Cancelled: Nikon's DL premium compacts will never see the light of day

We've been waiting over a year to see final production samples of Nikon's range of premium compact DL cameras, after they were announced at the Consumer Electronics Show back in January 2016.

Following continued production delays last year, Nikon has finally admitted defeat and announced that it's cancelling all three DL cameras – the DL18-50mm f/1.8-2.8, DL24-85mm f/1.8-2.8 and DL24-500mm f/2.8-5.6. 

Nikon is putting this down to profitability concerns, having identified issues with the integrated circuit for image processing. With growing development costs and a drop in the number of expected sales due to a slow-down in the market, Nikon decided to pull the plug.

Wasted promise

This is a real shame, as these 1-inch sensor premium compact cameras offered a lot of promise – especially the DL18-50mm and DL24-85mm, which had seen Nikon take a slightly different approach to its rivals.

Rather than offering a single model with a wide zoom range, Nikon designed two models with slightly more specialised zoom ranges – and the DL18-50mm in particular, with its ultra-wide focal length, was bound to appeal to landscape and street photographers.

It's curious that a manufacturer like Nikon wasn't able to overcome the issues it encountered – when you look at what some of its cameras are capable off, it seems well within its engineering capabilities.

Troubling times

The cancellation comes amidst several troubling announcements from Nikon including a call for voluntary retirement within the company resulting in the loss of 1,143 employees and 16.7 billion yen. 

Worse yet, in the last nine months the company's stock has tanked with a 831 million yen loss at 2.10 yen per share while it was valued 47.08 yen per share with a 18.71 billion yen profit in the previous year. 

Nikon is calling its fourth quarter an extraordinary loss for the company,and is currently conducting a fundamental company-wide restructuring.

We can only hope Nikon and its affected employees will pull through these troubled times.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.