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SHORTS AND BRIEFS: January 18

A concise round-up of new product updates, international snippets and other interesting stuff from the wonderful world of photography: Nikon D3500 and D5600 discontinued… Sony’s Airpeak for the pros… Sigma: camera market will stabilise

Nikon D3500 and D5600 discontinued

The Nikon D3500 and D5600 DSLRs are officially listed as discontinued on the Nikon Japan website.

Both entry-level Nikon DSLRs are listed as ‘Old Products’ on the Nikon Japan website, which Nikon Rumors points out traditionally means the company is phasing them out. It’s a startling move, given both cameras were popular and sold well – the D5600 was apparently a best seller in Japan last year.

The D5600 is a 24.2-megapixel DSLR camera, while the D3500 is a 24-megapixel camera, and both sell for around $1000 with a kit lens.

While the D5600 was announced in late 2016, making it somewhat dated, the D3500 hit shelves in August, 2018. And there is yet to be a successor to either camera, although Nikon Rumors suggests an entry-level ‘Z30’ mirrorless camera could fill the hole left by these two cameras.

Sony’s AirPeak for the pros

Sony’s AirPeak, its entrance into the drone market, will debut with a quadcopter capable of carrying Alpha mirrorless cameras.

Details about the Sony AirPeak drone is being drip fed, with the latest release of information coming in conjunction with the (online) CES trade show ordinarily hosted in Las Vegas.

The drone will target professional photographers and videographers, and will be ‘the industry’s smallest class of drone that can be equipped with the Alpha system’. Sony adds it’s ‘capable of dynamic filming and precise, stable flight, and aims to contribute to the world of entertainment while also pursuing new possibilities for creative expression’.

Here is a short video about the upcoming AirPeak drone.

Sigma: camera market will stabilise

Japanese third-party lens manufacturer, Sigma, estimates the shrinking camera market will finally level out and stabilise this year, returning to ‘the level of camera sales in times of traditional photography, before the great digital revolution’.

Kazuto Yamaki, Sigma CEO.

Sigma’s CEO, Kazuto Yamaki, who Inside Imaging had the pleasure of interviewing in 2014, is a unique figure in the world of photography global corporate senior management sector. He naturally forged a relationship with many employees years before becoming CEO, as his father founded the company and he grew up around Sigma’s headquarters; and he brings a refreshingly open and honest assessment of the photo industry and Sigma.

Yamaki wrote an article for Polish business publication, Ican Institute, covering how the family-owned business differs to other manufacturers, the company’s response to the global pandemic, as well as how Sigma is closely exploring the potential to develop lenses for Canon R and Nikon Z mirrorless systems.

‘It’s true that the photography market has been systematically shrinking for years – in keeping with more and more people simply using smartphones to make photos and videos. Less cameras sold also means less potential customers interested in buying a lens, which is why our short‑term strategy indeed involves a possibility of introducing lenses with new mounts – to such photography systems as Nikon Z or Canon EOS R. So far, however, the number of orders for our lenses is still above our manufacturing capacities, and especially the capabilities of our R&D department.’

Sigma has a ‘remarkably limited’ marketing budget compared with other departments, Yamaki writes, ‘as we are not trying to artificially build the power of the brand or to arouse emotions among potential customers’.

As for Sigma’s entrance into camera manufacturing, the company is ‘losing considerable money’. However, the experience developing cameras is ‘invaluable’, as it allows Sigma’s engineers to further refine how to best make a lens communicate with a camera body.

It’s a quality read. Check out the full article.

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