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Thread: I AM Advancing

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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    I AM Advancing

    No official confirmation (yet), but Nikon may be migrating to a paid firmware update model. This post on Nikon Rumors has more detail, but the first reported features are:

    The “I Am Advancing” program is starting with support for 6 full-frame Nikon DSLR cameras: Nikon D750, D810, D800, D800E, D610 and D600. All of the cameras in the program will receive a new White Balance update, containing Nikon’s latest algorithms for high-quality color balance in any light. Each camera is also receiving a brand new “Metallic” Picture Control option, providing photographers with a unique high-contrast setting which is both natural and eye-catching.

    For photographers using Nikon RAW (NEF) mode, the most exciting new feature is Nikon’s new RAW Histogram. This feature displays impressive full-screen histograms for all 3 color channels (red, green and blue) simultaneously, based on data directly from the image sensor. The new feature allows advanced photographers to fine-tune perfect exposure for each shot. RAW Histogram is available for all cameras in the “I AM Advancing” program.

    Finally, Nikon is bringing 2 of the best features of the revolutionary Nikon D810 camera to other cameras in the Nikon DSLR line-up. Nikon’s new “Flat” Picture Control, which allows photographers more options for adjustment in post-processing, is now available for all cameras in the program. In addition, Nikon’s Electronic First-Curtain Shutter feature, which eliminates vibrations caused by the shutter, is newly available for the recently announced Nikon D750 camera.

    After Adobe's [financial] success with Creative Cloud, more companies are looking at the software subscription model as a means of generating recurring revenue. Sounds like Nikon is dipping its corporate toe in the water.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    I think this is a good idea if it can increase the lifespan of each camera. Too many perfectly good cameras are left unused because newer models have features that could easily have been implemented by firmware releases of the previous model.

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    RAW histograms... looks like the best just got better!

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    I would hope that firmware updates to fix problems remain free of charge. Beyond that, probably a good thing if it indeed does increase the lifespan of each camera or adds much needed / requested functionality that wouldn't come about without a $ incentive. That said, Fuji seem to be happy rolling out great Firmware updates for free, so there's always the danger this will backfire - and instead of attracting users, it may just drive them away. All depends on what they charge - if it isn’t stupid, I guess there's little reason for it not to succeed.

    Being a Phase One and Fuji user I’m at both ends of the spectrum. Fuji are great with firmware updates and added functionality, even to older models. Phase One’s firmware updates are about as exciting as being hit in the face by a passing comet (and come around about just as often).

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    With Fujifilm you get FREE FW updates for more than 3 year old cameras - this became almost a tradition - plus Fuji is known for frequent updates!

    So I wonder why Nikon wants to earn money for something which should be a given
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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by ImagesWest View Post
    RAW histograms... looks like the best just got better!
    RAW histograms were standard with my Hasselblad, Leica M, etc. since ages

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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    RAW histograms were standard with my Hasselblad, Leica M, etc. since ages
    Really? Or were they based on the preview JPEG that each camera produces for the LCD display?

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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    ...plus Fuji is known for frequent updates!
    Not necessarily a good thing.

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Is it clear from what is known so far that Nikon DO want to charge for this service? It seems they may limit the eligibility to a three year period after purchase of a qualifying camera, but this might just be in order not to shoot themselves in the foot by allowing unlimited updates when they'd rather people bought the latest model after the three year term for updates has expired. Maybe they're trying to learn from the P.R. fallout from their inept handling of the D600 affair, among others, and attempting to redress the balance after all the well deserved customer criticism that's come Nikon's way in recent times. They could do a lot worse than to look at how Fujifilm handle firmware updates for their customers even if they (Nikon) want to place a three year limit on it. I'm not sure we have sufficient details available yet to be certain if we'll be charged for this service or not. Time will tell.

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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve P. View Post
    Is it clear from what is known so far that Nikon DO want to charge for this service?
    No, it isn't clear, nor does any of the Nikon [still rumored] statement imply a subscription model. That was pure speculation on my part.

    Another interesting tidbit is this:
    Nikon is also announcing the “I AM Advancing” Update Manager software, available for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. The new software replaces Nikon’s individual firmware upgrade programs with a single new software program, and reinforces Nikon’s commitment to the “I AM Advancing” brand concept. The program is free to download, and features automatic camera detection, firmware download and management of camera updates.

    That's the model used by Sony for the a7/a7R/a7II cameras (and for their earlier models). I'm not a fan, and much prefer being able to download the update to a CF card and install it without intervention by an app. As you said, time will tell.

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Judging from the speedy and decisive way they have reacted to the D750 flare issue it would appear that Nikon may be trying to present a more customer-friendly face to the world. If this is coming from a senior enough level in the company then an official programme of enhancements and upgrades would be something tangible they could point to to demonstrate a greater willingness to respond to customer needs. I'm all for that. Of course, if they want to charge extra for it that's a different ballgame.

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    With best regards, K-H.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Seems to me to be nothing but good. Everybody wants something for nothing these days and given what we've had from Nikon in the past (ie nothing unless a catastrophic bug fix), I think it has to be a positive move.

    But hey, I tend to look at the world with the view that a half a glass is half full, not half empty
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    With Fujifilm you get FREE FW updates for more than 3 year old cameras - this became almost a tradition - plus Fuji is known for frequent updates!

    So I wonder why Nikon wants to earn money for something which should be a given
    Um. Software/firmware updates are never "free" ... Their cost is embedded in the price of the camera/computer operating system/application package ... etc. You're paying for them even if you never use them, and whether or not they are made available.

    Any company offering free updates has simply assumed their products will need them and apportions a portion of the cost of manufacture to pay for them.

    G

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Um. Software/firmware updates are never "free" ... Their cost is embedded in the price of the camera/computer operating system/application package ... etc. You're paying for them even if you never use them, and whether or not they are made available.

    Any company offering free updates has simply assumed their products will need them and apportions a portion of the cost of manufacture to pay for them.

    G
    Given the already vera attractive prices of Fuji cameras (at least IMHO they are attractive) I rather cannot believe they are calculating too much FW updates in upfront. I rather think they want to gain market share with all possibilities and they just do it ....... they have nothing to loos and can only win
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    I think they are a little concerned about how fast Samsung has ramped up and just put out a major software upgrade addressing almost every criticism about their new NX1.

    The speed that this update came out along with how customer "in tune " they appeared might be setting a new tone for the major players.

    and lets noT forget Sonys 5-AXIS

    last thing Nikon needs is to fall behind in 2015

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Given the already vera attractive prices of Fuji cameras (at least IMHO they are attractive) I rather cannot believe they are calculating too much FW updates in upfront. I rather think they want to gain market share with all possibilities and they just do it ....... they have nothing to loos and can only win
    I don't see prices on the Fuji system as being much different from prices on the Olympus system, given comparable body/lens choices. It's mostly a toss up between them.

    Fujifilm is a huge outfit, a tiny wing of Fuji Heavy Industries. They can easily afford to cut their profit margin to the bone on the camera division in the thrust for more market share. But the money to pay for development of updates comes from somewhere, and no sensible company takes it for granted. Fuji is a very sensible, successful company. So they've calculated it into their cost of manufacture and taken a slimmer profit.

    No matter what, you are paying for the updates one way or another. Be sure of it.

    G

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Anyway, Fuji seems exemplary in this regard!
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    [QUOTE=Godfrey;619948]I don't see prices on the Fuji system as being much different from prices on the Olympus system, given comparable body/lens choices. It's mostly a toss up between them.

    Fujifilm is a huge outfit, a tiny wing of Fuji Heavy Industries. They can easily afford to cut their profit margin to the bone on the camera division in the thrust for more market share. But the money to pay for development of updates comes from somewhere, and no sensible company takes it for granted. Fuji is a very sensible, successful company. So they've calculated it into their cost of manufacture and taken a slimmer profit.

    No matter what, you are paying for the updates one way or another. Be sure of it.






    Godfrey that's a nice spin, but regardless, the Fujifilm updates are useful and welcomed for some features such as AF tracking and 1/32,000 shutter. I think Fuji firmware updates are frequent because they actually listen to customers and add features accordingly.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Fujifilm is one of those few camera manufacturers that seem to be fueled by enthusiasm, maybe exactly because they are part of a larger corporation that want to use them as a showcase for whatever. Going through Fujifilm's product catalogue, particularly the Japanese one, always makes me wonder how they can keep all those quirky products in production and still make a profit. I'm not even sure if they do... make a profit, I mean.

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    ...
    Godfrey that's a nice spin, but regardless, the Fujifilm updates are useful and welcomed for some features such as AF tracking and 1/32,000 shutter. I think Fuji firmware updates are frequent because they actually listen to customers and add features accordingly.
    Oh, I didn't say the updates weren't nice to have. And they do seem to be worth however they're being paid for. But that said, I just can't get on with Fuji cameras. I've tried three (or four) and turned them all around pretty quickly. Something about them, the sensor design, the control ergonomics, the menu design, or whatever, always seems to just not work right for me.

    Both Olympus and Panasonic have also issued very good firmware updates that did a lot to improve a camera from its delivered state, as has Leica. They don't issue them as often as Fuji does. But then again, I haven't even bothered with the last two fw updates on my M9 because it works just the way I want as it is.
    :-)

    G

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Colson View Post
    Not necessarily a good thing.

    Joe
    But in Fuji's case, I have to say, it has been a pretty good thing on overall.

    - Ricardo

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I don't see prices on the Fuji system as being much different from prices on the Olympus system, given comparable body/lens choices. It's mostly a toss up between them.
    And yet, Fuji is offering the free firmware upgrades that often seems to be missing on the Olympus side.

    Fujifilm is a huge outfit, a tiny wing of Fuji Heavy Industries. They can easily afford to cut their profit margin to the bone on the camera division in the thrust for more market share. But the money to pay for development of updates comes from somewhere, and no sensible company takes it for granted. Fuji is a very sensible, successful company. So they've calculated it into their cost of manufacture and taken a slimmer profit.
    I agree Fuji could be seeing this as a way to pay their way to marketshare. Sure. I don't think some of the upgrades they have done were calculated this way in the sense that it seemed new discoveries on their end on how to do better AF algorithms and things like that though.

    No matter what, you are paying for the updates one way or another. Be sure of it.

    G
    Well, if the company decides to subsidize it to get their toe in the market, no, you are not paying for them. It would be interesting to see if Fuji kept that up though, if they ever got a significant share of the market.

    - Ricardo

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    I could not care less about the fact if FW updates are calculated into the products or not - bottom line is that Fuji brings lot of them on top of their camera which are priced very competitive. And this results in extreme good value for the customer (e.g. me) as long as this customer appreciates how Fuji is seeing (designing and building) photography equipment.

    For me this is just right. But I am not saying everything is perfect and there is lot of room for improvement even with Fuji, but so far most looks great.

    WRT "I am advancing" - I am not bound to Fuji - for the time being it seems to be a great fit for me, but that might change pretty fast as soon as either Nikon or Canon is bringing their whatever real next generation FF DSLRs. I still cannot forget my 1.2/85 II Canon lens, which was (is) by far the best fast portrait lens I ever used and then paired with something new high MP count and high DR coming? Or Nikon with their next gen of Sony sensors combined with some of their latest glass as the new 4/300 etc - there are lot of possibilities which is beautiful!
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    While I agree that additional functionality from periodic firmware updates should extend the life of DSLRs for many, I can't imagine that the cost Nikon would recoup from a subscription model, if indeed it implements one, would outweigh the loss of sales of DSLRs from folk hanging onto their cameras for longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    Phase One’s firmware updates are about as exciting as being hit in the face by a passing comet (and come around about just as often).
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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by AreBee View Post
    While I agree that additional functionality from periodic firmware updates should extend the life of DSLRs for many, I can't imagine that the cost Nikon would recoup from a subscription model, if indeed it implements one, would outweigh the loss of sales of DSLRs from folk hanging onto their cameras for longer.



    Perhaps It would be sufficient to release firmware updates instead of all these new, very similar camera models. There would be less loss of dslr sales and a mature and refined camera system. Let us spend money on good glass instead.

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Oh, I didn't say the updates weren't nice to have. And they do seem to be worth however they're being paid for. But that said, I just can't get on with Fuji cameras. I've tried three (or four) and turned them all around pretty quickly. Something about them, the sensor design, the control ergonomics, the menu design, or whatever, always seems to just not work right for me.

    Both Olympus and Panasonic have also issued very good firmware updates that did a lot to improve a camera from its delivered state, as has Leica. They don't issue them as often as Fuji does. But then again, I haven't even bothered with the last two fw updates on my M9 because it works just the way I want as it is.
    :-)

    G
    I've actually found the Fuji (xt1/100T) to be stellar cameras. I love film cameras and these for me, are just about perfect. The little x100t has a higher flash sync then any MFD, and Leica quality primes for the xt1. As Peter pointed out the price point of entry is easily justified, so the free firmware updates seems like a bonus.

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    How do you do a useful raw histogram? Without applying a gamma everything just piles up in a spike on the far left edge. This is because on a linear scale the last exposure stop occupies the entire right half of the histogram, the last two stops 3/4 of the histogram, etc. The greater the dynamic range, the more the meaningful parts of the image pile up seemingly at 0.

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    I love the X-Pro1 and the lenses for it. But the AF is pathetically poor and there is no manual focus assist in optical mode. It can't overlay edge detection on the OVF and needs to be switched into EVF, which to me personally is a no-go. Such a simple thing cripples an otherwise fantastic tool.

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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Any idea when this FW is being released? I thought it was Jan 19th.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    I AM Advancing


    It's only a rumor, and maybe just a hoax.

    Sounded strange to begin with, like e.g. the Df and the D4s were not mentioned.

    We'll see.
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    Re: I AM Advancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Steen View Post
    It's only a rumor, and maybe just a hoax.

    Sounded strange to begin with, like e.g. the Df and the D4s were not mentioned.

    We'll see.
    Some of the big corporations are now using crowd funding and other sites to test the waters. Far easier (cheaper) and a lot more specific than employing a survey company.

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