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Old 18th November 2013   #1
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Nikon - what's the way forward?

This Q+A session on NR is not that promising - the higher profit margin even sounds a bit Hasselbladisch…. will we see gold plated Df's next?

IMHO the Df is overpriced as is, and it is not attracting old Nikon F, F2, FM users. They value optical viewfinders geared for sue with MF lenses.

Here's Thom Hogan's take.

This is not intended to start a flamewar….. just start a discussion on a rather pivotal point in the future of dSLR cameras.
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Old 18th November 2013   #2
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

iPhones are a big reason for this. I agree too many models as well and trimming production to meet the actual market is the way to go.

Also to make revenue they could also charge for added features via firmware. Let's take the D800 I would pay 50 bucks for a revamped live view setup. Do the math 3 million units times 50 bucks which there costs are maybe 2 dollars that's a lot of profit. Most folks won't buy new cams for just a evolution upgrade. Take the firmware of it and sell to the existing base. There's money to be made.
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Old 18th November 2013   #3
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Guy, I agree, cam/iphones are decimating the P&S line-up.

A more sensible line-up is also a good consideration - as are firmware updates.

i was very impressed that Fuji did a major update recently of the X-100.

There has been no similar update of the D700/D3.

Personally, I would have preferred the D600 in a D700/D800 type body with 51 AF points…

With the Df I wished the would have done a better survey of their potential customers.

Let's see what the future brings…….
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Old 18th November 2013   #4
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Thom Hogan makes me sleepy. I don't understand what he's writing about. This is not a problem. If no new cameras will be launched for the rest of my lifetime, I will still take photos. I've spent all day today at an airshow. I took photos with a Panasonic. If I brought a Nikon F or my Nokia, I could have taken photos with one of those. Upgrades are overrated.
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Old 18th November 2013   #5
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Guy, Bob and I were discussing this very thing over the weekend. Bottom line is most cell phones of today are better than pro-level 35mm SLRs we had 30 years ago. And everybody's got one, so "photographic images" are not much of a commodity -- nor are paper versions of images valued nearly as much as they used to be.

My Epson 7900 will likely be the last large printer I purchase. Why? Because very few people want prints anymore. I was in Costco the other day and they are now selling 50" flat-panel TV's in twin-packs for under $1000. My next house will have the walls covered in monitors that each have a dozen or so images cycling through them hourly -- changeable art and ambient lighting all in one. Heck, and a little free heat too :lol:

Finally, how much better can Nikon or Canon make an FX sensor? Not much, we are pushing at the edges of physics already. Lenses yes, and here is probably where we'll be seeing some efforts and they need to. But get ready to pay for them if the new 58 is any indication -- incremental increases in performance for 3x the price, just like it's been with audio gear for quite a while. Other option is designer cases, a-la the Df. Some will buy them at what appears to be a 2x pricepoint, and when sales drop off we'll see the same sensor, or perhaps the D600 sensor in another tricked out body -- and we'll buy that too. It's worked for Leica for years, and all it will take is for Nikon to get the feel for what their customers want in an accessory camera.

But at the end of the day, our cell phones produce images that are good enough for even the next generation of 4K displays, so my guess for the future is something like this: DX consumer DSLR's will taper way off and eventually fade as M4/3 has that covered outstandingly well in smaller packages and lighter weights. FX pro-sumer and pro will stay around, but at higher prices. And we'll see the small cameras packed with features taper away as cell phones get all those nifty features.
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Old 18th November 2013   #6
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

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Also to make revenue they could also charge for added features via firmware. Let's take the D800 I would pay 50 bucks for a revamped live view setup. Do the math 3 million units times 50 bucks which there costs are maybe 2 dollars that's a lot of profit. Most folks won't buy new cams for just a evolution upgrade. Take the firmware of it and sell to the existing base. There's money to be made.
Even if they do that, what are they going to do with that revenue? The whole question of future of the DSLRs is up for debate and very seriously.
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Old 18th November 2013   #7
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Problem is they can never get out of DSLR's. Sports alone is a huge market for Canon and Nikon. That won't change. Here in the states we have every sport there is and all college , Pro and high school involved in every sport. There will always be the need for 300mm and longer lenses as well. Now the bodies don't need to be 36mpx but they still need a D4 type cam. The rest of the market is up for debate I agree as folks are going mirror less or iPhones . Nikon is late to the party as i really think Sony is going to spank there *** on mirror less.

But why build a body like a D810 when no one will upgrade to it but take the updates and sell them to the user base. This is free revenue , well almost free. Now what they do with the money is a stock holders dream. LOL
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Old 18th November 2013   #8
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Guy, Jack - thanks for the comments - pretty much sums up my notions as well.

I think we will see a major shake up in the DSLR industry, akin to what happened with MFD.

Gone are the days when the stable Nikon line-up for years was the F3, FA and FM2……
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Old 18th November 2013   #9
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

They certainly don't need 10 DSLR type bodies. Cut that in half with great feature sets and that alone lowers a huge amount of debt with just production alone. I would say today a D800E , D4, D610, 7100, 5300 and end it there. Make that 5300 at a 400 dollar price point as the entry level. Than get serious about a mirror less system with only 2 models like Sony is doing now. 36mpx and a 24mpx

Compacts maybe 2 or 3
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Old 18th November 2013   #10
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

I think it's a shame that companies have to answer to shareholders and fulfil the constant need for new products, I'd rather see a core 3 or 4 models with the r&d concentrating on lenses. I know it's human nature to look to the next thing but really, rather than the personal list of items that may make life a bit easier, what are we missing from the current lineup? The D610, D800, D4 etc are all fantastic cameras and as Jack has said, where does the sensor development go? It's already pretty amazing to my mind.

People demand the new latest gadget so the companies in their search for profit give it to them, I wish it would all stop and then they could concentrate on longer product life cycles, do as Guy suggests and refresh via updates rather than just bring out a new model, I don't want to keep changing! Obviously I'm not a Pro so I can appreciate I'm not on the same page as most here but for me, I'd rather spend money on lenses and getting better at taking pictures rather than on a new body every year or so.

I think we're pretty lucky as we stand today, some amazing cameras available to us.

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Old 18th November 2013   #11
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

I agree also get serious about glass. We don't need 64 of them cut that in half but make them outstanding. I can only carry 5 but I want 5 that I do NOT have to look at Zeiss, Sigma and Leica R to provide either.
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Old 18th November 2013   #12
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Actually on glass I am pretty happy right now but a few things I'd like to see:

1) The 50/1.2 in an AF version. We won't see it because this is the void the 58 was supposed to fill.
2) A really kick-butt 17 PC-E.
3) An improved 24 PC-E.
4) The 28/1.4 with updated AF. Probably will never see it because of the 24/1.4.
5) The 105DC with updated AF. Won't likely happen because the 105 macro is so good and DC is expensive to manufacture.
6) A revised 35/1.4 that matched the 24/1.4 and 28/1.4 in performance. But now that I have the 28, I don't personally feel a great need for this one though I suspect it would be popular in general.
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Old 18th November 2013   #13
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Serious glass is a must.

I would add a 24-70 f2.8 with VR.

A new PC-E wide-angle family is needed.

The 200mm Micro could do with a AFS update.

A set of primes to do the D800E justice i.e. No need for Zeiss …… etc
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Old 18th November 2013   #14
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

1) New 1.4/85, which is really without any CA issues - maybe VR
2) New 1.4/35 up to Leica/Zeiss standard
3) New 2.8/16-35 with much improved performance above 17-35
4) New 2.8/70-200 VR which really stays 200 as tele also when shooting close
5) New 2.8/24-70 VR
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Old 18th November 2013   #15
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

I'd say to have Nikon Otus AF would be all I (we?) need. With 20% lower price
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Old 19th November 2013   #16
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

How about a D4 body with a D800E sensor? the D800 is a great camera but a pro body feels a lot better and adding to the FPS would be nice..

On the glass side Quality over quantity is the way forward and Nikon should definitely raise the quality with their more expensive glass..Would people pay an extra 20-30% to see as good or better than Ziess IQ in the G primes.?It looks like the way forward might be Nikon body with Sigma and Zeiss glass,the Sigma 35mm Art is a lot better than the 35G (and still a Lot cheaper),and Sigma are planning a 24 and 85 Art if the rumours are correct..
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Old 19th November 2013   #17
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

I would certainly agree that there's a pent up market for a D800E sensor in a pro D body. There are a number of Nikon friends of mine who are in the same boat as myself in missing the larger robust body of the D3s/D3x/D4 but with a higher resolution sensor with the D800's amazing versatility. We don't necessarily want the FPS but the robustness and feel of a full size body is what we miss. Adding a grip to a D800 doesn't cut it. Just don't expect to sell it at $8k.
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Old 19th November 2013   #18
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

I guess we are all still waiting for the D4X…..

Concerning glass - it really is crazy that Nikon users are having to resort to other brands for better glass.

Using Zeiss ZF lenses is not an option for me, as I really need AF.
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Old 19th November 2013   #19
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Leica 19 R, Nikon 28 which I'm selling, Sigma 35, looking for a 55, Nikon 85 1.8 which I maybe selling, Zeiss 135f2

What I'm buying Zeiss 25mm f2, Sigma 24-105 F 4, maybe Leica 28 R , I'm still on the fence with a 85/100/105 but might just get a 85 PC lens .

Worst case I will have one Nikon lens. That's a shame
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Old 19th November 2013   #20
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Graham,

Quote:
I would certainly agree that there's a pent up market for a D800E sensor in a pro D body. There are a number of Nikon friends of mine who are in the same boat as myself in missing the larger robust body of the D3s/D3x/D4 but with a higher resolution sensor with the D800's amazing versatility.
A pent up market there may be, but it is vanishingly small, relatively speaking. While I dare say it would be nice to shoot D800 resolution in a body with integral grip, the majority of D800 shooters likely consider it a "would like" rather than a "need". In my opinion the prospect of it becoming reality is unlikely given the premium Nikon would charge for what would be their flagship model. D800 shooters would balk at the price, just as they did for the D3x, and retain their D800.

Increased resolution in a body with integral grip, however, is another story altogether.
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Old 19th November 2013   #21
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

At 3k for 36mpx it's almost disposable . Sony A7r at 2200 for 36mpx is even more so. Yea a D4x would be nice but I won't spend 8k on it when I can get 2 for that price with pocket change. Let's put it this way its a debatable purchase which would not favor Nikon in most cases.
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Old 19th November 2013   #22
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

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Graham,



A pent up market there may be, but it is vanishingly small, relatively speaking. While I dare say it would be nice to shoot D800 resolution in a body with integral grip, the majority of D800 shooters likely consider it a "would like" rather than a "need". In my opinion the prospect of it becoming reality is unlikely given the premium Nikon would charge for what would be their flagship model. D800 shooters would balk at the price, just as they did for the D3x, and retain their D800.

Increased resolution in a body with integral grip, however, is another story altogether.
I don't care about d800 shooters tbh. That's not my point. Those of us brought up on full size bodies with grip are the ones wanting a full size high resolution body. That may not be you but it certainly is me and also more than a few others.
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Old 19th November 2013   #23
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

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At 3k for 36mpx it's almost disposable . Sony A7r at 2200 for 36mpx is even more so. Yea a D4x would be nice but I won't spend 8k on it when I can get 2 for that price with pocket change. Let's put it this way its a debatable purchase which would not favor Nikon in most cases.
There is a possibility that Nikon will upscale the D7100 sensor to FF,that would be sweet even if it means more demands on the Glass,the Zeiss 135 and Otus would be up to the task,and I believe the Nikon 200f2 and the new 800 for sure..
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Old 19th November 2013   #24
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

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Guy, Bob and I were discussing this very thing over the weekend. Bottom line is most cell phones of today are better than pro-level 35mm SLRs we had 30 years ago. And everybody's got one, so "photographic images" are not much of a commodity -- nor are paper versions of images valued nearly as much as they used to be.

My Epson 7900 will likely be the last large printer I purchase. Why? Because very few people want prints anymore. I was in Costco the other day and they are now selling 50" flat-panel TV's in twin-packs for under $1000. My next house will have the walls covered in monitors that each have a dozen or so images cycling through them hourly -- changeable art and ambient lighting all in one. Heck, and a little free heat too :lol:

Finally, how much better can Nikon or Canon make an FX sensor? Not much, we are pushing at the edges of physics already. Lenses yes, and here is probably where we'll be seeing some efforts and they need to. But get ready to pay for them if the new 58 is any indication -- incremental increases in performance for 3x the price, just like it's been with audio gear for quite a while. Other option is designer cases, a-la the Df. Some will buy them at what appears to be a 2x pricepoint, and when sales drop off we'll see the same sensor, or perhaps the D600 sensor in another tricked out body -- and we'll buy that too. It's worked for Leica for years, and all it will take is for Nikon to get the feel for what their customers want in an accessory camera.

But at the end of the day, our cell phones produce images that are good enough for even the next generation of 4K displays, so my guess for the future is something like this: DX consumer DSLR's will taper way off and eventually fade as M4/3 has that covered outstandingly well in smaller packages and lighter weights. FX pro-sumer and pro will stay around, but at higher prices. And we'll see the small cameras packed with features taper away as cell phones get all those nifty features.
"Finally, how much better can Nikon or Canon make an FX sensor?" I think they could look at developing the Foveon sensor and moving away from Bayer array's,Just look at how much more sensitive the sensor of the M monochrom is in comparison to the M9....
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Old 19th November 2013   #25
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

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There is a possibility that Nikon will upscale the D7100 sensor to FF,that would be sweet even if it means more demands on the Glass,the Zeiss 135 and Otus would be up to the task,and I believe the Nikon 200f2 and the new 800 for sure..
I think it's safe to say most good lenses are up to the task. People define "the task" differently, but in general it seems we're more sensitive to sharpness and resolution near the center of the frame than near the corners. To wit, most decent lenses can out-resolve the d800 sensor in the center, while hardly anything can in the corners. We're happy with a lot of these lenses.

A slightly higher pixel pitch would just mean it's more demanding for a lens to push toward the potential of the sensor. But every lens would produce images that are at least as good as d800 images, all else being equal.
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Old 19th November 2013   #26
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Graham,

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I don't care about d800 shooters tbh. That's not my point. Those of us brought up on full size bodies with grip are the ones wanting a full size high resolution body. That may not be you but it certainly is me and also more than a few others.
I think you missed my point, which was that unless and until Nikon considers a full sized body with D800 sensor to be profitable, such a body will not be produced.

In my opinion you and the more than a few others that share your wish are statistically insignificant. Therefore, your wish will remain just that. Of course I could be mistaken. We will find out in due course.
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Old 19th November 2013   #27
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

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Adding a grip to a D800 doesn't cut it. Just don't expect to sell it at $8k.
I don't understand this at all. (I use a D4 and a D800 with an MB-D12 grip.)

First, the difference in "robustness" has little to do with the grip or the feel. I'm not sure what others do with cameras, but mine get bounced all over the Arctic tundra traveling on 4-wheel ATV's, and the significance of build quality is extremely important to my needs. I certainly do look forward to the D5 generation from Nikon, which I fully expect to have at least 36MP, probably more. That's not that far in the future either...

But I absolutely do expect to pay a premium price for a premium product. The D800 isn't an $8000 camera, and when they add the same quality build of a D4 I fully expect it is going to cost more than the D800 did (though probably not $8K).

As it is, my D800/MB-D12 get three times the use the D4 does.
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Old 19th November 2013   #28
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Wither NIKON?

They have yet to show their FF mirrorless. To do so means a whole new stable of smaller lenses as well as a special sensor(s).

That leap is big and takes a LOT of time.

Observe how long it took 4/3rds to maximize their technology into the OMD-EM1.

IMO judging the Df harshly misses the bigger picture ... a picture that should include NIKON's FF mirrorless move.

The Df seems a throwaway to feed 1980s photo/mechies.

NIKON hasn't played l their cards.
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Old 19th November 2013   #29
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Well Nikon needs to show there hand because they just missed the biggest buying season of the year and its too late already. Sony is ready, Olympus is ready, Fuji is ready and once again Nikon is missing the boat. Canon is counting on video for there future, I think the tides changing for them. Frankly Sony is about the only one making some innovations thats making people sit up and take notice.
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Old 19th November 2013   #30
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

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Graham,

I think you missed my point, which was that unless and until Nikon considers a full sized body with D800 sensor to be profitable, such a body will not be produced.

In my opinion you and the more than a few others that share your wish are statistically insignificant. Therefore, your wish will remain just that. Of course I could be mistaken. We will find out in due course.
It's always good to be in the presence of total omniscience I suppose.

Don't worry, as one of the D3x owning clan I'm used to being statistically insignificant.
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Old 19th November 2013   #31
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

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Well Nikon needs to show there hand because they just missed the biggest buying season of the year and its too late already. Sony is ready, Olympus is ready, Fuji is ready and once again Nikon is missing the boat. Canon is counting on video for there future, I think the tides changing for them. Frankly Sony is about the only one making some innovations thats making people sit up and take notice.
Good point about the xmas season,I expect Canon to have a big year in 2014,if they come up with a good sensor they'll be back in the mix.. they have a good lens range and rumours of a load of new ones next year,I expect the 35L to be revised and maybe a 14-24L zoom...
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Old 20th November 2013   #32
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Graham,

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It's always good to be in the presence of total omniscience I suppose.
We both know that I am not omniscient so you may dispense with the sarcasm, which does not become you.

I am sorry you are offended by what I have posted. It was not my intent to do so.
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Old 20th November 2013   #33
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

IMHO Nikon is far too late and they made major mistakes in the past years.

1) Their mirror less camera aka V-system is simply a flop
2) Their APSC line is missing a pro body - would have been much more urgent than the D7100
3) The D4 and D800 were their last really leading cameras, but immediately after that they should have had something like the Sony A7 / A7r ready
4) One of their biggest mistakes was and is that they stick to their lens mount and lens system since fare too long. At least the intro of mirror less needs a new mount and lens system
5) many of their even pro grade lenses are not up to 36MP
6) What sense does it make to introduce a D4X if they do not even have enough lenses which are up to the job
7) The Df is not more than a lame excuse not to have gone into a reasonable mirror less system in time.

So bottom line, competition, which was not even there some 4 years ago like Olympus and Panasonic with m43, Fuji's X system and Sony with the A series cameras plus Nex and now A7 have established as serious pliers. Meanwhile even Pros are moving to the new mirror less camps, as they no longer suffer from weak implementations.

The only advantage Nikon has is that even Canon did not make the jump to mirror less so far (again the Eos M I do not see as a serious system).

So end of the day the future does not look bright for Nikon. Should not mean they will disappear, but the newcomers are to be expected to take over big parts of Nikon sales in the coming months and years. Even if their systems are maybe not as mature and ready as the Nikon system. But their technology is ready and they have the potential to become the new Number "ONE'S".
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Old 20th November 2013   #34
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Re: Nikon - what's the way forward?

Wow ..not sure the facts back up the direction of this thread . Canon and Nikon essentially split the DSLR market (check my facts but isn t this the only profitable segment that has any volume )?

Stepping back from our personal wishes ....both Canon and Nikon make terrific cameras . I know Nikon best but the D800/E,D4 ,D600 and D7000 are all incredibly competent DSLR . You have a huge range of lenses at all different price points ..from the 50/1.8AF at less than $200 to the best telephoto the 800/5.6 AF at $17K . There is enough volume to attract 3rd party vendors like Zeiss .

Size and weight are always the "complaint" ...but a D600 with a 50/1.4G is small enough and you can even see what you are capturing . Yes if you insist on using the faster Pro zooms ....a DSLR can be a beast . I shoot with a 600/4 on a D4 and that is no small amount of gear ....but I use a large Monopod and drive right up to the Polo field ..once I start shooting I forget about it .

It is not clear at this point that the m43 market will ever be truly profitable ...I am uncertain as to where all the smaller than FF segments will end up .....maybe all replaced by the Smart Phone ?

This is not to say that Nikon hasn t stumbled but I am still waiting for Sony to get beyond the consumer electronics mentality . Innovation without follow thru has been the Sony "signature" as long as I have been buying their products .

No question that none of the major providers of photographic products look to be particularly well run ..but Nikon seems to be getting quite a lot right .

Happy Nikon user.
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