Nikkei Needs New Staff Writers

I wonder about news sources these days. Many things reported as "news" don't have any substantiated news content in them.

For example, Nikkei just published—written by "Nikkei staff writers"—an article entitled "Nikon to stop making SLR cameras and focus on mirrorless models." The sub-head gives away how ill-considered the article is: "Smartphones push Japan maker to drop once-covered single-lens reflex models."

Yeah, no.

I don't think it's been a secret that Nikon, like Canon, is currently making a quick transition from DSLR to mirrorless. Nikon executives talk about that openly now, though they're always being careful to say that they'll continue offering DSLRs for the time being. So the "It now plans to focus resources on mirrorless cameras" [my emphasis] in the article is actually probably two to four years out of date. Nikon Imaging made that specific transition quite some time ago. There's no news there.

Nor have smartphones caused the demise of DSLRs, as the "Nikkei staff writers" suggest. As I've reported for over a decade, smartphones have certainly put the squeeze on all the Japanese camera makers, but that has nothing really to do with DSLR versus mirrorless. The entire camera industry is doing exactly what I predicted a decade ago that they would do in response (which, by the way, isn't the correct response ;~). 

Within the article there are no quotes from Nikon executives, no substantiation or even explanation of direct statements. For instance, "The company has already stopped development of compact digital cameras." That perhaps is true, but to my knowledge there is no confirmation of that anywhere to be found. So what's the source of that statement? Hmm, it's the same source as virtually all the other things stated empirically in the article: nowhere to be found. 

Then there's the math. "Mirrorless cameras have also been coming down in price" doesn't agree with the CIPA data, for instance. 

Apparently the Nikkei staff writers are also either not photographers or can't think logically: "with...less lag" is not a thing when compared to DSLRs. The only "less lag" in mirrorless is that the EVF/sensor connection in mirrorless cameras has gotten considerably better over the last decade, now in some cases almost rivaling the live optical view of a DSLR viewfinder.

Finally, there's the throwaway line at the end of the article: "Rival Canon also plans to follow Nikon..." Again unattributed. Sure, it's a logical assumption that both Canon and Nikon will "stop producing SLRs [sic] within a few years," but if you're going to claim that you're a news source, maybe you ought to have some actual reporting to go along with your writing. 

The Nikkei article is already starting to go a bit viral because of the headline—because it plays into fanboy whipping responses—but there's actually nothing new contained in all the words. Nothing. Not a thing has recently changed in Canon's or Nikon's plans and transition that I can tell so far. 

The Nikkei article is junk journalism. It looks like it might be something of importance with new information, but it is a poorly written and unattributed summation of things already understood. You can ignore it.

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