The Nikon Z9 has claimed the top spot of the professional mirrorless market, with a 57% market share according to Nikon in a latest press release. This data is based on a comparison of US unit sales of full-frame mirrorless cameras with an average selling price of $5,000 and above in the first three months of 2022.
Racking up a share of over half the market is an impressive feat for the newly released Nikon Z9. Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc commented:
"This flagship category is vital; this is where the top-of-the-line technology, performance and reliability matter most, for the most demanding customers. We are constantly receiving shipments of the Z9 from the factory, which are immediately out the door to customers. We are working as hard as we can to fulfill the demand, and it’s truly invigorating to hear the overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive response from more and more customers everyday who are receiving their cameras."
This is all well and good – great, even, for Nikon – but what about professionals and prosumers who are still awaiting for their brand new Nikon Z9? We all know there has been a severe shortage of cameras due to the ongoing chip crisis and limited supply of parts globally. So it does beg the question: how can the Nikon Z9 be on top when you physically can't buy it anywhere?
Most retailers in the US, UK, Australia and more do not have a Z9 in stock. What happened to the days of going to a camera store and picking it up there and then? Yes, you can place your money down at retailers and pray that you get one soon, but without the physical product how do people know it is "the top" professional camera? They don't.
What I imagine is going on here is a very good marketing strategy for Nikon, which was once behind the pack on video features and other imaging settings. After taking a step forward and providing key features to users, albeit late and with a firmware releases, it can now boast about functions and try to regain the confidence from its users, and convince those that left Nikon behind for other manufactures to return.