Are Nikon DX cameras and lenses being phased out?

(Image credit: Nikon)

Many Nikon DX cameras and lenses continue to be out of stock in the US, increasing speculation that Nikon is slowly phasing out its DX DSLR format. On the websites of major retailers such as B&H and Adorama, Nikon DSLRs including the D3500, D5600, Nikon D7500 and D500 have been out of stock in most configurations for months.

Notably, Nikon's AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens, the main kit lens supplied with Nikon D3500 and D5600, is now listed as discontinued on the official Nikon website. Meanwhile many Nikon DX cameras and lenses are out of stock or awaiting supply with UK retailers including Wex Photo Video, Amazon and Jessops.

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Speculation has been increasing over the last year that the DSLR is dead, amid observations that major manufacturers Canon and Nikon have started to cull their DSLR lens ranges. Nikon Japan recently labelling the D3500 and D5600 with 'old product' has only helped fuel rumors of a Nikon DSLR cull too.

Most recently, rumors of a new Nikon DX Z-mount mirrorless camera, believed to be the entry-level Nikon Z30, suggested the days of the much-loved Nikon D3500 were numbered – at least as Nikon's cheapest entry-level interchangeable lens camera.

However, there have also been reports that two new Nikon DSLRs will be released in the second half of 2021, along with several new F-mount lenses. This is encouraging news for DSLR fans, but we don’t know whether either of these will be a D3500 replacement.

According to Mirrorless Camera Info, unless Nikon plans to launch a new version of the budget AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens to pair with its Nikon D5600 and D3500, the signs are beginning to look ominous for those entry-level DSLRs, and perhaps the rest of the DX format too.

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Laurence McJannet

Laurence is an NCTJ-trained journalist with nearly 20 years' editorial experience gained on a wide range of publications, from The Beirut Times in Lebanon to The Sunday Times, and including recent freelance engagements with Future's cycling and automotive portfolios, Outdoor Fitness, and The English Home. He has recently been undertaking a sports broadcast journalism MA at Southampton Solent, gaining valuable TV and radio experience, and am currently videographer for Frome Town FC soccer team. He is the author of Bikepacking (Wild Things Publishing, 2016).