The FM Numbers

(commentary)

So yesterday's poll (still live) gives us a snapshot into serious Nikon user's minds, and there's no real surprises in the numbers:

fmsurvey1.jpeg

74% of the responses indicated that they were interested in the camera, over a third were extremely interested. The challenge for Nikon, however, is the second set of numbers from the survey:

fmsurvey2.jpeg

Only 30% of the respondents would pay US$2000 or more for a digital FM body. One of Nikon's problems is the recently announced Sony A7/A7r combo. Coupled with the Nikon D610 and Canon 6D, the price people are willing to pay for full frame cameras is coming down, and significantly so. I suspect also there's the notion that a digital FM should be "simpler" than a D610, therefore less expensive, too. 

I'll have more to say when Nikon announces the camera, as there are some further plot twists ahead. But a digital FM is going to come into a basically receptive Nikon audience. The question for Nikon is how receptive will they still be after the camera's details and price are revealed. 

For example, consider two possibilities given the survey responses above: (1) a US$3000 body with forced bundled 50mm lens versus (2) a US$1700 body, where both are basically a stripped retro-type body (no flash, no video, no new features, etc.). 

Nikon's in a tricky spot given the D600/D610 transition. My best guess is that Nikon will ask for more money for fewer features for the new retro camera. To do otherwise would cripple D610 sales, which already has the D600 splatter/debris issue to get past. It will be interesting to watch how aggressive Nikon is, and how the D610/retroF mix then plays out in sales.  

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