as their main weapon.

              Interesting anecdote, but why some of them (three to be precise) became Canon users was that their fathers purchased both Canon and Nikon gear back in the day and passed the Canon on to their kids, keeping the Nikon for themselves.

              Two others were able to borrow Canon L rated gear from a friends’ father because THOSE fathers had moved over to Nikon…

              Anecdotal, yes, but basically 5 of my colleagues were introduced to Canon because someone else preferred Nikon.

              IMO this admittedly small sample of 20 does NOT bode too well for Nikon.

            • Thom Hogan

              That’s not Nikon’s only problem, unfortunately. If it were that simple, you could correct it with proper marketing.

            • Thom Hogan

              Actually, any good business school should tell you that everything starts with customers. You build a business by making products and services that appeal to customers. You run that business by making sure that it maximizes profit and value to shareholders. Nikon is concentrating on the latter but starting to fail at the former (Nikon 1, KeyMission, Coolpix, DL, etc.).

            • Chris

              Nikon started doing b2b with government. Its gene is different. You are basically suggesting the company making you sugar should have its own retail store.

            • Thom Hogan

              Not sure what you’re referring to. Nikon’s history is bimodal. They do B2B, they do B2C. They have managed to goof up both those businesses.

            • Andrew

              I would not call DL a failure though I think it was a poor management decision to nix it. Nikon 1 cannot be classified as a failure as it was an attempt to enter a new market and develop the core technology. Nikon can now scale their Mirrorless technology to larger sensor based cameras.

              Coolpix could never compete with the smartphone market where in 2016, 1.5 billion smart phones were sold globally. These phones come with a free bonus – a camera! It is like students being given free launch at school no longer needing to buy food from street vendors and you are asking the vendors to manage their operation in a better way.

              And finally, Nikon is in a camera market where they could not have anticipated the likes of Samsung coming in with a strong high-tech manufacturing base that has already disrupted markets such as the Laptop, TV, Refrigerator, Hard Disk, and a host of other markets. And Samsung smartphone business pays for free research and development that can be used in their camera division.

              Nikon needs to keep trying and failing until they hit on something great. The P900 83x ultra-zoom camera is just one small example of pushing the limits to success. The D7500 is another strong move. They are definitely restructuring their operation and focus and it will be interesting to see what they come up with next.

            • Thom Hogan

              Sorry, but DL is an outright and total failure. Some large number of yen and a huge amount of engineering man days were spent developing it. That money and time had zero return. Zero. Might as well have flushed the money down the toilet and sent the engineers on vacation.

              Nikon is less of a failure than DL, but also a failure, as it has a negative ROI and essentially no sales momentum at all. It has no visibility in stores, in advertising, in any outreach other than perhaps Nikon’s Web sites, so why would it sell?

              Moreover, you say that Nikon developed the core technology using Nikon 1. Okay. But Sony licensed it, perfected it, and is selling it in ways Nikon can’t even begin to match.

              I’m amused that you bring up appliances. Refrigerators now do a better job of talking to the Internet than do Coolpix. Hmm. See any problem there?

              Look, I’m all for trying things. I have no problems with failures, as long as you learn something from them. But Nikon does not appear to be learning.

            • Adam Brown

              Sony sponsors free photo walks in NYC, loaning people Sony cameras and lenses as they are led around the city by a pro photographer….

              I think I’m going to take advantage and maybe finally try out the a7rii…

              Meanwhile, Nikon is in active retreat. As you said, minimal marketing. All companies try to cut costs — but the goal is to cut costs without impacting sales. Find ways to cut costs without the consumer feeling like they are getting a cheaper lesser product. For example, more efficient manufacturing methods. Or dropping the mirror is a cost savings for mirrorless.
              On the other hand, you look at the d7500… it wreaks of cost cutting. As if Nikon is trying to calculate how much they can cut back on a product but still get upgrade purchasers if they offer a few product enhancements/upgrades.
              Sony did this a few years ago when they replaced their a57 with the a58 — a generally lesser cheaper camera but with a few small upgrades. It was a move that convinced me that Sony a-mount was basically dead.
              When you put cost cutting over product development, you enter a death spiral.
              – cut costs to stay profitable at lower sales.
              – leads to less competitive products.. and even lower sales. Less marketing and advertising, again even lower sales
              – as sales are now even lower, must cut costs even more to stay profitable..
              – camera iterations become just assembley of whatever leftover parts they have lying around.

              Nikon failed at “1” and some other innovations. It made them retreat to their “core” business. That was fine 3 years ago. But now they are stuck.

              Part of me wishes Sony and Nikon would merge, give consumers the best of each. The Nikon d810 ergonomics with f-mount and Sony a9/a7rii tech on the inside, fine tuned with Nikon algorithms..
              of course not going to happen.

              But wouldn’t you be tempted by a D5 body that could shoot 20fps, blackout free VF, and silent shooting.

            • Thom Hogan

              Did Nikon have to fail at 1″? No. Indeed, they should be dominating it.

              I’m very tempted by the A9 if it performs at the level that the marketing hype has anointed it with. So, sure, I’d love a D5 that could do the same. But, there’s no evidence that this will happen at the moment.

            • Adam Brown

              Nothing ever has to fail. You can always look in retrospect and say, “if they changed x, y, and z….”
              The 1 failed for so many reasons, not even sure we would agree on the reasons. (overpriced. Poor lens set scaring off enthusiasts. IQ that didn’t match other 1″ cameras, also putting off enthusiasts and reviewers. User interface that was horrible for enthusiasts, but also weird and complicated for novices. )

              I look forward to your impressions of the A9, especially how the AF performs in your hands.
              But if I had to guess, I suspect you still won’t love the ergonomics, and find the camera body small and cramped especially with larger lenses.
              Thus, the potential value of mirrorless F-mount. For those who want the benefits of mirrorless, but prefer the fuller sized traditional dSLR body.
              I agree — there is no evidence that this will happen anytime soon. And this is a problem for Nikon.
              Feels like Canon took their time with mirrorless/etc… observing the market. Using their marketplace dominance to allow them to take their time and go slowly but surely. They started with stepper lenses for video, about 5 years ago. Then they started with some rather poor mirrorless APS-C cameras using poor hybrid AF.. then they started developing dual pixel AF… then the M5 is applauded as their first serious mirrorless camera. And dual pixel AF is now mainstream in their product line. Easy to see that eventually they will do mirrorless full frame. Easy to see the potential for a mirrorless 5D camera, etc.

              It feels like Nikon hasn’t watched the market at all. Instead, they have just watched Canon… so if Canon was taking it’s time… then Nikon is several steps behind that. As I said, Canon started stepper motors for better live view around 5 years ago.. When did Nikon finally do a stepper motor? Last year? And it’s really only in their consumer APS-C cameras and lenses.

              Unless Nikon is doing a great job of keeping massive new products totally secret… it looks like Nikon is 3+ years away from being able to get out a serious mirrorless product. By then, it may be too late.

            • Thom Hogan

              Failures aren’t intrinsically bad. (Disclosure: I come out of the Silicon Valley culture, where failures are regarded as learning experiences.)
              It’s what you do about them that can turn them good or bad.

              As for the A9, at least on paper and first feel, Sony did get the alignment and positioning of the AF-On and focus thumbstick about right. So I’m actually hopeful that I find they’ve made UX strides since the A7 Mark II’s. We’ll see.

              You are correct, it doesn’t look like there’s any short-term change in store at Nikon (see the article I just posted). But they have a deadline looming in front of them, and it’s a doozy: the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

              Nikon doesn’t need another white lens competitor (Sony A9 and FE lenses iterated) to steal their thunder, especially on the home field. And that’s just at the top. This is a big event where other factors will be highly visible: what did the foreign crowds bring to shoot? What are the locals using? What products have all the shelf space in the big Japanese camera stores? And more.

              If Nikon fumbles things long enough, the 2020 Olympics will be their swan song is my guess.

              The good news is that, given their engineering skills and technologies, they really should be able to pull off something spectacularly good in a two-year R&D window. So, when did that window start? That’s the more important question to answer.

            • Adam Brown

              Sony will, for the first time, have a real presence at the Olympics. I don’t know how much of a presence. And they may basically be bribing photographers to use their cameras if necessary, but they will have a presence.

              Of course Nikon will be there — You’ll even have pros still shooting their old D4 cameras.

              But I agree with you, that 2020 is a bit of the deadline for showing capabilities to go new school.
              And I agree — Nikon likely has the engineering and R&D to make something truly great.
              My pessimism stems from the fact that it is already getting late.
              Canon did the EOS M in 2012, and it took them 4 years to get to the point of making it a respectable enthusiast camera, with the M5 in 2016.

              Sony NEX mirrorless started in 2010. Their first full frame mirrorless was in late 2013.
              The first NEX was pretty horrible in terms of dSLR comparison, the A7 had some selling points, but it was not a true dSLR competitor either.
              The A6000 in 2014 was their first APS-C mirrorless with AF good enough, and other advantages, that it could really challenge dSLRs. Their full frame mirrorless — the A7rii in 2015 was their first really significant model to tempt D810 type owners.

              Having waited and let others refine the tech, Nikon might be able to skip some steps and move faster than Sony and Canon.
              But it would be shocking for their first generation product to be truly mature and refined. Canon is on the path for a refined mirrorless full frame camera by 2020….
              Sony may even have a A9ii by 2020, correcting any shortcomings in the A9. (Dual XQD slots in time for the Olympics!)
              If Nikon doesn’t even introduce a first generation model until 2018… will they really have something truly competitive by 2020?
              Have they already waited too long, like Blockbuster waited too long to switch from VHS to DVD?

            • ZoetMB

              Unless Sony produces some esoterics between now and the Olympics, I don’t see them having a big presence among the pros who shoot the events. Attendees are a different matter.

            • Adam Brown

              As you said, Sony will likely have some of those long primes by 2020.
              You may have some sports pros truly adopt the Sony system. If not, I suspect Sony to use sponsorship power to push the cameras into some of the sports pros hands.

              Reminds me, a couple years back, I think it was the World Cup. Sony was a big sponsor and all the photographers had to wear Sony jerseys. Of course, NONE of them were shooting with Sony, so it was rather amusing.
              But I suspect 2020 will be different. This time, they have a credible camera they can shove into a photographer’s hands.
              And I really believe that in early 2020, they will release an A9ii, fixing any issues that come to light with the A9. (Dual XQD slots… by then, maybe they will be ready with a true global shutter, etc).

            • Allan

              “The good news is that, given their engineering skills and technologies,
              they really should be able to pull off something spectacularly good in a
              two-year R&D window.”

              It’s striking how much shorter that R&D window keeps getting.

              I’m guessing that when you write this sentence, 10 years from now, it will read “… three-month R&D window”. 🙂

            • Rainier Zweers

              The only reason why smart phones replaced the compact camera was because the camera producers allowed it to happen. They failed and still fail to see that this group of customers didn’t buy cameras to take pictures but to share pictures/moments. The evolution to digital cameras made this a lot easier, faster over larger distances. Smart phones just were the next evolution making the digital workflow for sharing pictures a lot simpler as it became integrated in one device.
              This wasn’t a problem in the beginning because you had to sacrifice image quality for this ease of use but all camera producers failed to see that as well and use the time left to develop a respons. As a matter of fact the market for compact cameras actually never declined because many users of smart phones, me included, upgrade there smart phone (bi)yearly based on camera specifications because you want the best image quality from your compact camera aka smart phone. And guess what smart phones don’t come with free cameras they cost a lot more than a compact camera. I am certain that if the camera producers had responded correctly I would now be owning a Nikon ‘smart’ phone aka compact camera that also allowed me to make calls and run a limited set of apps. And the experience this would have provided Nikon would have prevented crapbridge.

            • Actually — good business schools failed to predict Apple success. There is a role for technological leadership and yes consumers then have to want what is produced, otherwise the company ends up in the gutter.

          • Thom Hogan

            Nope. All signals they send show that they backed off because they got their toes hurt (Nikon 1, KeyMission, DL, low-end DX, etc.).

            • Chris

              All mirrorless survived on the market are long years of constant investment with hard times endured. It’s impossible for Nikon to throw in huge funds at this moment to catch-up. Things have to come in order.

            • Thom Hogan

              Then two things: (1) when the ILC market becomes mostly mirrorless, Nikon will be an also-ran; (2) they should have built an SL1 and EOS M type of line already, like Canon has.

            • Chris

              1) things comes in order.

              2) Non-slr type of 35mm camera existed before sir.

            • Thom Hogan

              Well, if you’re trying to argue that Nikon took the camera market away from Leica, they did that by copying at a lower price. Where in “cost cutting” do you think “lower price” comes?

            • Chris

              Nikon copied contax and canon copied Leica. And god knows how many Nikon US government and NATO brought all these years.

            • Thom Hogan

              Not nearly as many as consumers do. So what, you’d like Nikon to shrink to the size where they’re mostly selling to government organizations?

            • Chris

              It’s what they have always been doing. The real question is, you want Nikon to operate like it’s now or like Canon in the future. Which means, pay more for what you want, or less for what you don’t.

            • Chris

              Mind you, I have been saying increasing price margin and keeping cost down. The one you supported said lower price.

            • MB

              Nope … you are saying that Nikon will flourish by increasing prices and lowering quality for products that nobody wants to buy … because that’s in order …
              What order? First order? Have you been watching Star Wars lately … and mind you Han Solo is dead …

            • Chris

              Again, quality is what the popular guy said. I said cost will go up and thus price.

              You have problem understanding “in order”, is it not? In real world English it means one by one. I am not sure if it means something else in comic world.

            • El Aura

              And which approach sold more cameras, the SL1 or EOS M? A hint might be what line Canon invested in more since.

            • Thom Hogan

              You might be surprised to learn that it was the SL1, at least up until the EOS M5 came along. And there will be an SL2 shortly. The SL’s would probably do even better—as would the EOS M’s—if Canon actually built out a lens set that was appropriate. But the SL1 with the 40mm pancake is a DSLR size that Nikon can’t come close to matching.

            • manattan

              The 40 pancake is an amazing travel lens for Canon. Basically a chunky lens cap. Still don’t know why Nikon has not copied something like that. The 10mm 2.8 prime was an attempt for the Nikon 1 line, but they have not done anything for DSLRs.

            • Thom Hogan

              The fact that Nikon doesn’t even know what to copy tells you something about their ability to understand the photography market, doesn’t it?

              Had Nikon just blatantly copied Canon on the M, SL1, pancakes, 1″ G’s, would we be having this same conversation today?

            • and Nikon and Canon used to go hand in hand with their announcements until a few years ago

            • El Aura

              They did so in the pre-AF SLR era, the Ai-P 45 mm f/2.8 released in 2001 (which actually was already during the AF era but for some reason Nikon released the lens as an MF lens).

            • El Aura

              But did the SL1 sell better than the next cheapest Canon DSLR? Meaning, did it simply sell better than the M, M3 & M10 because of the DSRL inertia (which included the larger lens lineup it had over the EOS M bodies)?

              And you can turn it however you want, even if you include announcements in the near future, there have be two Canon SL1-type camera releases (SL1 & SL2) but five EOS M camera releases (M, M3, M10, M5, M6).

            • Adam Brown

              Agree they should already have a serious mirrorless line.
              I don’t agree on the SL1 line — if it was so critical for Canon, why hasn’t it been updated in about 5 years?
              The d5500 really isn’t much bigger than the SL1.

            • Thom Hogan

              Canon is a fairly deliberate mover. They test something, study what happened and what didn’t work, then go back and rethink it. We’ve seen that with the EOS M, the Cinema series, and more. We’re going to see it again when an SL2 comes out later this year.

              Nikon, on the other hand, seems to be in make random shots, don’t study and rethink, just abandon. The V series is a good example of random product design, and the fact that we never got a V4 is an example of abandonment.

        • Espen4u

          Agree, and that’s the scary thing. Nikon predicts they can’t compete in their core business and on their core markets (consumer, enthusiast, professional) and to basically fail a duopoly hegemony.

          The kumamoto obviously shifted a lot of things.

      • Thom Hogan

        The market is shrinking why? Answer that question, and I’ll put you in charge of a camera company ;~). And no, the answer is NOT smartphones.

        • Just Me

          I’ve always thought the camera market is just correcting itself. It’s going back to what it was before digital, which artificially inflated the market.
          Can I be in charge of Nikon? I’d like to get my gear for free! 😉

          • Thom Hogan

            That’s what a number of analysts think. They argue about what the correction number goes down to. Is it 9m units? 6m units? We’re currently at what, 11m units?

            But note @mbrooks01:disqus’s point: the bad thing about Nikon’s numbers isn’t that their volume is going down, it’s that their market share is going down.

            • Just Me

              So…. close but no free gear?
              I’m certainly no analyst but the vast majority of first time camera buyers I talk to buy Canon and don’t care about customer support (yet), lens availability, or even the features of the new camera they’ll be using for the next couple months until it takes up residence in their closet. I also have no idea what that represents in terms of market share.

            • Lasse Grimmelt

              So why is Nikon’s market share shrinking? In my opinion, because Nikon cameras feel like old tech.
              I am probably missing many important things, but here is my reasoning:

              I am under 30 years old and own a Nikon d7200 and am thinking about buying into full fram in the upcoming years, which will in 90% not be a Nikon. Every camera Nikon builds today feels like tech from roughly 2010, aiming to please the old nikonians. Why is the live view focus so bad? Why is there no touch screen? The d500 touch screen implementation is stupid, I would not buy a camera where I could not change the setting via touchscreen. (The d7500 may be better in this aspect). I want something that feels like my smartphone. Why can’t I let my camera auto connect to my WiFi and transfer the raws to my pc? It would take more time, but I could just come home and put the camera bag somewhere and after 30 minutes all files are there. Why is the phone app so bad?

              In my opinion Canon is winning against Nikon, because they feel and look in many aspects more like a modern piece of technology. Sony has some problems with usability but their developments show a will to innovate.

        • jmb2560

          If you include the value analysis of the camera functionality from all smartphones sold, the camera market is actually in expansion.

          • silmasan

            Ahh. that’s a vital point that lots of people (well, at least those who are seeing things from the traditional “camera” form factor) always seem to miss.

        • Max

          How so? I’ve lost count of the times some one told me ‘I just use my phone most of the time, its iq is nice and it’s so much easier’. Even my brother has now started leaving his D7100 at home on his hikes

        • Tony Beach

          Off the top of my head, I would say the market is shrinking because of market saturation and a lack of compelling reasons to buy a new camera versus all the used previous models (or even the unsold new previous models) that are available for less.

        • Hans98Ko

          I will have to disagree with you on this about the effects of smartphones.
          Not too long ago, there were jobs for photographers in news agencies, insurance agencies, law enforcement agencies, construction companies…etc…etc…etc
          But now all these jobs are all gone taken over by people who wrote the articles, case reporting, crime scene investigation, project proposals…etc…etc…etc
          But the major overall decline is due to money going to war and destruction (money spent on warheads rather than healthcare and social development), which caused global instability and joblessness, that is why many educated people in world affairs are supportive of China’s One Belt One Road initiative to restart the global economy, so as to increase jobs and $$$ for everyone to spend on things like accessories, cars and photography.

          • Thom Hogan

            Don’t get me started on what’s happening in journalism. Way back in the late 90’s I was at conferences–I worked in the media then and ran three properties–and telling everyone they were making a huge mistake.

            You can’t really tell someone who was trained as a print journalist to shoot photos and video because you need that, too, for your Web site. And, oh, record some audio, too, for the podcast. That’s an example of a media company that doesn’t know what business they’re in and why.

            Every traditional media outlet was panicking in the first Internet run-up that ended with the retrenchment in 2000-2001. Very few did the right thing, and almost none understood that they had to build Web presence differently than what they were used to. They just thought they had to republish, using fewer less well-trained resources.

            That was a recipe for disaster, and that’s what happened. As we look back now at the New York Times, you can see that they slowly figured it out and re-adjusted. They went from an advertising-driven business to a circulation-driven business in the process. Which is good, because circulation is more predictive of advertising success than lack of circulation ;~). The properties I ran were all driven from circulation, not advertising. Thus, we made content decisions first and foremost: best possible content above all else.

            • Hans98Ko

              So you are actually aware of this and in the middle of it.
              I replied to your post because coincidentally I was at the scene of a major fire last night, and what I saw reminds me of what is truly happening with photography as a whole with respect to smartphones.
              I was probably one of the few that was using a DSLR or maybe the only one with it. I saw police officers and firemen taking photographic evidence with their smartphones, insurance agents were also taking photos to access damage, and reporters using iPads which I will call extra large smartphones to file their reporting online. Well, I didn’t really witness contractors taking photos to quote for the repair jobs, but I did saw them doing it for other projects.
              Yes, I can feel the sallow for those affected in this fire, as well as those photographers whose jobs were taken away by the evolution of smartphone photography.
              The good news is that no one was hurt in this fire which took firemen a couple of hours to put out.

            • Thom Hogan

              I’m well aware of it. We have slow media (magazines), overnight media (newspapers and to some degree local TV), and fast media (Internet, cable news). We have in-depth media and we have snippet media. Each of all these things requires different approaches to content.

              I personally expect the slower media to be more thorough, more thoughtful, exceedingly accurate and dependable, and worth the effort to revisit stories/themes/news that I may have already encountered.

              I expect the fastest media to be telling me things I need to know now, not everything that’s happening faster.

              If that fire is in my neighborhood and impacting traffic, etc., that’s a good reason to know about it now, even if the information isn’t complete or even perfectly accurate yet. But if there have been multiple arson fires in my neighborhood over time, that’s where the slow media are much more useful to me. If the fire isn’t in my neighborhood, what’s the reason I need to know about it?

              So, to make great content, you have to not only know your audience well, but what compels the audience to you. You create content that gives them value based upon those things.

              Now in your comment you mentioned “no one was hurt.” Did you need to know that? That’s essentially voyeurism, especially in the quick media. No doubt we have plenty of media that caters to voyeurism, but that’s different than news, per se, in my view.

            • ZoetMB

              Absolutely. I was an executive at a company that had a controlled circulation business magazine division. I once heard an executive there say that “the articles are the shit between the ads.” That was in the 90’s. I predicted right then and there that the business would fail. There are other reasons as well, but I don’t think a single one of those magazines has survived. They couldn’t even sell that division – they just closed it down.

            • Hans98Ko

              It reminds me of Popular Photography and how long they will last? I used to subscribe to them but stopped after the passing away of Herbert Kepler. Their review when downhill since and most of the information can now be gotten free on the Internet. Our library used to have a couple of months copies that I browse through after terminating my subscription, but now I don’t even want to browse through the it and our library only

            • ZoetMB

              I’m amazed that most ad-driven magazines still exist at all. You walk into one of the few large remaining bookstore and there are hundreds of magazines. There are far fewer outlets to sell them, it seems like there are far fewer people interested in hobbyist pursuits, much of the information can be found on the web and because of the web, there’s less advertising money available for printed journals.

              And because the magazines are getting less advertising dollars and circulation levels have dropped, there’s less money for good editorial. Many of the magazines never learned to tighten editorial deadlines and produce the magazine more efficiently, so you get instant information on the web and by the time it shows up in a paper journal 3-4 months later, the web sphere is already talking about what the next model might be.

              But apparently, many of these magazines can still make money because they wouldn’t still be around if they weren’t. I think B&H, Unique Photo and Adorama, plus a couple of west coast retailers are keeping these photo magazines alive.

            • Hans98Ko

              I asked myself the same question about how magazines publishers were still able to stay around when everything is done on the Internet. Take Popular Photography for example, the magazines published recently is only about 2/3 to 1/2 the thickness of what it used to be in the 70s & 80s. Inside it there is very few written articles and even less advertisements. Even ads put up Adorama and B&H only contain 2 to 3 pages when it used to be many more. We used to read the articles and see what’s new that we can get, but now we read articles online and Google the things want to buy. Really where do they the funding to pay for all of it.

        • Thylmuc

          To me, the answer IS smartphones. I bought my first iPhone in 2007, it was the original, first model and boy was the camera lousy. It was clearly a “me too” camera because most cell phones had cameras already back then, and better ones.
          What happened? Already in 2008 or 2009, it became evident that the iPhone users used the camera module extensively, as evidenced by statistics on social media platforms. However, in contrast to the camera manufacturers who completely ignored this trend, Apple recognised it, and they started to pour immense ressources into the improvement of the camera and software, and opened up the API for 3rd party apps, more and more.

          While I am not sure when, I think it must have been around 2010 when I first perceived the improvements of Apple’s camera module (and their competitors’ who had to follow suit) as a threat to the camera manufacturers. If I saw it, their experts should have seen it alike.
          But they didn’t.

          As per 2017, we have high resolution smrtphone cameras, dual cameras, smart flashes, high low light sensitivity, RAW recording and even something like the portrait mode. A lot of this has been achieved by the software and controlling of the camera modules, but who cares?
          And we have a huge accessory industry, including Carl Zeiss and Schneider Optics add-on lenses.
          OTOH, look at the decent success of high end manufacturers. Leica Camera has doubled ist workforce within a couple of years, to 1600. Hasselblad is up from 70 employees to 200. Alpa, Cambo, Phase One, they all do fine. The Fuji GFX Facebook group approaches 12000 members. Compare this with FB groups on Nikon models.
          Thus, to me, the lower market is gone to the smartphone camp.

    • fanboy fagz

      “Nikon slips to net loss”

      COOL!

    • Christopher Warzenski

      Well they have the Nikon 1 line so everything will be just peachy.

      • animalsbybarry

        Not if that’s all they have to offer

        • Christopher Warzenski

          Yeah sorry I was being sarcastic. No one wants that junk.

    • jimh

      I think it’s too late. Speaking for myself, I went over to Sony with the a6000 and today have quite an investment (for me) in E-mount. And I don’t want an “adapter”.

  • mark meerdam

    Is this because of the price increases? Revenue and units sold are both down but operating income almost doubled.

    • Thom Hogan

      Forget the first chart posted, as it’s trying to say something about pre- and post-restructuring profits for the entire company. The second and third charts are the ones you want to look at: sales down, profits down for past year, and sales down, profits flat for next year.

      • Allan

        ” … profits flat for next year.”

        Thom, from the information that is available to you, and your years of watching and analyzing this and other tech businesses, do you think their forecast is reasonable?

        • Luboš

          I am not Thom, but….., It is. 🙂
          2016 more profitable then 2015. 2017 will gain some numbers, but it is going to be in level with prediction. :-)))))))))))))))))))

          • ZoetMB

            Nikon almost never makes their 1st prediction (in the Imaging Group).
            Fiscal 2017: Predicted 440/35 (billion Yen), achieved 383/27.7.
            Fiscal 2016: Predicted 525/38, achieved 520.4/45.7 (OK, they beat their profit prediction)
            Fiscal 2015: Predicted 630/66, achieved 586/56.6
            Fiscal 2014: Predicted 810/94, achieved 685.4/64.2

            Except for 2016, these are really lousy results from a forecast standpoint and in any of the three large companies that I was an exec at, you might be able to get away with this once, but if it happened twice, you were gone.

            • Thom Hogan

              I think I wrote it a couple of years ago: if I achieved the results that Nikon did that year I would expect to be fired. Things got worse.

        • Thom Hogan

          No, I don’t. Right now I’d predict that they will be somewhat short on the units and more seriously short on profits.

          There are only four cameras that really move on their own accord at Nikon: D500, D750, D810, and D7200, and even those require discounting to move the volume that Nikon requires them to. The D3400, just introduced a few months ago, is selling at a 33% discount now. If it’s selling.

          But okay, even if they make their forecast, that’s a two-year decline that’s unprecedented. First year 23% drop in ILC volume, second year 19% drop? That’s near freefall.

          • ZoetMB

            Correct. Nikon has predicted 2.5m DSLR units for fiscal 2018. Let’s assume they make it. That’s a 19.35% drop from fiscal 2017. Let’s assume that continues every year.

            That means they’ll be selling only 821,000 units by 2025, 534,000 units by 2027, 280,000 units by 2030 and 96,000 units by 2035.

            I only have numbers going back to 2006, but in that fiscal, they sold 1.34 million DSLR units. That would have included about 3 1/2 months of D200 sales.

            So what’s the minimum number of units they would need to sell to survive? How many units did they sell of SLRs and DSLRs in fiscal 2000, the year the D1 was released?

      • Allan

        Thom,

        Do you think all of their predictions for 2018/3 are reasonable?

  • badtorro

    Is Nikon going to be the next Titanic?
    This must be the worst strategy I have ever heard of.
    “Profit up, sales down +restructuring cost”
    That basically means to me they dont care for decreased customer interest in Nikon gear, however they will charge more to compensate for the loss of sales.
    Is this the right time to leave Nikon? .. and if yes, where to go next? Sony? (forget it!) Canon DSLR? but that make no sense, DSLR is a dying species… Fuji? but they got no FX sensor :-S

    • You know that Fuji has the GFX, 1.7x larger than FF/FX? I’ve already sold all my Nikon gear and made the switch, couldn’t be a happier photographer. Also bought an XPro2 with a few primes for ‘action’ shots, I like the look of these files better than what my D810 produced, and it handles so nicely… AF is also much more accurate. Just try an Xpro2 or XT2!

      • badtorro

        I got eyes and ears out for news re GFX 50s ..but if I buy I risk my wife will ask for a divorce so… 😉 it’s way above my budget.

        Fuji X series seem extremely impressive. I just wish they had an x-mount camera w/high mpx count, an answer do d810s and such.

        In my view much bigger problem with Fuji is the weak support for raw files in Adobe Lightroom. This is a big inconvenience.
        I don’t want to switch to another software and I don’t want to have to deal with third party converters for top results.

        If I had to switch today tho, I guess Fuji xt2/xpro2 would be my choice, but…

        • Hans J

          Already there with you, bought the Xt-2 as a fun travel camera at first but realize its a great work horse. If they had C1 tether support I would get the GFX and leave Nikon 100% Except for the FM3a. so 95%

    • Mike A

      Silly to exclude Sony in your “Nik-exit” plan.

      Jumping ship is almost mandatory. Nikon is increasing the dividend payout ratio (real cash out the door that WILL NOT BE REINVESTED in the company) to a very high percentage. This means lowered R&D and an acceleration in falling behind Sony & Canon.

      It will be sad to watch Nikon’s decline accelerate. Their only reason to exist now is to take as much money as possible from their loyal customer base (increased per unit margin) and directly pass it out to shareholders in the form of a ridiculous dividend payout rate.

    • I went from D800 to A7RII with little issue, but for specific reasons (IBIS/Size/Tilt Screen/Adapted Lenses). If your gear is working fine for you there’s no reason to go switch just because the company is doing poorly now. Even if you were inclined to go the Sony route, you might be better off waiting for an A9R-like camera with better controls/silent shutter.

      Alternatively, if you can live with APS-C, Fuji has very good bodies that compare well to the offerings from Nikon and Sony and the best lens selection of anyone in that sensor size.

      • Max

        So does ibis work much better than VR?

        • I’m not really sure if it works better per se, but it makes more sense for me. I’m typically a prime shooter and generally in the 28-85mm range. I only had one lens for Nikon with VR, which was the 16-35 f/4. VR seemed to work well with that, but I think the IBIS is at least as good…and more importantly I can use it with fast primes that aren’t tele exotics.

          I actually read somewhere (maybe here?) that the reason Nikon and Canon didn’t do in body stabilization was because you couldn’t really stabilize film and a lot of their early VR/IS lenses needed to work with film cameras that were the mainstays of pros. Grain of salt though with that info; maybe an older working pro knows.

          • Max

            I forgot about the primes that don’t have VR…

    • fanboy fagz

      Leave nikon , no..cameras are fine. lenses are overpriced and there are fantastic alternatives eating a HUGE chunk of their sales. tamron and sigma are doing very well im sure. offering excellent gear at decent prices.

      what moron would pay $2800 for a 70-200E lens when the new tamron g2 does a 95% job for much less then half.
      the 24-70 G2 if done right will steal a HUGE chunk of nikons sales.its the main bread and butter lens to wedding photogs and buying the 24-70E for $2500 is stupidity.

      “That basically means to me they dont care for decreased customer
      interest in Nikon gear, however they will charge more to compensate for
      the loss of sales.|

      yep, its moving that way. why do you think sigma and tamron have been releasing lenses nonstop? they see nikon just raises prices to ridiculous numbers and want to offer alternative gear for much less.

      • Tieu Ngao

        Most Sigma & Tamron lenses are made in Japan where the manufacturing cost is much higher than that in China or Thailand, where many Nikon lenses are made. Why? Because Sigma & Tamron don’t rip their customers off like Nikon does!

      • Thom Hogan

        I’ve been arguing with someone on another forum about this. I’ve partially switched. For wildlife and sports, I’m still 100% Nikon. What Nikon produces works just fine for me. But for landscapes, I’ve been in transition for some time, despite the D800/D810. The reason why it’s not switched is because to date, nothing else is complete as I need it to be. The 19mm PC-E was a nice shot by Nikon, and a really well specified D850 might keep me in the fold.

        For more casual stuff, nope, the mirrorless cameras do just fine for me, and Nikon makes nothing that actually serves the multiple roles I need there.

        • fanboy fagz

          What you say echoes what 2 other friends have done. They use mirrorless for causal stuff. Including trips.

        • Max

          I wish Nikon would make something to compete with the x100. Small silent fixed wide lens camera with a viewfinder and a D500 sensor.
          A fixed lens DSLR would be a bit odd though,but interesting.

        • jmb2560

          “the mirrorless cameras do just fine for me”. I think it is the first time you say that clearly… 😉

        • Chewbacca

          So here’s a question for you regarding mirrorless options. What company out there right now can we trust our money with to start forking over serious dough on lenses and start building a system?

          • hyh

            Trust no one.

          • Thom Hogan

            There are three “systems” that are reasonably extensive and complete: Fujifilm X, Olympus/Panasonic m4/3, and Sony FE (not E). All have their pluses and minuses.

            But predicting the future is near impossible. If ILC sales continue to go down, that means everyone will be fighting over fewer user purchases. That starts to twist the economics for everyone, and you can’t predict what happens. The Japanese companies seem to have finally gotten the ROI religion, but that’s causing some huge rifts and fissures in their traditional corporations, and the CEO proclamations about which businesses they might retain are getting tougher.

            • Chewbacca

              The thing is. The mirrorless system I would feel more comfortable with in light of the current downward spiral is the system that isn’t on your list; Canon. But, this is looking ahead to the future of the system not what it currently is. This prediction could be way off though. Who could have predicted 10 years ago that Nikon would be shrinking like they appear to be now.

            • Thom Hogan

              In 2003 I predicted that DSLR sales would peak in 2011. I was off by about six months. It all has to do with household penetration. Every tech has a household penetration number it’s not likely to cross. The way you continue to sell at that point is by reinventing the product, which I began writing about in 2008 and presented to Nikon in 2010.

              Tech is a constantly moving target. Nikon has slowly gotten out of sync with their movement. It’s predictable that when you do, you will shrink.

        • Espen4u

          Et tu, Brute?

          I’m with you, by the way. I have fuji for travel/casual and nikon for hobbyist and more “seriuos” work.

      • Bob Thane

        Agreed. Look, sure, the 70-200 E is the best 70-200 out there. Hat’s off to Nikon. But the Tamron and Canon lenses are both darned close, really darned close. For a lot less too – and the Canon’s been around for years.

        The 105mm f1.4 is amazingly optically, but it’s not sharper than the Sigma art lenses (though it is so far a unique focal length). It’s kind of a mix between the Sigma 135mm f1.8 and the Sigma 85mm f1.4 – but it costs far more than either, is optically no better than them (though some like the character), and somehow it has worse AF than the Sigmas. Cheaping out on AF is a bad move when that’s typically the main advantage over third parties.

        The 19mm PC-E is very nice. But it’s closer to 20mm than 19mm, and we’re still wishing for a wider option like the Canon 17mm – and it’s not really optically much better than the older Canon. And the price… Holy cow.

        Now, Nikon does offer some great lenses at good prices. The 200-500 is fantastic, albeit the AF could be better. The 20mm f1.8 is pretty well unrivalled – mostly since the Sigma 20mm f1.4 doesn’t take filters. The telephoto primes are now better than anyone else’s – they’ve upgraded all the weaker lenses, albeit at a cost. And the 300mm f4 PF is very convenient and not horribly priced.

        More stuff like that is needed – creating lenses that solve a real need in the market, and pricing them reasonably for that market.

        • Thom Hogan

          The lenses you name really only match up with the D500, D750, D810, and D5. Both logically and in pricing. So if that’s all that Nikon keeps doing, they will become a smaller company centered around a very few cameras going forward.

          • br0xibear

            “they will become a smaller company centered around a very few cameras going forward.”
            I’ve been saying this for ages, this is exactly where they are headed…and so is every other camera manufacturer.
            I understand that you believe a product will bring back the customers that left cameras, but I don’t. Look at what’s happened with laptops, desktops and tablets…all decimated by the smartphone. Samsung just brought out a dock which links their S8 to a keyboard and monitor to use as your only device​.
            Nikon, Canon or whoever can’t remain the same size in a camera market that is shrinking rapidly.

            • I agree, the key sentence here is: “and so is every other camera manufacturer”. Yes, Nikon was one of the first companies to get in trouble, but it will not be the last one. It’s just a matter of time.

            • br0xibear

              It’ll be interesting to see if any of the camera manufacturers buy others, DJI have bought a majority stake in Hasselblad…I won’t say Sony Nikon, lol.

            • I don’t see one camera manufacturer buying another because there is nothing to gain but I do see Chinese companies buying Japanese camera manufacturers for the brand recognition.

            • Allan

              ” … a product will bring back the customers that left cameras … ”

              It would be interesting to read Thom’s ideas about what type of camera product(s) made by camera companies would entice some new customers and some old customers to purchase it (them).

              (If you have already spent about $700.00 for a smartphone, and are happy with your snapshots, why spend more money for a camera, and have to also carry it with your smartphone? I think the camera companies have lost the competition for making products for taking snapshots.)

            • br0xibear

              I think it’s beyond snapshots.
              A lot of people I know, (family and friends from different cultures and countries), their only camera has been their smartphone…the idea of having a seperate camera doesn’t even enter most of their minds.

            • Allan

              Good point.

            • ZoetMB

              If you use a large number of common parts across the product line and streamline manufacturing (there might be a good reason for this, but why can’t all the logic circuitry in a Nikon camera be included on a single chip?), you can still have models at multiple price points in a shrinking market. If you skip over a price point, you’re going to lose a customer who only wants to spend X. In fact, one could argue that Nikon needs a model between the $1250 D7500 and the $2000 D500.

              But you also need to be just about perfect at controlling inventory so that when you’re ready to release a new model, you’re out of the old model. Apple is brilliant at this. That’s why when they release new models, they’re able to take the old models off of their websites that day. Their might be some left in dealer channels, but they tend to disappear quickly once they’re placed on sale. In Nikon’s case, there are still D5200’s and D7100’s in inventory.

  • jstevez

    I must admit this is not looking good, too many mistakes last few years. And now they believe they can rebound stripping features and resolution from the D7200. I’m joining the bandwagon…

    • Thom Hogan

      Run faster! I started the wagon rolling a long time ago and we’ve got quite a head start ;~)

      (/sarcasm)

  • Peter

    It seems as if there were technicans running the company in the past and now there are cost cutter in place. Isn’t there any person who is able to combine all needed management competencies to run a company like nikon with far-sightedness? Where is vision and customer orientation? I am an enthusiast who is heavily invested in Nikon gear and I will never jump ship but it is a pain to see how nikon is trying to find the right way from an inside view. At least they conducted a customer survey here in Germany amongst all users of a D5, D500, SB-5000, SB-910, SB-700 trying to find out how those people use their gear. I still hope they get the message…

    • Chris

      This is the first time it crosses my mind to jump ship. I am an enthusiast as well with a lot of gear. I’ll guess the clients will have to pay those extra money for the shareholders. Nothing about customers, only shareholder value and cost cutting. I’ll have to calculate what it will cost, I can probably spread it out over some years.

  • So much for robust future R&D expenditures.
    It’s like the ship caught in a tidal pool… to get out you need a captain who can steer and ship with thrust. With poor direction and no thrust ( capital, sales, etc ) the ship will inevitably wind up sunk. The dslr life cycle is getting old, way over the hump on the lifecycle curve; and the “what’s next” seems to be quite elusive to ignorant Nikon.

  • Mike A

    Investors/Banks needed to throw senior to mid level management out a couple years ago. Losing market share, especially at these rates, is direct proof of complete lack of competency .

  • Chewbacca

    Sheesh…
    I dread the thought of having to learn the nuances of a Canon flash system but Canon is looking more and more like the last man standing in an industry imploding.

    • Luboš

      Canon isn’t the last man standing. Nikon is still in league of their own. They make state of the art cameras as quality concerns, but not selling well. Canon was in some distance second, but Sony is catching Canon quickly, of not the same at the moment. I am not talking about sales figures etc., strictly product quality. Don’t think Canon is matching Nikon at all.
      But what Nikon screw was PR. Instead saying what they said, they should use different language to say the same. We all know that it would be crazy upgrade cameras to another state of the art photography just before anniversary. We all know that there is cook in the kitchen and it is working overtime (as we will hopefully see in the near future). I don’t think the kitchen is empty.
      They should not say much about inside problems, restructuring, etc…
      They should say yes, we aren’t upgrade before anniversary, we are cooking this and that, and keep customers on tows with a hope, talking about possible upgrades and patiently waiting for new product. And its coming. Instead, they just screw the whole PR for no reason. :-))))) haw… 🙂

      • I understand why Sony is catching up, I just do not understand how Canon is gaining so much market share – they even became the #3 in the mirrorless market…

        • Hans J

          Marketing, They are like “Honda’s” those cars sell themselves. Hondas are not the best car they are not the fastest cars, but they are safe and reliable. Thats Canon. Nothing exciting about them just a working tool. and once in a while they take risks when they need to, creating a new mount for Auto focus, First FF, making their cameras a real video camera alternative, Then making video cameras and lenses. etc.

        • jmb2560

          Go to a camera store in Tokyo: Canon has twice as much real estate to market their products than Nikon. Sony probably comes #2 now, having invested a lot in distribution in Japan.

        • br0xibear

          The Canon 2016 Finacial report/results are here…
          http://www.canon.com/ir/event/index.html

          I’ve had a quick read and they have some interesting statements…
          “The interchangeable-lens camera market for the full year was only down 9% to 11.5 million units, despite the temporary shortage of parts caused by the Kumamoto earthquake.”
          ” in addition to growing sales of new DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, we benefitted from the shortage of parts that impacted our competitors. As a result, our unit sales increased 2% to 5.67 million units.”

          ” As for compact cameras, last year the market declined by 44% to 15 million units due to impact from the shortage of supplies on all manufacturers, including Canon. Against this backdrop, Canon focused energy on expanding sales of G series premium cameras which exceeded those of last year. Overall, however, our unit sales declined 38% to 40.4 million yen, due to a significant drop in entry model.”

          “The interchangeable-lens camera market, from what we saw during last year’s year-end selling
          season, is projected to shrink by 4% to 11 million units, mainly reflecting decelerating contraction in developed countries.
          We expect out unit sales to decrease about 7% to 5.3 million units, representing a steeper decline than the overall market. This reflects a one-off factor resulting from the Kumamoto earthquake.
          Excluding this factor show that the year-on-year decline is slowing down and that we are heading
          towards bottoming out.”

          • Eric Calabros

            5.3 million Canon, 2.5 million Nikon, 3.2 million all others.

        • Nakayamahanzaemon

          I think Canon is the second in mirrorless. Canon admits it.

          http://news.mynavi.jp/articles/2017/02/16/canon_2017/001.html (in Japanese)

      • Thom Hogan

        I would say if you’re in the D7500, D500, D750, D810, D5 fold, there’s no need to get overly concerned at the moment. But, that’s the problem. That’s a fairly narrow band of product when you really think about it.

        • Bob Thane

          Exactly. Very good for pros/enthusiasts. But Nikon’s fallen into the entry level stagnation that Canon was in – the D3x00 and D5x00 haven’t been meaningfully updated in generations, and cost quite a bit. The D610 is also getting old, but with the D750 on sale right now it serves as a nice upgrade.

          And then Nikon 1 is pretty well dead, despite having had amazing potential. 20 fps with some of them! They were a dream come true for bird photographers, and could have really been great. But the sensor tech wasn’t quite good enough for 1″ sensors, so Canon takes the lead with the M.

          Sure, none of those cameras have as large margins as the D5. But the majority of the market is entry-level, so neglecting that is leaving money on the table.

          • Andrew

            These companies do not tell us what they are working on as far as future products are concerned. The D500 came as a big surprise and exceeded everyone’s expectations. The P900 83x (Optical) zoom camera also came in as a big surprise and it too exceeded everyone’s expectations. And now we are anticipating the rumored update will be equipped with a 125x Optical lens.
            I
            In the case of the soon to be released D7500, it is inheriting so much of the D500 capabilities at an amazing $2,500 price point to make it quite a successful camera. It is the closest an enthusiast camera has ever to to the professional line. I see a lot of D90 to D7100 owners upgrading to the D7500 as its specs look quite impressive.

            And there is no doubt that Nikon is working on something for the Mirrorless market that will also come in as a surprise to most people. As far as the D3xxx and D5xxx cameras are concerned, price is the most important factor as these cameras can already produce superb image quality.

            I expect Nikon will replace the D610 with the D750 and keep it at the $1,499 price point (but without the free promotional battery). They did the same with the D7200.

            And finally as they refresh the D810 and D750 cameras with D500 class features, Nikon’s overall sales should improve.

            • Bob Thane

              Very true. I personally think the D7500 is a smart move. I’d love dual slots, but overall a solid camera. Rivals the Canon 80D nicely.

              But yeah, price is key for the entry level DX. They’ve been upping the price without making real improvements with the last couple iterations though, so people are buying older versions, or other brands. They need to either drop prices (the $400 D3400 is a nice effort), or come up with something better with the next generation.

            • decisivemoment

              Canon provides grips for all their cameras, even the $400 plastic fantastic ones. Deleting key ergonomic features in an age of lengthening lifespans and increasing arthritis is just idiotic.

  • shovelrobert

    My customes only want the best photos, they dont care what i use to get the shoot…

    • Andrew

      Then may I recommend the soon to be released D7500 with its Auto Picture Control. It sports like the D500 the same “180K RGB Metering system … used with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to help ensure balanced exposures and fantastic color rendition in nearly any shooting situation.” Why fiddle with metering settings when Nikon’s new EXPEED 5 image processor will rapidly compute the correct setting from a library of over 30,000 images. I have already sold myself on this camera 😉

      • nwcs

        Except that each iteration of matrix metering is still not perfect 🙂

        • Andrew

          Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. The Nikon 180K Matrix Metering system is helping to supplant the ability of most professionals as it provides sufficient data points for calculating perfect exposures. The issue is not one of perfection as that will obviate the need for further technological advancement but getting the smarts to outperform most professionals!

          The implementation of Matrix Metering in the D500 is already providing fantastic image quality without the need for elaborate post processing or fiddling with raw files. Sure some professionals will have artistic preferences but putting that capability in the hands of the masses as the new Auto Picture Control will do is absolutely amazing. Nikon is already delivering amazing JPEG images strait out of their cameras and things will only get better with the new Auto Picture Control. The fact that this function will analyze the picture scene and automatically generates a tone curve within the camera presents a whole new level of functionality and benefit.

          The Nikon D500 from which the D7500 inherits most of its capabilities has approached practical perfection with spot on Auto White Balance. As you know, not getting the White Balance correct has ruined many pictures. So now coupling Auto Picture Control with Nikon’s advanced Metering System which is essentially perfect will put the new D7500 in a league of its own especially for a $1,250. So this is one new feature I am looking forward to exploring in the new D7500.

  • Eric Calabros

    So with 600,000 less units, they expect to make same amount of profit! Folks, forget the “affordable” mirrorless 🙂

  • ZoetMB

    On the upside, within the Imaging group, they essentially matched their last forecast (from February). While that prediction should be easy, they usually fail at it.

    On the downside, they’re predicting another 19% unit decline in DLSRs and a 20% unit decline in lenses (and a 28% decline in compacts). OK, you can blame that on the declining market. But they’re also predicting another 3% drop in DSLR market share and a 3.5% drop in lens market share which means *they’re giving away business to competitors*. That should be considered unacceptable (and that’s if they make their numbers, which they never do). If Nikon is producing the proper products at the right price, they should be gaining share, not losing share. What Nikon management is essentially saying is that they don’t know how to compete.

    And what’s the strategy to fix all this? “Enhancement of management DNA” What does that even mean? And as far as the imaging group is concerned, “Strengthen profit-structure of Imaging Products Business; Target a profit-structure able to sustain profit in a declining market; Create a midterm roadmap and initiate a fundamental review of costs.” And: “Initiate full-scale enhancement of management DNA; Step-up initiatives for implementing new mechanisms.”

    So aside from the meaningless drivel, they’re going to reduce costs even more which I don’t interpret as Nikon finding ways to manufacture the same quality for less money – I think it means they’ll charge more for less and/or reduce quality.

    Note that there isn’t a single word about addressing new markets, creating products that customers want, implementing new technologies, improving the design of cameras, simplifying design to reduce costs, etc. Just a bunch of b.s. business-speak. IMO, the entire senior management team needs to be fired. We’ve been hearing the same crap over and over again ever since the market started to decline and management has basically admitted they have no idea how to address the issues.

    • Chris

      You are not being reasonable. Large scale industrial production can bring down cost due to its massive output. Tools and process they use to produce stuff are extremely expensive (and will be more so as products are being more sophisticated), cost is thinned out by numbers they produced.

      A smaller market means this is no longer feasible unless they charge more per unit.

      • ZoetMB

        Which is sometimes acceptable if your competition does the same. But when you lose market share, it means that your value proposition to customers is perceived as declining. So it’s a recipe for failure. And it also becomes a vicious cycle because the more you raise prices, the fewer units are going to be sold.

        Now market share isn’t everything. Apple, for one, gives up market share to maintain high profit margins against Android phones and clone computer makers. But when you lose market share against competitors who are basically charging the same as you, it means you’re failing in the market. Stop trying to rationalize otherwise.

        • Chris

          Is competitors selling more at high prices? No. Olym is but not in the same price range. You are loosing track of the market and just quoting theory that does’t fit.

          • badtorro

            have a look at canon rumors and see what they have announced. the buzzword is market share

            • Chris

              We are on longer in a world people care about technical marvels. In fact who shoot loudest have least understanding of technology.

              That means, manufacturers should focus on entertaining the mass, or satisfy a smaller group of serious users. Nikon obviously decided on the latter.

              It’s reasonable as a B2B company in nature.

            • Thom Hogan

              You keep making this B2B point. I’m not sure why, unless you’re secretly part of Nikon’s B2B team.

              Go back and read the Economist article about how Nikon lost the stepper war to ASML. That’s ALL about how well the B2B relations were handled. I would argue that Nikon isn’t all that great a B2B company, either.

            • Chris

              IBM dumped thinkpad.

            • Thom Hogan

              So your solution for Nikon is to sell the camera group to someone else? Making for a company that’s half the size as it was?

            • Chris

              LOL. Who do you think Canon sells to these days to make it the biggest? Pros like you, or gear-head like many others here? I think this reveals Nikon’s biggest miss.

            • Thom Hogan

              I’m sorry, but you’re making no sense at all. With a few small differences, Canon and Nikon have the same sales channels for cameras. Canon uses QVC for volume unload, Nikon uses Costco.

              You seem to be trying to categorize things like this:

              B2C: Coolpix, D3400, D5600, kit lenses
              B2B: D500, D810, D5

              But that’s not how it works. The primary buyers of the D500, D810, and D5 are not pros running businesses, they are consumers.

              Moreover, I’d point out that I’m getting lots of NPS complaints lately, which would indicate that the pros running businesses aren’t very happy with Nikon at the moment, either. Rapid repairs under NPS seem to not be guaranteed anymore. Note that Sony’s new pro service guarantees loaner if no repair in three days.

              So just how good a B2B company do you think Nikon is? Give specific examples please.

            • Chris

              My definition of B2B is doing business with other business excluding very small scale operations. Take IBM as an example, selling computers to Gov agencies, hospital, and banks are B2B style operations. Selling it to a self-hired software developer, no. In fact IBM even gave up on volume users Thinkpad was to serve. Note that I do know studios are larger than that, but how many of you combined could be as worthy as, say NASA contract?

              Nikon will put a mirrorless in product if NASA wanted it badly. That I am confident about.

            • Thom Hogan

              Funny you should write that: there are now mirrorless cameras in space and being used by NASA. They’re not Nikons.

              It really doesn’t make any difference who you sell to, consumers or businesses. They are customers. You have to listen to them, understand them, solve problems for them. Nikon has a long history of dictating solutions without listening. Now that they’re in trouble, this is going to hurt them in cameras the same way it hurt them in the stepper business.

              And be careful what you wish for. The Gov Agencies, Banks, Hospitals, etc., that you’re talking about aren’t interested in the feature sets we’ve come to know and love in our Nikon DSLRs. That will lead to cost cutting that removes things from the cameras.

            • Chris

              I have no problem with what I wish for actually. I do know you have now.

              Who you sell to decides how much baby-sitting you need to do before it got sold. For a big company like Nikon, the fastest way to get out of this is to stop going after specs and start listening to general mass, starting from hiring a star as its public figure, just like Canon does.

              From my standpoint, you are wishing for something I have a problem more.

            • Chris

              Nikon might listen more to what Costco thinks a camera should be like than you guys do.

        • decentrist

          Apple is a perceived brand of one in a commodity business. The trick would be for Nikon to do the same. This will never happen with their management team.

      • Thom Hogan

        Nikon HAD large scale production. They’re producing less. They’ve gone from 20m+ units to about 5m units. At some point they’re no longer doing large scale production.

        Price elasticity of demand says that if you charge more per unit, you have fewer sales. Indeed, the PED slope is very perilous: once you pass a certain point, you’re in a downward spiral chasing your tail.

        • Chris

          Isn’t that obvious in a shrinking market?

          • Thom Hogan

            Then how do you explain Canon’s results? ;~)

            • I can’t 🙂 I don’t get how Canon got where they are today.

            • Hans J

              Taking risks. First FF at $8k, First cheap FF 5D. First 1080p real video 5D Mark II

            • Hans J

              Nikon first said NO FF Dx is the future but never build the lens line for it. Then we went all out with the D3 and D700 great bodies no compromises in build quality and features. Then they digress by not implementing good video EVEN tho they were the first to have it.

            • Max

              After putting video in the D90 they should’ve kept the ball rolling instead of holding tech back. Like if they had improved live view at around the D600 and D5200 era and the next year or so implemented on sensor pd, they wouldn’t have had so much catching up to do now.

            • Hans J

              100% Nikon always forgets they are not competing with themselves they are competing with other companies.

            • Thom Hogan

              They protected their low end (SL1 and EOS M), they iterated well, they expanded into video, they advertise and market well.

            • Chris

              To those who don’t know cameras a lot, Nikon is like a foreigner who doesn’t know your culture well although he speaks natively. Canon? A familiar figure from home with familiar accents. .

            • Chewbacca

              Amazing marketing and advertising with solid, reliable products. Sort of the Toyota of camera companies.
              I watched a whole netflicks series sponsored by Canon that followed a dozen pros and their methods. I watched a sebastian salgado documentary and watched him using his Canon. The list goes on for miles. Nat Geo ads. etc.

            • Ok, so not really better products, but better business side of things.

            • Hans J

              First to market with a lot of things too. Better auto-focus from the start ,FF right away, and Video.

            • Nikon had the first camera with video (D90), the first 36MP sensor (D800), first XQD… I am sure there is more to that list.

            • Hans J

              The Video in the D90 was a good start and Nikon did nothing with it. Mind you it was only 720p. The 36mp was HUGE! I bought the D800 on day one, only to be plagued with a green cast and focusing issues on the left side. 🙁 the D810 was much better. I don’t care about XQD cards and looks like neither the rest of the world… Including Sony ha!
              But I’ve stuck with Nikon. I love Nikon, a company I worked for gave me a Canon system to use, a 5D mark III with 50 1.2 and 85 1.2, new 24-70mm and I still bought the Nikon equivalent.
              I’m so bummed to see Nikon in the hole now 🙁

            • Chewbacca

              I think you may as well flip a coin as far as Canon and Nikon equipment go. They both make very nice stuff, but I think we are noticing how important the business side of things can be when a crash happens with products.

            • Thom Hogan

              The notion that “best product wins” is one of the biggest myths in business there is. The best product doesn’t always win. It certainly helps to have the best product if you execute everything else perfectly well, but by itself it generally won’t win out.

            • Chewbacca

              Thomas Kinkade is a perfect example. Guy built a mega fortune on what most “art critics” consider bad art.

            • decentrist

              Their marketing is clearly superior.

            • Chris

              Well controlled budgeting over generations and its outstanding image among who doesn’t know what f number means.

              Nikon is too hardcore, just like PlayStation versus Nintendo.

            • Thom Hogan

              Aha! So you’re saying that Nikon isn’t well controlled at budgeting? Nonsense.

            • Chris

              Not “Well” controlled. Nikon is not doing it that well if you count the interval Nikon put new stuff in production, price, and the number got sold. Canon’s lower end model are worse in body performance compared with similarly priced nikon.

              Canon has been selling out-of-date stuff for ages in higher price and more units. Nikon is playing it out like Sony, just not that aggressive and effective in marketing.

            • jmb2560

              Canon is a better integrated company. Their supply-chain management is more effective. Addressing more vertical markets within “imaging”, they can spread R&D cost to a broader range of products.
              I dealt with both companies in Japan: Meetings with Nikon were more chaotic; Canon was all about business and efficiencies. My heart was with Nikon; effective business was Canon -and I hated it as a Nikonian.

    • badtorro

      working in an int’l corporation (another industry) I think I can help here. To me all this “bullshit bingo” means they review their values and beliefs, roles & responsibilities, basically a top-to-bottom review of how the business works and where the money is earned in a quest for searching for new synergies and efficiencies. Typically this also means implementation of new management tools, indicators, business habbits etc.

      Generally it’s a good thing. It should result in a deep long look at “the kitchen” and conclude in “how to make this company work again”. However the results of this are often hard to measure and take time to implement and reflect to the outside world.

      Firing a used-to-be-wininng-team may be a so-so idea. Business-wise it makes far more sense to but the team back together, It makes them stronger over time & retains experience. It also impacts morale of employees.

      tl;dr they announce they are going thu some deep changes.

      • ZoetMB

        Not buying it. They’ve been spouting this nonsense for years and there are no specifics. I’ve been an exec at three large international media companies and I’ve seen executives like this. They produce the same b.s. Powerpoint presentations year after year and nothing ever gets accomplished. In Japanese corporate culture, it’s even worse because so much is about “face saving”.

        What Nikon should have said is something like, “increase per user sales of lenses by conducting extensive research into customer needs”, “decrease consumer body upgrade cycle by improving technology at faster pace”, “benefit pro photographers by improving workflow”, “perform research to analyze market share losses”, “re-engineer products to reduce parts count”, etc. plus all the stuff that Thom has been saying for years.

        • Eric Calabros

          They don’t believe what Thom is saying can increase their profits.

          • nwcs

            Perhaps so but as much as I respect his insights and analyses there’s more than one route for Nikon to follow to regain steam. Although it will touch on many of Thom’s themes. It’s hard to deny the lack of attention to customers. Nikon would still have me as a customer if they catered to my needs better. Although I still have some Nikon stuff for my astro work.

            • Thom Hogan

              No doubt there are many courses to rebuilding a company and making it successful again. But please identify which course it is that Nikon is following and how that will lead to success.

              I’m not sure at this point that anyone in Nikon’s top management can blow up that balloon without people like @mbrooks01:disqus, myself, and others able to pop holes in it.

            • Probably the most important argument yet, in this thread. What exactly is Nikon’s plan? Can someone please give me the elevator pitch?

              Case in point, look at the current ad campaign, “Love Letters”. Steve Simon (photographer) worked on that for Nikon and posted some images used for the billboards etc. They look like vacation snapshots that could have been taken with any cheap camera.

              Look at the ads themselves. You have to hunt for any real reference to Nikon. The ones in NY looked more like an ad for NY, not Nikon!

              I’ve never been an executive of anything so I can’t comment on strategy but I am a consumer and have shot Nikon for ever. I pay attention to marketing having run my own photography business. I think Nikon are lost.

              They had better start listening to the likes of @mbrooks01:disqus and @thomhogan:disqus or they will be the next Pentax.

            • Ric of The LBC

              Since the Aston Kutcher ad campaign the only major thing I’ve seen are large graphics in Major League Baseball stadiums. Citi Field, Fenway Park, Safeco Field

          • Thom Hogan

            I would say that’s basically true: they don’t believe that what I say is correct. But if any of the 12 Nikon executives that were in that meeting in Tokyo in 2010 where I outlined a number of my thoughts, go back and read each of my points and see if I was right or not. And to the executive who argued that the Coolpix Android camera was going to be the bomb, remember that I said that it would just bomb.

            • whisky

              “to the executive who argued that the Coolpix Android camera was going to be the bomb, remember that I said that it would just bomb.”

              i told you so’s are typically disdained. 🙂

            • Thom Hogan

              Darn, I thought I could disguise it in clever language… ;~)

            • Andrew

              I think the problem with a product like the Coolpix Android is one of long term commitment. It should be the type of product that you come out with and iterate until you get the interface and user experience right and then move it up to something much more capable like the D3xxx series. For example with their Mirrorless technology in the Nikon 1 line, they can scale it up.

              Now had Nikon been working on their Android camera (S800c) for the past 7 years I am sure they would have made headway. I also remember a projector camera (Coolpix S1200pj) that they quickly abandoned.

              Quite often companies start projects that they have no passion about and so are looking for a reason to drop it and at least have the excuse that they tried it and that their instincts were proved right that it would not work. The takeaway it that I do not see Nikon as a company that wants to get heavily involved with software as it is not part of their DNA.

            • Thom Hogan

              Did you actually try to use the Android Coolpix? I did. It was ungainly as a camera, it was ungainly as an Android device, it was an out-of-date Android device when it appeared, and it really had no true connectivity.

              I also remember the conversation I had with the executive in charge of it. His ideas of what were going to work were, IMHO, dead wrong. One thing he thought was that making such a product was mostly about what Instagram filters you could instantly apply, though to my knowledge Instagram wasn’t a company that Nikon worked with to get an app on the camera.

              It’s been mentioned several times in this thread, and many more in other threads. Nikon likes to dictate to customers what the product should do. But they don’t really listen to customers, so how is it that they know what the customer really would appreciate?

            • Thom Hogan

              Nikon management has clearly and continually shown that they have absolutely no long term commitment to anything that doesn’t immediately produce the numbers the bean counters predicted. It’s one of the consistent failings of management.

            • manattan

              That is true of so many companies these days. VC just extracts what they can immediately and then leave a corpse for someone else to clean up.

        • nwcs

          Yes, less generalities and more specific customer-facing initiatives.

      • Thom Hogan

        Sure. Let’s chew on that.

        Given that the “top” knows how to make semiconductor equipment for a small group of friendly companies, just how well do you think they make decisions that impact products for a global consumer product? At some point, you can contemplate navels as much as you want, but the result is still the same.

    • RC Jenkins

      Agree with everything here.

      To give them an undeserved benefit of the doubt, mirrorless cameras do reduce costs, and might not be seen as a new market for some product lines. I don’t think they’re necessarily thinking in terms of this, but it’s worth mentioning.

      Also (and most importantly), sometimes enhancing DNA can have some dramatic effects:
      https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1354283909l/16002162.jpg

      It seems that they think this is necessary for improvement. For once, they may be right… 🙂

      • Thom Hogan

        Nikon would have the same problem Sony has: yes, making a mirrorless camera probably cuts costs in manufacturing and even in support/repair, but to get there you have to increase your R&D costs.

        • RC Jenkins

          I think they can enter this area a bit softer with minimal R&D (above what they’ve already presumably spent) with good execution of the core features without aiming too high. Without any R&D, they won’t be moving forward. 🙂

          The biggest R&D & manufacturing costs would be if they target shooting scenarios that need the best AF & continuous shooting performance. I would avoid this category entirely for the first few mirrorless iteration(s). Don’t go after the A9…it’s years ahead of Nikon mirrorless and years behind Nikon DSLR. Instead, go after the Fuji X100, Xpro2, Olympus Pen-F, Leica Q, A7, etc. But Nikon style & ecosystem.

          So I’d spring for:

          -Targeted slower shooting scenarios. Street, portrait, casual, tourist, etc. Avoid scenarios that really tax a camera’s AF & battery life.

          -Take advantage of mirrorless: EVF + small form-factor (rangefinder-style) FF mirrorless camera (new mount), manual knobs, few gimmicks…and a free F-mount adapter. Yes Nikon, sacrifice the profit on the adapter–even take a small loss. Encourage people with your existing ecosystem: don’t introduce a new barrier.

          -Doesn’t need sophisticated AF or video–re-use some of the Nikon 1’s AF tech if possible–or the R&D Nikon’s presumably done. Focus peaking. These shooters don’t need fast AF-C tracking or any of that. Some will prefer this body for AI(S) lenses.

          -Release 1 fast normal prime and a standard zoom. 40mm F/2 pancake + 24-70 F/4. All F-mounts will work seamlessly via (included) adapter, so this camera instantly has a larger native-performance lens ecosystem than any FF competitor.

          -Keep it simple & price aggressively. Very aggressively. Sacrifice short-term profits on the body for a bit of market share, enthusiasm, and lens sales. If they can sell a D610 body for $1k, they can easily get $1200 for this ($1500 w/kit lens) while significantly undercutting competitors. Per unit, it should even be cheaper than a D610.

          Enthusiast Nikon shooters & a younger crowd who like tactile controls will be all over it. These are the ‘bleeders.’ Pros are safe with Nikon for years.

          At minimum, it slows bleeding into other systems and gives Nikon shooters a serious option. If it fails, they’ve at least bought time and have good foundations (like a mount) and learnings.

          It’s not as though Nikon’s enjoying an excellent reputation right now…they need something, but (as always), they’re late. They’ll get outcompeted at both the higher (A9) & lower ends (A6000) as they did with the Nikon 1, but they can definitely transition over a base in the enthusiast side.

          • JL

            Your vision sounds like a 1st gen Sony A7 with a Nikon badge. Yes, that might be appealing to some people with a strong brand loyalty.
            An A7 with kit lens is already under 1000 USD/EUR. They can’t find a new market here.

            • RC Jenkins

              Nah…The A7 is a bit too menu-driven and DSLR-like as far as form factor. I’ve played with one before–more for gadget people than photographers. I’m thinking more along the lines of a Fuji XPro2, X100 or Leica M or Q than the A7.

            • JL

              Ah, you mean like the Coolpix A, which apparently was such a great success that it was discontinued 2 years ago, without replacement? 😉 They have done that, and the Nikon 1 is dead, too. Together with the DL line, that’s a 100% fail in mirrorless cameras.

              When they release a new mirrorless, I except it’ll be years behind the competition and DOA.

            • nwcs

              The Coolpix A was priced far, far too high and had an older sensor. Nikon 1 was really a good idea for the time but Nikon shot itself in the foot with pricing, features, accessories, and lenses for it.

            • RC Jenkins

              The APS-C, fixed lens, relatively expensive (vs. Fuji X100), menu-driven, Coolpix A?

              Or the 1″, poor lens selection, relatively expensive (vs m43), menu-driven, Nikon 1?

              When I specified FF, reasonably priced, dedicated controls?

              No, your examples are quite the opposite of what I had in mind.

          • Seems to me like a recipe for a niche camera. This is a great way to grow Nikon’s market share from 1% to 2% but it still has 23%.

            • RC Jenkins

              Seems like a recipe for several ‘extreme’ niche cameras, and sounds more like a cost-cutting measure rather than a method of growing market share.

              This sounds roughly like a suggestion for:
              -Nikon D3400 (just about as small as an F-mount camera can be)
              -Nikon D500
              -Nikon D610
              -Nikon D5

              With nothing or no improvements in-between. The problem is that ‘size’ is only one of many aspects; and that ‘most amazing’ is incredibly subjective. Features often require size. This sounds like “get competed on the low end for features, and the high end on price. Don’t offer anything in the enthusiast area.”

              There is a lot of room in-between, and often, the best balanced cameras are some of the best sellers, like the D7200 and D750.

              I don’t see how any of that improves market share.

              But I think that Nikon entering more areas that they’re not in at all today (with a single camera near the Fuji XPro2, Olympus Pen, Sony a6x00, and Canon M series) does–by more than 1%.

            • > “it’s just some fundamentals.”

              I think excellent AF is a fundamental. By making it a low priority you’re creating a niche product.

              Imagine the dpreview “not good for taking pictures of kids or pets”. Oops.

              Don’t give reasons for people not to buy your product. Don’t give people reasons to wait for the next update. Don’t give people reasons to vacillate between A and B because it’s not really clear which is better.

              Do I like the D750’s familiar controls, full frame sensor, and price or the D500’s better AF, faster frame rate, higher shutter speed? Can’t decide, won’t buy either.

              You’re assuming Nikon’s existing bodies somehow meet my criteria.

              I’d say a better reflection would be:

              D3400 but smaller (yes, it can be done; look at the SL-1)
              D500 but with different controls (memory banks are inferior to U1/U2 for most users). I’d also like a socket instead of a rear display, per below.
              D750 (which is actually _smaller_ than the D610 and also more awesome), ideally with as many reasons not to buy over the D500 removed as possible, e.g. 1/8000s shutter speed, same AF system
              D810 but a socket instead of a rear screen (optional fixed screen, flip screen, or direct connection to smart phone / external display).

              The extra battery doesn’t need to be bolted on. No-one is saying “you know what’s wrong with the A9? It isn’t glued to a faux motor drive”

            • RC Jenkins

              If excellent AF is fundamental, then how would you explain the (very high) sales of mirrorless cameras and entry level cameras to date, including those with contrast detect only? The Sony A9 is hailed because it may finally solve some AF-C limitations, but other cameras have sold well through now.

              (Note: The D750 actually has a slightly better AF system than the D810 for low light AF–it’s very, very similar to the D810).

              I didn’t say “put in horrendous AF…what I said was don’t spend too much R&D perfecting AF-C performance.

              You just used the SL1 as an example–do you think it’s 9-point autofocus system is the reason people buy it?

              Perhaps it’s the incredibly small size?
              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ccba1c431b16bcf4df7116969734e2c333815d49dfc9d09597393c24dcb654fd.png
              Nah.

              I don’t think Nikon will earn 10 additional points in market share by creating another SL1 or slightly tweaking their camera bodies or putting in more expensive components like modular rear screens (which aren’t really an issue for these cameras). In fact, I think this is why many people criticize them–they’re not changing with the market. They’re just incrementally improving.

              I think they’ll instead do it by changing things more drastically and focusing on differentiators.

              To re-iterate, I think this broader and newer appeal requires:
              -A relatively low price – under $1500, closer to $1000. There are just too many options out there: from used, to phones, to high quality entry level cameras. This price precludes the expensive features, like exceedingly good continuous AF, large buffer, etc. RAM is not cheap. AF CPU’s are not cheap. R&D is not cheap. But they’ve got to start somewhere. And I think they target brilliance in common scenarios and spread into the complex ones later. Don’t be Sony…do it right.

              -Excellent controls, which phones and lesser cameras won’t provide. I think many will appreciate this over menu-driven controls. Manual controls that are as quick as a point-and-shoot. Photographers appreciate this.

              -Mirrorless, to keep up with the hype and to give people EVF’s and thin bodies with Nikon lenses as natively as possible.

              -Image quality. There are only 2 serious FF mirrorless systems. Leica, which is not competition. And Sony–which has plenty of its own issues. All other systems are APS-C or smaller. Nikon could take this market by offering a photographers camera.

              We’ll probably continue to disagree–and this is fine. There is no right answer–a lot of this is speculation and subjectivity. No point in beating this one to death, but I wanted to clarify some of these points from my perspective.

            • The latest sales figures for DSLRs vs mirrorless show that the latter’s “high” sales (which are flat) are approaching 40% of the former’s “low” sales. The big problem for DSLRs isn’t mirrorless, it’s the fact that they aren’t easy to significantly improve, and uses don’t buy upgrades often.

              DSLRs are a mature market. That’s actually a good thing for users.

              The reason mirrorless sales are at least holding steady is that people keep buying new bodies hoping that the new body will fix the problems of the old body. The fact each new mirrorless body makes wild claims about its awesome new viewfinder and autofocus suggests to me that these are the precise things customers find irksome with their existing bodies. It costs camera makers money to iterate features and write promotional material, which says more about what their own market research is telling them than an obscure forum on dpreview.

              The solution for flagging DSLR (or camera in general) sales is to figure out how to make significant improvements users need (whether they know they need them or not), and that means addressing workflow, connectivity, interoperability, software capabilities, ergonomics, etc.

              Oh and regressing things like AF that people are, at best, satisfied with is not helpful.

            • RC Jenkins

              You’re jumping to your own conclusions about the causality of the “high” vs “low” sales and DSLR’s & mirrorless cameras.

              And your suggestion was not for Nikon to significantly improve their cameras; but rather that they standardize their cameras. You’re responses are all over the place.

              DSLRs are not a mature market–they’re a mature technology. The market is in flux. And most experts seem to agree that phones are the primary reason that the low end of photographic gear in general has been declining.

              There’s a difference between people who want good pictures and people interested in photography.

              The years of explosive market growth is behind us because phones are now filling that need for the first category of consumer. This means the market is leaning back towards sales for photographers. Sony’s cameras are not photographers cameras. Nikon should produce one that is.

            • “And your suggestion was not for Nikon to significantly improve their cameras; but rather that they standardize their cameras.’

              I asked them to standardize on the most awesome camera they can make in each category and iterate frequently, if that doesn’t mean improving then OK I’m inconsistent. Otherwise, not. I’m certainly not saying “don’t worry about speed or AF but do worry about clicky dials because that’s what hipsters want”. (That’s not exactly what you said, but I’m allowed to misrepresent you if you’re allowed to misrepresent me.)

              I’m pretty consistent about wanting better cameras :-).

              I’m not jumping to conclusions that the “high” sales of Mirrorless are 40% of the “low” sales of DSLRs (in the US at least, Japan has a unique gadget culture).

              I’d be really interested to see stats on who takes more photos with their cameras and how many mirrorless cameras are actually being used and so on. I think there’s probably a bit of a Mac vs. PC thing going here, where one product sells in lower volumes but gets used a lot more; bear in mind, I am totally bullish on mirrorless, I just think that it ain’t there yet — having bought my share of disappointing mirrorless cameras.

              “There’s a difference between people who want good pictures and people interested in photography.”

              Sure for some definition of photography. You can replace the word “photography” with “Art” and realize you’re basically saying that people interested in “photography” are wankers 🙂

              “The years of explosive market growth is behind us because phones are now filling that need for the first category of consumer.”

              That explains some of it — but mostly in compact cameras. The other reason is market maturation — e.g. CD and DVD sales both flagged after people replaced stuff they already owned with CDs and DVDs. Digital cameras exploded as people switched to digital, then upgraded because the next generation was so much better. Today (a) people have the cameras, (b) the next generation is hardly any better, and (c) digital cameras are markedly worse than phones at everything except taking the picture in the first place (and they have some advantages in that too — e.g. making panoramas with an iPhone is glorious compared to doing it with any camera I’ve used).

            • RC Jenkins

              Continuous AF-C (as in tracking) is not the same thing as AF speed.

              Note what I wrote:

              “The biggest R&D & manufacturing costs would be if they target shooting scenarios that need the best AF & continuous shooting performance. I would avoid this category entirely for the first few mirrorless iteration(s). Don’t go after the A9.”
              -and-
              “Doesn’t need sophisticated AF or video–re-use some of the Nikon 1’s AF tech if possible or the R&D Nikon’s presumably done. Focus peaking. These shooters don’t need fast AF-C tracking or any of that.”

              Nikon 1 had some of the fastest AF for its time–it’s still considered fast. What I was clearly saying in context is that Nikon shouldn’t wait and take on a lot of high-risk spending to reinvent the best AF before releasing this camera. Canon didn’t and they’re now #2 for mirrorless.

              I didn’t say you’re jumping to conclusions about the numbers–I said you are about the causes.

              I know you only want a single DSLR form factor for all of your cameras, but that doesn’t appeal to everyone.

              This isn’t about ‘art’–it’s practicality. I’m primarily a DSLR shooter when I can carry one, but I switch to mirrorless when I can’t. And many mirrorless cameras today are terrible when it comes to manual settings like shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc. So are phones.
              Photographers use these things.

              Since you referenced dpreview earlier, see their article from today:
              https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/7254234275/can-you-build-a-cut-price-x100-beater

              or, look here:
              https://petapixel.com/2017/02/18/fujifilm-x-pro2-vs-leica-m-imitation-highest-form-flattery/

              Seems like there are a lot of photographers out there who agree.

              Sports & wildlife action shooters have the D5 & D500. Landscape & astro shooters have the D810. A fraction of these people will upgrade to the next generation (which doesn’t change market share). There are many combinations & iterations of this form factor & performance extremes.

              What does every other photographer who don’t want to carry a huge DSLR & lenses for every other scenario have from Nikon?

              Not a niche market–it’s actually quite large.

            • “I know you only want a single DSLR form factor for all of your cameras, but that doesn’t appeal to everyone.”

              Never, ever, have I suggested one body for all purposes.

              In this latest series of threads I have argued for Small vs. Pro/Amateur.

              (I am getting more radical; I used to argue for three. Now I think two, and socket the stuff on the back of the camera so you can switch it out for a flippy screen if that’s what you want, or a smart phone if you despair of Nikon ever figuring out user-facing software, which I do.)

              “What does every other photographer who don’t want to carry a huge DSLR & lenses for every other scenario have from Nikon?”

              Nothing. And what you’re suggesting is Nikon release a camera that causes them to say, “meh, Fuji already makes one of those and it has better lenses; also Fuji will still be around in ten years.”

            • RC Jenkins

              Can you point out where I said (or even implied) that Nikon should release an F-mount Fujifilm camera?

            • I’m saying that what you’re asking Nikon to do is release a camera that is essentially a Fujifilm camera with an f-mount (via adapter perhaps). Mirrorless with knobs, decent AF but not great tracking. Who makes those?

              Nikon obviously considered doing something like this with the DL series, and looked like they were going to offer a wide angle lens and go cheaper than Sony, then inexplicably backed off. Going head to head with Fujifilm and Sony with no competitive edge seems even more expensive and less likely to pay off.

              The D750 shows they can make a pretty thin f-mount camera, so I think they could definitely make a credible mirrorless FX or DX camera and then not have to worry about a new lens line. If they can get video right and put PD AF on the sensor then doing something like this makes a lot of sense. But creating new DSLRs with the same tech makes more sense (and they could do both, especially if they reduced the number of basic body forms).

              Thom Hogan argues that they should start by replacing the D3x00 with a mirrorless body. He may be right, although I suspect if the AF sucks it will drive people wanting to shoot their kids playing sports over to Canon.

              The one argument I don’t buy is that DSLRs are too expensive to make. Nikon was selling lovely SLRS with glass prisms for under $300 twenty years ago, they can make a good margin on DSLRs at $500 today.

            • RC Jenkins

              Once again, you’re ignoring the things I wrote clearly in my original post. The DSLR form factor works for DSLRs, not for mirrorless cameras–these are not niche products (again, look at the links posted, and see DPReview today). Nikon has advantages over Fuji, Sony, Canon and the others, some of which I explicitly listed. Of course, you completely glossed over this (as you did in your other posts).

              Nikon’s not exactly doing well going head-to-head with the other major DSLR player. They’re losing market share–while the market is also shrinking. Yes Nikon needs to continue making brilliant DSLRs. But fewer of them.

              If they want to remain successful, they need to break into the mirrorless space. And I don’t think releasing the same thing as others really does it. All that does is slow down the bleeding.

              Nikon needs to play to their strengths. Where Sony loses in lens selection & useability, Nikon can beat them; and where Canon, Fuji, Olympus, and Panasonic trail in image quality (APS-C), Nikon can take it immediately (this year), as they develop the more advanced cameras of their next generation.

              Entry level users are not often early adopters. And mirrorless isn’t ready for pros. So target the enthusiasts, is what I’m saying.

            • The three most highly regarded mirrorless cameras are the Sony A9, Olympus OM-D EM-1 ii, Fujifilm XT2, and Panasonic GH5 — every single one has a DSLR form factor, and where a rangefinder equivalent is available it is less popular. Go figure.

              If Nikon releases a full frame mirrorless camera with a new lens mount but solid f-mount support via adapter for a reasonable price that does everything right (except maybe AF-C, as you say) then their key competitor is Sony, which has: IBIS, very good video, PDAF on sensor, the best EVFs aside from Leica, and Zeiss lenses. And decent support for F-mount via adapter.

              I submit to you that Nikon’s DSLRs are technically superior to Canon’s in all respects bar live view AF and video (and ergonomics if you like Canon ergonomics; I don’t). They can sell more cameras to their existing customers and win back defectors by addressing either or both of these items, or merely iterating on their existing stuff competently, or they can go head-to-head with Sony with what is likely to be a weaker product and ecosystem. DX of course would be even worse.

              You know what would be hilarious? If Nikon released an EF mount body with active FX adapter.

              If they follow Thom Hogan’s advice and swap out their low end DSLRs with mirrorless bodies then it might be a coup, and they can fall back to DSLRs if it’s a disaster.

            • RC Jenkins

              What are you basing the “highest regarded mirrorless cameras” on?
              It’s all about what actually sells. 🙂

              Remember that every one of the cameras you listed doesn’t have an equivalent DSLR mount. Olympus, Panasonic, and Fuji only do mirrorless–and have done so for years. There are no Olympus, Panny, and Fuji DSLRs. Nikon needs to differentiate.

              Things are different for Nikon. And for Canon. Canon M, being the #2 mirrorless system after Olympus. None of the M-mount cameras are DSLR-style. And Canon got there fast.

              Why move to mirrorless if you don’t take advantage of the benefits of the system?

              Remember that Nikon has FF benefits over every mirrorless system except Sony. But it has “camera” benefits over Sony as well. Sony cameras are frankly just not for photographers. They’re for gadgeteers.

            • I think we agree on most stuff actually, although an even cheaper DX option is probably a good idea. A6000 and A7ii competitors. While Nikon would probably like to enter these markets with premium products at premium prices, they might need to start with, say, $800 APS-C and $1400 Full Frame rather than the $1500 and $3000 they would if they were in the position they were four or five years ago.

              If you look at the top four mirrorless systems on Amazon, all emphasize extensive claims about speed and autofocus in their marketing (although #4, the GH5, stresses video features first, and only makes claim about AF when it starts talking still photography). The fact that the top 3 entries are Sony really says to me that the rise of mirrorless is basically just the rise of Sony/Minolta.

              The point is people don’t buy someone if there are reasons not to buy it. Don’t give them those reasons.

            • RC Jenkins

              Amazon is updated hourly and is a very poor reflection of market share–it’s current snapshots. Currently, most of the top DSLR sales are Nikons–but we all know that they have a significantly smaller market share in this space. The GH5 is showing up at #8 for me. Must have changed dramatically again since you posted that.

              For example, according to BCN cameras shipped last year, Canon toppled Sony for #2 in the mirrorless market; but they’re still behind Olympus. Fuji is not included in BCN. There’s a lot more to mirrorless than Sony.

              So that’s not a reliable proof point.

              I understand the point–and I made the same point in regards to inclusion of the mount adapter.

              But there’s a balancing act, a shifting market, and strategies to deal with. I don’t think Nikon should make their first mirrorless ‘reboot’ entry by competing with Sony in the areas that Sony is focused and competing best (and is likely operating at a loss to buy market share). This is a losing proposition. There is lower hanging fruit out there where Nikon can really shine.

            • “There is lower hanging fruit out there where Nikon can really shine.”

              Agreed. First of all, stop bleeding loyal customers. Keeping customers is WAAAAY cheaper than gaining new ones. It’s amazing how many companies forget this.

            • RC Jenkins

              By the way, your note regarding dpreview got me curious. Here are the latest questions in the “Buying advice” section of DPReview:

              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7b3fc6bc72f02754384e43b257ae5fcae2fc5af37fbc745fac1f2084ac604ce3.png

              People seem more interested in the type of camera I’m describing than in a new-and-improved Nikon D750 or D500. This should be a clue about what the general community is looking for.

    • Brubabs

      I’m still hung up on the question you ask: what does “enhancement of management DNA” mean? Could it mean that a lot of managers are going to be fired? And their replacements will be coming from outside of the company? That could be exactly what needs to happen.

      • ZoetMB

        That would be great, but I think it’s just spin language that indicates that management needs to think differently. I’ve been in more meetings like this than I can count. The CEO or someone else says “how are we going to explain this in the annual report” and people sit around the table and come up with rationalizations and creative language that means nothing. Or maybe they hired an outside consultant to write it. Same difference.

        I used to consult for a company that had client group meetings twice a year. That’s a good thing, but they would always make a presentation about the product plan that I begged them to stop doing because we barely ever accomplished a thing on it and it consistently made us look either like liars or completely incompetent and it just pissed the hell out of the clients. My belief was that all it did was make us lose any credibility and gave the customers reasons to never believe us about anything. But management people do this because they think it pushes the problem down the road and they survive another day.

        That’s what the statements in the Nikon financial results sound like to me. If it was truly important to “change management DNA”, why didn’t they do it last year or the year before? Why aren’t they doing it right now? Who takes responsibility for building and then cancelling the DL line? Who takes responsibility for the failure of the KeyMission line? Etc.

        You don’t want to punish employees for every failure because they’ll become risk-averse. But if there’s never any ramifications of consistently failing, then you’ll continue to fail because it becomes ingrained in the company culture.

        The shame of all this is that Nikon does have some truly great products. The D5, D500, D810 and many of the lenses are fantastic. As Thom wrote recently, the low-end (when on sale) is also fantastic. But in all other respects Nikon seems “stuck” and it looks like they don’t know how to address the future and the next generation of photographers. They know very well how to iterate products. But they don’t seem to know how to expand into new markets and truly address the needs of photographers or do something “completely different”. It’s beginning to look more and more like the success they had beginning with the D1 and the mass-market success they had beginning with the D70 (which sold more units in its first year than the Nikon F sold in its lifetime) was an accidental fluke.

        • silmasan

          “D70 (which sold more units in its first year than the Nikon F sold in its lifetime)”
          Nice stats, I didn’t know that!

      • silmasan

        It gets even more ridiculous if you auto-expand the very acronym “DNA” wherever you find it being used figuratively.

        Us: “So, Nikon, what’s your plan?”
        Nikon: “Enhancement of management deoxyribose nucleic acid.”
        Us: “…come again?”

      • Thom Hogan

        From my discussions with some in Tokyo, it seems that “new DNA” is code for “design for ROI.” It’s a subtle relative to cost cutting, and the DL cancellation now starts to make some sense in the context of that “new DNA” statement. The DL couldn’t pass the new management scheme’s ROI test.

        However, the D3400 is currently on sale at US$400 with lens. I’ll bet that doesn’t meet the ROI test.

        Which brings up the question: just how small will Nikon allow their camera operations to become? As I pointed out before, as you use fewer parts, the parts get more expensive. As you build fewer things, the investment in manufacturing plants get more expensive. As you sell fewer things, management and SG&A costs get out of whack.

        And when you cut those things (quality of parts, number of plants, management, sales tools, etc.) you sell fewer things, which just starts you further down the same road.

        • manattan

          Probably Nikon should follow Sony’s lead and then design one body that then gets minor iterations for different sensors ala the A7/r/s series. That would help compensate for lower volume of any individual camera, while providing a seamless transition for shooters from one body to the next. They already started doing this with sensors (500/7500; D4/Df), they just need to continue it out throughout their entire product line.

  • Ric of The LBC

    Where is the D700 replacement?

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    `”Enhancement of management DNA” What does that even mean?`

    I think it means hiring new folks that bring diversity to ideas.

    • jeffp3456

      DNA translates as Do Nothing Attitude..

  • Tieu Ngao

    Shrinking market is a great opportunity for Nikon management to reduce the shareholders’ expectations, meaning to reduce the profit margins. By doing that the management will have more budget flexibility for more innovation, better customer service, and more effective marketing. These are things Nikon badly needs to get out of the downward spiral.

    • Thom Hogan

      Nikon’s primary shareholders are the Tokyo-based banks that provide them the loans and bonds they need from time to time.

      • whisky

        “Operating income down 18% from 45.7b yen to 27.7b yen”

        btw, check your numbers. did you mean 37.7b or is the 18% figure wrong?

        • Thom Hogan

          I’ll have to go look again. I wrote and edited that in the middle of the night.

  • James Jackson

    Nikon needs 6 cameras. One apsc entry level like the d5000 series, one apsc mirrorless geared for image quality, one apsc high end sports camera d500, one ff flagship d5 a little version of it that’s entry level like the d700 was, then a ff mirrorless high mp geared towords image quality. Instead of the jumbled mess they have now. They need to come out with quality Trinity glass for apsc. They need to add features to their cameras instead of taking them away. Nikon is in the fucking stone age as far as features are concerned.

    • Chris

      Nikon has no lens for the mirrorless you asked for. Before a system is mature, you are stuck with adapters that make your mirrorless as big as dslr with shorter battery life. Even canon doesn’t have good mirrorless lens for m6.

      • James Jackson

        You don’t need new lenses. Make the body a little thicker to increase the flange distance. Biggest mistake Canon made imo.

        • Chris

          Dslr without mirror? I’d like a price cut for current model.

          • Fly Moon

            But you have to pay extra for the EVF!

            • Chris

              Just like paying extra for mirror mechanism… I think a price cut will justify things.

      • Thom Hogan

        I’m now absolutely convinced that if Nikon is going to be as late to the serious mirrorless game as it appears they will be, that they have no choice but to use the existing F-mount and just market around the big empty space it creates on the front of the body.

        They’ll still need a few new lenses, particularly pancakes, but if they launch in late 2018 with a new mount, they’ll be competing against finished lens systems from Fujifilm, m4/3, and Sony, and whatever Canon manages in the interim.

        Nikon’s one asset is 100m f-mount lenses out there. They absolutely need to leverage that asset now. Trying to market a completely new system against established competitors is not something they’ve shown they can do successfully.

        • RC Jenkins

          Totally agree with the ‘late’ thing, but I’d personally prefer a ‘close-to-seamless-performance’ lens adapter with a new mount designed specifically for FF mirrorless.

          F mount is really showing its age and not nearly as ‘seamless’ or backwards compatible as it seems.

          Nikon’s ‘other choice’ will be to just include a free adapter with the camera.

          • purenupe1

            That adapter would need to be included in the new mirrorless box for me to be interested. The FT1 had a ridiculous msrp for an adapter with no glass in it. I was lucky enough to snag mine for half price from a disappointed original owner, who like many was upset at the deliberatly reduced auto focus capability the FT1 created

            • dylanear

              Yeah, I don’t think I’d buy a NIkon mirrorless if there was no hope the format would ever be smaller than F mount SLRs. That said, I don’t think I’d buy a Nikon mirrorless unless it had great, seemless support for F mount lenses.

              A removable “adapter”, but one that doesn’t look or feel like an adapter I think is the answer. The camera should look complete and integrated with or without the adapter.

            • RC Jenkins

              Yes. My initial Nikon mirrorless would have to be something like a Nikon version of the Fuji X-Pro2. For this application, I don’t want all new lenses. I want a FF sensor. I want autofocus. There goes Fuji, Sony, & Leica.

              I might buy a few purpose-built lenses, like normal pancakes; but this camera wouldn’t be worth it unless it’s got the F- ecosystem–nor would it be worth it if all it does is add an EVF without other mirrorless benefits…

              …including reduced flange distance for more lens options, easier optics, and thinner bodies.

            • Brubabs

              I agree with your thoughts about an adapter. If done right it would also give Nikon an opportunity to slowly introduce a new series of lenses that would fit on all mirrorless cameras but don’t require the adapter.

            • RC Jenkins

              Yes! I got my FT1 used (really just to play around with). “Ridiculous msrp” is a perfect description.

              I really wish I could be optimistic that Nikon will have some sense on this point. An adapter should be cheap for Nikon to produce for their own lenses. But it would go a long way to supporting the community and their ecosystem–and helping sell a mirrorless camera. The first Nikon mirrorless customers will be Nikon DSLR shooters. They need to do everything they can to assure us that we’ve got one of the best lens ecosystems supported.

              They don’t even need to give away a perfect adapter. Doesn’t even need an autofocus motor or anything. Just have a well-fitted, basic one that does electronic AF + the mechanical aperture lever + electronic aperture.

              That way they can launch without what has been the bane of all of their newer systems (like Nikon 1 and even DX)–lens availability.

              Separately, they can create 2-3 additional adapters that have things like:
              -Weather sealing
              -AF motor
              -Optics (like Telecompressor & Teleconverter, drop-in filters, etc.)

              And sell them for REASONABLE prices.

              That last one would really open up flexibility–for example, allowing them to offer smaller sensor-mirrorless cameras with useable focal lengths & speed–or good crop-video using the same lenses, etc.

              This is how Nikon can make a Nikon mirrorless camera an exciting choice for us without the uphill battle of creating an entire new lens ecosystem immediately (for which they’re late to the party and, frankly, aren’t good at).

              Canon’s already got theirs, but it’s APS-C. Still, apparently been doing well in the market. This is Nikon’s chance to shine.

        • Rick

          one way to to that thom would be to make the now empty mirror housing support drop in filters.

          • Thom Hogan

            Very interesting idea. The one problem with it is that it would have some sort of effect on the optical performance, so you’d have to do what they do with the exotic telephotos: put a dummy filter in there to be used when you aren’t using a different filter.

            • manattan

              They could put in one of those automatic ND filters that Sony has on the professional video cameras, where it can go completely clear when not in use. It actually would be a great idea for mirrorless as it would solve a real user problem of having to mess with ND filters for video.

            • Rick

              true. however, the cost savings to the photographer could be pretty vast. not to mention it offers protection over the sensor when you swap lenses, which no mirrorless does right now.

        • dylanear

          Agreed they must leverage F mount, but I sure hope they don’t just leave that empty space and be done with it.

          Personally I want to see something the size of a FM SLR, but with the front box as removable. Put an AF motor in the box for screw AF. With the box in place it’ll act like an F-mount camera, fully functional. But detach the box and under it is a new mirrorless mount that will support DX and FX sensors. So you get full F mount support, but also get a camera that can be more compact with native mirrorless lenses.

        • Kiran Shankar Pati

          totally agreed , f mount or not nikon should maintain the size of their dslr same . mirrorless does not have any advantage as advertised in terms of size when one have multiple lenses . rather if nikon can maintain f mount for mirrorless nikon f mount would become the most reliable mount there in the whole camera industry . customers will have more faith in nikon than anyone does , they will understand that their investements on f mount lenses are safe. just to use one or two small sized wide angle or normal angle moderate fast lens changing f mount would be a big mistake. mirrorless cameras sale because of the fact that they are mirrorless , produces fantastic 4k videos , not because of shorter flange distances or adapted lens advantage. no sony ff/cropped mirrorless fits in hand as good as nikon/canon dslr. dslr sized mirrorless nikon ff camera will stop the switching from nikon to sony . if we talk about running out of business , nikon never will. f mount existing owner will buy their new camera bodies when newer bodies will be really technologically advanced .

      • Rick

        the 11-22 and 22mm (and for all purposes the 28mm macro) all wave at you. those lenses are excellent especially for the price, size, weight and cost. even the 18-150mm superzoom hits above it’s price class.

        easiest way for Nikon to do this is via the F mount, the grip width is still deeper / wider than the F mount registration distance.

        • Chris

          They don’t wave at the person who raised the question. He was “all about IQ” not “doing better than it’s price”.

          • Rick

            depends on what you call a “good mirrorless lens”. But I do see your point.

    • Bill Ferris

      Nikon needs to sort out their chronic quality control failures. That’s job #1. Second, they need to design and deliver *one* new entry level or enthusiast camera that meets the user experience expectations of an emerging generation of photographer. Third, they need to refresh they’re existing core DSLR camera bodies adding features and options that deliver performance capable of reclaiming done of that lost ILC market share.

      • Thom Hogan

        Unfortunately, Nikon has about seven Job Ones they need to do.

  • Richard Haw

    Don’t worry, guys! Nikon is usually late into the game but makes up for it with a clever idea!

  • Thom Hogan

    I just want to say one thing that may seem a little counter to other things I’ve been writing and what’s in this thread.

    All is not lost, nor does any of this affect a lot of Nikon DSLR users for the moment (other than perhaps even more cutbacks in support and service). If you’re a D7200, D500, D750, D810, or D5 owner, you’re probably pretty happy. If you were to buy one of those cameras today, you’d probably be pretty happy.

    So a fairly large swath of the folk that read the Internet about digital cameras aren’t really impacted at the moment. Their biggest complaints about Nikon are going to be two: (1) why haven’t you made X lens? and (2) why is it taking so long to repair my camera? In other words, nothing new.

    What some of us are concerned about is really long term viability. Look at where Pentax is today, and you can see what happens in two decades to a formerly thriving concern.

    • Hans J

      sell sell sell, if Fuji would have C1 tether support I would leave Nikon behind.

      • Eric Calabros

        What if some of us may not love fuji system?

        • Hans J

          I was talking about myself..

          • Eric Calabros

            Sorry for interrupting your meditation.

            • Hans J

              No worries, your apology is accepted. 🙂

        • Michiel953

          What exactly is “Fuji system”? No full frame, great lenses, lots of smearing?

          • Hans J

            Great bodies, great features, great lenses, and a road map. Fuji made a whole bunch of great lenses in a few years and has not stopped. Portable, great design, I always shoot raw so no smearing for me. I can go on and on. or go GFX for medium format Ultimate image quality something. Nikon should have done. So… Please son relax.

            • Michiel953

              I’m very relaxed. With my 810. The X-Pro 2 is nice though.

            • jeffp3456

              The D810 is the camera you marry but the XPro2 is the camera you sleep with!

            • Michiel953

              LoL! Maybe… I’m quite fond of my 810 though!

    • Ric of The LBC

      I’m in the “Good Enough” camp for my enthusiast needs. A Df and a boat load of manual focus lenses. Even if a Df2, mirrorless or not was released I would not be upgrading any time soon.

      • Eric Calabros

        We are in “not insecure” camp.

      • Thom Hogan

        I forgot the Df. Add it to that list.

        • Ric of The LBC

          You are forgiven, most people do.

          That’s what makes us Df users so proud.

    • Adam Brown

      Exactly… in 5-10 years… will my deep investment in F-mount lenses have any value?
      I wonder if I’m the only one — due to my own uncertainties about Nikon’s future, I’ve been hesitant to invest in any further f-mount lenses or accessories.

      • AYWY

        Ha ha same here. I’m down to one body and two lenses. Mmmmm let’s see if i remain in Nikon land by the end of the year.

      • EvilTed

        Well you could switch to Sony mirrorless and then you know the answer.
        In 5-10 months the camera will be worth half of what you paid for it and it will be superseded by the next greatest thing.
        The lenses will be off-centered or split in two or ripped off at the mount by 2 years, let alone 5.

        Nikon at least makes robust gear…

        • Adam Brown

          I do shoot Sony mirrorless as well as Nikon. (Sony a6300)… and I have no problem at all with the build quality of Sony.
          If Nikon doesn’t course correct quickly… I expect Sony to surpass Nikon in market share very soon. (Within 2 years.. maybe even this year).

          • EvilTed

            Then you haven’t used it much. I’ve been a Sony user since A7. I’ve owned A7, A7s, A7 II, A7s II, A6000 and A6300 and currently own 2x A7r II’s and a A6500.
            I own or have tried most of the glass.

            Comparing apples to apples, the Sony gear is very poorly constructed compared to Canon or Nikon.
            It scratches easily and the lenses are flimsy and liable to break in two or rip apart at the lens mount. Look around YouTube for examples.
            LensRentals did a recent tear-down of the 70-200 F2.8 GM and found it held together by a thin aluminum plate.

            Look at the iFixit tear down for the A7r II.
            There is ZERO weather sealing.
            This is atrocious for a camera that cost $3200 new.
            Moisture and condensation can all get into the camera and cause corrosion and then you will be in need of a new camera, because Sony won’t repair it.

            God help you if you have to send something to them for repair.
            I sent a brand new A7s to Precision Camera and they smashed the screen and tried to charge me for repairing it. It took 3 months of hard work to get a new camera out of Sony.

            Then there’s the fact that the A9, despite it’s highlight 20FPS and silent mode has a large list of faults compared to any other pro camera.
            I mean, Sony for all it’s technical wizardry cannot figure out how to write multithreaded software or how to create lossless compression for RAW files.

            Hardware engineering at the sensor level they are the best in the world.
            Everything else, they are pretty poor.

            I’m actually thinking of selling all my Sony kit, which is quite extensive, and staying with Nikon for the foreseeable future.
            The cameras and lenses are built to last and they (and Canon) understand what it takes to make a pro system.

            • Adam Brown

              Considering how much you seem to hate the Sony gear, you certainly own an amazing amount of it..

              If you want to trade some of your Sony gear for some of my Nikon gear, contact me! lol.
              Any interest in the Nikon 300/4 PF, Nikon 70-200/4, teleconverters or Rokinon 14/2.8?

            • EvilTed

              I both love it and hate it.

            • Adam Brown

              Well, if you want to trade 1 of your A7rii’s for some Nikon gear, let me know!

        • Thom Hogan

          Sorry, but that ship has sailed. Looked at the used prices on Nikon gear lately? Even exotic lenses are losing half their value shortly after buying them now. This is classic oversupply at work, and it’s getting to be true of all brands.

          • EvilTed

            The resale value is only one aspect, but yes it isn’t what it used to be.
            But, if I pay $2500 for a 70-200 F2.8 GM, I would expect to still have it in one piece in 5 years time.

      • Thom Hogan

        No, you’re not the only one. I’ve identified Last Camera Syndrome, Samplers, Switchers, and more. One category that’s come up more recently are Procrastinators. Those are folks that are in wait-and-see mode.

        The challenge for Nikon is that they have to turn those back into purchasers, and purchasers of Nikon gear, not someone else’s gear.

    • I was pretty happy with my D810 – until I dropped it. Nikon Canada service department has it on ‘parts hold’ for 4.5 weeks now. That’s after 1.5 weeks to ship it to Ontario and have the estimate to fix done. ETA of the fix = currently unknown. :/

  • sickheadache

    Every Thing is A OK in Mayberry, Tokyo.

  • Dave Coburn

    Nikon has been charging a ridiculous premium for their products for years. This allowed competitors to fill the void Nikon created. In many cases they are charging $1000 more for a lens with no difference in quality. I would prefer to buy Nikon lenses, but bad warranty and high prices pushes me to other brands. I haven’t bought a Nikon flash in years and have been happily using youngnuo flashes for 1/3 the price. If you charge a premium price you have to get something for it.

    • Eric Calabros

      Canon users also use youngnuo flashes and third party​ lenses, happily. I understand that everyone try to explain why Nikon is failing, but please use relevant examples.

      • Dave Coburn

        Canon 400mm 2.8 lens is $10k. Nikons 400mm 2.8 is $11,200.. What is the extra $1200 for? Yes, pricing is one reason Nikon is failing. That’s just one example the Nikon premium is all over the place. Learn what relevant means. So there is a Nikon premium over Canon, there is an even larger premium over 3rd party. Have you ever tried to get Nikon to repair something under warranty? It’s near impossible.

  • SteveHood

    It looks like the bean counters have taken control of all future development of new products. We will see more iteration of existing product and little to no foray into new markets. You can forget about Nikon getting into video (too costly and risky). It does beg to question what they will do about mirrorless. I would not expect anything revolutionary as that would be too risky. Any new product will now need to be proven in advance that it will meet a minimum ROE out of the gate.

    • Fly Moon

      “too risky”?
      Is there another option?

      • Dale

        Many options: fetal position, whistling in the dark, head in the sand, fingers in ears…

    • Bob Thane

      I don’t expect any cinema cameras, but the trend will certainly be to continue to add video features to DSLRs.

  • CaMeRa QuEsT

    $537,25. That’s what a brand spanking new, D5500+18-55mm VR AF-P+70-300mm AF-P kit with full Nikon USA warranty will cost me today and tomorrow on ebay after I get my 10% eBay Bucks back the first month of July. There are 7 authorized Nikon USA dealers on eBay selling this same exact kit at the same exact price. The original MSRP is said to be $1,149.95. That amounts to about 54% off what Nikon expected to get when they originally started manufacturing these items. Can Nikon place this kit at its dealers’ loading docks for less than $537,25? This is the absolute volume leader for Nikon during this whole promo period (up to Father’s day?), it’s already 2nd in Amazon’s top selling ILCs, right behind a gray market Canon T6 that’s selling at close to MSRP. And Nikon will still get lots of store returns, even at this crazy low price, that they will have to sell at even lower prices refurbished in a couple month’s time. Has Nikon’s cost cutting efforts been so successful that they can pull off this promo and still earn some money? And there are similarly crazy deals going on all throughout Nikon’s DSLR line-up, with the sole exceptions being the D5, DF and D810A, which are all low volume products. Given the volumes involved, if the D5500’s special was meant as a loss leader, Nikon is sure going to rack-up a huge loss with this promo. Or is it just a move to rapidly deplete pent-up NOS inventory so that there ain’t no more D5500s available during the end of year holiday season? Well, truth is I can’t care less, I am getting my $537,25 D5500 kit: I’ll be a fool if I didn’t. Just hope that Nikon is not shooting themselves on their corporate feet with this sale.

    • Thom Hogan

      My answer to your embedded question is no. And this is the real issue for Nikon now. The D500, D750, D810, D7200 are the only cameras Nikon seems to be able to sell well at margins they can live with.

      • CaMeRa QuEsT

        I wonder how much money Nikon lost when I clicked on the “Confirm and pay” button just now…

        • jeffp3456

          I assure you they lost nothing, they sold that kit at a reasonable markup to the retailer who sold it to you for a profit. Sales costs on the internet are low. It may be true that they did not make as much as they would have liked but rest comfortably, they did not lose a dime.

  • DaveyJ

    I fail to see mirrorless as a way to keep Nikon’s share. Sure didn’t work for Fuji!

    • I agree, but they should still offer some serious mirrorless solution at some point.

      • Bob Thane

        I’d love to see a hybrid. EVF is good for some things, like focus peaking, zooming, and exposure preview, but you can’t beat OVF for sheer immersion. Even with minimal lag and high resolution, there’s something to be said for OVF. I think there’s a market of people who care about performance above size/weight, and may even prefer a larger camera to balance big lenses. Let Sony, Fuji, Olympus, and the rest make small cameras, and bring out an augmented DSLR instead. And then maybe see about a smaller, pure mirrorless camera in the future, when they have a hope of competing in that niche.

        • Gilboa

          I agree…I’ve been using a mirrorless for a couple of years now and overall it’s a good little camera. But I’ve found myself really missing that immersiveness you mention of an OVF despite its high-res almost lag less EVF. I also miss a DSLRs good battery life too, mirrorless is terrible in that department! Another thing I only realized while using mirrorless, is that the sensor wears out quicker. Because when shooting with one, the sensor is always on. After only a year and a half of mild use I noticed a burnt sensor pixel when doing night photography. My previous DSLR put up with much greater abuse over nearly a decade of use. And no such thing happened. It’s still in perfect working order, it’s just technically ancient (and not a pro camera either) so I retired it. MILCs just seem to me to be too delicate. So despite the extra bulk and weight I’m going back! Just waiting until the end of the Summer to see if Nikon do release a successor to the D810, if they don’t I’ll probably go for a D500 (I prefer the technical improvements brought with that camera over a D810 despite the lower-res DX sensor it uses) Canon as a company are a safer bet. But their current DSLR range don’t do it for me. If their cameras sensors had DR on par with Nikon I might of considered them, but currently they don’t despite improvements in that department with the EOS-80D/5D Mk IV.

    • Hans J

      You could not be more wrong. Fuji is thriving.

      • Thriving is relative – it seems that Canon is doing better than Fuji in the mirrorless segment and Canon barely did anything for their mirrorless cameras.

        • AYWY

          Canon just offered something all the APS mirrorless competition does not offer – affordable lenses covering some well-thought-out focal lengths.

          You don’t need fast lenses (shallow DOF) for a lot of photography genres. The Canon M system is actually quite complete for anyone looking for an affordable, lightweight travel kit.

          • They have 10 EF-M lenses (only 3 primes), but I do have to agree that they are cheap: https://bhpho.to/2pDCBVO

            • hyh

              Actually, there are only 6 EF-M lenses unless you count different colors. Also, other mirrorless companies have cheap lenses too – Fujifilm XC series and Sony E lenses for APS-C, never mind mFT Olympus/Panasonic. Making cheap lenses probably isn’t that difficult.

            • You are right, so how is this a complete system, unless you use an adapter for their DSLR lenses….

            • Thom Hogan

              Well, this is the DX/FX thinking in a different form, and everyone knows what I think of that.

              EOS M can use EF-S and EF lenses by adapter without any real penalty. So in theory, you can “grow into” other lenses and doing so probably makes you grow into other cameras (e.g. DSLRs).

      • Thriving is relative – it seems that Canon is doing better than Fuji in the mirrorless segment and Canon barely did anything for their mirrorless cameras.

        • nwcs

          Canon, of course, has a huge advantage to work with: more marketing, brand presence, presence in retail and they didn’t need to reboot their lineup a few times like Fuji. Fuji has positioned themselves well but executing well is another matter. But they appear on the rise whereas some other players seem on the decline.

    • Thom Hogan

      Fujifilm left the market completely for many years. Then started completely from scratch again.

      • El Aura

        Many, many years, the last Fuji non-MF camera system got its final model in 1985.

        • nwcs

          Don’t forget the Fuji designs that borrowed Nikon’s base (most recently the D200). The S family that I think ended with the S5 and that was it except for compact cameras for a while until the X100 intro.

          • El Aura

            Note my choice of words, I used the term ‘camera system’. There is a big difference between having a full camera system and taking a camera from another system and putting your own sensor in it. And while the Fuji X system might not be fully mainstream, the S family of bodies was definitely niche.

      • Nakayamahanzaemon

        Fuji has never abandoned the camera market. It kept making medium format cameras even in the 2000’s just before the current X series. The first time Fuji got into digital is in the late 1980’s. Since then, Fuji has stayed in the digital camera.

  • If Nikon do not produce something viable by End of July, I’m off the Fuji-Land.

    • Hans J

      I’m already half-way there… 🙁 Dude the x-t2 is a great camera.

      • That’s exactly what Im looking at.
        Do use an adapter so you can also use your F-Mount Lenses with it?

        • Hans J

          I have a cheap one so no autofocus no Aperture control, I only use my 50mm 1.2 manual lens on it. But the Fuji lenses are so nice you don’t really need to adopt any 3rd party lenses. Just picked up the grip and 16-55 2.8 and I’m so in love.

          • I was thinking of going longer as I have 28,50 & 85mm 1.8, which I use on the D750. So a 50-140mm for the X-T2 would make a good balance.
            I’m sure people will talk of getting a D500 instead but I feel all that camera has to offer is a 200 Image buffer.
            Oh why can’t Nikon just make a mirrorless 750?

            • nwcs

              On Fuji the 18f2 (rough equiv to 28mm) is the weakest lens but it does have a character that many like. The 35f14 is a very nice lens and probably a good match for your 50mm. The 56 1.2 is very similar to the 85. The biggest issue with the 56, though, is it is a slow focuser. The 35 is kinda but not as bad now.

              I was holding out for a Nikon mirrorless to some degree. My perfect world would be a flip up TTL/EVF option. Makes it bulkier but you get the best of both viewfinder options.

            • Thanks for the tips.

            • Hans J

              I hear you dude. I like the size of the Xt2. the camera with grip and 16-55 is a great working camera then remove the grip and add a 23mm f2 for travel.

    • If you are waiting for a new Nikon mirrorless, I doubt you will see it by July.

    • RC Jenkins

      I may join you but I’m giving it more time. I just need an announcement by the end of the year, with an anticipated release before summer 2018.

      Keeping my brilliant Nikon kit regardless, though I might get rid of some of my redundant lenses.

      I don’t think I’ll need 4-5 fast normal primes if I make the leap. 2-3 should be sufficient. 🙂

      I just additionally want a better casual street shooter than I have now (micro four thirds).

      It doesn’t feel reassuring pinning my hopes on either Cosina Voigtlander or Nikon to deliver the goods! 🙂

    • Luboš

      I hope that you would switch ASAP. And if you thing that your brand new Fuji outperform D5, D500, D810, D750, D7500, D5500 then you are in LaLa land. 🙂 Then there would be one less troll over here.

      • I own a D750 Lubos and it’s a fantastic camera but for my next camera I want something that is just as good but lighter, has a silent mode that is silent and can output a flat Log 4:2:2 Video file in 4K.
        Nikon doesn’t have that, by all the reviews I’ve seen of the Fijifilm X-T2 the IQ is on par with the D500, The auto focus somewhat better an average yet not in all situations, but doesn’t have a 200 RAW image buffer.

        It would be wrong for me to assume you’ve spent less time looking at X-T2 reviews than I, however it’s getting some very good feedback. Even if Nikon turned the D750 mirrorless and added an EVF, I’d be more than happy to pay €1600 for it, I really would and I’m sure there are thousands of other Nikon users that would too.

  • Rick

    To be fair, Nikon lost marketshare to canon last year partly based upon the earthquake. But it certainly doesn’t explain their relatively pessimistic view of the next year to come.

    • RC Jenkins

      True, but the earthquake wasn’t the only disaster to adversely affect Nikon. Their E-staff of strategists have been a pretty big disaster as well.

    • nwcs

      The amount they lost due to the quake is very little overall. Their business choices have cost them far more.

    • Thom Hogan

      You might be able to claim that if Nikon’s latest quarter numbers didn’t look so bad. There is no reason why Q1 2017 should have been so bad due to the earthquake. Those impacts are long gone.

  • artdecade

    Nikon remind me a bit of Quark Xpress who were the industry standard software for graphic design layout for years and years. They didn’t need to listen to customers they thought. Their product was a huge success and they had no competition. They kept the same attitude when Adobe Indesign came along. No need to worry they won’t harm us! Fast forward 10 years and hardly anyone uses Quark Xpress (well I still do!). Now you need Adobe Indesign to work in the industry. But Quark are not gone they have finally started listening to customers, so much so that each iteration of their software is informed by extensive feedback from customers. If Nikon could learn anything from this it’s ‘start listening to your customers’.

  • Nakayamahanzaemon

    According to Nikkei, Nikon CEO Ushida says that Nikon is going to the second phase of structural change. More “optimization” of production and sales including oversees units would come. Vice CEO admits some additional change to be under consideration.

    Nikon’s bad news would be nowhere near to end.

  • Kob12

    Repeating the prediction I made in another forum:

    There is a non-zero chance that Sony will buy out Nikon. Nikon market capitalization is miniscule relative to Sony, and I expect it to be further diminished as time goes by.

    Then, Sony’s Nikon Division will come out with a FF Pro level mirrorless F-Mount camera, with an immediate access to a huge collection of lenses and well placed Pro service centers around the world.

    • I say the chance is zero for this to happen.

    • SK8

      At this point, there’s not much for Sony to gain from buying out Nikon – particularly if deeper operating losses are expected.

      • Kob12

        Companies prefer to take over other companies when all of the following are in effect:
        1.Target is not doing well financially, hence supressed market price
        2. Target has interesting technology/product line or advantageous production facilities
        3. Target has a weak or non-performing management

        The buyer will attempt to replace/revamp management, get rid of redundant personel and product lines that carry no benefit, consolidate R&D and manufacturing, and leverage the newly acquired product line and/or brand name.

        • Thom Hogan

          So let’s examine your three points:

          1. While Nikon has just had a poor financial report, the underlying fundamentals are still sound, and the stock price is not suppressed.

          2. Nikon has facilities that are highly duplicative to Sony’s, even to the point of being just down the street in Thailand. But the market is declining overall, so why would you want more than double your current facilities. In terms of interesting technology, Sony has licensed that already and built better themselves.

          3. Okay, here I agree with you.

    • Thom Hogan

      While the chance is non-zero, it’s very near zero. Probably a decimal point value only.

      And don’t make the mistake about comparing Sony’s overall capitalization to that of the now independent company Sony Imaging. Sony Imaging would struggle mightily to absorb Nikon Imaging. I don’t believe it could be done (and you still have to put the rest of Nikon somewhere in an affiliated company).

  • eric

    this is why I switched to leica. there’s no cloud of anxiety hanging over users and the company. as much as I love my Nikon gear, I’m tired of hearing all the bad news. makes me doubt there ability to compete in the future market.

    • RC Jenkins

      Curious (seriously): What would you think if Nikon made a FF rangefinder-style mirrorless camera with manual controls & knobs that could take M-mount glass + AF with Nikon F-mount glass (both via adapter), while building a portfolio of appropriate mirrorless lenses?

      Would that have made you reconsider?

        • RC Jenkins

          Yes! This has been mine:
          https://nikonrumors.com/2017/03/10/nikon-is-rumored-to-announce-five-new-nikkor-lenses-in-2017.aspx/

          Also, this:
          https://photorumors.com/2010/11/28/epson-sees-a-possibility-for-a-new-r-d1-digital-rangefinder/

          🙂

          That’s the only place I think it makes sense for Nikon to enter the mirrorless market. Compact, fun & useable, different, hopefully priced well. Save some battery life if they can do a hybrid ovf/evf thing.

          I’m so scared Nikon is going to try some strange, cheap, plastic, LCD menu-driven, crippled APS-C direction for their mirrorless offering. We don’t need another A6000.

          Tempted by Fuji XPro & Leica for some time, but I want a combo of FF & AF (sometimes) with my F-mount lenses. And no XTrans.

          I don’t think Sony will get this right soon. They’re about gadgets before photography.

          My temporary micro four thirds solution is doing ok, but the interface & battery are horrible, and the IQ could be better. So annoying to shoot manually, but takes the shots. I guess.

          In a strange way, Nikon’s got the upper hand simply by not committing to a system yet.

          They have a unique opportunity to compete with Leica (pricey + no AF) and Sony (still buggy)–with all other systems being based on smaller sensors.

          Nikon needs to learn a bit from Fuji but improve on pricing and capability.

          • I agree, I think it will be easier for Nikon to go retro with a mirrorless, manual controls, basically go against Leica instead of Sony… unlike other companies Nikon has the history already, they just need to bring it back to life

          • Eric Calabros

            Needs new mount, new set of lenses, ovf will be useless beyond 85mm, and battery life can’t be improved much, and most importantly: everybody can copy the whole idea.

            • RC Jenkins

              I know it needs a new mount (see my other comments here). Who needs 200mm on a street shooter? Battery life can be good relative to other mirrorless cameras by using an ovf.

              If it’s such a poor idea, why would anyone copy it? Or create a new mount to compete with their existing mounts? You say this as if there is only a single company that produces DSLRs or mirrorless cameras.

              Note: all other companies use a new mount for their mirrorless cameras and can be copied. Does that mean they all made a mistake?

      • EnPassant

        You are talking about a Fujifilm X-Pro2 type of camera with a FF sensor.
        Do you realise FF lenses are much bigger than APS-C lenses?
        Such a camera would be just as unbalanced with fast AF lenses as Sony A7.
        And since Nikon are using sensors produced by Sony or using similar specification Leica M wide angle rangefinder lenses will work as bad as they do adapted to Sony A7.
        M-lenses are best used on M cameras and also acceptable on Leica SL.

        • RC Jenkins

          I know I am–I even explicitly stated that a few times.

          Do you realize that FF lenses are not necessarily much bigger than APS-C lenses? It all boils down to designs, focal lengths, and apertures.

          For example, I could use lenses like my 40mm F/2 lens on this camera.
          https://nikonrumors.com/2012/07/13/voigtlander-28mm-f2-8-color-skopar-slii-lens-specs.aspx/

          It’s the same size as my 20mm F/1.7 micro four thirds lens.

          These lenses don’t need to be designed like the Sigma Arts with complex optical designs and a lot of elements for max corner sharpness.

          These are street shooters, and simple-design, center-sharp character lenses are all that’s needed.

          It would not be ‘just as unbalanced’ as a Sony A7–nor would lenses adapt poorly. With larger mount diameter (unlike Sony’s tiny throat diameter, which was likely designed for APS-C sensors), coupled with a small flange distance, Nikon could produce simpler designs than Sony can–especially for corners and the wide end. Simpler + cheaper + smaller.

          Search online. Ask Sigma or Zeiss, who have stated numerous times that the Sony E-mount is challenging for corners & wide performance due to its small throat. The solution is more glass, and larger lenses.

          Nikon can do this without that problem for common street focal lengths & speeds.

          • EnPassant

            The lenses you mention are all manual and not fast. That’s why they are small. I don’t think Nikon will produce any new manual lenses, except PC lenses. An adapter for your manual lenses would add more than one inch to the length, or almost 3cm.

            That’s why I specifically wrote AF lenses and fast aperture.
            As for size comparing AF lenses for APS-C and FF the difference is as big as I said.

            For exemple the “small” Sony FE 28/2 is almost twice the size and weight compared to the fujifilm 18/2:
            http://camerasize.com/compact/#650.572,579.507,ha,t

            Same can be said about the Sony Fe 35/1.4 versus Fujifilm 23/1.4:
            http://camerasize.com/compact/#650.422,579.615,ha,t

            More elements are used in lenses to increase image quality. The widest FF mount is used by Canon. And guess what, their EF 35/1.4 II is about the same size as the Sony Fe 35/1.4 and 130g heavier! So for that lens your argument is not supported.

            Most customers want primes with best possible image quality. Which for FF means big lenses if they have a big aperture opening. it’s unlikely Nikon will produce the street shooter lenses you are asking for.

            And if you are using older lens designs my question is if you actually need FF? With Fujifilm 18/2, 23/1.4 and 35/1.4 you would get the same DOF and be able to use a lower ISO setting compared to your f/2.8 and f/2 lenses. Which means a big part of the FF is gone if we compare 24MP sensors for both formats.

            I could understand you like the rendering of some old lenses. But then you could either use them on a Nikon DSLR or adapt them to a Sony A7 camera instead of having unrealistic dreams about a Nikon mirrorless camera for which there are no substantial rumors, just wild speculations.

            • RC Jenkins

              Yes these ones are manual–but that’s not at all the primary reason they’re small. They’re small primarily because they have simple optical designs at a close-to-normal focal length that sacrifices corner sharpness (and other optical qualities) for size.

              F/2 and F/2.8 is fast. A comparable Fuji would have to be F/1.3 or F/1.9 respectively–and that adds just as much bulk. I’d take a compact F/2 on FF over a compact F/2 on APS-C.

              Nikon can make compact lenses that don’t require adapters. I used these lenses only as an example because you erroneously claimed that all FF lenses are necessarily larger than APS-C lenses. This is completely false. It’s more complicated than just sensor size.

              Your example of the Sony FE 28/2 and Fuji 18/2 is not valid. For one, the Sony would have to be at F/3 for an equivalent aperture, or the Fuji would have to be at F/1.3. Let’s see what happens when we attach a 16mm F/1.4 lens to the Fuji. Oops–same size. And it’s still a manageable size.

              The Sony mount is very narrow relative to the sensor size and makes any wide angle lens or corner tougher–it requires more elements to correct for corner performance. In fact, Sigma’s CEO Kazuto Yamaki is even on record as saying “they do not plan yet to make lenses for the Full Frame E-mount system. He said the diameter is very small and makes it difficult to design high quality FF lenses. He is yet not sure about it but to him it almost looks like E-mount was designed for APS-C more than FF.”

              Your “Fuji is smaller” argument suddenly doesn’t make sense. And your example is even on wide-angle lenses. Normals (near 40mm on FF) can be the most compact lenses.

              The ‘wide diameter’ is absolutely supported between the Sony and the Canon. You’re ignoring the very core of the discussion: corner image quality vs. size. Let’s see how they compare:
              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1424e84393728466ebcde7b27ca7f75ab2f6754cec49d56d249f2b1eec199f3a.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c5f651df12a8567e74780806584689248e1168f31bdde9e9d590ac2984d90399.png

              Oops. Looks like the Sony isn’t quite there. The Canon could easily be smaller. As I said, it’s just a matter of design. A few examples where you ignore the facts don’t make it a rule.

              And these system would still be perfectly reasonable for my needs. Mirrorless rangefinder cameras have existed for many years–they’re older than DSLR’s.

              You threw out all of these examples like the Fuji F/1.4’s–but why didn’t you use it in your comparison above? Is it because these are also relatively large lenses? 🙂

              ISO is not equivalent across sensor sizes. FF sensors are much cleaner at high ISOs than small sensors. ISO 6400 on my FX Nikon looks like ISO 1600 on my micro four thirds.

              You don’t understand this type of street shooting and need. You seem to be arguing points about equivalence that you don’t quite get. And a Nikon DSLR (which I already use) or Sony A7 doesn’t quite cut it for what I and others are looking for.

            • RC Jenkins

              By the way, you should educate yourself on equivalence:
              https://www.dpreview.com/articles/2666934640/what-is-equivalence-and-why-should-i-care

              It’s not just focal lengths.

      • eric

        Obviously I would consider it. I think there would be a market for it. Or even just smaller full frame camera with smaller lenses, doesn’t have to be a rangefinder. I speak with enough photo people to get a general idea of what more people would like in a camera. Something that is pro-like but doesn’t scream pro on the street. Most people are way more comfortable seeing a Leica when I do street photographer than pulling out a big dslr with a nice lens. I think this is part of the appeal of smartphones, there basically unobtrusive to most people, so you can take them everywhere.

        • Ric of The LBC

          Df

    • Eric Calabros

      Hearing bad financial news makes your images bad? Sorry mate, this mostly-web-based hysteria is just ridiculous.

      • tomskyphoto

        What? You don’t see that the sky is falling? The end is near, doom ‘n gloom everywhere…

        Soon the P-shrinks will have to define a new mental condition: PNTD.

        Post Nikon Traumatic Disorder

        • Allan

          LOL.

      • eric

        Of course, I was in Australia last month and couldn’t take any good images of the beautiful beaches there after hearing about Nikons bad financial news. So I just put down my camera and enjoyed surfing. It was what it is. Hoping to have better luck with Leica.

  • DonD

    Seems to me that with op income up 60% while a loss th as t could only mean one thing. Nikon has been doing a lot of research and development and with profit projections up for next year they plan to do a lot of selling of those newly developed products.

    • Gilboa

      The first positive comment I’ve read here so far. I really hope they’re increasing R&D and not compromising on quality. If they continue with the latter, customers will leave in even greater droves than they are already…that’s not the way to go Nikon! Please don’t. Now I’m being negative. Just a bit upset by this fall from grace of such a venerable brand.

  • Chris

    How do you guys want Nikon to change? Adopt Canon or Sony’s marketing and product strategy, so you could start buying what you haven’t bought with a Nikon logo on it?

    • Nakayamahanzaemon

      Don’t adopt Sony’s marketing. Its share isn’t increasing in the world.

    • Eric Calabros

      They want Nikon to copy others and still survive the crisis 🙂

      • Chris

        Oh well. I buy Nikon since it offers what I need. It is not perfect and what is? I think it is people getting paranoid and needs more babysitting than ever.

    • nwcs

      It’s easy. I want them to become customer focused and solve customer needs. I’ve posted this many times here but it keeps being relevant. They need an outside-in perspective. As the video clearly demonstrates there are only 3 outcomes from where Nikon sits today: 1) Eventually go out of the market, 2) Be acquired/merged, or 3) Reinvent itself.

      https://youtu.be/xn2QXfax6kA?list=PL80955C01E0EE118A

      • BVS

        Honest question, if you were Nikon, what would you do to reinvent yourself? What customer needs (other than mirrorless) need solving?

        • nwcs

          What I personally would do if I had the unlimited power to do it…

          1. Change management
          2. Invite real photographers to sit with the engineers to discuss real world issues
          3. Have a “revolving seat” where any given photographer is doing their work (non-shooting parts) and can demonstrate workflow issues/problems without impediment to the people who can make actual changes
          4. Go out and meet the public — set up events where you make the lens designers, software developers, and the engineers the host to the public for a sponsored shoot. Make the employees explain and demonstrate the product and have to answer/handle the issues that people come up with along the way
          5. Change the culture of management to not bury/hide/CYA problems but actively look for areas where there is significant user friction and challenge/empower the employees to solve it
          6. De-centralize decision making so all decisions aren’t made solely in Japan
          7. Work with other companies that are on the bleeding edge with adjacent businesses and look for ways to integrate
          8. Design the products in such a way as to encourage a third party ecosystem such as opening up a firmware API or opening up the communication protocols
          9. Do something akin to AppleCare where the support experience, should one need it, is as painless as possible with high satisfaction

          And this is just off the top of my head.

          • Chris

            Time to go Fuji or Sony?

            • nwcs

              I already have Fuji and Nikon. I don’t need to go anywhere but that doesn’t mean I don’t see obvious flaws in Nikon’s public efforts and results. Not to mention my own background as a software developer and director of engineering.

            • Chris

              Then it is time to part way with Nikon? As I said, you are not married to it.

              Discussing flaws itself is like discussing whether one should order sweet tea or non-sweet, which can go on forever without definite way to pursuade others.

            • nwcs

              Thankfully I have logic and reason. I can both criticize a company and simultaneously use my investment. What it does is prevent me from investing further — and that attitude is what should be worrying Nikon.

            • Chris

              Still you have a ground others might not share. That’s the root of problem.

              A girl I know bought a leica since it matches her dress well as an accessory.

            • nwcs

              I’m kind of convinced, after reading your many posts on this page, that you have a particular motivation for responding the way you are. I don’t know what it is but suffice it to say that it’s unconvincing to me. Enjoy your day.

            • Chris

              You are not convincing to me either. We build our reasoning on different preception of the issue. It will take you or me forever to convince each other, which I wish not getting into for multiple reasons.

            • nwcs

              BTW, did you even watch the video I posted?

            • Chris

              No. Since nikon is a state-owned company under a military industry complex, it will not change unless camera business became independent.

              Until then ,it will have priorities and deal with people who can understand its strength.

            • Nikon is a state owned company? I don’t think so.

            • Chris

              It is. They don’t do it like China but through ties, connnections, and use banks under heavy influence of the state, say BOJ that holds 50% of the country’s total assets.

              Nikon still makes optical instrument that are widely used on military platforms operating daily in middle east these days.

            • nwcs

              Something is up with this guy I think.

            • nwcs

              That’s absolutely incorrect. Totally incorrect.

            • Chris

              Oh well. You have some new perspective to catch up. A little hint to start with, during Korean war, UN army and Chinese Army were both using Nikon rangefinder for artillery fire control to bomb each other. Nikon still makes these aiming optics today and they are widely used. However apparently they documented it separately.

              What do you think Mitsubishi group makes these days? All the way from attack submarine, tanks to fighter jet.

            • nwcs

              Lol, nothing else to add. The facts will speak for themselves.

            • Chris

              Haha, are you troubled buying stuff from companies that makes products for war business? I am not. I actually think the old days when the iron curtain was still there being good old days.

              US air force developed video-based seekers with target identification for Sidewinder back in 1985. The CCD seeker can identify an aircraft and keep tracking it without being confused by IR countermeasure.

              I am enjoying Tesla bumping into objects it doesn’t recognize these days.

            • Nakayamahanzaemon

              And 30% of Japan’s share is managed by foreign investors. One of Nikon’s top investors is BlackRock.

        • MB

          There are lots of thing Nikon could have done better …
          For example … couple of years ago when it was already obvious that camera sales are going down Nikon approached the dealers saying that difficult times require that we all must share the losses and that is why they will reduce rebates, cancel credit lines and cancel support so that we could all suffer equally … I mean really?
          Canon approach was very different … they of course acknowledged the facts but they also promised to do everything they can to remediate the situation and actually they did … they invested in advertising, increased support, and net result is that Nikon is wiped out from all newspaper agencies in the region and Canon is undisputed market leader …
          On the other hand how come Leica is doing so well lately ,,, they found the target customers (IMHO posers) willing to pay for exclusive product and it works … it seams that only Japanese companies and Nikon especially are having problems … more megapixels is obviously not something most people care about, but timeless camera, as advertised by Leica, is … on the other hand Nikon, instead of solving customers needs, actually created some problems by insisting on useless software such as SnapBridge … idea could be arguably appealing to some but if nothing else realization is nothing less but disastrous …
          Currently there are not many things Nikon could do really … mirrorless certainly does not need solving … there are plenty on the market already and they are not doing so well either (except for Leica) … Canon is actually doing better then most and they already had a couple of iterations already and current models are kind of OK …. so what is left for Nikon to do …
          Making yet another mirrorles will certainly not solve anything … if they are going to make one, and they must obviously, it needs to be really special … it has to be Nikon mirrorless … unique … and perfect straight from the start … it seems to me that maybe F mount model could be interesting … but Nikon should better then just guess like we do here … they should fire the entire marketing department and hire top notch product designers and developers instead that will communicate with customers and find what really can be the game changer mirrorless camera and put it on the market as fast as they can …
          But it seems to me that nothing will happen … Nikon management will continue to receive their pay checks (DNA as they call it recently) … and will happily lead the company into the bankruptcy …

  • HKer

    Here’s my rant as a working photog.
    – I have recently acquired quite a few Sigma Art lenses – e.g. 35+50mm they are great value and great quality.
    – I have bought Canon 5DSR and 4 tilt shifts, because for ages Nikon did not have a wider TS than 24mm. Nikon now solved with 19mm, but it took them ages to bring that lens out.
    – I bought Canon 11-24, as Nikon stopped at 14mm. Surprising I use 11mm often to get whole walls into one shot. Where is Nikon 11mm?
    – I bought Canon 5DSR for more MP for artwork shoots. Both Sony/Canon have higher MP for 1-2 yrs. D820? PS I don’t like the 5DSR with less DR than the D810.
    – I bought Sony A7Rii as a backup to my Canon gear using the metabone adapter. Also has silent mode.
    – I bought Fujifilm GFX to get very high quality detailed art shots. Poor man’s version of MF, but it does the job nicely. Different league in my opinion. But Nikon has the technology, lens experience, but it is a niche market.
    Nikon has the know-how but depending on what you shoot, maybe not all equipment you need for the shoot. If they could fill in the gaps it would keep working pros within the Nikon camp. But alas. I feel the Nikon lens sales are being under attack by third party lens makers and their bodies by the likes of Canon and Sony. In this day with adapters, pros can chop and change, which doesn’t help Nikon’s cause. They need a mass survey from the pros, and also from the public to see what people want and whether they can fill in the gaps. Long live Nikon!
    My two cents

  • Melih Polat

    As I see, Nikon tries to be Nokia of the camera industry. I can understand that their sales expectations decreasing because of the market trend but honestly I can not really understand they are forecasting decrease of market share each year and assume it as an ordinary situation. Let me give an example about the industry I was working. We too have a decreasing market therefore sales targets by volume were become lower each year. On the other hand, our unit margin targets were increasing to keep total margin on the similar level and company also tried to generate new solutions to the customers that will add value to their business and these solutions of course had a higher price tag. Most importantly, our market share target increased each year. In 3 years, 2 of the main players stopped their operation since they didn’t find a profitable environment and Nikon looks like them in the camera market.

  • AYWY

    Is it the new Tamron? What did the Nikon version excel at to make you switch?

    • Aldo

      The advantages of the nikon so far:
      1- much sharper in a ‘tack sharp scale’ kinda of way at 200mm 2.8
      2- It feels so much lighter (even though it’s not). It could be that
      it’s much better well balanced.
      3- No (or almost no) focus breathing. Being able to shoot at full 200mm
      below 20 feet is a plus at weddings to get candid shots.
      4-The nikon lets a little more light in at 2.8.
      5-Refined design. From the feel of the zoom ring to the added focusing buttons, you can tell right away you are getting a ‘premium’ quality product here.

      What made me switch was number 1. I want all the sharpness I can get at 200mm f2.8. This allows the lens to perform excellent when using teleconverters or when using it on a dx body at that focal length.

  • SPshooter

    It only will fall further as now is only those with their existing Nikon gears customers holding on only, no more new customers into it.

  • KnightPhoto

    Interesting Aldo. Keep us posted, I too am interested in the 70-200E

    • Aldo

      It’s just amazing. I have no complains on it so far. The VR is noisy when it engages compared to the tamron which is almost silent.

  • HD10

    Nikon selling less camera in a declining market is understandable. Nikon losing market share significantly is more difficult to understand when it has many good products compared to Canon.

    Nikon’s drop in sales revenue in a declining marker is understandable. It’s increase in profit despite this drop in sales is a cause for concern. The concern is primarily in how Nikon increased profit margin is being sourced from (less aggressive marketing, less customer support, more aggressive refusal to fix products under warranty, etc.).

    What is responsible for. Nikon’s drop in market share?

    Over the years, for the enthusiasts, one of the Nikon’s primary advantage over Canon is its more capable sensor. I shudder to think of what will happen if Canon’s sensor will perform better and reach parity with Nikon, or if Canon starts buying Sony sensor.

    • Allan

      We will all stop shuddering and buy Canon cameras.

    • tomskyphoto

      Canon isn’t bad. Every day there are lots of great photos taken all around the world with their cameras.

      Their glass is among the best you can buy; since the 16-35/2.8L III and the 11-24/4.0L they finally also have excellent UWA options. And most of their lenses are also built like tanks and usually well worth the money you put down for them. Nikon? Not always. And Sony? Shuddering with disgust seeing their usual cheap toylike builds.

      The 1Dx II even seems to be the better allround camera than the D5 and while the 5DIV hasn’t fully caught up to the performance of Sony’s sensors the gap has become much narrower.

      Apart from a minor light leak issue on the 5DIII I also can’t remember such a haunting number of QC issues with Canon like Nikon had it during the past years with every other model. Not to mention Nikon’s belated acknowledgement of a lot of these problems.

      In most countries CPS also seems to be a bit above NPS in terms of service quality and response times. All this might pretty well explain why Canon isn’t doing so bad.

      BTW: I shoot Nikon, Sony and Olympus; but I have no reason to think I couldn’t do the things I’m doing if I had to shoot Canon.

      • HD10

        As a former Canon user, I understand the strengths of Canon, specially in some of the lenses (e.g., Canon 17mm T&S). Canon’s after-sales support is also much better where I am.

        I concur with the quality issue of Nikon. I was amongst the first to get a D800 and a pair of D800E shortly after these were released. All three has the left-side AF issue that took many long months to fix. I have since then learned not to be amongst the first to buy any new Nikon products.

        What drew me initially to Nikon was essentially the better sensor performance in Nikon’s camera, the better ergonomics of Nikon’s camera control layout, and the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 which did not have any Canon counterpart at that time. Given what I gave up to be in Nikon’s camp, I think I am still ahead given my needs. I look forward to the new Nikon releases this year and early next year. I am concerned however as to how badly Nikon has stumbled in the recent years.

        While I am unlikely to replace Nikon (I have yet to find better though I am considering the Fuji GFX), there are some gaps in my needs not met by Nikon and this is why I also have Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic (m43) among my gears. As to your sentiment with Sony, I concur. I have stopped buying any Sony camera and lenses.

  • Viktor

    Na Yeah, but…. I would like to buy gear, but it is not on the market….

    I would buy:
    D8xx – NOT ON THE MARKET
    Mirrorless Pro DML8xx – NOT ON THE MARKET
    even D5X would be a thing I would think off – NOT ON THE MARKET

    How do you get this in statistics?! 😀

  • The last time I checked Leica was doing well. They just raised their prices again 🙂

    • Michiel953

      How and what did you check? Anyway, brand image and niche markets, high margin products.

    • hyh

      I don’t think that the fact that camera companies are raising the prices of their camera demonstrate that they are doing well. Japanese camera companies have raised the prices of their flagship cameras too. See Olympus OM-D, Fujifilm X-PRO2 / XT-2, Sony A7 II / A9, etc. compared to the previous generation cameras.

      • pretty much every company have raised their prices and will continue to do so

  • Chris

    (Dont take this insult)

    To be honest, Nikon’s biggest failure is have you whinning guys as core customers while naive fanboys worshipping other companies do this:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ddf281b4574b25ecf7301621cb763f918a8e1048e662f7a89a4e3fd55dcbe706.jpg

  • Tom Taubert

    Any NPS users out there? Does Nikon solicit feedback?

    • MY OB

      ROTFL

      No, or at least, nothing I have seen of late.

      And, this is where they fail. Shareholders more important than their customers, who drive their business.

      They really are clueless!

  • eric

    Leica is doing very well and has the hottest high-end camera on the market right now, M10, and arguably one of the best point in shoot cameras on the market in the Leica Q. I feel absolutely no anxiety investing in Leica.

    • Yes, Leica is doing well:
      https://leicarumors.com/2017/02/22/leicas-basic-financials-for-the-past-5-years.aspx/
      But no matter how much I like and use Leica cameras, they have some limitations (telephoto lenses, AF). Of course you can go with the new SL but that’s a whole new discussion.

      • eric

        Yes, agree. Leica has limitations but I think that’s part of the appeal. The moment they make an autofocus M its going to change how people view leica. I don’t really use anything longer than a 50mm lens for that system. All depends on what you want to shoot though.

        • and believe or not, I received such rumors already – you can autofocus M lenses on the a7, so moving that tech to the M should not be that complicated…

          • eric

            Yes, I would not be surprised if Leica brings autofocus to the next M but puts out a manual one too for purists. AF would bring in a lot of new customers who like the Q I think.

            • I think they can combine it all in one body – if you want AF, just add an adapter. Just like with the Sony a7.

  • Higher profit? I don’t usually push the idea, but mirrorless are higher profit–less parts inside, less to screw up. Just gotta get them to perform at a similar level to DSLRs…like a certain line they appear to have abandoned, hmmm?

    Lure them with F mount, hook them with new lenses…even more profit.

  • MY OB

    It would be really nice if someone converted these financial statements into something we understand. YEN???? What do I care what they do in YEN?

    So, they are saying next year, they will make 34B yen in profit, $300m US? So, if this is the case, I am expecting some really big announcements this summer. They certainly are not going to come close with their current Product Line.

    Maybe, KEYMISSION will step up!? ROTFL I have no idea what they were thinking with this product.

  • shpigunov

    Nikon needs to innovate and adapt in order to survive in this market. I would argue that the market is changing, rather than shrinking.

    In general, people tend to take more, not less photos and videos. What is changing is how they prefer to take them, process them and – (this is important) use and distribute them.

    I would also argue that unlike in the past when photos were mostly printed or published on centralized platforms, nowadays the overall majority of images and videos are made by and distributed by consumers, and Nikon needs to adapt accordingly.

    One solution that I see would be to move their cameras to Android, staring from point-and-shoots, through mirrorless and all the way up to junior DSLRs. This would enable limitless possibilities of in-camera processing (think VSCO and Prisma, etc.) and sharing (Instagram and 500px and Facebook) – all straight from the camera. From a business perspective, this would allow Nikon devices better compete with smartphone cameras, because despite the wider possibilities of mobile OSes, there is only so much you can do with the tiny smartphone sensors and optics.

    Technically it’s also not very hard to implement – add an “Android” logic board with an ARM chip, keep all the Nikon native internals, and reduce the Nikon firmware to a blob directly driving the camera components and DSP chips, which would be transparently accessible from Android through the stnadard API. You can also implement the Nikon UI as an Android app.

    A great side effect would be over-the air updates for Android, camera firmware, UI and other apps, constantly bringing new features and enhancing product value.

    All of these components are freely available in the market and it’s not a great engineering feat to accomplish this. All you need is a solid team and sane management – but we’re better off charging more for less and calling it “improvement of management DNA”, right?

    • Chris

      I actually think going android is going backwards. If you check latest news in computing hardware, you will notice they prefer hardware specifically tuned to run specific codes at highest efficiency, giving up function unnecessary. Google put alpha-go on tentorflow, which is specifically designed for it.

      • shpigunov

        Well, you have a point about speed vs. versatility. This is why I suggest using 2 subsystems essentially. System 1 is the “camera” – the sensor, the DSP, the storage and all the custom electronics driving the camera, and System 2 is the “Android”, driving the touch screen, the connectivity options and the app userspace. These two systems can be connected by the proprietary camera driver which gives a high-level interface to the camera from Android. That is, Android believes it operates a standard camera module, passing things like iso/shutter speed/aperture/develop mode and getting image data as a reply.

        This would surely adversely affect the battery life, but assuming the constantly growing battery capacity, increasing efficiency of the electronic components and the perceived benefit of having increased versatility and connectivity should provide a mix desirable for the consumer.

        • Chris

          To be honest, I think breakthrough in battery power density is even harder to come by. But I do agree there should be a better workflow.

  • decisivemoment

    Does “initiate full scale enhancement of management DNA” mean, “inserting a different set of DNA” as in “fire the idiots and start over”? Let’s hope so.

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