|Nikon’s D6 DSLR camera, which will likely be the company’s last flagship DSLR.|
Earlier today, Japanese business publication Nikkei reported Nikon is planning to ‘stop making [D]SLR cameras and focus on mirrorless models.’ Naturally, this report circulated the camera world, with various outlets covering the news. We contacted Nikon for additional information, but before we received a response Nikon Inc. shared a statement on its website saying the company will continue to make, sell and service its line of DSLR cameras.
In the original report, Nikkei says it’s ‘learned’ that Nikon ‘will withdraw from the single-lens reflex camera business and shift toward digital offerings amid intensifying competition from smartphone cameras.’ Specifically, Nikkei says Nikon ‘plans to focus resources on mirrorless cameras, which have become mainstream products on the back of more advanced digital technologies.’
|Nikon’s D850 full-frame DSLR camera.|
Nikkei doesn’t elaborate on where this information was obtained from and only follows up the initial report by offering a brief history of Nikon, its photographic journey, and the current state of the camera market. Interestingly, Nikkei concludes the article saying ‘Rival Canon also plans to follow Nikon and stop producing [D]SLRs within a few years,’ but doesn’t elaborate any further on that statement.
Not long after, Nikon caught wind of the article, but not before the photography world ran with Nikkei’s original report. In response to Nikkei’s article, as well as the articles from other publications, Nikon Inc. published a statement on its website that reads as follows:
‘There was a media article regarding Nikon’s withdrawal of SLR development. This media article is only speculation and Nikon has made no announcement in this regards. Nikon is continuing the production, sales and service of digital SLR. Nikon appreciate your continuous support.’
Nikon Inc’s statement is fairly straightforward, but Nikon isn’t explicitly denying the information in the Nikkei’s report. Nikon doesn’t say the report is incorrect, only that ‘Nikon has made no announcement in this regards [sic].’ Nikon does say it will continue ‘the production, sales and service of digital SLR,’ but that’s a rather vague statement that only holds weight in the immediate present. Should Nikon cease all production, sales and service of its DSLR lineup tomorrow, Nikon’s statement will still have been true when made.
It’s also worth noting that Nikon doesn’t mention development at all in its statement, only production. While it isn’t exactly a surprise Nikon wouldn’t be pouring resources into developing new DSLR cameras, the wording in Nikon’s statement seems clear that it’s only continuing to produce its existing lineup of DSLRs.
|Nikon’s Sendai factory in the Tōhoku region North of Tokyo has been churning out cameras and lenses since 1971.|
Of course, this is all reading between the lines of one report and one statement. But it’s possible 0 if not likely – that both Nikkei’s original report and Nikon’s statement are true. Nikkei doesn’t provide a specific timeframe for Nikon ditching DSLRs and Nikon’s response only refers to what it’s doing at this current time.
In other words, there’s not much to see. Nikon is carrying on as usual until it isn’t, at which point the inevitable will take place – Nikon’s DSLRs (and presumably F-mount lenses) will become discontinued in favor of its growing line of Z-mount mirrorless cameras and lenses.