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Nikon Mystery Solved!


Eric Calabros
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Companies like Canon, Nikon, Fuji, even Pentax have a traditional camera lineage that gives them a little leeway and insight into these changing times. 

I personally think, waiting to include some of these features, we consider a necessity, is the smartest thing they could have done and I would question how it's helped the big electronic manufacturers by including them? Panasonic trails Canon in mirrorless market share. Sony can't make a consumer grade camera that doesn't implode upon normal use. And then there's Samsung... And then there wasn't Samsung.

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12 hours 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. 

Exactly! Goodbye Nikon, this world was too much for you.

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It is pretty funny how myopic some people are. DSLRs aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Nikon will continue to expand at a conservative pace and will do just fine. In fact, if more camera manufacturers go under, or leave the market, Nikon will not be the next to exit and most likely will be standing way longer than the electronic companies that are only out to sell 4K TVs. 

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53 minutes ago, mercer said:

It is pretty funny how myopic some people are. DSLRs aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Nikon will continue to expand at a conservative pace and will do just fine. In fact, if more camera manufacturers go under, or leave the market, Nikon will not be the next to exit and most likely will be standing way longer than the electronic companies that are only out to sell 4K TVs. 

Agreed.

Unlike Nikon, Canon has been producing professional video cameras and broadcast lenses for decades, the EOS C line is a natural extension of that lineage. The market is moving from fixed lens camcorders like the legendary EX1 to large sensor ILC camcorders like the FS7 and C100/300. Though on paper it looks like the GH5 could shake up things a bit, and IMO this is why we haven't seen a real AF100 successor. Panasonic is leaving the mid range stuff to Canon and Sony while trying to capture everything below with the GH5's heavy duty spec.

Nikon has no history in the pro video realm, venturing into pro video would be a big undertaking with lots of R&D. Good cameras by companies with far more experience than Nikon, like the JVC LS300, have been largely ignored in favor of the Canon and Sony's. Its not short sighted or stupid, its just not in their business model. Any mis-step would be very costly. Olympus is in the same boat. So is Fuji. Improving the video in their respective cameras and allowing for better output to external recorders makes more financial sense than producing an entirely new line of cameras.

Just my opinion.

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20 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

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.

All products from large companies, especially complex products like cameras, are designed by committee.

It is more likely that someone senior in the company and in a decision making position has an archaic conservative view of the imaging world, and that is why they have so much trouble keeping up with the way the market is going. Canon have the same problem, while most of the other camera companies appear to have more progressive leadership.

18 hours ago, Geoff CB said:

This. 

But an "on" button will confuse stills photographers, it is too much for them to grasp conceptually! Consequently you can't have such a button or their heads will explode.

17 hours ago, squig said:

It's all bullshit.

Of course it is bullshit. It is marketing spin to explain away their inability to produce a competitive product. To hide that fact they cripple the functionality. It is better to have a crippled implementation than a "best effort" implementation that clearly falls short of competitors performance. Their approach is "if you can't win the race then don't run in the race", and they blow it off by saying that the race is not important and that people "don't want them to run in it". It is better to appear bloody minded than it is to appear inadequate.

2 hours ago, mercer said:

It is pretty funny how myopic some people are. DSLRs aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Nikon will continue to expand at a conservative pace and will do just fine. In fact, if more camera manufacturers go under, or leave the market, Nikon will not be the next to exit and most likely will be standing way longer than the electronic companies that are only out to sell 4K TVs. 

That is what IBM said. And where are they now?

1 hour ago, Trek of Joy said:

Agreed.

Unlike Nikon, Canon has been producing professional video cameras and broadcast lenses for decades, the EOS C line is a natural extension of that lineage. The market is moving from fixed lens camcorders like the legendary EX1 to large sensor ILC camcorders like the FS7 and C100/300. Though on paper it looks like the GH5 could shake up things a bit, and IMO this is why we haven't seen a real AF100 successor. Panasonic is leaving the mid range stuff to Canon and Sony while trying to capture everything below with the GH5's heavy duty spec.

Nikon has no history in the pro video realm, venturing into pro video would be a big undertaking with lots of R&D. Good cameras by companies with far more experience than Nikon, like the JVC LS300, have been largely ignored in favor of the Canon and Sony's. Its not short sighted or stupid, its just not in their business model. Any mis-step would be very costly. Olympus is in the same boat. So is Fuji. Improving the video in their respective cameras and allowing for better output to external recorders makes more financial sense than producing an entirely new line of cameras.

Just my opinion.

If Black Magic could do it, a small operation on the far side of the world, you would think that a large company like Nikon could as well.

Their inability to do it is purely a senior management issue.

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5 hours ago, Chris Oh said:

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.

 

You are contradicting yourself.  The iMovie crowd is happy with the iPhone 7 Plus.  They aren't out looking to spend $1,500+ on a complicated camera body.

Even in the heyday of DSLR sales people were buying Rebels with kit lenses and and setting them on full auto.  They appreciated the faster operation and superior picture quality.  And they didn't have to learn a single thing more than what they already knew from their point and shoots.  Those people didn't spend "30 minutes" in photoshop adjusting their pictures.

15 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

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.

 

That is my reality.  I don't know a single person that shoots video on anything other than a smartphone.  And only a precious few who shoot stills on anything other than a smartphone.  And none that use mirrorless cameras.

20 hours ago, Chris Oh said:

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.

My experience is young kids know less and less about technology than past generations.  I don't know a single middle schooler that knows how to write a line of code.  When I was in middle school we all learned some computer programming at some point.  This is the iphone generation.  All they do is play games and message each other.  Their technical knowledge is poor.  I am shocked with the amount of computing power lying around and knowledge for free on the internet how clueless the junior high kids are today.

To answer your question my experience is if I was marketing electronics to the middle school generation I would make it the most dumbed down idiot proof device available that had a wireless connection and apps to get their content into 10 different messaging programs and on the web with a voice command or eye tracking in a VR headset.

Oh, and that sh-t better be CHEAP.  Millennials and below don't like spending money on things unless they have an apple on them.

Quote

A study by Harris Group found that 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things.

Good luck selling $1,500 cameras and $800 lenses to millennials.

1 hour ago, tugela said:

If Black Magic could do it, a small operation on the far side of the world, you would think that a large company like Nikon could as well.

Their inability to do it is purely a senior management issue.

Uhh...  Do you know something about Blackmagic's financial statements that we don't?

Nikon and Canon have way too much brand equity to turn out half baked cameras a year late.  You have to be crazy to think Nikon would destroy its brand doing what Blackmagic is doing.  The fact of the matter is many companies that people have mentioned in this thread have done what they have done out of pure desperation.

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1 hour ago, tugela said:

If Black Magic could do it, a small operation on the far side of the world, you would think that a large company like Nikon could as well.

Their inability to do it is purely a senior management issue.

How many photo cameras does BM produce? How many lenses do they make? They build hardware and software for video/broadcast applications. Do you know how profitable the camera division is? Probably not. For all we know its not very profitable, but it helps drive sales of other parts of the BM ecosystem, like the way the Micro Cinema Camera is a pain without an external monitor like the BM Video Assist.

Nikon could do it, they clearly have killer cameras, they squeeze more out of Sony sensors than Sony does, they have class leading AF and their cameras do shoot good video. The question is can they make a profit selling video cameras?

My guess is no.

Just because they can, doesn't mean they should.

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27 minutes ago, Damphousse said:

You are contradicting yourself.  The iMovie crowd is happy with the iPhone 7 Plus.  They aren't out looking to spend $1,500+ on a complicated camera body.

How is it contradicting? They like making short videos and now they want something more than what their iPhone could offer them.

29 minutes ago, Damphousse said:

My experience is young kids know less and less about technology than past generations. 

Overall, I agree with you, but our experiences may vary. There are middle schoolers in my local hackerspace making anything from costumes to raspberry pi projects.

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If Nikon wanted to invest money into R&D, it would make more sense for them to create their own sensors instead of a cinema division. You guys are acting like they have zero motion capabilities. Their higher end cameras have HDMI out, zebras, 4K (which isn't even a necessity) so they could use peaking. Is focus peaking possible with a DSLR?

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27 minutes ago, mercer said:

If Nikon wanted to invest money into R&D, it would make more sense for them to create their own sensors instead of a cinema division. You guys are acting like they have zero motion capabilities. Their higher end cameras have HDMI out, zebras, 4K (which isn't even a necessity) so they could use peaking. Is focus peaking possible with a DSLR?

Yea, D5 is the only flagship DSLR with 4k 4:2:2 HDMI output at the moment, but its not enough in 2016. Moreover, its not like the expected features need rocket science. Its already done by others. I'm pretty sure Nikon engineers are capable of delivering the best 10bit log profiled image with most refined color science, efficiently encoded. The problem is their boss doesn't ask them to do it. 

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The other companies have vested interests in creating such things. Sony has a Hollywood studio and 4K TVs to sell. Panasonic has 4K TVs to sell and a history with indie film video, Canon has a long history with filmmaking right back to the C8 camera and lenses and Scoopic camera. Nikon had a couple Super 8 cameras back in the day... Hell Ricoh has a bigger history with motion recording than Nikon does. Now obviously just because there is no history doesn't mean they shouldn't, but it also doesn't mean they will go out of business if they don't adapt to the desires of the few people on this forum. 

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I've got a foot in both camps with this really.

I shoot with Nikon professionally as a stills shooter and it would make my life easier not to say cheaper if they were to push further/harder on the video side so that I wouldn't have to use my Panasonic/Blackmagic and RED gear for motion projects.

On the other hand, I don't really want them to be diverting any resources away from developing and supporting what the core discipline it is that I'm using it for.

Whilst its true that they don't have a cinema line to protect they do have their base to protect and, at least in the area of the business I'm in, they are in hand to hand combat with Canon for control of it. I can't imagine there'd be much appetite for diverting any resources away from those areas and risk losing that battle to fully open up a second front that they would already be playing catch up in.

When I'm working at a major event and one of my bodies or lenses develops a fault, I'm not going to be too thrilled to go to the Nikon service desk and find out that they're all doing a roadshow at a local dealer trying to flog the D5 as a film making tool.

Thats not me being conservative or a luddite, it just that I'm making a living from using their gear for what both they and I have determined its best suited for. Its a trust thing where I trust that they'll build and maintain a system that I can use for the purpose I need it and they trust that I'll keep buying 5 grand bodies and 8 grand lenses off them if they do!

These things are only tools and as it currently stands, Canon make great chisels and great screwdrivers and frustratingly compromised chiseldrivers.

Nikon make great chisels and maybe the lesson they've learnt from Canon is that chiseldrivers aren't just a bad idea merely because you've got a screwdriver line to protect but because chiseldrivers are just not a very good tool full stop.

RED tried this the other way round.

I was suckered into the idea that EPIC would herald a brave new world with its stills extraction and whilst yes it could do it, it was just so clunky to be rendered useless for anything other than very specific controlled circumstances. And could be outperformed by a dedicated device a fraction of its price just as my D5 is for video by any number of consumer mirrorless devices.

What I don't really get though is the scorn for Nikon and by extension its users for them not diving headlong into this stuff. They make very good chisels and people who just need chisels are quite happy with them. It doesn't mean these people don't know what a screwdriver is or even don't have a use for a screwdriver. They just, you know, use a screwdriver for that stuff.

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7 hours ago, mercer said:

I personally think, waiting to include some of these features, we consider a necessity, is the smartest thing they could have done and I would question how it's helped the big electronic manufacturers by including them? Panasonic trails Canon in mirrorless market share. Sony can't make a consumer grade camera that doesn't implode upon normal use. And then there's Samsung... And then there wasn't Samsung.

That is because Panasonic/Sony/Samsung are all massively trailing behind the duopoly already from the word go, thus they can double their market share and still be a long way behind. Thus pointing that out doesn't really prove anything.  As Canikon is not maintaining their lead at all by excluding these things, but by their inertia of their uses, their brand name, their history, retail presence, and marketing. 

1 hour ago, mercer said:

Is focus peaking possible with a DSLR?

Of course it is, never seen Magic Lantern before? ;-) 

3 hours ago, Damphousse said:

Nikon and Canon have way too much brand equity to turn out half baked cameras a year late.  You have to be crazy to think Nikon would destroy its brand doing what Blackmagic is doing.  The fact of the matter is many companies that people have mentioned in this thread have done what they have done out of pure desperation.

Errr.... have you never heard of the Nikon KeyMission? Well over half a year late.

2 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

Nikon could do it, they clearly have killer cameras, they squeeze more out of Sony sensors than Sony does, they have class leading AF and their cameras do shoot good video. The question is can they make a profit selling video cameras?

 

As I explained before, massive DSLR sales will drive Cinema line up sales, and the Cinema cameras will in turn encourage more sales of DSLRs.

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3 hours ago, Damphousse said:

 

Uhh...  Do you know something about Blackmagic's financial statements that we don't?

Nikon and Canon have way too much brand equity to turn out half baked cameras a year late.  You have to be crazy to think Nikon would destroy its brand doing what Blackmagic is doing.  The fact of the matter is many companies that people have mentioned in this thread have done what they have done out of pure desperation.

The point is the fact that BM were able to do it at all means that it is doable, and you would expect a large specialist company like Nikon to be more capable. But apparently they are not. We know that they have the technical expertise, which means the lacking element is in the decision making process, specifically in senior management who call the shots.

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20 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

That is because Panasonic/Sony/Samsung are all massively trailing behind the duopoly already from the word go, thus they can double their market share and still be a long way behind. Thus pointing that out doesn't really prove anything.  As Canikon is not maintaining their lead at all by excluding these things, but by their inertia of their uses, their brand name, their history, retail presence, and marketing. 

Of course it is, never seen Magic Lantern before? ;-) 

Errr.... have you never heard of the Nikon KeyMission? Well over half a year late.

As I explained before, massive DSLR sales will drive Cinema line up sales, and the Cinema cameras will in turn encourage more sales of DSLRs.

Oh yeah, forgot about ML... Brain fart. Well, can DSLRs do good focus peaking?

You make fine points, but it still doesn't give Nikon a good reason to enter the cinema video market. 

We also have to remember that a lot of people, in this post, are referring to consumer cameras with professional video features... Different discussions. 

7 minutes ago, tugela said:

The point is the fact that BM were able to do it at all means that it is doable, and you would expect a large specialist company like Nikon to be more capable. But apparently they are not. We know that they have the technical expertise, which means the lacking element is in the decision making process, specifically in senior management who call the shots.

Or they don't want to because it doesn't make sense for their business model. Just because a small group finds it strange doesn't make it so. 

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2 hours ago, tugela said:
5 hours ago, Damphousse said:

Uhh...  Do you know something about Blackmagic's financial statements that we don't?

Nikon and Canon have way too much brand equity to turn out half baked cameras a year late.  You have to be crazy to think Nikon would destroy its brand doing what Blackmagic is doing.  The fact of the matter is many companies that people have mentioned in this thread have done what they have done out of pure desperation.

The point is the fact that BM were able to do it at all means that it is doable, and you would expect a large specialist company like Nikon to be more capable. But apparently they are not. We know that they have the technical expertise, which means the lacking element is in the decision making process, specifically in senior management who call the shots.

Do what?!  Release half baked cameras a year late?  If that is what you want buy a Blackmagic.  FYI I own a Canon AND a Blackmagic camera.  I use them both.  They are very different.  And I understand why each company does certain things differently.

Nikon is running a multibillion dollar profitable business.  You don't just write the CEO of Nikon and say do it.  "It" what exactly?  Like I asked you before are you privy to Blackmagic's financials?  It's real easy for arm chair warriors to tell companies to do "it".  A lot harder to tell them specifically what to do and how to do it profitably while not destroying their brand.

Everyone cheered Samsung along as their camera business imploded.  The level of hubris is amazing.  The voices of reason asked people to consider for a moment it isn't that simple and easy.  They were shouted down.  Samsung listened to all the people saying how easy it is.  Where is Samsung now?  What about gopro?  I loved everyone going on and on about how Canon should innovate like GoPro.  Where is GoPro's stock now?  Really how many times do you have to watch a stock completely crater or an entire camera business get shuttered before you realize it isn't just a matter of doing "it".

It is painfully clear to me there is a finite amount of money in this hybrid camera market.  If Panasonic really pulls off IBIS with internal 4k 10 bit 4:2:2 and decent low light 4 other camera makers are going to have their lunch eaten.

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1 hour ago, Damphousse said:

It is painfully clear to me there is a finite amount of money in this hybrid camera market.  If Panasonic really pulls off IBIS with internal 4k 10 bit 4:2:2 and decent low light 4 other camera makers are going to have their lunch eaten.

I'm beginning to think that mid-end IQ-savvy video market isn't very profitable... Samsung Cameras weren't the only ones to shut down, didn't Digital Bolex also call it quits.

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And if Panasonic pulls off these specs and every hybrid video enthusiast in the world buys one, they will still lose in sales to an upcoming 90D or M5 or D5700 or... Because a company cannot win market share based on enthusiast hybrid video shooters and if that market isn't going to give them sales over their competitors, then why spend the money in R&D to include the outlandish features?

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2 minutes ago, mkabi said:

I'm beginning to think that mid-end IQ-savvy video market isn't very profitable... Samsung Cameras weren't the only ones to shut down, didn't Digital Bolex also call it quits.

Yeah Bolex is done... predictably.  The large sensor video market is moving way too fast for someone coming from kickstarter to hold their own.  Everyone was screaming for "filmic" raw color with global shutter and Bolex delivered.  So then everyone went and bought 4k 8 bit cameras with Sony colors and jellovision™.

Watch these threads.  A camera is announced and it is amazing and king of the hill.  3-4 months later the next whiz bang feature is out and the camera that took millions to develop is garbage and people have moved on.  I own a BMPCC that I bought new for $500.  I remember a time not that long ago when 95% of this forum would have given their left gonad for a camera like that at that price.  And now?  People want high frame rate APS-C 4k in Prores in camera with IBIS and DPAF.  That is so far out of the core competency of a company like Nikon it is ridiculous.  They have a very nice business selling stills cameras.  Why would they invest millions of dollars in something that is going to be treated like a disease 3-4 months after launch by a bunch of ingrates?

I wonder if people on this forum ever think about how many 4k cameras have been obsoleted in the time the Canon 5D MK III has stayed at the top of the Amazon sales rankings.

I'm not saying I don't want more features at a cheaper price from ALL manufacturers but I can at least imagine there is a rational business reason for certain things not happening.

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I would not bet a lot that Nikon will even be in business 6 to 7 years from now if they don't do Something soon. Fuji and Sony are eating their lunch right now. They have nothing I am interested in any more. FF DSLR's are a dying breed. And why even buy a cropped camera anymore other than the D500, which few can afford with the lenses needed for it.

 

1" sensors are not much better than Smartphones anymore. Why bother. And 4k frame grabs from Panasonic are not helping the D5 or Canon 1DX ii sales much either. I would not want to be in Nikon's shoes in the near future.

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