Camera Inventories Extremely Low, Stock Levels Returning When?

April 19th, 2011

If you haven’t noticed by now, the effects of the unfortunate earthquake and tsunami in Japan are finally being realized with regards to the digital camera market. Inventories are low and numerous “Out of Stock” messages are plastered all over the largest web retailer sites. From Amazon, to B&H Photo, to Adorama, the message is pretty clear that inventories are basically struggling for the majority of the top DSLR cameras out there.

After reviewing our in stock trackers here at, the cameras which are showing major inventory shortages are the Canon 7D and T3i as well as the professional level Canon 1D Mark IV and 1Ds Mark III. As for Nikon, the hard-to-find models are professional level Nikon D3s and D3x as well as the pro-sumer models of D7000 Body and D700. As for Panasonic, their already super hot Panasonic GH2 has been lacking inventories right when it was starting to meet demand.

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Could this Disaster Change Inventory Strategies Going Forward?

What I wonder is will the impending disasters of the future, as there are sure to be more, change the inventory strategies of any of these major camera manufacturers to help sustain or even grow profits and user bases. Will they begin to stock pile cameras locally so that inventories can continue to ship if/when the next disaster occurs? Does it make sense to even do so or do they already do so and have exhausted those inventories?

I guess in order to get to the root of that answer, we would have ask ourselves, if Canon or Nikon had such a strategy in place, would it have made an existing camera user switch to a competitor if their competitor had inventory available? Or would a first time buyer change their mind and get a competitor model because stock was available?

Of the two above questions I feel the later is the most likely scenario to occur. And this is a costly one. Losing an aspiring photographer means losing subsequent lens and accessory sales as well.