Nikon has confirmed it is to concentrate its efforts on mirrorless cameras in a frank interview with a Japanese business magazine. The Toyo Keizai reports that for the financial year ending in March, Nikon is expected to post a loss of 75 billion yen (about £529 million) – a dizzying fall considering it posted a surplus of 6.7 billion yen in the previous fiscal year.

The company’s operating loss for the April to September 2020 period, meanwhile, fell to a defecit of 46.6 billion yen compared to a 17.5 billion yen surplus for the same period in 2019. While some of this is put down to the disruption caused by Covid 19, Nikon executive Hirotaka Ikegami also admitted in a separate interview that the company underestimated the appeal of mirrorless cameras, particularly at the serious amateur/pro end of the market.

Nikon’s Hirotaka Ikegami, boss of the camera/video division

“I wasn’t looking at the market calmly and objectively,” he says, in a translation from the Japanese. “I was most concerned about how much the performance of the electronic viewfinder can be improved, and the number of shots [per battery charge] can be increased.”

The well-received Z range is currently driving sales and helping hone strategy

While Nikon hesitated, wondering whether EVFs and fewer shots per charge would put off pros, Sony and Canon charged hard to acquire market share. But far from being a mea culpa/gomen nasai, Ikegami is adamant that the success of the Z range is very encouraging; he states that investment is also priority, despite the punishing financial losses and imminent corporate restructuring.

“We are not in a situation where we have to cut investment as part of cost reduction… For the time being, we will concentrate on mirrorless cameras.”

See the full interview here.

Further reading
Nikon Europe interview