Is Nikon happy to be 2nd to Canon?

Started Nov 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
A Owens
Senior MemberPosts: 2,224
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Re: Is Nikon happy to be 2nd to Canon?
In reply to wasserball, Nov 26, 2012

wasserball wrote:

No, this is not a troll. I've been a casual Nikon shooter since my first film Nikormat FE2 black body, in the late '70s. I have not followed in details the current line up of lens or digital bodies, but it seems to me that Nikon is always slightly behind Canon, with the exception of low light camera like the D3s. I read that Nikon vibration reduction, VR, was about 9 years behind Canon. Am I correct in my thinking that Nikon is always trying to catch up?

This is an interesting topic and I hope board members have the maturity to discuss it without insecurity. The battle between Nikon, Sony and Canon is one of the most interesting hi-tech business case studies currently playing out, IMHO.

Nikon's smaller size and lack of resources saw it caught off balance in the early years of digital as it found itself unable to compete on resolution, noise and full frame. However a highly loyal customer base together with a great overall system (flash, focussing, some good lenses) kept it in the game until it came back with a vengeance with the D3/s and D700. A stroke of genius was its partnership with Sony that allowed it to endow the D800 with the cleanest shadows and highest DR of any 35mm camera to date. In that regard it is Canon who have the catching up to do.

However anyone who uses both systems will know that Canon has not been sitting on its hands over the last few years. In particular, after some recent disasters, they have really sorted their focus system, even to the point of exceeding the accuracy of Nikon's system. Their flash system, until recently arguably inferior to Nikon's, has been revamped and includes on-board radio triggering. But of most significance is their lens lineup which really is stellar. They do not have a competitor to the 14-24 and 16-35/4VR (yet)  but their remaining lineup in most cases eclipses Nikon's in both range and quality. Added to that, the usability of their bodies has been recently honed and their build quality is high. They have reworked the mirror box in the 1dx for low vibration at high frame rate, built-in GPS and Wifi in the 6d etc etc.

These things Canon have been doing over the past few years (particularly lens and AF quality) gives Canon a very capable system, including the capability to handle very high resolution. It will be very interesting to see what their next move is in sensor technology and whether they can catch up or eclipse Sony's D800 sensor technology.

If they do, Nikon may struggle. But they have a very loyal customer base and they have a proven record of innovation and fleetness of foot. Either way it is a great (though expensive!) time to be a user of photographic equipment!

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Alistair Owens
www.alistairowensphotography.com

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