A few tidbits I could collect:
- Fujifilm confirmed that the Japan earthquake and tsunami will have an impact on the actual availability of the new X-100 camera. Damages to its Taiwa-Cho factory, 20 km from Sendai, will lead to a delay in introduction of the Fuji FinePix X100. No date is given, but we are probably speaking of weeks rather than days.
- Canon and Nikon have not recently provided information about re-opening some of the closed facilities, despite relatively light damages (see Google satellite photos of Nikon Sendai plant at NikonRumors). In short, delays will be large and it is quite difficult (even internally) to evaluate the impact on existing or future products. Shortages will be limited only by the existence of stocks in various parts of the world or in Japan undamaged warehouses when they become easily accessible again.
- Sony confirmed that no plant producing cameras or lenses was damaged. Impact should be minimal.
- Many memory chip and microprocessor manufacturers are located in northern Japan. Most analysts expect to observe shortages starting in the coming days. Prices on spot markets like DRAMeXchange are climbing fast.
- Toshiba, one of the largest suppliers of Flash memory, told the Financial Times that they halted operations where they were hit by the earthquake. Others sites stopped producing following a request by Tokyo Electric Power Company to reduce electricity consumption.
- Some web sites, like AkihabaraNews, are expected to stop or slow down while their owners concentrate on other critical aspect of their lives or while they flee to other places.
Many electronic products (including photo equipment) will probably see their prices climb steadily in the coming months. Some cameras and lenses could soon become nearly impossible to purchase. If you intended to buy electronic and photo stuff, now is the time, before the probable shortages.