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03-14-2011, 11:37 AM   #1
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Japanese Earthquake and the Impact on Camera Manufacturers

Earthquake Impact on Japanese Photo Industry, TIPA reports | Facebook Nikon news release.

It looks like there will be shortages of Nikon DSLRs as they were made in Sendai. It doesn't really say anything about Pentax though.

I purchased a K-5 on Friday fearing there could be a shortage as I needed one by July.

All the best to the Japanese people, they've come through during tough times before and we know they will pull through again. There's no one more resilient than the Japanese people!

Last edited by nah; 03-14-2011 at 11:48 AM.
03-14-2011, 12:01 PM   #2
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Well has a press release up on its site, but only in Japanese (yet).

Looks like operations will be delayed: read google-fied version (and the original version here)
03-14-2011, 11:36 PM   #3
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Not to draw a facile parallel, but... Some years ago, when Windows was young IIRC, a certain ceramics plant in Japan was destroyed -- industrial explosion, I think. The plant was run by Kyocera (Kyoto Ceramics, owner of Yashica) and made packaging for microchips. Rather, it made THE VAST MAJORITY of the world's memory chip packaging. Rebuilding the plant took over a year and cost billions (in today's bucks).

And this was a major blow to the world semiconductor market. Memory chip prices had been steadily dropping, giving us cheaper faster computers and other digital devices. That trend stopped for a couple years. RAM stayed expensive, which slowed the adoption of memory-intensive applications, and suppressed computer sales to the general public. I'll guess that growth of the 'Net was delayed for at least a couple years in consequence.

That one long plant closure impacted global economics. These quakes and tsunami have more-or-less wrecked how many plants? How many Japanese factories that churn out necessary components of our global technical infrastructure will be shut down for an extended period? This isn't just cameras and cars, but many areas of electronics, optics, toolmaking, engineering, et al. I suspect we'll feel the economic impact for a l-o-n-g time.
03-17-2011, 09:02 AM   #4
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Me and the family are going to Best Buy later so my younger son can look at some new 3D gaming system coming out (Nintendo?) for his birthday in a few weeks. Unlike me, he's smart--and doesn't know if it's worth it.

Anyway, the disaster has supposedly delayed shipment, but the stores still have demo models set up for display.

03-17-2011, 09:05 AM   #5
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And Rio:

Isn't it comforting to know that after a week, neither CNN or FOX has said a word about this!?
03-17-2011, 03:49 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nah Quote
It doesn't really say anything about Pentax though.
Adorama put up this status report:
UPDATED: Japan Photo Industry Affected by Earthquake and Tsunami from Adorama Learning Center

The Pentax comment is:
Hoya Corporation, which owns Pentax, reports that several employees were slightly injured but none seriously. Some production facilities were damaged, although the company is still trying to assess. It isn't known how the camera and lens facilities have been effeccted but due to traffic problems and blackouts, production has been disrupted.
03-18-2011, 07:53 AM   #7
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Common sense would lead us to the conclusion that there is going to be quite a disruption in the supply chain of electronics. Our cameras, which are more of a modern electronic device than mechanical, are assembled from parts made by sub-contractors from all over Asia. As I'm typing this, CNN is reporting a GM plant is closing because of a parts shortage. Modern industry doesn't stock more than a few days of inventory at any time. On time logistics is a huge business these days. This allows manufacturers to monitor sales closely and adjust output quickly without large stocks of parts which could end as scrap if not used. An efficient business doesn't have much inventory. A disaster like this is a huge roadblock and will affect a lot of products no matter where they are made because Japan makes a lot of parts found in them.

It's only a matter of time until the wearers of the tin foil hats start harping on radioactive products coming from Japan. I also saw a news story on that this morning.
03-18-2011, 08:39 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
And Rio:

Isn't it comforting to know that after a week, neither CNN or FOX has said a word about this!?
I don't watch telly.

I get all my news from BoingBoing.

And sometimes SensibleErection.

And ArtJournal.

Telly? Feh.

05-09-2011, 04:24 PM   #9
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I'd just like to pass along this little bit of info regarding the disaster's effect on the economy and things other than the camera world. I work at a MINI dealership as a tech. At the end of the day today, one of the salesmen told me that we can't order any more cars with automatic transmissions (made by Aisin) or navigation. That really sucks for the salesmen since their salary is commission-based.

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