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Nikon squashes DL camera series as companywide restructuring continues

Why it matters to you

The cancellation of the DL cameras is likely the first time consumers are seeing the effects of Nikon's company-wide restructuring -- but a higher than anticipated cost for the restructure could have more changes ahead.

Nikon’s latest line of advanced compact cameras now won’t ever enter reality. Today, Nikon announced that the DL series, including the DL 18-50, DL 24-85, and DL 24-500, has been canceled. At the same time, the company posted a “notice of extraordinary loss” and revision to its financial forecast.

The three DL cameras were originally expected out in June of last year. But according to the company, an error in the integrated circuit that processes the images initially delayed the release. Now, with development costs increasing and the company working to restructure amid financial struggles, the cameras will not be released.

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Nikon also cited a slowdown in the market as another reason why the DL cameras won’t ever come to life. The latest Camera and Imaging Products Association report estimates that, for cameras with fixed lenses, sales will drop by about two million cameras this year.

The DL series was expected to use the same one-inch sensor, but paired with a range of different lenses for three different compact cameras. The series would have been the only fixed lens cameras with advanced features on the market from Nikon, as a small number of older compacts with advanced features haven’t been replaced.

This morning, the company also announced that the restructuring, which began back in November, was also proving to be significantly more expensive than first anticipated. The plan has the company focusing on its high-end cameras in an effort to stay competitive — at the time, Nikon had said it decided to make those changes while still in a financially strong position. A reduction in inventory is the largest reason behind the underestimation of those initial costs, to the tune of 5 billion yen or about $44 million.

As the next step in the company’s restructuring plan, Nikon also shared that 1,143 employees had applied to participate in the company’s early retirement plan, announced in December as part of the restructure. The response to the retirement incentive also created some higher-than-expected expenses.