After a few delays, Nikon decided to officially cancel the DL Series of premium compact cameras citing profitability concerns. Sadly, despite the strong set of features these cameras offered for their prices, some of us saw this coming. And based on current market conditions and the serious losses incurred by Nikon in the past few years, the situation is not looking particularly good for the company, which has announced that it will let around 1,000 of its 25,000 workers go in order to restructure its workforce during the difficult times…
Here is the official Nikon announcement…
February 13, 2017 TOKYO – Nikon Corporation announced today that sales of the long-awaited DL series of premium compact camera, the DL18-50 f/1.8-2.8, DL24-85 f/1.8-2.8, and DL24-500 f/2.8-5.6, will be canceled.
A June, 2016 release was originally planned for the DL series. However, with the identification of issues with the integrated circuit for image processing, release of the three cameras was delayed indeterminately.
Since then, everyone involved has worked very hard to develop products with which our customers will be satisfied. However, it has been decided that sales of the DL series will be canceled due to concerns regarding their profitability considering the increase in development costs, and the drop in the number of expected sales due to the slow-down of the market.
We sincerely apologize to all those affected by this decision, especially those customers who waited so long for the cameras to be released, retailers and others whose business will be affected, for the inconvenience this decision may cause.”
A couple of months ago in an article on my photography blog, Nikon DL Dead in the Water?, I raised the potential of the DL Series being cancelled due to dramatic shifts in the camera market.
If we look at the most recent CIPA statistics we can see a very dramatic erosion in the fixed lens camera market:
As noted in my earlier article, this dramatic erosion in unit volumes appear to have killed the viability of the DL Series of cameras. There was a slight uptick in the volume of fixed lens cameras in the latter portion of 2016, but evidently this very modest improvement was insufficient to save the DL product line.
Recent CIPA statistics regarding the value of shipments in various camera segments are also quite revealing:
We can see in the chart above that the total value of the fixed lens camera market is significantly smaller than the market for interchangeable lens cameras and also the interchangeable lens market:
With the fixed lens camera market now only representing only 17.4% of camera market shipment value, it is no surprise that the Nikon DL Series has been cancelled. This cancellation appears to be a very sound strategic decision to me. It simply makes no sense to introduce three new cameras into a rapidly declining market segment. Many photographers who had placed orders for a DL series camera will no doubt be very disappointed with this news.
From a marketing strategy standpoint, this news does represent an opportunity for Nikon to enhance the Nikon 1 system. The company has patents and production capability for some faster zoom lenses that were designed for 1″ CX sensor DL cameras. These lenses could soon find their way into the Nikon 1 lens lineup. Whether that happens or not is anyone’s guess at this point. It is interesting how some claimed that the DL line of cameras marked the end of the CX line, but it could turn the other way around now, if Nikon is willing to invest some R&D into the Nikon 1 system.
Article and graphics Copyright 2017 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, adaptation or reproduction of any kind is allowed without written consent.