Nikon is having some financial troubles. We all know this but what is the way forward. I personally do not think the direction they are going is the best option.
However, the first thing we have to do is see what they actually have planned in the coming years.
- The Nikon camera business is undergoing a major restructuring.
- Introducing multiple mirrorless cameras.
- Aggressive approach to rebuild their camera business
- No plans for closing domestic or overseas manufacturing plants
- Concentration their resources on medium to high-end DSLR system.
- Fewer models released in the future
- Development a high-end compact camera
Now all of this is according to Google Translater as I I do not speak Japanese. I will openly admit that I could have something wrong here. However, let’s assume this is the right message they gave in Tokyo.
What does this exactly mean? It sounds good on paper but how does it work out in real life? I would think it would mean focusing in places that they are making money. United States, Hong Kong, and India are always profitable for Nikon while places like Greece and Malaysia are not as good. It would seem smart for them to focus on where the profit is, not where they wish the profit would come.
I would also think we will see more and more of operations move to the Philippines and India on the back end. What can be processed at call centers in Manila and Bangalore will be. No one likes to see this but it is the nature of international business when dealing with multinational companies which Nikon is.
Nikon Mirrorless is coming?
This is not a smart move if you ask me. I do not think Nikon should get into the mirrorless game. Sony and Fijifilm have a firm control in the space. Nikon is a DSLR company. It would make much more sense to do what they do great than to gamble at trying to get a piece of the mirrorless pie.
I understand the desire to get some profit from the people that love mirrorless cameras but the challenges of doing it is quite high. One of them would were to source sensors from. Sony, a direct competitor, is the main source of them for Nikon. Toshiba just sold their sensor division to Sony as well. This is just one of many challenges if you ask me.
Aggressive approach to DSLR market
This sounds good but what does it actually mean? I am not interested in cheap talk. I want to see how they will make it work. What is aggressive to them? I would much rather they stay the course and focus on coming back by producing quality DSLR systems than doing something very aggressive financially.
While we will get into this more later in the article, I think Nikon should focus on making their high end cameras better and just pull out of the point and shoot market all together. Most people who would use a point and shoot just use their smart phone today.
No closing of manufacturing plants
This is actually a move that I do not understand. This is the perfect excuse to close the problematic plant in Ayuthaya, Thailand. I understand that Nikon wants to take advantage of the Amity laws and from a business point of view, doing business in Thailand is beneficial. However, from a quality control point of view, I wish they would close that plant and expand the ones in Japan.
Another issue would re-mapping the plants globally. It would seem to make more sense to have plants closer to the markets. If the camera is made in New York, it is much closer to the distruction of Nikon which means the time from the factory to the customer could be reduced.
The truth of the matter is a container of Nikon DSLR cameras that leaves out of Thailand for the United States has at least a month of transit time. I would like to see this reduced by having plants closer to the market that are profitable for the company.
Concentration on High End DSLR cameras
This should have been the plan from the start. I would much rather see them to focus on semi-professional cameras (Nikon D7XXX line) and professional cameras that trying to be a jack of all trades in the camera market. What they do, they do very well. Focus on that and not trying to be everywhere.
The high end models like the coming D820 and the Nikon D5 is much better to focus on in my view. I would like to see high quality offerings and in doing so, they could bring the cost to the end user down and everyone wins. With the Nikon D5 sitting at $7,000, it is out of reach for many photographers. I believe a focus on that high end would free up resources and in turn could bring this price tag down without costing shareholders profits.
Fewer models will be coming
This just makes sense. They have the Nikon D3300, and the Nikon D5500 that is basically aimed at the same market. It would make sense to just have one of those lines. I would also suggest that the Nikon D610 line is dead. Focus on the Nikon D7000 line, D700 line, D800 line, and the D5 line for the high end. It would seem to be the way forward. The reason for a few different professional lines is what works for a sport photographer is not going to work for landscape photographer. I own a Nikon D800 but it is not as good as low light as the Nikon D700.
I just do not know how they will reduce their offering and do it in a way that does not bring harm to the photographer in the end. It will be interesting to see how they handle this. One side of the company is the shareholder demanding profit and the other side is the photographer demanding a quality camera that is affordable. It is a hard line for the company to walk!
Development a high-end compact camera
They still want to try and bring the Nikon DL cameras to market. I am not sure why unless they think the Vlogging community (I am a vlogger) can make having them profitable. I would love to use a Nikon camera for my Youtube channel but is this realistic for Nikon to try? I do not know.
I would think the best option for Nikon would be forget the compact market all together and just focus on the higher end DSLR systems. Nikon is not a compact camera company. They have never really been one. They just thrown their name on Casio cameras in the past. Nikon is a DSLR company.