Can Nikon be shamed into giving us what Canon users get for free?

Started May 14, 2012 | Discussions
Phaedarus
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Can Nikon be shamed into giving us what Canon users get for free?
May 14, 2012

I'm referring to the lack of a live DOF and histogram preview on Nikon's sub-professional camera line.

I think it's an embarrassment to a company that prides itself on being among the top tier camera manufacturers that such critical tools are being withheld from the mid-range and entry-level camera models.

Live view DOF and histogram are software solutions that can be provided via firmware updates. There's no reason why they can't be included on landmark cameras such as the D7000 while other manufacturers' entry level cameras are essentially getting them for free.

Sure, anyone can say "go buy Canon instead" and maybe some of us might, but that's not a feasible option for many who may have invested quite a bit in glass or have grown accustomed to Nikon gear (especially its Speedlight system).

I would not suggest boycotting Nikon either. There are too many pro-line camera owners who aren't affected by this problem and couldn't care less.

However, the Japanese as a culture, are intimately familiar with the sense of shame. Would it be possible, I wonder, to make them take notice by having mid-range camera Nikon owners publicly shame the company on various sites such as Twitter/Facebook/Flickr and demand they provide firmware updates for perfectly capable cameras such as the D7000 and D5100?

No one should have to drop 4k on a Nikon body just to get a reliable live DOF preview and a live histogram.

mosswings
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Re: Can Nikon be shamed into giving us what Canon users get for free?
In reply to Phaedarus, May 14, 2012

Phaedarus wrote:

I'm referring to the lack of a live DOF and histogram preview on Nikon's sub-professional camera line.

I think it's an embarrassment to a company that prides itself on being among the top tier camera manufacturers that such critical tools are being withheld from the mid-range and entry-level camera models.

Live view DOF and histogram are software solutions that can be provided via firmware updates. There's no reason why they can't be included on landmark cameras such as the D7000 while other manufacturers' entry level cameras are essentially getting them for free.

Sure, anyone can say "go buy Canon instead" and maybe some of us might, but that's not a feasible option for many who may have invested quite a bit in glass or have grown accustomed to Nikon gear (especially its Speedlight system).

I would not suggest boycotting Nikon either. There are too many pro-line camera owners who aren't affected by this problem and couldn't care less.

However, the Japanese as a culture, are intimately familiar with the sense of shame. Would it be possible, I wonder, to make them take notice by having mid-range camera Nikon owners publicly shame the company on various sites such as Twitter/Facebook/Flickr and demand they provide firmware updates for perfectly capable cameras such as the D7000 and D5100?

No one should have to drop 4k on a Nikon body just to get a reliable live DOF preview and a live histogram.

No. The Japanese culture may have a stream of face-saving running through it, but with Nikon's IQ reputation causing buyers to snap up their latest bodies at a rate equal to or greater than Canon, even without the live DOF and histo preview you crave, Nikon won't see any shame in leaving those off. They're NOT causing a loss in sales that they can measure. And Nikon is FAMOUS for thinking they know exactly what the photographer should want. They only thing that would make them reconsider is if suddenly their DSLR business dried up. That won't happen.

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Graystar
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Re: Can Nikon be shamed into giving us what Canon users get for free?
In reply to Phaedarus, May 14, 2012

Phaedarus wrote:

I'm referring to the lack of a live DOF and histogram preview on Nikon's sub-professional camera line.

I think it's an embarrassment to a company that prides itself on being among the top tier camera manufacturers that such critical tools are being withheld from the mid-range and entry-level camera models.

Probably because not everyone considers those to be critical tools. I see them as useless.

Live histograms are inaccurate due to the vastly reduced DR. And if you're using LiveView then you're on a tripod anyways so take a test shot and examine the histogram (which I view as a poor tool in any case.) And DOF preview might sound good on paper, but even zoomed in it's difficult to tell if things are in focus. That's why focus-peaking has been so well received (which is idiotic to me, because that's basically the autofocus system...so just use autofocus! But I digress...)

The only thing that Canon has that I want to see on a Nikon is that the Exposure Compensation value isn't applied to the flash. That's useful. The new D4 has that as an option, but the D800 doesn't so I don't know of any of the new bodies will work that way.

Otherwise, there's nothing Canon has that Nikon needs (although there's a lot that Nikon has that Canon needs!)

.

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wlad
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I'd rather take the lens caps and hoods
In reply to Phaedarus, May 14, 2012

that we get for free, unlike our Canon colleagues

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Mako2011
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Re: Can Nikon be shamed into giving us what Canon users get for free?
In reply to Phaedarus, May 14, 2012

Phaedarus wrote:

I'm referring to the lack of a live DOF and histogram preview on Nikon's sub-professional camera line.

I don't see those two features as having practical value. Could you explain why they might be critical? Thank you.

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Mako2011
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@ wlad
In reply to wlad, May 14, 2012

wlad wrote:

that we get for free, unlike our Canon colleagues

Are you saying that when you buy a Canon lens you do not get a lens cap and hood in the box? I find that hard to believe and a bit shocking if true. So shocking, I gotta go check.

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Mako2011
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shocked!
In reply to Mako2011, May 14, 2012

Mako2011 wrote:

wlad wrote:

that we get for free, unlike our Canon colleagues

Are you saying that when you buy a Canon lens you do not get a lens cap and hood in the box? I find that hard to believe and a bit shocking if true. So shocking, I gotta go check.

Just checked...you mostly get a lens cap and often no hood. Why wouldn't they always provide a hood?

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wlad
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Re: @ wlad
In reply to Mako2011, May 14, 2012

you don't get the hood or a carrying case with most consumer lenses, I thought they didn't include rear caps as well

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paul2009
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Re: @ wlad
In reply to wlad, May 14, 2012

what's a hood?

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Phaedarus
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Re: Can Nikon be shamed into giving us what Canon users get for free?
In reply to Mako2011, May 14, 2012

Mako2011 wrote:

Phaedarus wrote:

I'm referring to the lack of a live DOF and histogram preview on Nikon's sub-professional camera line.

I don't see those two features as having practical value. Could you explain why they might be critical? Thank you.

I guess I should clarify that I'm a texture artist by trade, not a photographer and as such, I own a D7k primarily to obtain reference material of various hard surfaces as well as HDR panoramics for use in 3D software.

While I haven't been taking photos for long, I've been using Photoshop since version 4 or so and have always found the histogram to be more intuitive and always enabled me to accurately gauge exposure moreso than the other conventional metering systems available. I especially find the histogram to be most useful during sunny days compared to previewing off the LCD.

Of course I could throttle off shots until I get the one I want but I could save vastly more time with having a live histogram rather than shot, evaluate shot, delete photo and repeat.

Most of the time I have a tripod and other times I get a small window of opportunity where speed is important as most of what I shoot are inanimate objects belonging to other people. For an example, a mud splash on the front spoiler of a car is a feature I can use to texture a 3D vehicle model. The problem is that people often don't like it when you photograph their stuff (when there's no one around to ask) - I've even had someone call the police just for photographing their front door (I wanted a shot of a rather intricate looking door knocker). With a live histogram, I can get in, dial in shutter/aperture until the histogram looks good, take the shoot and then get out.

As for live DOF, it would be useful to help facilitate focus stacking while taking macro shots.

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Mako2011
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Re: Can Nikon be shamed into giving us what Canon users get for free?
In reply to Phaedarus, May 14, 2012

Phaedarus wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Phaedarus wrote:

I'm referring to the lack of a live DOF and histogram preview on Nikon's sub-professional camera line.

I don't see those two features as having practical value. Could you explain why they might be critical? Thank you.

While I haven't been taking photos for long, I've been using Photoshop since version 4 or so and have always found the histogram to be more intuitive and always enabled me to accurately gauge exposure moreso than the other conventional metering systems available. I especially find the histogram to be most useful during sunny days compared to previewing off the LCD.

I too find it very useful...the "blinkies" screen also a great help in certain specific situations.

Of course I could throttle off shots until I get the one I want but I could save vastly more time with having a live histogram rather than shot, evaluate shot, delete photo and repeat.

I see what your after. I shoot raw so one shot, check histogram and adjust if I think it warranted then don't bother unless light changes significantly.

Most of the time I have a tripod and other times I get a small window of opportunity where speed is important as most of what I shoot are inanimate objects belonging to other people. For an example, a mud splash on the front spoiler of a car is a feature I can use to texture a 3D vehicle model. The problem is that people often don't like it when you photograph their stuff (when there's no one around to ask) - I've even had someone call the police just for photographing their front door (I wanted a shot of a rather intricate looking door knocker). With a live histogram, I can get in, dial in shutter/aperture until the histogram looks good, take the shoot and then get out.

I normally do not use Live view but can see where you might get use from a Live histogram. I suspect as you gain more experience with the camera, you'll get to a point where familiarity will make it somewhat a mute issue.

As for live DOF, it would be useful to help facilitate focus stacking while taking macro shots.

I disagree there....a good focus rail (and image review) negates the need for live DOF and is far more accurate. Just my opinion there. Good Luck and thank you for your time in clarification.

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jonikon
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Re: Can Nikon be shamed into giving us what Canon users get for free?
In reply to Graystar, May 14, 2012

Graystar wrote:

Phaedarus wrote:

I'm referring to the lack of a live DOF and histogram preview on Nikon's sub-professional camera line.

I think it's an embarrassment to a company that prides itself on being among the top tier camera manufacturers that such critical tools are being withheld from the mid-range and entry-level camera models.

Probably because not everyone considers those to be critical tools. I see them as useless.

Live histograms are inaccurate due to the vastly reduced DR. And if you're using LiveView then you're on a tripod anyways so take a test shot and examine the histogram (which I view as a poor tool in any case.) And DOF preview might sound good on paper, but even zoomed in it's difficult to tell if things are in focus. That's why focus-peaking has been so well received (which is idiotic to me, because that's basically the autofocus system...so just use autofocus! But I digress...)

I agree. I don't have any use for a live histogram. That's for rank amateurs who shoot JPEGs. My gosh, what would these poor souls if they had to shoot film?
Don't use DOF preview either.

I do like the 5 year warranty on Nikon lenses that Canon does not have though!
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Hosh
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No hoods for some Nikons too
In reply to Mako2011, May 14, 2012

My Nikon 50/1.4 didn't come with a hood, nor did my 20/2.8.

Mako2011 wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

wlad wrote:

that we get for free, unlike our Canon colleagues

Are you saying that when you buy a Canon lens you do not get a lens cap and hood in the box? I find that hard to believe and a bit shocking if true. So shocking, I gotta go check.

Just checked...you mostly get a lens cap and often no hood. Why wouldn't they always provide a hood?

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Re: Can Nikon be shamed into giving us what Canon users get for free?
In reply to Phaedarus, May 14, 2012

Phaedarus wrote:

I'm referring to the lack of a live DOF and histogram preview on Nikon's sub-professional camera line.

Regarding live DOF preview in LV: don't you get this by choosing the desired aperture in A or M mode prior to pushing the LV button to engage LV mode?

Generally I tend to agree that Nikon's DSLR LV is half-baked... I don't see a reason why LV should not be a fully functional mode.

Live histogram: Nikon obviously assumes that snapping a pic and checking the histogram in play mode is enough. I guess the live histogram would help one speed up exposure compensation. But there's a catch; small live histograms are not accurate enough, and large ones cover the view. I think the lack of a raw data histogram is a bigger problem, because the dynamic range of the sensor is much bigger than the one of the processed image (of which the histogram is shown).

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bgD300
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Those seem most useful for video work
In reply to Phaedarus, May 14, 2012

they aren't something I would find in the least useful and would rather the processor be available for other functions like AF.
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Barry Fitzgerald
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Fair points
In reply to bgD300, May 14, 2012

With other cameras I have used the DOF preview in live view stops the lens down so you can see the actual DOF, but on the Nikon's I've used it does nothing at all in live view.

Had a live histogram too on other bodies it is useful in normal light, not useful in low light as the gain up means the histogram isn't accurate, but worth having. I was quite surprised that the D7000 did not address those issues.

It's not the end of the world, just I would agree the live view isn't as useful as it could be.

Couple of other minor points I was always impressed on my Minolta film 7 with it's ability to display the actual DOF distance on the rear LCD if you used a D type lens and pressed the DOF button, it gave you a readout of the actual DOF to your point of focus. In meters and feet. Impressive for a 2000 era film body. Despite having high res LCD's nobody has since done that despite distance information being around for ages.

It's about taking things to the next level of user usefulness.

So I agree about the DOF and live view arguments.

There is now evidently a hacking team for Nikon firmware so maybe they can do some of this stuff, they've already removed the time limit on movie recordings on some models, they might hack the D3200 and restore stuff Nikon have taken out..there is some hope

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fotolopithecus
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Re: Fair points
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, May 14, 2012

Less is more.

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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Fair points
In reply to fotolopithecus, May 14, 2012

fotolopithecus wrote:

Less is more.

Actually less is less

I don't find this a major issue but I can see it's a valid point and something for Nikon to look at.

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Terry Vickers
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Re: Fair points
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, May 14, 2012

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

With other cameras I have used the DOF preview in live view stops the lens down so you can see the actual DOF, but on the Nikon's I've used it does nothing at all in live view.

Had a live histogram too on other bodies it is useful in normal light, not useful in low light as the gain up means the histogram isn't accurate, but worth having. I was quite surprised that the D7000 did not address those issues.

It's not the end of the world, just I would agree the live view isn't as useful as it could be.

Couple of other minor points I was always impressed on my Minolta film 7 with it's ability to display the actual DOF distance on the rear LCD if you used a D type lens and pressed the DOF button, it gave you a readout of the actual DOF to your point of focus. In meters and feet. Impressive for a 2000 era film body. Despite having high res LCD's nobody has since done that despite distance information being around for ages.

It's about taking things to the next level of user usefulness.

So I agree about the DOF and live view arguments.

There is now evidently a hacking team for Nikon firmware so maybe they can do some of this stuff, they've already removed the time limit on movie recordings on some models, they might hack the D3200 and restore stuff Nikon have taken out..there is some hope

+1 on the distance measurement.
The curious thing is that it is in the Exif data but not available in camera.

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brokensocialscenester
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Re: Fair points
In reply to Terry Vickers, May 14, 2012

One thing I wouldn't mind having in my D3100 that I do in my D700 is the high res screen. I know the basic Canons come with those, and it really makes a difference in your ability to check the image integrity on the fly.
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