Generalissimo Nikon 1 is Still Dead

The German Web site digitalkamera.de announced the death of the Nikon 1 just as I returned from my Internet hiatus.

I started asking the question if Nikon 1 was officially dead back in early 2016. I pretty much pronounced it dead in the middle of that year. I got pushback from a number of people on that, but nothing has changed. No new Nikon products have appeared in 2016 or 2017, and slowly but surely the existing models all end up on Nikon's official discontinued list (the V3 is now listed as discontinued in Japan, for instance).

The strange bit is that Nikon executives were going around in July giving interviews with vague comments about "new mirrorless products." The implication in those statements was that these won't be Nikon 1 updates, but something higher end.

Canon's success with the EOS-M cameras (70% growth from 2016 to 2017 first half) has got to have Nikon thinking response. And that response can't be a 1" sensor camera ala another Nikon 1 update. The Canon M5 and M6 cameras are fast becoming the best-selling mirrorless bodies now, and they slot into the "compete with crop-sensor DSLR" segment. Even I own an M5 instead of a Nikon D3400. Why? Because I get crop-sensor results in a very small form that's easy to pack into the briefcase (especially with the 22mm pancake lens).

So, despite all the heated rhetoric that occurred about "Nikon mirrorless" while I was off the Internet in July, nothing has changed. The Nikon 1 is still dead, Nikon is still not likely to show a new mirrorless system in 2017, and no one knows exactly what it is they're working on, and probably won't until sometime in 2018.

Update: Not sure when dpreview posted Nikon's official response to digitalkamera.de, but in my opinion nothing changes. Nikon's response was "[we] continue to produce and sell the Nikon 1 line. We cannot comment on future product or speculation." Okay, so let's go to the marketing interpretation AI on this:

The first line actually says "we have inventory of Nikon 1 products and will continue to sell them. We haven't officially discontinued the J5 and AW1." No one's disputing that, actually. As with other products Nikon has produced, they'll run the parts they have in stock through the production line until they run out. At which time they'll officially discontinue the products, as they have the V3 and S2 recently.

The second line is bull****. Let's see, Nikon, D850 Development Announcement? ;~) That sure seems to be a statement about future product. The fact that Nikon didn't say "we are committed to the Nikon 1 line and will continue to produce CX cameras and lenses in the future" is very telling. Extremely telling.

In essence, by saying they won't comment they are either saying (1) we are happy to let people speculate that the Nikon 1 is dead and reduce our sales; or (2) we just don't want to acknowledge yet that the Nikon 1 is dead. #1 is nonsense from a marketing standpoint. No company should let Internet speculation reign the way Nikon would be if they were choosing #1. That would imply either that Nikon is wickedly incapable of understanding how the Internet works in regards to sales support, or that they couldn't care if Nikon 1 sales go down. Which one would you like us to believe, Nikon? ;~)

So it's #2: we just don't want to acknowledge yet that the Nikon 1 is dead. As the quote goes: "the first step towards perfect is acknowledging your imperfections." Take the step, Nikon.

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