Nikon feels the squeeze
One of the most common posts found on camera websites is stories about ‘‘why I left Canon/ Nikon’’.
They outline how a once passionate photographer became disgruntled and switched to one of the smaller, more innovative camera makers.
It’s one example of how the dominance of Canon and Nikon is waning, despite still being the topselling manufacturers around the world
This is especially the case with Nikon, which has had a rough year. First, its sales were down 26 per cent last financial year and it made a significant loss. They are also losing market share in every camera category.
Next, it announced it was closing a camera factory in China. That was followed by the company saying it was to stop selling cameras and lenses in Brazil.
Then came news that Nikon dropped one place in the full frame camera market in the United States with Sony taking its spot. Canon is still No.1.
They are the sort of results that makes you compare Nikon to Kodak, which failed to transition from film to digital and eventually filed for bankruptcy.
Nikon, which still makes excellent cameras, is not going to disappear anytime soon, but it does need to do two things: innovate and try harder to win over camera fans.
Companies like Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic are more innovative and willing to take risks. They have all been aggressively releasing mirrorless cameras that are becoming more popular as the tech becomes comparable with traditional DSLRs.
And while Canon and Nikon still have hardcore fans, more people are flocking to online communities created by the smaller manufacturers.
Winning the hearts of fans is key in an industry that’s dominated by social media. Nikon can’t survive by just relying on its famous name to sell cameras.
All camera makers face tough times. Smartphones have eaten away at their sales and profits and the good times are long gone.
What’s left is an all-out fight for survival.
Nikon is showing signs of a fight back. A few months ago it revealed it was releasing a new high-end mirrorless camera but it’ll need more than a new model to stop it from the same fate as Kodak.
All camera makers face tough times.