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.
Venus Optics recently announced the launch of Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D for Sony Full Frame E-mount cameras. Currently the widest f/2 rectilinear lens in the market, it is an ultra-wide & ultra-fast prime lens which covers both 35mm full-frame & APS-C sensors. Weighing around 500g (~1.1 pounds), the lens is 8 cm long and comprises of 12 elements in 9 groups with 2 pcs of aspherical elements and 3 pcs of Extralow dispersion elements. It provides an extreme 110° angle of view and ultrafast f/2 aperture. The lens provides a super close focussing distance of 15cm and is specially designed to remove the optical distortion commonly exist in wide angle lenses at infinity focus. The new Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D is currently available to pre-order in the official website of Venus Optics (http://www.venuslens.net/) and their authorized resellers at an approximate retail price of USD 849.