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Eric Calabros

Nikon Mystery Solved!

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"There are two types of high end users [using video]’ explains Kikaota: ‘those who started [their careers] shooting still pictures, but also there are a lot of customers who started with video. In our company we have two types of customer. It’s difficult to make one solution to fit for both of them.’ ..Shooting video with current cameras can often be quite complicated, we suggested. ‘[This] complicated operation is fit for the customer they started shooting from video. On the other hand there are professional [stills] photographers: they are not yet used to using video, their demand is easy operation. So there are two types types of people. It’s a big problem."

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We've always been wondering why Nikon, that has no Cinema line to protect, literally resists to offer pro video features. and now, in this DPR interview, I can see why. They fear the pro video features confuse their conservative still shooter user base! Really unbelievable! Yea, maybe they're right, many of their customers have no clue what video is, let alone stuff like log profile, focus peaking, color sampling, codecs, LUTs, grading,... and even if they need to record a short clip they want it to be just Start/Stop operation. But how on earth this can be justifiable excuse to not delivering features serious video shooters are asking for years? Just add a dedicated menu, or charge for Premium Firmware if you wish, whatever. Why it should be a "big problem" for a company that brought the video to the world of DSLR? 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

It's a "big problem" for Nikon only if they are designing a camera by committee, with one half of the table saying one thing and the other half saying another, which I'm afraid it looks like they are doing, at least in terms of the product feedback from pros.

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More and more younger people as young as middle school kids getting into videos, I would think it would hurt them more in sales by not including more video features. what choice do I have if I want 4k, IBIS, swivel screen, all under $1k? G80/85. Just a few more opens up if you can do with one or two of the three. I started stills with D70, than D90 with 720p. After that I moved to Cannon with T2i with 1080p. I'd love to come back to Nikon, and still have a couple of lenses, but not in its current state. it is, indeed, baffling.

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Just have one setting: "Unlock Pro Video Settings"

Default send it shipped out set to "Off", but then users can switch it to "On" which will enable several more pages and submenus worth of video settings to be viewable.

1 hour ago, Chris Oh said:

I'd love to come back to Nikon, and still have a couple of lenses, but not in its current state. it is, indeed, baffling.

Well.... I reckon Nikon are ahead of Canon in the video DSLR game, but the gain is not really large enough for everyone (it is for some though) to make it worth switching, as if you're going to switch away from Canon.... why not just go to Sony or Panasonic instead? That is Nikon's problem in attracting video shooters away from Canon, they can't just moderately beat Canon by little bits (like they have with the D5200, D750, D500, etc).  

They need to also bring out a higher end above that is focused on video to complement their video DSLRs (such as the C100/C300 and FS5/FS7 does).

In a world in which the market share for dedicated stills cameras is massively declining each and every year, Nikon can not survive by focusing on only one or two niches, they need a broader platform to support themselves. The video/film world is an obvious and natural next step for them.
 

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6 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Just have one setting: "Unlock Pro Video Settings"

Default send it shipped out set to "Off", but then users can switch it to "On" which will enable several more pages and submenus worth of video settings to be viewable.

This. 

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2 hours ago, squig said:

It's all bullshit.

This. The NX1 showed what could be done. Yeah, it's flawed in some ways, but for a first time outing, it's one badass camera. 

I actually own a Nikon Super-8 camera. For the era and the media, it's pretty badass. Great mix of value and features. Nikon could easily do a sub-$2k cinema camera. Not holding my breath. 

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"So there are two types of people. It’s a big problem" 

There are not just two types of people (camera users), there are many many more. And that is not a problem, but an opportunity to make more money by targeting different needs. A company that came up with the Df should already know this. 

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I think we are still overestimating the importance of video and definitely of cinema cameras.

Simple gallup at work. I have about 20 people close to me there. Maybe two of them have an old camcorder and about the same number of Gopros. Zero owns a cinema camera. Every single one of them owns a still camera or even two + a smartphone.

Only one of them have ever edited a video outside of work. Some have done videos in there spare time for the christmas party at work, so it doesn't count :)

And thats where I work. I think it would be even less video at a factory or clothing store.

If I was Nikon I wouldn't sink a dime in the video business unless I had to. And then the smartphone market would be further up my list.

And as far as I can tell the biggest market for video among regular people is for blogs/selfies and action cameras. Thats why weird cameras like the Canon X sells really good.

And Nikon did release three dedicated video cameras just a few weeks ago that suits that segment.

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33 minutes ago, Don Kotlos said:

"So there are two types of people. It’s a big problem" 

There are not just two types of people (camera users), there are many many more. And that is not a problem, but an opportunity to make more money by targeting different needs. A company that came up with the Df should already know this. 

Yeah just do the OPPOSITE of the Nikon DF and they'd have a winner on their hands! ;-) ha, well at least for many people on this forum

 

But enough joking around, I agree with your point, the Nikon DF targets an extremely small niche, so why can't Nikon target the bigger niche of filmmakers?

 

18 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

And as far as I can tell the biggest market for video among regular people is for blogs/selfies and action cameras. Thats why weird cameras like the Canon X sells really good.

 

Canon sells a shit load of Canon 70D / 80D / etc cameras to bloggers because they know the "pros" uses 5Dmk3 / C100 / C300 so that attitude of choosing and recommending Canon filters down to the lower ranks. 

It works both ways, the DSLR users can graduate up to buying Cinema series cameras, and the high profile / prestige of the Cinema cameras can sell their DSLRs to filmmakers. 

19 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

I think we are still overestimating the importance of video and definitely of cinema cameras.

Simple gallup at work. I have about 20 people close to me there. Maybe two of them have an old camcorder and about the same number of Gopros. Zero owns a cinema camera. Every single one of them owns a still camera or even two + a smartphone.

Only one of them have ever edited a video outside of work. Some have done videos in there spare time for the christmas party at work, so it doesn't count :)

And thats where I work. I think it would be even less video at a factory or clothing store.

If I was Nikon I wouldn't sink a dime in the video business unless I had to. And then the smartphone market would be further up my list.

According to your argument Canon should never have released a C300 or C100?!?! Surely not. 

Heck, by your logic Nikon should never release a D800/DF/D500/D5/etc because no one at your work ever needs to print ultra high resolution photos, or shoot BIF, or sports seriously, etc

Nope, that doesn't make sense. 

Nikon has two main paths: target the mainstream (such as with compact point and shoot cameras, but that ship has looooong since sailed! Or smartphones, which is too far outside their core competency and has too much competition) or target high value niches (such as a C100/C300 or FS5/FS7 competitor).

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There is another fact though, Nikon eas aleays a photo company, and photo isn't equal to video. Until very recently in time, pbotograpby and filmography (or videography) were completely apart in theory and practice.

Nikon's perception of the truth that says "there are two kinds of people..." shows that for them this is an issue, not an opportunity, as they are excelled in making photo cameras (look how much better results are squeezing out of the same Sony sensors) and the negative accent of his replies show the "agony" of a craftsman of the past that is not willing, or able, to follow the modern world's reality.

Electronics companies like Panasonic, Sony and Samsung are more adaptable of what people need, and the market can do to people like these, so it is normal to see the most innovation (so much, as it becomes gimmicky), features, and marketing tricks out of these companies.

I have the outmost respect for Nikon, and if I was a still photographer it couod have been my bramd of choice but soon it will be number 3 (Sony is already eating up its sales) and the future is not that bright.

Fuji (another traditionalists and photo experts) with their interviews of the last 2 years, are declaring that video is number one priority for the evolution of their system and that they have recognized the need of the market for hybrid cameras.

Honestly, last year's rumor that Samsung could give Nikon the NX system was the best thing could happen to Nikon. Imagine a NX1+D500 = NXF1 Nikon mirrorless with all the innovation and technology of Samsung, and all the right decisions and wisdom (and lenses!) of an image specialist as Nikon.

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@Mattias Burling

Quote

I think we are still overestimating the importance of video and definitely of cinema cameras.

I think all of us here in this forum misunderstand the perception of normal Joe about "filming" in context with DSLR / mirrorless devices. For most people "filming" means a camcorder or a film camera in "classical" shape.  For more than 99,9 percent of people a DSLR / photo camera is a device for STILLS. Not one of my friends or relatives associates that form of device with filming activities...

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10 minutes ago, Arikhan said:

@Mattias Burling

I think all of us here in this forum misunderstand the perception of normal Joe about "filming" in context with DSLR / mirrorless devices. For most people "filming" means a camcorder or a film camera in "classical" shape.  For more than 99,9 percent of people a DSLR / photo camera is a device for STILLS. Not one of my friends or relatives associates that form of device with filming activities...

Agreed.

And among that tiny group of people who does record a little video, my guess 1% actually edits and exports something.

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@Mattias Burling

Quote

And among that tiny group of people who does record a little video, my guess 1% actually edits and exports something.

I think, you are right...Because the DSLR/DSLM filming enthusiasts like many people in this forum are a MINORITY. But all of us think, filming features are the most important for camera manufacturers. I am convinced, this is NOT. It's only the most important thing for dedicated film camera manufacturers. For hybrid/still devices manufacturers, there are much more (economical and strategic) aspects to consider than the expectations of a minority.

How many normal Joes have the knowledge and hardware possibilities for 4K editing and post production? How many enthusiasts have the budget to handle and store huge RAW or 1DXmk2 files? I think, we underestimate the real existing world out there. Rock solid 1080p with a nice codec and a moderate bitrate (= for "normal" PCs / Mac, round about 50 MB/s) could be better for the future of filming enthusiasts than a handful "freaks" not representing the bright consumer world at all...And that's mass business, big manufacturers like Canon, Sony, Nikon, etc. are interested in...

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But those people ask you or me for advice on which next camera to get.  And for some, having a feature rich camera(including video) is important to them.  They ask, if my phone can do 4k, why can't my $1000 dedicated camera do that? Other wise they would just buy T5 on sale somewhere. Editing part, sure. not for everyone, but lot of kids now know how to do a simple drag and drop on their iMovie app. People in my circle, at least, don't want half baked solutions. Why would they? Their shiny new iPhone 7 is now water proof that does stabilized videos, simple edit in iMovie, and share it in 30 minutes. If they're spending another $1k on yet another device, they want something more from that purchase. People who has that much money are likely to buy higher end models later on, and have a decent enough computer to do simple edits. Also, my wedding photographer buddies are slowly asking about video side, because their clients demand it. These are, of course, just my opinion and I guess time will tell. It would really be a sad day if Nikon ever went away.

13 hours ago, IronFilm said:

why not just go to Sony or Panasonic instead?
 

I did have couple of Sony's. I am indeed switching to Panasonic. :)

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A dedicated video camera is out of question for Nikon. They don't make sensors. Sony has its own fab(s), Canon hss its own, Panasonic has its own (plus Towerjazz), so Nikon has to ask someone to make a video optimized sensor for them, and because its very low volume market, that will be hugely expensive. Df is niche, but its sensor is not. Besides, even if they find a reasonably priced sensor, the mount problem remains. Most serious video shooters are in PL camp, or using Canon lenses, or already adapting their old lenses to Sony's open mount. These people have no interest for F mount. No, it clearly makes no sense, businesswise. 

The thing is they are letting their customers to experience and finally embrace other options. When a DSLR shooter realizes he needs a secondary camera for video jobs, which is probably a mirrorless, he slowly discovers that secondary camera can also take pretty high quality stills in situations he wouldn't expect it to perform well, so asks himself Why I should keep using my bulky DSLR in every shoot? Its not even dangerous for DSLR business, its disaster. 

 

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