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Nikon to end film camera production

Digital SLRs are the place to be, apparently

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35mm film has come to the end of the roll, Nikon has said. The camera maker this week revealed it is focusing its efforts solely on digital photography products.

Nikon said its traditional film-based cameras now account for less than five per cent of its UK division's sales. It claimed the shift will also better equip the company to operate in an "increasingly competitive market place".

The company will stop producing film camera bodies, along with interchangeable manual focus lenses, lenses for large format cameras and enlarging lenses, it said. However, it doesn't expect stocks of these products to run down completely until the Summer. It will also continue to offer its F6 flagship pro-oriented film camera and lenses. Sales of the manual FM10 will also continue outside Europe, the company added.

Nikon is clearly looking to the higher end of the market for growth, pointing to rising demand for digital SLR cameras not only driven by users of traditional SLRs going digital, but also other consumers upgrading from compact digital cameras.

That mirrors Olympus' recently announced shift to focus on higher-end digital SLRs as the compact market becomes more competitive not only between camera makers but also with mobile phone vendors who are already driving up the resolution of camera phones. ®

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