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Thread: Is Nikon Greedy?

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    Thumbs down Is Nikon Greedy?

    Okay, the thread title is sort of a sneaky way to post this in the Nikon forum. It certainly applies to Nikon, but not only Nikon. If I'm way out-of-line for posting this here, I apologize, and please move it if appropriate. I really want to hear how you guys feel about this.

    I can't help thinking that the Camera makers are really ruthless Capitalists that care little for photographers, and the financial hardships many shooters suffer to stay competitive.

    Specifically, this business of requiring photographers to purchase new camera bodies when all they really want is better sensors and computer engines. I'm sure that with all the brilliant engineers and designers working in the camera industry, they could certainly come-up with designs for a few different camera bodies that would allow swapping-out sensors and computer chips instead of constantly having to re-purchase the entire package. It's sort of like if in the film days, every time they came out with a new emulsion, they created the film so it would only fit in a specially designed camera body that you would have to purchase if you wanted to use the film. It's interesting to note that when film was beginning to lose traction, these single use film cameras appeared. I wonder if that is what has influenced the current digital situation? Meaning that the camera companies realized that digital could offer endless sales and profit by following the model of the disposable film camera.

    Why couldn't we have a few different camera bodies to choose from, maybe something like an F6, an FM3A, and a 35Ti that would accept future improvements in sensor and chip technology? Of course we know why: Capitalism, greed, and self-interest.

    Am I being unreasonable?

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Yes, you are being unreasonable.

    ()

    You are equating an F6 and an FM3a- the shutter life in these are very different for one.

    Film bodies such as the FM2 were quite notorious for their shutter going bust after ~20,000 to 50,000 actuations or so.

    It will not work for a digital camera.

    Moreover, as the sensors are improved, the electronic hardware that accompanies the sensor are also improved.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Thanks for the reply, I was just using the F6, FM3A as examples of possible designs that might be used for creating non-obsolescent digital bodies. The innards would have to be redesigned of course, or they could create new digital bodies from scratch with designs that most photographers would appreciate. It's no secret the kinds of cameras that photographers prefer; it's been well worked-out during film's evolution.

    It seems so wasteful to be disgarding camera bodies when it was probably never necessary to do so.

    I'm working with a D200 and a D80, and I can afford to upgrade to a D300 and/or a D3, but the reality of playing this game sickens me. I can't imagine that I'm alone thinking this way. Sure, KEH will give me $397 for my LN- D200, but who wants to play into their hands, too? Everywhere you turn it seems you're getting screwed.

    I understand that most folks just accept reality and probably find a thread like this to be a waste of time, and it probably is on the most part, but I know that there could have been a different reality, and it's pretty sad the way photographers are exploited. JMHO.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Well, I think part of the issue here is that not all the camera makers even make their own sensor. It would not do Nikon any good to sell a camera with a replaceable sensor when they buy their sensors from Sony. They would not make enough money to stay in business. Replacing the sensor would cost them money to do and they could charge for that, but their margins on the sensor itself would probably not be very good since they don't make it in house. Beyond that, there is a lot more than just the sensor that determines the quality of current digital cameras. The features in today's D3, D700 and D300 require completely new innards -- the processing hardware is different for different sensors and so on. This is not to mention the stuff like the advances in LCD's, Live view and so on. You would have to gut the camera each time the technology changes a good deal. The process of removing the sensor and electronics would be time consuming and expensive. Probably difficult to automate as well, and therefore even more expensive.

    I think the reason you don't really see it happening (except in medium format where the backs are usually separate) is the same reason you don't see car companies changing the engines in old cars rather than just selling new ones. It leads to a better end result (and cheaper too) when you just change the whole camera, rather than try to change one component.
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    I have actually thought about it too, many times, and have come down to the following conclusions:

    1. Nikon, Canon, ..., wether we like it or not are in business to make money, they aren't charities working for the photographers' appreciations and a pat in the back: this is very much clear to everyone, I assume, and (wether I agree with this system or not is something else) they perfectly embody the spirit of capitalism and of the consume-based society we live in. Wether this borders to greed or not, I leave it to you to decide on the other hand, their making money is our assurance for better products, for support of existing products, and so on.

    2. More into the technical details, as mentioned above (besides the Nikon-Sony situation which wouldn't allow Nikon to make much money out of a replaceable sensor) the sensor is not as easily replaceable as the film was in the old days; changing the sensor implicates changing basically the whole electronics; reusing the body shell could be an option, but then you would probably run into problems such as button's position/functions etc. Maybe this could be done inside each generation of models: say, a D3 body shell coming with two different sensor configuration, in 12 Mp flavor for sport photographer & 24 Mp for studio photographer, with replaceable backs of sort (with the sensor you'd have to replace all the electronics, leaving AF, shutter, metering untouched - but not more than that, I wouldn't see a body shell usable for more than 1 generation. If you check out the development in new camera models, there is much more than sensor going on in each iteration: D3 vs D2 has Live View, Focus Calibration, Larger LCD, Virtual Horizon, new AF, new Meter, 2 CF slots, new Wireless, new Shutter, and maybe I am forgetting something else too.

    Just my .02, of course.
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Thanks for the replies fellas. You guys make a lot of sense.

    I don't have anything against companies making money, it's just when Capitalism runs amok, like the situation with the oil companies.

    It just seems as if photographers are being milked for cash above and beyond what is reasonable. I always found it interesting that small incremental improvements are implemented and strongly marketed instead of giant leaps which would require fewer updates, from 6mps to 8mps to 10mps to 12mps and so forth. Or they'll make minor improvements to a body and slap an "x" or "MarkII" on the model number and then try to make consumers feel as if they can't live without these "improvements." They certainly understand human nature (which never changes).

    Most surprising of all is that very few photographers let out a peep or complain at all.

    I'm not so sure that the car analogy is ideal since there are so many other components that wear-out besides the engine. I still have a Nikon F2 that works as good as new, so we know that the camera makers are capable of building long-lasting camera bodies. And I don't see too many people updating their cars every 9 months to a year.

    I know the photographic industry was not as vibrant during the film era since the cameras, up to a point, were built to last. The advantage went to the consumer; with digital, the companies hold all the cards and we just meekly play into their hands.

    I'd love to see Nikon be able to concentrate on what they do best, optics, lenses. The lenses are taking a back seat to digital camera bodies since, on the most part, they're built to last.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    It just seems as if photographers are being milked for cash above and beyond what is reasonable. I always found it interesting that small incremental improvements are implemented and strongly marketed instead of giant leaps which would require fewer updates, from 6mps to 8mps to 10mps to 12mps and so forth. Or they'll make minor improvements to a body and slap an "x" or "MarkII" on the model number and then try to make consumers feel as if they can't live without these "improvements." They certainly understand human nature (which never changes).

    ...

    I'd love to see Nikon be able to concentrate on what they do best, optics, lenses. The lenses are taking a back seat to digital camera bodies since, on the most part, they're built to last.
    Indeed they know about human nature; however, people do have a say in it and normally they speak with their wallets, as they say. I agree with you about the small incremental upgrades, however:

    1. Nobody forces you to buy the next model if too close in features to the one you are actually using;
    2. The camera you are using do not stop working when the new model is out;
    3. There are new people getting into photography who might be interested in buying a DSLR and do buy what for them is a new camera, not an incremental upgrade, though people as ourselves might see it differently;
    4. For some users what for me or you is an incremental upgrade, or even a non-upgrade (as in, it adds features we don't need or use), might be the only feature their were waiting for;
    5. See Canon business model, their policy of incremental upgrades leaves their user base quite unsatisfied (checking forums & online reviewers about this might give you better info than I can); Nikon normally doesn't "held out" in features but releases their "state of the art" models with all the technology they can squeeze in it, as well (see D2x-D2xs) they provide users of the previous model with a FW upgrade that adds most of the new features (save for hardware ones);
    6. I completely agree with you on lenses, but then again Nikon seem to be paying attention to it now, see the "speciality lens campaign" and the 24, 45, 85 TS lenses, the 105, 60 macro, the new WA zooms, the long lenses upgrade;

    All in all, is a free world to a degree and if a company will make a bad product, or a product they don't need, people will not buy it...

    Again, just my .02.
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    No,
    The camera companies are not unreasonably profitable. As you know there are far fewer now than there was during the film days. Even some companies that charge what some consider to be astronomical prices for their products are struggling. The issue seems to me to be that these new digital bodies are terribly expensive to design and require a very large manufacturing volume to bring the price down to consumer friendly levels. There is a segment of the market that always wants the latest and is willing to put up the cash. You might consider looking into, or example, Nikon's consumer line. They are really nice cameras and as a photographic tools work quite well. Of course at the moment you give up some of the latest gadgetry built into the latest bodies such as live view and an artificial horizon, but you pay far less and they have a reasonable lifetime.
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Of course camera makers are greedy, that's the definition of a for-profit business. Maximize shareholder value.

    When it comes to digital cameras - camera makers take advantage of the current situation of rapidly evolving technology. While a film camera can be upgraded by making a better film, camera makers choose not to make upgradeable digital cameras.

    If you think Nikon is "greedy", look at Hasselblad.

    In a better world, we could buy a camera body and sensor unit separately. But for that to happen, sensoring technology must stabilize, i.e. it must be possible to define an interface standard between camera body and sensor unit that will accommodate future evolution. My guess is we're at least ten years away from that point. In addition, there must be a good business case to make the (more costly) separate sensor design. With high-end bodies flying off the shelves like they do today, why would a camera maker bother to make a more costly design?
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    It is funny question because in some respects, I was thinking exactly the opposite. I have a D700 on order. I don't really know what boxes of my checklist (or many others for that matter) that this camera doesn't tick. There is so much there, plenty in terms of speed, resolution, high ISO, and the list keeps going. I am making the upgrade from the D300 to the D700 precisely because I feel like with this new camera I can step off the treadmill of upgrades that many people are on.

    Before this thread started, I was actually thinking to myself, am I a good customer or bad one from Nikon?

    I will probably be in the lens market for a while but in all likelihood, this kit once put together will slow me waaaay down in making any additional purchases.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Great replies all! Thankyou kindly.

    I am grateful that I'm firmly entrenched in the Nikon camp: the lesser of two evils .

    TEB, it seems Nikon hit a homerun with you, but I'm sure there are quite a few disgruntled D3 and D300 owners. I think you are an ideal Nikon customer, a good one. I don't know how to interpret that though.

    Lars, reminds me of the movie "Wall Street," "Greed is good." Nah, greed has never and will never be good, except for the companies and the shareholders. What about the rest of us? "Screw 'em"?

    Vieri, indeed, these cameras are flying off the shelves, so no one is speaking with their wallet. It probably has more to do with the competitiveness amongst photographers than satisfaction. Again, the exploitation of human nature.

    I gotta break out my crappy obsolete D200 and take some crappy obsolete pictures. Can you hear my wallet speaking?

    Thanks again! I appreciate that no one gets bent out-of-shape here. What a mature bunch we are.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    A lot of credit to goes to Jack and Guy. Great forum indeed.

    As for the lesser of the two evils.. yes, Nikon be careful about their marketing strategy too much of trying to emulate another brand would make them suffer.

    Look at Sony. Lots of choices (A200, 300, 350, 700) but their new camera prices are dropping faster than the new models they introduce.

    Your D200 is a fine camera and it will always be as long as you use it. I use it along with the D300 and would continue to use it (for IR/UV) for years.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Hey Vivek, the D200 is a great camera but only great enough for IR? Talk about hook line and sinker.

    And yes indeed about Guy and Jack. The fact that they're so well-liked and respected has a lot to do with it. It reminds me of when John McEnroe used to play against Bjorn Borg. Johnny Mac respected Borg so much you never heard a peep out of him when they played. Against lesser oppponents, all hell broke loose. Forgive me, I love these tennis analogies.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    No hook line and sinker at all.

    It just goes to show How much I like it since I am more interested (as for as my work goes) in UV and IR.

    Right now, my most used cam is my D80-IR. So, it is quite valuable to me. I don't care to praise that or put down another cam.

    As they say, whatever rocks your boat..

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Sorry Vivek, as I re-read what I wrote, it sounded kind of flippant, actually it was flippant. I didn't realize that IR was such an important part of your photography which places your comment in a new light.

    As far as what rocks my boat, I'm probably going to spring for a D700. Take me Nikon, I'm yours! My damn wallet won't shutup. So much for this thread.

    Enjoy!

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    Great replies all! Thankyou kindly.

    I am grateful that I'm firmly entrenched in the Nikon camp: the lesser of two evils .

    TEB, it seems Nikon hit a homerun with you, but I'm sure there are quite a few disgruntled D3 and D300 owners. I think you are an ideal Nikon customer, a good one. I don't know how to interpret that though.

    Lars, reminds me of the movie "Wall Street," "Greed is good." Nah, greed has never and will never be good, except for the companies and the shareholders. What about the rest of us? "Screw 'em"?

    Vieri, indeed, these cameras are flying off the shelves, so no one is speaking with their wallet. It probably has more to do with the competitiveness amongst photographers than satisfaction. Again, the exploitation of human nature.

    I gotta break out my crappy obsolete D200 and take some crappy obsolete pictures. Can you hear my wallet speaking?

    Thanks again! I appreciate that no one gets bent out-of-shape here. What a mature bunch we are.
    I think the fact that the camera makers are capitalists is a good thing for us as Photographers. Less than 10 years ago a digital camera from Kodak cost over $20K and was less than 3 Mpx. Now we have 12-24 Mpx cameras that have incredible file quality and sell for $5K-$10K! Tens of millions of dollars in research are being spent on sensors, bodies, software etc to end up with tools that are significantly better than even two years ago and at either the same or lower prices. Competition and demand brings these great products to us, period. Rewarding the camera makers with profits is not a bad thing!! Comparing the camera makers to the Oil industry is over the top. Look at the bottom lines of the two and look at what we are getting at ever increasing costs to us.

    Wish I could see what is wrong with this model. Without the capitalism you would end up with the equivalent of a state sponsored Yugo.

    JMHO

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    Last edited by woodyspedden; 14th July 2008 at 09:32.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Hello Woody, I just don't believe that the early digital cameras were priced that high because they needed to be. I think we have been setup. The desired outcome was for photographers to being saying things like:

    "Less than 10 years ago a digital camera from Kodak cost over $20K and was less than 3 Mpx. Now we have 12-24 Mpx cameras that have incredible file quality and sell for $5K-$10K!"

    I'm not Communist or anti-Capitalism, just when Capitalism is taken too far do I object, as was the case with Microsoft, and currently the oil companies. I'm pretty much deaf, post $4.00 a gallon gas, to the ol' research and development argument. Sure it costs to develop things, but we're paying back ten-fold.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Player,

    Sorry, but what you're saying just doesn't make ANY sense to me.

    The DSLR market is far from a monopoly - you can't seriously compare it to what microsoft (was)? The competition is huge, prices have been plummeting down. D80, D300... these are incredible pieces of engineering, AND are affordable.

    The kind of standardization that you're asking the camera manufacturers to come up with hasn't even happened in the laptop and desktop markets. For examples, the swapping of processors is not even standardized for large desktop computers. You can do it maybe for a generation, but soon you find that you need to change the motherboard as well, etc.. I urge you to take a look at a cross section of a Nikon camera at one of their stands, which they often display. They are minor miracles of miniaturization, so much more than a hard disk and a cpu. Any kind of standardization of the kind you are suggesting would be a huge step back for development, at least in the foreseeable future, and is the reason why it won't happen.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    sizifo, no doubt, these cameras are amazing and relatively affordable, but how amazing are they, practically, if the cameras are never good enough for the companies to stand pat? If the cameras are so good, why are they constantly upgraded? I think up until recently, we've been paying for research and development by buying products that haven't been good enough, despite the electronic wizardry. It's kind of like the consumers have been paying beta testers.

    It seems it's getting pretty close, or it's at the point where the cameras are better than the required usage, and now might be an ideal time for the camera companies to let us off the hook and to create their ultimate camera bodies (sensor/ chip upgradable in case a lens development requires it) in the two sensor sizes (cropped and FF) and then get to work on their lenses to further improve photographic quality.

    What happened in the computer world? The intentional bloating of software, in which Microsoft played a huge role, to require the users to purchase faster and faster computers, ram, hard disks, and everything else. It was all planned. In the early days the software was lean and functional and operated fine on less horsepowered computers.

    Do we really need even faster auto-focus, more or "better" exposure modes, even higher resolution sensors? The companies will continue to do their damndest to convince us that we do, but the requirements for image quality (the intended usage) hasn't really changed all that much since the film days, and manual focus, and hand-held light meters, and aperture rings. And the irony of all ironies is that that era produced the greatest photographs ever created. And film can't hold a candle to todays digital IQ, but it certainly was good enough. Why isn't digital good enough? Because the cash flow stops once it is, or it's preceived to be by the majority, and acted upon accordingly. Then the jig is up. But the reality is that the majority of photographers love technology more than they love pictures, and so it will go.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    I know a lot of photographers that eagerly await every hint of a rumor or announcement as to what is next.
    When true volume-recording holographic-molecular-resolution 0-infinity dof dial-a-moment experience recorders start shipping at a consumer friendly price, then they might start thinking that they might be able to stand pat - OR - the engineers and the customers both run out of ideas.
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    And film can't hold a candle to todays digital IQ, but it certainly was good enough.
    ...it all depends on your definition of IQ, of course...
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I know a lot of photographers that eagerly await every hint of a rumor or announcement as to what is next.
    When true volume-recording holographic-molecular-resolution 0-infinity dof dial-a-moment experience recorders start shipping at a consumer friendly price, then they might start thinking that they might be able to stand pat - OR - the engineers and the customers both run out of ideas.
    -bob
    Bob, ever notice that the great photographers, the masters, don't even talk about equipment unless pressed. All they want to talk about is pictures, but these types of photographers aren't Nikon's target anyway.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    ...it all depends on your definition of IQ, of course...

    Of course, but let's be reasonable.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    Bob, ever notice that the great photographers, the masters, don't even talk about equipment unless pressed. All they want to talk about is pictures, but these types of photographers aren't Nikon's target anyway.
    Actually, I have not noticed that. Most great photographers that I have talked to or read about are very passionate about the cameras they use. The most recent one I talked to was Mary Ellen Mark and we were chatting about how much we loved the Mamiya 7II and how great a company Mamiya was. Eikoh Hosoe said pretty much the same thing. And of course Ansel Adams wrote volumes about equipment and its role in making a great image. HCB was very passionate about his Leicas and Contaxes. Yes, the image rules, but the great ones are very concerned with the image, which means they are very particular about what they use to make it!
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Actually, I have not noticed that. Most great photographers that I have talked to or read about are very passionate about the cameras they use. The most recent one I talked to was Mary Ellen Mark and we were chatting about how much we loved the Mamiya 7II and how great a company Mamiya was. Eikoh Hosoe said pretty much the same thing. And of course Ansel Adams wrote volumes about equipment and its role in making a great image. HCB was very passionate about his Leicas and Contaxes. Yes, the image rules, but the great ones are very concerned with the image, which means they are very particular about what they use to make it!
    They're definitely particular, but not (pardon the pun) focused on it.

    Haven't you read any of the numerous interviews where a camera isn't even mentioned? I could get specific if I had to, but I'm not really trying to prove anything.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    Bob, ever notice that the great photographers, the masters, don't even talk about equipment unless pressed. All they want to talk about is pictures, but these types of photographers aren't Nikon's target anyway.
    The ones I have met are really into their gear. Also, painters are keen on their materials, and certainly you have heard of a violinist or two that cared about the type of instrument they were playing.

    What is your point and what does it have to do with your initial premise? Which premise, I think, has been more than adequately dispensed with by several posters.
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    a little IQ-related deviation from the topic...

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    Of course, but let's be reasonable.
    ...hmm - ok, I'll call you on this one: what is it that you do find superior in digital images compared to film images, when it comes to IQ?

    I would start offering the following parameters to the discussion:
    - out we take convenience & speed in getting the image processed, flexibility in post-processing and the like (digital wins, of course, but these aren't parameters of IQ, they are parameters of practicality);
    - clean high ISO IMHO isn't necessarily an improvement against grainy & gritty images, especially when we talk about BW (we talk about IQ here, a very subjective thing - and adding grain to digital images never looks as good as film grain, so I'll rule it out) - so I'd say this is an even one, depending on the subject, the shoot condition, the intended look, etc;
    - color consistency is better on film IMHO (no struggling with different RAW converters giving you different results, WB problems, etc - unless a film manufacturer changes the emulsion's formula, you can be pretty sure that Provia is looking like Provia);
    - BW looks definitely better on film;
    - film doesn't have that digital plastic look that many digital cameras have;

    ...just the first thoughts that came to mind, now back to you, I am curious to see what you (and the forum) thinks about all this
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Well, if the interview is about the work itself and if the interviewer does not mention the equipment, why would they bring it up? I am not saying that all great photographers are gear heads, I am saying that those that I have met have been very particular about their gear. Even the people who are very much NOT gearheads care about gear. I was assisting for a photographer last week who was shooting a hasselblad 503 and a phase one back. She was not a gearhead at all...but one of the first things she mentioned was how much she disliked the H series hasselblads and how much better she liked the Zeiss lenses.

    I guess it is just like any other vocation or field that requires the combination of people and tools. Race car drivers are specific about their cars, skiers their skis, bikers their bikes, carpenters their hammers and so on. It does not mean that they couldn't do the job with something different, but there are few who do not care at all.
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    The ones I have met are really into their gear. Also, painters are keen on their materials, and certainly you have heard of a violinist or two that cared about the type of instrument they were playing.

    What is your point and what does it have to do with your initial premise? Which premise, I think, has been more than adequately dispensed with by several posters.
    -bob
    It seems that the original premise was only "adequately dispensed" in the poster's own minds. I still believe that photographers are being taken for a ride, and maybe upgradable cameras aren't the answer, but neither does the answer lie where the camera companies are leading us.

    I never wanted to offend or upset anyone, just question why digital equipment will never be "good" enough, and why everyone feeds into the madness without questioning the sanity of it all.

    This is why I pointed-out, earlier in the thread, that discussions like this are largely a waste of time. It's like trying to divert a moth from the path to the flame. It's been fun though.

    Thanks so much for the replies!

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Hi Player
    A little cautionary tale:
    Kodak did this with the 14n 4(?) years ago, they had an upgradeable sensor. After the 14n had been out for about a year, they created the SLR/n, and there was an option for 14n users to upgrade to the new sensor and firmware for 1/3 price of a new camera (this was also full frame, and the reality was that the profit was very low).

    The internet forums screamed and howled, saying that they should have supplied the perfect sensor in the first place, and if not, then they should give everyone a free upgrade.
    _____________________

    The reality of modern cameras is that all the electronics work together - this means that if you change the sensor, you need to change pretty much everything except the body and the shutter. The work involved in doing this would almost certainly be more than the value of the body/shutter that was left.

    Upgrading complex electronic equipment is almost never financially viable - you are losing all the economies of scale and having to resort to short production lines and expensive skilled labour.

    In real terms, a D700 is probably considerably cheaper than a Nikon F100 of 10 years ago, all the parts that you would have been able to replace in that Nikon you'll be able to replace in the D700 as well

    As for you D200 - the processing equipment certainly wouldn't be man enough to produce a decent speed of operation with the new sensor, so that would need replacing as well as the sensor - add the cost of shipping to and from (wherever) to get it done, the cost of the skilled labour and the cost of the parts . . . . .

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: a little IQ-related deviation from the topic...

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    ...hmm - ok, I'll call you on this one: what is it that you do find superior in digital images compared to film images, when it comes to IQ?

    I would start offering the following parameters to the discussion:
    - out we take convenience & speed in getting the image processed, flexibility in post-processing and the like (digital wins, of course, but these aren't parameters of IQ, they are parameters of practicality);
    - clean high ISO IMHO isn't necessarily an improvement against grainy & gritty images, especially when we talk about BW (we talk about IQ here, a very subjective thing - and adding grain to digital images never looks as good as film grain, so I'll rule it out) - so I'd say this is an even one, depending on the subject, the shoot condition, the intended look, etc;
    - color consistency is better on film IMHO (no struggling with different RAW converters giving you different results, WB problems, etc - unless a film manufacturer changes the emulsion's formula, you can be pretty sure that Provia is looking like Provia);
    - BW looks definitely better on film;
    - film doesn't have that digital plastic look that many digital cameras have;

    ...just the first thoughts that came to mind, now back to you, I am curious to see what you (and the forum) thinks about all this
    No, I don't believe that digital is superior to film. It's just the prevailing wisdom based mostly on "grain-free" maximum print sizes. And it's fruitless trying to discuss the essence of image quality since the two mediums are entirely different, but the point is that both are just about as adequate as they can be for most intended purchases, snapshots, weddings, publications, newspapers. And digital will never be film, just like a cat will never be a dog.

    I agree with you though, I'd take film anyday. I just think it looks better.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Hi Player
    A little cautionary tale:
    Kodak did this with the 14n 4(?) years ago, they had an upgradeable sensor. After the 14n had been out for about a year, they created the SLR/n, and there was an option for 14n users to upgrade to the new sensor and firmware for 1/3 price of a new camera (this was also full frame, and the reality was that the profit was very low).

    The internet forums screamed and howled, saying that they should have supplied the perfect sensor in the first place, and if not, then they should give everyone a free upgrade.
    _____________________

    The reality of modern cameras is that all the electronics work together - this means that if you change the sensor, you need to change pretty much everything except the body and the shutter. The work involved in doing this would almost certainly be more than the value of the body/shutter that was left.

    Upgrading complex electronic equipment is almost never financially viable - you are losing all the economies of scale and having to resort to short production lines and expensive skilled labour.

    In real terms, a D700 is probably considerably cheaper than a Nikon F100 of 10 years ago, all the parts that you would have been able to replace in that Nikon you'll be able to replace in the D700 as well

    As for you D200 - the processing equipment certainly wouldn't be man enough to produce a decent speed of operation with the new sensor, so that would need replacing as well as the sensor - add the cost of shipping to and from (wherever) to get it done, the cost of the skilled labour and the cost of the parts . . . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    I never wanted to offend or upset anyone, just question why digital equipment will never be "good" enough, and why everyone feeds into the madness without questioning the sanity of it all.
    I'm sure nobody is offended.
    Surely, if your D200 was 'good enough' when you got it, then it's STILL 'good enough'. You seem to be attacking the idea of improving digital cameras at all?

    I'm constantly frustrated by the fact that after all these years nobody makes the camera I want (small, high resolution). But I recognise that's my problem.
    Your problem seems to be that any new developments will make your purchase redundant (I think Sony are the worst culprit here), but the truth is, it only makes it 'last year's model', and if you aren't satisfied with it for that reason, then it's not the fault of the manufacturer, and it's tough to expect them to stop new developments so as not to upset you!

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  33. #33
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Well, if the interview is about the work itself and if the interviewer does not mention the equipment, why would they bring it up? I am not saying that all great photographers are gear heads, I am saying that those that I have met have been very particular about their gear. Even the people who are very much NOT gearheads care about gear. I was assisting for a photographer last week who was shooting a hasselblad 503 and a phase one back. She was not a gearhead at all...but one of the first things she mentioned was how much she disliked the H series hasselblads and how much better she liked the Zeiss lenses.

    I guess it is just like any other vocation or field that requires the combination of people and tools. Race car drivers are specific about their cars, skiers their skis, bikers their bikes, carpenters their hammers and so on. It does not mean that they couldn't do the job with something different, but there are few who do not care at all.
    Point well taken Stuart, I was just trying to say that there is a difference between your stereotypical pixel peeper and the artist focused on creating compelling images. I would never be foolish enough to say that an artist has no interest in their tools. Of course they do, but it's more a question of emphasis.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Player
    A little cautionary tale:
    Kodak did this with the 14n 4(?) years ago, they had an upgradeable sensor. After the 14n had been out for about a year, they created the SLR/n, and there was an option for 14n users to upgrade to the new sensor and firmware for 1/3 price of a new camera (this was also full frame, and the reality was that the profit was very low).

    The internet forums screamed and howled, saying that they should have supplied the perfect sensor in the first place, and if not, then they should give everyone a free upgrade.
    _____________________

    The reality of modern cameras is that all the electronics work together - this means that if you change the sensor, you need to change pretty much everything except the body and the shutter. The work involved in doing this would almost certainly be more than the value of the body/shutter that was left.

    Upgrading complex electronic equipment is almost never financially viable - you are losing all the economies of scale and having to resort to short production lines and expensive skilled labour.

    In real terms, a D700 is probably considerably cheaper than a Nikon F100 of 10 years ago, all the parts that you would have been able to replace in that Nikon you'll be able to replace in the D700 as well

    As for you D200 - the processing equipment certainly wouldn't be man enough to produce a decent speed of operation with the new sensor, so that would need replacing as well as the sensor - add the cost of shipping to and from (wherever) to get it done, the cost of the skilled labour and the cost of the parts . . . . .



    I'm sure nobody is offended.
    Surely, if your D200 was 'good enough' when you got it, then it's STILL 'good enough'. You seem to be attacking the idea of improving digital cameras at all?

    I'm constantly frustrated by the fact that after all these years nobody makes the camera I want (small, high resolution). But I recognise that's my problem.
    Your problem seems to be that any new developments will make your purchase redundant (I think Sony are the worst culprit here), but the truth is, it only makes it 'last year's model', and if you aren't satisfied with it for that reason, then it's not the fault of the manufacturer, and it's tough to expect them to stop new developments so as not to upset you!
    Well said Jono, but I strongly disagree that this thread has been about my personal situation with a D200. I actually felt I was sticking up for all photographers against the 800 pound gorillas, in theory anyway.

    It's just that the writing is on the wall in that these cameras will never be good enough, and photographers will buy into that, but what about the photo's end usage? Isn't that what really matters when making a determination on whether or not someone should buy that new piece of gear? But I doubt that that important factor is ever seriously considered. If it was, many fewer cameras would be sold, but in fact they're flying off the shelves.

    I wouldn't start a thread to try to defend the fact that I have a D200. I can buy any camera I want, anytime I want. And that's certainly no big deal, just the truth. I know what you mean about photographers who sacrificed and scrimped and saved to buy their camera, and then they are resentful when a new model comes out and they try to prove that the new camera isn't any better than the old one. I'm not in that category, and neither is this thread. Just want to make that crystal clear.

    Thanks for your reply.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    No worries Player, I understand what you mean. I certainly think there is a big difference between the pixel peepers and people who are very particular about their tools.

    As for the ongoing change in equipment, I think it is a fundamental component of human nature. We are always looking for the next thing, trying to improve old things and be original. The desire for progress is just part of us -- as such, if a camera company can improve something, they will. Perhaps I am more inherently trusting in corporations, but I don't think they are really out to get us. CEO's are people too! I know that is not a popular stance these days, let alone from a raging liberal like myself! There are certainly a lot of crooks out there, but I think the camera business is a relative haven from this sort of thing. If you want to see dirty, try investment banking, hedge funds and subprime mortgage markets.
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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    Well said Jono, but I strongly disagree that this thread has been about my personal situation with a D200. I actually felt I was sticking up for all photographers against the 800 pound gorillas, in theory anyway.

    It's just that the writing is on the wall in that these cameras will never be good enough, and photographers will buy into that, but what about the photo's end usage? Isn't that what really matters when making a determination on whether or not someone should buy that new piece of gear? But I doubt that that important factor is ever seriously considered. If it was, many fewer cameras would be sold, but in fact they're flying off the shelves.

    I wouldn't start a thread to try to defend the fact that I have a D200. I can buy any camera I want, anytime I want. And that's certainly no big deal, just the truth. I know what you mean about photographers who sacrificed and scrimped and saved to buy their camera, and then they are resentful when a new model comes out and they try to prove that the new camera isn't any better than the old one. I'm not in that category, and neither is this thread. Just want to make that crystal clear.

    Thanks for your reply.
    Okay - point taken, but I don't agree with you that 'these cameras will never be good enough' - they've been good enough (better than film anyway) for several years now; it's just that, like most other things, they can always be better, which is quite a different thing.

    But I don't think people are losing sight of the end product (the image) either - this forum is all about 'gear', and it's probably better able to afford it than most (seems that you can afford it too). But if you look at many of the great photos posted . . . . .

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Okay - point taken, but I don't agree with you that 'these cameras will never be good enough' - they've been good enough (better than film anyway) for several years now; it's just that, like most other things, they can always be better, which is quite a different thing.

    But I don't think people are losing sight of the end product (the image) either - this forum is all about 'gear', and it's probably better able to afford it than most (seems that you can afford it too). But if you look at many of the great photos posted . . . . .
    Jono, when I said that "these cameras will never be good enough," I meant that that's what the camera companies want us to think so they can continue to upgrade and sell. I said earlier in the thread that I believe that the cameras offered today are "better" than we need, but that's not going to stop new and improved models from coming out. And the fact that these new cameras will be developed and sold strikes me as greed and a certain degree of dishonesty, hence, "Is Nikon Greedy?" And why are the photographers enabling the camera companies? Their photography doesn't require it.

    This forum, although there is a strong interest in the latest and greatest, is about, from what I've observed, photography first, and gear second. I wasn't directing any of my comments at anyone here, either actually, or in thought.

    And I don't think anyone has a problem with me, and I'm happy about that.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    No worries Player, I understand what you mean. I certainly think there is a big difference between the pixel peepers and people who are very particular about their tools.

    As for the ongoing change in equipment, I think it is a fundamental component of human nature. We are always looking for the next thing, trying to improve old things and be original. The desire for progress is just part of us -- as such, if a camera company can improve something, they will. Perhaps I am more inherently trusting in corporations, but I don't think they are really out to get us. CEO's are people too! I know that is not a popular stance these days, let alone from a raging liberal like myself! There are certainly a lot of crooks out there, but I think the camera business is a relative haven from this sort of thing. If you want to see dirty, try investment banking, hedge funds and subprime mortgage markets.
    Yes, again Stuart, what I observed to be the exploitation of human nature.

    Anyway, it is what it is. And there are, as you pointed-out, more important things to get worked-up about. Actually, what these camera companies are creating is breathtaking, and totally genius amazing.

    Nice talking to you, and thanks for your great insights!

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    Jono, when I said that "these cameras will never be good enough," I meant that that's what the camera companies want us to think so they can continue to upgrade and sell. I said earlier in the thread that I believe that the cameras offered today are "better" than we need, but that's not going to stop new and improved models from coming out. And the fact that these new cameras will be developed and sold strikes me as greed and a certain degree of dishonesty, hence, "Is Nikon Greedy?" And why are the photographers enabling the camera companies? Their photography doesn't require it.
    I for one am having fun with this thread. To summarize the above paragraph: they've come up with something so good, they need not improve on it, and because they are, it makes them dishonest and greedy.

    Surely you need to come up with a counter-proposal . I.e. what do you want to see Nikon do instead of developing new models?

    Below is an example what happens when R&D stops at a very early stage: a Yugo pickup truck (shot with a small sensor Nikon).
    Last edited by sizifo; 13th March 2009 at 08:42.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    No sizifo, not exactly. I just wish that our human nature wasn't constantly exploited, and that photographers would stop siding with their "oppressors."

    That photo may have been relevent referring to 1998, not now.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    No sizifo, not exactly. I just wish that our human nature wasn't constantly exploited, and that photographers would stop siding with their "oppressors."
    Yes, but what would you want to see Nikon do instead?


    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    That photo may have been relevent referring to 1998, not now.
    I agree. It was meant as a joke.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    No sizifo, not exactly. I just wish that our human nature wasn't constantly exploited, and that photographers would stop siding with their "oppressors."

    That photo may have been relevent referring to 1998, not now.
    It is entirely up to you.
    No need to feel exploited, nobody is forcing you.
    I remember the story about Karl Marx, writing Das Capital describing the exploitation of the working class, as he sat sipping lattes at Le Cygne at the Groteplatz in Brussels. I suppose that perspective gave him the qualifications to force an ideology on an unwitting and naive peasantry.
    No, There is no exploitation going on here, but there has been immense benefits.
    Back in the old film days when cameras were "made to last" we were constantly looking for the best processes, the best enlarging paper, the best film. Remember the introduction of internal metering? How about autofocus? What about the auto-return mirror? How far back do you go? On the other hand, photographers along with their equipment artifacts will continue at one or more levels perhaps concurrently, because that is where their personal development ended. Nothing is wrong with that, but please don't declare that the rest of us are exploited.
    Still, we individually and collectively try to get the best results we can.
    Too bad I sold my Asahi Pentax a few years ago.
    On the other hand, one shot per second is all I can deal with, or usually less.
    -thanks
    bob
    Last edited by Bob; 14th July 2008 at 16:20.

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by sizifo View Post
    Yes, but what would you want to see Nikon do instead?




    I agree. It was meant as a joke.
    You guys are wearing me out.

    I pretty much already stated it on the last page, about Nikon concentrating on lenses for further IQ improvement, as well as building their ultimate digital cameras meant to uphold the Nikon name into the forseeable future, like their F cameras. Believe me, I know this will never happen becuse there is too much money to made from overeager thoughtless consumers who love their toys.

    I'm done reiterating, and I'm worn out responding to everyone who I'm very grateful for taking the time to reply. I'm shutting down until tomorrow. Sweet dreams! :sleep006:

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    It is entirely up to you.
    No need to feel exploited, nobody is forcing you.
    -thanks
    bob
    I meant my fellow photographers, not so much me.

    Good night. I need to count some sheep. :sleep006:

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    Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    sizifo, no doubt, these cameras are amazing and relatively affordable, but how amazing are they, practically, if the cameras are never good enough for the companies to stand pat? If the cameras are so good, why are they constantly upgraded? I think up until recently, we've been paying for research and development by buying products that haven't been good enough, despite the electronic wizardry. It's kind of like the consumers have been paying beta testers.

    It seems it's getting pretty close, or it's at the point where the cameras are better than the required usage, and now might be an ideal time for the camera companies to let us off the hook and to create their ultimate camera bodies (sensor/ chip upgradable in case a lens development requires it) in the two sensor sizes (cropped and FF) and then get to work on their lenses to further improve photographic quality.

    What happened in the computer world? The intentional bloating of software, in which Microsoft played a huge role, to require the users to purchase faster and faster computers, ram, hard disks, and everything else. It was all planned. In the early days the software was lean and functional and operated fine on less horsepowered computers.

    Do we really need even faster auto-focus, more or "better" exposure modes, even higher resolution sensors? The companies will continue to do their damndest to convince us that we do, but the requirements for image quality (the intended usage) hasn't really changed all that much since the film days, and manual focus, and hand-held light meters, and aperture rings. And the irony of all ironies is that that era produced the greatest photographs ever created. And film can't hold a candle to todays digital IQ, but it certainly was good enough. Why isn't digital good enough? Because the cash flow stops once it is, or it's preceived to be by the majority, and acted upon accordingly. Then the jig is up. But the reality is that the majority of photographers love technology more than they love pictures, and so it will go.
    Player

    i am sorry to say that I think you are just "playing with us" on virtually all of these issues.

    Facts are that we, the players, decide on what we want and need based on what we are willing to buy......no more, no less. If the camera producers give us these things then we are willing to plunk down the hard earned cash to get them. If not, we rail against these things we perceive as unnecessary! So what is wrong with this approach. You seem to want some form of collective sense of what is right and wrong and then proclaim you are not communist.

    I have no idea of what your are, and are not. What i can proclaim is that you are not for the proclaimed good of the photographer. In fact if I can say it without it being singled out as some kind of person who just deals with the reactions, you seem to be some kind of idiot who just wants press time in this, (and probably other) forums.

    Why don't you work toward some common good, as you see it, instead of just inflaming a thread that is usually projected toward a common goal of better photography forever.

    We are so much better off without this kind of trolling so I for one will state my position that we are better off without you. If Guy and Jack think my position to be unreasonable then I will happily get off this and all forums forever.

    Woody

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    Thumbs down Re: Is Nikon Greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Player

    i am sorry to say that I think you are just "playing with us" on virtually all of these issues.

    Facts are that we, the players, decide on what we want and need based on what we are willing to buy......no more, no less. If the camera producers give us these things then we are willing to plunk down the hard earned cash to get them. If not, we rail against these things we perceive as unnecessary! So what is wrong with this approach. You seem to want some form of collective sense of what is right and wrong and then proclaim you are not communist.

    I have no idea of what your are, and are not. What i can proclaim is that you are not for the proclaimed good of the photographer. In fact if I can say it without it being singled out as some kind of person who just deals with the reactions, you seem to be some kind of idiot who just wants press time in this, (and probably other) forums.

    Why don't you work toward some common good, as you see it, instead of just inflaming a thread that is usually projected toward a common goal of better photography forever.

    We are so much better off without this kind of trolling so I for one will state my position that we are better off without you. If Guy and Jack think my position to be unreasonable then I will happily get off this and all forums forever.

    Woody
    Woody, you are way out of line with these comments, especially resorting to personal slurs which I don't deserve because I have not personally attacked anyone. All this just because you don't agree with a position I've taken.

    It's funny how if someone doesn't agree with someone's position they become a "troll." And if someone dares to think outside the box and not blindly accept prevailing lines-of-thinking, they are "idiots."

    You are obviously angry, way more than is reasonable or rational. And I would be concerned about that if I was you.

    Get well.

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