Nikon Changing their Lineup?

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Apr 18, 2008
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Fairfax, Virginia
Nikon's path ahead seems pretty clear. At least for me, Cristina makes a persuasive case. My daughter just got the i-phone 12 and the pictures are really nice. For consumer snaps it certainly negates the need for additional photo equipment.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
Uh
He is NOT a financial analyst.
This is a classic case of looking at a single data point, without regard to the environment.
You cannot look at Nikon in isolation.
You have to also look at Canon, Sony and the entire photo industry. And the entire economy.
Only at almost the very end did he say that Canon and Sony are in the same boat, but of course showed no numbers for them. Is Canon also going to abandon the consumer market?​
If you think Nikon is in trouble, think about the airlines and the travel industry. Who of you has even been in a plane in the last few months? In that comparison, Nikon isn't doing too bad.

The numbers that he is pontificating about has the COVID pandemic as a major reason for the small numbers.
  • If I can't travel on vacation, I won't buy the photo gear that I had planned to buy for the vacation.
  • Most schools cancelled their graduation ceremony this year. So people did not buy the camera they were going to get.
  • If my nephew's wedding is postponed or turned into a small civil wedding, I won't buy the photo gear that I might have.
  • etc. etc. etc.
He talks about "impairment loss" as if he is an expert. IMHO, he does not know what he is talking about.

He said "Impairment loss is basically the depreciation of equipment."​
Not really. He did not do his research.​
Impairment vs. Depreciation
"Fixed assets, such as machinery and equipment, depreciate in value over time. The amount of depreciation taken each accounting period is based on a predetermined schedule using either straight line or one of multiple accelerated depreciation methods. Depreciation schedules allow for a set distribution of the reduction of an asset's value over its entire lifetime. Unlike impairment, which accounts for an unusual and drastic drop in the fair value of an asset, depreciation is used to account for typical wear and tear on fixed assets over time."​
His poor financial statement "analysis" so disgusted me that I did not want to listen to him.

IOW click bait.

Now some of his thoughts about leaving the consumer market kinda make sense, until you think about it more.
How do you get the amateurs to buy the high end gear, if you abandon the consumer market? Many amateurs start in the consumer market, then upgrade to the amateur market.
Do you really expect people to go straight from an iPhone to a D850 or Z7?
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
1,886
Location
Fairfax, Virginia
Uh
He is NOT a financial analyst.
This is a classic case of looking at a single data point, without regard to the environment.
You cannot look at Nikon in isolation.
You have to also look at Canon, Sony and the entire photo industry. And the entire economy.
Only at almost the very end did he say that Canon and Sony are in the same boat, but of course showed no numbers for them. Is Canon also going to abandon the consumer market?​
If you think Nikon is in trouble, think about the airlines and the travel industry. Who of you has even been in a plane in the last few months? In that comparison, Nikon isn't doing too bad.

The numbers that he is pontificating about has the COVID pandemic as a major reason for the small numbers.
  • If I can't travel on vacation, I won't buy the photo gear that I had planned to buy for the vacation.
  • Most schools cancelled their graduation ceremony this year. So people did not buy the camera they were going to get.
  • If my nephew's wedding is postponed or turned into a small civil wedding, I won't buy the photo gear that I might have.
  • etc. etc. etc.
He talks about "impairment loss" as if he is an expert. IMHO, he does not know what he is talking about.

He said "Impairment loss is basically the depreciation of equipment."​
Not really. He did not do his research.​
Impairment vs. Depreciation
"Fixed assets, such as machinery and equipment, depreciate in value over time. The amount of depreciation taken each accounting period is based on a predetermined schedule using either straight line or one of multiple accelerated depreciation methods. Depreciation schedules allow for a set distribution of the reduction of an asset's value over its entire lifetime. Unlike impairment, which accounts for an unusual and drastic drop in the fair value of an asset, depreciation is used to account for typical wear and tear on fixed assets over time."​
His poor financial statement "analysis" so disgusted me that I did not want to listen to him.

IOW click bait.

Now some of his thoughts about leaving the consumer market kinda make sense, until you think about it more.
How do you get the amateurs to buy the high end gear, if you abandon the consumer market? Many amateurs start in the consumer market, then upgrade to the amateur market.
Do you really expect people to go straight from an iPhone to a D850 or Z7?
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
1,886
Location
Fairfax, Virginia
I didn't pay any attention to Cristina's discussion about impairment vs. depreciation. That isn't meant to be a smart-aleck comment. I just didn't think it was germane to what Nikon is going to have to do to stay in business.

With that caveat or excuse, I think Cristina was spot on about where Nikon is going to need to put its focus in the future and where they are headed, i.e., hobbyist and pro cameras and lenses. They just have to go in that direction. The cameras in the phones are just sucking up the general consumer camera market at a dizzying pace. The output they give you for general photographic snapshots goes from good to really good. I think that the key issue you raise is what does the bridge look like for people who want to go from camera phones to more sophisticated types of photography. I think that successful bridge camera bodies are going to be critical to camera companies success for the future. Additionally, I also think that camera companies need to make a persuasive case that their cameras and lens can capture images that you just can't get with phone cameras. I hope that Nikon is looking at this issue because, at least from my perspective, they really need to improve their advertising.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
681
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
The camera lineup could be simplified a LOT.
Way back when I started, Nikon had the Nikkormat, and the Nikon FTn. Only TWO cameras, all using the same F lenses.

Nikon and Canon could have and should have streamlined their products into just FX/FF cameras.
Do we need four DX camera lines: D3xxx, D5xxx, D7xxx, D500.​
And how many FX camera lines: D6xx, D7xx, D8xx, Dx, ?​
Maybe simplify to: an entry level camera like the old Nikkormat, an advanced amateur and a couple pro camera. All in FX format, so they are only working on ONE format.
With film, I can change IQ simply by changing film. With digital, we cannot change the sensor to change the IQ. The sensor in the camera is what we are stuck with. So that forces more models, like the Z6 and Z7.​

Nikon already makes the lower lost consumer/non-pro FX lenses in some of the F lenses.
So the only thing missing is a consumer grade/price FX camera, as an entry point camera.

The problem as I see it is, they did not get an entry FX/FF camera down in price, close to what they are selling the DX/APS-C dSLR cameras for. Nikon does not want to give the DX/APS-C market to Canon, and Canon does not want to give the market to Nikon. So they did not abandon APS-C.
When Nikon and Canon went mirrorless, they again made a DX/APS-C line, perpetuating the same, two product line problem.
 

JLH

Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
113
Its a tough business world for many products. Sometimes companies compete with themselves. Sometimes they try too hard to match their competitors product for product and this drives their cost up. Sometimes they drift from their core and spread themselves out too thin. And of course right now we have a once-in-a-lifetime situation with the pandemic that is killing lots of businesses. Times change, preferences change, technology changes. I don't envy the heads of companies like Nikon or Canon, its got to be a lot of stress trying to move forward. They can't afford to make too many mistakes, that is certain. I would not want to guess what comes next, but we can be sure it will be different.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
681
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I didn't pay any attention to Cristina's discussion about impairment vs. depreciation. That isn't meant to be a smart-aleck comment. I just didn't think it was germane to what Nikon is going to have to do to stay in business.

With that caveat or excuse, I think Cristina was spot on about where Nikon is going to need to put its focus in the future and where they are headed, i.e., hobbyist and pro cameras and lenses. They just have to go in that direction. The cameras in the phones are just sucking up the general consumer camera market at a dizzying pace. The output they give you for general photographic snapshots goes from good to really good. I think that the key issue you raise is what does the bridge look like for people who want to go from camera phones to more sophisticated types of photography. I think that successful bridge camera bodies are going to be critical to camera companies success for the future. Additionally, I also think that camera companies need to make a persuasive case that their cameras and lens can capture images that you just can't get with phone cameras. I hope that Nikon is looking at this issue because, at least from my perspective, they really need to improve their advertising.
I kinda agree.
But if someone is going to publicly take apart a financial statement, and make a case of it, they "should" know what they are doing.
If they don't know what they are doing, they put their credibility into question. What else are they saying, and don't know what they are talking about?

As you say they will need a "bridge" camera to bridge the gap between the phone camera and their high end amateur/pro cameras. That is a HUGE gap between a phone camera and a $3,000 camera like a D850/Z7 + cost of the lens. Even a $2,000+ D750/Z6 + lens leaves a huge gap.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
538
Location
Viera, FL
There is a consumer market, albeit getting smaller due to phones. I have more than a few friends who have purchased consumer DX kits because their phones weren’t capable for their needs. One particular person enjoys photographing her son water skiing and playing sports. She has a D3xxx camera with the 70-300 and loves it. She puts it on Sport mode, has fun and gets decent results. What Nikon and others need to do is figure out a way to reach this market with products that have enticing features at a price point that is appealing to the consumer and profitable for the company.

Perhaps Nikon and other camera manufacturers need to explore having a single consumer body with different feature levels activated in firmware. Instead of a D3xxx, D5xxx, D7xxx, have a single body that comes with the D3xxx like base firmware and more features can be purchased, downloaded and installed. Or, add WiFi to the camera, hotspot to a phone and downloads could be instant. How about equipping phones with 4g/5g cellular modems so photos can be uploaded to social media directly from the camera? Use a custom Android OS so social media apps can be added directly to the camera as well as cloud services and maybe a mini browser. The camera can no longer exist apart from the connected world. It needs to be part of that ecosystem and be intuitive to get a photo from the camera to social media, printing service or cloud service. Clunky, hard to configure apps to bridge the camera to the Internet aren’t going to gain consumer support but a device that is easy and fun to use and provides positive feedback (likes on FB), would probably do pretty well. Just my $0.02 from listening to people say what they don’t like about their camera - that it is literally is a disconnected black box that does not fulfill the instant gratification people have come to need from an addiction to social media (BTW, that’s what I like about my camera - disconnected - so I would turn all this off 😀)
 
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You want a successful product strategy?
Where is apple’s entry level and mid level consumer laptop and desktop segment?
They exited the market and left it to HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and others to fight.
They ignore market share and focus on profitability and vertical manufacturing integration as well as horizontal ecosystem integration.
It takes a bold visionary leadership team to bring in these changes.
Not in the Japanese culture.
 
Many years ago when I bought the first iPhone, friends snickered and laughed and thought it was hilarious, a phone with a camera and a whole bunch of stuff in it just like a little computer! In those days when there were parties and gatherings, I was usually the one who had a camera with me and took shots of everybody having fun, blowing out birthday candles, whatever..... Fast-forward a few years and it had been a while for various reasons since many of us had gotten together. There was a party one afternoon to celebrate someone's birthday. I had a lot going on in my life just then and distracted, on the day of the party forgot to bring a camera, but I did have my iPhone. I was utterly astonished and rather amused as I watched most of the partygoers happily running around with THEIR iPhones or other cell phones, having the best time taking photos of each other! These were the same people who had laughed at the first iPhone and now here they were, all with their own iPhones in their pockets and purses, clutched in their hands, casually set on the table to quickly reach for and grab a few more shots.... That day I realized that it didn't matter that I'd forgotten my camera, and that what I was seeing was the demolition of the P&S industry and the rise of the cell phone camera.....

These were people who had at one time had a P&S in a drawer somewhere that they only got out once in a blue moon. These were people who would never have thought to buy a larger, more sophisticated camera to really pursue photography -- they were primarily interested in taking fun shots at social events and sharing them with friends and family online on FaceBook and such, and for them the cellphone was the perfect answer.

Now with cellphones becoming more and more sophisticated and AI taking over more and more of the control so that even someone who has never used a camera can actually pick up a cell phone and somehow manage to get a half-decent shot. A lot of people are going to think, why should they buy a larger camera when they've got this dandy little thing that fits right into a pocket, a purse, a bag? Why should they fool with learning how to edit images and spend hours trying to get the perfect shot of a bird swimming around on the water when all they want is a few snapshots of the family having fun on vacation? And, to boot, this little camera also makes and receives phone calls, too! :)

The P&S industry has been seriously hurt by the cellphone camera. Small pocketable P&S cameras seem to have gone by the wayside. If I recall correctly, Nikon does offer -- or did -- a bridge camera: a "superzoom" Coolpix, but I don't know how popular it has been. It is definitely not a pocketable camera! Sony offers the RX10 IV, which is a bridge camera, but it, too, is not something one can tuck into a pocket. It is about the size of a small DSLR, and its advantage is the fixed lens, which goes from 24mm-600mm (35mm equivalent on a 1-inch sensor). It's a dandy camera and quite versatile and useful, ideal for traveling, but again it may not meet everyone's needs. Sony has not updated it for some time and I suspect that there are no plans to do so. Sony is putting more of its energy into interchangeable lens cameras both APS-C and Full Frame. I suspect Nikon is doing the same, trying to develop their Z line of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras further at this time.

It would indeed be really cool if somehow the camera manufacturers could build some of the features that are so appealing about cell phone cameras into the larger cameras, but there may be logistical and technical reasons why that has not happened and cannot happen. In the meantime, I occasionally shoot with my iPhone, more often, with my RX10 IV, and most often with my lovely full-frame A7R IV and its lenses.
 
Joined
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Yes, and a new generation of digital users born with these devices have developed some amazing video editing skills, photography is a reflex.
Their composition skills are also amazing.
 
Joined
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You want a successful product strategy?
Where is apple’s entry level and mid level consumer laptop and desktop segment?
They exited the market and left it to HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and others to fight.
They ignore market share and focus on profitability and vertical manufacturing integration as well as horizontal ecosystem integration.
It takes a bold visionary leadership team to bring in these changes.
Not in the Japanese culture.
Apple is in an almost unique position of having a cult-like following.
If you want a Mac, you do NOT want a PC. So the people that want a Mac will ignore the PCs, and just PAY for the Macs.
In the PC world, it is much more price sensitive, and I don't think there is the brand loyalty that there used to be. And the PC market in total is LARGER than Mac.
I don't think that any of the major camera brands have the kind of following that Apple does, with both their computers and phones.

So, if NIkon (or Canon) is willing to settle for a yet smaller market, they could abandon the consumer market, to concentrate on the upper end amateur and pro markets. Their marketing has to change as there isn't the bridge to the higher end cameras, it is a system change, similar to going from a Canon T5, to a Nikon D850.

Canon has done just this with their mirrorless.
The APS-C M50 has a different mount than the FF R series. So they have hard separated APS-C from FF, and made the migration from APS-C to FF a system migration.
 
Joined
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You are right that one key difference between Apple and PC vendors is that PC vendors are putting together other people’s components and use someone else’s operating system.
That was their choice.

Apple took some very bold steps with their own operating system, trying to own the components as much as possible and creating the touch phone market.
PC vendors and camera manufacturers have zero ecosystem.
They focus on products and integration is an afterthought, relying on industry standards.

I only fully understood this when this year, through a series of accidents I moved from PC to Mac, then acquired an Apple Watch, AirPods Pro.
The level of integration with my existing Apple TV’s, iPhones and iTunes content is unbeatable.
It works.
If I want to communicate and exchange content (including my own vlogs and pictures) with my family (and work as the company I work for is MacOS) I do not leave that ecosystem.
And it works, hassle free.
The kids around me (3-9 year old) FaceTime us without trouble, sens us text messages.
Some are just starting to develop some video skills.
All my attempts to entice them with proper cameras have failed.
:-(
 
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The system of lenses and flash units that are fully operational only with a particular line of camera bodies certainly constitutes an ecosystem. It's not nearly as large as the Apple ecosystem but a lot larger than that of many other consumer product categories.
It is more an accessory range than ecosystem.
 
Thing is, often someone can use a flash unit or lighting system that is not manufactured by a particular camera company, and ditto for the lenses, too, for that matter. with a Nikon camera. Someone can readily purchase a third-party lens and stick it right on their Nikon (many third-party lenses have the appropriate native mount) or they do it using an adaptor. Same applies to Sony. Someone can buy a Sony body and then go out and buy a Tamron lens, a Sigma lens, and stick it on that body, and also can pick up a flash unit made by someone other than Sony. A consumer can buy a Nikon body and stick a Sigma or Tamron lens on it, too, easy-peasy. As for on-board camera body lighting, the Godox brand seems to be quite successfully making inroads into providing flash systems for many different camera brands and bodies.

This whole scenario is a rather different setup and not equivalent, really, to that internally-based system which has been established by Apple and referred to as its "walled garden," its ecosystem. You can't go out and legally purchase and install a copy of the Mac Operating system on your Windows machine, nor is your Samsung or some other brand of cell phone based on the Android platform going to work within the Apple ecosystem in the way that a genuine iPhone does. Ditto for tablets. Apple has been pretty protective of its products and ecosystem throughout the years and it really does work quite nicely.....
 
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This whole scenario is a rather different setup and not equivalent, really, to that internally-based system which has been established by Apple and referred to as its "walled garden," its ecosystem.
Of course it's not equivalent; Indeed, I explicitly mentioned that.

My childhood friend sent something to friends and she used the Apple ecosystem, aka walled garden, to create it. The people she sent it to that aren't Apple users couldn't review it. That's one heck of an ecosystem (expressed in my most sarcastic tone), especially considering that most people aren't Apple users and that she couldn't figure out how to send it so non-Apple users could review it. When it comes to the walled garden, the wall is certainly an apt metaphor; I'm far from convinced about the garden being an apt metaphor.
 

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