Consumers of imaging products have started moving towards the high-end driven by upgrades, according to Nikon India MD Sajjan Kumar. “Here product value is much more and that has helped companies like us,” he explained, adding how despite the “negative consumer sentiment”, the company has been able to maintain a Rs 1000-crore turnover in the last financial year.
Nikon is also on the verge of a big change in camera technology, having launched its first mirrorless full-frame cameras in the past year. “It is about consumer choice. The mass numbers are still in DSLRs, in entry to mid-range. Mirrorless penetration in the industry is about 22 per cent, and nowhere has it before 80 or 100 per cent.
In full-frame, however, this ratio is skewed in favour of mirrorless and we are expecting more than 50 per cent share this year,” he said, when asked if this will be the year mirrorless will become mainstream. In Nikon, he said, both DSLRs and Mirrorless will coexist and there is no competition.
“We would say we came out at the right time with our mirrorless Z series. We reached out to over 7,000 photographers and that gave us a first-hand feel how the customers will take it and got a positive response,” added Kumar who took over as MD last June after an 11-year association with Nikon India in different roles.
Nikon’s new Z series mirrorless cameras also usher in the Z mount system which offers a more consistent approach that lets the company innovate on offerings like a 58mm f/0.95 lens in the near future. “Video capturing is special in these products. A shift towards video is happening and this is an appropriate product to match with that shift,” Kumar added. He said the demand for pre-wedding shoots and destination weddings are fuelling demand for more versatile video equipment.
Kumar said the mirrorless full-frame customer comes from a video shooting environment and not exactly an upgrade. “It is coming from that segment also. With time we will tell how much is coming from what segment.
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On the camera segment seeing more competition with brands like Sony, Kumar said: “More competition is always good. We see the positive side and it keeps you under check and makes you think what you are doing for the customer, market and product.”
“The smartphone has only helped the imaging industry, but there is no comparison when you look at the size of the categories. Someone who is generating more serious content will certainly need a proper device, especially when you are looking at quality or more control.”