We tracked Mike Rubin down to a small deserted island somewhere in the Caribbean (testing the next Coolpix no doubt) to bring these answers communicated over an old Morse network.. Instead of asking Mike to dig up the old messages and answer them directly on the newsgroup we've pulled them togther as a whole.. So here they are, answers to the questions you've asked!

Remember the "Q"s were asked by posters on our Nikon Talk forum, "A"'s provided by Mike Rubin of Nikon.

There's a lot of text here, so I've indexed it to make it a little easier to swallow, there's lots of interesting questions and some carefully worded answers.

Q

D1 software updates?
I know the D1 isn't your area, but as nikontechusa has been totally unhelpful in answering these questions, I'll bug you about it anyway ;-). First -- will Nikon at least *admit* to the problems with the D1? They're acting like the magenta problem, severe exposure aberrations, flash control problems, almost total lack of functioning FireWire, and unbelievably horrid white balance aren't real issues. I'm totally okay with "yes, we know it's #@%!ed up, we're working on it, don't expect a fix for a few months" but so far I get the impression they aren't even taking the problems seriously. The FireWire upgrade has been due out Real Soon Now for several months, and there is no word whatsoever on a firmware upgrade (which is very badly needed). All we want to know is how long we should expect to wait -- this business of "we have no information on an upgrade at this time" gets _r_e_a_l_l_y_ old after a few months.

Second -- any chance the high ISO noise can be improved in a firmware upgrade, or should we expect to have to wait for the next model? Third -- speaking of the next model, should we expect a D2 in 12-18 months? I'm dying for a 6MP sensor and better high-ISO performance (and probably won't bother upgrading otherwise). If you're not at liberty to say, do you have any idea when we might learn of Nikon's plans in this area? Thanks, Ethan

A

1. You are correct, I do not handle the D1 product, however if there are problems I can assure you that our engineering departments in the U.S., Japan and Worldwide are working feverishly to resolve them. We do take all customer complaints/issues/problems very seriously. Sorry if you did not get the answer from NikonTech-we are in process of transitioning our whole support department to the toll-free 1-800-Nikon-UX line for U.S. customers and that has taken up a great deal of resources.

2. ISO Noise-again see 1. Personally I have shot the D1 at 6400 and had excellent results-I did have to clean up "noise" in Photoshop, however no more than I would have to clean up grain in a scanned film image... 3. I can never comment on real or imagined future products-sorry. Just know that Nikon will continue to improve and upgrade technology as quickly as possible.

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Q D1 software updates?
Ethan: You may just have a lemon D1. Mine is great. Perhaps the white balance is answered in the manual, e.g. I shot strobe and got a magenta cast until I dialed the WB to Strobe and got yellow w/o strobe until I in the incandescent filter and got blue in the shadows until I dialed in shadow filter etc. Yes, the Nikon View DX is screwy at least with microdrives (I bought a USB cameramate to download beautifully from the card and am not going to use the firewire and it is just as fast. I don't under- stand your ISO problem, for I am shooting at 800 ISO at NORMAL setting and have no noise at all in a 16x20 headshot. Good luck, Dennis
A Just a note-we have not approved MicroDrives for use with the D1 at this time. Please see your manual or Nikon Professional Digital Products dealer in the U.S. for more information.
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Q D1 software updates?
As someone that went through the many problems of the CoolPix 950, I can tell you this is something Nikon has plenty of practice at. They should allow these guys to defend president clinton (yes, lower case). They will deny, deny, deny. Then, when the updates start to come out, they solve the very problems they kept telling us never existed. It took time, but Nikon turned the 950 into a very decent camera. Even after putting up with the problematic 950, I had no hesitation in buying the D1. I believe they will also address the issues of the D1. It's too bad we have to endure these hassles just because Nikon wants to be the first to introduce the hot new item, working or not. If I weren't such a "techie" I wouldn't feel I had to be the first one on the block to have such an item. :-(
A Sorry-we don't "deny." Often a problem is reported to our factory represenatives-until we have a proper answer-we won't answer in haste. Better we give you the right answer than speculate.
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Q D1 software updates?
I had a 950 too, so I've also been through this once before... I was hoping I could at least get someone at Nikon to see it from the other side. They make the best cameras right now, so I'll stick with them, but the attitude while supporting them hasn't exactly impressed me.
A

We have improved our internal QC and reporting of issues so that we can react faster to user complaints/problems etc. We have added 24 hour, 7 day a week support. We are constantly striving to improve our service at all levels. And-we are still the only manufacturer with an active forum on the web.

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Q

990 When? Coolpix 1000?
I have two questions for Nikon: a) When will the Coolpix 990 begin appearing on the shelves in the U.S.? b) Is Nikon planning to produce a Coolpix 1000 with support for a type II compact flash? If so, when is it expected to ship?

A

a) Within the time this posts the first cameras should be shipping to dealers�. b) I cannot comment on future models-but I will address CF Type II later�see below

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Q 990 Noise
Hello Mike. I think the question I would like an answer to is about the noise that is reported to be present in the 990 and not present in the 950. If there is an increase in noise, what would be the cause of it? -- WIll
A Noise so far seen in the 990 is a function of preproduction units. Production units I have used do not exhibit the noise witnessed with prototype/preproduction units.
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Q

3x TC-E3ED?
When Nikon 3x telephoto will be released? Thanks. Frances.

A We will announce the TC-E3ED later this spring or early summer-including price, specs availability etc.
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Q Sanyo's involvement in Coolpix cameras
What is the extent of Sanyo's involvement in the production of the Coolpix line, and especially the new 990? Engineering, manufacturing and/or assembly? -- -Lee
A Sorry-I cannot comment on third parties who may or may not be involved with production of any of our products. Suffice to say, any production outside of Nikon owned and operated facilities is always under the management of Nikon employees and engineers-and all products must pass the same QC as all of our other products. All lenses are always manufactured in house.
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Q "peaking" function on LCD for manual focus?
I've heard about this in some previews of the 990 but it has not been described in detail. I've been using the 950 for the past 9 months in my office to take photos of the optic nerve to follow my glaucoma patients. I set it to infinity focus, and attach it to my slit lamp with a Leica eyepiece that uses 28mm threads. The problem is, I of course can only use the LCD to TTL focus manually. The LCD is limited in resolution, and thus I have to take multiple photos to get one in focus (mostly by chance). How does the "peaking" function work, and do you think it will help with taking the type of photos I described? Otherwise, I'm getting fantastic results with the 950. Been very happy with it. If it would help, please send me an e-mail and I could e-mail you a sample of the optic nerve photos I've been taking with the 950.
A The peaking function is now renamed "Focus Confirmation" but it will only show you the general area of focus-not in depth. Are you using Macro manual range or just manual�.You may contact Phil to get my e-mail address. I do not publish it as I already get way too much spam....
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Q Red-Eye 990
why hasnt Nikon addressed the Red Eye problem in the newer Coolpix 990. Couldnt they have had a more powerful Bulb come up prior to the flash or even a series of flashes like the Standard SLR cameras have to reduce this problem. It seems now that most who want this camera have to invest in expensive external flash equipment to rectify the poor Red Eye handling capabilities of this otherwise wonderful camera ?????
A The red-eye cannot be addressed with the flash travelling next to the lens-that is a reality�as far as external flash�.you may now use any brand at your own risk-as long as a) It has a trigger voltage of less than 250V b) you use either the Nikon SK-E900 or AS-E900 (which is incorporated into the SK-E900) or use the Nikon SC18 or 19 cord (length is the difference) with an AS-10 Adapter. c) Studio strobes require a Nikon AS-15 Hot Shoe to PC Sync Adapter.
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Q NikonView Software Update?
Where could I download the latest version of NikonView software and what is the latest version for this. Please advise.
A If you are in the U.S., http://www.nikontechusa.com/ You will be required to have your installation disk to update to the latest version.
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Q Battery/Power Supply conflict
I noticed in the limited manual supplied with the coolpix cameras that when using a power adapter we are suppose to remove the batteries,you would think with an approved regulated power supply there shouldn't be a conflect..why is this mentioned in the manual?
A Limited is relative-we actually provide a number of different manuals-all vary in content�.If you are referring to the CD-ROM, we now include both a CD-ROM and Printed version of the manual with the 990. Regarding the battery issue-when using an A/C power adapter-it is always best to remove batteries-batteries will continue to discharge when connected in series-regardless of whether there is a load. Also-it is an additional safety feature to remove them-redundancy if you will...I have to look through the manual-since I do not recall this information.....
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Q Will there be a SLR in the CoolPix line?
Since D-1 is a tad to expensive for an advanced photographer and not yet a pro, is there a plan to produce a simpler version of the digital SLR incorporating full auto and manual control. Something based on N80 with the same CCD as in CoolPix 990.
A We are always looking at future ideas-however-it is not as easy to throw a CCD in the back of an SLR as the CCD in a Coolpix is about 1/8 the area of the CCD in the D1-you would be talking about using either a) a very expensive sensor (and associated electronics) or b) reduction optics (also expensive and they decrease the speed of your lens tremendously). That is why the Nikon Coolpix 990 lens is only 8-24mm.
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Q Can you please clear up the Release Date of the 990
People are saying all kinds of things. Can you give us an accurate date as to when the stores will have the 990.
A When this posts they should be on their way.
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Q When will Nikon join the 6+ MegaPixel SLR Class?
1. When will Nikon join the 6+ MegaPixel SLR class of manufacturers? 2. Nikon digital cameras lack in-camera rotation of portraits resulting in horizontal portrait TV display. Will Nikon correct this through software upgrade? Thanks. Kanayo
A 1. I can't comment on that-and the only cameras I know of with true 6MP Resolution come from Kodak at a price tag greater than $20,000 USD. I personally have used Altamira Group Genuine Fractals with D1 images for remarkable results-rivalling a 6 Megapixel image....See some of the articles by noted photographer Vincent Versace on this subject. 2. Not that I am aware of�I will recommend it to our design section in Japan.
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Q When will Nikon join the 6+ MegaPixel SLR Class?
Does Nikon check on what its customers have to say on any forum?
A Never-I'm not actually reading what you just said-sorry I can't see you�.um yes actually I can tell you that from our service, supoort and management-we all check the forums-up to the level of Vice President. We are a proactive company (in spite of what you may feel) and we are looking carefully at what is being said.
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Q An LCD useable in daylight?
I've had my Coolpix 950 about a week now and though I'm growing to love it, I still puzzle over how the designers made an LCD so useless in daylight, particularly when to change many menu items I have to be able to see that screen. The Canon Pro-70 I've used at work for about a year (which as I recall came out at about the same time as the CP950) has a wonderful LCD, visible in daylight, not a magnet for nose prints, non-glare (because it's not shiny like a mirror), etc. The Coolpix is such a great camera, how'd Nikon miss such an obvious thing? More so... will the CP990 have an LCD monitor that IS useable in daylight and if not... aren't you watching what the competition is doing?? Rick Ohnsman Rohnsman@aol.com
A Do you have firmware version 1.3? (with the camera off, hold down the menu button, turn camera on to play-firmware revision will show (either 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3) 1.3 Improves some of the daylight issues. Otherwise a hood is best-sorry. As for the 990-we have incorporated a 1.8" Multi-angle LCD which does extremely well in daylight-also draws less power. As far as the 950-turn the brightness DOWN (-) in the LCD as it will make it more visible in daylight.
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Q 990 Cable Release?
I read somewhere that the CP990 would have some form of cable release, possibly NOT mechanical. Is there any truth to this? If so, please describe its operation. Thank you.
A True. True. Electronic cable release with intervalometer, wide-tele control, shutter release etc. More details in late spring, early summer-including price and availability.
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Q Open OSes like Digita
Is Nikon considering to feature their new cameras, sooner or later, with some kind of open OS like Digita (Kodak DCS-290 for instance), which allows anybody with computing skills to customize the camera and program new extensions ? Is Nikon willing to keep their D-cameras "camera-like" for as long as possible, or will Nikon D-cameras quickly turn into something much more opened and "computer-like" in, let's say, the two years to come ? Digression : I remember the time, some 15-20 years ago (I was really young), when the big dilemna was whether to buy an electronic typewriter or a computer, when you wanted to do some personnal print jobs. You had neat specialised typewriters with LCD screens on one side, and slow bulky computers on the other side. The thing against computers was that they were way too complex just for typing, and that the electronic typewriters could handle the job much more efficiently because they were tuned for that. The difference was that the typewriters had a "closed OS", and the computers had an "open OS". For a brilliant discussion about OSes and their stories, I would strongly recommend the following reading : http://www.sarg.ryerson.ca/funos/beginning_CLI.html (Neal Stephenson, the author, is a very famous writer, former coder and overall brilliant person).
A Not at this time-but we are looking into these options all the time. I think the very essence of the D-1 is it's Cameraness. Our Vice President of marketing for Pro Markets always stresses this-and I agree 110%. The first time I ever held a D1 it struck me how much it felt like an F-100 or F5 and how similar the functions were in spite of the fact it was digital-it is a camera first and foremost. I believe (my own personal opinion) that this is the way the D series will evolve over time.
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Q 990 - when will it be released and price?
I've heard that the coolpix 990 will be released in April. Will it be ready for purchase and how much will it be? If it will not be readily available to the general public, will it be available to industry/academia? As well, what software/accessories will be necessary to get the coolpix 990 up and running? Thanks Dawn
A The US Price is $999 Suggested Retail Price. It should be available as you read this post. All necessary cabling and software will be in the box though I recommend purchasing additional CompactFlash memory cards and rechargable batteries.
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Q 990 mpeg firewire
Have been using Nikon 950 for 6 months. Love it, but want the 990 for the mpeg feature. How compatable with Adobe Premire 5.0? Will Firewire be next besides USB? Have you solved the rapid battery use? Have you solved the "already in far zoom...when turned on, problem"? Visit my CASI Chili Cookoff site to see Nikon 950 in action. http://users.ev1.net/~tejasmed/papas/index.html -- Donn Shands tejasmed@ev1.net
A The Video Capture is Motion-JPEG not MPEG. It can be handled as a Quicktime movie by Adobe Premier-but remember it is 15 FPS at 320 x 240. I think USB is the lowest common denominator for connectivity in this class of camera-so I don't forsee Firewire�..Battery life is improved greatly-battery life is the bane of digital photography's existence...The 950 could not be locked into a zoom position because the lens design called for it to be parked for safety in the event of impact or shock-the 990 has a different design so you can start it at either end (W or T) or at the last position. I assume you are talking about the Chili Cookoff for Kids at COMDEX? I will check it when I land....
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Q Continued support for 950 after 990 release ?
This question is for NIKON Mike. I plan on keeping my CP950 for at least another 2 years. I thoroughly enjoy the camera - there are so many features (and a few shortcomings) - my question - Will NIKON continue to support the CP950 ? Can we expect future firmware upgrades ? I hope that NIKON remembers the reason for the 990's existence - all the 950 owners - some of whom will be holding on to their 950's for a good long time. Keep up the good work ! Jim Sloan -- Jim S.
A The Coolpix 950 is a current model and will be supoorted. As far as firmware-I am not aware of any updates-however-they will always be available as needed. Regarding support for Nikon, please see our release regarding 24/7 Support. As a company-we still answer questions regarding Nikon F Cameras from 1959 on-and our lenses are still backwards and forwards compatible from then until now!
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Q Colour Balance
I own the Nikon Coolpix 950, it's feature rich, could be the best overall image quality of the 2M pixel DC, very sharp with very little JPEG artifacts. However when colour balance counts, I'm not much satisfied, the firmware 1.1 just disappointed me, 1.2 better & 1.3 is satisfactory but still need improvement. The dark blue is a bit too blue & it can't get the rose red right on even after correcting in Photoshop. I've compared it with Sony F505 (Could it be using the same CCD in my knowledge), the F505 gives more vibrant (could be a bit over saturated) & accurate colour out of the camera, the 950 image need tweaking in Photoshop to get better colour, but the 950 image is sharper with less JPEG artifact. Could Nikon support 950 user & continue to improve the firmware? I'm afraid Nikon will discontinue 950 when 990 comes out to the market. Actually 950 is quite good even at 8x10 print. Also I'm waiting for the 990 but may not upgrade to it if the colour balance issue is not solved. I suggest Nikon continue 950 production & improve it so that Nikon user have more choices.
A If you are having color problems-I think your camera needs servicing-color can be adjusted. We are not planning to discontinue the 950 when the 990 ships.
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Q Affordable digital SLR
Many of the newer digital cameras have selectable ISO settings from 100-400. The Fuji 4700 goes up to 800. I wouldn't expect a consumer grade camera to have either the speed or the ISO range of the professional models, at least not for a couple of years until the price drops on that technology. I'd just really like to have SLR features at an affordable price. Being able to attach a long telephoto and not trying to frame and focus the shot using a tiny LCD in bright sunlight would be a vast improvement to me. I currently have an Olympus 2000 with a 5x attachment that is very difficult to shoot with since the viewfinder is of no use and the LCD washes out in sunlight. If someone could take the 10x zoom off the Sony FD91 and combine it with the TTL viewfinder of the Olympus 2500L and one of the new 3.3 or 3.7 meg CCDs, that would come close to my "dream digital camera". Using an existing SLR base strikes me as a quick and cheap route to that flexibility.
A Our TC-E3ED Teleconverter will give you 345mm coverage (35mm format) viewable through the 990 LCD viewfinder.
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Q D1 shipping time
I have made the decision to purchase a Nikon D-1 if I have confidence that I am purchasing most recent production. By this is I mean a camera bidy manufactured within 30 days of my purchase. Obviously all cameras have a serial number. How can I easily determine if I am purchasing a D-1 of very recent manufacture? If this is not possible then I will not purchase a Nikon product and continue with my F-5. Is it possible for me to purchase a D-1 with positive assurance it was manufactured within 30 days of my purchase date? Bill -- Bill
A Cameras are shipped by boat-which can take at least 2 weeks-typically 3. Then they are shipped to dealers. They had to pass QC in Japan-so no camera will ever be 30 days young-unless you go to the factory (or if it was an initial air shipment). I can assure you that D1 cameras do not sit on the shelves of our warehouse or dealers-so odds are you will get the latest available in the U.S. (which will be no diffferent than ones from last month or before...)
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Q Image distortion
One thing that bothers me is barrel distortion and pincussioning. Any plans to eliminate this in a successor to the Coolpix 990? Regards, T.
A It is minimized in the 990�.but in lenses this wide (8mm) it is difficult to adequately eliminate. Unless you are using our top end SLR kenses you won't get rid of barrel and pincushion distortion. Sorry.
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Q Image Quality
Comparing images from the D1 to images produced by the CP990 - to me there is still quite a difference in terms of 'crispness'. Even if the CP990 produces the best images of the 3 MP digicams, they are somewhat fuzzy (e.g. antenna in the sky show a slight dark-gray lining about 1 pix wide). When will consumer cam digital images reach the same quality as say D1 images (in this respect, don't bother about the pixel count because this doesn't eliminate the problem - I am more thinking about the software processing the pixels). Regards, T.
A When the sensor and pixel size is as large as the D1 sensor-and when you can use lenses such as our SLR. Although our Coolpix Cameras carry the Nikkor mark-it is physically impossible for such a lens to match the lens of an SLR (or any camera at this CCD size) Also the D1 has greater control of depth of field. I can tell you that I have seen some incredible detail and resolution out of the 990.
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Q

PC sync, remote control, adapters
To the Nikon Rep, When will the 990 be available for purchase? Why did Nikon leave out a pc sync connection for external Flash? What is your recommendation for connecting the 990 to external Studio Strobes - i.e. what adapters? Will there be a remote control available for the 990? Sincerely, Arlene Farber

A Now. The Synch we provide is TTL-which tells a Nikon Speedlight to turn on or off. We also isolate the PC Synch off camera for safety and flexibility. Remote is on it's way late spring, early summer. See above.
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Q How much longer till the "D2" comes to market?
A You mean you don't have one? But seriously-I can never comment on future products. The D1 is spectacular as it stands�.
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Q Reflective LCD (Hybrid)
Sony released a fabulous reflective LCD on their F550. The unit is clear and constrasty in direct tropical sunlight and consumes very little power. Why is this technology not being implemented on Nikon cameras?
A I believe we are using similar technology in the 990.
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Q Reflective LCD (Hybrid)
We can assume that either 1) Sony doesn't want to share this technology 2) Nikon suffers from "NIH" syndrome (Not Invented Here). My old Agfa 1280, which I got in November 1997, had a swivel design that prefigured the Nikon 900 and 950. It also had an LCD panel that worked very well, even outdoors in strong light. Nikon could certainly have imitated that technology, but chose not to... The choices made by companies are sometimes puzzling... like Olympus and Fuji and Agfa insisting on equipping most (but not all) of their cameras with SmartMedia... regards Robert Jeantet
A 1) I do not believe it is a Sony LCD in the Sony Cam. 2) Um I beg to differ-we are probably one of the most open companies to other technologies-witness Digital ICE from Applied Science Fiction in our Film Scanners, 3) Altamira Genuine Fractals bundles, 4) CompactFlash 5) Software in general 6) Other technologies I cannot disclose....suffice to say we used to suffer from NIH-but no longer...we are a global company
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Q Nikon Coolpix 990
Last year I bought my wife a spotting scope. This anniversary I plan to supprise her with the Coolpix 990. How can you hook up the Coolpix 990 to a spotting scope(Pronto Tele View Optics) to shoot pictures of wildlife? And thanks for taking the time to visit us on the web.
A I can't advise-not a Nikon product-but see above and on other forums.
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Q Optics vs Computation
Problem : 950 (and 990) optical distortion and chromatic abberation. Many people complain about it all the time. I do. Common solution : a simple 2nd order radial filter with different values for the 3 colour channels (for chroma), varying accordingly to the zoom position. I find it very annoying that such a filter would not be embedded in the camera itself (with an ON/OFF switch somewhere), where it could be tuned by Nikon fine staff to give geometrically accurate pictures without blueish slime around the edges. My arguments (to be refuted) : Implementation : I understand that computation time is an issue (even if that could be implemented on slow embedded processors to take only a few seconds, tested), but most of the time, I would prefer to wait for a few more seconds while taking the shot than having to process it later on a computer. Memory should not be an issue as you only need twice the size of a picture to compute such a filter, and I understand that the 9xx internal memory buffer is usually much bigger. Quality concern : actually, using a simple bicubic interpolation and processing the picture BEFORE the JPEG compression would probably give better results than using a nth order interpolation filter AFTER the JPEG compression (speculation). Maybe a JPEG Q95 1:1:1 compression would be a good idea too (would give JPEGs twice as big, but three times smaller than the TIFF, and wouldn't require much changes).
A I will forward your recommendation to our design section.
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Q Will there be an digital SLR between CP990 and D1 ?
Any information on whether Nikon was planning to make an digital SLR in the price range between CP990 and D1 ? (Somewhat like Cannon seems to be doing...) Sergey
A Um I cannot comment on future products-real or imagined. Regarding Canon-I am not familiar with any product like that�.
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Q About white balancing
Dear Sir, How can I disable the white balance of my Nikon 950? or at least, minimize its effect? -- Horace
A Um-why do you need to? You can set it manually-and skew it towards a white value you need. All digital images have a white point�.
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Q Image Transfer
Mike, I recently purchased the Nikon 950 and I'm trying to use the camera as a projector. Unfortunately, I cannot rotate an image and then have it recognized by the camera. I've contacted Nikon Support Forum and asked if this was planned to be correctd. I was given a polite no. Since I have been in the computer business for over 30 years, I offered to try and find or create a solution, but I need specifications. I am willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Again I was told no. I would like your help in trying to break this log jam. Having the ability to use the camera as a projector is a great marketing advantage. Thanks in advance for any help. Regards, Tom Scali
A I can make the recommendation to our design section. I think that such a function is outside the specs. Of the camera.
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Q Using 990 with studio strobe packs
I know I can find this out by diging through the technical information but I really don't feel like it. I see that theres a external flash hookup on the 990............what type of connector is this? standard snyc terminal?? or somthing else??? . I have a triple shot studio cam but I'd like to get a 990 to document product around the studio and for other projects. I'd like it to be able to hookup to the studio strobes if i want too. I have broncolor grafit packs (they use a hedphone miplug type connector). any light you can shed on this would be great. thanks
A Nikon 3 Pin TTL. Yes you can use studio strobes-with the AS-E900 as mentioned below-or with the SK-E900 bracket (which incorporates the AS-E900) plus an AS-15 Hot shoe to PC Sync adapter. Keep in mind that if the trigger voltage is greater than 250Volts you CANNOT use your studio strobes with the 990 or 950.
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Q Projected availabilty of IBM Microdrive compatible 990
What are Nikon's plans for a 990-like camera that is compatible with the IBM Microdrive? -- Dan
A None at this time. The Microdrive in a 990 would use power at a rate 8x that of a solid-state CF type I card (A type II memory card uses 1.5 x that of a Type I-more chips) It also would generate too much heat.
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Q CP990 and CF type II cards
I don't know if it will be so much of an issue when/if microdrives appear in a Type I form factor.
A A company called Halo is planning a 250MB drive I believe this summer.
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Q Prosumer Camera
Does Nikon has any plan to market a prosumer digital camera with the followings features: 1. SLR type 2. full manual focus 3. manual white balance 5. manual shutter speed control and the price under $2000 Thank you Lan Nguyen
A I can't comment on future products-I think the 990- addresses most of what you want sans SLR (but you do get the LCD)
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Q 990 Video Out and Fingergrip Color
According to Nikon (in another forum) I believe he said that the purple grip is for US distribution, the red grip elsewhere. I've heard of grey market cameras.... perhaps this is the Purple Market
A Yup-or the Flying Purple People Eaters Market (sorry I couldn't resist) Actually we designed it for Minnesota Vikings and older Los Angeles Kings fans as well as current Colorado Rockies fans�.
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Q 990 Software Bundle
Any update on the software included in the 990 US package? TIA, John
A Nikon View 3.0, Altamira Group Genuine Fractals LE (File sizes up to 64MB Scaled), Canto Cumulus 5.0 LE (Demo), iPIX Viewer/Wizard/Demo (need a Fisheye Lens to take advantage properly), and Software Architects Great Photo! Basic manipulation software.
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Q Time-lapse capabilities
I am curious as to why Nikon has not included time-lapse capabilities in the CP 950 or 990. I have a CP 950 and also own an Epson 850z and have to say the one thing I really miss on the 950 is the time lapse mode that the Epson has. Of course I really miss the macro ability the 950 has when I am shooting a time lapse sequence with the Epson. I use both cameras to photograph plants but I can only use the Epson to catch a sequence of a flower opening or see a plant grow. I realize that time lapse is probably not the most requested feature but I would think that adding it would be an almost zero cost feature on most digital cameras. It seems that the two main features needed to do time lapses are already in most cameras, a clock to keep track of when to shoot, and the ability for the camera to snap a picture on its own (the self-timer). Is some code and an interface the only things that are missing or are there other issues? I have read on other Nikon threads about PC controlled time lapse. That is not practical for me since I cannot imagine dragging a PC out to the greenhouse to do something my Epson (and many other digitals) can do on it�s own. Of course my wish list would be for Nikon to include a time lapse option on a future firmware update but I will not be placing any bets on that. (any comments on how much space is left in ROM for more code?) Thanks for your answer. Tom Vermilion
A Time lapse will be available on the 990 through the remote.
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Q Any chance of 3rd party firmware upgrades
Hi Mike, Since the Coolpix family of cameras can have their firmware user updated, is there any chance of different firmware programs. Since the platform has so much great hardware, what would prevent someone from adding new routines for say generating quicktime movies in a coolpix 950. I bring this up because of the vicious rumors concerning the discontinuance of the 950. Dave Harris
A The 950 is not planned to be discontinued in the near future. Re: Updates such as Quicktime-these are functions of hardware and firmware-so it is not possible-sorry!
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Q Accessory lenses
Mike Rubin, The Nikon 990 press release on the Nikon website lists a WC-E63 Wide Angle Converter. Can you provide any information on this lens, I have not seen any other references to it? Does Nikon plan to introduce a maco converter lens? I have used a third party 2X macro lens on my 950 with excellent results - almost microscopic detail. Sometimes, even getting as close as .6 inches isn't enough. Also, does Nikon ever plan to develop its own CCDs for its consumer cameras in a partnership with a semiconducter company? Thank you.
A Re WC-E63-this will be announced in Late Spring, Early Summer. Re: 2x Macro-use a 2x Teleconverter an dioptic filters�..(62mm threads). Re: Our own CCD's-the D1 is ours-the 990 is built to our design spec-it differs from other 3.34 (filters and such)
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Q Longevity
Hello, I'm planning on buying the CP990. I'm not going to use it every week. It's primary use is for photographing vacations, family happenings and stuff like that. I am quite a 'technology freak' so I don't want a regular 35mm camera. I was wondering, what is the max. possible lifetime of the camera? Can I use it for, say, 20 years? I've read about a BIOS battery that's inside digital camera's and that it will get empty after +/- 5 years. And what about spare parts? Can I still send in a defective CP990 after 10 years from now? There's _no way_ that I am going to buy a new camera every 5 years. The image quality is more than enough for my current and future needs. Regards, Han
A I am only speaking from electronics general knowledge here-not from Nikon-typically-electronic components ( i.e. Semiconductors-Chips) have a 5-7 year life design-but they may not last that long-or may last 4 times that�my folks still have a 1968 Sears Refrigerator which has had no major repairs ever....We support our products at different rates-some film cameras still have parts 15 years later-in house-and others need to go outside for service-third party-so it is hard to say....I'd say 3-5 years is good life for a digital camera today-usage-before technology is 3-5 generations ahead
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A final word from Nikon Mike:

Dear Nikon Forum readers,

Thank you for your extreme patience. I am not sure if all of you heard but I had (and still have) a pinched nerve in my neck so my left hand was numbed. This made typing, sitting, and standing rather painful. So I apologize for not responding sooner. I gave every answer to the best of my knowledge and ability. If I made a remark you took offense to I will apologize in advance I mean no ill will in any response typically just humor at no one's expense. If I responded strongly well I believe in the products and company I work for and this might come through stronger than I mean it to be. I've said it before I have the best job in the world I get to play with cool new toys and help develop future ones all while drawing a paycheck and satisfying my passion for photography. I know you all share this passion and this is why I work for Nikon my coworkers, from service and support, up to executive management share this passion as do our users. I do care which camera you buy but I care more that you are making pictures....so with that I am off.....I hope to get some great shots of Sedona, Arizona.

See you soon.
Peace,
Michael