N1 does well in Japan

Started Aug 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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What is the Nikon 1 market?
In reply to Jorginho, Aug 10, 2012

What is the Nikon 1 market and does it succeed in capturing that market? It seems Nikon sells the Nikon 1 as an upgrade to P&S. In the past that market bought a DSLR with the kit lens and rarely bought a second lens. So in that respect having few lens choices and a sensor that's only a little bigger than the average P&S is not as bad as it might seem.

Yet others say that the Nikon 1 market is the second camera or a travel camera market, mostly for camera enthusiasts who have already bought into the Nikon brand. For that market a limited lens selection and limited IQ could be a problem. Also if this is not the market Nikon is aiming for, that represents another problem. The second-camera market is much smaller than the P&S market.

Also note that the P&S upgrade market tends to believe that it's the camera that takes good pictures. They believe the way to take better pictures is to buy a camera with the best IQ specs. They're not quite right, but that's the vision that CaNikon sells. That's a problem for the Nikon 1, which is clearly not the highest IQ the P&S upgrader can buy. Today a Canon or Sony or Pentax buyer can get a Nex or EOS-M or K-01 and get the same IQ as their neighbor's larger DSLR. The soccer mom can buy a small camera, put her hubby's "L" quality glass on it, and tell herself she has a chance of taking a Walter Ioos shot of Junior scoring a goal.

The other problem is the Nikon 1 was not a complete technical hit from the start. That start was already two years behind the mirrorless competition. Some Nikon owners are saying that Nikon 1 will hit its stride with Version 2. (Which is not the J2.) Meanwhile, Nex and M43 are by now already fully mature and selling more than the Nikon 1. Third-party manufacturers are cranking out new accessories every month. Canon has also entered the mirrorless market with strong IQ. Pentax also has a year-old entry in the Pentax Q but that one barely caused a ripple in the market. They seemed to have changed strategy with the K-01, with its APS-C sensor and K-mount lenses. However, that system is also struggling with poor reviews. Pentax's problems in the mirrorless market show that merely entering into this new market is not enough; there's still plenty of room to fail.

Nikon is a lot like Harley Davidson or Kodak. Their name-brand recognition is so strong that they could coast on their name alone for decades with subpar products. Harley did this for quite some time and it nearly killed them. Harley had a reputation as having "1940s technology at New Millenium prices with Chinese quality." At some point Harley got their act together and literally started running on all cylinders. Kodak did not. Like Harley Davidson, Nikon 1's future will depend on the ability to sell outside of their own church, selling to those who are agnostic towards brand names.

Jorginho wrote:

The direct comparison with GF3/5 seems valid. While on paper the GF5 has a new sensor etc it is indeed an evolution and comparisons show it has slightly better high ISO noise and apparantly also (a more substantial) enhanced DR. But it does not matter.

Nikon1 and GF3/5 together with NEX3 are directed to those who want to get something better than P&S. May be they find the probability to change lenses appealing, without having clear ideas if they will buy more lenses or not. So the extensive lensselection of m43s is not a big advantage here.

As such, I see no problem for Nikon 1. It is aimed at that segment and I believe it does it well. And where it may matters more, daylight AF and shooting kids (soccermum) it is clearly better.

Nikon 1 is simply not meant as competition to Nikons own APS-c DSLRs and this means, it is no competition for the more advanced m43/NEX camera's. These are geared towards enthusiasts.

There is may be one substantial group that consider all ILCs an evaluates them all: those who want to use it as second cam to their (prograde) DSLR. But I think if we look at their marketshare, this is a small group.

In short: Nikon 1 can do very well, but the enthusiast (most over here) will probably not appreciate it as much and certainly not as a standalone cam or a cam that can replace their DSLR.

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