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06-08-2019, 06:16 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Nikon recommendation: sell! sell! sell!

... just to look at it from business perspective.

When we read what their own forecasts say about the new business year then the customer and money exodus will continue if not gain speed.

Nikon's own predition is that they'll loose more market share in all areas and at the same time the absolute market size will continue to shrink as well.

Profit per ILC product (both cameras and lenses) sold will drop from 4207 yen to 2857 yen (-32%). That is $26 operating profit per camera or lens.

I hope nobody remains wondering why Nikon has all these quality issues. What do you think, how many hours you can spend on quality inspecting an item when your profits are $26 for the whole thingy?

The worst three parts are:
a) in the past Nikon's forecasts had a very strong tendency to be overoptimistic, so reality is likely to be worse than what is shown
b) the chart strongly suggests that after a little more than one more year of decline at recent speeds, their whole imaging business could become a loss-maker. And that is a 6 year trend now.
c) nothing in the report mentions the need to give massive discounts on underwhelming products briefly after market introduction. In Germany the Z7 fell from 3700 EUR to 2700 EUR (-27%) in less than 5 months. No way that is not eating a lot of profitability. It took the D7200 3.5 years for such a devaluation.

I mean, who would invest thousands of dollars into a system and mount with this poor outlook? Nikon 1 anyone? Olympus mFT anyone? Sony A-Mount anyone?

Stagnancy is a lot better by comparison than free fall.

The Ricoh guys seem to be much better at that game from business perspective. Let's hope they never start doing what Nikon has done. Be different.

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06-08-2019, 06:31 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Darwin "Those who survive are not the biggest and strongest, but those with the ability to adapt to change." We'll see how they do. But right now it's inconceivable that they'd fail, well apart from the fact ash they will probably never get another cent of my money. There are enough people who aren't me that they have a fighting chance. I know many Nikon users who love their gear. That in itself is a great asset that doesn't show up on the balance sheet.
06-08-2019, 06:32 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Being content with my Pentax gear doesn't help any camera company, not even Ricoh.

---------- Post added 08-06-19 at 15:38 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
That in itself is a great asset that doesn't show up on the balance sheet.
The potential markets for ILC can be much larger than the numbers indicate in the balance sheet. There are a lot of people who have 10 years old DSLR still using them and never showing up in internet forums and market survey. I've seen guys who use their cameras and make prints without making any noise about it, and not even interested and aware of what's the latest models etc. One day their camera starts to bug and they decide to buy something new to replace it, and reappear as a customer after a decade of absence. Pentax has many used like that, that Ricoh isn't even aware of.
06-08-2019, 06:46 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Being content with my Pentax gear doesn't help any camera company, not even Ricoh.
Accept it's much easier for Pentax to come out with the latest greatest thing. They have a chance to sell to you if it appeals to you. The DA 55-300 came out. My first thought was "After my Sigma 70-300, I just don't want that class of lens." Then pop photography or somebody, I don't remember who called it "best in class". And the test sites showed it had really quick AF. And the Pentax engineers intimated they'd reduced the size of the fucsing group and over aperture to accommodate the pulse motor. AT the same time they added extra elements and groups for better CA control. All intriguing stuff. So I bought one.

The chance I would have changed brands to get this lens is 0. But since I'm relatively content with my Pentax gear, they could pry $500 out of my wallet. If I wasn't content with my Pentax gear, they couldn't have pried a dime out of the change pocket. Content customers creates the base for further sales.


Last edited by normhead; 06-09-2019 at 05:15 AM.
06-08-2019, 07:05 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Darwin "Those who survive are not the biggest and strongest, but those with the ability to adapt to change."
While that is true, it is too short and doesn't address the question "what to adapt to".

Sony did once adapt to change and they went down the brand new Betamax route ...
06-08-2019, 07:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
While that is true, it is too short and doesn't address the question "what to adapt to".

Sony did once adapt to change and they went down the brand new Betamax route ...
"Those who survive are not the biggest and the strongest but those who successfully adapt to change. "

Better?
Seriously, that was implied.
06-08-2019, 07:40 AM - 3 Likes   #7
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What's curious to me is why traditional camera companies aren't pushing harder into the smartphone, service, and software markets after having realized that demand for entry-level cameras is dwindling, and upgrade cycles are becoming longer for advanced users.

At least Ricoh has the Theta!

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06-08-2019, 09:09 AM   #8
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Companies fear many things.

I agree that reaching out to the smartphone users would give them a chance to survive better.

I guess the best approach would be a partnership with one of the major phone makers.

The camera manufacturers are all very weak on the software side, which more and more becomes key in any digitized industry.

Somehow they must build a better bridge between a user with a $500 smartphone (where the user probably would assign only $200 value to the photography plus video part) and a $5000 ILC kit.

06-08-2019, 09:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
Companies fear many things.

I agree that reaching out to the smartphone users would give them a chance to survive better.

I guess the best approach would be a partnership with one of the major phone makers.

The camera manufacturers are all very weak on the software side, which more and more becomes key in any digitized industry.

Somehow they must build a better bridge between a user with a $500 smartphone (where the user probably would assign only $200 value to the photography plus video part) and a $5000 ILC kit.
I heard a software analyst a while ago saying the DSLR company to survive would be the one who incorporated the most cell phone features into their cameras. However, personally, I remaing unconvinced. Given the GPS unit in the K-1, a GPS app would be nice though. It would save me from carrying both my GPS and a camera. I like to know where the image was taken, but I also like to know where I'm going.
06-08-2019, 09:46 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
I mean, who would invest thousands of dollars into a system and mount with this poor outlook? Nikon 1 anyone? Olympus mFT anyone? Sony A-Mount anyone?
If I had to look into a crystal ball, I see Canon, Fuji, Sony and Panasonic (MFT for video only) surviving the tsunami. I have seen a good number of $10-20 billion dollar main-frame computer companies (DEC, Wang, Data General, etc.) disappear overnight. The reason was the proliferation of personal computers. I think cell phones and alike devices will kill most of the camera companies. Miniaturization has been around and getting bigger. If they apply it to the camera industry in the form of more capable cell phones and such, we will see a lot more traditional camera companies disappear. Prime example in photo industry are the point-n-shoot cameras. They are just about dead because of cell phones. I hope Pentax survives this tsunami. My love of Pentax goes way back to the days of Asahi branded cameras. It was my dream to own one as a teen... and that was a looooonnnnng time ago!
06-08-2019, 10:36 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
If I had to look into a crystal ball, I see Canon, Fuji, Sony and Panasonic (MFT for video only) surviving the tsunami. I have seen a good number of $10-20 billion dollar main-frame computer companies (DEC, Wang, Data General, etc.) disappear overnight. The reason was the proliferation of personal computers. I think cell phones and alike devices will kill most of the camera companies. Miniaturization has been around and getting bigger. If they apply it to the camera industry in the form of more capable cell phones and such, we will see a lot more traditional camera companies disappear. Prime example in photo industry are the point-n-shoot cameras. They are just about dead because of cell phones. I hope Pentax survives this tsunami. My love of Pentax goes way back to the days of Asahi branded cameras. It was my dream to own one as a teen... and that was a looooonnnnng time ago!
Also true of software:
  • WordPerfect (private company)
  • Borland/dBase
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Netscape
off the top of my head
06-08-2019, 11:12 AM - 3 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
What's curious to me is why traditional camera companies aren't pushing harder into the smartphone, service, and software markets after having realized that demand for entry-level cameras is dwindling, and upgrade cycles are becoming longer for advanced users.

At least Ricoh has the Theta!
Back in 2015 Apple had some 800 engineers and other specialists dedicated to the iPhone camera (then the iPhone 7s). Who knows what that number is now, but I imagine Samsung has at least as many working on their phone cameras.

What would the traditional camera companies bring to the party? Smartphone cameras are marvels of miniaturization, not exactly the forte of the traditional camera manufacturers. Software? Can they out-software Apple of Google? Service? ROFL.

Today's smartphone is the 1960's Brownie Hawkeye; the 1970's-80's Polaroid One-Step; and the recent point-and-shoot pocket digital. You take a picture, capture a moment, and share with your friends and folks. Except the sharing is easier than ever. Today we just take the picture and then touch the screen a few times, and the image is on its way to just about anybody or everybody.

It seems to me that traditional camera companies should focus on those folks interested in photography rather than selfies, cute cats, and documenting their food at the restaurant. In other words, I would say to them, "Cobbler, stick to thy last."
06-08-2019, 11:16 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
If I had to look into a crystal ball, I see Canon, Fuji, Sony and Panasonic (MFT for video only) surviving the tsunami. I have seen a good number of $10-20 billion dollar main-frame computer companies (DEC, Wang, Data General, etc.) disappear overnight. The reason was the proliferation of personal computers. I think cell phones and alike devices will kill most of the camera companies. Miniaturization has been around and getting bigger. If they apply it to the camera industry in the form of more capable cell phones and such, we will see a lot more traditional camera companies disappear. Prime example in photo industry are the point-n-shoot cameras. They are just about dead because of cell phones. I hope Pentax survives this tsunami. My love of Pentax goes way back to the days of Asahi branded cameras. It was my dream to own one as a teen... and that was a looooonnnnng time ago!
For Canon to survive, they have to get their act together on the video side and stop crippleing it to hell on their DSLR's/MILC's.

---------- Post added 06-08-19 at 11:25 AM ----------

And for software side, the dslr companies should invest a small bit more money in their proprietary camera systems, it doesnt have to compete with LR or similiar softwares, but if it was a step up or 2 better than what it is now, most photographers (at least those getting into photography & dont have the money for a ES or havent gotten one yet) can say "look at this cool photo I did using Xyz's Camera Company's software"
06-08-2019, 11:27 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
I mean, who would invest thousands of dollars into a system and mount with this poor outlook?
Nikon is DOOOOMED!!! Yes, numbers don't lie, but there are legions of photographers, institutions, and governments already invested in the system, that aren't going to jump ship because of forecasts.

For example, one of my hats is Yearbook Advisor. 19 years ago when we first went digital, our school photographer gifted to us a Fujifilm S1 DSLR. He knew we wanted and needed an SLR and in 2000, that camera was way cheaper than anything Canon or Nikon or Kodak had to offer. But because the Fujifilm used a Nikon lens mount, my school invested in Nikkor lenses. An S3 eventually replaced the S1 which eventually was replaced with a Nikon D200.

When the K5 was released, I wanted to start transitioning our all Nikon system to Pentax, but our admin refused. And even recently when a D300s had to be sent in for repairs and Nikon no longer had parts, for $200 they replaced it with a refurbished D500.

So I'd agree with @normhead that loyalty matters, but also bottomline logic.

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
What's curious to me is why traditional camera companies aren't pushing harder into the smartphone, service, and software markets after having realized that demand for entry-level cameras is dwindling, and upgrade cycles are becoming longer for advanced users.
Unfortunately I think the reason is that they (employees, management, supply chain, and facilities) weren't created from the ground up to design, manufacture, market, and compete against the smartphone universe. Why doesn't Toyota or Ford make airplanes to compete with Boeing and Airbus? Honda tried to expand into aviation and failed. Or why doesn't the inventor of the lightbulb, a giant in their time, GE, make lightbulbs anymore? Is going from tungsten to CFL to LED that hard? I actually had hopes that Kodak's Ektra would have been a better smartphone choice over an iPhone....but it wasn't.
06-08-2019, 11:28 AM - 5 Likes   #15
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Canikony have wanted to play on the global stage, and they ride the wave accordingly.

However...not everyone wants to play that game...as in an honest business decision.

Pentax/Ricoh is in every Bic and Yodobashi in Japan. The Pentax/Ricoh section in those stores is on par with everyone else. Pentax/Ricoh is a Japanese camera company. Period. Here in the west, our myopic view is not accurate concerning what Pentax/Ricoh is doing. When the shelves carrying Pentax/Ricoh start disappearing in Japan, is when I will start to worry. Pentax/Ricoh will never be a Canikony...and they never wanted/want to be.
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