Wow! Just....wow. Nikon announced three models of one inch sensor, fixed lens cameras in three different zoom ranges, including one that might have competed with our favorite Sony camera, the RX10iii; and now they have announced the cancellation of all three products. They cited delays in the development of the image processor as well as the stumbling camera market.
Is this a (scary) tipping point for Nikon? Or will they circle the wagons around their DSLR position and retrench back into the cameras they feel they know best?
I wrote a few weeks ago that Nikon needed to focus like a laser on their core market if they were to move forward. They need to get back to producing their full frame DSLRs but they need to make sure that there are no more issues that lead to highly publicized recalls; like the D600 oil spots on the sensor and the various mirror path design/implementation issues that plagued the D750.
I'm coming to believe that the days of having a business model built around offering something at every single price point and in every style are quickly coming to a close. It's almost impossible for a company to fight their own DNA and to make both an ultimately capable and distinguished flagship model, like a D3 or a D5, or a D500, and also a line of inexpensive models that seem to have no real market strategy or position, like the Coolpix series.
The writing was on the wall even before the announcement of the DL discontinuation when Nikon more or less stopped all support for the interchangeable lens, one inch family of cameras they created.
One imagines that they'll now pursue a strategy of building more strength in their core, DSLR line-up and offering traditionalists solid models that fit well researched price points.
The tragedy for Nikon will be that the traditionalists' market is quickly shrinking and what's left of that camera buying demographic is embracing the smaller and more advanced alternatives from Sony, Olympus, et al.
Canon, on the other hand, seems to be making inroads in the very same mirrorless market that is eating Nikon's lunch. The M5, while not ready for my camera bag, is a big move in the right direction and has been well reviewed in some corners.
While Nikon seems to have a hit with their APS-C, D500, is the cancellation of the DL series an indicator that they changed too little, too late?
Or perhaps the overwhelming performances of cameras like the Sony RX10iii were too much to compete with...
Interesting news with which to start the week.