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Dear Nikon...


Andrew Reid
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Another thing I wanted to add about this thread is about the suppose non flexibility of the Nikon mount. In the photo world it would be considered a joke. Nikon with Canon are the two most matured lens system in the world. 

 

In additions, there are clear advantages to sticking to a native lens mount over adapting lens mounts:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/09/there-is-no-free-lunch-episode-763-lens-adapters

 

The problems mentioned in the above article will get the more visible in video, too, the better codecs and resolutions are getting. 

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In the Amazon US sales charts -

 

A7R is 6th in compact system cameras. That's not including the other 50% of sales for the kit lens packs and 24MP A7, but it isn't a great position overall. The top selling mirrorless camera in the US on Amazon is the G5 and on the overall camera charts that works out at number 55.

 

By contrast the DF has debuted at 74. Silver outselling black.

 

Amazon don't show the DF in the DSLR sub group for some strange reason so we shall work that position out magically...

 

On the main sales chart at 74 it sits between the Canon 70D and the Canon SL1. Bear in mind the Canons have been on the market some months now, so sales will have dropped off from the initial pre-orders so we're not really comparing apples to apples on that one. Still what this tells us is that the Canon 70D is 15th in the DSLR category and SL1 is 16th, so the DF comes in at 16th displacing the SL1 in terms of current DSLR sales.

 

The A7R, I am not sure where it debuted when pre-orders started but it currently sits outside the top 100 overall.

 

The DF did not have as good debut as the D800 according to this - http://nikonrumors.com/2013/11/07/nikon-df-demand-not-as-strong-as-the-d800.aspx/

 

The Panasonic GH3 is under the DSLR category on Amazon. It currently ranks at 30. Selling about the same as the D800 at 29. Flagship vs flagship. The 5D Mark III is fairing slightly better at 23. Seen as those these cameras have been on the market for ages, that's not a bad performance... steady sales.

 

So there you have it... Looks like the more future facing video orientated D800 and GH3 will be more successful than the DF.

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The DF did not have as good debut as the D800 according to this - http://nikonrumors.com/2013/11/07/nikon-df-demand-not-as-strong-as-the-d800.aspx/

 

The Panasonic GH3 is under the DSLR category on Amazon. It currently ranks at 30. Selling about the same as the D800 at 29. Flagship vs flagship. The 5D Mark III is fairing slightly better at 23. Seen as those these cameras have been on the market for ages, that's not a bad performance... steady sales.

 

So there you have it... Looks like the more future facing video orientated D800 and GH3 will be more successful than the DF.

 

On Amazon in the US the Df currently has a sales rank higher than the D800.  Also EVERY camera this year is doing worse than similar cameras from when the D800 came out.  That really isn't an apples to apples comparison.  You don't compare IPOs in the middle of a recession to IPOs during the 1990s tech boom.  Also the D800 is designed for a much wider market.  And the GH3 is much cheaper and again designed for a totally different market.  There is just very little you can do with these numbers.  You can say this week Amazon sold more of this camera vs another one.  But honestly wouldn't you expect a $1,000 camera to sell more than a $2,800 camera... assuming it is a finished product (ie not BMPCC)?  A lot more people can see themselves buying a $1,000 camera than people that see themselves picking up a $2,800 retro themed camera.

2j3fzfk.jpg

 

The Df is not my cup of tea.  If I had the money that is not the way I would choose to spend it.  But the comparisons you made glossed over a lot of important points.

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Get the Blackmagics into that list...

 

That list I posted is just DSLRs.  Even the GH3 isn't in that particular list.  The problem with the Blackmagics is the demand especially initially was not reflected in the number sold.  Because they never produced enough of those things.  If they filled all the orders on time it would have shot up in rank.  This Amazon rank is a very crude measure.  It is only one store and I don't know what percent of certain kinds of cameras are sold there.  I can see the average Canon Rebel selling a lot there simply because Amazon prices are decent and it is a name the average person trusts.  As for me I purchase all my gear from various NY/NJ stores most people have never heard of.  And I'm sure the type of person that buys a BMPCC knows about B&H and has no problems purchasing there.  So there will be more BMPCC purchased but not calculated into the Amazon rank.

 

The number one DSLR on the Amazon list is the Canon T3 12.2 megapixel camera.  That is the T3... not the T3i.  The camera that shoots 1280 x 720 at 30 (29.97) or 25 frames per second.  So just stopping at the 5D MKIII and declaring advanced video shooters as the winners is disengenous.  The top sellers are actually the cameras with severely crippled shooting modes.  And that's not really a problem.  The people that buy those cameras have no interest in ultra high megapixels nor 1080p 24 fps video.  Just because a ton of Toyota Corollas are sold each year doesn't mean Bentleys aren't sweet.

 

You just can't use sales volume to say Bentleys are nice cars.

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Isn't it time to remove stills from our HDSLRs?!  :P
 
Stills have plagued our video cameras now for years!
 
The sacrifices videographers have made for the small niche of photographers is enormous.
 
The mirror box in our video cameras is completely redundant and the viewfinder doesn't work.
 
The flash is completely useless as a video light.
 
Instead of a conveniently placed video record button, we have to put up with a spongy shutter button. Why!?
 
The LCD is photo-shaped and not 16:9 like the video standard.

 

And don't tell me to use a proper video camera, I can't afford $20,000!

 

An undesirable flash sync port replaced our headphone socket :(
 
All the manual focussing aids are for stills  :wacko:
 
The tripod thread lacks a pin to keep the camera from shifting on the quick release plate.

 

Bloody photographers!

 

 

LOL .. so basically you are saying that the photography equipment Mfr should not made photography equipment and instead .... @.@ let's face it the world do not revolve around cine / videographers. there is nothing wrong when a company like Nikon offer their core customer what they want.

 

So yes, all those argument are valid, but heed this, those are photography equipment first and foremost, not Video Cam ... What you are asking for is large sensor video cam .. well, that's why there are BMCC and now KineRaw. Oh of course Canon C series. And not to mention Sony F5/F55 ... 

 

I do not seem to recall photographer complaining about their old Bolex doing lousy still or similar. So why & how come we've come to the point that we would hijack the photography sector for Video. I understand many people's asking for that wonderful all inclusive platform from a DSLR, but is the market really big enough for the Mfr to shoulder that enormous R&D ( and needing to be able to recoup and profit ). What Canon did with the 5D-II is that they've shown us an alternative, not that its without limit. Ultimately these company, most of them are photography equipment Mfr and its the wider and ( business vise ) more profitable photography sector they have to deal with. Video is always 2nd or even 3rd or 4th down the priority list, and if they really wanting something, they deliver something specialized that way ( like Panasonic GH, or Canon C )

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Oh BTW, I find that asking for an HDSLR and ditching the Still capability a joke. SO if we are to take Video , and no still, then why the hell do we need the SLR part. The cam need to operate in the mirror up and live view mode anyway. And that is another thing about all these. it can go so over the top that we forget some finer points. Video capability in a large sensor body simply demand the form factor of a mirrorless. DSLR of all sorts just happen to have that as bonus add on, but ultimately the SLR form factor is a still photography specific feature. Unless some one happen to re-introduce the old rotating shutter and prism viewer of the old film cine days ( kind of hard to do if needing that to run 60P though and probably will be too big and cumbersome for something like a FF sensor )

 

Instead , I was wondering, if Sony had something different to come off from the A7/A7r. well clearly not all of us need the F55, but a beefed up A7 that can deliver 4K RAW as a hybrid platform would certain made the market happy and likely able to get some business too. 

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Oh BTW, I find that asking for an HDSLR and ditching the Still capability a joke. SO if we are to take Video , and no still, then why the hell do we need the SLR part. The cam need to operate in the mirror up and live view mode anyway. And that is another thing about all these. it can go so over the top that we forget some finer points. Video capability in a large sensor body simply demand the form factor of a mirrorless. DSLR of all sorts just happen to have that as bonus add on, but ultimately the SLR form factor is a still photography specific feature. Unless some one happen to re-introduce the old rotating shutter and prism viewer of the old film cine days ( kind of hard to do if needing that to run 60P though and probably will be too big and cumbersome for something like a FF sensor )

 

Instead , I was wondering, if Sony had something different to come off from the A7/A7r. well clearly not all of us need the F55, but a beefed up A7 that can deliver 4K RAW as a hybrid platform would certain made the market happy and likely able to get some business too. 

I agree that getting a DSLR and using it soley for video is ridiculous... which, when I first got my Rebel for video purposes I decided it'd be great to get into photography seriously as well. And well now I'm making good money with portraiture, event and wedding photography.
So for people like me, HDSLR is king, a 5D3 now does awesome video and is just as awesome with photos, best of both worlds in one package~

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Why are so many of you missing the entire point of the topic?

 

I don't have a problem with the Df being a pure stills camera. Although really, it's a D600 with two extra dials on top. Not exactly warranting of the fuss... Which shows what a looks obsessed world we're becoming.

 

The point of the topic, and the article, was that the Japanese camera companies regard video as a distracting sideshow to the main event and that is not how it should be.

 

Be thankful there is a site for DSLR video and people pushing the industry in a favourable direction. When GH4 comes out, you guys will be raving about it. Stuff doesn't happen by sitting on your hands and accepting the status quo.

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Why are so many of you missing the entire point of the topic?

 

I don't have a problem with the Df being a pure stills camera. Although really, it's a D600 with two extra dials on top. Not exactly warranting of the fuss... Which shows what a looks obsessed world we're becoming.

 

The point of the topic, and the article, was that the Japanese camera companies regard video as a distracting sideshow to the main event and that is not how it should be.

 

Be thankful there is a site for DSLR video and people pushing the industry in a favourable direction. When GH4 comes out, you guys will be raving about it. Stuff doesn't happen by sitting on your hands and accepting the status quo.

 

 

Point taken. 

 

I want more quality out the box just like you and everyone else - BUT (and this is a big but), these companies are designing stills cameras with a video mode, and the majority of those consumers are going to be pretty happy with the video quality out of the box. 

 

Most of these consumers are not pros and don't require pro features. These companies have other more expensive models that they want the more serious customer to buy. In line with their business models, it makes no sense to beef up their DSLR cameras for video. 

 

It will get better on DSLRs, just very slowly. The companies want to make a profit. We want all the features in the world. And they know that. So why bring out a DSLR that will be good for 5 years, when they can get you to buy 3 in that time instead? 

 

Panasonic are probably the odd one out in this, almost. And thats because they can...but even if the GH4 is the all singing and all dancing camera we hope it is - all of us will still want more. (Another GH camera, but instead of 4k - its got 120FPS!)

 

So your point taken.

 

But my point: dream on, and keep shooting.  ;)

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Yeah, right when Sony comes out with (finally) a mirrorless FF camera instead of just Leica... is this Nikon's "response"?
Though I would have been all into this camera maybe 2 years ago, it's still too fat, with too much grip and way too many
buttons for a retro camera design, and no video + insane price = haha you're joking right?

I thought as technology improved aren't costs supposed to drop? Affordable FF cameras such as the 6D and D600 showed up and well, they're not the greatest but manufacturers are trying hard to not allow that price to drop to the point where everyone can afford FF it seems...

Otherwise, those saying "who cares about video on a stills camera" get over yourself, ever since the D90 and 5DII that argument holds no ground what-so-evah! Today, it's natural to expect a camera to take video as well, why not, if I'm out and about for photos and there's something I really want to get some footage of, something that stills just won't do justice to, then do I whip out my phone to do it??
Majority of users prefer their smartphone because they can instantly share the footage to everyone, no one wants to bother with the ever so complicated post editing and encoding.... but of course, that's where the art is, in taking time and effort to making something, and if that's in practice then a smartphone won't do any justice. Today, a camera is a multi-functional tool, there is no such term as a "stills camera", maybe "stills oriented camera" for the overall purpose and design, and there will always be a differentiation between tools with purpose for video or photography, but it doesn't make sense anymore to be able to just take still photographs with a digital camera.

Let's put it this way, if there was some way, however it may have been, for film cameras such as an FM2 to shoot motion pictures as well, would engineers back then have foregone that opportunity? Considering, if it worked of course, but really, isn't it amazing to be able to both now? Getting rid of video will do nothing to improve photos, if you don't mind getting rid of live view by changing the sensor design to something that will improve IQ, well, that isn't happening either, it'd be a pain to not have the ability now that we are all so used to it being available when, and maybe if we need it. 
Heck, even the new Leica M has video!! Doesn't that go against Leica tradition? Well, even they have a sensible side that understands what is desired in today's cameras
 

"if there was some way, however it may have been, for film cameras such as an FM2 to shoot motion pictures as well, would engineers back then have foregone that opportunity?"
YEs! BAck then professionals filled niches. Now-adays eveyone wants to do everything and they do--- BADLY ;)
 

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Why are so many of you missing the entire point of the topic?

 

I don't have a problem with the Df being a pure stills camera. Although really, it's a D600 with two extra dials on top. Not exactly warranting of the fuss... Which shows what a looks obsessed world we're becoming.

 

The point of the topic, and the article, was that the Japanese camera companies regard video as a distracting sideshow to the main event and that is not how it should be.

 

Be thankful there is a site for DSLR video and people pushing the industry in a favourable direction. When GH4 comes out, you guys will be raving about it. Stuff doesn't happen by sitting on your hands and accepting the status quo.

The market is resegmenting itself.
It is moving towards this quadfurcation segmentation model:

- Mosty Still with subpar Video (Nikon Df for example) ( perfect for still shooters that want to grab some video 'notes' on ocassion) . This segment breaks down further into finer end-user granularities and you know what those are
- Mostly Video with less than ideal Stills ( perfect for video shooters that want to grab some still 'notes' on ocassion or as in my case, knows how to make those subpar stills SHINE) This is the key category for me as it is the as yet emerging one without a clear solid path.
- All Still (Digital Hasselblad, Leica Medium Format,LArge format Digital)
- All Video ( You know the suspects here- Alexa, Red Epic yada yada)

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Point taken. 

 

I want more quality out the box just like you and everyone else - BUT (and this is a big but), these companies are designing stills cameras with a video mode, and the majority of those consumers are going to be pretty happy with the video quality out of the box. 

 

Most of these consumers are not pros and don't require pro features. These companies have other more expensive models that they want the more serious customer to buy. In line with their business models, it makes no sense to beef up their DSLR cameras for video. 

 

It will get better on DSLRs, just very slowly. The companies want to make a profit. We want all the features in the world. And they know that. So why bring out a DSLR that will be good for 5 years, when they can get you to buy 3 in that time instead? 

 

Panasonic are probably the odd one out in this, almost. And thats because they can...but even if the GH4 is the all singing and all dancing camera we hope it is - all of us will still want more. (Another GH camera, but instead of 4k - its got 120FPS!)

 

So your point taken.

 

But my point: dream on, and keep shooting.  ;)

"even if the GH4 is the all singing and all dancing camera we hope it is - all of us will still want more. (Another GH camera, but instead of 4k - its got 120FPS!)"
If Panasonic nails the 'Balance' between stills quality  and mostly  Indie/enthusiast video and does it in something that is NOT a DSLR form-factor, then they will have finally broken from the 'beaten path'.

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"even if the GH4 is the all singing and all dancing camera we hope it is - all of us will still want more. (Another GH camera, but instead of 4k - its got 120FPS!)"
If Panasonic nails the 'Balance' between stills quality  and mostly  Indie/enthusiast video and does it in something that is NOT a DSLR form-factor, then they will have finally broken from the 'beaten path'.

 

Well the rumour is that the GH4 (supposedly called the AG-GH4)... is an inch thicker than the GH3, hopefully for the inclusion of an ND filter system and some extra juice. 

 

I like the ergonomics of DSLR for video, but its not perfect. The C100/C300 is a lovely camera to hold, so if they get somewhere in between (yet a bit more on the smaller side) the form factor of a DSLR and the C100/C300, then that would be awesome. 

 

Like I've said before, Panasonic have a wide open field to innovate here with this next release and make a serious statement on the design of a hybrid camera. I just want them to release it now so everyone can stop crying and get on with making stuff. 

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The point of the topic, and the article, was that the Japanese camera companies regard video as a distracting sideshow to the main event and that is not how it should be.

 

 

That's the problem.  What are you basing this declaration on?  These guys are running a business not a not-for-profit or some type of religious organization.  The video on DSLR/mirroless camera market is tiny compared to the stills market.  And people keep underestimating the cost and technical difficulty of implementing our dream features.

 

I guess in addition to releasing this new camera Nikon has released quarterly results and the google news feed has had several articles written about what ails the DSLR market.  NONE of them mention video.  They all talk about smartphones.  I am not saying these articles are written by the most knowledgeable people but if the video market was really an expansive virgin untapped font of profits you would think someone somewhere would have mentioned it.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/07/nikon-earnings-idUSL3N0IR39F20131107

 

http://www.informationweek.com/mobility/smart-phones/smartphones-destroying-high-end-camera-s/240163727

 

Read the comments on this article... http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/09/to-save-itself-the-dslr-market-should-look-to-smartphones-and-revalue-each-press-of-the-shutter/

 

I think maybe two people mentioned video out of all of those comments.

 

Here's the Wall Street Journal... http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304672404579183643696236868

 

 

Be thankful there is a site for DSLR video and people pushing the industry in a favourable direction. When GH4 comes out, you guys will be raving about it. Stuff doesn't happen by sitting on your hands and accepting the status quo.

 

Being realistic≠"sitting on your hands"

 

I want more video oriented features but I am realistic about the size of the videography market and the cost and difficulty of implementing the features I want.  I've noticed something interesting.  No one has thus far implemented an APS-C sensor without moire and aliasing for less than $2,000.  All the cameras that have moire and aliasing decently under control, Panasonic GH2, GH3, G6, BMPCC, Sony RX10 have smaller sensors.  It's plausible it is not economically feasible to implement this feature in an APS-C sensor and sell a camera for less than $500.  Who knows?  But to just assume there is a conspiracy or mass incompetence just seems a little lazy to me.  That to me is a diagnosis of exclusion.  You really have to eliminate all other possibilities before settling on "it's a corporate conspiracy" or "they are just morons."

 

Trust me I was mighty pissed off when I got my T3i and it was moire and aliasing city.  But in the months since after lots of research I am beginning to understand why things are the way the are and perhaps why the rate of change in the Rebel line has been glacial... if glaciers didn't move.

 

Anyway my next step is not to "sit on my hands" indefinitely.  I am waiting for more decent sample video from the Sony RX10 and I am waiting for the price of the RX10 to come down a bit.  When those two things happen there is a good chance one of my Canon lenses gets sold and I move over to Sony for most of my video work.

 

I don't know what is going on with Canon but it seems to me it is pretty plausible there simply aren't enough film students and low budget DPs to justify implementing a slew of features in DSLRs that sell for less than $700.  I am sure they are protecting their 5D MK III and C series cameras as well but there are other pretty practical dollars and cents reasons they haven't gone crazy with video on the low end DSLRs.

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Of course Nikon have a business to run.

 

Here's a thing... Good video does not decrease the sales of stills cameras. Fact.

 

D800 sold thousands more units because of the video mode, indeed even a lot of pros bought it for video, as well as stills.

 

Convergence is happening.

 

Now Nikon need to grow some balls. They have been incredibly poor at diversifying their business. Passing up on chance to own Adobe before they were big. Passing up on chance to apply their existing optical and imaging tech to a video or cinema camera.

 

Where's the business logic here?

 

Cinema EOS is doing very well for Canon's bottom line. High value, lots of mark-up.

 

Putting a decent codec in a DSLR is not expensive or hard for a company like Nikon... Just get on and do it.

 

Blackmagic have done 10bit 4:2:2 ProRes for $999.

 

Nikon say they took 4 years to develop the Df, beginning in 2009!

 

The Df is a normal DSLR with a retro style top plate and dials.

 

So are Nikon saying they took 4 years to add a few dials and a silver top plate to a DSLR? Or are they really saying the D4 took 4 years to develop and the Df took 4 minutes?

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I don't know what is going on with Canon but it seems to me it is pretty plausible there simply aren't enough film students and low budget DPs to justify implementing a slew of features in DSLRs that sell for less than $700.  I am sure they are protecting their 5D MK III and C series cameras as well but there are other pretty practical dollars and cents reasons they haven't gone crazy with video on the low end DSLRs.

 

The DSLR video community seem to believe that because freelance pros like Philip and Nino are now moving on to much pricier gear, that DSLRs are no longer used by pros. In fact lots of pros are still using DSLRs. Lots of production studios and broadcasters still have a fleet of 5Ds and GH2s, including BBC contracted companies.

 

DSLRs coexist alongside the ENG broadcast cameras and cinema stuff (C300).

 

So the market is not restricted to low budget DPs, owner-shot stuff with no crew, film students, etc.

 

Problem is, improvement seems to have stalled especially on Canon and Nikon side. It's getting harder and harder to intercut between compressed DSLR and the latest & greatest raw from the F5 or Blackmagic.

 

For enthusiasts and consumers it is becoming harder to justify the loss of image quality, and a lot of them will move to Blackmagic.

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