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Nikon rethinks 1 System and cuts 2013 forecast citing poor sales

By dpreview staff on Aug 8, 2013 at 20:27 GMT

Nikon has lowered its estimates for unit sales and revenue for the current fiscal year based on disappointing first quarter sales. Nikon cites poor market conditions, a large drop in compact camera sales and, most interestingly, a 'deceleration' in mirrorless camera sales growth.

Nikon's first quarter results reported that regional sales targets were missed virtually worldwide, though it notes that China's numbers were in-line with their already conservative estimates. The one place cameras were still selling briskly was in Nikon's home country of Japan. Nikon reported that sales and operating income dropped by ¥2.6bn ($27m) and ¥5.1bn ($53m), respectively, not helped by a 30% fall in compact camera sales.

Nikon has lowered its estimates for sales volume, sales amount, and operating income downward for the entire fiscal year, which ends on March 31st, 2014. Reasons for this include slow economic recovery worldwide, even worse compact camera sales than predicted, and slowed growth in mirrorless cameras.  

The actions that Nikon is taking to improve the situation include:

  • 'Accelerating shifting newer products in the entry class of DSLR'
  • 'Reconsider product planning of Nikon 1. Nikon 1 represents the majority of sales volume reduction of 550,000 interchangeable-lens type digital cameras'
  • 'Revise development plan for new compact [cameras]. Although our market share had been expanding in recent years, sales volume will diminish more than the estimated market shrink. Will maintain profitability as is.'

For all the juicy details, you can read Nikon's first quarter financial results using the link below. For details on Nikon cameras here on DPReview, click here.

Via: Reuters, Source: Nikon [PDF]

Comments

Total comments: 532
2345
Coliban
By Coliban (8 months ago)

Hmm, until last month, every new camera was a Nikon, the last one a Nikon D800E. Then i though that i needed a small cam for every day and i bought a Olympus E-PM2. I would never buy a Nikon 1, too small sensor and i was disappointed that Nikon refused to build a compact APS-C with interchangeable lenses or micro four third or something like that (Coolpix was not an option, too expensive for no changeable lens). I think, my next camera will be a Fuji E-X1 since the Olympus is a little too less "professional" because Nikon has nothing competitive in this area. What a pity, Nikon! Perhaps Nikon was anxious to "compete" with a high quality APS-C or micro four third with their own APS-C DSLR line, but the truth is what Steve Jobs once said: If we do not bring new products, even if we compete our own (old) line, than other will do it and we gain nothing and loose all. And it seems, this is happening to Nikon... at least in that sector of small and compact cameras. That´s disappointing...

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (8 months ago)

Nikon succeeded with the 1 Series. Their intent was to show their customers that mirror-less was an inferior product. They put out an inferior product and their loyal customers believe them now.

All of the rest of us know that Panasonic, Olympus, and Sony all make exceptional mirror-less cameras because they want that style of camera to succeed.

34 upvotes
Tonkotsu Ramen
By Tonkotsu Ramen (8 months ago)

For some reason, I think both canon and nikon "purpose-built" their mirrorless to fail. I don't think either one wanted mirrorless to bite into their DSLR sales. You can see from the EOS-M forum how so many old weak and fraile people are no longer bringing their DSLR's everywhere and complaining about the weight n such.

Sony, on the other hand, has built a strong NEX system and continues to introduce bodies and lenses. Same with the MTF category, even though people are not as enthusiastic about them as before.

I actually think both canon and nikon will simply start making smaller DSLR's like the SL1, instead of investing more into an uncertain market.

11 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

> Panasonic, Olympus, and Sony all make exceptional mirror-less cameras

only no one make good lenses.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (8 months ago)

I think Canon put their toe in the water with a schizophrenic mirrorless model that made sense for few, but that their new CDAF technology from the 70D will let them create an EOS M2 that will be a best seller. And a game changer.

0 upvotes
Samaistuin
By Samaistuin (8 months ago)

>only no one make good lenses.
I don't think you're enlightened enough about that.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
22 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

it's PDAF not CDAF (an old trick that Pana is doing great).

Canon have three budget lenses that are top performers. I especially like the ugly looking 22/2 which is better than Sony 24/1.8 (stopped to f/2 and beyond of course).

I think both Oly and Pana have the capability to make good lenses, only they intentionally do not.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

yabokkie, Oly 12, 45, 60, 75, Pana 25, 45, 12-35 and 35-100 are better than anything Canon has done for EF-S or Nikon has done in their DX line.
Even $99 Olympus 40-150 is better than Nikon DX VR 55-200 or Canon EF-S 55-250 IS II:
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Compare-Camera-Lenses/Compare-lenses/%28lens1%29/415/%28lens2%29/235/%28lens3%29/449/%28brand1%29/Olympus/%28camera1%29/793/%28brand2%29/Nikkor/%28camera2%29/440/%28brand3%29/Canon/%28camera3%29/619

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

@peevee1, I'm still learning how DxOMark rate lenses and I guess there may be flaws in computing the final score. also as I'm always saying APS-C DSLRs are not good systems and should die before m4/3" does. it's more difficult to design lenses for them.

0 upvotes
LarryK
By LarryK (8 months ago)

Why doesn't Nikon just make a phone?

2 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

Why not? A phone is mirrorless, too! :)

0 upvotes
cjhacker23
By cjhacker23 (8 months ago)

Well, what did they expect? That 1 series is a half-baked POS. Hope they don't take away the wrong impression--and look to their peers Fuji and Sony, whose mirrorless offerings are doing quite well in the market...

4 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

What data do you have about Fuji doing well? Last year's data did not have a single Fuji X camera in the top 20 mirrorless list (unlike a few Nikon 1s), and #20 was like 1.5% of market already. In the US, Fuji cannot be found in any store, while Nikon 1 is in every Costco and Target etc.
Probably its just people who have bought them already realized that with the stupid 10-30 f/3.5-5.6, they don't even get what a decent small sensor compacts gives them, both in terms of zoom range and quality (compare to $300 Pana LX7 with f/1.4-f/2.3).

0 upvotes
cjhacker23
By cjhacker23 (8 months ago)

Well, if it's in every Target and Costco it must be a success! Sign me up!

Anyway, what about Sony's NEX system?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

the problem is not in the sensor size.
it's in the careless design of Nikon 1 and m4/3" mount,
as well as their strategy based on f-number cheating.

Samsung NX mount has the same problem of long back focus, which
makes standard lenses (across 24-40mm equiv.) expensive to make,
thus difficult to compete with other mirrorless mounts NEX & EF-M.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

It is not that expensive if you design not to have color shift in corners. FL to image circle diameter is what matters in costs of good wides, not FL to flange. Sony 16mm and 16-50 might be cheap but also very very bad, especially in the corners. Pana 14mm is cheap, small and good.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

I know 4/3" lenses have some good qualities, but the question is if their specs are well ballanced. I think it's a low effeciency system that most m4/3" products have very low cost performance, over priced, but the profit is not that good. m4/3" is mostly a waste of resources.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (8 months ago)

IF Nikon pulls the plug, then I would feel sorry for all those people who have given Nikon their hard earned money by buying into this system. That would be rather perfidious of you Nikon!

1 upvote
Samaistuin
By Samaistuin (8 months ago)

I wouldn't be sorry for those people. That would teach them a good lesson: don't buy half-baked products.

2 upvotes
mytake
By mytake (8 months ago)

Samaistuin
"I wouldn't be sorry for those people. That would teach them a good lesson: don't buy half-baked products."

Yes, because people who invest in new ideas are the enemies of progress...idiots!

3 upvotes
Samaistuin
By Samaistuin (8 months ago)

I think so.
When something looks blatantly fishy yet you still pour money in it, you deserve to lose your investment. Not because it's new means it's good and/or you should fuel it with your own funds. Call that technological darwinism if you will.

2 upvotes
toomanycanons
By toomanycanons (8 months ago)

Nikon--P7100 with a 1" sensor and Expeed 3.

0 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (8 months ago)

Big surprise. Next is Micro Four Thirds and eventually APS-C before FF becomes the standard in a few years.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
jl_smith
By jl_smith (8 months ago)

Erm, no.

27 upvotes
Jacques Gilbert
By Jacques Gilbert (8 months ago)

Because there can only be 1 sensor size for all users, all budgets, and all circumstances. Right?

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Richard Schumer
By Richard Schumer (8 months ago)

I used to think change will happen fast, but time has shown me how slowly it flows. It may well be that FF (35mm-size format) will win out for technical and artisitic reasons, but IMHO, it will take a long time -- decades perhaps.

Very, very good zooms are being designed and produced for APS-C, even with its technical limitations, like long back-focus lengths. A complex lens to achieve a wide field of view, when mass produced, appears to be cheaper than a less-demanding short-back focus wideangle zoom for either m43 or FF that is in limited production.

For now APS-C is more cost-effective than any other format.

In order to achieve the volume of sales necessary to meet present APS-C accessory lens prices, FF prices will have to fall dramatically, and I don't see that happening soon, if at all.

1 upvote
luisflorit
By luisflorit (8 months ago)

I think that in "decades" you will probably have much better sensors that will make us laugh about our neat current FF sensors. FF would be too big then for almost any purpose. IMO, future is small and, of course, mirrorless.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
nboyer
By nboyer (8 months ago)

After paying $1200 for the 2-zoom kit and a year later it's worth about $300, you're damn right I'm p1ssed.

1 upvote
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (8 months ago)

Not exactly.

The Nikon 1 and the Pentax Q have sensors small enough to severely compromise image quality.

APS-C is very bulky itself.

There are two sweet spots: if you care about system size, then MFT makes for much smaller lenses than FF and works just as well so long as you don't need high ISO.

If you don't care about system size, FF works very well.

I think the two major format survivors will be MFT and FF, although I thing the Fuji may well survive.

APS-C will become very much a budget alternative for those who can't afford FF.

I went from FF to MFT myself. As a landscape shooter I never go above base ISO, and lugging FF kit about was ruining my hobby. I've never been tempted by APS-C.

0 upvotes
seahawk
By seahawk (8 months ago)

What I do not understand is Nikon´s desire to not listen to the market.

Another enty level DSLR? It will still be bigger than the mirrolrless competition and I see not much room below the D3100 / D3200 in features or price. On the other hand Nikon refuses to satisfy the action shooters in the DSLR community for a long time now. Apart from the D4 the cameras are slow (D800) or artifically crippled (D7100). I have seen so many D300 at the recent airshow all attached to 70-200,70-300, 80-400 or 300mm+ primes. I bet those users would surely go for a D400 or D750 (up-date of the D700) in a heartbeat. And this group will probably still buy Nikon DSLRs and lenses for a very long time, as neither mirrorless offerings nor cellphones will ever satisfy thier needs.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Total comments: 532
2345