Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Nikon is known worldwide for its digital and film cameras, binoculars, microscopes, and ophthalmic lenses. Nikon’s major competitor is Canon, also headquartered in Tokyo. In January 2013, Nikon introduced two new cameras, the COOLPIX S9500, a multifunctional, high-power zoom model offering 22× optical zoom and equipped with wi-fi connectivity and GPS functions, and the COOLPIX S9400, a high-performance model equipped with an 18× optical zoom lens. Nikon Vision Co., Ltd. recently released the new ACULON A211 binoculars, designed for a wide range of outdoor activities, such as bird watching, nature observation, boating, and hiking. The compact digital camera market globally is shrinking and prices are falling with the proliferation of smartphones with built-in cameras. This is a major problem for Nikon going forward, as is the shrinking global market for their liquid crystal display (LCD) steppers and scanners. Nikon’s fiscal year ends on March 31.
The top three digital camera producers, Canon, Nikon, and Sony, are facing potential disaster because excellent technology in smartphones today allows people to take high quality pictures without buying a high quality camera. According to International Data Corp. (IDC), in the first five months of 2013, global shipments of compact digital cameras declined 43 percent. Canon is trying to maintain its 23 percent share of the global camera market, followed by Nikon with a 21 percent and Sony with 15 percent. IDC reports that the global digital camera market peaked in 2010 and will likely endure a 30 percent drop in revenue in 2013 alone. For Nikon, digital cameras are part of its imaging products segment, a segment that generates 91.8 percent of revenues. In contrast, Canon’s imaging systems segment, which includes sales of digital cameras, accounts for 39.4 percent of the company’s sales.
Copyright by Fred David Books LLC. (Written by Forest R. David)
The company that became Nikon was founded in 1917 as part of the huge Mitsubishi keiretsu, a group of businesses linked by cross-ownership. Originally the company name was Nippon Kogaku, but the name changed to Nikon in 1988. During World War II, the company grew to 19 factories and 23,000 employees, supplying binoculars, lenses, bomber sights, and submarine periscopes to the Japanese military. After the war, Nippon Kogaku reverted to producing civilian products in a single factory. In 1948, the first Nikon-branded camera, the Nikon I, was released. Nikon lenses became popular during the Korean War because U.S. photojournalist, David Duncan, popularized them. Nikon also designs and manufactures precision equipment for use in semiconductor and LCD fabrication, inspection, and measurement.
Over its long history, Nikon has developed and sold millions of photographic lenses under the Nikkor name, including projection lenses for LCD’s and scanners, as well as lenses for both film and digital cameras. The Nikkor history began in 1933 with shipments of Aero-Nikkor lenses for aerial photography.
Nikon Middle East FZE started operations in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2012, and in Brazil and Thailand the year before. In January 2013, to tell the story of the company, Nikon released its second movie, The Day, telling about the Nikon brand ( http://nikonimaging.tumblr.com ). That movie followed Tears, released by Nikon in late 2012, to personify the ultimate human emotion (tears). The Day reveals the fun of manipulating light with Nikon digital cameras and Nikkor lenses, using various scenes such as the morning sun, a vibrant flower, and the natural smile of a child.