Nikon to raise prices in June

Nikon to raise prices in June, which must be their annual ‘let’s squeeze a bit more out of our customers’ rise.

A year ago I wrote a post about reduced consumer spending and a struggling retail sector in the UK. Article here.

I could write the same thing this year and it wouldn’t be out of place. So why do Nikon want to raise their prices? Exchange rates? Again? Or just an annual increase? Nikon have already reduced costs and alluded to wanting to sell less units at a higher price.

They have also reduced R&D spend. To me that sets alarm bells ringing. R&D is important but is also the first thing to get cut. I speak from experience. Controlling costs in a struggling environment is necessary. The problem is when the good times return it is very rare for R&D expenditure to go up.

Whatever the reason I can’t see raising prices helping to stop declining sales. It also sets the scene to introduce their mirrorless camera at a higher price point.

I think increased prices will dissuade an already subdued gear buying public. It gives people an excuse to use their smartphone instead of ‘upgrading’. They’ll stick with what they know and what works for them.

If camera manufacturers embark on increasing prices they will have to do more than iterative updates. Arguably they should be anyway. They also need to solve workflow issues. It’s still easier to post an image from a smartphone to social media than a camera. Not that many cameras are connected (Bluetooth / WiFi) or have GPS. All standard fare for a smartphone.

In fact my D5300 has WiFi and GPS. Built in. Two features I particularly wanted. I don’t want to carry a separate GPS unit that can fall out and get lost. Or more importantly, I can leave behind😉

The WiFi enables me to connect to an iPad and review full size images. Theres not many cameras that can do that. Normally you have to use the lightning connector and import your images to the iPad before viewing them bigger than a thumbnail. A quirk of the Apple eco system.

The Nikon D5300 was introduced in 2013. Yet in some respects still gives new cameras a run for their money. I think it might even still be a current model. For me it’s a bit of a sweet spot in terms of features, size, weight and value. I also appreciate it may not be enough for some. That’s why we are fortunate to have a huge choice of not only bodies but different systems these days. There really should be something for everyone.

Some people are posting in forums that it’s interesting times with Canon and Nikon entering the mirrorless foray.

What I find more interesting is how the industry is going to stop the decline in sales…..