Nikon Corp. has released a new FX-format telephoto zoom lens, AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR for full-frame D-SLR cameras. The lens employs a stepping motor to the AF drive to realise high speed and quiet shutter release, also important to videography. The lens is equipped with optical vibration reduction (VR) function giving about 4.5-step advantage. It is also equipped with a SPORT mode to photograph fast-moving subjects. The lens consists of 18 elements in 14 groups, including one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element to correct chromatic aberrations. The closest shooting distance is 1.2m for the entire zoom. The lens is also designed as ‘antidust and antisplash’. The maximum diameter is 80.5mm, length 146m and weighs about 680g. Suggested list price: 94,000 yen.
Nikon Corp. announced on August 3 the financial results for the first quarter ending on June 30, reporting that the total revenue for the period gained a 0.6% year-on-year to 170.3 billion yen, profit in operation declined 31.1% to 12.4 billion yen and net profit down 39.5% to 8.89 billion yen. In the Imaging Products segment, sales of mid-class cameras such as the D7500, a digital SLR camera released in June this year were firm, with unit sales increasing significantly in the U.S. Accordingly, the performance in revenue and operating profit exceeded the planned targets, but compared to the last year, a decease in revenue and operating profit was recorded due to a product mix change caused by the stagnant demand for the D5 and the D500. The company sold 720,000 units of interchangeable-lens cameras, 1.08 million units of interchangeable lenses and 770,000 compact digital cameras. The company said the unit sales of compact digital cameras declined but the average unit price rose about 30%.
IDC Japan recently announced that in the first quarter, the sales of augmented reality and virtual reality headsets have increased by 70%. VR headset shipment rose 70% to 2.242 million units while AR devices gained 77% to 38,000 units. The market share of the companies are as follows: Samsung Electronics captured 22%, followed by Sony 19%, HTC from Taiwan 9%. While in the AR devices - Microsoft took 28%, Epson 19% and Intel 16%. In the Japanese market, Epson took 75% of total AR headset shipments and Sony 84% of VR devices' total units. IDC Japan forecasts that the sale of AR & VR headset in 2021 will grow 10x as compared to that in 2016, mainly due to rapid growth of VR terminals with reduced retail prices, focussed on consumer use. The company estimates that VR terminals will take up 73% of the VR and AR combined market. On the other hand, the IDC predicts that the AR sets will be used mainly by business sectors, such as the healthcare, manufacture and product design segments. The business-use AR devices took 68% of all AR shipments in 2016, which will be 83.3% in 2021. In the Japanese market, the combined shipments will be 1.05 million units in 2021 to grow nearly 9 times from about 120,000 units in 2016.