Industry News: Nikon to end camera production in Japan

Sep 5, 2018
995
1,045
Scotland
Imagine being so dependent on a foreign country that without them you don't have screws or medicine. This is ridiculous.
This is how the world works just now. And the screw example comes from Apple trying to produce the MacPro in the USA. It isn’t just about your factory, it is all the parts you need from to make something and in the USA, EU, and Japan you just can’t produce some products as there aren’t the suppliers even on the same continent as you. Cricky look at even baby products, those manufactured in the EU now have to use silicone as they don’t have direct supplies of latex rubber. Or Apple with their screws. Or any number of products.
When I was living in Thailand for a bit there where so many factories for everything from glue to string and any fabric or rubber we needed.
The factory producing a camera might be a profitable thing, but a factory producing screws, wires, even copper might not be.
 
Sep 5, 2018
995
1,045
Scotland
Apart from rising profits, why does it make sense to lower the quality of work Japanese can do in their home country, lower the oversight in manufacturing, lower the potential of Japan as a camera making country, lower consumer trust in Japan, and more? I get that Nikon are suffering, but this thing, where you just send all work abroad, hurts everyone at home and is a massive reason all first world countries are becoming the same service desk counter for the world.

The Nikon D850 is considered by many as the best DSLR made and it is very robust and well built. It is also made in Thailand. My Nikon Z glass are all fantastic build quality with no sample variance and these are made in China and Thailand. The country something is made has no impact on quality unless it is a car made in the USA in which case you don’t want to buy something that can’t turn a corner and will fall apart if you so much as look at it at the wrong angle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FramerMCB

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,648
2,872
Germany
I wonder how long it will take until Canon is doing the same move. :unsure:

And I wonder if this is a sign, that - say within 2 years - we won't see Nikon as an independent company anymore. :unsure:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Del Paso

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,648
2,872
Germany
Actually "Made in Germany" was forced onto the Germans as a warning initially. The quality of their work changed it from a warning into a label of pride and as such of quality, craftmanship etc.
See more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Made_in_Germany
To get it (edit: ) even more precise:
If you take a closer look at the much longer and much more detailed version of this article in the German version
you might recognize the phraze "vermeintlich minderwertiger Qualität" = "allegedly inferior quality"
Whilst all that took place in the second half of the 19th century it was at the same time (1862) during the world exhibition in London when jury member Sir Joseph Whitworth rated some German machine builders as "very good indeed". So more about beeing alleged than beeing fact.

So all of that was about protectionism. Something that reminds me of somebody that was voted out of office lately :unsure:
 
Last edited:

jam05

R5, C70
Mar 12, 2019
538
346
Camera industry has been in decline for nearly a decade. Coincidentally the iPhone came out followed by Android smartphones.

Unlike Canon and Nikon, Sony saw the writings on the wall and put their efforts into being the image sensor of the top 50% of all smartphones sold. That's why their mirrorless cameras have superior tech as compared to Canon or Nikon.

What Canon and Nikon had were a very robust lens and accessories lineup and after sales support.

COVID-19 did not help in terms of supply chain or professionals needing a camera to cover events as almost all events were cancelled.

I expect Canon, Sony and other brands to relocate their production lines to South East Asia. Hopefully to the Philippines like Pentax in Cebu.
 

jam05

R5, C70
Mar 12, 2019
538
346
"Unlike Canon and Nikon".....
Canon is diversified. A giant in many industries. 98% of all smartphones on the planet have OLEDs manufactured with Canon's latest nextgen CVD equipment purchased by Samsung. Samsung manufactures the largest share of new OLEDs with Canon equipment. So don't put the industry leader Canon in the boat as Nikon. Canon produces printers, office machines, medical equipment, satelites, network systems etc. The same for Fuji. Sony cameras don't have "superior" tech as far as harware is concerned. They write nice software coding, but that's about it. They still need to do some better ergonomic designing. Sony also went and hired Nikon's lens designer because they were behind in the lens department. Sony had a 5 year lead in mirrorless cameras and in one year Canon has walked them down and put Sony in it's rear view mirror. Anyone can take a look onto the field in any sporting venue and see mostly what brands? Exactly. That landscape hasn't changed, despite what internet trolls think and say. You can maybe count Sony cameras on one hand. Mostly broadcast cameras. As far as Sony ever catching up to Canon's overwhelming market share in cameras, you can kiss that dream good bye. Canon has widened it's lead over Sony.
 
Last edited:

Atlasman

EOS R5
CR Pro
May 14, 2020
86
95
:(

While at times it may feel satisfying to see Canon dominating just to balance out the '******* trolls', this sounds like bad news for customers and the industry as a whole. It is not a good thing for anybody to see competitors struggle.
The struggle is of their own making—mostly from complacency and lack of vision. But it is bad news for the Nikon brand. I hope their move brings renewed prosperity.
 

melgross

EOS RP
Nov 2, 2016
772
525
This certainly follows Nikon’s statements during the quarterly reports now going back several years, that Nikon will do everything it can to “maintain profits”. Unfortunately, that attitude isn’t what’s needed to maintain marketshare or technological leadership.
 

StoicalEtcher

EOS RP
CR Pro
Jan 3, 2018
415
356
Yorkshire
...follows an economic model that lawfully requires corporations to make money for shareholders.
Companies are not required by law to make profits - it is more that their shareholders wish them to make profits, so that the company is able to remain in business for a longer time and generate a return for shareholders on their investments during that time.

A company can choose not to do this - but in most cases, most investors will not wish to invest in you, and that limits access to capital with which grow the business.

Nikon moving production is unfortunate for those skilled labourers in Japan, but is a consequence of rising wages and payroll costs in one geography as compared to another, and unless you wish to sell expensive, niche, products (Leica anyone....) is probably inevitable until wages globally have equalised (if they ever will).
 
  • Like
Reactions: LDS

FramerMCB

Canon 40D & 7D
CR Pro
Sep 9, 2014
478
146
54
It's always a sad affair for the local population that is affected when manufacturing gets moved overseas as there would be a loss of jobs for those in the sectors concerned. Even if 'replacement' manufacturing can somehow emerge (which is not necessarily the case), it would be a different group of workers who benefit. It's true that such offshoring makes financial sense for the company involves, but it follows an economic model that lawfully requires corporations to make money for shareholders. Whatever practices that can gain a financial advantage legally, even if ethically questionable, would be pursued eventually by someone willing to strive towards greater profits regardless of social costs.

This move by Nikon could potentially mean more competitive pricing, so it would be 'great' for photographers etc. However, as with most competition, it would likely end with with only a few players left through mergers and/or buyouts. When that happens, the monopolistic power of the remaining players would mean much higher prices for consumers. We'd better enjoy it while it lasts.
Excellent points but we also need to remember that with a shrinking market (less demand) even if there are only a few players left, they still need to be mindful that their prices can only be what the 'market will bear'...
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
1,321
1,447
"Unlike Canon and Nikon".....
Canon is diversified. A giant in many industries. 98% of all smartphones on the planet have OLEDs manufactured with Canon's latest nextgen CVD equipment purchased by Samsung. Samsung manufactures the largest share of new OLEDs with Canon equipment. So don't put the industry leader Canon in the boat as Nikon. Canon produces printers, office machines, medical equipment, satelites, network systems etc. The same for Fuji. Sony cameras don't have "superior" tech as far as harware is concerned. They write nice software coding, but that's about it. They still need to do some better ergonomic designing. Sony also went and hired Nikon's lens designer because they were behind in the lens department. Sony had a 5 year lead in mirrorless cameras and in one year Canon has walked them down and put Sony in it's rear view mirror. Anyone can take a look onto the field in any sporting venue and see mostly what brands? Exactly. That landscape hasn't changed, despite what internet trolls think and say. You can maybe count Sony cameras on one hand. Mostly broadcast cameras. As far as Sony ever catching up to Canon's overwhelming market share in cameras, you can kiss that dream good bye. Canon has widened it's lead over Sony.
1+
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
1,321
1,447
"Made in ..." has more to do with psychology than with reality.
Made in USA still means high quality (often deserved), in many countries, even for cars.
Made in Germany can stand for highest quality, but also for the worst crap (yes, I' m thinking of some cars ).
Made in Japan, think back of the seventies, maybe even eighties, when it stood for cheap products, and was sometimes kind of an insult in Europe, at least.
What should we say about Korea (South, not the one the POTUS is "in love" with) ? Korean cars were considered garbage , a few years ago. And now ???
So, I don't care where Nikons are produced, what matters, only matters, is how good they are.
And yet (shall I say it ?), when I bought my Japanese car, I was pleased reading the "Made in Japan" sign on it ...
 

melgross

EOS RP
Nov 2, 2016
772
525
How many months has the R5 sensor been out?

How many years has Sony's mirrorless image sensors been the tech leader?

Nikon uses in-house image sensors and Sony sensors when economically applicable.
No, Nikon uses slightly modified Sony sensors. They don’t do complete sensor design in-house. Sony allows Nikon to make minor changes for its own cameras, but that’s about it.
 

CanonFanBoy

Purple
CR Pro
Jan 28, 2015
5,684
4,118
Irving, Texas
I’m probably wrong (usually am) but if Japan is willing to go to this extreme Nikon might be in worse financial trouble than I imagined.

For Japan to send jobs and manufacturing offshore has got to be a hit to national pride.

Not like the US where we’d sell our little brother to save a buck or two.
We? Aren’t you confusing private companies in free countries and semi-free markets with state owned enterprises? Not the same. Far as I know, the government of Japan doesn’t own Nikon, just like the USA doesn’t own Ford. Japan has made cars here in the USA for decades. Can’t see how this could possibly be a National Pride thing. What would McDonalds think? :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Besides, you seem to assume Japanese companies don’t send jobs off shore? Or have parts made in China? Because they are Japanese? This ain’t 1936.:D
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Del Paso

s66

-
Jan 9, 2018
6
5
To get it more precise:
If you take a closer look at the much longer and much more detailed version of this article in the German version
you might recognize the phraze "vermeintlich minderwertiger Qualität" = "allegedly inferior quality"
Whilst all that took place in the second half of the 19th century it was at the same time (1862) during the world exhibition in London when jury member Sir Joseph Whitworth rated some German machine builders as "very good indeed". So more about beeing alleged than beeing fact.

So all of that was about protectionism. Something that reminds me of somebody that was voted out of office lately :unsure:
LOL, we are saying the same thing. Note: I never said what the warning was about. I did that intentionally to avoid the can of worms that is current politics.
FWIW: I do read German reasonably well, and I did check the German sources first, but opted for the English wikipedia as a pointer to other sources as this is after all an English speaking forum.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Maximilian

David - Sydney

EOS R
CR Pro
Dec 7, 2014
1,009
838
www.flickr.com
Imagine being so dependent on a foreign country that without them you don't have screws or medicine. This is ridiculous.
Global interdependence and trade is unavoidable these days. No country can be completely self-sufficient. Countries specialise in comparative advantage to the extent that there is free trade.
The UN and WTO etc are meant to assist peace and manage trade disputes for instance. Bi-lateral and multi-lateral trade agreements are meant to reduce protectionism product by product over time. Recent history has been more problematic as we all well know

Thailand is an interesting choice. Never colonised, major ally of the US for the last 70 years, founding member of ASEAN, 2nd largest economy in South Asia and #20 country by PPP. They are major hub for car manufacturing as well.
Domestic politics is a bit weird though flipping between democracy and militiary rule and back for over 40 years now.
 

HarryFilm

EOS RP
Jun 6, 2016
718
171
Camera industry has been in decline for nearly a decade. Coincidentally the iPhone came out followed by Android smartphones.

Unlike Canon and Nikon, Sony saw the writings on the wall and put their efforts into being the image sensor of the top 50% of all smartphones sold. That's why their mirrorless cameras have superior tech as compared to Canon or Nikon.

What Canon and Nikon had were a very robust lens and accessories lineup and after sales support.

COVID-19 did not help in terms of supply chain or professionals needing a camera to cover events as almost all events were cancelled.

I expect Canon, Sony and other brands to relocate their production lines to South East Asia. Hopefully to the Philippines like Pentax in Cebu.

---

I thought I'd let everyone know even CANADA is coming into cameras and lens production now!

DSLR and Mirrorless Camera Optical Grade Acrylic Lenses Now Being Made in Canada:


I recently took a tour of the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Optical-grade Acrylic Lens and All-Aluminum Lens Barrel Machining factory and I was STUNNED at how much lens inventory they are building up for launch! I saw FIVE high end lenses that will be HALF the price and in some cases a FULL STOP FASTER than the competing Canon L-series or Sony G-series lenses!

Too many companies are being waaaay too GREEDY by destroying their local manufacturing base putting way too many people out of work! Anyways, all good things must come to an end sooner or later!
At least there is now a Made in Canada solution for some users of high end lenses!

V
 

dilbert

EOS 90D
Aug 12, 2010
119
96
Yes it has been in decline for a decade, but it underwent unprecedented growth before that. In reality the market is returning to historical norms.

Graphs are always helpful to understand trends..

 
  • Like
Reactions: privatebydesign