Cancellation of the Nikon DL series

In my previous post “What I want to see from Nikon in 2017”, I wrote about the DL cameras:  “They are almost on the market. Several stores already have new arrival dates, so these cameras are coming officially.”

Well I was wrong. Today Nikon announced the cancellation of the series. Here is the official announcement:

“Cancellation of release of the DL series of premium compact cameras

February 13, 2017

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation announced today that sales of the long-awaited DL series of premium compact camera, the DL18-50 f/1.8-2.8, DL24-85 f/1.8-2.8, and DL24-500 f/2.8-5.6, will be canceled.

A June, 2016 release was originally planned for the DL series. However, with the identification of issues with the integrated circuit for image processing, release of the three cameras was delayed indeterminately.

Since then, everyone involved has worked very hard to develop products with which our customers will be satisfied. However, it has been decided that sales of the DL series will be canceled due to concerns regarding their profitability considering the increase in development costs, and the drop in the number of expected sales due to the slow-down of the market.

We sincerely apologize to all those affected by this decision, especially those customers who waited so long for the cameras to be released, retailers and others whose business will be affected, for the inconvenience this decision may cause.”

(Source: http://www.nikon.com/news/2017/0213_dl.htm)

 

I was wrong that Nikon DL is coming. Yes, but the same time I was right. And it seems Nikon had similar thoughts as I had (described in the same article). Here is what I wrote:

I liked the Coolpix A. A lot. I also liked the new DL series. But… let’s face it – people now want a bigger sensor. Most of the time even m4/3 is a limit for such cameras. I personally find I’m not interested in purchasing a camera with lower than APS-C size sensor any more, for any type of shooting. You can get an amazing Fujifilm X-100F in very small factor, or X-T20 in interchangeable lens format, or Canon’s M5… why would you buy a slightly smaller camera with way smaller sensor?

I think the huge delay in releasing the DL series will make them almost obsolete right from their launch. They have to compete with cameras like Sony R100 series, with Fuji, and all Olympus and Lumix cameras which have a good lens lineup and reasonably sized sensor.

The way I see Nikon’s progress in this niche is to create a DX versions of the DL series. It would be hard to compete with X-100 series from Fuji, but a zoom version would be popular I think. Keep the small zoom range, make several options for the different lengths and speeds, and there you have it – a winner.”

See the full article here.

The huge delay obviously made these cameras obsolete. Being looking competitive year and a half ago, they didn’t have much chance to “wow” us today. Adding the constantly and rapidly dropping sales of non-interchangeable lens compact cameras, it is clear why Nikon came to this decision.
I see two directions for Nikon to take – to either invest in the current Nikon 1 lineup – optimizing the noise, speed, AF, etc. of the cameras and adding new lenses – faster and smaller, or developing the Coolpix A-Z lineup – with APS-C sensor. I personally would go for the APS-C cameras. Nikon 1 has a big competition in 1” sensor market, the m4/3 cameras just make it harder to see the use of the 1 series, and even some APS-C cameras like Fujifilm X-T20 are in the same size category.

It’s your anniversary, Nikon. Surprise us!

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