Things You Can Learn From Nikon’s Holiday Flyer


At one time, Nikon was really aggressive about coop advertising with dealers. In most markets there were weekly flyers for all three year-end months and many more during the rest of the year. Things have been settling down from that torrid pace, especially in the smaller markets, like the one I live in, so it was with interest that I picked up the Black Friday flyer in my local newspaper.

Most people read those flyers for the price (“$280 instant savings!”). I read them historically and for nuance. Here’s what I learned:

  • Nikon’s WiFi to mobile device has a name! Snapbridge (no trademark symbol, though). It even has a slug-line: “Connect your camera and your compatible smartphone wirelessly — in a snap.” Of course, there’s also a footnote: “The Wireless Mobile Utility application must be installed on the device before it can be used with cameras having built-in Wi-Fi capability or connected to a WU-1a or WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter.” Hmm, buy an accessory and download an app makes it not so snappy, but okay, it’s marketing. 
  • We’re down to two generations of DSLRs Nikon’s trying to sell. D3200/D3300, D5200/D5300, D7000/D7100. In the FX lineup the D600, D800, and D800E are not mentioned anymore, so supplies must have sold out. 
  • The Coolpix boom is bust. Only five Coolpix models even need apply, and three of them are 34x, 42x, and 60x zoom monsters. 
  • Black, White, and Red all over. The color explosion is over. Black is the new “color.” White and Red are holdovers in a few cases. 
  • The Nikon 1 is mostly absent. Only the AW1 manages a showing, on a page with Nikon’s three waterproof and shockproof options (Coolpix S32, Coolpix AW120, AW1).
  • In keeping with that, the pages are themed (Adventure, Closer [long zoom], Sharing, and for the full frame DSLRs, Possibilities, whatever that means. Yes, the spec numbers are all there, but the "36.3 megapixels” label for the D810 is almost as small as the pixel size in the camera. Nikon moved away from playing up numbers to playing them down. Heck, even EXPEED gets mentioned in bigger print than pixel count. So much for ever thinking Nikon might try a line like “more pixels than equivalent Canon DSLRs, and they perform better, too.” 

I should mention that the 18-140mm DX lens can be added to any DX DSLR purchase now for only US$299.95, a whopping 40% discount. It’s a very good lens, and at that price, a bargain.

Will we see more bargains later in the season? I’m guessing yes, but they’ll be situational: products that aren’t selling up to Nikon’s expectations.

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