People tend to get their knickers in a twist when traditional things become obsolete. So Nikon’s news that it’s only produce digital cameras in the future will definitely cause some tangled undergarments in the photographic community.
In a bid to make itself more competitive in the digital market, Nikon added it will stop producing most of its film camera bodies (pictured), interchangeable manual focus lenses and lenses for large format cameras.
Will we suffer from knotted pants here at Stuff towers? Probably not. A move to the sole production of digital SLRs will undoubtedly bring their price down – a price you’ll be able to afford once you’ve dug your dusty old film SLR out of the attic and flogged it to a traditional enthusiast.
Professionals won’t find themselves in too much hot water, either – Nikon will still flog its flagship F6 film camera and lenses and, if you fancy a holiday, the FM10 will continue to be available outside Europe. If, however, you’re just the average happy-snapper with a yearning for the mystical wonders of the dark room, you may be disappointed.
The price of camera film is set to soar as other camera makers follow Nikon’s lead – Kodak's already made a similar change in focus, and Olympus has spoken in public about a shift to higher-end digital SLRs. The traditional film SLR looks likely to become obsolete fast.
The shift to high-end digital SLRs is a must for camera makers as mobile companies tighten the thumbscrews with ever improving specs for camphones. Last year we saw the Sharp 903 hit the 3MP mark and it’s a given that by the end of this year we’ll see a 5MP camera phone, possibly from Sharp or Samsung, who already have a 5MP moby in Korea. The standalone digital camera could soon be for the chop too.
It’s not surprising. Like record companies and book publishers threatened by the towering inferno that is technological advance, traditional camera makers are finding themselves squeezed out of a market place they once ruled.
Nikon reckon stocks will last until summer, so if you want one last romance with a traditional Nikon SLR, you’d better get your skates on.