What Does the Future Hold for Nikon?

There has been a lot said about Nikon's financial situation and its future in the industry, with a lot of speculation flying back and forth. This great video essay takes a deep dive into the numbers behind Nikon's current state of affairs, what they mean for the future of the company, and what they will mean for the industry.

Coming to you from Matt Irwin Photography, this fantastic video essay discusses Nikon's current state of affairs and the future of the company. There has been a lot of doom and gloom said about the company, with some people believing we nearing the end of its presence in the industry. I do not shoot Nikon cameras and do not have a horse in the race, but I know I would certainly be disappointed to see them disappear from the industry. Besides being one of the mainstays of the photo world for a century now, I think it is always good to have more competition, both to push progress and innovation forward and to encourage more affordable prices for consumers, so I certainly hope the company is around for a while to come. Check out the video above for Irwin's full thoughts on Nikon.

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20 Comments

J. W.'s picture

Why are there so many “Is Nikon is dying” articles? The constant barrage or articles like this will influence new buyers to keep away and thus fulfilling the Nikon is dead prophecy. Just report the news and not speculation.

I know these articles probably get lots of clicks from the Nikon aficionados and Sony fanboys that want a major company to fall because, well I don't know why but they do. But are clicks really worth it? Losing a big player will just drive prices up.

Mister Mike's picture

Nikon dropped the ball with the Z6 and Z7, the Z6II and Z7II were better efforts, and their reviews reflect as much. Sony got slammed for the A7 and A7r and responded with much better cameras in the A7 II and A7R II, then took even bigger leaps with the A7 III and A7R III

This is business, this isn't about fanboyism. If this was a fanboy situation, then Nikon wouldn't have an issue b/c it had such a big market share for so long, and the D850 was such a huge hit.

Lastly, this video points to the idea that things could be bright for Nikon.

John Kelsey's picture

Have you used a Z6 or Z7?? or are you just repeating the garbage you hear?

Mister Mike's picture

I own a Z6 and use Sony extensively.

"[Managing Executive Officer Hirotaka] Ikegami, in an interview with Toyo Keizai, says that Nikon’s poor showing can be directly tied to its slow transition to mirrorless."

Also....

“I wasn’t afraid of conflict (with SLR cameras), but rather I wasn’t looking at the market calmly and objectively,” he says, translated from Japanese. “I was most concerned about how much the performance of the electronic viewfinder (EVF) can be improved, and the number of shots can be increased.”

Attacking me doesn't change the fact that Nikon's own execs feel like they could have made better decisions with their approach to mirrorless.

Pavlos Honderich's picture

Not to parrot John, but have you used those cameras? They're excellent. The only major fault at launch was the AF and even then mainly AF-C and auto area. To boot Canon's AF was equally riddled with issues.

Firmware 2 and certainly firmware 3 left the original zed cameras with excellent AF. Not as fast or sure as Sony or Canon, but very very capable and Ajay close behind.

Furthermore, AF is not the only feature of a camera. Given the amazing if not superior Z line of lenses and image quality I'd say Nikon has the better overall product. Yup, Nikon takes a Sony built sensor, customized it in the Z7 and does a better job with readout than Sony did.

Point being I'd give much higher props to the lenses and IQ than the AF as the later can be mostly corrected in firmware and again is extremely good. Try watching Many Ortiz's comparison or DpReview rather than Jared Polin let alone Tony Northrup...

Mister Mike's picture

To parrot myself. I own a Z6 and use Sony extensively.

Canon's R AF was catching up to Sony due to firmware.

No, AF isn't the only feature of a camera, but if everything else is fairly equal, why would I (if I was new to photography or willing to switch) choose the inferior AF?

Z lenses are top-notch, but it'd be hard to find a bad lens from any manufacturer at this point. Even third-party lenses have caught up. The other two companies also have unique lenses(12-24, 28-70f2, 800f11, etc).

I've watched it all, Manny (who was also critical), Fro (who also gave credit to the improvements for the Z6/7II) DPReview, Tony, etc. They all have their merits and downfalls when it comes to reviews. I take all of the info and make my own opinion.

chris bryant's picture

I have to agree with you. Scare mongering sometimes ends up in a self-fulfilling prophecy. As a Sony and Leica user I want Nikon there and healthy.

Fritz Asuro's picture

It's because of the internet community and those YouTube "experts" fault.

Dave Haynie's picture

Huge losses, basucally, They posted a $430 million loss in FY2020, and they're headed for an over $700 million loss in FY2021. From a company with a $2.4 bilion market cap, that is some seious bleeding.

Johann Gustafson's picture

I mean if you look at the financials, speak with new users or prospective consumers, or even run a sentiment analysis on YouTube just for Nikon associated words in a basic scatter analysis you will see that Nikons reputation and favorability is sinking like an anvil in a swimming pool. At the end of the day most users don’t give a damn about the brand name on their equipment so they just find the best one for the job. Also users want the latest and greatest tech. Nikons tech is now a few generations behind Sony and Canon. Sales data all reflects this. Even in the pandemic Sony and canons 2020 releases beat expectations... Nikon not so much.

Jim Cutler's picture

Hi Johann, Nikon is really not generations behind Sony and Canon. But I think you are correct about everything else you said. There is nothing I can't do with my Z7 or Z6 except for things it wasn't designed for: compete with a top sports or birding body. Every other thing is a breeze with the Z6 and Z7. I don't see anyone's shots that I can't make with the Nikons. So to hear how one particular Youtuber says NIKON is a POS and a disaster and a big theatrical thumbs down and then a fun movie drop. when there is NOTHING he does that I can't do with the Z, it's a bit maddening. I could shoot Bernie Sanders perfectly at a campaign stop shot of shot, but the influencer kept saying that he thought no other camera could have done it like his "other" brand. It's that stuff that just doesn't hold up. Is the other brand a millisecond faster focusing than a Z6 II? Maybe it is. So what? What you said about perception is spot on. Cheers.

Jim Cutler's picture

J.W., it's almost like it's an organized thing to make people scared to buy the brand, to knock Nikon off. I don't want to get too deeply into an argument but what the 3 influencers keep saying knocking Nikon and what I see using the Z gear every day and just not the same. I bloody love the Z cameras and the new Z glass. And since I'm older I can buy any brand. Love these Nikons.

Jim Tincher's picture

So I actually watched the video, it's actually a very positive article and does a great job of establishing perspective. Certainly isn't fear mongering or Nikon bashing.

jim hughes's picture

That's the problem with video. Many people - like me - hate videos so much that when we see a post like this, we don't even watch the video, we skim the text of the post and then look to the comments to find out what the guy in the video said in those 23 minutes.

r >k's picture

No worries, definitly not the next Olympus :)

T Lewis's picture

Nikon is strong in other areas , outdoor optics, they’ll pull thru

Dennis Massey's picture

I will never sell my 40 plus years of Nikon cameras which by the way still perform flawlessly. Nikon could boost sales by offering prime glass at a reasonable price. Even more reason to stick with Nikon!! I have supported my family and put two kids through advanced degrees at FSU with money I have made using my Nikons!

Chad D's picture

sony is making a lot of dread for nikon fan boys it seems not saying they are paying them saying they are so I have to switch to be better and have more youtube fans fanatics and to into the tech and not the art

I mean how did we get where we are today without one eye focus being a tiny tiny touch better when they run in and out of a shaded tree ! I mean OH NO I can get the shot otherwise the sky is falling nikon is failing no pro can use the crap latest nikon vs the sony cause the eye focus might not be quite as quick in a scenario we created that really never happens !

hahahahaha the idiocy anymore is just plain funny and sad at the same time :)

its funny how so many say it's not the gear yet the gear seems to be the biggest thing to so many? hmmmmmmm

David Jenkins's picture

I think their lineup is good though I am not a pro. They were the last one to enter the mirrorless game so their tech is furthest behind, makes sense. Their recent statements that they will concentrate on mirrorless is a good sign, their 3rd gen cameras will need some serious catch-up in video, AF, and overall polish. Here's hoping their sales forecast holds and they are profitable in the next fiscal year.

Rey cisneros's picture

Stay tune to your bat channel the z9 is going to blow canon and sony out of the water. Right nikon?