Phase One's glorious Schneider-Kreuznach lenses
According to financial information found in Nikon Investor Relations, Nikon's sales of digital cameras dropped more than 11% in July, August and September of this year. Lens sales declined more than 10% in the same period.
Of course, that's good news in a sense, because Nikon's dropoff in sales was less than that of other major manufacturers, and Nikon still sold 960,000 cameras and 1.33 million lenses in that period. That's still an awful lot of cameras and lenses to shift in three months.
(I get it. I still have an itch for one of those Nikons, because of their ungodly high dynamic range. There is just something about what those cameras can do. I think I've suffered from low-level but permanent gear lust for the mainstream Nikons ever since my fling with The Big Dragoon. Shut up, Josh.)
In other indsutry news, Samsung has a new software-centric mobile chief (that's not really relevant, I just wanted to use the term "mobile chief"), and Samsung is shutting down its digital camera and camcorder business in the UK. Samsung said in a press release, "We quickly adapt to market needs and demands. In the UK, we have seen a gradual and sustained decline in demand for standalone digital cameras and camcorders and related accessories. For this reason, we have taken the decision to phase out the sales and marketing of these products. This is a local decision, based on local market conditions."
In other words, the Korean giant doesn't want you to believe the rumors that it's considering leaving the camera business altogether. It's just those tightfisted Brits that are the problem, that's all.
...Except that this news follows earlier news that Samsung will be letting stocks of its flagship NX1 camera (now down to $1,100) dwindle to extinction in Germany. And, as dpreview reports, the language in that press release was almost identical to the UK press release...just responding to local conditions, nothing to see here, move along, move along.
Finally, hot of the presses, Phase One, the maker of medium-format digital backs for professionals, issued a press release yesterday saying that it has acquired the assets of Mamiya Japan. This is not entirely a surprise; medium-format cameramaker Mamiya's presence in the camera market has been pretty vestigial except for its collaborations with digital back makers, and Phase One (or rather its parent, Silverfleet Capital) already owned 45% of Mamiya stock. The lock-stock-and-barrel move will allow Phase One even greater control of the manufacture of its high-end digital cameras.
For film fans with fond memories of Mamiyas past, however, this probably puts a penultimate period on the Mamiya they once knew—and thus, even though Mamiya will continue from today more or less as it has been doing up until today, this marks another quiet sic transit landmark of sorts, in the march from film to digital imaging.
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