A week ago we shared a photo showing Nikon’s factory in Thailand submerged due to the catastrophic flooding happening there. The latest news is that both Nikon and Sony have had their camera factories severely damaged, which may have cause delays of at least 1-2 months. 90% of Nikon’s SLR cameras — the low to mid-range ones — are produced at the company’s Thailand plant, while 100% of Sony DSLRs are made at its now-damaged factory.
Nikon was expected to announce a new DSLR by the end of this year, but it seems like that may be postponed indefinitely at this point. Sony’s new NEX-7 and A65 cameras have been pulled from Amazon due to “manufacturing concerns”.
Thailand is experiencing the worst flooding it has seen in more than 50 years, and Nikon is also getting hit hard. A statement released by the company today (and photos emerging from the area) reveals that the company’s entry-level DSLR factory there is now swamped with water:
The 1st floor of all buildings at the premises are presently submerged. Details of the damages are now under investigation. […] We are continuing to investigate details of the damage, but are unable to predict how soon operation will be resumed. We will set up our recovery support system and endeavor to restart its operation as early as possible.
This may lead to a shortage in supply and an increase in prices — the same thing we saw after the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year.
You’ve probably seen countless photographs already of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan back in March, but they were likely captured by professional photographers looking to have the images published in news outlets. What, then, would photographs look like if they were taken by ordinary people who were directly affected by the disaster? Aichi Hirano found out the answer to this question by distributing 50 disposable cameras to survivors at a number of shelters with a note that read,
Please take photos of things you see with your eyes, things you want to record, remember, people near you, your loved ones, things you want to convey… please do so freely. And please enjoy the process if you can, even if it’s just a little bit.
There have been a number of devastating tornadoes in the Southeastern United States this past week, with the homes in many communities reduced to rubble. While certain things can be rebuilt or replaced, photographs lost in the storm often cannot be. A new Facebook page has been created after the storms that aims to reunite owners with photographs scattered in the winds, and already boasts close to 50,000 fans and 600+ uploaded photographs. It’s a neat idea, and a great example of how Facebook can be used for good and not just procrastination.
The stock prices of major camera equipment manufacturers took a major — and expected — dive after the earthquake on March 11, 2011. Though they made a brief recovery afterward, they’re continuing to fall due to the risk that gear prices may soon skyrocket soar once decreased production isn’t able to meet demand.
After last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Canon and Nikon have been forced to shut down major camera and lens manufacturing plants due to damage and injuries to employees. At Canon’s Utsunomiya plant — which contributes to much of the company’s lens output and appears as the letter “U” on the date code — 15 workers were injured and operations have been suspended indefinitely. Nikon’s Sendai plant — which has produced all of Nikon’s pro-level DSLRs including the D3S, D3X, and D700 — has been shut down as well after an unspecified number of workers were injured. No word on when operations at the plants might resume.
The two companies are also doing their part in contributing towards the relief efforts: Nikon is making a cash donation of 100 million Yen (~$1.25m USD) to the Japanese Red Cross, while Canon is donating 300 million Yen ($3.7m USD).
The massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that devastated Japan today was located just east of the city of Sendai, which subsequently suffered major damage due to the resulting tsunami. What you might not know is that the city is home to Nikon’s flagship manufacturing facility — the plant that produces Nikon’s professional DSLRs (e.g. D3s, D3x and D700). Fortunately, Nikon reports that there have been no reports of injuries among its employees in that city, and the plant seems to have escaped serious damage as well. Read more…
This poor wedding photographer wasn’t looking at where he was going and, as a result, caused a huge commotion and likely ruined his pricey gear. On the plus side, he’s probably learned to make note of his surroundings for the rest of his life. Hopefully the photographs survived.