The big news in the camera world today is Samsung is exiting the camera business in the U.K. The steady drip of market exits by Samsung has been blamed on the steady decline in demand. Or the fact Samsung could never punch through the Canon/Nikon/Sony gauntlet.
What does it mean for consumers in the UK? The DSLR-like NX1 and the mirrorless NX500 are officially gone from store shelves.
“We quickly adapt to market needs and demands. In the UK, we have seen a gradual and sustained decline in demand for standalone digital cameras and camcorders and related accessories. For this reason, we have taken the decision to phase out the sales and marketing of these products. This is a local decision, based on local market conditions.”
That’s the official word from Samsung. The rumors? Nikon is snapping up Samsung’s mirrorless tech. Why Samsung’s mirrorless sensors? In some benchmarks, they outperform the sensors in Sony’s line of prosumer and professional cameras.
Nikon and Samsung Partnership Rumor
How would this work? The best guess is Nikon has snapped up Samsung’s sensor tech and will announce at CES. While owning the technology, they will enter into a partnership with Samsung to produce the sensors for Nikon cameras moving forward.
Wait, a new Nikon? I think I just saw a unicorn walk by my window.
While the rumors make sense in that Nikon needs something to push against the rise of Sony in the prosumer/pro market, Samsung tosses a bit of cold water on the rumor.
If Nikon is acquiring the NX tech, the drip of local market exit announcements comes off as odd. Blaming local demand is not how acquisitions work. It’s interesting, and it could be one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.
Or, Nikon is letting the statements speak to Samsung’s exit and have plans for CES. It’s an odd play, but if that’s the move, Nikon’s new models will have to impress to offset the optics of how Samsung is exiting.
As a whole, the camera industry is rapidly shifting. Smartphone cameras continue to get more impressive. The cameras in the iPhone 6s Plus, Nexus 6P and Sony Xperia Z5 have replaced the snap purchases of entry-level DSLR’s.
Those are now gathering dust as amateur photographers rely on more on their smartphones. Professionals continue to show off the power of the cameras.
Where does that leave industry stalwarts like Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc.? The Instagrammer who wants better images. The YouTuber who wants more control. The amateur who discovered they want to leap to the next tier of camera tech. Camera phones are great, but some shots will always require more.
Can a Nikon/Samsung partnership rumor work? Absolutely. And it can give Samsung a path back to its monster profits. Stick with the hardware that has brand recognition. If you say Samsung to a random passerby, they will never say look at my badass NX500. Say Nikon? It’s cameras, cameras and more cameras.
All eyes will be on CES to see if the rumor plays out. I hope so. Nikon fans would love to see new tech, and more importantly a new camera model appear.