Different strategies – the struggle for the 21st Century

Started Feb 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP HappyVan Senior Member • Posts: 2,396
Does Nikon have a better vision?

Does Nikon have a better vision?

Nikon is gaining sales in every format; compact cameras, MILC, APSC and FF. IMO, this is a reflection of a determination to win. Nikon is saying that every format can be profitable and relevant.

The key is the 2.7x crop N1 system. Eventually, premium fixed lens cameras will have N1 sensors (unlike Canon's bigger sensor). So, it will be an easy transition for compact camera upgraders.

At the same time, it implies that Nikon intends to shrink DSLR. First by miniaturizing the body. The 36mp D800 (900gm with battery) is already much lighter than 12 mp D700 (995gm without battery).

Then, eventually by eliminating the mirror box (another big round of lens changes) when the key elements are in place (OLED EVF, mirrorless PDAF etc).

The key is performance. The N1 system is not an inferior camera class. Nikon has not reserved PDAF for DSLR and fast fps/buffer for pro cameras. N1 has something of the best of everything. And, the best of N1 technology can be deployed into compact cameras.

I would suggest that Nikon intends to demolish our current hierarchical understanding of the digital industry (FF at the top, compacts at the bottom). Nikon is changing the game with a vision for the 21st Century. Nikon is the one to watch.

Summary: Many different strategies. Pentax is following customers into MILC. Fujifilm is choosing to be a niche player. M43 is facing real competition and needs to deliver value in the crucial $500-$800 price points. Sony is customer-oriented but needs to define more clearly what makes them outstanding. Canon appears to stubbornly stick to bigger sensors despite the size factor. Nikon goes for a strategy based on the 21st Century.

Conclusion: Currently, the region between compact cameras and DSLR is a bewildering choice of different sizes, competitive strengths and price points. NEX has the best IQ from a big sensor. Canon is going the same route. M43 uses a medium sensor. Pentax Q is the smallest package. Nikon is the only game in town for moving subjects. Enjoy!

That said, one has to be careful if you are making a large investment in gear. By 2015, we could be left with only three serious players (as Thom Hogan suggests).

This is a think piece. So, let's discuss this carefully and with respect for each other. Ignore it if you're not interested. Thanks.

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