Nikon kills off the Coolpix B600 – several accessories under “temporary suspension”
Nikon has discontinued its Coolpix B600 bridge camera due to parts supply uncertainty, released in March 2019. The camera wasn’t particularly high end, typically selling for around $350, housing a 16-megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor and only capable of shooting 1080p video, but at only just over two years old, it seems a bit soon for a camera that boasts a 60x optical zoom.
As well as killing off the Coolpix B600, Nikon has also announced the “temporary suspension” of several other accessories, including the EH-5D AC adapter, the SU-800 infrared on-camera commander and its RC1C ringlight kit along with the SB-R200 speedlights.
The Nikon Coolpix B600, despite being quite inexpensive, offered a 60x zoom with a field of view equivalent to a 24-1440mm focal length range on 35mm full-frame. It was also a relatively compact camera, as bridge cameras go – especially when compared to something like the somewhat ridiculous Coolpix P1000.
What I do find quite interesting about the latest announcements, though, is the “temporary suspension” of the R1C1 kit, along with the SB-R200 speedlight and the SD-800 commander. Interesting because while they do quote “delays in parts supply”, it comes only a few days after Godox announced their new modular macro ringlight, the Godox MF12. Could this be Nikon finally admitting defeat on the never-really-all-that-popular (albeit rather good) R1C1?
Could it mean that they’re finally upgrading the rest of their lighting kit from infrared wireless to radio wireless as used in the Nikon SB-5000 speedlight and we’ll hear new gear announcements soon? It would be a nice thought and it is possible – especially if current model parts are in short supply – although perhaps improbable. It would explain why the SU-800 is also being suspended, though. The SU-800 hasn’t really been all that current for a while – with most of those who still use Nikon’s infrared AWL/CLS system preferring to just throw an SB-900 or SB-910 on the hotshoe to act as a much more visible (and reliable) commander.
Suspending the EH-5D AC adapter is curious, though. It’s not something that really needs to be replaced in Nikon’s lineup and I wouldn’t have expected it to use any exotic or hard-to-find components. The EH-5 series is typically just replaced with newer revision models as technology and supply chains change over the years to make them more reliable. So, suspending them completely does seem a bit odd.
There’s no word on if or when the suspended items will return to general sale. I would expect that the EH-5 will come back in some form or another. Whether or not the EH-5D will be reinstated or we’ll see an EH-5E… Well, it could go either way. It wouldn’t surprise me, though, if the R1C1, SU-800 and SB-R200 didn’t reappear again.
Did/do any of you own the Nikon R1C1 macro flash kit? Let’s see what you’ve shot with it.
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.