We May Soon See Serious Shortages of Sony, Canon, and Nikon Cameras

We May Soon See Serious Shortages of Sony, Canon, and Nikon Cameras

With many popular cameras currently in high demand but short supply, a lot of photographers and videographers are anxiously waiting for stocks to be resupplied and their cameras to arrive. Those delays may be significantly lengthened for multiple manufacturers due to a fire at a Japanese integrated components factory.

Originally reported by Inside Imaging, the fire broke out on October 20 at AKM Semiconductor's Nobeoka factory in Japan and burned for three days, destroying the factory. AKM supplies components for several camera manufacturers, including Canon, Nikon, and Sony, as well as many audio manufacturers. The company manufacturers a wide range of components, including integrated circuits and digital-to-analog converters, and with these components being crucial to camera manufacturers, serious delays may be introduced. In fact, Canon, Nikon, and Sony were forced to adjust their Black Friday promotions due to the supply loss. 

Reports indicate that the factory will not be operational again for at least half a year, with possibly up to a year before things are back to normal. With long waits for several popular models, particularly due to COVID-related issues, we may see even longer delays due to the disrupted supply of components, though it is not entirely clear yet how severe the impact will be. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Really? No backup supply source.

I think it would be fairly expensive and inefficient to have a “backup supply source” for every possible component supplier.

Actually it's fairly uncommon for large manufacturing companies to single-source components - they typically try to avoid single source components for reasons exactly like this.

So uncommon that that's exactly what happened to some of the largest camera manufacturers in the world? How about that

Hi Alex. As the writer and researcher of the original article, I think FStoppers is mean-spirited in not attributing the source of this story in the first sentence or at least paragraph. I mean you have hardly even done a re-write! Borrowing material from other websites is par for the course - we all do it to some extent - but how about a little credit where it is due? That's not in a tiny link after the story, surely. This more recent story explains another factor which will add to the pressure on the supply and cost of photo gear in 2021. People considering a purchase would do well to put their orders in now. https://www.insideimaging.com.au/2020/freight-crisis-hitting-supply-and-... Keith Shipton

Hi Keith,

No offense intended. I'm happy to give you a link in the body, of course. I actually saw the story at Photo Rumors, but made sure to include a citation to you since I recognized that they had reposted your story.

Thanks Alex - much appreciated.

Sony is reporting that DSLR/Mirrorless sales are tanking .. so may not be the problem you think it is.

I noticed that in another report. Camera sales started decreasing before March when Covid hit the U.S. Of course China knew in December/January so maybe that was the reason for the decease in the first quarter.

I remember when photography was for photographers who enjoyed their art among like minded individuals who appreciated the close group and the camera and lens manufacturers.
Now it's full of people like SPEE DING who makes stupid little comments like still wet in his nappies.

Have been happy with my 4/3 cameras. Excellent files.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported on the AKM issue on November 6th . So far I couldn't find reports of supply issues with Canon , Nikon or Sony , in the Japanese media, but if you're in the market for a ZOOM device you should be concerned as the company will reduce production in 20% to 30% from January 2021 to March 2021 and it might take some time to return to normal levels of production . For your information AKM is the acronym for Asahi Kasei Microdevices . AKM belongs to the Mitsubishi Conglomerate . Nikon is also part of the huge Mitsubishi Conglomerate . AKM said in the report that it is working towards contracting outside fabs to manufacture some of the LSI and working with customers to find alternative suppliers . Also , if you happen to have the funds to own a LINN audio product and was intending to upgrade your DAC chip , you're also out of luck , because the company stopped receiving orders for the upgrade process . As of November 27th , Yamaha's musical instruments division has reported that it will have a decline in sales from January 2021 to March 2021 . JVC Kenwood is having some disruption in it's production of radio transmitters . Panasonic is said to be having some delays in the manufacturing of some digital video cameras .
Links to the Japanese articles follows .

Helps explain why B&H has a back order on 70-300 fx Nikon lenses.

Canon at least has had shortages for quite a while. There are a number of newer Canon cameras and lenses on backorder off and on. The EF-RF adapters have been backordered since July (I've been looking). People of course blame COVID but now we have a second reason to worry.

Darned good thing my current rigs let me do better photography than I'm capable of doing...

Why do I get several emails a week from Nikon offering sales on various equipment ranging from the new Z cameras to lenses to camera equipment to binoculars?

I went to the Costco web site and did a search on Nikon and the only products it came up with was a pair of binoculars. Canon did have a Rebel camera for sale at Costco. It looks like the main outlet for traditional, inexpensive, really high volume cameras is all but gone.

I just got another message from Nikon this morning, saying "Refurbished Sale Ends Today...20% off all refurbished sports optics products. 10% off all refurbished photo products."

On previous messages for sales of their new Z models, they were offering discounts if you traded in older models (undoubtedly where they get all the refurbished ones they later offer for sale...and actually I've been getting a lot of messages from Nikon offering me a "free" 30-day trial of the new Z models: return it within 30 days to get all your money back).