Camera Makers to Close Factories Indefinitely after Earthquake in Japan

Japan Earthquake

Image from, photographer unknown.

by Peter Zack & Miserere


We continue our coverage of the earthquake in Japan and its effect on the camera industry.

  • Canon has announced that it has closed certain plants in its camera division. Canon issued the following press release stating that the lens plant (see Reuters) will be closed for 1 month.
  • Nikon’s northern plant in Sendai, which produces their higher end cameras (D700, and D3 series), will also be closed for an undetermined time while they assess plant damage and the situations for personnel and their families (see press release).
  • Sony has closed 7 factories, though none of them produced cameras or lenses.
  • Panasonic ceased operations in its factories in the Tohoku Region (see press release), where their Fukushima factory produces digital cameras.
  • Hoya have suspended operations due to the rolling blackouts (see press release), but we suspect Pentax camera production (located outside Japan) hasn’t been affected, though Pentax HQ, located in Tokyo, is currently closed down.
  • Fujifilm has halted production of the in-demand Fuji X100 (see press release).
  • Ricoh has closed most of its factories, including those producing optics.
  • Olympus has been affected by the earthquake, but it appears its camera branch is fully operational.

With the rolling power outages, plant damage, infrastructure and loss of homes for employees and their families, I would assume there could be many interruptions in supply and production for months to come as northern Japan rebuilds after this crisis. It’s not known how much product may have been lost in preparation for shipping. All companies report that their facilities have survived the earthquakes, relatively undamaged, but some have been affected by the ensuing tsunami. All are affected by the damage caused to roads, powerplants, water treating facilities, and other services. And we cannot forget the threat from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility.

Although we are reporting this news, our only wish is for the people so greatly affected by this disaster to get their lives back to normal as soon as possible. We also hope the loss of life is low, although any casualty of life is always going to be too much.

Speaking as photographers, we know the gear we have now will work just fine while the people of Japan try to recover and we hope we don’t have to read complaints about delayed camera or lens releases in the upcoming months. Camera stuff can wait, Life can’t.


Peter Zack & Miserere

Related posts:

  1. Consequences for the Camera Industry after the Japan Earthquake: Prices Will Increase
  2. The Camera Industry & Today’s Earthquake in Japan
  3. One Step Closer to a Modular Digital Camera: The Ricoh GXR
  4. Nikon D800, not the Camera We Wanted.
  5. Nokia Releases Their First Camera…with a Phone Attached: The N86

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