The Future of Camera Gear

Oct 15, 2008
Houston, as little as possible.
We already know some things:

Nikon will go forward with 4 optical viewfinder (OVF) cameras, D5/D6, D850, D750/successor, D7500.
Nikon's new product announcements have shifted to electronic viewfinder cameras or mirrorless (EVF) and related Z mount lenses.
Sales of OVF cameras have been falling. Sales of EVF cameras have leveled off after a few years of growth.
Not only was the Z6/Z7 introduction not market by extreme product shortages, prices fell soon after the introduction.

Some analysis: I believe two things have driven the decline in interchangeable lens camera sales. Existing models are good enough for most consumers. Buyers of low end OVF cameras are not photography hobbyists. They see no need to upgrade. High end OVF cameras are also good enough for most hobby and pro photographers to keep using until they wear out. Improvements in mobile phone cameras which initially wiped out the compact digital camera and non interchangeable lens categories now are cutting into the low end interchangeable lens camera segment. Camera manufacturers had hoped to start an upgrade cycle with EVF cameras, but it hasn't taken off as well as they would like.

Predictions: The DX/APS-C OVF camera segment will be the first to go away. Releases of new lenses for OVF cameras are stalled and will likely be very scarce in the future. New investment will be overwhelmingly in the EVF category. This is not only at Nikon. It is highly likely Nikon will be acquired by another company given weak financial results, declines in the stepper market and their recent pullback in sport optics. However, it could be their vision is to become a boutique company like Leica.
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