A few weeks ago I mentioned Nikon’s latest financial results and its efforts to increase sales and diversify its revenue stream, but the latest product release appears to be somewhat of a desperate move.
No, Nikon didn’t announce the rumored 50MP camera or anything actually useful. The company’s latest release is a stainless steel hot shoe cover, with a big fat price tag for such a little, useless accessory.
I’ll begin with a full disclosure: I rarely use the hot shoe cover on my cameras. Unless I’m shooting somewhere extremely humid, dusty, dirty or sandy, the tiny cover stays packed away in my camera bag. I used to keep it on all the time, but got tired of taking it on and off every time I needed to use my flash.
This isn’t a rant against hot shoe covers in general; in fact I even recommend you use yours, but Nikon’s 2,750 Yen-before-tax (~$23) stainless steel cover seems ridiculous to me.
Sure, it will help protect the hot shoe’s contacts from dust, dirt and moisture or even from getting bent or otherwise damaged. That being said, so will the plastic cover that comes free with every Nikon camera with a hot shoe.
Are you interested in this new stainless steel cover because you lost your original cover? Before ordering the new model (available on eBay for $35), why not get an original replacement for just $2.00?
I can’t think of a single reason why one would require a stainless steel hot shoe cover, and based on the fact that no practical advantage is mentioned on Nikon’s product page, I’m guessing they couldn’t either.
I get it that Nikon wants to make more money and that this is a quick and simple product to manufacture and release. I also know that Nikon likes to attach exaggerated price tags to its accessories (the $616 MB-D12 battery grip comes to mind… “Only” $370 on Amazon, though).
Personally I’d never pay for such a product, but as far as I’m concerned Nikon can go ahead an offer it in two dozen colors and print names on it as well. I’m sure some people will love it and have already ordered one.
I just hope that not too many people waste their money on this and that Nikon will finally realize, or more accurately be shown, that there’s a limit to the nonsensical prices its customers are willing to pay.
When it comes to Nikon’s policy for pricing accessories, the company reminds me of an internet troll. It’s amusing to see every once in a while and makes you wonder how many people out there should be wearing straightjackets, but sometimes it’s just plain and simply annoying.
We all know the only way to get a troll to stop is by not feeding it. So, I won’t say you shouldn’t get this pretty-but-useless hot shoe cover, I just ask that you stop for a moment and ask yourself if you’re sure you want to feed the troll.