Nikon Ain't Dyin

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
chambeshi Senior Member • Posts: 2,581
Re: Nikon Ain't Dyin

SNRatio wrote:

Interesting, and the comments, taken together, prove the point, I think.

Technically, I think they have not been stronger, relatively, since the 1980es. They have 'always' been lagging behind here and there, I have never seen them so uniformly close to the front. And Nikon must be close to the ultimate 'fail-and-survive' company. Last failure was to focus on 1" mirrorless, and come way too late to the party in FF ML. But now they are there, too. An earlier major failure was the lack of FF DSLRs. Enter the D3 and the D700...

But they may well sink - that will, it now seems, mostly be for non-technical mistakes they refuse to correct. Thom Hogan ( points out:

"What I do worry about, and have pointed out for dozens of years now, is that Nikon has never embraced the customer in the high enthusiast/pro camera market. By embrace, I mean engage in meaningful communication with them, and treat them well. Like customers you want to keep selling to over time. This is a friction against their continued success, and it needs to stop. Nikon is still operating on 1950's IBM-style management advice, and it shows."

Nikon cannot afford to repeat its mistakes that have eroded its market share again and again (eg end-film era, and early DSLR (D1) peak). Making a conspicuous effort to engage with its loyal (aka returning) clients will indeed be a refreshing change. This is vital as although they have new products pending (eg 2 DSLRs), Nikon persist in cutting themselves off from constructive feedback.

What passes for Nikon's marketing also needs a massive overhaul - noone would notice if their existing marketing dept ceased to be!

For example, there will be negligible costs to upgrade the Custom options in the menus across ALL its prosumer cameras (DSLRs as well as MILCs) to offer the flexibility of its D6. In contrast, the PR benefits will be significant if Nikon acted on recurring complaints (at least from those who rely on advanced features AF settings especially).

Yet they persist in the infantile tradition of ranking them as Pro, Enthusiast etc. Thus the custom options in the D780 (especially) in which the menu options handicap optimizing AF modes etc. Nikon has also handicapped the menus in all the Z MILCs. This problem applies even to the D500 and D850 - eg no Recall Shooting Functions(!) Even the D6 is sold with some Fn buttons effectively disabled (?) eg very few options for Fn2. The tyrannies of stone-headed design strictures, which is presumably yet more symptoms of their fossilized bureaucracy!

These problems would be so simple to fix IF Nikon listened - basically respect customer feedback. OTTH Nikon brag about engaging with Pros but this is extremely incestuous - ie anointed ambassadors, and it's also unclear if Nikon R&D listen to their feedback.

Is this conservatism cultural, as it also persists in the entrenched patriarchal traditions in Japanese academia?

Whatever the reasons, Nikon has run out of time and worn down the patience of its returning clients. I also hear from retailers that most emerging/younger photographers buy other ILC brands (and this is a minority embedded in smartphones).

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Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR +20 more
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