Professional film photographers have long appreciated the power and precision of Nikon cameras, and the company is carrying that tradition into the digital photography arena. According to a Techno Systems Research study from 2007, Nikon cameras ranked sixth in the world in digital camera units manufactured with an 8.4% market share (11.03 million units).
Nikon was founded in 1917 in Tokyo, Japan, but it was officially known as Nippon Kogaku K.K. upon its founding. Nikon began marketing camera lenses as Nikkor lenses in 1932, and the company began focusing on camera production and other optical products after World War II. The name Nikon first appeared on film cameras from the company in 1948. Nikon's first camera was the Nikon I, and the company officially changed its name to Nikon Corp. in 1988.
Nikon introduced the idea of the 35mm SLR (single-lens reflex) camera in 1959 with the release of the Nikon F. The Nikon F featured a series of interchangeable parts.
Nikon began making digital camcorders in 1961, initially marketing the Nikkorex 8. Nikon's first digital still cameras were the E2 and the E2S in 1995, and they were jointly marketed with Fuji Photo Film.
Nikon has several group companies in the United States and North America, led by Nikon Americas Inc. in Melville, N.Y.
Today's Nikon Offerings
Nikon offers digital cameras for both SLR (single-lens reflex) and point-and-shoot market. Digital SLR models will appeal more to intermediate and advanced photographers.
- SLR. Nikon's current digital SLR cameras all fit in the D series of cameras. You can find D series digital SLR cameras from Nikon ranging in price from about $500-$8,000.
- Consumer. The famous Coolpix line of consumer-level Nikon digital cameras ranges from the most basic models to cameras that will work for intermediate photographers. Nikon's Coolpix cameras often feature extremely thin camera bodies and bright colors. The Performance series of Coolpix cameras offer high-end resolution and large optical zoom lenses, ranging from $200-$500. In the Coolpix Style series, you'll find thin models that are available in many colors. Some Style series cameras, which range in price from about $150-$400, offer high-end resolutions.
- Related products. Nikon still sells some film cameras, although the company announced in 2006 that it would stop making most of its film camera brands and focus on digital cameras. Nikon also manufacturers film scanners and image-editing computer software. Through the Nikon USA Web site, you can find authorized dealers for Nikon digital camera accessories, including camera straps, cables, AC adapters, external flashes, interchangeable lenses, lens filters, batteries, docking kits, and wireless accessories, among many other items.