By now most of you in the photography world have heard that Nikon reported huge losses, cancelled product lines, etc. This leads a lot of people to think that maybe Nikon's time has come and that change also needs to come.
Nikon has been around for 100 years. This isn't a company that just showed up on the scene and rode the digital camera wave. For decades Nikon was the gold standard among many when it came to cameras. I know that is what my dad shot with 35 years ago when I was a child and it's what I shoot with now. That doesn't mean that they will last forever, or are without their faults as well.
Kodak was around forever too, and they refused to move with the times, a decision that did not go well for them. Now, I don't think Nikon is in that boat yet, but there are certainly some things that need to change over there before they end up being as obsolete as Kodak did. I am not going to turn this into an entire article about the past, and how great Nikon used to be. I am though going to touch on some things that Nikon needs to address, and address immediately.
Please remember, both Damon's Photography, as well as the other company I co-founded, E3xtreme Motorsports Media use Nikon gear and always have. That's not saying that we won't change, I am saying that changes at Nikon need to happen, and here are some of those things.
First thing that needs to be addressed in the amount of camera's in the current lineup. This needs to be dramatically trimmed down. The entire lineup should consist of the following: D3400, D7200, D500, D810, & D5. There is absolutely no reason to have a D750, a D5600, of the Df. Too many choices means that the consumer has to compare and contrast all these. With the five choices there, you have entry level, mid level, and top level DX as well as two completely use different FX bodies.
Lens, this is something that Nikon, in my humble opinion does better than most, but prices worse than all. No longer are even working professionals willing to pay $2800 for a 70-200 2.8 when Tamron releases their new version for $1299.00. This applies to almost every lens in the Nikon lineup with the exception of larger primes. The issue there is that they are still higher priced than Canon and the market is very small for those needs. I find myself using a Tokina 16-28mm 2.8 when I rent gear instead of the Nikon 14-24mm 2.8. Later this year when we are purchasing, we will purchase the Tokina from Adorama for $689.00 before we would ever spend $1896.95 on the Nikon 14-24mm 2.8. The reason is that the quality from other manufactures have greatly increased, while Nikon, in my mind has decreased. My 24-70mm 2.8 from Nikon is already had issues and is falling apart. As a professional, I don't have time to send it in right now though.
That's another thing that needs to be addressed with Nikon. Their NPS, Nikon Professional Services, which to me is an absolute joke compared to Canon's CPS, Canon Professional Services. Not only is NPS one of the most "Exclusive" clubs in photography, it takes forever and is a nightmare to try and get in. I would take Canon's way of doing it any day of the week. This is not the 1980's anymore, and Nikon had better board the "what is professional" train pretty soon before it gets run over by it. While you are at it Nikon, work on your customer service, because the biggest complaint that I hear from fellow Nikon shooters is how bad the customer service is at Nikon.
Back to gear for a moment. The KeyMission 360 camera. Great idea, terrible execution. This took way too long after announcement to get to market. You really missed the boat on this one. We were waiting and waiting on this and had considered adding it to our bag at one point, but instead moved on. Do not announce any gear unless it it ready to hit shelves almost immediately. That is how you keep the consumer interested.
Mirrorless cameras will never take over the professional Dslr world and stop thinking that it will. While you are tossing money away on a huge mirrorless line, your professionals, the ones that buy your expensive stuff are leaving you in droves to buy a Canon 1DX MkII and their prime glass. Are you willing to lose those consumers while working on mirrorless and entry level Dslr?
Advertising or their lack of I should say is an increasing issue too. Your largest competitor does a much better job, at least here in the states at advertising and marketing their products. Whether it be still frame cameras or printers or anything else in their lineup. Why isn't Nikon advertising their eyewear and other optics lines? Why aren't you advertising the crap out of what is arguably the greatest crop sensor body ever made, the D500?
So is Nikon really on the brink? I am not sure I would say they are on the brink, but they certainly need to steer the ship away from the iceberg before someone like Sony has to come in and bail out the water from the gaping hole. Nikon needs to get with the program, shrink their Dslr line, lower price points, and much better marketing in the U.S. Along with that, Nikon needs to become a more inviting company for up and coming professionals, as well as provide amazing customer service to all the consumers of the Nikon brand.