Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Started May 19, 2008 | Discussions
Brooks P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,183
Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Thom apparently attended a news conference held by Nikon where they outlined there plans for the coming year. It looks as if they plan to devote most of their resources to the high-end professional lineup. They are aware that sales will drop (plummet?) and they are OK with this. The consumer lineup may end up with just two DSLR cameras, the D60 and the D90.
http://www.bythom.com .
--
Brooks
http://bmiddleton.smugmug.com/

balster_neb New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Brooks P wrote:

Thom apparently attended a news conference held by Nikon where they
outlined there plans for the coming year. It looks as if they plan to
devote most of their resources to the high-end professional lineup.
They are aware that sales will drop (plummet?) and they are OK with
this. The consumer lineup may end up with just two DSLR cameras, the
D60 and the D90.
http://www.bythom.com .
--

It's pretty interesting. I don't really understand the surprise at Nikon having only two consumer DSLRs this year. Were there any expectations of more than two?

It's not clear what Thom means by "upper end" cameras. Does that refer to DSLRs in general, or only the pro-grade ones?

Either way, it's interesting to see their pessimistic Coolpix sales forecasts. It's probably not the best time to buy a new Coolpix (despite what Ashton Kutcher says).

OP Brooks P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,183
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

balster_neb wrote:

It's pretty interesting. I don't really understand the surprise at
Nikon having only two consumer DSLRs this year. Were there any
expectations of more than two?

I think many expected three -- D40, D60, and D90. Others have voiced that they thought Nikon should retain the D80 even after the D90 is announced, resulting in four cameras -- D40, D60, D80, and D90.

It's not clear what Thom means by "upper end" cameras. Does that
refer to DSLRs in general, or only the pro-grade ones?

Having followed Thom's writings for awhile, I am pretty sure when Thom mentions "upper end" he is speaking of the professional cameras, which are currently comprised of the D2Xs, D300, and D3. There seems to be some speculation going around that a successor to the D2Xs is in the works and very possible a smaller professional camera (ala D200) with the FX sensor. These would be the rumored D3X and D10, although nobody is willing to say just what the names will actually be when announced; nobody knows if the much talked about, at least here, D90 will actually be called the D90 when Nikon makes the announcement.

Either way, it's interesting to see their pessimistic Coolpix sales
forecasts. It's probably not the best time to buy a new Coolpix
(despite what Ashton Kutcher says).

I know nest to nothing about Coolpix cameras, so I can't comment. I may have to read-up on P&S cameras as my wife has indicated she wants a camera of her own so she can take photographs of our grandkids.

-- hide signature --
balster_neb New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Having followed Thom's writings for awhile, I am pretty sure when
Thom mentions "upper end" he is speaking of the professional cameras,
which are currently comprised of the D2Xs, D300, and D3. There seems
to be some speculation going around that a successor to the D2Xs is
in the works and very possible a smaller professional camera (ala
D200) with the FX sensor. These would be the rumored D3X and D10,
although nobody is willing to say just what the names will actually
be when announced; nobody knows if the much talked about, at least
here, D90 will actually be called the D90 when Nikon makes the
announcement.

Thanks for clarifying that. On one hand, if the so-called D90 turns out to be the mini-D300 people are hoping for, you'd expect it to be a hit. On the other hand, it may struggle to compete against an aggressively discounted Canon 40D. I guess that would partly explain the low forecasts. In a way Nikon would be paying the penalty for having superior "upper end" products by not doing exceptionally well the the consumer segment.

As for the future FF DSLRs, I followed the D3X speculation thread the other day (in the D3 forum) with great interest. While a D3X seems pretty likely, I wonder what approach they would take for a full frame semi-pro camera. As many pointed out, if you put a full frame sensor in the D300, you'll pretty much have the D3 :). Maybe the "D10" will be based on the D200 instead.

Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,660
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

balster_neb wrote:

Brooks P wrote:

Thom apparently attended a news conference held by Nikon where they
outlined there plans for the coming year.

Two things:

1. I didn't attend, but know someone who did who forwarded me several different third party accounts

2. I wouldn't say they "outlined" their plans for the coming year. This conference was the annual yearly results announcement. As part of that they always give a few forward-looking numbers, specifically DSLR unit volume estimates, Imaging Division profit estimates, lens volume estimated, and a few other numbers that apply to those of us who use Nikon cameras. The DSLR unit volume estimate in particular was very low (3.3m units for 2009 versus 3.1m actually shipped in 2008 and 2.1m units actually shipped in 2007). Obviously, they were asked about why they were predicting such low growth.

It's not clear what Thom means by "upper end" cameras. Does that
refer to DSLRs in general, or only the pro-grade ones?

The statements were in Japanese, and I'm not 100% sure I'm translating them correctly. The wording was vague but seemed to imply that high-end consumer (which I read to be at a minimum D80 but more like D200/D300) and pro bodies would be the primary emphasis in their upcoming year plans. You can kind of get that from the numbers, themselves. If Nikon had a D30 (or whatever you want to call it) up their sleeves that broke new ground in either price or performance or both one would think that this by itself would sell in the millions of units. Before the D40/D40x came out, it was easy enough to see their impact in Nikon's forward estimates: there was a clear uptick in unit growth predicted just prior to their appearing.

What's interesting is that only two years ago Nikon executives were quoted as saying that a US$399 DSLR was going to be necessary at the bottom of the lineup. We've yet to see that, and Nikon's forward numbers don't see to indicate it's coming from them anytime soon.

My take on the numbers coupled with other rumors is this for the coming year:

D40/D40x sell off the remaining inventory and it's gone
D60 is new low end
D80 sell off remaining inventory and it's gone
D80 replacement coming
D300
D3
D3x coming
FX-frame D300-type camera coming

Thus, I'm predicting that by Christmas the Nikon DSLR lineup will look like this:

D60, D90, D300, D3, D3x, and possibly the D10 or whatever the lower-speced FX body is called.

-- hide signature --

Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)
http://www.bythom.com

nilux Regular Member • Posts: 429
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Thom Hogan wrote:

What's interesting is that only two years ago Nikon executives were
quoted as saying that a US$399 DSLR was going to be necessary at the
bottom of the lineup. We've yet to see that, and Nikon's forward
numbers don't see to indicate it's coming from them anytime soon.

They probably planned on it but the dollar keeps dropping faster than they can lower manufacturing costs.

The D40 + 18-55 lens goes on sale for $450 from time to time. That's not too far from $399.

Supr X
Supr X Veteran Member • Posts: 4,956
Thanks, Brooks-

Brooks P wrote:

Thom apparently attended a news conference held by Nikon where they
outlined there plans for the coming year. It looks as if they plan to
devote most of their resources to the high-end professional lineup.
They are aware that sales will drop (plummet?) and they are OK with
this. The consumer lineup may end up with just two DSLR cameras, the
D60 and the D90.
http://www.bythom.com .

-for the heads-up to Thom's recent update.

-- hide signature --

David

. . . shoot like there's no film in the thing!

rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 26,419
Agreed, but FX D300 more likely next year

Thom Hogan wrote:

Two things:

The DSLR unit volume estimate in particular
was very low (3.3m units for 2009 versus 3.1m actually shipped in
2008 and 2.1m units actually shipped in 2007). Obviously, they were
asked about why they were predicting such low growth.

Since year for the Japanese means, if I'm not wrong, March to March, your statement is pretty much valid for th period from now until the PMA, no?

If Nikon had a D30 (or whatever you want to call it) up
their sleeves that broke new ground in either price or performance or
both one would think that this by itself would sell in the millions
of units. Before the D40/D40x came out, it was easy enough to see
their impact in Nikon's forward estimates: there was a clear uptick
in unit growth predicted just prior to their appearing.

Pretty much agree, the D60 came just to update slightly the D40X.

But: that wouldn't go against N introducing the D30 (or whatever) at the PMA 2009, so that the increase in entry-level sales would go from march 2009 on. My guess is that the 12MP sensor will filter down to that camera, which would be priced between the D60 and the D90. The D60 is already being sold at around 550 USD with 18-55VR (Adorama), so I think 400USD for it then is not impossible.

What's interesting is that only two years ago Nikon executives were
quoted as saying that a US$399 DSLR was going to be necessary at the
bottom of the lineup. We've yet to see that, and Nikon's forward
numbers don't see to indicate it's coming from them anytime soon.

Again, maybe the D60 will be selling by the end of this year or early 2009 at that price, after the D30 is launched.

My take on the numbers coupled with other rumors is this for the
coming year:

D40/D40x sell off the remaining inventory and it's gone
D60 is new low end
D80 sell off remaining inventory and it's gone
D80 replacement coming
D300
D3
D3x coming
FX-frame D300-type camera coming

Thus, I'm predicting that by Christmas the Nikon DSLR lineup will
look like this:

D60, D90, D300, D3, D3x, and possibly the D10 or whatever the
lower-speced FX body is called.

Agreed, almost.

D90 and, possibly, D3X launched in June (at latest at Photokina), but FX D300 (my guess of name: FX100) at PMA 2009, not earlier, and will have 24MP, not 18MP as many, including you I think, have predicted.

This because Sony is coming with a similar camera at 24MP, this year, the rumored A900. Nikon would be stuck with a less spec'd camera right at launch, much like what happened to the Canon 40D (vis-a-vis D300/A700).

Finally, agree with your overall assessment, Nikon has, since the launch of D30/D300, turned its guns to the mid-to-high level market (> = D300), and this will go for a while, including new lenses.

-- hide signature --

Regards, Renato Pedrosa

'Preparei minha máquina de novo. Tinha um perfume de jasmim no beiral de um sobrado. Fotografei o perfume.'
Manoel de Barros - Brazilian poet

 rhlpetrus's gear list:rhlpetrus's gear list
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RoadKingMoe Regular Member • Posts: 264
Re: Agreed, but FX D300 more likely next year

rhlpetrus wrote:

The
D60 is already being sold at around 550 USD with 18-55VR (Adorama),

http://www.adorama.com/INKD60K.html?searchinfo=nikon%20d60&item_no=15

I see you can get up to another $100 rebate if you buy a printer from them.

Vandyu Veteran Member • Posts: 8,897
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Thom, would you be willing to give us your best guestimate on a pricing range for the D10 FF (official model number to be announced)?

This interests me more than a D300 or D90. I'm planning to stick with my D80 and see what a D300/D10 FF body would set me back.

What kit lens do you think might be paired with such a camera or would it be body only?

 Vandyu's gear list:Vandyu's gear list
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danidentity Contributing Member • Posts: 737
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Thanks...bookmarking this for the future.

Canadianguy Senior Member • Posts: 2,648
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

You can see for yourself what their medium plans are, its in English too:

http://www.nikon.com/about/ir/event/midtermbusiness/pdf/0512e_all.pdf

Nikon sees a drop in consumer spending in the US because of the weaker dollar and decrease consumer confidence due to sub-prime mess. They seem to have done well in their steppers business because of growth in the LCD TVs market.

Interesting to note on page 11 they don't see a growth in market share for themselves on the imaging side of the business - fixed at 40% but they see the overall pie increasing in size so that everyone will benefit from the overall market growth.

They also seem to be seeking manufacturing efficiencies so look for more sharing of components across camera lines (like what they do with sensors D40/D50/D70/D70s; D40X/D80/D200 and AF modules starting with D3/D300).

More info here:
http://www.nikon.com/about/ir/event/midtermbusiness/pdf/0510e_all.pdf

Cheers

Osku Veteran Member • Posts: 3,985
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Thom Hogan wrote:

What's interesting is that only two years ago Nikon executives were
quoted as saying that a US$399 DSLR was going to be necessary at the
bottom of the lineup. We've yet to see that, and Nikon's forward
numbers don't see to indicate it's coming from them anytime soon.

US$ has gone trough floor after that. 400 USD has no more that much value it had two years ago.

-- hide signature --

Osku

 Osku's gear list:Osku's gear list
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Chris Elliott Veteran Member • Posts: 3,979
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Thom Hogan wrote:

....
Thus, I'm predicting that by Christmas the Nikon DSLR lineup will
look like this:

D60, D90, D300, D3, D3x, and possibly the D10 or whatever the
lower-speced FX body is called.

An interesting strategy when compared to the proliferation of models from Sony. More boxes on shelves means more money tied up in stock - for somebody. In a time of recession that could be disasterous.

That would also mean that LiveView is unlikely to be an entry level feature for a good while even though it seems most attractive to those moving up from a P & S. I have very little use for it but e.g Olympus have it on the E410/420. Nikon seem unlikely to implement it with a CCD so it seems likely that the 12Mpixel CMOS will become the base sensor when we get a D65 (or whatever it is called) unless they ignore the feature altogether for entry level.

Any thoughts on a sensor for a the D10(FX)? I had assumed 12Mpixel to give good high ISO and a cut down feature set a la D200/D80 rather than a D3x sensor.

I have a niggling feeling they are going to expand FX and "tread water" with DX which would fit in with your overview. So an FX D10, a 70-200 replacement better geared to FX, some AF-S primes etc, etc.

-- hide signature --

Chris Elliott

Nikon D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile

http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/

Dodi73
Dodi73 Senior Member • Posts: 2,053
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Hi Thom

Let me copy and paste from one of your latest articles, about possible new lenses:
http://www.bythom.com/nikonlens.htm

...
24-70mm f/2.8G AF-S VR FX
24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR FX
24-100mm f/4G AF-S VR FX
28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR FX
...

Kept the first one, why Nikon should invest in three (average) lenses? Couldn't they make only one good 24-135 F/4 AF-S VR FX and save money? At most, they could do another "cheap" 28-300 as Tamron did if you really want an amateur allround zoom. If you take the "better" one, the 24-100 F/4, I'm pretty sure it isn't that difficult adding other "35mm" at the same aperture...

Just wondering...

-- hide signature --

All the best
I'm on the NIK side of photography.

rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 26,419
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Vandyu wrote:

Thom, would you be willing to give us your best guestimate on a
pricing range for the D10 FF (official model number to be announced)?

This interests me more than a D300 or D90. I'm planning to stick with
my D80 and see what a D300/D10 FF body would set me back.

What kit lens do you think might be paired with such a camera or
would it be body only?

My guesses: body only and best lens to go with it the new 24-70mm f/2.8. How much: 3.5K + 1.8K = 5,300 USD, not a small amount.

But I'm in, probably by 2009's end, after the glitches are done with. My guess for launch date is more like early 2009, at PMA. But Thom thinks it'll be this year, maybe at Photokina.
--
Regards, Renato Pedrosa

'Preparei minha máquina de novo. Tinha um perfume de jasmim no beiral de um sobrado. Fotografei o perfume.'
Manoel de Barros - Brazilian poet

 rhlpetrus's gear list:rhlpetrus's gear list
Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) Nikon D7000 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D +4 more
Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,660
Re: Agreed, but FX D300 more likely next year

rhlpetrus wrote:

Since year for the Japanese means, if I'm not wrong, March to March,
your statement is pretty much valid for th period from now until the
PMA, no?

Correct for Nikon. (Canon uses the calendar year.)

-- hide signature --

Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)
http://www.bythom.com

Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,660
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Osku wrote:

Thom Hogan wrote:

What's interesting is that only two years ago Nikon executives were
quoted as saying that a US$399 DSLR was going to be necessary at the
bottom of the lineup. We've yet to see that, and Nikon's forward
numbers don't see to indicate it's coming from them anytime soon.

US$ has gone trough floor after that. 400 USD has no more that much
value it had two years ago.

Be careful of using dollar/euro comparisons. IINM, that US$399 assessment would at current dollar/yen calculations be US$446 or so.

-- hide signature --

Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)
http://www.bythom.com

Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,660
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Vandyu wrote:

Thom, would you be willing to give us your best guestimate on a
pricing range for the D10 FF (official model number to be announced)?

Lowest: US$2995. Highest: US$3995.

-- hide signature --

Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)
http://www.bythom.com

Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,660
Re: Thom Hogan writes more about Nikon's plans for the coming year

Dodi73 wrote:

Kept the first one, why Nikon should invest in three (average)
lenses? Couldn't they make only one good 24-135 F/4 AF-S VR FX and
save money?

Saving money isn't the goal of a business. Making money is the goal. If all you make are high-priced lenses that aren't exactly the focal length the user wants, they'll go to a third party who makes what they want. Just as we have a range of bodies from D60 to D3, we need a range of lenses from 18-55mm to 600mm (to use price as the range determinate).

-- hide signature --

Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)
http://www.bythom.com

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