Print 18 comment(s) - last by Monkey's Uncle.. on Jul 10 at 8:57 AM

Nikon eyes to move in the medical realm

Nikon is one of the biggest companies in the photography industry. The company produces cameras that fall into every price range imaginable from super expensive professional grade cameras to cheap point-and-shoot offerings selling for around $55. However, Nikon president Makoto Kimura recently told Bloomberg in an interview that while the sales of smartphones are booming, sales of cameras are slumping.

“The number of people taking snapshots is exploding by use of smartphones that sold 750 million or so last year and are still growing,” Kimura said. “We’ve centralized our ideas around cameras but can change our approach to offer products to that bigger market.”

While Kimura didn't go into detail on Nikon's earnings, he did say that the company's Q1 earnings estimates were "fairly low" and that the official Q1 results would probably be close to predictions or "a little short." Nikon was previously predicting a 53% gain in net income for its fiscal year started on April 1.

Nikon predicts that the compact camera market will shrink 12% during the current financial year. However, the company believes that high-end models with changeable lenses will gain 9%. Kimura wouldn't get specific, but did say some things that seemed to indicate Nikon is considering going in a different direction.

“We want to create a product that will change the concept of cameras,” said Kimura. “It could be a non-camera consumer product.” Kimura declined to specify if the camera maker was looking into the smartphone market. Kimura did say that Nikon was considering an expansion into the production of medical devices with the goal of creating revenue in the medical realm within three years, areas where both Sony and Olympus have found success.
Competitor Sony also acknowledged last year that the point-and-shoot market is shrinking as smartphones continue to explode in popularity.

Source: Bloomberg

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If you can't beat 'em join 'em.
By Flunk on 7/8/2013 11:03:18 AM , Rating: 4
Why doesn't Nikon start building Smartphones, they can be known for their great cameras. The market for point and shoot cameras will likely disappear in the next 5 years, 10 years max. The barrier for entry as an Android smartphone manufacturer is pretty low.

I'm not saying that they can't go after medical imaging as well.

RE: If you can't beat 'em join 'em.
By Nutzo on 7/8/2013 11:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
There's still a market for point & shoot cameras, it's mainly the low end of the point & shoot market that's disappearing.

Even the best cell phone cameras lack the optical zoom, optical image stabilization and low light performance of a decent point and shoot.
Even my 6 year old, 7 megapixel cannon P&S takes better pictures than a cell phone in most cases.

As for my current Sony P&S travel zoom, cell phone pictures and video are not even close.

RE: If you can't beat 'em join 'em.
By Nortel on 7/8/2013 1:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
Any move Nikon makes in the smartphone market will be mirrored by Samsung. If you look at all the directions Nikon could go in this space, it all leads back to Android. Android is already a hugely competitive area and from what HTC has experienced, it would be certain death to move into Android smartphones without supreme superiority over the competition.

Samsung has slapped together two crossover phone/camera models, with emphasis on the camera side and the market hasn't taken to them with any enthusiasm. Nikon can certainly bring wifi and Bluetooth into their SLR's but in the end it could come off as gimmicky and not drive further sales. On the P&S front, Nikon churns out the same products as Canon, Sony, Samsung and the rest. It's a dying market that is over saturated with very little innovation in the past 6 or more years.

To come back to it, what can Nikon do now? IMHO their best move would be to license their 'technology' to a smartphone maker like HTC and use 'Nikkor' lens and sensor tech.

By Monkey's Uncle on 7/10/2013 8:57:39 AM , Rating: 2
To come back to it, what can Nikon do now? IMHO their best move would be to license their 'technology' to a smartphone maker like HTC and use 'Nikkor' lens and sensor tech.

While they could get some mileage out of licensing their Nikkor optics, the sensors on most Nikons is made by guys like Sony and (recently) Toshiba. I imaging they could get some licensing going for their expeed processing engines from the Motorolas, LGs and HTCs of the world (Samsung has their own mature camera lines).

Unfortunately the average Joe casual photographer is turning to their smartphones for taking pictures rather than carrying around even a compact camera. That leaves the compact camera market small indeed since most guys don't have room in their pockets for both a smartphone and a compact cam and most women don't want the added weight in their purses.

RE: If you can't beat 'em join 'em.
By BRB29 on 7/8/13, Rating: 0
RE: If you can't beat 'em join 'em.
By Shadowself on 7/8/2013 2:55:08 PM , Rating: 3
the medical imaging tech in demand doesn't use photons. Nokia does not have any IP in this. For example, MRI uses antimatter.
Wrong. A MRI system (originally called NMR for nuclear magnetic resonance) spins the protons and then records the radiated energy from that spin decay. And how does the system record that decay energy? With PHOTONS. It has absolutely nothing to do with anti matter.

The technique that does use anti matter is Positron-Electron Tomography (PET) (sometimes called Positron Emission Tomography) scans. The annihilation of the positrons is the source of gamma rays -- which are..... wait for it.... PHOTONS!

RE: If you can't beat 'em join 'em.
By niva on 7/8/2013 7:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I was going to say... we just got around to proving antimatter exists fairly recently, it's definitely not used during MRI scans.

That being said, your explanation also doesn't sound correct. I believe MRI measures magnetic fields and not actual radiation/photons for visualizations. Maybe I'm wrong though...

RE: If you can't beat 'em join 'em.
By sld on 7/9/2013 3:24:27 AM , Rating: 2
The intense magnetic field provides the energy for protons to "spin up" from the ground state. When the protons relax back to ground state, the energy is released in the form of PHOTONS (radio waves).

By Monkey's Uncle on 7/10/2013 8:49:16 AM , Rating: 2
Guys, instead of trying to guess how MRI works, just google it. ;)

While Nikon does get into CT and X-Ray equipment, it does not do MRI.

By Reclaimer77 on 7/8/2013 9:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
MRI uses antimatter.

"Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Introduce better upgraded products.
By DrApop on 7/8/2013 11:16:52 AM , Rating: 2
Outside of megapixels, the two major camera makers haven't done a whole lot.

Just look at the open platform Magic Lantern that can turn many Canon DSLR's from the lowly T3i to the Mark III into RAW video performance cameras....meanwhile Canon sits around and just introduced the same models but with new names and the same features.

Just look at the Black Magic Pocket Camera that can produce higher fidelity (prores and CinimaDNG) HD video for under $1000.

Smartphones have taken the place of point and clicks. They need to think outside the box and do more rather than the same old thing, otherwise a new generation of companies a much lower price point.

RE: Introduce better upgraded products.
By BRB29 on 7/8/2013 2:47:22 PM , Rating: 2
The T3i is old and cost $400 or less. Why are you comparing a $400 camera to a $1000 camera.

The T3i is yesteryear's entry level DSLR much like the Nikon D3100. Even the MLC Sony Nex 5R will take better photos. I don't think you know what you're saying.

RE: Introduce better upgraded products.
By SPOOFE on 7/8/2013 4:38:16 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you comparing a $400 camera to a $1000 camera.

Because Canon hasn't done much to update that old camera, even though recent hacks have shown that the hardware can be very competitive with new, fancy cameras.

By BRB29 on 7/9/2013 9:38:25 AM , Rating: 2
Because Canon hasn't done much to update that old camera

Canon T4i
and it's still below 1k.

Bridge and DSLR
By chris2618 on 7/8/2013 1:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
The point and shoot market may be evaporating but i wonder about the number of bridge and DSLR being sold. I don't know if i'm noticing them more but everyone seems to have them now.

RE: Bridge and DSLR
By DrApop on 7/8/2013 2:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
The price has finally dropped to the same price point of some of the old SLR's. Plus even the cheapest DSLR's nowadays can also do HD video. ($600 including an 18-55 mm lens at the low end)

They are a better option than getting a separate camera and video camera....especially if you like to take quality pictures (above a point and shoot) and to do above average video.

Throw in $60-$80 for extremely good video editing and photography software (for the average user and above - non-professional). You can do some pretty amazing stuff.

As I'm sure Mr. Kimura reads DT
By bug77 on 7/8/2013 10:50:25 AM , Rating: 2
I want better low-light performance with better dynamic range for sensors. For the current price of a DX camera, or less.
I also don't care about video on DSLRs (I know others do, but this post is about what I want).

Smart phone cameras
By ManuRajiTater on 7/8/2013 11:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
Smart phone cameras contribute to photography as much as McDonald's to your health.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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