• JIJI, staff report

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Nikon Corp. is slated to end production of digital single-lens reflex cameras in Japan by the end of next March, as the digital camera market is shrinking amid the rise of smartphones, sources said.

The company's domestic camera production has over 70 years of history. Operations at its last-remaining domestic camera factory in Miyagi Prefecture will be transferred to Thailand.

The Miyagi factory currently produces the D6 professional-use camera. After the transfer, it will be used for making camera parts and other products.

Nikon, along with Canon Inc., has been leading the single-lens reflex camera market since 1948. Demand for such expensive cameras has been sluggish in recent years, however, leading Nikon to incur a record net loss in the year through this March.

Nikon also plans to close down two plants for replacement lenses in the prefectures of Yamagata and Fukushima in late August.

Nikon and its competitors, including Sony, Canon and Fujifilm, have in recent years focused their time and money on the development and production of mirrorless technology, which allows high resolution sensors to be placed inside lighter, smaller cameras.

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