Nikon to close Chinese factory as compact camera market continues to shrink

Oct 30, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Nikon to close Chinese factory as compact camera market continues to shrink

Oct 30, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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It’s not much of a surprise that the compact camera market is getting a little more “compact”. It’s been coming for years. Global compact camera sales are down to less than a tenth of their peak. And it’s all thanks to smartphones. The cameras we carry with us all day, every day.

While smartphones aren’t killing DSLR sales, the opposite, in fact, they are destroying compacts. The Nikkei reports that Nikon are now closing one of their factories in China. A factory which primarily manufactures their entry level compacts and SLR lenses.

Some companies, like Olympus, are taking them in a direction where phones can’t, really. Making them super rugged and waterproof. Others, though, like Nikon, are simply cutting their losses. Nikon will seemingly outsource some of the production, and they have no plans to stop selling in China. They control around 30% of the market there, so why would they?

But, there’s no question that compact cameras are dying. There’s just no need for the vast majority of them any more, at least at the entry level. You’ve got specialist and high end kit out there that’s still popular. Cameras like the Olympus mentioned earlier. Not to mention the Canon G7X II and Sony RX100 V, which are ubiquitous amongst vloggers.

Nikkei report that Nikon expect compact camera sales to drop 28% for the year ending March 2017. So, their plan is to focus more on SLR and other high end models to improve profitability.

With rumours of a new high end Nikon mirrorless camera floating around, one can only hope so.

There’s been no word on the number of layoffs that may come with the closure of the factory. The Jiangsu plant employs around 2,500 workers.

[via Nikkei]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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5 responses to “Nikon to close Chinese factory as compact camera market continues to shrink”

  1. Najib Saer Avatar
    Najib Saer

    Or they should just make compact cameras people want, like a Canon G7X type

    1. Andras Oravecz Avatar
      Andras Oravecz

      Yeah…tried it…didn’t go so well ?

  2. Autumn Jay Avatar
    Autumn Jay

    If one has a smartphone camera, that’s one less thing to carry.

  3. Motti Bembaron Avatar
    Motti Bembaron

    Bowens blamed everyone in China for their demise. Nikon blames smartphones for theirs. How about blaming yourselves for lack of vision and arrogance….

  4. Jurek Siminski Avatar
    Jurek Siminski

    Good move to cut unnecessary cost