Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...

Started Feb 4, 2014 | Discussions
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JimPearce
JimPearce Veteran Member • Posts: 8,597
Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...

We agree on the two biggest ones:

1. Will there be a D300s successor? Yes, but unfortunately it will be a D7200.

2. Will there be a D700 successor No.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/the-answered-questions.html

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Jim

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n057 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,588
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...

JimPearce wrote:

We agree on the two biggest ones:

1. Will there be a D300s successor? Yes, but unfortunately it will be a D7200.

2. Will there be a D700 successor No.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/the-answered-questions.html

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Jim

In the good old times not too long ago, the entire produt line fitted between the numbers 1 and 100. Or so thought a shortsighted product manager

JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

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ceaiu Regular Member • Posts: 118
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...

Combine questions 1 and 7 and we get a mirrorless D300 type of camera.
D7200 may also be one of the last of its kind, if not THE last.
The lack of pro, or even prosumer, DX lenses in the last years could mean a different mount - only for the mirrorless DX though... a mirrorless FX should keep the F-mount.

Tony Beach Veteran Member • Posts: 7,266
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...

Thanks Jim for bringing this article back to my attention.  I had read the first installment, but lost track of it after that (even though I did read that there would be a follow-up).

This is a rather lengthy article with a lot more in it than just whether or not Thom thinks there will be a D300 successor.  There's a lot of marketing screw-ups at Nikon, and as I read through what Thom says about FX cameras, Coolpix Cameras, the "1" series cameras, and the consumer DX cameras, the lack of a D300 successor looks like more of the same.  To sum up Nikon's market plan -- it's pointless.

Later in the article we get into the weeds.  Why no ETTR mode, or ability to create uni-WB?  Why aren't menus programmable? Why no Picture Control continuity (I mean hell, I can't I get my D200 and D300 to have the same look to them with NX but I can with Capture One!)?  Reading all the way to the end of the article Thom does hold out a glimmer of hope for Nikon even as he points out that he would focus on the software side of the cameras now because the hardware side is more than adequate (a sobering thought for all the GAS enthusiasts that inhabit DPR's forums).

jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,278
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...
5

The undercurrent in Thom's article that bothers me the most (and is reflected in a number of recent products) is that Nikon is making products for the "bean counters", purposely crippling things to protect upscale revenue rather than deliver the best product they can at a given price point and margin and is also pretty out of touch with what customers really want.

This strategy usually leads to short term revenue protection, but bad things in the medium and long term because you aren't delivering the best products you can at each price point. Over time, this catches up to you when the competition is making the best products they can and users just get tired of playing the crippled game and getting less for their money.  In a business like dSLRs with the lens lock-in component, brand switching probably occurs slower over time, but a robust used marketplace makes it not as bad as it could be.  Further, the rise of really good Sigma lenses with switchable mounts reduces the lock-in component in the future.

I used to think Nikon made killer products for their price point that were unmatched by the competition (D70, D300, D700, for example) and delighted their users.  The D800 is perhaps in that category (except for the infamous AF issues and the customer service around that), but it no longer feels that way with the rest of the product line and Thom points to a number of examples.

Here's a simple example.  A D7100 with a buffer size of 20 images still wouldn't be a full D300 replacement (for other reasons), but it would at least be a great value at its price point that didn't feel so artificially crippled.  You'd feel like you were getting amazing value for the price.  As it is now, it's so obviously crippled that it just doesn't generate the same impact or loyalty or brand goodness that it could.  It serves the needs of some, but misses the chance it had to show the product/brand leadership that earlier products did.

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Tony Beach Veteran Member • Posts: 7,266
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...
1

jfriend00 wrote:

 Further, the rise of really good Sigma lenses with switchable mounts reduces the lock-in component in the future.

I didn't realize I could switch the mount on my Sigma lenses.

Here's a simple example. A D7100 with a buffer size of 20 images still wouldn't be a full D300 replacement (for other reasons), but it would at least be a great value at its price point that didn't feel so artificially crippled. You'd feel like you were getting amazing value for the price. As it is now, it's so obviously crippled that it just doesn't generate the same impact or loyalty or brand goodness that it could. It serves the needs of some, but misses the chance it had to show the product/brand leadership that earlier products did.

Maybe Nikon gets that leadership back with the D7200 -- the bar is a bit low so that shouldn't be so hard -- that's what Thom thinks might happen, but that remains to be seen.  The more problematic part is that even if the D7200 (or D400, or D9000, or whatever Nikon calls the D300s successor) is absolutely everything we want in some ways, Nikon will probably make enough of it incompatible with say a D800 to make it difficult to alternate between using them quickly and seamlessly.  It seems that Nikon has created a lot of seams in their camera system now.

justin_time Contributing Member • Posts: 756
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...
1

IMO great article by Thom.  If Fuji release 120-400mm xx-f5.6 in Jan 2015 then I will be selling Nikon gear.  The main reason is lack of key enthusiast DX lenses - 50-150 f2.8 (something smaller than Sigma), standard zoom (16-85 f4.0), DX 24mm f1.8, DX 16mm f2.8.
I don't think if Nikon released a D400 or D7200 (with non-crippled buffer), would make any difference.

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Phil_L Senior Member • Posts: 2,958
Excellent analysis... (nt)
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Phil_L

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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 4,624
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...

What he says makes sense, I follow the logic. Particularly re the importance of Nikon acting in this segment (sports/ action APS-C) now and in regard to retaining the F-Mount.

So, will the D400 be the first 'superfast' in a new Mirrorless body?

12 fps, video, Wifi? Updated AF to cope with the speed?

Nah.... I am dreaming...

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Amateur photographer. Enjoy.....believe in yourself..

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n057 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,588
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...

Tony Beach wrote:

jfriend00 wrote:

Further, the rise of really good Sigma lenses with switchable mounts reduces the lock-in component in the future.

I didn't realize I could switch the mount on my Sigma lenses.

Here's a simple example. A D7100 with a buffer size of 20 images still wouldn't be a full D300 replacement (for other reasons), but it would at least be a great value at its price point that didn't feel so artificially crippled. You'd feel like you were getting amazing value for the price. As it is now, it's so obviously crippled that it just doesn't generate the same impact or loyalty or brand goodness that it could. It serves the needs of some, but misses the chance it had to show the product/brand leadership that earlier products did.

Maybe Nikon gets that leadership back with the D7200 -- the bar is a bit low so that shouldn't be so hard -- that's what Thom thinks might happen, but that remains to be seen. The more problematic part is that even if the D7200 (or D400, or D9000, or whatever Nikon calls the D300s successor) is absolutely everything we want in some ways, Nikon will probably make enough of it incompatible with say a D800 to make it difficult to alternate between using them quickly and seamlessly. It seems that Nikon has created a lot of seams in their camera system now.

They had that leadership on the serious camera area with the D300/D700/D3 trio, but they do not seem to want to keep that leadership. I hope they get it again, i'll still have the lingering worry that they will not try to keep it. As in "where are the lenses"?

JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

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yray
yray Senior Member • Posts: 1,416
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...
3

JimPearce wrote:

We agree on the two biggest ones:

1. Will there be a D300s successor? Yes, but unfortunately it will be a D7200.

I think this will be a D7100 successor, so the real answer to this question is No. I think we could all have guessed that a D7200 would be coming, and it will have in some ways improved specs over D7100. Maybe it will do everything most people want it to do spec-wise, but I personally don't get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the D7XXX series. They are all decent cameras, no doubt, but decent is not good enough after we've seen a lot better than that.

2. Will there be a D700 successor No.

Well, in my book D700 may remain its own successor for the foreseeable future. Unless you need lots of pixels and extreme DR for low ISO landscape shooting, D700 still does it all. Still the most versatile of cameras, that you have to pay multiples of the current used prices to get ever so slight improvement over.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/the-answered-questions.html

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Jim

JimPearce
JimPearce OP Veteran Member • Posts: 8,597
I think Nikon's marketers had a plan...
4

It was to take share from Canon and move the product line aggressively to FX and Nikon 1, away from DX. Fortunately - I think - the market rejected their plan. Now that they are planning for survival I think we'll see more sensible decisions.

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Jim

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JimPearce
JimPearce OP Veteran Member • Posts: 8,597
No, I think the F-mount stays for DX...

But I'm sure Nikon was deeply confused about this.

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Jim

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ragspix Contributing Member • Posts: 900
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...
2

jfriend00 wrote:

The undercurrent in Thom's article that bothers me the most (and is reflected in a number of recent products) is that Nikon is making products for the "bean counters", purposely crippling things to protect upscale revenue rather than deliver the best product they can at a given price point and margin and is also pretty out of touch with what customers really want.

This strategy usually leads to short term revenue protection, but bad things in the medium and long term because you aren't delivering the best products you can at each price point. Over time, this catches up to you when the competition is making the best products they can and users just get tired of playing the crippled game and getting less for their money. In a business like dSLRs with the lens lock-in component, brand switching probably occurs slower over time, but a robust used marketplace makes it not as bad as it could be. Further, the rise of really good Sigma lenses with switchable mounts reduces the lock-in component in the future.

I used to think Nikon made killer products for their price point that were unmatched by the competition (D70, D300, D700, for example) and delighted their users. The D800 is perhaps in that category (except for the infamous AF issues and the customer service around that), but it no longer feels that way with the rest of the product line and Thom points to a number of examples.

Here's a simple example. A D7100 with a buffer size of 20 images still wouldn't be a full D300 replacement (for other reasons), but it would at least be a great value at its price point that didn't feel so artificially crippled. You'd feel like you were getting amazing value for the price. As it is now, it's so obviously crippled that it just doesn't generate the same impact or loyalty or brand goodness that it could. It serves the needs of some, but misses the chance it had to show the product/brand leadership that earlier products did.

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Regarding the bean counters

They're being blamed for Nikon inefficiencies.

4 years to develop the V1???, a camera not ready for prime time (considering competition)?

4 years to develop the Df??? a parts bin camera...

Bean counters have to account for this stuff

Nikon has deeper problems that can't be seen from the outside.

Rags

gftphoto Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: I think Nikon's marketers had a plan...
3

Nikon Rumors' assertion that the D7200 has the potential to kill the DX pro line seems spot on. Nikon's marketing strategy seems to be to promote the Pentax K3...

Maji Contributing Member • Posts: 734
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...

ragspix wrote:

... 4 years to develop the Df??? a parts bin camera...

Bean counters have to account for this stuff

Nikon has deeper problems that can't be seen from the outside.

Rags

I read somewhere that Nikon mentioned that Df took so long because of the natural disasters. As for the other stuff, I think as Thom mentioned, it is more about turf wars within Nikon between their various divisions.

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ragspix Contributing Member • Posts: 900
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...

Maji wrote:

ragspix wrote:

... 4 years to develop the Df??? a parts bin camera...

Bean counters have to account for this stuff

Nikon has deeper problems that can't be seen from the outside.

Rags

I read somewhere that Nikon mentioned that Df took so long because of the natural disasters. As for the other stuff, I think as Thom mentioned, it is more about turf wars within Nikon between their various divisions.

I don't buy Nikons excuse...

You can move a design & development unit to anybodies office outside the affected area

Manufacturing lines are different

Rags

Tony Beach Veteran Member • Posts: 7,266
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...

n057 wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

jfriend00 wrote:

Here's a simple example. A D7100 with a buffer size of 20 images still wouldn't be a full D300 replacement (for other reasons), but it would at least be a great value at its price point that didn't feel so artificially crippled. You'd feel like you were getting amazing value for the price. As it is now, it's so obviously crippled that it just doesn't generate the same impact or loyalty or brand goodness that it could. It serves the needs of some, but misses the chance it had to show the product/brand leadership that earlier products did.

Maybe Nikon gets that leadership back with the D7200 -- the bar is a bit low so that shouldn't be so hard -- that's what Thom thinks might happen, but that remains to be seen. The more problematic part is that even if the D7200 (or D400, or D9000, or whatever Nikon calls the D300s successor) is absolutely everything we want in some ways, Nikon will probably make enough of it incompatible with say a D800 to make it difficult to alternate between using them quickly and seamlessly. It seems that Nikon has created a lot of seams in their camera system now.

They had that leadership on the serious camera area with the D300/D700/D3 trio, but they do not seem to want to keep that leadership.

Nikon still has two of the best cameras you can buy in the D4 and D800, so there is leadership there.

I hope they get it again, i'll still have the lingering worry that they will not try to keep it. As in "where are the lenses"?

Yes, we are specifically discussing leadership for DX/APS-C DSLRs here.  Again, Nikon has brought out lots of FX lenses, so I don't see an issue there, but not filling out the DX lens lineup (even a little bit) is infuriating for many of us.

Tony Beach Veteran Member • Posts: 7,266
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...
1

yray wrote:

JimPearce wrote:

Will there be a D700 successor? No.

Well, in my book D700 may remain its own successor for the foreseeable future. Unless you need lots of pixels and extreme DR for low ISO landscape shooting, D700 still does it all. Still the most versatile of cameras, that you have to pay multiples of the current used prices to get ever so slight improvement over.

It's a discussion for another forum really, but Thom actually called the D800 the D700 successor and told Nikon users to "get over it," so I see a bit of a contradiction from Thom about this in his latest article. You can reverse what you said about what you need or don't need in the D700 or D800 and point out that the only thing the D700 does better than the D800 is fps (if you want to shoot full frame instead of 1.2x or DX crop modes, and if you put the MB-D10 on it with appropriate batteries).  Also, I wouldn't characterize 70% more resolution as "ever so slight."

What Thom was saying is that Nikon keeps changing how they make the latest sensor available at a lower cost. With the D3 they brought out the D700, with the D3s they didn't bring out anything, and with the D4 they now have the Df. There's no continuity there, and that's the crux of the discussion; not whether or not buying a used camera is a better deal than buying a new camera.

Maji Contributing Member • Posts: 734
Re: Thom on Nikon's unanswered questions...

ragspix wrote:

Maji wrote:

ragspix wrote:

... 4 years to develop the Df??? a parts bin camera...

Bean counters have to account for this stuff

Nikon has deeper problems that can't be seen from the outside.

Rags

I read somewhere that Nikon mentioned that Df took so long because of the natural disasters. As for the other stuff, I think as Thom mentioned, it is more about turf wars within Nikon between their various divisions.

I don't buy Nikons excuse...

You can move a design & development unit to anybodies office outside the affected area

Manufacturing lines are different

Rags

The Df is assembled in Japan, in an area that was impacted by the Tsunami.

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