New pictures added to Eyes Down Gallery

There’s some new pictures added to the Eyes Down gallery here.

Here is an example:

 

My son Andrew takes all the images in the Eyes Down gallery.  He has Down Syndrome and some communication difficulties but enjoys going out and taking pictures with his father. He is also has a gift to make people smile.

It’s fascinating to see what Andrew finds interesting. He liked the ducks on the water above, sometimes he takes pictures of paths other times its signs.

Nikon 1 V1 macro

I’ve added a Nikon 1 V1 macro picture to the macro gallery. The image below was taken with the 30-110mm Nikon 1 lens with attached Raynox DCR250 adapter. A previous article here gives more examples of what this setup can do. It’s a lot lighter and more portable than my dedicated DSLR  lens and can give some amazing results.

 

OK…. so I clipped the wing on the right hand side a little, but I did manage to get a reasonable amount of eye detail. If you’ve ever tried getting this close to flies you’ll appreciate how difficult it can be. They don’t tend to stay still very long 🙂

 

Nikon 1 mirrorless officially discontinued

Nikon 1 mirrorless is officially discontinued reports Nikonrumors. Well technically the cameras are listed as discontinued on the Nikon Japan website without as yet, an official announcement.

It is almost a year ago since  I wrote a similar article here.

It’s a shame Nikon didn’t have the kuhunas to say something. They just left it to the point of embarrassing. You can imagine it became the elephant in the room during management meetings.

I hope that the new mirrorless cameras will not be treated with the same contempt. It would be good if lessons were learnt and Nikon publishes a lens road map at the very least. Will they? Anyone’s guess,  but based on past experience it probably won’t happen.

I’ll continue to use my Nikon 1 gear until it fails and then think about options. Secondhand asking prices in the UK  have gone up since the beginning of the year. Will they carry on going up or drop like a stone? Will even less people be interested?

Well at least we know now….

 

Nikon 1 V1
Nikon 1 V1

 

Edit: dpreview reports they have had confirmation from Nikon Inc that the 1 system is no longer in production.

Nikon mirrorless rumours ramping up

After a short break due to family commitments and a holiday where I was effectively off grid (yes that can happen in the UK😀) I’m back posting.

The Nikon  mirrorless rumours are ramping up with a potential announcement for the end of the month.

As with all rumour sites the comments manifest pure speculation into fact and as I said before there will be considerable room for disappointment.

If we believe current trending items the Nikon mirrorless offerings will be more upmarket than consumer orientated. Some are even thinking that Nikon may surrender the consumer end of things.

I’m not sure about that. People are forgetting the consumer end is where the volume comes from. Should Nikon reposition themselves in the higher end of the market only that would be a brave move.

Although if you go back around the 1980’s Nikon cameras were aimed more at professionals and journalists. Both in terms of price and specs. The consumer end being catered to by Canon, Minolta, Olympus and Pentax. The original big four. Nikon did release the cheaper  Nikon EM in 1979 with a range of more affordable, half a dozen or so E series lenses. Neither the EM or it’s E series lenses gained any traction against the competition.

I’m staying with my flapper™️

I’m not going to immediately trade in my flapper™️ DSLR for a mirrorless. I’ve already got a V1 that complements it. Unfortunately Nikon have and still remains officially quiet about the future of that system. That’s a shame, with many me included, lamenting what could have been.

Even with cargo shorts on in the recent hot weather, I could carry a body (V1) and the equivalent of 28-300mm focal lengths in my pockets. I think you could be hard pushed to try that with m4/3. A large battery means all day shooting is guaranteed, unless your a compulsive chimper seeking help for an addiction.

Lets hope that both Canon and Nikon offer some complementary models and we have even more choice at sensible prices.

Where are Nikon and Canon aiming?

Where are Nikon and Canon aiming? High end mirrorless, high price, low volume or will they go the other way and have a low price high volume offering?

Putting aside the lens mount argument (which is already decided we just don’t know what it is yet), another decision to make is which end of the market to aim for.

Most talk on the internet seems to favour something on the high end. I’m not sure that would be a good idea. Price it too high and you will take sales away from your similarly priced DSLRs. Your replacing one sale with another.

Aim for the mid price market and your aiming at the competition. Keep DSLRs high end and look to complement or replace your mid and consumer products.

Of course this is arguably harder now Fuji have released their X-T 100. It offers a low priced entry into their retro mirrorless system. But is it the old printer and ink situation? Virtually give away one and make it up on the other. In Fuji’s case offer a low(er) priced camera but you’ll have to spend money on the lenses. I think that is the Fuji weak spot. The lenses maybe good but they are not cheap and I doubt if Fuji will ever enjoy the volumes of the other two.

Talking of lenses will Canon and Nikon produce a new range of lenses with their mirrorless cameras? If they do it sort of resets the playing field a bit. Not to mention incurring the wrath of all the legacy lens owners.

How long?

Interestingly I was reading a website where the Fuji ambassador had been testing the X-T100 for two months. I wonder if Canon and Nikon do the same? The implication being that any new model would have been out for testing way before an announcement. Take into account production lead times and it makes you think how long is it between committing to a design and final release. A quick google search came up empty handed in respect of camera lead times. Although I did manage to find a non specific electronics lead time of 26 weeks. That’s 6 1/2 months. Having worked in an environment with lead times of 1-2 months (non electronic manufacturing), you start to get a feel for the time scales involved.

Hopefully we will see some juicy information soon. Then the rumor sites will really light up, sort of like an internet aurora 😀

Nikon to raise prices in June

Nikon to raise prices in June, which must be their annual ‘let’s squeeze a bit more out of our customers’ rise.

A year ago I wrote a post about reduced consumer spending and a struggling retail sector in the UK. Article here.

I could write the same thing this year and it wouldn’t be out of place. So why do Nikon want to raise their prices? Exchange rates? Again? Or just an annual increase? Nikon have already reduced costs and alluded to wanting to sell less units at a higher price.

They have also reduced R&D spend. To me that sets alarm bells ringing. R&D is important but is also the first thing to get cut. I speak from experience. Controlling costs in a struggling environment is necessary. The problem is when the good times return it is very rare for R&D expenditure to go up.

Whatever the reason I can’t see raising prices helping to stop declining sales. It also sets the scene to introduce their mirrorless camera at a higher price point.

I think increased prices will dissuade an already subdued gear buying public. It gives people an excuse to use their smartphone instead of ‘upgrading’. They’ll stick with what they know and what works for them.

If camera manufacturers embark on increasing prices they will have to do more than iterative updates. Arguably they should be anyway. They also need to solve workflow issues. It’s still easier to post an image from a smartphone to social media than a camera. Not that many cameras are connected (Bluetooth / WiFi) or have GPS. All standard fare for a smartphone.

In fact my D5300 has WiFi and GPS. Built in. Two features I particularly wanted. I don’t want to carry a separate GPS unit that can fall out and get lost. Or more importantly, I can leave behind😉

The WiFi enables me to connect to an iPad and review full size images. Theres not many cameras that can do that. Normally you have to use the lightning connector and import your images to the iPad before viewing them bigger than a thumbnail. A quirk of the Apple eco system.

The Nikon D5300 was introduced in 2013. Yet in some respects still gives new cameras a run for their money. I think it might even still be a current model. For me it’s a bit of a sweet spot in terms of features, size, weight and value. I also appreciate it may not be enough for some. That’s why we are fortunate to have a huge choice of not only bodies but different systems these days. There really should be something for everyone.

Some people are posting in forums that it’s interesting times with Canon and Nikon entering the mirrorless foray.

What I find more interesting is how the industry is going to stop the decline in sales…..

 

It’s not just cameras that are boring

Apparently it’s not just cameras that are boring…mobile phones seem to be suffering too.

An article on wired.co.uk suggests that mobile phone makers are having similar issues to camera manufacturers. After a few incremental upgrades to phones it would appear people aren’t buying new models as often as they once did.

So are we getting bored with minor changes or have we reached the point where the value in upgrading, for most of us, isn’t there any more?

In the case of mobiles it looks like a combination of things, including increasing flag ship prices are playing a part. Together with the realisation that you don’t have to change your phone every two years when your contracts up. The article also states that cheaper manufacturers are eating away at the mid range market quite successfully.

The mobile industry needs ‘the next big thing’, but doesn’t necessarily know what that is yet. Their money seems to be on 5G. If you live in a rural area in the UK, your glad for any G let alone 5 🙂

Sound familiar?

When Canon and Nikon release their mirrorless cameras there’s bound to be some excitement (and possibly disappointment). But there will be a bit of buzz for a while.

Until the ole hedonic adaptation (or treadmill) kicks in. If that’s a new phrase you never heard of before I’ll try to give a quick unscientific explanation: it’s a theory that people quickly get used to a positive (or negative) event in their life and then return to the previous state of happiness.

In other words the excitement of the new lens, camera or phone (or anything else) will wear off and you return to the level of happiness you had before the purchase.

Bit like getting a quick energy boost from something sugary.

Will a new mirrorless camera be different to what we have now?

Will Nikons' next mirrorless system be abandoned like the 1 series?
Will Nikons’ next mirrorless system be abandoned like the 1 series?

In terms of the name on the front, yes. In terms of having a camera with no mirror in it………?  Think we got those already.

Will Canon or Nikon give us enough of a value proposition to avoid looking at Fuji, Sony, Panasonic or Olympus? If people have already switched I can’t see them returning to the fold. In the UK we still have very subdued consumer spending. A new camera offering will have to be more than “Hey look… we took the mirror out”. It should be “We took all the good stuff you like about our cameras and added a bunch of stuff to make your workflow easier”.

I can’t think of anything compelling that would make me want to buy a new camera at the moment. Apart from a catastrophic impact onto a pavement or some internal mechanical failure. I appreciate there could be certain features that appeal to certain people, but I’m not going to buy the first generation new mirrorless Nikon put out. I would like an idea of where they will take their mirrorless system first. We don’t want or need another Nikon 1 series fiasco.

Whether you like to use DSLR or mirrorless or both, I can’t help thinking that as photographers were in the same boat with the mobile users.

Still waiting for the ‘next big thing’.

 

 

Recent trip to Albert Dock, Liverpool

We recently had the good fortune to be able to visit Liverpool, England. It’s not somewhere I’ve been before, I tend to avoid big cities because I’m not that keen on large crowds of people or busy places.

So why go there in the first place? It was a weekend out to see Michael McIntyres’ world tour show at the Arena. The show was actually quite good and we managed to book a hotel literally a stones through away.

Echo Wheel, Liverpool
Echo Wheel, Liverpool, with the Arena just visible on the right.

In the morning (after the compulsory full English breakfast) we had a wander around part of Albert Dock. It wasn’t a photo tour so rather than incur the wrath of the wife I grabbed a couple of quick shots as we walked round.

 

Albert Dock with the Echo wheel in the backgound
Albert Dock with the Echo wheel in the background. Nikon V1.

The above shot really pushed my little Nikon 1 V1 sensor to the limit. There is detail in the shadows under the arches, while just about retaining the highlights in the cloudy sky. This was really more of a record shot, but I’m surprised how well it came out considering the 1″ sensor.

 

Albert Dock, Liverpool
Albert Dock, Liverpool

 

Another record shot again pushing the sensor on the V1.

Not quite sure what this building is (maybe the Open Gallery?), kinda liked the reflection.

Around Albert Dock there were some interesting styles of architecture, the old mixing with the new. The clock tower on the right is part of the the Royal Liver building.

The Nikon V1 is great for slipping in a pocket when you don’t want to carry larger kit around.  When my V1 finally gives up I might have to move to m43, that then brings up the issue of whether to run two different formats. A story for another day I think.

In terms of visiting Liverpool, I think we will be returning at some stage.

 

Everyone knows how to run a company

Everyone knows how to run a company. At least that’s what you would think looking at the comments in various forums around the web.

This Easter was a bit of a disaster in the TMMA household. 3/4 of the family got a nasty bug that effectively put us out of commission for a good couple of weeks. The wife went one better and decided she would beat us all with a chest infection. We are now on the mend and whilst limiting our outdoor photography to zero, I did have the chance to catch up on some internet reading.

Hence the title of the article. Speculation abounds as to what Nikon might do with their mirrorless cameras. I’ve read more than a few comments regarding what armchair commentators  think should happen.

It would appear few have had any business training.

It is obvious from certain comments that people are looking at things from a purely photographic point of view. Company [insert name] should do this that and the other.

Any manufacturing training will tell you not to do anything unless it adds value. Also the ONLY reason to go into business is to MAKE A PROFIT.

Nearly every business these days faces threats on multiple fronts. Bricks and mortar shops are fighting decreasing footfall and here in the UK increased business rates. Couple that with the tightening of consumer spending and it’s pretty obvious why companies are struggling. Threats of an interest rate rise won’t help.

Internet outlets have lower overheads but don’t appear to be immune from the slowdown either.

Where does that leave global manufacturers?

As far as photography is concerned the push will be towards selling fewer high value units. Some manufacturers have alluded to this already. As much as I want to like Fujifilm gear I still think it is pricey.

With a shrinking market I can’t see selling higher priced gear is a good long term strategy.

In fact given current conditions I not sure what a long term strategy would even look like any more.

I think that we are seeing a change in camera buying habits. Even with the potential release of new Canon and Nikon mirrorless cameras I’m not convinced it will be enough to turn around anyone’s fortunes.

Do people really want to carry a bag full of lenses and a spare body these days?

Any lessons to be learnt here?

Yes. When your ill be careful what you read on the internet 😀 I’m tending to think that I need to concentrate on informative internet reading rather than the comments sections.

I’m also looking forward to getting out (weather permitting) and actually taking some photographs again.

For ages I’ve been toying with the idea of creating an indoor table top studio setup. I think I really need to do something now.

Sleeping giants awake

Sleeping giants awake – what?

The slightly cryptic title refers to Canon and Nikon. Both eventually realising that they have to enter the mirrorless market in a more serious way.

Both taking their time. Perhaps for fear of committing an act of cannibalism on their DSLR lines. Trouble is if they don’t do it someone else will. Arguably others have. Sony and Fuji have been nibbling away for a while now. I can’t help but think that as a result Olympus and Panasonic must of got some scraps too.

It is surprising the giants have taken so long to react. Sleeping seems to be their thing these days. Was it arrogance,  neglect or sheer stupidity? A combination of all three? Did they not even perceive a threat? The alarm bells should have gone off when it was clear Fuji were gaining popularity.

According to recently reported interviews with Canon executives though, it appears they were too interested in trying to milk current customers with limited differences between models. And only putting in features they thought they had too, rather than providing a better value proposition.

Similar to Nikon eh ? (Sorry Canadian family influence there 😀).

Canon and Nikon are hopefully now going to react and come out with some mirrorless models that will give the camera buying public even more choice.

It would be nice to talk about what is included in these new models rather than what has been left out.

A few questions will remain, not least the issue of lens mount. Current rumours suggest Canon may go the way of a new mount with an adapter for their EF lenses. Again sounds familiar to the discussions around Nikon and their mount dilemma.

So when  these two sleeping giants come out of their slumber, make sure your awake. We might just get something to create a bit of buzz.

Lord knows Canon, Nikon and the industry in general could do with some mainstream excitement.

 

 

Nikon lens compatibilty myth or marketing?

Nikon lens compatibility myth or marketing: good, bad or indifferent?

When I first saw the AF-P announcement I thought there might be some lenses I am interested in. The 10-20mm appears to be small, light and a potentially useful addition to my kit. If your a DX shooter you will know the wide angle end of things has been a bit neglected by Nikon. Sure there are third party alternatives but they are heavy and pricey.

Likewise with the 70-300mm lens. A while ago I had the original FX version and wasn’t overly impressed with it. The AF-P series on the other hand seem to have been reasonably well received.

So for the first time in a while I could see myself actually purchasing a couple of Nikon lenses. Bizarrely the secondhand prices of these two are holding up quite well. If you shop around there is only a £40 or so difference on the 70-300mm between new and used (as of the date of this post). So there is opportunity for me to spend money buying Nikon lenses.

Ok wheres the but?

Yep you knew it was coming. Nikon decided in their ultimate wisdom to hobble the compatibility of the AF-P’s.

The short version of this is: if you have an ‘older’ body, the compatibility swops between non existent and partial. Some newer bodies require a firmware update.

With the three bodies I currently have I could only use the AF-P series on one of them. What were Nikon thinking? Are they trying to pivot to some yet unreleased body series?

Nikon lens compatibility is becoming a myth. Sure they will fit, but certain features on certain bodies cannot be used. Is this the new definition of compatible?

Perhaps some could live with the removal of the in body screw drive. Provided you don’t own any lenses that need it. This was in effect though a similar compatibility issue. It forced you to start picking a certain sub range of Nikon lenses. Before long they will have more genres of lenses than Netflix has of movies 😀

If you have screw drive lenses it pushed you to a higher price (and admittedly spec’d) body in the range. Now is this compatibility or marketing?

With the Nikon 1 series we got the FT-1 adapter. Great, we could use our F mount lenses on the smaller CX cameras. Yes sort of. If you only wanted to use a single, center af point. Again we got compatible but hobbled.

Should we call time on the legacy mount?

With the (hopefully) imminent release of a mirrorless Nikon is it time to put the legacy mount out to glass grass? Nikon have a rare chance to move to a new more future proof mount.  They could say from day X all new cameras will have this. Nikon will probably release another half assed adapter which could introduce more issues. If  they take this course of action let’s hope it will have a competitive price.The FT-1 is currently in the region of £200. I won’t go into the px value for it. Suffice to say I’ve still got it.

Slowly but surely the legacy aspect of the F mount is being eroded. Before long compatible will be ‘fits’ in respect of Nikon lenses on older bodies.

One problem I have with this is whether it is reasonable to expect Nikon to continue with this legacy thing at all. Apple changed to a lightning port. Then they got rid of the headphone jack. Some people were [are] upset about this. Either way Apple made the change and we are now living with it. Is time we got rid of the charging port altogether and went totally wireless? Maybe. Is it the inevitable march of progress? Possibly. Do we have to like it? Nope.

Nikon have a chance to kill two birds with one stone here. They can produce an adapter that maintains all functions on the newer bodies. At the same time they could have a opportunity to transition to a new mount as well.

It’s probably too late anyway.

We can speculate till the cows come home about what Nikon should and could do.

If Nikon are going to release a mirrorless camera this year, they have already made a decision. It’s too late to influence that.

Much like Apple and the changes they make to their products we are going to have to live with whatever Nikon do.

Or move.

 

Fujifilm X-H1 and the future.

Fuji have announced the Fujifilm X-H1. I’ve got to admit it was a bit of a surprise for me, probably because I don’t follow Fuji that closely anymore.

From what I’ve read on other sites the X-H1 is generally well received although some are noting certain design ‘quirks’. What stands out to me is the increase in size and addition of a top lcd display. Size and weight are often quoted by mirrorless fans as advantages, yet newer releases seem to be getting bigger. This generally results in the  “there are other advantages” statement. I’m not going to debate those here.

What makes this interesting for me is where Nikon will pitch their new mirrorless in terms of design and format. Having bought into Nikon 1 with a V1, I was disappointed when Nikon couldn’t decide on a common design for subsequent models. It put me off spending more money on the 1 system.

I’m not adverse to the Fujifilm X-H1 design.  Quirks not withstanding.

The question is have we reached the limit of the general shape of a camera? They still look more or less like film cameras from years ago. Whether rangefinder or dslr. If you’d been asleep for 40 years and picked up a ‘modern’ camera you would be forgiven for trying to put a film in it. In fact the Nikon Df,  Olympus and to a certain extent Fuji cameras exploit the current trend for retro.

Will those up and coming ‘younger’ photographers want an essentially 50 year old design? Will people who change their smartphone every couple of years or so be content?

I think the current camera designs will be around for a few more years before going niche. The need for specialist lenses in terms of telephoto,  macro and perspective correction may dictate that.

Mainstream cameras are more difficult to predict. It probably won’t be too long before a camera (say in the range of 18-200mm fov) can be built into a smartphone with acceptable quality. For the majority of people this could be all they need. The lens range will become more important than the amount of pixels. If most view on an electronic device such as a phone or tablet  a huge megapixel count becomes moot.

How long should it last?

So thinking about designing a camera today where exactly do you go and how long do you design it to last? I still have a Nikon D200. That dates back to circa 2005. I have 18×24” canvases on the wall from its 10MP output. It’s 13 years old and for the most part useable. The only reason I don’t carry it around is the weight.

Was it designed to last that long? Probably not. Technological advances will make it obsolete. Somebody forgot to tell the engineering department though 😉.

So those poor people working on the new Nikon mirrorless cameras have the usual conflicting objectives. Design something that will appeal to a wide variety of users, in multiple markets, against stiff competition that can be sold at a profit, without pricing itself too high. Oh and don’t forget about the lens mount issue. Or bankrupting the company if you get it wrong, because you really should have been in this market ages ago and your now last.

Will we be using today’s cameras in 13 years time? Hopefully things will have progressed.

The smartphone will be even more of a portable computer with potentially holographic display. The battery life won’t be an issue and the camera will be more capable than anything that’s around today. And it will still fit in your pocket.

So around 2030 where will today’s cameras be? On a shelf or bookcase, in a trunk in the attic?

The grandchildren will say “Wow look at those old cameras. Is that a D850? Do you still use them?”

Your response will be “Sometimes, but you have to be careful. You can’t get the batteries anymore”.😀

 

 

 

Don’t work for free

Don’t work for free. You’ve heard before but do you still do it?

I’m not on about charity work or doing something for your favourite club or organisation.  There can be a lot of satisfaction in those circumstances.

It’s more the working for exposure issue. On a few rare occasions you might get meaningful feedback and opportunities, but if we are honest it is very rare.

Who else works for exposure?

When you think about all the other trades and professions around who else actually works for exposure? Plumbers, brickies, electricians, decorators etc do any of these people work for free on the premise of getting more work? No I don’t think so either.

Do shops lend you gear on the basis they will get free advertising? Having worked in retail – albeit some years ago – I can answer that one. No.

If you find a petrol station that will let you fill up for exposure let me know. I promise not to tell anyone else 😀

So why are togs willing to work for free?

That’s a good question. I think if your starting off or trying to make a name for yourself, you get caught up in the idea it will mean something. Your certain that doing the job will result in some more paid gigs further down the line. So you do your free job. Now think of that person (we’ll call them client 1) having a conversation with someone else ( client 2) who needs some photos:

client 1: I know this photographer, they did some great work for me.

client 2: Wow you seem impressed. They are good. I’m not sure I could afford someone like that.

client 1: Yeah I’m impressed, well decent, best part is they did it for free. Just tell them you know some people willing to pay good money.

client 2: Will that work?

client 1: It won’t hurt. You got nothing to lose.

Moral of the story: you get a reputation. For doing free work. That is going to make it really difficult to charge in the future.

Unfortunately most other people I know in this world require money in payment for services. Why? Because they have to pay for bills or other services and those people require money too.

I’m not convinced working for free when you have to pay bills is a sustainable business model.

You don’t have to work for free though.

Wait. What?  Don’t work for free, instead think about working for a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Perhaps the local decorator needs some decent publicity shots for his website and advertising. Would he be willing to decorate a room for you in exchange for your services?

You could apply the idea to other trades or services. How about a few horse riding lessons for some shots of the stables?

Think outside the box. But make sure you have some paying clients as well.

There is one slight fly in the ointment. Whether the person you take the photos for values your services at the same level as you.

So what do you do?

I’ve done free work for organisations I’ve been involved with and have worked for paying clients. Sometimes I have also managed to do some gigs for a mutually agreed reward not involving money. In all cases both sides were happy. That’s the important part.

I’m in the make sure you get something out of it camp.

I also accept that can mean different things to different people.

 

Nikon mirrorless in 2018?

Will 2018 be the year Nikon mirrorless finally becomes good?

There is a lot of speculation on the internet regarding lens mount, DX or FX and legacy compatibility through an adapter.

Looking at the Nikon 1 saga I personally am not very optimistic.

The FT1 adapter was £200 here in the UK when released. Everybody thought great we can use our F-mount lenses. Technically yes, but Nikon hobbled the auto focus so the adapter only used a single centre af point.

I bought the V1 thinking I might get into something decent. It’s still in use but the decent part went by the wayside. The V2 changed the body design to a mini dslr style. By the time the V3 came along they changed the style again and gave us a separate EVF. That wouldn’t have been too bad except the EVF used the only connection port. Anyone with the GP-N100 gps or a flash unit, couldn’t use it with the EVF.

I would really like to believe Nikon will produce a decent attempt at a mirrorless but given some dubious design decisions they made with recent models and the current indifference to the 1 series I have my doubts.

For all intents and purposes the 1 series is effectively discontinued. Not officially but practically. Unless it’s a bargain basement price I can’t see anyone getting into it now.

A recent post on this site considered whether more emphasis should be put on the lens design decisions rather than the bodies. There is heated debate on the internet regarding sticking with the F mount or using a new mount altogether.

A lot of people are speculating on what sort of adapter maybe offered. At the very least it should be fully compatible with current lenses. But at what point do you stop?  Is an adapter for Ai lenses necessary? Will any adapter(s) be fully compatible and reasonably priced?

Will all the hipsters with their 20, 30 or 40 year old lenses really be the  target market that needs satisfying? If people are keeping lenses that long are they going to spend that much money to help Nikon’s bottom line? I seriously doubt it.

While I don’t totally disagree with some level of legacy lens compatibility, it could be more beneficial to make any new mirrorless more connected.

Let’s sort out some problems

If it’s any problem that needs addressing with new cameras it must surely be workflow. People are using smartphones because for the most part they produce good enough images for the user. The sort of user who won’t need loads of pixels when viewing on a tablet or someone else’s phone. The user who doesn’t want to carry a bag load of gear. An user who connects, who can post a picture on their favourite social site in a couple of screen presses.

Why do camera manufacturers refuse to see this?

Is there any real difference between taking a SD card out of a camera than removing a roll of film? Both still require image processing using additional equipment.

Instead of building in ways to connect a camera, manufacturers leave them out. Or we have to use some sort of dongle. When even the cheapest smartphones have GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi  built in, why do cameras not?

Nikon have a great opportunity to really push boundaries with a mirrorless offering. Coming from behind they can see what the competition is.

They could offer features that aren’t available in that competition.

I guess we will find out if Nikon are going to take the conservative approach or look upon this as a chance to offer something different.

Something that solves problems for users rather creating them.

Proper compatibility through adapters. Decent methods of connection.  Decent software solutions.

And for goodness sake show some commitment …….. and publish a freakin’ ROADMAP 😀

 

 

 

 

So you got a new camera for Christmas

So you got a new camera for Christmas: what’s next?

The temptation is to go out and buy a crap load of accessories and at least one lens.

Before you do can I suggest a different approach?

The two most useful things for me is a spare battery and a spare memory card if you haven’t already got one. That bag full of lenses becomes a dead weight when you run out of power or memory.

If this is your first camera that you can change lenses on I’m assuming whoever got you the camera were also kind enough to get you a lens.

The usual kit lenses in the 18-55mm range are more than good enough to start. Use this lens for a while and see if you need wider, longer or if shooting in low light something with a larger maximum aperture. Despite what most people say there are only two real drawbacks of the ‘kit’ zoom. Build quality (they won’t take a lot of abuse) and the aperture range. Typically f3.5 to 5.6. This can be limiting in low or poor light.

After a couple of months of good use, you should be getting an idea of what lens you might want to think about next. Buy the best lens you can afford that will do what you need. Getting a f5.6 55-200mm zoom is a false economy if your shooting in poor light. Getting a 70-200mm 2.8 zoom is expensive and heavy. A 70-200mm f4 zoom could be the sweet spot in price, weight and performance.

On the other hand you might be looking at the other end of the scale with an ultra wide angle zoom or wide angle prime.

If your leaning towards getting closer to your subject you could consider a close up adapter or even a macro lens. If you decide on a specialised macro lens I would suggest looking at something with a focal length of at least 100mm. Anything shorter would be OK for still life but a bit too close for live insects. Think about how you feel when someone shoves a lens in your face.

Either way take a bit of time enjoying your new camera before rushing out to spend the crimbo money. Get a feel for how YOU use the camera.

Bear in mind everything is a compromise. Those big expensive lenses are also heavy. If your willing to carry around the weight – great. If your of an older persuasion you might appreciate lighter kit. In my gear I have compromised on price and performance for a lighter bag. I don’t do low light shooting so I can live with it. Were all different and need to figure what best fits our needs. As time goes by those needs could well change.

People producing long lists of ‘must have kit’ normally have some sort of vested interest 😉