What does Nikon have for us?
I'm having a tough time watching Nikon lay dormant for so long while the competition is moving like a bullet train when it comes to "pro compact" cameras. Ricoh has their excellent GX and GR series (and now their APS-C sized sensor GXR system). Panasonic has the LX3 and the GF1. Olympus has the E-P1. Canon has the G11 and the S90. Sigma has the Dp1 and the Dp2. Where is Nikon in all of this?? It's been a couple of years since the P6000 and even then it didn't win any awards in innovation. I have a hard time understanding how come one of the 2 companies who dominates the DSLR market is so far behind the pro compact market. How can they neglect this market for so long? Is this a "wait and see what the competition has" kind of strategy? If it is it's not working very well because the competition is innovating left and right at a VERY FAST pace and offering some incredibly excellent products (mind you we didn't even see the Samsung NX system yet...which is supposed to be released in january). What is Nikon waiting for? What do they have up their sleeves? Can you imagine a compact with the sensor of a D5000?! That is something people would REALLY buy, even if it had a fast fixed zoom... which is probably what Nikon will do at first and then will come up a higher model that allows for interchangeable lenses (having to manufacture small lenses when they have an arsenal of amazing glass already could be a very difficult move for them though). Nonetheless this is the way the market is moving and either you swim with the tide or you sink. So, Nikon? What do you have for us?
Re: What does Nikon have for us?
The sales of digital cameras has been slowing for the past 3 years, before the US economy tanked. It is a maturing market that has become saturated, cell phone cameras are becoming competitive, and the per unit profit margin for compact cameras dropping. The only segment of the digital camera market that had experiencing any significant growth is dSLRs, and that is less than 10% of unit sales. Nikon suffered a big hit to their revenues when the global economy went south. It makes sense for Nikon to pull back, let existing product float, concentrate on developing that area with the greatest growth potential (dSLRs) for near-term new products, and focus its limited and dwindling resources on developing a 'wow' product that will bring consumers back to the Nikon name for their next compact camera. Nikon's marketing strategy is to keep quiet about new product until ready to show it to the public, so we have no idea what is happening within Nikon, except ...
Digital photography is increasingly becoming web based -- and the web is increasingly becoming wireless. That is driving up the desirability of cellphone cameras and creating competition (and hurting profits) for all compact digital camera companies. Cell companies need to weigh consumer demand for product, including embedded digital cameras and ease of use/sharing, with the potential for profit from providing corp services. The winner in all of this will be consumers and digital photography. NTT, Japan's biggest cellphone company and a global leader in cellphone technologies, has successfully brought together every single one of Japan's manfrs of communications products to set in stone the next generation of wireless data transfer protocol. A couple of months ago they achieved a working prototype -- a single chip with wireless connectivity and the ability to transfer data with a very, very high bandwidth. A single chip that can be embedded in any electronic product. What that means is someone can take their compact digital video camera to Spain to capture the bull run, and stream hi-def video to a 10-inch digital LCD frame sitting on their desk in your office (or 52-in plasma on the wall), in Asia -- in real time.
I also keep in the back of my mind that a little more than a year ago Nikon crawled into bed with Microsoft -- something about the two defining the next generation of image transfer.
Fwiw, I would not be surprised to see Nikon release a cellphone -- one that is heavy on digital photography applications.
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