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-   -   Nikon abandons film (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/still-crazy/17124-nikon-abandons-film.html)

Marco Leavitt November 15th, 2003 05:44 PM

Nikon abandons film
 
I don't know how many people caught Nikon's announcement this week, but they have abandoned production on their film line. Wow. As a journalist, I find this absolutely stunning. I was aware that pros had mostly shifted to digital cameras anyway, but to me, this is the definitive coffin nail in film as medium. Every salty old photojournalist I've ever met shoots Nikon exclusively, often with lenses that are older than me. These aren't the type of people to switch formats lightly -- these guys fought autofocus technology for God's sake -- and if they've abandoned film, it's truly over. I suppose this post doesn't have much to do with DV directly, but I do think this is a watershed moment for the evolution of photography.

Jeff Donald November 15th, 2003 05:54 PM

Nikon's announcement didn't amount to much because Nikon is only a shell of it's former self. Most working pros shoot Canon these days. Look at any major sporting event, all the white lenses are Canon, the few black lenses (and fewer at every event) are Nikon. Camera manufactures are having a tough time making a profit. I suspect you'll see more mergers, like Konica and Minolta, in the next few years.

Frank Granovski November 15th, 2003 06:11 PM

Does anyone have a link? Being a long time Nikon fan, I find this very sad. As Jeff mentioned, I think Canons are far more popular in the 35mm pro arena. As for as new completely manual cameras, the only one that comes to mind is the M7. Even Nikon does not make a simple manual camera anymore. The FM3a is a "semi-automatic."

Boyd Ostroff November 15th, 2003 07:02 PM

Maybe Not
 
There's a link to the original article at dpreview.com, followed by a statement from Nikon denying the rumor
Quote:

UPDATE: Nikon posts press release denying rumour

Press Release:

Comment about a newspaper article on our film compact camera business in Japan

An article appeared yesterday on a Japanese daily newspaper that Nikon would withdraw from its film-based compact camera business in Japan. However, we affirm that we do not currently have such plan as this article reports.

Our film compact camera business still remains sizable although their sales shows a clear contrast to our rapidly expanding digital camera business. Our Japanese photo dealers will continue selling Nikon film compact cameras.

We apologize to our customers and photo business partners for any inconvenience eventually caused by this article.

Rob Belics November 15th, 2003 07:15 PM

And it was only about their compact line also. (consumer line?)

Marco Leavitt November 15th, 2003 10:40 PM

Thanks for the link Boyd. I hate to be someone spreading around rumors. I read about it on either PR Newswire or Businesswire (I don't remember exactly) both of which I monitor daily at my job. Both sites carry official press releases directly from subscribing companies. I just checked again, and the link has been deleted. In any case, I didn't get this from some obscure Japanese newspaper. I guess that's the way it is with the Internet. Things vanish and you can never go back and verify it. The press release (and I am absolutely certain it was a press release from Nikon) cited actual sales figures for their film and digital lines. There was no mention that this was just for consumer cameras. My guess is that someone at Nikon jumped the gun and the company is now backpedaling as fast as possible.

Matt Betea November 15th, 2003 11:13 PM

That article was at a couple places, one being Pacific Business News site, which for some reason or another decided to leave out the "compact" part of theirs. I hardly doubt Nikon's stopping production on F100 or F5 and the like anytime soon.

I think one has to take the same precautions viewing things on the net as they would reading the paper or local news. Better to check a few sources first instead of jumping to conclusions or maybe that's just me.

Jeff Donald November 15th, 2003 11:22 PM

Bad timing, never exit a market before the holiday buying season. Best sales period of the year and you announce that your exiting a profitable market segment. When else would sell your warehouse full of dying film products? What consumer wants to buy a product you won't support much longer ( at least that's the impression an exit would give a consumer)? Nikon will go to Ritz Camera to closeout the products. If Ritz has some great deals on Nikon, you'll know a move is underway.

Rob Belics November 16th, 2003 07:24 AM

The Wall Street Journal reported that only 25% of camera owners own or intend to purchase a digital camera. If Nikon were to leave the film market, they would abandon 75% of the camera market.

Nikon says the rumor started at that Japanese daily newspaper so it wasn't a press release from them. This could be a hoax. I remember a few years ago an electronics company's stock fell from $180 to $60 in one day based on a hoax news release.

Steve Nunez November 16th, 2003 08:29 AM

Nikon Japan put out an English memo stating that they were not phasing out thier film cameras as of yet....and as someone here posted- it was just rumored to be thier low end film cameras anyway- matter of fact they are thinking of outsourcing production to a Tawainese Co........but with thier Nikon D2H being such a revolutionary camera (neither CCD or CMOS) with 8FPS (for 5 full seconds!!!) shooting in any FORMAT- they took aim at the Canon EOS 1D benchmark and one-upped it! Nikon was working on that sensor for over 10 years and I can see them abandoning film very soon!!

If Canon can put out a similar camera with a 40+ image buffer at 8FPS or better for $3200 or less- I'll get the Canon- if not, The Nikon D2H will be mine in early 2004.

Jeff Donald November 16th, 2003 08:48 AM

I would expect a killer camera from Canon. Canon has a history, dating back to the 1976 Olympics, of releasing pro photojournalist models in Olympic years. I would expect an announcement at PMA in February and the cameras to ship in late spring. I also anticipate the camera being the equal to the Nikon in most regards and superior in many key areas. It will be aimed at the needs of photojournalists but will not surpass the 1Ds in resolution, file size and chip size.

Boyd Ostroff November 16th, 2003 02:32 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : Bad timing, never exit a market before the holiday buying season. -->>>

This week's BARRON'S has a feature article on digital photography "Snap-Happy" which I found interesting. They note that investors are loading up on stocks of the camera makers in advance of the holidays
Quote:

If big holiday sales volumes fail to materialize, the picture for investors won't be pretty. Fred Hickey, in his High-Tech Strategist newsletter, wrote last week that gadget makers could be headed for "a gigantic inventory bust."
A general theme of the article was that this is a great time for consumers in the digital camera marketplace, but a tricky one for manufacturers and hence investors.
Quote:

The spectacular growth of the field has turned even the most feature-laden camera into a commodity that yields thin profits, if any, for its maker

Boyd Ostroff November 16th, 2003 02:46 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Belics : The Wall Street Journal reported that only 25% of camera owners own or intend to purchase a digital camera. -->>>

FWIW, the same BARRON'S article I mentioned above states that next year sales of digital cameras will overtake sales of film cameras for the first time ever. It cites figures from research firm iSuppli predicting the sale of 52 million digital cameras vs 40 million film cameras. The article also states that one in three Americans owns a digital camera, something which surprises me personally.

Frank Granovski November 16th, 2003 03:43 PM

I miss the 70's and early 80's with all those wonderful manual 35mm SLRs. It must be a sign of old age. I'm just glad my SLR has a titanium shell and will probably outlast me. :)

Jeff Donald November 16th, 2003 03:55 PM

Digital camera sales might even overtake film camera sales this year. One estimate I saw recently suggested that film and digital sales were estimated about even through the first 3 quarters.


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