Nikon’s announcement today that it was ditching the long-awaited DL line of mirrorless cameras came as a shock, especially to Nikon dealers who expected the new cameras to arrive last year. The DL series was announced over a year ago and was expected to be on dealers’ shelves by last June.
The company planned three versions of the one-inch sensor camera — one with a 24-85mm zoom, another with an 18-50mm and a third with 24-500mm. Now, after all the anticipation and the hype, Nikon says that this sector of the market is “no longer of interest.”
Apparently there were increasing concerns over development costs and profitability against the backdrop of a slowing down of the market in general.
One Nikon dealer I spoke to today said he was astonished that after all the anticipation the project had been abandoned so suddenly.
The heavy end of the one-inch zoom market is now left to Sony with the RX10 and Panasonic with the FZ2000. In the compact zoom area there are three current players, Sony with the successful RX100V, Panasonic with the new LX10/15 and Canon with the G7X.
In addition, Nikon retains its presence in the 1in sector with the long-standing Nikon 1 ILC. But judging by the lack of emphasis on this model at last September’s Photokina I cannot believe it is long for this world. I can’t remember when I last saw one in the wild. Another dead end, perhaps.
As mirrorless cameras have developed over the past seven years the two major DSLR manufacturers, Nikon and Canon, have been consistently blindsided by the likes of Fuji and Sony. It’s a mystery why this is so. Perhaps they think that the mirrorless concept is a flash in the pan and will go away. If so, I think they are making a huge mistake. But then they know better than me.