Nikon Pulls Out of Professional Video Under Financial Melt Down?

by planetMitch3 Comments

It looks like Nikon is in BIG trouble financially and that could be impacting many photographers and filmmakers in the future.

NikonRumors posts “Nikon has started massive cost cutting measures all over the world

Nikon has started massive cost cutting measures all over the world. They already canceled many of their rebates after expecting a significant sales and income drop in the next 12 months.  Here are some of the tips/rumors I have been receiving in the past few days:

Nikon laid off almost everyone at Nikon Nordic (Sweden) in oder to centralize their European offices. They only have few sales people left.

→ Update: Nikon also had a big reduction of staff in Brazil (mainly marketing) which is strange given the upcoming Olympic games.

Nikon canceled their sales commission program in the US (also know as spiff). Other companies still pay commissions and you can imaging how sales people will now start pushing other brands.

(There's more similar statements in the NikonRumors post)

Nikon pulls out of Professional Video?

Just before NAB, we heard that Nikon pulled out of NAB and we certainly didn't see them anywhere on the floor – and they had a large central presence in 2015.

One email (which I didn't see but was told existed) said Nikon is (my words) “pulling out of professional video” and had cancelled their booth at NAB.

I wrote Nikon and asked if they were pulling out of professional video and was told:

Nikon continues to support professional film makers with a line of very capable DSLR camera bodies and NIKKOR lenses that are ideal for pro video applications. Nikon’s two newest DSLRs, the D5 and D500, can record in 4K UHD, and provide the advanced video features that professionals have come to appreciate.”

What does that mean?

Well their response certainly indicated they plan to continue offering video functionality, but seems to mean simply they are no longer courting filmmakers and will continue to put video in their cameras but not push the envelope of features. At least that's my interpretation.

Canon has had a major focus on filmmakers after the success of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II – they launched the Cinema EOS line of dedicated video cameras and even have continued the support of Cinema EOS in the Canon EOS 1D C (tho we haven't heard many rumors of a successor – but the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II does have 4k). They even created the Hollywood support center to help with filmmaking.

And Nikon never did anything like that – tho we do know they courted filmmakers and wanted films made with Nikon cameras, but they never went anywhere close to the support levels that Canon went after.

I held off reporting on the concept of Nikon “pulling out of professional video” because I didn't get a whole lot of confirmation from Nikon, but with the reports of their financial difficulties and with the reports from NikonRumors of these massive cost cutting efforts, it all ties together.

We haven't seen major inroads in filmmaking with Nikon, and with the cost cutting I think they're simply realizing that they've lost that battle and are focussing on things they do well – photography and lenses.

I wish them well!

(cover photo credit: snap from NikonRumors)


  1. Planet5D is the source to get all the latest news in everything photography/videography.

    1. How could you not look out on the horizon and not see what was happening in the DSLR market with cameras now being used to make MOVIES and not try to seriously out perform Canon,and Sony in this new way to use the cameras.Who at Nikon said we are good we don’t need to change a thing we doing?

  2. Bottom Line: If you shoot Nikon you need two systems – one for stills and one for video. That is no surprise. Nikon will eventually sell its photography business. Handwrting is on the wall.

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