Nikon has confirmed that technical problems have forced it to delay the release of its flagship DL compacts and warned that the Japanese earthquakes will affect camera and lens production.
Among the cameras hit is the Nikon DL 24-85 f/1.8-2.8 – a high-end compact that was due to go on sale in June
It has been a torrid few days for Nikon and other Japanese firms after a series of earthquakes struck Kumamoto, a region of Japan regarded as a manufacturing hub for companies including Nikon and Sony.
Shortly after the quakes struck, Nikon separately revealed delays to digital cameras including its recently announced premium-level DL compacts, blaming ‘serious issues with the integrated circuit for image processing’ on all three models.
Nikon has yet to confirm a revised release date for these cameras, which were announced in February in a bid to shake up the high-end compact camera market and expected to go on sale in June.
The cameras affected – each boasting 4K video – are the DL 24-85 f/1.8-2.8 (pictured above), Nikon DL 18-50mm f/1.8-2.8, and Nikon DL 24-500 f/2.8-5.6.
Nikon has also pulled back the launch of the COOLPIX A300, B500, A900 and B700, and delayed its KeyMission 360 action camera, to allow more time for ‘software adjustment’.
D500 escapes further delay
However, release of the Nikon D500 DSLR, which originally had been due to go on sale in March, has escaped further delay. The D500 went on sale today, confirmed a spokesperson for Nikon UK.
The Nikon D500, which went on sale today
Meanwhile, along with other Japanese companies, Nikon is recovering from the Kumamoto earthquakes that reportedly killed at least 42 people and injured about 3,000 since the first one struck on 14 April.
A statement released by Nikon on 20 April suggests that the quakes will ‘inevitably’ affect production of interchangeable-lens cameras and lenses, as well as compacts.
It read: ‘The suppliers of parts for Nikon products such as digital cameras with interchangeable lenses, interchangeable lenses, and compact digital cameras… were affected by the series of earthquakes that started on April 14 in Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan, and this will inevitably impact our production and sales.
‘We are currently investigating the situation, and we will announce the details as soon as they are confirmed.’
The firm added: ‘We sincerely apologise to our customers, business partners and all those who have expressed interest in these models for the delays.
‘We are making every effort to bring these models to market at the earliest possible date without compromising on our standards and the total Nikon product experience.’
Sony has also been hit, confirming that its main site for image-sensor manufacture, the Kumamoto Technology Centre, was damaged in the earthquakes, as was a semiconductor plant which was forced to suspend production.’
‘In addition, the earthquakes have caused damage to the manufacturing facilities of certain third-party suppliers of components to Sony, the impact of which on Sony’s business operations is currently being evaluated,’ read a statement posted on Sony’s website last Friday.
Nikon UK today told Amateur Photographer that there have been no further official updates on this matter following the release of the 20 April statement by Nikon’s Japanese HQ.
At the time of writing, Sony had yet to respond to a request for a further update on the repercussions of the earthquakes.
• AP will update this post as and when we hear back from other companies that may have been affected by the Kumamoto earthquakes.