Living without Nikon (in stock)

More evidence that Nikon is at full tilt. It basically says that their Thailand superfactory (which I alluded to earlier) is going at full tilt.

One interesting thing to note is that IDC is placing Nikon at about half the sales of Canon in the global digital SLR market. I find this hard to believe. Together they comprise 80% of all digital SLR sales, which sounds realistic.

My reasoning was as follows. The D70 was the #1 selling dSLR two years ago, so if IDC is to believed, Nikon has had half the growth of Canon since then. Sales of the 5D and the 20D have been anemic to the point of large price drops and the introduction of the 30D at a great price point. On the Nikon side, the D200 and sometimes the D70s and D50 can’t keep up with demand. It is a good rule of thumb that if you see a price for the D200 body more than $10 off list ($1799), then it’s probably fraud, import model, or pulled from a kit.

If I had to guess I’d think the marketshare would be more likely 45% Canon and 30% Nikon with a total combined marketshare around 75%, up from the 60% two years ago.

I guess you Canon people would say this shows my admitted Nikon bias.

I like to think of it as IDC being the usual dumbfucks they are at the increasingly oxymoronic, “market intelligence.”

How to get a Nikon

Recent e-mail:

Sorry for the random question…I was searching the site for folks who have bought the Nikon 18-200mm lens and came upon your site

Could you tell me where you got the lens…seems like nobody has it on order.

SInce you are in the bay area thought I would send this email and see if you could give me some pointers.

The key to getting a Nikon is to understand that what you want is going to come out of the Thailand superfactory in huge shipments to the US. This means that one day your vendor will be out of stock; the next day, all the vendors will be in stock; the next day, many of the vendors will be sold out; and then everyone is sold out again.

For instance, I ordered my 18-200mm VR (a lens produced by the superfactory and perennially out of stock) two months ago. Roberts actually both e-mailed and called to confirm that I still wanted it before shipping. At the same time, it was in stock everywhere but now (a few weeks later) it is out of stock again. With the D200, you can’t get it at the big houses (Adorama or B&H) anymore but you’ll be able to find it in-stock on second tier vendors like J&R.

Such it will be until Nikon can manufacture enough of these things to meet the initial demand for it.

(Don’t cry. It seems much worse if you live in Europe or Canada.)

What to expect for the second half of this year

Well here are the stuff set in stone.

  1. The release of the Pentax K100D and K110D. The former is a 6 megapixel body for $620 (street price) that has both anti-dust and anti-shake built-in. Combined with Pentax’s advantages, this should be the new budget model of choice for anyone not married to purchasing Canon and Nikon. Unfortunately there seem to be very few of you.
  2. The release of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 (and corresponding Leica rebadged version). Anyone who likes rangefinder camera look is going to take a look at this model. Like the Olympus E-330 sister camera it offers live-preview, anti-dust, and the 4/3 mount. I think the price ($1500 with a image-stabilized kit lens of high quality) makes it a niche however so it won’t take much market share.
  3. The release of the Sony DSLR-A100 (Alpha) as a replacement for the Konica-Minolta. This has the same 10 megapixel sensor as the Nikon D200 as well as anti-shake (now called “Super SteadyShot”) and Antidust. The street price is $900 and Sony has reaffirmed commitment to the Minolta Dynax mount. This should make it very appealing to those who want a D200 but can’t afford it. Again, the problem is Nikon and Canon fanatics are going to bitch about the lack of top LCD as if it is a deal-killer steering a lot of people away from what is clearly a great camera for the enthusiast.

One amazing thing about this is the proliferation of anti-dust and anti-shake technology in all brands not Canon and Nikon. I’ve been wishing and predicting this for quite a while and I think it is an impressive strategic move on the part of Sony, Pentax, and Samsung.

Here are some expectations:

  1. Leica will release a rebadged version of the Panasonic DMC-L1 marking their entry into dSLR (instead of SLR w/ digital back).
  2. The Pentax *st DL2 should drop in price greatly and become the cheapest dSLR on the market.
  3. Olympus might upgrade the E1 now that it is cheaper than the E-330.
  4. The Nikon D50 will continue to drop in price vis-a-vis the Canon Rebel XT making it a top seller, possibly the top seller of the year. (Not very likely because Canon sells a lot of Rebel XTs.)
  5. Nikon should introduce a sequel to the D70 using the 10 megapixel sensor by the end of the year or early next year.
  6. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a replacement to the Canon EOS 30D by the end of the year in response to these trends. This will free up some room to upgrade the Rebel XT the next year.

The introduction of the 10 megapixel Sony CCD and its use in the A100 mean that Nikon should expect some erosion of marketshare in the second half of this year. I think in the short term, this hurts Nikon.

In the long term, this plus the 10 megapixel Sony CMOS (in the Sony R1) should solidify the 10 megapixel 1.5x APS-C as a “standard.” This does not bode well for Olympus or Canon in the long term. Canon’s choice to fabricate in-house 1.6x CMOS and gamble on “full frame” CMOS look especially bad now as APS-C looks to be the dominant standard for dSLR photography for at least another couple years and Sony and their associated partners (Nikon, Pentax, and Samsung) capitalize on scale advantages. By this I mean market share erosion from Canon will not be recoverable until the bulk of the market switches to “full frame” (which I personally don’t believe will ever occur).

On a related note

Remember my recent blog entry where I noted the new D50 kits at Costco?

Well I went there the other day and they’re in stock again. (This should be no surprise if you just read this blog entry.)

A palett of Nikon goodness
A palett of Nikon goodness
Costco, Mountain View, California

Nikon D70, Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-4.5G VR
1/60 sec @ f/4, iso 200, 18mm (27mm)

How long before they’re out of stock again?

3 thoughts on “Living without Nikon (in stock)

  1. whoever wrote the article above, obviously did not pay any attention to engineering, reasons and any specifics of What Canon is. Your article, was and always be A WASTE OF TIME. It’s a shame on me that I had to have wasted my time telling you so and having to read about what I thought could have been an eye opening article, rather in this case, eye closing.

    *shaking head*

    oh 1 thing, you think if it was a large black lens in bright sunlight… it would actually get too hot?? and MAYBE affect the focusing mechanisms, glass, parts and internals? you bet!

    White was made to the surface of the big L lenses do not attract all the heat, aka thermal conductivity to internal parts, motors mechanisms etc. and hence to not affect the performance.

    Go get some education you Nikon addict. btw, Nikon doesn’t have a printing solution like Canon. And at the same time, Nikon cameras are among the worst because it takes an image and applies “d lighting” to make it appear that photographer took the great picture…

    Nikon is LYING to you.. .Nikon LIES to it’s photographers.. all images capture by Nikon Cameras… go through several tiers of “digitizational processing” prior to what you see on the screen.

    Final statement:

    Nikon:
    It’s not the photographer that takes a great picture, it’s the camera”

    Canon:
    It’s the photographer and or the Camera that takes a real picture

    [Editor note: Please don’t spam my blog. I kept this one and am deleting the others. —terry]

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