Announcement Week, but Why?

The list of anticipated product announcements for this week has grown substantially. Canon, OM Digital Solutions, Sigma, to name three. I think there may be others (the Chinese are winding down their Lunar New Year with yesterday’s full moon).

But why this week? 

CP+, the big consumer camera show in Japan starts on February 23rd. Prior to the pandemic, the big camera companies tended to announce their big news the week prior to the show—that would be February 13th and 14th this year—and to stagger the lesser announcements into the prior week (which is this week, with February 7th and 8th being the primary target dates). 

Canon’s announcement is not a “lesser” announcement, though. It’s a fairly big one, with a surprise or two. OMDS and Sigma are only announcing a new lens each, as far as I can tell. So their early announcements seem “normal” to me. But why is Canon announcing two cameras more than two weeks before the show? 

In a typical year I’d tend to say that means that Canon wants some clear sailing and drum beating time to themselves, that they anticipate someone else banging a bigger drum closer to the show opening. Hmm, let me check my press list and see who’s missing. Panasonic has already fired their major salvo (the S5 II at CES). Sony doesn’t seem to be planning anything other than a remake of a lens (50mm f/1.4GM) for this month. That leaves…


No, Ricoh.

Nope, the only two companies I’d see Canon trying to stay out of the way of for marketing noise are Fujifilm and Nikon. Fujifilm is planning another X Summit for April, and that’s where they’ve been making their big announcements in recent years; the CP+ crowd will have the recent X-T5 and the X-H2 twins to ogle over. Which leaves me with the Quiet (as of late) Giant, Nikon. 

As you’re probably aware since you’re reading one of my Web sites, Nikon has been particularly quiet since October 2021. One low end camera (Z30), four long expected telephoto lenses (pair of 400’s, 600, 800), plus two inconsequential muffins and two Tamrikons. Could it be a flash Valentine’s Day surprise for the Nikon faithful? Or are we destined for another CES-type, paper-only show? 

Until recently, I’d have bet the former over the latter, as the CP+ timing is also highly appropriate for Nikon to kick off their new fiscal year (April 1st) with physical deliveries of something new that will again give them a boost in sales growth. Now I wonder if we’ll get a development announcement for CP+ and/or a real announcement in March/April. Or no announcement at all, which would be weird. 

The only problem with the theory that CP+ will produce a new Nikon camera is this: almost certainly any such device would have wireless communications (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.) and generate potential interference. Which means that it would have to go through many government certification and registration programs. That takes time and sometimes becomes the critical path item in the Gannt chart. 

Some of those registrations are public enough to leak information about future products. At present, neither I nor anyone else sees any such Nikon registrations in process. So either Nikon is playing their timing really tight with the governments that have publicly searchable databases, or Nikon has found a way to keep information from being publicly revealed, or there’s no new Nikon camera coming soon. 

We’ll likely know within the next two weeks.

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