Is the Global Chip Shortage Going to Delay the Canon R3 and Nikon Z 8?

You may have read recently that a global shortage of microchips is starting to affect the price and availability of cars, but is it going to have such an impact on the camera industry that it dramatically push back the release of the Canon R3 and Nikon Z 8?

Tony Northrup gives some background on how the chip shortage has come about and how it will play out, while also offering his thoughts on how it will affect the availability of some major releases that are due in the next 12 months.

We’re yet to see announcements or even acknowledgments from the likes of Canon, Sony, and Nikon that would give us an idea of how the chip shortage is impacting their manufacturing, but we should soon get an indication regarding the Canon EOS R3, which, as Northrup notes, was likely due to coincide with its launch with the Tokyo Olympics. Canon has never given a timeline, but given that the R3 product listing went live on B&H Photo just a few weeks ago, it seems reasonable to assume that its appearance is — or was — not far off.

Nikon might feel the effects of the chip shortage worse than Sony and Canon, having just apologized to customers that its freshly announced NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S will be delayed due to a large number of pre-orders. Perhaps more importantly, the Z 6II and Z 7II are both proving difficult to track down after closures to factories in Japan were enforced due to the global pandemic at the beginning of the year. It might be worth noting that Nikon has struggled to produce enough cameras in the past, simply due to unexpected levels of demand.

How much will the chip shortage impact the camera industry? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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Maybe, but Northrop is an online troll with zero credibility with thoughtful people. If Thom had an opinion on this, it would be much more credible.

It is possible. Not likely, though, that this will limit sensor availability as those should be made on different lines than those producing microprocessors, microcontrollers, PROMs, DRAMs, and various power management circuits.

Cameras also have a lot of ICs and ram to capture and process those images. Those are probably all made by only 2 or 3 chip fabs in the world. I am an electronics design engineer and I am seeing shortages of some of the most basic ICs down to transistors and crystals, as well as the high-tech ones. It's bad news all over.

Right now there is only a Z9 announcement? Or am I missing something here?

A month or so ago when I wanted a Z7ii, I just bought one and got it within a couple of days. I checked out three or four different retailers and didn't have trouble finding one or the lens I wanted. So, are the people saying how hard it is to get these things really the people buying these things?