Record Quarterly Sales for Mirrorless Cameras

And: "profitable in real terms, excluding one-time [restructuring] cost[s]."

That's the news out of Nikon this week. 

And yet, the trolls are still out there trumpeting the same old "Nikon is doomed" scenario. What is doomed is the D3500 and D5600 DSLRs ;~). Maybe the D7500. Certainly any older cameras on last legs of mostly-by-hand production (D610, D750). 

What you're seeing is Nikon Imaging paying keen sense to their gross profit margin and ROI. Exactly what they said they would do, and exactly targeting the customers they said they would target. And it seems to be working, at least in one sense. That sense would be turning around what would otherwise be miserable results. That does mean, however, that Nikon's overall market share will go down (at 17% currently, projected to go down a small bit further before stabilizing). 

Of course, those trolls will come back with market share estimates for Sony that are robust. Until you look under the covers: Sony is where Nikon was a few years ago: a lot of lower end product produces their volume, and previous generation (or two) models are their best sellers (e.g. A6000). 

If the ILC market does grow by 13% in 2021 as CIPA is projecting, Nikon is actually poised pretty well to take advantage of that and reverse their decline in body sales while producing bodies that are current, not older generation. Of course, another model or two that's targeted right wouldn't hurt, either, and I'd judge that that's the thing Nikon is most worried about at the moment: can they get the supply chain working well enough to ship to demand for their current product and also get new products out. If they can, 2021 will probably look good for them (as well as for you, the customer). 

The other thing I keep hearing from multiple sources out of Tokyo centers around the longer term vision. I'm guessing that a Z30 is looking less and less likely, and a Z70 more likely. I wrote last week about the sweet spot, and I believe that's really the range Nikon wants to be in (US$2000 to US4500), with perhaps a model or two on each side of that. My hope is that, knowing this, Nikon also knows that firmware updates for the Z6/Z7 models (I and II) would strengthen that position while they work on new sensors and better performance. 

So, Nikon Imaging seems to be about the same place as I am today after shoveling snow all week (greater than 2' and I have a very long driveway): the tough work is mostly complete, the sun broke through a bit, and now I can get back to regularly scheduled progress.

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