D300 Made in Thailand

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by alex_p.|2, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. I just received my D300 an hour ago. Looks fantastic. One thing: I noticed it's made in Thailand. I understand from other threads here that the D300 is in fact made in Thailand.
    My question is, how come I've seen D300s for sale on eBay that list them as "Made in the U.S." or "Made in Japan"? If I recall correctly I've seen close-up photos of the actual label on the camera in some listings. Were they made outside Thailand at some point? And finally, please confirm that I'm good to fire this camera up and start shooting. If it matters I ordered it from Butterfly Photo and got (what I believe) is a great price. Many thanks.
     
  2. Doesn't matter. It's made by Nikon.

    As for the "made in USA" type auction copy, that's probably a reference to whether or not the specific camera is one that was made by Nikon for the US market, and which will be either warrantied or at least serviced by Nikon USA. Nikon USA will not even service (not even for cold, hard cash) units that weren't properly imported into the US. So, grey-market D300s from overseas can be a real trap, that way.

    There are, by the way, no Nikon products that are made in the US. They do use assembly facilities throughout Asia, but there is absolutely no meaningful (or even measurable) difference between a Nikon body assembled in Thailand or one assembled in Japan. Either way, their own managers and quality control people are running the show.
     
  3. my D300 was made in thailand, too. haven't you noticed, a lot of stuff we buy is made somewhere else...
    please, go out and start using your camera, for gosh sakes! it's the real deal.
     
  4. My D300 was made in Thailand. It has a full US warranty, works great with over 10,000 shutter actuations so far. Enjoy your new camera...start shooting!
    Dick
     
  5. IIRC my D200s were from Thailand too.
     
  6. Matt wrote:
    They do use assembly facilities throughout Asia, but there is absolutely no meaningful (or even measurable) difference between a Nikon body assembled in Thailand or one assembled in Japan.​
    Out of curiosity, what determine why a lens such as my 17-55mm f2.8 is made in Japan, while a 70-300VR lens is made in Thailand and the 50mm AF-D 1.8 is made in China?
    Pure coincidence, if skills and expertise are identical?
     
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    With some exceptions, pretty much each Nikon product is manufactured exclusively at one location. E.g. all D200 bodies and all D300 bodies are manufactured in Thailand. The 18-200mm AF-S VR is made in Thailand but some early samples, especially demo units, were made in Japan.
     
  8. Mine is made in Thailand and works a treat. Having travelled around a lot, it's not a country that i'm concerned about.
     
  9. Someone stated earlier on this forum that Nikon was closing it's facilities in Thailand, due to the political unrest. If true, how would that affect D300 supplies I wonder?
     
  10. Thanks for the replies. They are very much appreciated.
    Matt mentioned something that I am curious about - grey market products. Is there a web site where you can check Nikon serial numbers to determine if a camera is grey market or not?
     
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    "Someone stated earlier on this forum that Nikon was closing it's facilities in Thailand, due to the political unrest. If true, how would that affect D300 supplies I wonder?"​
    I am afraid that is not at all accurate information.
     
  12. With some exceptions, pretty much each Nikon product is manufactured exclusively at one location. E.g. all D200 bodies and all D300 bodies are manufactured in Thailand. The 18-200mm AF-S VR is made in Thailand but some early samples, especially demo units, were made in Japan.​
    Hmm...But where are the D3, D2X's, and high-end optics made? If I'm guessing right, Japan? If that's the case, there must be *some* reason the most expensive items are still made in Japan, while the next tier is made in Thailand, and finally we have China....
    If the reason isn't entirely capricious, then why (and I'm not saying you are) scoff at a new Nikon owner's concerns over where his gear was made? Or provide a blanket assurance that Nikon == Nikon Japan, no matter where it was assembled.
     
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    "there must be *some* reason the most expensive items are still made in Japan"​
    Well, the most obivous reason is labor cost; that is why Nikon is setting up factories in countries where labor cost is considerably lower than in Japan in the first place. It is much easier to include the high labor cost from Japan in products that are expensive.
    There may be concerns about the control of the latest and greatest technology and propriatory information also.
     
  14. Don't think of the D300 as a second-tier product (in terms of Nikon's interest in manufacturing quality) compared to the D3X. Think of it as a camera of which they make many, many thousands and thousands more, and they choose a plant based on scale and inertia. I expect that their facilities in Japan are a little more nimble, and that it's easier to handle the smaller runs of the more limited products there, and then change things around to do something else. Obviously they don't make $5k 200-400mm zooms all year long.
     
  15. Excellent points! Thx :)
     
  16. As Matt said the high end items that are assembled in Japan seem to be the high price low turnover items and as such they would have less automated assembley than the higher volume items like the D300 this is also the reason for the large price gaps between the consumer and pro grade lenses.
    Ian R
     
  17. They do use assembly facilities throughout Asia, but there is absolutely no meaningful (or even measurable) difference between a Nikon body assembled in Thailand or one assembled in Japan. Either way, their own managers and quality control people are running the show.​
    This is why I have no qualms about purchasing a Japanese product manufactured in another country. As already stated; not only do they generally own the factory, but also send their management to oversee it.
    You will also notice that on some of Nikon's cheaper zooms, that they are made in China. Aside from more simple and cheaper builds, these lenses are still decent. Although, I would much rather see my lens stamped "Japan" than "China", I know that I can still trust the Nikon brand.
     
  18. Well, the most obvious reason is labor cost;​
    A less obvious reason is the cost of real estate. It ain't cheap in Japan, I can tell you that. Although labor is probably number one.
     
  19. I was pretty shocked to get my D90 home and find out it was from Thailand, especially since my canon xs is a third the price and still manufatured in Japan.
    Not to open a Canon vs Nikon debate but, I was deciding between a Canon 50D and a the Nikon. If I had realized it before purchase that Nikons were not made in Japan I would have gone the other direction. I know the companies make excuses about management and QA being local but at the end of the day as a consumer I trust a company paying its workers a decent wage as opposed to those who don't.
    Anyway, I am enjoying the camera now but when it is time to upgrade.... and I am left wondering if I should bother to buy lenses for it as they are from thailand too.
    Incidentally I bought the D90 becuase my wifes E-510 died and had to be sent in for service, when it came back there was an entirely differnet probelm and had to go right back. It is made in China BTW.
     
  20. "I was pretty shocked to get my D90 home and find out it was from Thailand." Matt-I wasn't shocked; my D70 was made in Thailand as were 2 of my 3 lenses and I used the camera for 4 happy years. My D90 is also made in Thailand and if it wears as well over the next 4 years as my previous camera, i will be quite pleased. cb :)
     
  21. Matt B: Are you also taking into account the fantastically higher cost of living that a worker in one of Nikon's Japanese facilitis has to pay, compared to one living in Thailand? I live in a suburb of Washington DC, and it still costs less to exist here than it does in most of suburban Japan. "Cost of labor" isn't just about the actual amount of currency in the wages - it's also about how much the person earning those wages can buy in terms of standard of living, and in terms of improving their standard of living. I'm guessing that the people who go to work in Thailand building D90's are very, very pleased to have those jobs, and the people who sell them food and other amentities are really glad that there is that economic acitivity taking place.

    These are not people who are snapping together plastic toys. The presence of a company like Nikon in whatever country it operates is a long term benefit for the people they employ, and the society in which they live. It raises the level of expertise in the work force, raises those people's expectations for future employment, raises that country's visibility in the global market, and increases the level of interaction that country has with people all around the world - which improves that population's long-term prospects for a more open society. Would you rather buy a camera fabricated in Japan, or see Thailand become more like Japan? You can't just throw a switch and make it happen - it takes decades of investment and slow cultural shifts away from more rudimentary industries.

    Rather than be shocked that your D90 was made there, decide whether or not you should be pleased at the prospect of those people losing their jobs and all of the local economic activity that it drives because the folks who buy what they're making don't like the history of the country in which it's made.
     
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    In these days, instead of saying "Made in whereever," the more appropriate description should be "Final assembly in ...." Even though a D300 might be "made" in Thailand, there are components from all over the world. For example, the D300's sensor is made by Sony in Japan, some memory chips inside could be made in Taiwan .... The D300 and D3X use the same Multi-CAM 3500 AF module and most likely those AF modules are made in the same plant, probably in Japan. Even the $8000 D3X most likely has parts from all over the place.
    It really doesn't make a whole lot of difference any more.
    For the record, both my D200 and D300 are really well made, and so are my three US-made Honda cars. They are as good as the Japan-manufactured Honda we once had.
     
  23. Matt L - That argument that is often made to justify moving manufacturing overseas but it doesn't hold that much water. A company makes that move stricty for finacial reasons not social ones. Japan and the US are currently feeling the affects that come along with companies exporting thier labour and as consumers there is no reason to support it. Thankfully, this is Thailand and not China we are talking about, if it was the later the camera would have gone back.
    Charles - the longevity of the camera remains to be seen. I am hoping my D90 has a long life but time will time.
    Shun - You make a good point.
     
  24. I can assure you that most large electronics manufacturers use factories in multiple geographic locations, be it China, Thailand, Singapore, wherever. The reason, it is cheaper to manufacture goods there than in the West, generally speaking. But, quality standards are consistent throughout following identical internal and in many cases external standards. So don't be biased against any "top brand" device being manufactured in other countries. Don't be snobs.
     
  25. Matt Laur.... very well said!
     
  26. So David you are say as a consumer you should just accept an inferior product?
    Remember we are not talking about a cd player or cheap little point and shoot. If I am paying for a higher end camera I would expect higher end manufaturing.
    Personal experience with products made in Japan vs China can tell me that a product in China will be inferior so if given the choice why choose the "Made in China" option for any reason other than to save a few bucks.
    So to read into that a little further, if you have two equally priced cameras (the 50d and the D90) with similar features where it is made should be taken into consideration as it does have a bearing on the quality. My personal preference given the choice between a product made in Thailand or Japan is for a Japanese product.
    My reasoning to go with nikon was that I have an FE2 which I still used today that is got to be pushing 30 years. I figured if they can do good with that product the D90 should be good too. So yes I was shocked to see it came from Thailand and has little relation to my FE2 other than branding.
    Please note I am not knocking the D90 here or nikon in general, I am of course aware that it is a widespread practice but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
     
  27. Matt, with all due respect you are speaking absolute garbage. Of course there are numerous very dodgy Chinese manufacturers making very dodgy goods which one couldn't expect to last more than a few weeks or months at best.
    You are being very naive making such sweeping statements to the effect that every single electronic device (and others) manufactured in China is of inferior quality. I have first hand experience to the contrary, first hand experience with some of the biggest global manufacturers. Quality standards are extremely high and are maintained across all, yes all, manufacturing sites. There are no compromises for China, or Thailand.
    Fell free to have your own opinion as it is mostly a free world, but I speak from years of first hand experience so there is no argument at all, end of story.
     
  28. Matt (Beckett) - please name the product made in China with which you have had personal experience of poor quality, versus the same brand made in Japan. We are waiting....
     
  29. So David you are say as a consumer you should just accept an inferior product?​
    So because the camera is stamped in Thailand, that makes it inferior? Why don't you go buy a Leica if you are so worried about country of origin. Of course, you aren't going to get one for the same price as your D300......You're probably the same guy who would whine about the price....
     
  30. David - I have lived an worked in Japan but that doesn't make me an expert on their camera manufaturing. I base my opion on results with products I have bought that have been made in China and I have just had two back to back failures on a made in china DSLR (see my first post Olympus E-510).
    I can tell you for a fact if you spend $500 on a name brand quitar that is made in china it will never sound as good as a $150 dollar guitar made in Canada. They spew that same line about their QA and management as well.
    Kieth I am talking about equal priced products, If you want to save a buck then sure why not.
     
  31. David - I have lived an worked in Japan but that doesn't make me an expert on their camera manufaturing. I base my opion on results with products I have bought that have been made in China and I have just had two back to back failures on a made in china DSLR (see my first post Olympus E-510).
    I can tell you for a fact if you spend $500 on a name brand quitar that is made in china it will never sound as good as a $150 dollar guitar made in Canada. They spew that same line about their QA and management as well.
    Kieth I am talking about comparing equally priced products, If you want to save a buck then sure why not. I would love to have a lieca though, sadly it is out of my price range.
     
  32. That argument that is often made to justify moving manufacturing overseas but it doesn't hold that much water. A company makes that move stricty for finacial reasons not social ones.

    You're confusing cause and effect. Of course companies buy what they buy where it helps the most to improve their bottom line. They are obligated to their shareholders to do exactly that. The result happens to frequently be an influx of jobs and investment in some of the places in the world where it's most needed. And those places - as their local economies become more open and see more spending power - become bigger and better customers for the rest of the world's businesses. There isn't some fixed pie, with only so many slices to eat. Economic growth is how you get a bigger pie.

    People can do two things to be competitive: do something cheaper than the next guy, or innovate, and do it better. Emerging economies have an easier time doing it cheaper. Mature economies have to focus on doing it better. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    As for your experience with the problematic Olympus product: wouldn't you consider that be Olympus' problem, not the nationality of the factory workers?
     
  33. Sorry about the double post above, I was attempting to inject some humour into my reply to Keith but it fails if you read it twice (maybe if you read it once too).
    Other Matt - "People can do two things to be competitive: do something cheaper than the next guy, or innovate, and do it better. Emerging economies have an easier time doing it cheaper. Mature economies have to focus on doing it better. The two are not mutually exclusive."
    That is very relative to my point. As a consumer you have the choice of which product to buy, the developed nations higher quality item or the one that costs less but is lower quality. What has happened is that choice has been taken away. If you look at running shoes as a good example. They are exclusivly manufactured in china, indonesia or other developing nations and you can not find any running shoe I am aware of that is manufactured in a first world nation. Which is all and good but the shoes still sell for over $200 in some case. Which leads me to question why Canon and Nikon had similar products (arguable) but one is able to produce in Japan and the other in Thailand. By the logic that manufacturing cost is less the D90 at $1000 should be much better than the 50D at $1000.
    To the second point "As for your experience with the problematic Olympus product: wouldn't you consider that be Olympus' problem, not the nationality of the factory workers?"
    It is a little circular, I would fully agree it is an issue with Olympus but Olympus moved their factory to China and is ultimatly responsable for the quality either way and I find it diffucult to believe that factory is operating to the same standards as it would in Japan or the US. You also have to consider all the raw ingredients that come from other factories not under the eye of said companies QA staff.
    I also think it is more about people having a vested interest in the product they produce as opposed to nationality. If you had a factory running in LA with working being paid 50 cent a day I don't think you would turn out a quality product no matter how many QA personel you had but you could argue that those people would not have that 50 cents if you didn't run that factory.
    Anyhow, Nice chatting with you all but it is a bright sunny weekend now where I live so I will take out my D90 and put your and my theory to the test.
     
  34. My Honda is made in Thailand. Its better built than my last one that was made in Japan.
    Zeiss and Voigtlander are made in Japan, not Germany.
    My Cayenne is made by Audi, not Porsche.
    My Hitachi TV is designed in Japan, made in Taiwan, warehoused in Singapore and sold to me in Australia.
    Its irrelevant.
     
  35. This just in, consumers in Thailand who have bought Nikon cameras Made in USA, saying, oh *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#*, made in USA, does that mean my nikon is no good ? Reps are currently researching this issue and will respond on Larry King Live within 48 hours. Please, save your sales receipts should massive returns be needed, to switch to made in Thailand. Dpreview is following this breaking article. Holy crap batman !
     
  36. And that's exactly why i love my Rebel, Made in Japan. :)
    As is the EF 28-135mm. :))
    Running for cover, NOW.
    P.S. Steven, your Cayenne is made by Volkswagen (which ownes Audi and Porsche).
     
  37. My Chevrolet Zafira is a rebadged Opel Zafira made in Thailand.
    It it were made in Germany, I wouldn't be able to afford it.

    Stuff made outside of USA, Europe and Japan would have the labor cost component a smaller fraction of the total cost. If
    the quality control is up to it, I actually prefer stuff made in low-labor cost countries, so I would actually get more of the
    stuff that matters from my money.

    I would stay away from China-made stuff if a Taiwan-made equivalent is available. Bad QC in many factories. I'd never buy
    China-made PC motherboards. On the other hand, my 50mm f/1.8 is only available China-made.
     
  38. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have mentioned the F5's false battery low problem a few times before. It mainly affected the early samples manufactured in 1996 to the early part of 1997. Back then it was widely discussed in forums such as this one. A friend of mine bought two F5 bodies early on, and both had that problem. She sent one back to Nikon for repair several times and the problem was still there. Eventually Nikon replaced it with a new one.
    Keep in mind that the F5 was the top-of-the-line Nikon SLR at that time. Based on my friend's experience, would one quickly conclude that (I am asking a question here):
    • Japanese products are of low quality
    • All Nikon cameras made in Japan are of low quality
    • The F5 is a "bad" camera
    I believe none of those is true, but if one can draw conclusions based on two samples, you certainly can draw a lot of wrong ones.
     
  39. Many electronics firms use Thailand as a manufacturing base, and have switched operations away from China, Vitenam and Korea in favor of Thailand, even though the labor costs more than in China. The labor force in Thailand in general is excellent and very detail-oriented. Most computer hard drives are now manufactured in Thailand also.
    Nikon has been using their factory in Thailand to produce digital cameras for years - my old D70, which is now 5 years old, was made in Thailand.
    Don't worry, be happy! That new D90 would be $4000 if it was made in the USA.
     

Share This Page