Author Topic: Where is Nikon heading?  (Read 8887 times)

MILLIREHM

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #180 on: February 17, 2017, 19:33:42 »
Strange enough Kodak was pioneer in digital imaging but finally did not make it (and here is where  management failures are to be given responsibility )

I dont see Nikon on the Kodak path nevertheless
Wolfgang Rehm

pluton

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #181 on: February 17, 2017, 21:17:22 »
Strange enough Kodak was pioneer in digital imaging but finally did not make it (and here is where  management failures are to be given responsibility )
Agree...Kodak was 100% managed directly into the grave.

Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

David H. Hartman

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #182 on: February 17, 2017, 22:06:51 »
People, except for weirdos on photography bulletin boards  :) want to spend less time on the process, carry lighter gear and have their perceptual range extended as far as they need it.

Smaller and lighter than 24x36mm sensor size means a change in the esthetics of the image. This image size is the smallest that allows good separation of the subject and background by blurring out the background. Portraits, candids, sports, fashion and more depend heavily on this technique. For portraits one can use a longer lens with a larger physical and optical aperture (not aperture ratio) but the perspective will be flatter and more aloof. If you look at a series of Yousuf Karsh's portraits you should notice the camera, the eye is closer to the subject and the perspective is more intimate. Nikon's DX format never quite was what I wanted for much of my photography.

Nikon's FX format may be the new medium format and Phase One's may be the new large format. DX and smaller surely has it's place but it should be used for what it does best not just to have a smaller, lighter camera.

For the DSLR I'd love to see a solid state mirror. One that sends most of the light to the focus screen, pentaprism and eye piece while viewing and looses maybe only 10% while taking a photograph. Someday a technology may emerge allowing this. In the mean time I agree with Ilkka Nissilä. The electronic viewfinder doesn't offer the clear view I need to notice nuisances in expression so as to predict at reflex lever a coming expression on a face.

I hope "good enough" doesn't destroy the DSLR in my lifetime.

Dave Hartman
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Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #183 on: February 18, 2017, 04:27:25 »
Have you seen the implementation of "portrait mode" in the new iPhone? It is clumsy and crude, but points at a direction where objects in an image can be isolated/processed differently than the rest of the frame.

Fashions in photography change. Pictorialism made way for other views. The f/64 group held sway for some time, and now subject isolation is a bigger thing than it was in the past.

Change is to be relied upon.

dibyendumajumdar

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #184 on: February 18, 2017, 14:31:09 »
I think that Nikon's troubles are two fold.

From having largest market share in the Steppers business, I believe they are now down to less than 20 percent share. Don't know if below is correct but looks like Canon is now bigger than Nikon in this field? It does not say much about Nikon that they have been unable to fight back in this industry and are steadily losing ground. Now it looks like with the 1000+ redundancies in the stepper business they are about to get in even worse situation.

https://staticseekingalpha.a.ssl.fastly.net/uploads/2016/6/6/7008-14652567467436411_origin.png

Secondly the digital camera boom is close to busting - it is hard to see how in 10 years time anyone will need the type of cameras and lenses now being made - as no doubt technology advances will mean you will probably have small equipment that does both video and stills. So no matter how well Nikon does in this sector (and again here it seems they are steadily losing ground to Canon and Sony) this is not going to be the lucrative business that it once was.

It will be interesting to see if Nikon can really recover in these two sectors. But the writing on the wall seems to be that it will get smaller as a company in the near future.

Regards
Dibyendu 

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #185 on: February 18, 2017, 16:29:44 »
Camera (sensor) size and lens size are largely dictated by what you want to be able to do with it; only some capabilities are possible in a small camera. At least for me, the D810 with MB-D12 grip or D5 are cameras that are the right size for my hands so that key controls fit on the camera surface and easy to use. I've used smaller cameras but generally the controls get too small and are more difficult to use. It is similar with keyboards; it is easier to type quickly without looking at they keys using a full size tactile keyboard. I understand that carrying this size of a camera is inconvenient but that works for me if I want to photograph difficult subjects at the edge of what is possible. Smaller cameras have their own advantages, of course.

Personally I would prefer that my cell phones, laptops etc. did not have cameras for reasons of privacy.

Roland Vink

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #186 on: February 19, 2017, 00:42:08 »
For the DSLR I'd love to see a solid state mirror. One that sends most of the light to the focus screen, pentaprism and eye piece while viewing and looses maybe only 10% while taking a photograph. Someday a technology may emerge allowing this.
This is basically the pellicle mirror concept, which has been around for years and currently exists with the Sony SLT cameras. It combines some of the features of SLR and mirror less cameras. Advantages:
- No moving parts - no mirror slap.
- Sensor permanently protected behind the mirror.
- Allows optical TTL viewing.
- No viewfinder blackout during exposure.
- Shorter shutter lag since the camera does not need to wait for the mirror to raise.
- Allows for phase-detection AF.
- Could allow for lenses with shorter back-focus distance, e.g. for FX the back-focus could be reduced to about 28mm vs about 38mm for current DSLRs. That means a lens with 35mm focal length could use a symmetrical optical design rather than retrofocus, and wider lenses would be less extreme retrofocus, so should allow for smaller, better corrected wide lenses.

Disadvantages:
- Places an object between the lens and sensor which is not ideal.
- Although the sensor is protected from dust, the mirror is now vulnerable to dust and would require careful cleaning.
- Light is lost to both the imaging sensor and the viewfinder compared to conventional SLRs.  For example, if the mirror passes 50% to the sensor and reflects 50% to the viewfinder, that is equivalent to 1 stop loss for both.
- For lenses with exit pupil close to the mirror, light projected to the top of the image will pass through the mirror at a very different angle as light projected to the bottom of the image. Since the amount of light reflected depends on the incident angle, there could be uneven exposure top to bottom.
- There will be a slight downward displacement of the image due to refraction through the mirror glass, depending on the angle of light passing through and the thickness of the mirror.
- Introduction of a small amount of vertical CA of light passing through the mirror.
- Since the mirror does not flip up and block the viewfinder, stray light from the eye-piece or reflections from the viewfinder screen could affect image quality.

Some of the disadvantages could be corrected by software. Apart from a few specialist high-speed film cameras, only Sony with their SLT range seem to have brought this concept to a wider market.

longzoom

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #187 on: February 19, 2017, 00:58:43 »
Agreed on this, Roland! Very good analysis from almost every side of the problem. And thank you so much for your lenses graphs/table! Exceptional info, what everyone needs!  LZ

David H. Hartman

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #188 on: February 19, 2017, 02:37:53 »
Yes but!

I want a solid state mirror. I want almost all of the light from the lens to pass to either the eye or the sensor. I assume some small percentage will get lost in the mirror box. Maybe 1% or so. There will be a mirror blackout during the exposure.

If Dick Tracy can have his wrist TV and a jetpack has been tested that offers ten minutes of flying time exist why can't I have a solid state mirror?

Maybe it could be a force field rather than a physical device in the light path?

Dave Hartman
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bjornthun

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #189 on: February 19, 2017, 02:43:10 »
I'd like to add to Roland's excellent analysis three points.

1. The Sony SLT cameras employ EVFs and not OVFs. This means that the Sony SLT cameras won't have the straylight isdue from the ocular. It also implies that you need to like EVFs to use e.g. the new Sony A99 II SLT camera.

2. About 2/3 of the light hits the sensor and 1/3 goes down to the dedicated SLR like PDAF sensor. The new Sony A99 II has both on sensor PDAF as well as SLR like PDAF sensor in the bottom of the camera, and these work in conjunction. This means that the Sony camera in theory can have the speedy AF of a DSLR as well as the precision of a mirrorless AF system, i.e. no back or front focusing issues.

3. With a fixed mirror an SLT camera can easily outperform a Nikon D5 on frame rate, but at the same time have slightly worse high ISO performance due to less light hitting the sensor.

bjornthun

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #190 on: February 19, 2017, 02:55:56 »
Yes but!

I want a solid state mirror. I want almost all of the light from the lens to pass to either the eye or the sensor. I assume some small percentage will get lost in the mirror box. Maybe 1% or so. There will be a mirror blackout during the exposure.

If Dick Tracy can have his wrist TV and a jetpack has been tested that offers ten minutes of flying time exist why can't I have a solid state mirror?

Maybe it could be a force field rather than a physical device in the light path?

Dave Hartman
This sounds to me like some sort of liquid crystal technology, where you regulate the translucency of the mirror, i.e., you let the mirror switch between acting like a mirror and an almost 99% translucent piece of optical glass. This sounds interesting, and would solve a few problems for the DSLR: there would be no mirror slap, and a fixed mirror would improve the mechanical calibration of the AF system as well as its longevity. Combined with an electronic first shutter curtain or a global shutter, a DSLR could enjoy vibration free shooting, like mirrorless cameras.

You'll need some nifty future tech to pull all of this off. Came to think about it, it's some time ago since last I watched a Star Wars episode. :D

John Koerner

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #191 on: February 19, 2017, 18:47:13 »
As I was saying ... the cell phone *is* the current entry-level camera ... the ideas are already rolling out:


Any camera manufacturer that doesn't realize (and accept) this, is doomed to failure.

That said, I believe Nikon's actions are GOOD, indicating they both realize and accept the wasted effort in creating "new and improved" point-and-shoots.

Efforts for these types of camera are simply a waste of resources at this point in history.

The only cameras/lenses/efforts worth continuously spending $$$ to develop at this point are 1) the absolute creme of the crop DSLRs/lenses, 2) top-shelf Mirrorless and other smaller+better tech, and 3) Immediate conversion capabilities of the finest DSLRs/mirrorless to share on Social Media and/or transfer to cell phones.

Jack

Anthony

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #192 on: February 19, 2017, 21:07:56 »
Nikon needs to bring customers in at the lower end.   Then persuade them to upgrade.  If Canon captures the customers at the lower end, the chance that they will switch is very low.

A strategy of concentrating on the lower end of the market to capture young enthusiasts is the way to draw customers into the Nikon world.  A way to do this is to emphasise the quality and glamour of the high end products.
Anthony Macaulay

John Koerner

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #193 on: February 20, 2017, 03:36:48 »
Nikon needs to bring customers in at the lower end.   Then persuade them to upgrade.  If Canon captures the customers at the lower end, the chance that they will switch is very low.

A strategy of concentrating on the lower end of the market to capture young enthusiasts is the way to draw customers into the Nikon world.  A way to do this is to emphasise the quality and glamour of the high end products.

There is truth to this, but you need to define "lower end" ...

As I said back on p. 10, I remain firm in my view that the entry level concept needs to be upgraded significantly. No longer is any new DSLR owner thinking, "Gee, this is my first camera experience." Rather, the mindset of today's consumer is, "I can already take photos any time I want to, with my cell, and pretty damned good ones, so convince me WHY I need to buy a DSLR + lenses" ...

The second thing new users realize, with a camera, is that it's a hassle to develop and share photos with their new DSLR compared to their phones. They have to upload, process, save, and then share. It's all a pain in the ass, unless you're really into photography.

So again, BS cameras and P&Ss, need not be made anymore. No one wants them.
(Either that, or they need to be turned into even higher-end phone-cameras.)

In order to move today's consumers from their $800 phones, with 12MP  cameras (that now shoot RAW 4032x3024 files and also have 4K video built in), you're going to have to really kick ass in a camera product.

For example, my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge shoots some badass stuff. It feels heavier and higher-quality than low-end camera-toys.
It is a thousand times easier to carry, to use, and to share. I use it for my work as much as for family stuff.
I like using it in a pinch better than my D810 and D500, and I can text/share anything I want immediately.

If I see something cool, cute, funny, or relevant to my work ... out comes my phone (back pocket) ... I double-tap the Home button >BAM< and I instantly have a UHD camera/video are right there to get it. After I get the shots, a couple more pushed buttons and I can share the results (via text or post).

The normal person doesn't need anything else.
No camera will ever touch this kind of convenience/share potential.

Low-end cameras need either to disappear or to become high-end camera-phones.
The highest-end cameras need to become instant-share capable. (Maybe RAW saved in-camera, while .jpgs are wirelessly transferred to your phone).

It's pretty much that simple.

David H. Hartman

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Re: Where is Nikon heading?
« Reply #194 on: February 20, 2017, 11:58:22 »
The $800.00 smart phone is a replacement for the well made flint dagger. Only a Leica M series digital rangefinder can replace the copper dagger of so many thousands of years BC.

Dave

It's a shame those who made the Leica M cameras what they were in the '60s and '70s can't afford them now.
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