Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the earthquake and for those affected by the tsunamis world-wide. While fully concerned with all those in the affected areas, we are especially vigilant in our sentiments for our colleagues in the photographic manufacturing community. Initial reports shows varying amounts of damage within the different companies' plants but thankfully, no reports of severe damage or injuries/casualties. (Students hold candles as they pray for Japan's earthquake victims inside their school in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad on March 11.  Photo by Amit Dave / Reuters)

Thom Hogan, in his blog post bythom mentions that the epicenter was as close as 81 miles from Sendai, where Nikon's professional camera body manufacturing plant is located & where D700, D3s, and D3x cameras are assembled:  http://www.bythom.com/ .

Photographyblog.com reports that Sony had to evacuate 6 of their factories in the wake of the earthwake/tsunami: http://www.photographyblog.com/news/sony_evacuates_six_plants_in_wake_of_japan_earthquake and the british publication Amateur Photographer updated on Saturday afternoon that Nikon's camera repair centers and showrooms in Tokyo have been 'temporarily' shut down: http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/Nikon_staff_escape_Japan_quake_damage_update_Saturday_news_306233.html It remains to be seen how severe normal day to day operations and availability of merchandise will be affected. We'll inform you as more information is available.

Update - 3/14/2011 - The editors of the photo industry website "Demystifing Digital" just posted an article listing a number of reputable disaster relief organizations if you wish to give to the rescue effort: http://demystifyingdigital.com/Photo-Industry-News/Japan-Disaster-Relief-Efforts--Charitable-Donations/index.aspx

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