Art and Photography

Sources say that Nikon will be ending DSLR production in Japan by the end of March 2022 due to shrinking market

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  • Jul 20th, 2021 10:29 am
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Sources say that Nikon will be ending DSLR production in Japan by the end of March 2022 due to shrinking market

Sources say that Nikon will be ending DSLR production in Japan by the end of March 2022 due to shrinking market

UPDATE: Nikon is rumored to be ending production of its DSLR cameras in Japan by the end of March 2022. This is apparently due to the DSLR market shrinking in response to the rise of camera phones.

Japan Times reports that operations at Nikon's last-remaining domestic camera factory in Miyagi Prefecture will be transferred to Thailand. The Miyagi factory currently produces the Nikon D6, but will apparently continue to be used for making camera parts and "other products" once the D6 production has been moved out.

Nikon also apparently plans to close two plants that currently produce lenses in the Yamagata and Fukushima prefectures in late August. However, there's currently no information on whether the production will be moved to Thailand or not.




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Hard to believe market has gone down in favour of social media filters..
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weedb0y wrote: Hard to believe market has gone down in favour of social media filters..
Mass market consumer products evolve over time depending on changing consumer tastes and behaviours.

Why buy a $1000-1500 camera system that takes effort to carry, learn and use when you can buy a $1000-1500 smartphone, that works just as quick, great quality and serves same purpose to post on Instagram. Cameras are going to still be bought but more for serious hobbyists and pros, the casual or family photographer is going to make a choice between investing more in their smartphone or having an entry level DSLR.

The true missed opportunity is why are camera companies not making phones.

Huawei jumped in with Leica, OnePlus with Hasselblad, SonyEriccson had Carl Zeiss (at the time, was awesome).
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Nothing new here except for people who think Nikon still makes a lot of cameras in Japan. Nikon moved the bulk of their camera assembly operations to Thailand long ago and only assembled a handful of DSLR bodies for the home Japanese market in Japan once the plant opened in Thailand. In recent years, even the vast majority of DSLR products for the Japanese home market were assembled in Thailand. I believe the only camera Nikon still makes in Japan is the D6 so realistically, other than this event marking the end of Japanese camera manufacturing for Nikon, it's not an event that moves any needles until you are looking to buy a D6 made in Japan.
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restartRFD wrote:
The true missed opportunity is why are camera companies not making phones.

Huawei jumped in with Leica, OnePlus with Hasselblad, SonyEriccson had Carl Zeiss (at the time, was awesome).
It's because smartphone's cameras rely on software rather than size. We'll never have the same size of sensor of a full frame camera on a smartphone. And the kind of lens that will go with. Can't really make it a zoom lens since it'll be gigantic, but with prime, you'll be stuck with 1 FOV when most phones have 3 FOV now.

Take away the size advantage of the sensor and the camera companies have nothing when compared to Apple or Google who have spent 10+ years perfecting their softwares and camera app.

Huawei using Leica and OnePlus using Hasselblad never really meant anything since it's only on par with the Pixel, iPhone and Galaxy.
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Gin Martini wrote: It's because smartphone's cameras rely on software rather than size. We'll never have the same size of sensor of a full frame camera on a smartphone. And the kind of lens that will go with. Can't really make it a zoom lens since it'll be gigantic, but with prime, you'll be stuck with 1 FOV when most phones have 3 FOV now.

Take away the size advantage of the sensor and the camera companies have nothing when compared to Apple or Google who have spent 10+ years perfecting their softwares and camera app.

Huawei using Leica and OnePlus using Hasselblad never really meant anything since it's only on par with the Pixel, iPhone and Galaxy.
To the average consumer, all of that means little. All they care about now is speed and convenience, pull out phone double tap a button and the camera app opens instantly. Tap three more times it's shared to your family.
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It's part of the trend for all camera companies to move to mirrorless cameras. The general consumer market was dead long ago.
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2006commuter wrote: It's part of the trend for all camera companies to move to mirrorless cameras. The general consumer market was dead long ago.
Location of manufacturing actually has very little to do with mirrorless/mirrored trends. They are basically doing it to cut costs as manufacturing in Japan is more expensive than in Thailand.
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craftsman wrote: Nothing new here except for people who think Nikon still makes a lot of cameras in Japan. Nikon moved the bulk of their camera assembly operations to Thailand long ago and only assembled a handful of DSLR bodies for the home Japanese market in Japan once the plant opened in Thailand. In recent years, even the vast majority of DSLR products for the Japanese home market were assembled in Thailand. I believe the only camera Nikon still makes in Japan is the D6 so realistically, other than this event marking the end of Japanese camera manufacturing for Nikon, it's not an event that moves any needles until you are looking to buy a D6 made in Japan.
+1 The title makes it sound like they are exiting DSLRs, which is unfathomable. Consumer DSLR market I could see going mirrorless, but professional full frame I can't see that happening unless they get dominated by a competitor (again, unlikely for the near future)
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restartRFD wrote: To the average consumer, all of that means little. All they care about now is speed and convenience, pull out phone double tap a button and the camera app opens instantly. Tap three more times it's shared to your family.
Agreed, the average consumers don't mind/want to know how their night shots taken with a phone are coming so clean - they just use it instead of carrying a dedicated camera. Probably a matter of time before people carrying cameras/lenses arounds are considered a bunch of nerds using outdated tools (hell yeah I'm in this group).
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mattnew wrote: Agreed, the average consumers don't mind/want to know how their night shots taken with a phone are coming so clean - they just use it instead of carrying a dedicated camera. Probably a matter of time before people carrying cameras/lenses arounds are considered a bunch of nerds using outdated tools (hell yeah I'm in this group).
Realistically, for many consumers, DSLRs and the like are more a matter of fashion trends (ie are your neighbours/influencers using one?) than results or flexibility and that has really always been the case. We saw this in the past when SLRs were replaced with smaller compact cameras with people calling the end of SLRs only to come back in waves when people thought it was cool to have one. We are seeing the same with DSLRs and phones now. The smaller pocket cameras are the ones that are probably the outdated tools as they were basically completely replaced by phones.
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Phones are convenient but the image quality cannot compete with a high end camera.
Googles software is excellent and some of the new phone cameras are amazing for the size but overall you need high end hardware to get he best photo quality :(
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craftsman wrote: Realistically, for many consumers, DSLRs and the like are more a matter of fashion trends (ie are your neighbours/influencers using one?) than results or flexibility and that has really always been the case. We saw this in the past when SLRs were replaced with smaller compact cameras with people calling the end of SLRs only to come back in waves when people thought it was cool to have one. We are seeing the same with DSLRs and phones now. The smaller pocket cameras are the ones that are probably the outdated tools as they were basically completely replaced by phones.
Well yes I believe point & shoots are about to become a thing of the past (except those that boast a large sensors like Ricoh GR etc..) . Computational photography has become so good.. phone cameras are getting really good. I was watching fireworks with a friend and he took a few snaps.. bluffing quality. Unless you are a camera nerd like us - or making money with photography - difficult to justify the purchase and carrying a larger camera set up around.
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mattnew wrote: Well yes I believe point & shoots are about to become a thing of the past (except those that boast a large sensors like Ricoh GR etc..) . Computational photography has become so good.. phone cameras are getting really good. I was watching fireworks with a friend and he took a few snaps.. bluffing quality. Unless you are a camera nerd like us - or making money with photography - difficult to justify the purchase and carrying a larger camera set up around.
For most people, it's really never been actually being into cameras or trying to make money out of photography but rather what everyone else was doing. Even back in the film days, most people never got any prints larger than a 4x6 and the occasional 8x10 of the standard vacation shots or family which a simple rangefinder will do fine for but yet they went out and 'invested' in a SLR with 50mm. The same thing happened in the past decade where people 'invested' in a DSLR with a couple of prime lenses because people on the 'net said that's what they should get rather than thinking what they should/could use - ie an earlier mirrorless or just a basic DSLR with a simple zoom. Yes, there will be a core business for DSLRs and the like from those camera nerds as well as people doing it for money but the other portion will ebb and flow with the current trends.
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craftsman wrote: people 'invested' in a DSLR with a couple of prime lenses because people on the 'net said that's what they should get
I'm not a big fan of making general statements about "the people" though. I'm one of the people you described and I'm very glad I invested in a proper camera years ago, after doing my research and getting valuable advice from specialised forums.

To each their own. I can see why people would stick to a phone camera today - it was a very different story 5 yers ago.
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mattnew wrote: I'm not a big fan of making general statements about "the people" though. I'm one of the people you described and I'm very glad I invested in a proper camera years ago, after doing my research and getting valuable advice from specialised forums.
I'm not sure you are one of "the people" as you are still using your equipment and are interested in continuing to use it. I'm talking about those who are selling their 'excellent condition', rarely used, very few shutter actuations DSLRs online with a handful of prime lenses. More often than not, they failed to do their research, realized that they would rather use their phone for various reasons, and left their camera in the box (or more often in the camera bag that they purchased as they tossed the boxes the first chance they got) for a couple of years before deciding that it wasn't for them.
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I was at a zoo the other day and noticed hardly anyone with DSLRs. Yeah, it was a family-oriented place, so juggling diaper bags, kids' snacks, and your own DSLR bag might be less appealing. I'm sure if you are at Yosemite or Yellowstone, one will find a bunch more DSLRs.

But financially, it's not a serious financial commitment once you have your stuff. My Canon 6D from 2012 still works fine. If one wanted cheap, a used F-mount Tokina 20-35 I had was amazing for $150. For sure every few years there are incremental improvements in the bodies, but something from 10 years ago is still perfectly serviceable. In term of lenses, the new and refreshed designs from the last decade or so have been amazing. I think it's actually hard to see how much they can improve optically except on the periphery (image stabilization, diaphragm, etc). The mirrorless platforms offer some lens design advantages for non-telephoto focal lengths, but I still prefer an optical viewfinder (in addition to not having a need to start over from scratch).

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