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Thursday, August 23, 2007
Nikon Unveils New Cameras in Battle Against Canon

Nikon's newest advanced cameras and a lineup of fresh faces will help it outrun rival Canon Inc in a scramble for loyal fans throughout Asia, Nikon executives said on Thursday.

The precision-equipment maker said it aims to beat its shipment target of 2.6 million units in the year to March 2008 and win more customers in South Korea and China, helped by its new D300 and D3 digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras, to go on sale in November.

"This is the real thing," Nikon President Michio Kariya told a news conference, when asked how Nikon's cameras were different from Canon's new digital SLRs targeting the same mid- to high-end market.

Nikon held a 47.5 percent market share in Japan in January-June, beating Canon's 36.5 percent, Tokyo-based research firm BCN said. Nikon should be able to consistently hit at least 40 percent market share, Kariya said.

Nikon is pricing its D300 at around 230,000 yen ($1,980) with initial monthly production of 60,000 units. The D3, aimed at professionals, would sell for about 580,000 yen, with initial production of 8,000 a month.

Earlier this week, Canon announced the launch of its EOS 40D model from August 31, and the EOS-1Ds Mark III for professionals from late November, vowing to regain its lead over Nikon by year-end.

Nikon expects to ship a total 3.2 million digital SLRs in the year ending March 2009, up from 2.6 million this business year.

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