Did Nikon screw up?

Started May 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
SubPrime
Senior MemberPosts: 1,238
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Re: Did Nikon screw up?
In reply to gatorowl, May 24, 2013

gatorowl wrote:

SubPrime,

Jtan made a very cogent argument, which aligns with current marketing practice, but you reject it out of hand.  Not because it doesn't make sense from Nikon's perspective but because it doesn't make sense from your perspective.

I reject it because Nikon have never made any statement as to what makes sense from their perspective, so the only thing you can say is that he was speculating and that you happen to agree with him.  Many D700 owners on many photographic forums have expressed their repeated frustration and disillusionment with the absence of a D700 successor, so the weight on numbers in on my side. Perhaps their reaction is premature, seeing as the D700 came a year after the D3.

There is no doubt that the D700 and D3 overlapped.Clearly the D700 cannibalized D3 sales.

Clearly according to what?  Even Jtan admits it is only speculation to suggest it did.  In any case, the D700 arrived at least a year after the D3, so we may yet see a successor.

What's more, the OP was asking for something more than a D600, so a D600 sensor with D800 specs.  That wouldn't compete with a D4.

The D700 provided an intermediate choice for buyers.

No it provided a choice for those not prepared to pay a premium price for the D3.  And even if they did cannibalize D3 sales, what is more important, protecting D4 sales or making more money? One has to remember that the sale of FF bodies creates sales of FF glass.  My lens collection is 7 times the value of my bodies.

D4 sales are always going to me small anyway and given that the D4 has hardly taken the world by storm (the 1DX has clearly taken the #1 crown), what do they have to lose?

Getting a camera with 95%+ of the D4's functionality for 50% of the cost at the same time the D4 was introduced made no economic sense.

Nor does failing to offer a camera that is clearly in heavy demand.

Did Nikon lose some sales to Canon? Probably, however, I don't think it was that many due to switching costs.

Again you are speculating.   What I can tell you is that in since the release of the D3 and D700 have not seen anything like the number of former Nikon shooters popping up on Canon forums after wearing that cost.  The switchers are plentiful.

They are also popping up on sales web sites, where people are selling Nikon gear and explaining they are switching to Canon.

The very fact that they are doing it and willing to take the financial loss goes to show how big an issue this is.  Obviously the reason is VERY compelling, and no one is locked in.  Someone with a half a dozen lenses can switch and end up with 3-4 lenses and a new system without too much of a loss.  Most of us tend to rely on 2 or 3 lenses for most things anyway, so it's an acceptable interim situation.

So, how many photographers truly need burst rates that are greater than 5-6fps?

I am not saying they do.  I am saying they need greater that 4 fps, more manageable files, and a buffer than won't jam after 15 frames.

I suspect that the majority are pros who will either buy the D4, or continue using their D700 and D3 cameras.

You suspect wrongly.  Pros turn their gear over pretty regularly.  They do so for tax reasons, to maximize re-sale value and to remain competitive.

In essence, Nikon forced its users to sort themselves.

Or sort another brand.  Dumb move.

Moreover, they would pick up a lot of photographers looking for a high resolution/high DR camera

There aren't many photographers actually looking for a high res camera. The majority of sales of the D800 were driven by D700 users upgrading or thinking the D800 could fill the same niche.

They were confident enough to know--I suspect they conducted pretty high-powered marketing research--that their market differentiation strategy would increase profits rather than reduce them.

Nikon's returns have not reflected that.  Just because it's a well established company doesn't mean it's immune from making bad decisions.  Even Canon have made some blunders.

But it undoubtedly was far better for Nikon not to produce cameras that compete against each other.

How do you know it was undoubtedly the best thing for Nikon?  Seriously, we are not taking about a 16mpx body but a D600 sensor in a D800 body.  The D600 can do 5.5 fps, which would suffice.  What people like me want is the D800 AF, weather sealing, slightly larger body and a maximum shutter not limited to 1/4000s.

How does that compete with a D4?

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