Congratulations to Nikon for taking their first step into the astrophotography market. I look forward to the review on Cloudy Nights. Meanwhile it will be interesting to see Canon's response, maybe a 6Da is in the works. Also for those who cannot afford the D810a almost any modern digital camera can be modified for astrophotography IR spectrum at a cost of approximately $350. For those who do not want to modify their camera, but are interested in astrophotography they can buy a Sony 5T with the IR modification from eBay for $369.
Looks like Sony has another winner. I have not seen something like this (FF with sensor stabilization) since they released the a900 back in 2008 Back then it cost around $3000 and had issues with sensor noise This reincarnation only goes for $1700, which to me represents a great value albeit expensive and at present a limited quality lens selection. Anyway I look forward to the DPReview full test report.
Thank you for the first impression write up and I look forward to the final report. With any luck some if not all of the recommendations mentioned will be included in future models or firmware releases.
Hopefully either camera will bring out the best of any lens attached to it and under the right conditions produce high quality cropped images.
My first impression is either camera would ideally suited for the commercial studio environment.
Two questions; does any digital camera offer electronic anti aliasing filter, by this I mean where the end user can switch it off and on? If not do any of them offer a user replaceable filter (similar to replacing a focusing screen except in front of the sensor)?
I wonder what will make the new Pentax FF DSLR stand out from the crowd?
No matter how Sony improves their camera FE bodies the lens segment of the system is not keeping up with the customer desires for a wider selection of fast and affordable lenses. By comparison Fuji is listening to their customers and the Fuji XF lens development is addressing the desires of their customer base i.e. 56mm portrait lens and other F1.4 solutions. Maybe Sony believes that this segment will be carried by the third party lens makers like Mitakon, but larger third party lens companies like Sigma will be reluctant to support a niche market until the number of end users increases. And there in lies is the catch 22 for Sony. The only saving grace for Sony shooters are the third party the lens adapters, but that is only a band aid on the problem since I suspect most want modern optical designs with AF and IS attributes as well.
Nice idea but one has to take into account the cost of the color film, processing and printing. Over a period of five years the cost of which could over take the cost of the camera and lens. Speaking only for myself if you are not producing very large prints I do not see a need for any 4x5 camera. If on the other hand you have a need the image quality then I would lean towards a high quality 4x5 camera with all the movements mounted on a solid tripod. A compromise might be a medium format camera like the Mamiya 7 or Fujica GSW 690. But given the recent advances in digital cameras the image quality gap is closing in on medium format film, if not already surpassed it. With that said I think for the most part film cameras are history. Instead just pull out the smartphone and take the shot.
It should be possible to place cameras on a small quad or hex copter and flying it around capturing not only still 360 images but also HD video, without capturing the copter itself. The images could be projected on a semi transparent spherical surface allowing the end user with limited visual range a complete 360 view. Using overlapping image analysis software a near real time 3D images of an area of interest should be possible and viewed using 3D glasses. You could then fly the copter remotely into locations deemed hazardous such as burning buildings, caves, radio active environments or using several copters perform wide area search and rescue operations. Why limit it to the air, how about underwater environments?
Personally I think if a photographer wants to go retro he or she should buy a Nikon F2 with a DE-1 finder, head on out with a decent hand held light meter and a few rolls of TRI-X film. A camera is just a tool which in the right hands and a keen eye can create images that bring meaning to life and changes for the better those who view the images. Having a camera that can take 150,00 images a year does not guarantee any of them are any good. If anything the ease of taking the picture can retard the thought process behind the creation of the image. Thus turning the person capturing the images into a glorified high speed point and shoot photographer who relies on the shotgun approach to getting a "keeper" image and who's subjective image quality is inversely proportional to the cost of their camera gear. Nikon missed the boat with the DF. Adding numerous knobs, buttons and dials does not equate to a better camera, in this case quite the opposite.
It did not make a good first impression on me. Vile was the first word that came to mind. By far the worst looking Nikon I have ever seen in the last 50 years. Come to think about it is the worst looking camera that I have ever seen period. Then to add the flagship title on it and charge so much for it, seems insane. Not even a techno geek shooter or wanna be pro would use this camera in public. No wonder the videos showed a guy shooting in remote locations, away from people. He would have to wear a ski mask it he used it anywhere else.
If I were at Nikon's IR&D department I would have come up with a F2 DE-1 equivalent camera. No built in flash or hot shoe, no video, no thumb wheels or buttons. But maybe include a voice control interface. The LCD touch screen would be reversible so as to complete the retro look. I would hire Apple to handle the human interface design and develop the processor. I would include a sensor that would not require HDR. And get this I would bring back interchangeable finders. Maybe the different finders would include the wi-fi and or GPS attributes. The motor drive unit would include all the interfaces normally found on a pro DSLR, keeping the body clean and light weight as possible. Also I would eliminate those memory cards by building in 128 GB of ultra fast memory. The motor drive base would allow for secondary, removable memory cards. That is a camera I would not mind spending the big bucks for.
I wish Nikon would just get to the point and allow sites like this one to post their first impressions without the marketing videos release. This kind of marketing game went out with disco years ago and leaves Nikon fans and working pros wondering what kind of idiot at corporate signed off on it. Meanwhile Canon, Sony and others watch and learn from Nikon's mistakes. Hopefully Nikon did not pay to much for the cheesy videos and will fire their marketing executive on November 5th.
I have to admit the idea is innovative and I have to tip my hat to Sony for occasionally thinking outside the box. Sure their batting average might be less than perfect but that is the nature of the technology game, as Apple users well know it is better to take a swing at it than to just sit here and strike out. Personally I think this is yet another sign that all the camera companies are facing a dim future as end users choose convenience over quality and no longer have a need for stand alone digital cameras, instead opting for their smartphones. May be this is why more and more camera manufacturers are trying to make their cameras functionally similar to a smartphone. Or as in the case of Sony adapt some of their product line technology to smartphone community. Likewise smartphones have hit the wall and are looking for ways to separate their products from the pack and are focusing on advancing the smartphone photographic attributes as well as the image processing apps.
if I did not know any better I would think that Adobe is slowly going out of business. These cloud marketing schemes seem on the surface to be desperate measures to create a uniform cash flow into a "one trick pony" company that has reached some sort of product line maturity that no longer draws large volume sales of its upgrades nor increases in the new user base. If this is true they will eventually shut down product releases, one at a time, until the only option left would be for end users to buy into the cloud services. It would in turn increase their profit margin, allowing Adobe to sustain their employee base and make incremental bug fixes or introduce small enhancements without the knowledge or concern of the end user. There is little to risk if this is true, if they don't sell the cloud idea to their user community they will fail anyway and be forced to sell off various software product lines, and eventually filing a chapter 11 to avoid creditors and losing the company.
Speaking only for myself, I believe this decision by Adobe will eventually lead to their downfall. In the trade space they placed to much weight on profits over customer satisfaction and loyalty which has been their cornerstone since the beginning. They are betting the house on the perception that they hold a monopoly while assuming that customers will blindly give up their current software suite licensed versions for something totally out of their reach (in the clouds) and control, in the name of having the latest release with more features that few will use or need outside of the professional market.
Adobe will only reverse this decision if their profit margin drops below their expectations. Along with that I also suspect changes on their board shortly afterwards in the form of early retirements and or firing a select few members who pushed for this half baked idea in the first place.
By then the damage will have already been done and be irreversible.
I did not read anywhere that the new lens are AF, are they?
"If you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear." This is the motto at Google and now the American government. Privacy left the building some time ago. Social media outlets, camera phones, security cameras, satellites, monitoring of email, web surfing, bank transactions, phone conversations, TV shows watched and things beyond those have done away with any sense of privacy. Now Glasses technology will invade your homes, work place, bathrooms, etc. etc. You will not know if and when somebody with Glasses is recording you and posting it to the web. The end user maybe surprised to find someday Glasses recording their actions without their consent. While people are focused on drones invading their privacy outside their home, with Glasses they will lose it everywhere, in and outside their homes. Since Glasses technology and drones are coming, the question is not privacy but instead who watches over the watchers, and can you trust them with your privacy?
Camera technology issues aside, it will be interesting to see how end users this device will interface with the local laws of privacy, especially with businesses where video and still photography of their interior is prohibited. Here in the united states where the number of teen driver deaths are on the rise, due to distractions like their operating their cell phones while driving, I wonder how many teens will lose their lives to this device, before law makers pass a law prohibiting its use while driving. That has to be a morale booster for Google engineers where their motto is, do no evil.
Cost aside, it is interesting and has a future, but maybe not in the current near useless format. Just thinking outside the box here, what if the entire view of field was used and the interface included hand gestures. Imagine if it could see in HD stereo IR or boosted light levels for night vision, or darkened for bright sunlight conditions. Imagine Iron man type of overlay displays that could be designed by the end user. Imagine if it could replace glasses, by providing corrected images, and even with color correction for those who had some degree of color blindness. Imagine if it were linked to your digital camera eliminating the camera LCD and viewfinder screens. Or better yet replace the camera as we know it. Imagine if there was an app that could read faces and tell you when somebody was lying. Is Apple listening?
I think Fuji has been serious about staying in the game and listening carefully to their customer feedback and reviews of their products. With each generation of X camera we can see measurable improvement. No camera will please everyone and Fuji is not taking that road, but instead they are creating their own niche and I wish them all the best on that path. If the reviews of the X100s are good I plan to buy one myself.