Now Nikon is on the ropes?

Biro

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Most Japanese public issue manufacturers are encountering activist investors who insist—in a very low interest rate environment worldwide—on positive, tangible returns from all departments of a company. Eyes were on Olympus for its scandals and for its dominant medical 'scope position, and long-term pressure forced the Imaging divestment. Same for Panasonic and its sensors, and Panasonic is still under criticism.

It's a combination of disruptive tech and investment eyes on performance; 2 disruptions. Olympus has 1/10th market share of even a diminished Nikon.
Truer words were never spoken. I spent 16 years in the financial news business. And, frankly, Wall Street needs a spanking. They're a bunch of spoiled children who demand that money be loaned free (to them, not consumers) forever and that they receive unreasonably high returns on any and every company they buy shares in.

Frankly, our financial system is broken and if these demands are allowed to continue indefinitely, we're likely to experience a total collapse. And I don't mean a 2007-08 type of collapse. I mean much worse and much more long-term than that.

Companies that survived the Great Depression can't survive now - because of the insane profits demanded by activist investors and those who think like them. No one is allowed to plan beyond three or four quarters because investors want their money now.
 
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phigmov

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As an aside, people seem to be dumping their D600 & D800 cams.

How do they rate in comparison to the EM5 / EM1 sensors?
Asking for a friend... mainly macro, cats, bees, occasional low-light.

If they're anything like my D700 (or F for that matter) they'll outlive my EM5 whether Nikon is still around or not.
 

BDR-529

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As an aside, people seem to be dumping their D600 & D800 cams.
How do they rate in comparison to the EM5 / EM1 sensors?
Asking for a friend... mainly macro, cats, bees, occasional low-light.
2012 D800 (and later D810) was using 36.4MP Sony IMX094 which, according to DxOMark, was the best FF sensor of it's day scoring 95 points (Sony A7 III scored 100).

Apparently this sensor is still in production because Pentax K1 and K1 II are using 36.4MP sensor which has identical properties (like same unusual resolution and 4fps limit on bursts). Sounds feasible because K1 was launched around the same time when D810 successor D850 (launched 2017) was already known to use different 45MP sensor.

EDIT: now that I read DxOMark review for D810 it looks like that used somewhat improved version of the same sensor (optical low-pass filter was removed) and the new processor was able to squeeze more performance out of it so go for D810 instead of D800 if price is around the same level.

"When compared side-by-side with the D810’s forerunners it’s apparent that the firm is using a modified sensor permitting a wider dynamic range. Color depth and low-light capabilities remain on a par with the earlier models. For those that like to compare the stats, there’s approximately a +1/3 stop improvement in color depth over the D800, around a +1/2 stop extra dynamic range over both and more or less the same low-light performance. "
 
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exakta

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My son-in-law works in one of Nikon's medical subsidiaries. Like Olympus, that niche is profitable.

BTW I recently saw a bunch of Fuji medical gear in some TV news items about companies manufacturing vaccines.
 

davidzvi

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......the other main flaw is their S lenses's price compare to the competitors......
Nikon's f/1.2 and f/2.8 zooms are less than Canon's or Panasonic's and about the same as Sony's. Only the f/1.8s are more from hat I've seen. And Nikon released their f/4 zooms and f/1.8 primes while all that Canon had was at the time was f/1.2 primes or f/2 & f/2.8 zooms. You could buy into Nikon for much less Canon initially and the Z6/7 are better (IMHO) than the R/RP.
.....It's not just the Nikon 1. They never really had their heart in APS-C, either. Every Nikon line of cameras was crippled in some way. If you wanted all the top line features in a Nikon, you always had to go to their full-frame DSLR's.

Nikon was forced to finally acknowledge their mistake when they started losing money big time a few years ago. Their Z line of cameras is quite good but I'm afraid it may have come too late. Perhaps the Nikon brand will survive, but it may not remain an independent company.
I agree that Nikon never supported APS-C with glass, but it wasn't until they tried to merge D300 and D90 into the D7000 that they crippled their APS-C bodies. The D300, D700, and D3 had a lot of the same tech. Then it was a 4-5 year mistake (the D4 years) until they released the D500, D850, and D5. And for that release they released the D500 and D5 together with the D850 later; the same thing they did with the D300, D3, and D700.

I'm not sure why "Nikon was too late"? The Z6/7 were announced before either the R or RP was announced. Is it just because Canon had the M series?

As an aside, people seem to be dumping their D600 & D800 cams....
People have been dumping the D600 since it was released with oil spotting issues, I dumped mine. (Or more specifically I dumped the D610 when Nikon replaced my D600 with a new D610.)
 

phigmov

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People have been dumping the D600 since it was released with oil spotting issues, I dumped mine. (Or more specifically I dumped the D610 when Nikon replaced my D600 with a new D610.)
Amusingly, I just picked up a D600 for a song this afternoon. Looking forward to having a few more pixels to play with than my D700. Hopefully delivered in the next day or two :)
 

NCV

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What do you mean mistake of trying to compete with FF? You think they would have succeeded better if they would have kept releasing only similar small lenses (which were already in their arsenal), and not make Pro-lenses? While everyone currently seems to focus on enthusiast & professional markets in camera industry to make a profit.
I have always thought that the small lightweight Panasonic 2.8 zooms were much better thought out than the larger heavier Olympus alternatives.

My EM5 with the 12-35 and 35-100 were and are a great travel/hiking combination.

The huge heavy 7-14 was a big mistake on my part. I never got on with this lens, it got left at home when I hiked. Probably this lens was the reason I saw no point in persevering with M43.
 

RS86

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I have always thought that the small lightweight Panasonic 2.8 zooms were much better thought out than the larger heavier Olympus alternatives.

My EM5 with the 12-35 and 35-100 were and are a great travel/hiking combination.

The huge heavy 7-14 was a big mistake on my part. I never got on with this lens, it got left at home when I hiked. Probably this lens was the reason I saw no point in persevering with M43.
Yeah, well the strength of M43 system is having two companies providing cameras and lenses. Not sure why Olympus should make identical lenses themselves. I have seen many love the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 lens for it's small size compared to similar lenses from other systems.

Of course for many it's a no-brainer to choose FF if you shoot only wide to normal focal lengths. But as we have seen from pdk42 named member, even then it's not a no-brainer for everyone.
 
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bargainguy

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KeyMission cameras. Anyone remember those? It's not that long ago.

Seemed like Nikon wanted to compete in the GoPro / Sony RX0 market, so they dolled up a line of action cameras. Only thing, market was already saturated, and when KeyMission arrived, it was with a thud. Who knows how many billions lost in that development.

When Nikon tried to reinvent itself as an action camera company, it veered off the path that got them going in the first place, namely, pro and prosumer cameras and lenses. You can only stray so much from your brand identity before people ask what's going on.
 

NCV

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For the doom and gloomers lifted from Tom Hogan's site

I've been getting an uptick in "Nikon is doomed, what should I do?" emails this past week, partly because of sensationalized headlines of news scraping Web sites that finally got around to covering some earlier Japanese press articles that articulated some of the stresses on Nikon and what the company is doing about it. These panicked emailers apparently didn't read the article I pointed to on Seeking Alpha.

So let me say this: yes, Nikon is under deep stress because both divisions that produce almost all of their sales are undergoing simultaneous cyclical and market issues. Being under stress doesn't mean going out of business or exiting a business. Moreover, I've never seen a company so tight about micromanaging financials as Nikon. They built up cash and and preloaded some debt—they're not highly in debt—because they saw their problems coming long before any Nikkei article appeared or news scraper Web site decided to publish doom and gloom headlines. Unless there's some clear catastrophe that no one has foreseen—and I truly mean catastrophe—Nikon will come out of their current problems smaller and more focused, and yes, profitable. The company itself predicts this will happen in their next fiscal year.

What people forget is that Nikon Imaging has "failed" in the true consumer camera marketplace not this once, not twice, not thrice, but at least four times that I can count in my lifetime. At the end of the film SLR era, their market share had dropped badly and was approaching 20%. By refocusing, and mostly on high enthusiast and pro offerings (D1, D1h, D1x, D100), Nikon increased their market share by 50% over the course of a few years. I wouldn't bet against them doing it again.

What I do worry about, and have pointed out for dozens of years now, is that Nikon has never embraced the customer in the high enthusiast/pro camera market. By embrace, I mean engage in meaningful communication with them, and treat them well. Like customers you want to keep selling to over time. This is a friction against their continued success, and it needs to stop. Nikon is still operating on 1950's IBM-style management advice, and it shows.
 

Brownie

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For the doom and gloomers lifted from Tom Hogan's site

I've been getting an uptick in "Nikon is doomed, what should I do?" emails this past week, partly because of sensationalized headlines of news scraping Web sites that finally got around to covering some earlier Japanese press articles that articulated some of the stresses on Nikon and what the company is doing about it. These panicked emailers apparently didn't read the article I pointed to on Seeking Alpha.

So let me say this: yes, Nikon is under deep stress because both divisions that produce almost all of their sales are undergoing simultaneous cyclical and market issues. Being under stress doesn't mean going out of business or exiting a business. Moreover, I've never seen a company so tight about micromanaging financials as Nikon. They built up cash and and preloaded some debt—they're not highly in debt—because they saw their problems coming long before any Nikkei article appeared or news scraper Web site decided to publish doom and gloom headlines. Unless there's some clear catastrophe that no one has foreseen—and I truly mean catastrophe—Nikon will come out of their current problems smaller and more focused, and yes, profitable. The company itself predicts this will happen in their next fiscal year.

What people forget is that Nikon Imaging has "failed" in the true consumer camera marketplace not this once, not twice, not thrice, but at least four times that I can count in my lifetime. At the end of the film SLR era, their market share had dropped badly and was approaching 20%. By refocusing, and mostly on high enthusiast and pro offerings (D1, D1h, D1x, D100), Nikon increased their market share by 50% over the course of a few years. I wouldn't bet against them doing it again.

What I do worry about, and have pointed out for dozens of years now, is that Nikon has never embraced the customer in the high enthusiast/pro camera market. By embrace, I mean engage in meaningful communication with them, and treat them well. Like customers you want to keep selling to over time. This is a friction against their continued success, and it needs to stop. Nikon is still operating on 1950's IBM-style management advice, and it shows.
You're really going to need to stop injecting logic and facts into these debates. It's akin to peeing in everyone's cornflakes.
 

RS86

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For the doom and gloomers lifted from Tom Hogan's site

Nikon will come out of their current problems smaller and more focused, and yes, profitable.
Sounds pretty familiar to Olympus & JIP transaction. But yeah, we hear from doom mongers that it won't happen and JIP only destroys companies instantly.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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What I do worry about, and have pointed out for dozens of years now, is that Nikon has never embraced the customer in the high enthusiast/pro camera market. By embrace, I mean engage in meaningful communication with them, and treat them well. Like customers you want to keep selling to over time. This is a friction against their continued success, and it needs to stop. Nikon is still operating on 1950's IBM-style management advice, and it shows.
I've actually heard this very sentiment from some loyal Nikon users I know. They say many Nikon users have this inclination to leave the brand when deciding to go mirrorless, because they assume they will have to start over anyway, seemingly unaware that adapters are available for their lenses. It's not even that Nikon isn't seeking input from their loyal customers, it's that they aren't really trying to reach their customers at all through modern means (YouTube, forums, social media). I'm paraphrasing, so not my thoughts there. For a company as in-tune with their finances as they claim to be, maybe they should check on the pulse of their customers.
 
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Biro

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I'm not sure why "Nikon was too late"? The Z6/7 were announced before either the R or RP was announced. Is it just because Canon had the M series?
I say Nikon may have been too late with the Z series because the company is already in financial trouble. And, even if the system sells reasonably well, it's a much smaller pie these days than even five years ago.

If the Z series (or something like it) came out about the time that, say, the Sony A7 II came out, the company may have been in a better position to enjoy the growth of the full-frame mirrorless market. A lot of photographers have already switched to Sony because it was first in this market and refined its cameras earliest.

I believe Nikon is in the middle of an existential crisis. It might pull through. But I think its days as a fully independent company may be numbered. Unlike most of camera companies, Nikon is pretty much imaging only. Already, it seems to be a given that Sony will be among the survivors. The jury is still out on most others, except for Canon.

Nikon's painfully conservative nature might yet prove to be fatal -- or perhaps mean that it will become the next Pentax.
 
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