I would like all Nikons to share batteries, memory cards, flashes, etc. Anyone else?

Started Jun 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Chad Gladstone
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I would like all Nikons to share batteries, memory cards, flashes, etc. Anyone else?
Jun 14, 2013

I am a long time Nikon user who primarily is only interest in photography to capture life events and family images, but have been persistent in maximizing performance capabilities in the process. As it often is the case, compromises become inevitable. I have now begrudgingly accepted the reality that capturing any image is more important than capturing nothing at all. I had a really good run with the D300 and had no compulsion to seek out any other body, until the D800 came out and revealed the D300's technological limitations (five years is a pretty good run in my book). I had been pleased with the output and considered it a capable camera but just could not longer compete with the shooting demands as my children get older, faster and compete in sports at the highest levels of competition in deplorable lighting conditions. As my stable of equipment began to grow and lens after lens had to be upgraded to compete with the demands of the D800 sensor, I realized that I was becoming far too concerned about achieving the best possible output at the expense of foregoing more pedestrian photographic opportunities (sometimes my camera and lenses were just too big and heavy to consider taking but the D300 offered no relief in this regard either).

I acknowledge now that it is impracticable to always maintain the same standards without burdening myself with a tremendous amount of gear to carry. Sometimes, I would elect to just take my iphone and live with the compromise even if the output had little utility other than documentation.

Somehow, I missed the managed to remain oblivious to the whole mirrorless revolution and how capable these little cameras had become and recently decided to take a chance and ordered a V1/10-30VR and FT-1 adapter believing that I could have seamless integration with the rest of my F mount af-s lenses bridging the gap from WA to 810mm equivalent or from 24-300mm on the D800 when weight/size was not a serious consideration and IQ demanded the burden. Whomever designed the Nikon 1 line (V1 in particular) anticipated my unforeseen needs to have a capable camera that shares most of the D800 peripherals, except for hotshoe/CLS and wireless transmitter, which are inexplicably absent in compatibility (but the lack of compatibility was well buried in Nikon's available documentation). I am still scratching my head on this one since CLS is one of the great features Nikon employs and, as I understand, can even be implemented with some of the Coolpix models.

I implore Nikon to reconsider marketing its various interchangeable lens cameras as parts of a complete system, capable of sharing the same batteries, memory cards, iTTL/CLS, wireless/GPS compatibility and I can continue to accumulate F mount lenses without the fear that they will be orphaned, irrespective of what technology may be on the horizon. With the recently announced V2, however, my hopes of having continuity were dashed by Nikon who elected to abandon the one of the core compatibility requirements that made the system so appealing in the first place, by adopting a smaller, less powerful and proprietary (incompatible) battery.

Nikon has carefully made this decision without consulting its user base who value an integrated product line that are designed to share common peripherals.  Such compatibility consideration would be extremely well received by me and many others who desire the benefits of an integrated system. Whether it be CX, DX, or FX, a Nikon user should have some further assurance of universal compatibility or at least adaptive support. One memory card format, one universal battery, one universal hotshoe with CLS capability and a fully functional FT-1 adapter, would be make the decision to stay with Nikon for all my shooting needs a compelling one without having to worry about sinking costs into immature technologies that require considerable upfront costs to explore, and the strong deterrent to switch between different batteries or separate flash mounts, memory cards, gps units, etc. Acknowledging that different shooters will demand different bodies and demand different capacities does not make a compelling argument for Nikon to abandon legacy products and risks alienating existing users who have vested interest in their continued functionality.

Whatever the next generation of bodies brings, each format should share the ability to rely on Nikon to make them all integrate as a single system. As technology advances, and new capacities are employed, at least all interchangeable lens cameras from the same generation should be designed to accept the same peripheries.

I have not interest in the V2 because I am not willing to adopt an additional charger and batteries, even if it were free.  I am not a fickle consumer either, I just place a higher relative value on convenience.

Nikon's further offerings are made far more compelling if a user who in the future purchases a D5 (D4s, D4X), D750 (D700X), D400, D7200, and V3, or any combination of the next generation of camera bodies, can do so without regard for what limitations are imposed because the design teams are not operating in concert and elect not to collaborate. That is not to say other options should not be made available that are more narrowly tailored specifically for the market, (an SB-910 would not exactly pair well with a camera half its size), but all at least should able to function. Whatever the downside is, compatibility makes for a compelling reason to consider continuing investing in Nikon gear, where those exploring others camera brands are compelled to engage in the complicated process of choosing what lenses, batteries, flashes, memory cards, Wi Fi adapters, GPS units and the like are compatible, many will need find that much will need to be reacquired and surprised by just how man existing peripheries are orphaned.

It is a good time for Nikon to consider internal collaboration to maximize its brand appeal to those who desire to build a system around a core philosophy that synergy will simplify the future road map, regardless of where the market may be headed. I enjoy the results from my body/lenses too much to trifle with other brands at present, but I would be remiss to not at least consider the possibility that technology marches on and whatever that technology brings, the constant need to reacquire gear because little foresight was heeded to compatibility requirements, has the potential to give Nikon a substantial competitive edge if they choose to exploit it.  At present, Nikon's CX potential is in its infancy and capitalizes on the benefits the format has to offer, but the lenses are diffraction limited, but they are extremely cheap and disposable (except for a few notable exceptions), as a concept, it could easily evolve into something if the Nikon market chooses to follow, if it does falters, there is so little sunk cost for the consumer so long as it remains compatible with Nikon's more mature camera systems.  Its success may be contingent on whether existing shooters see the benefit in the form factor for long enough for the mount to gain traction.

For those of you have not had not taken the opportunity to explore the capabilities and benefits each of the camera sensors (CX, DX, FX) are missing one of the profound advantages that Nikon can boast. Sometimes FX is the best tool for the job, other times DX provides other unique advantages and still and other times, CX can achieve results in places or circumstances where the strengths of DSLR cannot be employed at all.

I am not advocating for a particular format, they all have their strengths and weaknesses, but Nikon should seize upon the opportunity to allow its users to integrate, mix and match and carry whatever gear they need without concern of component incompatibility. This is a really big deal. I will probably pick up a few more V1's just fun, and anyone can shoot them, no matter what there level of photographic knowledge happens to be.

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Chad Gladstone

 Chad Gladstone's gear list:Chad Gladstone's gear list
Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +7 more
Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon D300 Nikon D4 Nikon D40 Nikon D800
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