Japanese camera maker, Nikon is set to stop making its popular SLR cameras and focus on digital offerings. The company is pushed to this position as competition heightens from smartphone cameras.
Most smartphones today, especially, the high-end ones from the likes of Apple and Samsung now spot great cameras that can compete with DSL cameras.
According to a report from a Japanese publication, Nikkei, Canon now plans to focus resources on mirrorless cameras, which have become mainstream products on the back of more advanced digital technologies.
Nikon’s SLR cameras have been widely used by professional photographers for more than 60 years and have come to be seen as synonymous with the Japanese company.
What you should know
Nikon’s cameras have been losing out to smartphones, which increasingly feature powerful cameras. Nikon aims to beat them by offering products with more unique features.
Since June 2020, when Nikon launched its flagship D6 SLR, no new SLR models have been released. The company has already stopped the development of compact digital cameras.
From now on, Nikon intends to focus on digital mirrorless cameras, but the production and distribution of existing SLR models will continue.
Nikon is the second-largest SLR maker after Canon. An SLR camera uses a mirror to reflect an image the photographer sees through the viewfinder.
Nikon dates from 1917 and adopted the company name in 1946. It released its first SLR in 1959 and has long been held in high esteem by professional photographers and journalists. It made its name by offering top-quality alternatives to German makes such as Leica which once dominated the market.
By the late 1990s, Nikon had made the switch to digital SLRs. Last year, it sold more than 400,000 SLRs, competing head-to-head with global leader Canon. SLRs are also produced by Ricoh under the brand Pentax.
Mirrorless cameras have a different viewing system and use image sensors that convert light into electrical signals. Like SLRs, they can accept interchangeable lenses that offer much more range than the fixed focal lengths used in most smartphone cameras. A feature of Nikon cameras has been a fixed amount that has not changed in 60 years, enabling photographers to use a wide range of old lenses on recent SLRs.
Shipments of mirrorless cameras overtook SLRs for the first time in 2020 with 2.93 million and 2.37 million units shipped respectively, according to Japan’s Camera & Imaging Products Association. There has been an overall decline, however. The combined market peaked at 11.67 million cameras in 2017 but had fallen to 5.34 million in 2021.
Download Nairametrics App for breaking news and market intelligence.