According to a recent report by camera watchdog Nikkei Asia, Nikon is set to close down the development of its DSLR line. Though the company states that it is continuing to produce and sell the venerable camera platform, the company stopped short of disputing that the development of any future models is winding down.
The report goes on to suggest that Nikon’s plans moving forward are to put most of its development focus on mirrorless cameras and that the company is looking to streamline since sales of DSLRs have been lackluster due to the widespread use of smartphones to capture candid photographs.
Back in June, Nikon announced it would be discontinuing the D5600 and D3500, with only the flagship D6 DSLR having been released in June of 2022. The company has also ceased the development of other compact digital cameras, focusing on the high-end mirrorless wave.
Nikon isn’t the only camera company that has been considering bringing the DSLR era to a close. Canon has already made plans to make the EOS 1DX Mk. III their final DSLR, and have made plans to focus on their full frame mirrorless RF lineup in the years ahead.
“The market needs are rapidly moving toward mirrorless cameras,” said Canon CEO Fujio Mitarai. ”So accordingly, we’re increasingly moving people in that direction.”
Mitarari did go on to say, however, that entry-level and mid-range DSLR cameras are still selling well enough globally, that Canon plans to continue selling those lines, but added that those plans are for the short term, hinting that the development of future models in those categories may be sparse.
As for Nikon, the company released its first Nikon F single-lens reflex film camera in 1959. Forty years later, at the dawn of the digital revolution, the company released the all-digital D1 with a 1MP image sensor.
Since then, the company has steadily improved the digital image and boosted the resolution up to the current 24MP FX image sensor in the F6.
With the state of the art beginning to move towards a mirrorless solution, that seemed to be a natural evolution. However, while Nikon remained firmly in the DSLR camp, companies like Sony, Panasonic, and eventually, Canon moved to the mirrorless realm with great results.
Due to a rapid decline in higher-end digital products as a result of smartphone camera popularity, Nikon delayed making the move into the mirrorless market, eventually releasing the full-frame Z series mirrorless camera in 2020. The Nikkei report states that the company plans to focus on higher-end mirrorless development while phasing out its DSLR lines.
Though calling the recent Nikkei report speculative, Nikon hasn’t had any other DSLR announcements since the F6, leaving many to speculate if the flagship DSLR will be Nikon’s swan song.
[source: Nikkei Asia]
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