Nikon has delayed next month’s launch of its flagship D500 DSLR, forcing the firm to cut its camera sales forecast for the year.

The long-awaited successor to the D300S – originally expected to arrive in the UK in March – is now not expected in stores until late April.

UPDATE 11 February: A Nikon UK spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that the revised sales start-date for the D500 is late April 2016.’

In its latest financial statements, released on 4 February (see below), Nikon said: ‘Sales forecast is downwardly revised by 10 billion yen as a result of the revised market forecast and because of the postponement of new D500 launch.’

The Nikon D500 has been postponed until late April, according to a translation of a page posted in Japanese by Nikon Japan.

The new Nikon DX-format-series flagship boasts a 153-point Multi-Cam 20K AF system – as featured on the D5 – but in a smaller and lighter body.

‘The benefits of the DX-format are evident for long-distance applications such as wildlife and sports photographers, where telephoto ability is at a premium and weight-reduction is welcome,’ Nikon US said when announcing the D500 last month.

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Above: Nikon confirmed the D500 delay in its latest business results

Though aimed at ‘advanced enthusiasts and professional photographers’, as Amateur Photographer magazine reported in January, amateurs may have to wait to get hold of the 20.9-million-pixel camera, which is expected to cost £1,729.99 (body only).

Speaking last month, Simon Iddon, head of product management at Nikon UK said: ‘Due to the anticipated high demand for this new flagship DX DSLR, we will be prioritising pre-orders placed by Nikon Professional Services members and Nikon Professional Users.’

As the successor to the D300S, which was launched in September 2009, the D500 will sit above the Nikon D7200.

Nikon UK had yet to respond to a request for comment at the time of writing.

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