Nikon Plans `New Concept' SLR Camera as Early as This Year, Kimura Says

Nikon Corp. plans to introduce a new type of single-lens reflex camera as early as this fiscal year, President Makoto Kimura said.

The “new concept” model will probably have an enhanced function for video recording and may adopt the so-called mirrorless structure, Kimura said in an interview today in Tokyo. “It could be any time this fiscal year or the following year, as new models are starting to sell,” he said, declining to specify when the product will be available.

Nikon, Japan’s biggest SLR camera maker, has been intensively focusing on development of the product to fuel revenue growth of digital SLR cameras, Kimura said. The company aims to boost sales of cameras with interchangeable lenses about 80 percent to 6.65 million units in three years to March 2013, Nikon said last month.

In April, Panasonic Corp. started selling a new model of mirrorless camera, lightweight models that don’t have the mirror used in conventional SLR cameras that allows the user to see the same image in the viewfinder as the lens captures. Sony Corp. introduced a similar model last month.

Sales in Japan of cameras with interchangeable lenses rose 35 percent in unit terms and 26 percent by value in May, partly because of the introduction of the news models, according to electronics research firm BCN Inc. in Tokyo.

Global Camera Shipments

Worldwide shipments of digital cameras rose 21 percent in the five months to May 31 from a year earlier, according to Tokyo-based Camera & Imaging Products Association. Revenue from cameras with interchangeable lenses jumped 42 percent while that from compact cameras gained 14 percent.

Nikon rose 4.1 percent to close at 1,611 yen in Tokyo trading today, narrowing its decline this year to 12 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 2.8 percent today.

Tokyo-based Nikon is in its first year of a three-year business plan in which the company aims to boost net income to 65 billion yen ($736 million). That’s more than double the 30 billion yen net income the company forecasts for the year started April 1.

Nikon is targeting record sales of 1.1 trillion yen for the year ending March 2013, 25 percent higher than the 880 billion yen revenue expected for the current fiscal year, the company said June 18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariko Yasu in Tokyo at myasu@bloomberg.net.

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