Nikon denies plans to drop compact film cameras|
(Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 00:12 EST)
An article published by Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun has suggested that Nikon Corp. is planning to discontinue its 35mm compact film cameras in favour of digital models.
Nikon Japan quickly issued a denial, but the article does raise a relevant point. As digital cameras rapidly replace the traditional film camera market, it makes sense that camera manufacturers will reduce their film camera output due to the decreased demand.
With market research companies like InfoTrends predicting that digital will have nearly replaced film by 2008, this isn't just an issue Nikon will have to deal with - its competitors will find themselves in the same boat too.
The film camera business may sustain itself on enthusiasts who believe film offers better image quality - in much the same way as some audio enthusiasts still prefer vinyl records - but those film enthusiasts are less likely to be considering compact cameras. As digital cameras continue to give better quality images at lower prices, most consumers will likely either opt for a disposable film camera, or step up to a digital camera. With increasingly little price advantage compared to an entry-level digital camera, the compact film camera seems destined to be a thing of the past in not much longer.
Nikon's press release notes that the company doesn't currently have plans to withdraw from the compact film camera business, and this may be true now - but in time we'd see most all of the major manufacturers paring back their film camera lineups to a bare minimum, if perhaps not phasing them out altogether. The only question is when it will happen...