It can't be denied that Nikon has experienced some difficulties over the past few years. Even aside from the financial effects of the global pandemic that has affected every camera manufacturer over the past year, Nikon has also had to maneuver around its transition from focusing on DSLRs to mirrorless cameras.
While Nikon and Canon both released their flagship mirrorless cameras at the same time (the Nikon Z7 and the Canon EOS R respectively), Canon had already explored the interchangeable lens mirrorless camera market before with its EOS M mount. In contrast, aside from its compact camera range, 2018 was the first time that Nikon had shown any sign of pivoting away from DSLRs.
• Read more: Best Nikon camera
While the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 were both competitive cameras, Nikon struggled to break open the mirrorless camera market, placing fifth in the market in 2019 for mirrorless sales. These difficulties were also compounded by the long term downward trend in DSLR revenue. Essentially, Nikon was selling less DSLRs, but wasn't selling enough mirrorless cameras to make up the shortfall.
We're seeing the effects of Nikon's struggles now, with factories in Japan being closed and the manufacturing being shifted to Thailand. We've also seen reports of Nikon expected a record $720M loss, which has been directly tied to its delayed move over to mirrorless technology.
However, it's not all doom and gloom! Fstoppers has recently reported on the latest Nikon financial results – and it looks like there could be some sun on the horizon for the imaging company. "Revenue has increased to ¥150.6B with a surplus of ¥9.9B, which equates to a 36% increase quarter on quarter."
In addition, Nikon Rumors has reported that Nikon's stock price has increased by almost 50% since 01 January – and by around 10% since Nikon announced its financial results on 04 February.
As an iconic camera manufacturer that has consistently produced excellent camera equipment, it's good to see that Nikon's fortunes are beginning to turn around. Plus, with news of new Nikon Z cameras coming at some point this year, there's definitely a light at the end of the tunnel for the imaging giant.