Nikon UK has made an interesting announcement titled 'Nikon prepares to strengthen digital line-up for 2006' that signals the beginning of the end of nearly 60 years of Nikon fllm cameras. Nikon Corp has made the decision to 'focus management resources' on digital cameras in place of film cameras, and is discontinuing most film camera bodies, manual focus lenses and accessories, and all large format and enlarging lenses. In Europe only the flagship F6 film camera will remain on sale.

Press Release:

Nikon prepares to strengthen digital line-up for 2006

Wednesday January 11, 2006

Following the success of our digital line-up over the last seven years, which has resulted in more than 95% of Nikon’s UK business being within the digital area, Nikon Corporation has made the decision to focus management resources on digital cameras in place of film cameras. This decision will allow Nikon to continue to develop products that match the demands of an increasingly competitive market place.

Despite this growing competition Nikon Corporation has continued to outperform the market, and has recently reported positive financial results which saw group net profit climb by 20% in the fiscal first half which ended in September. Group sales also increased by 9.8% to 342.85 billion yen in the same period. Sales of high end digital SLR cameras and the success of products like the D70s and D50 have helped contribute to these positive figures.

As the film camera market shrinks and the popularity of compact digital cameras increases, demand for products that offer advanced features and extra value is continuing to grow. High performance digital SLR cameras are performing well as users shift from film-based SLR cameras or upgrade from compact digital cameras to digital SLR cameras.

As a result of the new strategy Nikon will discontinue production of all lenses for large format cameras and enlarging lenses with sales of these products ceasing as soon as they run out of stock. This also applies to most of our film camera bodies, interchangeable manual focus lenses and related accessories. Although Nikon anticipates that the products will still be in retail distribution up to Summer 2006.

In recognition of Nikon’s commitment to professional photographers we will continue to manufacturer and sell the F6, our flagship film model, as well as a number of manual interchangeable lenses. Sales of the manual FM10 will also continue outside Europe.