Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Flood Ate Our Nikons

After attending the PDN PhotoPlus Expo I was struck by one big thing ... nothing new and exciting in the Nikon DSLR arena. Sure, there are the new mirrorless ILC Nikon 1 cameras—the J1 and V1—but no new DSLRs! Rumors have been flying about DSLRs but now they seem like wishful thinking. Barring a surprise announcement, it is highly doubtful that anything new is coming before spring or maybe even later. Why do I say that?

The recent earthquake in Japan and the destructive tsunami shook Nikon and other camera manufacturers pretty badly. Just when they were beginning to recover, along comes a seriously bad monsoon season in Thailand that basically drowned the country. Unfortunately, a good portion of Nikon's manufacturing is based in Thailand. The factories there are under several feet of water with no sign of early drainage. Much of Nikon's manufacturing capacity in Thailand is a total write-off and will take many months to recover. The government of Thailand is scrambling to help its citizens and has little money left to help manufacturers.

We are about to see an increase in prices and even shortages for all sorts of electronic equipment within a month or so. Computer hard drives are already going up. If you want a new Nikon D300S, D7000, D5100, or D3100 for the holiday season, you had best buy it soon. If you have a Nikon that works for you, don't sell it expecting to buy a replacement in December, unless you are independently wealthy.

The Nikon D400 (D300S replacement) is probably months away. Asia News Network reports that Sony and Nikon's Thailand plants have, "no prospect of recovery." Basically, the entire consumer and advanced level of Nikon's camera manufacturing is under water and a complete write off.

Right now your best bets for a new Nikon are the D700, D300S, D7000, D5100, and D3100. However, if you don't act quickly, it is very likely that you won't be able to buy the cameras, or if you can, only at a higher price than normal. It appears that Nikon has canceled Black Friday deals. I hate to be reporting such gloom and doom, but it isn't just me. Go read,,, and other sites.

Here are some threads that will help you understand better our current situation:

It is likely that Nikon will make some announcements of upcoming cameras and lenses before the end of the year. That would be wise on their part. However, even with announcements, barring surprises, it will be probably be months before we see any delivered product.

Fortunately, you have a Nikon and some great lenses. Remember how you felt when you opened the box on your current Nikon DSLR? Well, it is still a great camera! Hang on to the admiration you initially felt when you bought your current DSLR. Has it really been so long ago that you bought it? Enjoy what you have. Maybe things will dry out by next summer and we'll see some new hardware. A flood ate our autumn Nikons. Let's hope for a better spring!

Keep on capturing time...
Darrell Young
See my Nikon books here:

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