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Nikon firmware update breaks support for third-party batteries

By dpreview staff on Dec 9, 2013 at 23:01 GMT
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Owners of some of Nikon's entry and mid-range DSLRs are reporting that a recent firmware update broke support for their third-party batteries. The firmware update for the Nikon D3200, D3100, D5100, D5200 and CoolPix P7700 cameras claimed to report remaining charge more accurately for the EN-EL14a lithium-ion battery. However, on installing the update, some owners found their third-party batteries suddenly incompatible. 

Curiously, this comes on the heels of a service advisory from Sigma warning that the Nikon Df (and D5300 before it) would not fully support third-party lenses. The advisory states that auto focus and image stabilization in Sigma lenses may not work correctly, and a firmware update has been issued to correct the problem. 

Are the events a coincidence, or is Nikon making a move to reduce compatibility with third-party lenses and accessories? This isn't the first time Nikon owners have found themselves having to rely solely on Nikon for services. Several years ago Nikon encrypted white balance information in its .NEF Raw files, meaning third-party Raw conversion services weren't able to correctly interpret white balance data. And more recently, Nikon's official service centers became the only places to receive spare Nikon parts, making it more difficult for customers to get equipment repaired by independent service centers.

It could be argued that Nikon is doing its best to make sure customers have consistent experiences with their products and services, though others would view it as unnecessarily tight control over the brand and its customer's choices. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Via: Engadget, Source: Nikon Rumors
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Comments

Total comments: 297
123
Julian
By Julian (4 months ago)

Well if they do this with the next D800 update I won't be installing it. The price difference between a 3rd party battery and the Nikon original where I live is a very clear factor of 4!!!

0 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (4 months ago)

So, when the next fw shows up, who'll try it first??? :)
Basically what you are saying is all Nikon from now on are non-upgradeable, and "Not upgraded" will be a key selling point on ebay.
How does that feel?

0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (4 months ago)

This is very "Apple": they did this with their iOS device interface, where first the depracated one of the pins that used to carry analogue audio, giving it a new digital function, and then a couple of years later, when they binned the interface altogether for the new, sleeker "lightning" connector.

A number of third-party add-on companies got badly burned: one, in particular (Blue, who make microphones) had just brought out a high quality stereo mic for the iPhone, complete with free matching recording app. Within weeks, the mic was made obsolete by the change in pin assignment. So Blue continued to work on a Digital mic instead - and just as that was ready, Apple switched to Lightning. Blue have (understandably) gone away in a huff, and have pulled any attempt to produce a mic for iOS, and have stopped developing the app.

The losers are the Users. And Apple, because some of those users will have switched to Android to avoid this kind of crap. Another reason I will stick to Olympus.

4 upvotes
joejack951
By joejack951 (4 months ago)

Because Olympus never ditches anything [cough] 4/3's mount [cough].

3 upvotes
expressivecanvas
By expressivecanvas (4 months ago)

I was with you, completely, until that last sentence. Oly abandoned their mounts twice now leaving users hanging and needing to start collecting lenses all over again. Screwing the users (your customers) is bad for business (and, as a result, profits). Olympus is closer to an example of how NOT to do business than an example of how to do business.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
EDWARD ARTISTE
By EDWARD ARTISTE (4 months ago)

I her you on that, but its not really the same thing. Apple has routinely made their hardware- and connectors- smaller and smaller. Thats no surprise. And the software vendor that didn't continue their app is not Apples fault, it likely meant that they didn't have the funds or care to create a newer version. Furthermore, that software continues to work on the model that it was created for still.

This is simply a software lock out. Nikon flipped a switch to block those products.

1 upvote
Biowizard
By Biowizard (4 months ago)

Big difference here guys ... YES, Oly has come out with new mounts. BUT they also fully support the old ones with adapters. My 1976 OM-1n and its 4 prime Zuiko lenses has lasted me nearly 40 years, still working perfectly. And I could buy the OM-D E-M1 tomorrow, plus an adapter, and still use those lenses. What's so bad about that?

There is a MASS of difference between hardware evolution, and sneaky FIRMWARE "UPDATES" that make formerly-compatible kit, suddenly stop working.

Wrong call.

0 upvotes
joejack951
By joejack951 (4 months ago)

Yes, there is a massive difference. Nikon changed something that might require users to spend up to $40 (for a new battery) to fix. Olympus's change might have cost some users $1000's.

1 upvote
egk4260
By egk4260 (4 months ago)

What noise would we hear if someone updated their D800 only to find their brand new Zeiss Otus was no longer compatible?

As an aside we are luckier with Nikon than with Apple who have made many of their own MBP batteries and chargers incompatible with the new Mavericks OS. We have two such MBP bricks that worked fine until updated. Our oldest MBP that was not upgraded continues to function fine.

0 upvotes
Team Yeti
By Team Yeti (4 months ago)

If true, then the dinosaur is taking another step towards extinction, unless they hurry up and evolve.

I understand not wanting to be liable for 3rd-party equipment mixed with OEM. But really that responsibility is taken on by the end-user. If I put a no-name battery in my camera and it makes the magic smoke, well, that's MY fault. A risk you take.

Nikon user here for many years, but my last experience with them (D7000) soured me. Sold off all my Nikon gear and don't plan on going back. My humble opinion: mirrorless will make dSLRs nearly obsolete, save maybe for certain pro users (sports, etc.). We are seeing it happen right before our very eyes. Technology is moving very quickly -- anyone remember Zip Drives? LOL

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 22 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
joejack951
By joejack951 (4 months ago)

When Nikon receives that camera back with a warranty claim with the end user denying ever using a third party battery, how is the dispute settled?

And what does mirrorless have to do with this? You do realize that Nikon makes mirrorless as well as DSLR cameras.

1 upvote
cntlaw
By cntlaw (4 months ago)

Nikon should make themselves a good example to stop using Sony image sensors but do make their own

0 upvotes
runamuck817
By runamuck817 (4 months ago)

It's becoming impossible to recommend Nikon anymore. I wanted a small cam with long zoom and passed over the Nikon P520 and got a Panasonic FZ200 instead. The Nikon won't take filters--the panny will.

I was thinking about the D5300 with the wifi built in, but I found out it won't play nice with any of my Sigma lenses. I bought a wifi card instead. Sorry, Nikon.

Will the last person out of Nikon headquarters please turn out the lights? Nikon is digging its own grave and we may as well start dumping Nikon gear while we can still get something for it.

6 upvotes
expressivecanvas
By expressivecanvas (4 months ago)

I agree, completely.

1 upvote
Peli01
By Peli01 (4 months ago)

What annoyed me about this firmware update is that we were not told in advance that it would prevent third party batteries being used. I e-mailed Nikon about this but got a very unsympathetic reply. I used to love Nikon but this year I think they are losing the plot, not to mention customers, in view of this and the D600 fiasco!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (4 months ago)

I understand that they specifically say in their documentation to use the Nikon battery. So, I suppose they aren't going to go supporting the third party ones or issuing warnings to people who didn't heed their instructions.

1 upvote
Marcos Villaroman
By Marcos Villaroman (4 months ago)

When companies update firmware to break 3rd party compatibility they remind the consumer that they don't view 3rd party support as beneficial to the company's financial success. That's what companies do: maximize profits, which includes pushing down on 3rd party products, while balancing any resulting negative impacts to their brand.

Companies like Apple license their interface to 3rd party and make money off of that --- then again companies like Apple sell a whole lot of product at various buying levels.

If you really hate this, I suggest look closely at m43 that has an open interface standard or Fuji with its relationship with Zeiss. Those companies with their tiny market share are embracing 3rd party in the attempt to survive/grow.

0 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (4 months ago)

Apparently it's not just that 3rd party batteries don't work, but Nikon batteries don't work in 3rd party grips. Now that's a REAL drag, especially since Nikon doesn't make grips for the lower-end cameras.

I've never linked to Hogan before, but he's right on the money this time: http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/the-ecosystem-narrows.html

My biggest problem with not supporting 3rd party batteries is that some day down the line, original batteries may no longer be available. Nikon EN-EL3e are already quite scarce even though they're still current. I wonder if Nikon is still making them at all or if this is just old stock. What if you'll use your camera longer than original batteries are available and your original battery dies?

Talking about old cameras, while I wouldn't probably use 3rd party in a brand new DSLR, it's silly to expect to pay e.g. 60 euros for a battery for an old camera worth e.g. 200 euros.

5 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (4 months ago)

In fact it's just as silly to expect to pay 60 euros for a battery for a NEW camera worth 200 euros.

6 upvotes
Fritz Byle
By Fritz Byle (4 months ago)

A very unfortunate turn of events. Not a very customer-friendly move, and very transparent. If the OEMs didn't over-charge so egregiously for their accessories, they wouldn't have to worry so much about the 3rd party accessories. I for one will pay a small premium for an OEM part, which I *know* is compatible. I will not, however, pay three to four times the cost.
The continued obfuscation of RAW data is the worst part of all this. Virtually no one is going to use the OEM conversion tools, they do not hold a candle to applications like Aperture or Lightroom. Would it really be detrimental to the manufacturers to give us a common-open-source RAW format, so that we don't need to constantly update conversion software for every camera released?

1 upvote
DavidC1970
By DavidC1970 (4 months ago)

I don't know about most of you guys, but I just spent over a thousand dollars on my new Nikon D7100, and I'm not about to start playing Russian Roulette with third-party batteries.

It's pretty much a given that these third-party manufacturers don't have the same level of quality control that Nikon does (or Canon for that matter).

Why would anybody who spends thousands on a camera put cheap, imitation batteries into it, taking a huge chance that the battery won't destroy your camera?

Does spending $10 or $20 more on a real Nikon battery really give you that much heartburn? Especially when you spend hundreds or thousands on the camera and lenses?

2 upvotes
runamuck817
By runamuck817 (4 months ago)

We aren't talking ten or twenty bucks. We are talking multiples of the third-party price. The prices are unconscionable. Go ahead and waste your money if it makes you feel better.

2 upvotes
dual12
By dual12 (4 months ago)

Some 3rd party batteries are identical to the OEM battery, save for the name.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
DavidC1970
By DavidC1970 (4 months ago)

runamock817, why do you think that third-party batteries are that much cheaper? Do you seriously think that they are the same quality as Nikon's? Dual12, unless you have the ability to actually do some serious testing on third-party batteries, I doubt you can factually state that third-party batteries are exactly identical to OEM ones. I've seen "real" Nikon batteries running $40, and third-party running $20-$30, so, is it worth saving $10 and having a chance of your camera getting royally screwed?

2 upvotes
JohnEwing
By JohnEwing (4 months ago)

I've had a 3rd-party battery swell during charging so that it would no longer fit the camera. I've had others that were fine. It's a bit of a lottery.

No matter. Somehow, I doubt if Nikon made this move to ensure a high-quality photo experience. A Nikon-quality experience perhaps, but that ain't necessarily the same thing.

0 upvotes
PrebenR
By PrebenR (4 months ago)

Nikon should rather improve their QA than render 3rd party lenses incompatible.

2 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (4 months ago)

Close but no cupie.
Nikon should license it's interfaces and protocols.
Doesn't seem to have hurt Panasonic or Olympus with M43.

0 upvotes
egk4260
By egk4260 (4 months ago)

We all indirectly agree to this sort of thing anytime we upload firmware, as you cannot download upgrade without agreeing to the terms. Nikon does state they are not responsible for issues when software is used "in an environment" contrary to nikon recommendations (third party battery or lens?), and further they are not responsible for user satisfaction or expenses related to use of the software (buying new batteries?). parentheses are my assumed examples.

I guess every time I hook up my Zeiss or Sigma lenses it is solely my issue in the eyes of Nikon even if they intentionally decide to create an incompatibility, that is an incompatibility not simply related to a new process/product for which an old third party product is not programmed to communicate with.

0 upvotes
VENTURE-STAR
By VENTURE-STAR (4 months ago)

The batteries Nikon (and other manufacturers) sell for their cameras cost no more to make than the cheaper copies, which are generally of the same quality.

However, Nikon are perfectly willing to rip-off the punters for every last penny and will do their best to maintain sales of their ridiculously overpriced and sometimes not very well made accessories. What's wrong is the fact that Nikon are interfering with other manufacturers products that currently work with their equipment. This seems to be the case with Sigma lenses, which are reasonably priced and in some cases better designed and constructed that Nikon branded products. It really puts you off spending money on Nikon.

9 upvotes
mrdancer
By mrdancer (4 months ago)

Ah, the dark side of firmware updates rears its ugly head yet again!

It looks like Nikon may be heading down the same path of tightly restricted controls that Apple has taken (the only reason I don't own any Apple products). If true, Nikon is quickly dropping down on my list of desirable photographic platforms for my use. Might be alright if I had unlimited resources...

9 upvotes
JWReagan
By JWReagan (4 months ago)

I understand some of the frustration but I think that maybe people are taking it to the extreme. I have Nikon batteries for my D300s and D600 but I have some third party batteries for my D5100 because I use it for video and it runs through them pretty quick. The third party batteries stopped being supported a while ago in my D5100 unless I had a Nikon battery in the grip first.

Just go to the Nikon hacks website and get a "3rd party" firmware, fixes the battery problems and opens up quite a few previously restricted functions. If you don't feel the need to rely on Nikon to provide power and optics for your camera why the need to rely on them for firmware?

0 upvotes
Joe Mayer
By Joe Mayer (4 months ago)

Whether it's Nikon or Canon, this is just another example of a company doing what it ought to do. I'm not sure why people expect a company to ensure that it is compatible with third party products. It is the responsibility of third party companies to ensure their stuff works with the intended product, whether its hardware or software. Do you whine to Adobe when your plugin purchase doesn't work? No. You contact the plugin maker. So Nikon improved their cameras and inadvertently "broke" third party junk batteries. It's now up to the battery companies to step up their batteries to a new standard of compatibility of the market they want to be a part of. Yes, this must be frustrating for those who have these now useless batteries but you ought to complain en masse to those that made these sub par batteries and demand better from them.

0 upvotes
mrdancer
By mrdancer (4 months ago)

I think the issue is that this is occurring after the fact, without proper warning from Nikon (something like, "NOTE: This update may negate use of certain third-party batteries (and possibly lenses?)"). Great for Nikon to implement on new camera models, but need more heads-up for existing models.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (4 months ago)

This must be a sabotage act and not a compatibility issue. Nikon firmware actively checking whether there is a third party batterie being used and refusing to operate. They'll probably say it is to protect the user from damaged camera's and they are just doing you a favour.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Resom
By Resom (4 months ago)

"Are the events a coincidence, or is Nikon making a move to reduce compatibility with third-party lenses and accessories?"

Sorry, but is this not a question, which should be clear out by a journalist? Asking for background information to avoid rumors and rants from the user side?

"What do you think? Let us know in the comments"

Again - a user think the most time, that companies harm him and reducing his freedom. Which point of view, do you want to read? xx% saying "well, buy original parts and you are save" and xx% saying "I´m not paying THAT much. I´m not Rockefeller!".

What du you think? Let us know in the comments.

0 upvotes
jadot
By jadot (4 months ago)

Come again?

5 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (4 months ago)

There's no such thing as a free Nikon firmware update.

Is it free? Is it Nikon?

Then it is not a firmware update. It is a TrapWare!

6 upvotes
Mike Walters
By Mike Walters (4 months ago)

Just to put another slant on this...

Nikon made a change to firmware to better report on the remaining charge of their batteries. Is it possible that this inadvertantly broke the support of 3rd party batteries? For them to design and test to ensure compatibility with all third party batteries and lenses, spending money that could be spent on their own product development, would be madness would it not?
I used to work for an IBM plug compatible vendor. If IBM made changes that broke our kit, the emphasis would be on us to fix it....just as Sigma have fixed their issues with Nikon bodies.
Maybe we can be a tad paranoid at times....

0 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (4 months ago)

>> better report on the remaining charge
Was there any problem with the accuracy?
Did anyone complain?
(I'm just curious - never had anything from Nikon and never will.)

4 upvotes
dervish_candela
By dervish_candela (4 months ago)

it is possible for anoyone to test compatibility of any product to a common standard.
assuming, of course, that you allow people to have that luxury.

it's much easier to just make cryptic crap and blame everyone else when stuff breaks.

2 upvotes
EssexAsh
By EssexAsh (4 months ago)

give it a couple of weeks and we will see working 3rd party batteries appearing again.

2 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (4 months ago)

Ingenious...

0 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (4 months ago)

If one were cynical one might think that Nikon was purposely breaking third party compatibility to boost lens and accessory sales. Yong Nuo flashes next I'd guess, and you can bet that if Nikon ever get off their butt and release a radio flash.

Very old fashioned - remember Microsoft?

Hey Nikon how about this?
Make the products your customers want.
D400, D700 like camera.

If Sigma can bang out great lenses for $800-1000 why can't you?
You don't have to go to the trouble of reverse engineering.

On yeah - when I bought my SB900 here in au they were selling for $900AUD - and the AUD was higher than the USD.
Maybe you'd sell more if you didn't totally screw the markets outside of the US and Japan.

Readers try M43 - at least Panasonic and Oly will license their interfaces.
Everyone wins in that model.
3rd party's can make and sell products, the OEMs can still make a little something on each piece of licensed tech.
And the OEMs aren;t likely to break compatibility so the customer wins.

7 upvotes
Hawaii-geek
By Hawaii-geek (4 months ago)

I think batteries not working when they did before a FW update, is a little over the top.

8 upvotes
Eelco van Vliet
By Eelco van Vliet (4 months ago)

As a 25 year long Canon user I thought I'd take a look at the Nikon camp. I thought the D600 was a nice upgrade for my current Canon 40D. Since it takes Canon ages to bring out a new 7D.

But to my utter surprise it is just the same over here. Canon broke Simga lens support (aperture stays open) from the Eos 33 and upwards. I own a lot of Sigma lenses and would be very upset if it suddenly stopped working. So much for my D610 wishes...

1 upvote
Paul Hodgson
By Paul Hodgson (4 months ago)

I agree with many of the comments here but frankly, with talk about voting with your money and buying other products, well grass is rarely greener and this story will become yesterdays chip paper.

Currently it seems Fuji and perhaps Pentax have a better more friendly view which could change tomorrow and have many complaining, suggesting a mass exodus, selling their gear and moving to XXX and the cycle will at some point repeat.

For the OEM's to get it 100% right, wow, tall order...I wouldn't want to be them. It's easy being an armchair CEO.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (4 months ago)

Hmmm... nothing new here...

Nikon (and including Canon, as well as all the rest of the major manufacturers) have no liability or responsibility over INCOMPATIBILITY for products not their own. Fair game.

During the film era, cloning and copying via REVERSE ENGINEERING made it possible to create cheaper similar products.

With the rise of digital and software embeding, that game has changed.

It takes only a few commands, to render a gadget to a paperweight / door stopper.

.

1 upvote
MisterBG
By MisterBG (4 months ago)

A bit like a car manufacturer saying you can only use "GoodStone" tires when your originals wear out...

5 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (4 months ago)

Hahaha!!! How different from Pentax, I can even use AA batteries...

5 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (4 months ago)

In the future I won't even read an article about a nikon product.

6 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

it's fair that Nikon stop to support their own batteries, too.
http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/13544

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Jonathan F/2
By Jonathan F/2 (4 months ago)

A bunch of whiners on here. If you make any money with your camera gear, buy first party batteries or use AAs in a vertical grip.

1 upvote
digitall
By digitall (4 months ago)

"A bunch of whiners on here. If you make any money with your camera gear, buy first party batteries or use AAs in a vertical grip"

Is this the official Nikon line or just your moral indignation? Perhaps you need to get a grip of yourself, with or without AAs.

14 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (4 months ago)

Yes, dreadful that we should whine about our now dead batteries, and be forced to purchase unreasonably priced Nikon batteries that bring nothing extra.

15 upvotes
jadot
By jadot (4 months ago)

"if you make any money with your camera gear"

WTF?
Think it through: The professional market probably DOES buy OEM gear, or rent it. Their cameras [use of] do make them money so they can justify it.
A lot of 'amateurs' (to give a different set of consumers a name) thought they might buy 3rd party batteries to help reduce costs for their hobby. What's wrong with that?
This is the wrong way for Nikon or any camera manufacturer. Opening up the firmware for third parties to enhance & build upon such a platform will be the biggest positive move by any company in the future. Rather than giving away the secret recipe, they would be making available new ways of configuring & creating.

iOS is a great example of this open approach, for example. To be able to program a DSLR? Hell yes!

Camera companies refusing to acknowledge the huge rise in mobile computing are missing out on a huge market.

If you make money with your camera gear, you'll understand the need for openness towards creativity.

1 upvote
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (4 months ago)

Nikon should be sued like Microsoft then only they will learn ........in recent years they have come out with some faulty models and replacing it in less then a year ......Nikon should have better management.........

5 upvotes
echelon2004
By echelon2004 (4 months ago)

Suing them for protecting their patents? Only in the us of a ;)

0 upvotes
dr8
By dr8 (4 months ago)

for decades nikon has used, without compensation, others patented work.

0 upvotes
Alec
By Alec (4 months ago)

On the one hand, we want Nikon to keep making innovative cameras and lenses, and it needs to be profitable in order to do so. On the other hand, I believe the hypothetical $40 lens cap does not prompt innovation - on the contrary it causes complacency.

What is in our best interest? What is in Nikon's and other makers' best interest? What does the future hold? I have not enough characters left to express that here, but I just did on my O2 blog - see http://karasevstudio.com/o2/2013/155

1 upvote
RichRMA
By RichRMA (4 months ago)

The lens cap for the new 800mm f/5.6 is $1000.00 on its own. For a 6" wide cylinder of carbon fibre. You can almost buy a whole bike frame for the same price.

5 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (4 months ago)

That's because it's a lens hood, not a lens cap ;-)

0 upvotes
Higuel
By Higuel (4 months ago)

THE IDEA STANDS lensbeginner!!!
But don't let us stop u!!!
GO AND BUY SUCH IMPORTANT AND CHEAP LEENS HOOD!!!
Actually, if it make u fell better, BUY TWO!!! ;D

0 upvotes
Alec
By Alec (4 months ago)

Just like with razors and blades, or printers and inks, manufacturers price higher end DSLRs and some lenses with narrow (in a few cases, negative) margins as they know this is what consumers chiefly price-match.

Very few of us would go through the trouble of computing and comparing system-wide TCO. This is why we see $2600 full frame bodies and $40 lens caps. Question is, would we be happier if everything were priced in line with its costs (incl. amortized R&D, tooling, etc)? It wold make some low-volume, high tech items quite inaccessible.

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (4 months ago)

How dare you all! Nikon gives you restricted battery access, technical problems it won't admit to, 50% increases in prices on new lens iterations and a back-handed slap to its own mirror-less "program" and you are ungrateful??!

8 upvotes
Thomas Traub
By Thomas Traub (4 months ago)

That is very dangerous for Nikon becaus of the european Competitive authority. This can cost Nikon 10 % of their worldwide (!) turnaround!

1 upvote
dccdp
By dccdp (4 months ago)

You put too much faith in the EU bureaucracy. They don't care, and they are probably lobbied specifically to not care.

0 upvotes
JacquesC
By JacquesC (4 months ago)

Hallooooo …… Canon, or Fuji, or Sony !

3 upvotes
dougjgreen1
By dougjgreen1 (4 months ago)

This kind of garbage makes me glad that I bailed on Nikon for Micro 4/3 earlier this year.

I recommend others do the same.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
11 upvotes
expressivecanvas
By expressivecanvas (4 months ago)

...or also dump Nikon for Pentax if you want to stick to APS-C...

1 upvote
BayToSierras
By BayToSierras (4 months ago)

Not a good idea, to fight a war with competitors on the back of the customer...

As a Nikon customer for 25 years these stories make me somewhat concerned, although I love the products. I've been looking at the much smaller Sony cameras lately but shied away so far from investing in all new lenses. My advice to Nikon: You make your customers happy by producing gear that is an unmitigated pleasure to use. Why spoil that relationship, at least at the higher end, where people invest in lots of glass?

About third-party batteries: After buying one that was a complete dud, I stick with the brand names. Still, I would hate to see that choice go away.

8 upvotes
Dreky
By Dreky (4 months ago)

Agree on batteries but not on lenses. Sigma obviously knew what is happening so they came with USB dock and what I like most - mount conversion. :-) That is so nice option that I couldn't believe it's true. So, Canon 7DMkII after D300, why not?

In the end, users of old third party lenses (me included) will complain, 80% of Nikon entry level DSLR buyers will never mount anything other than kit lens on their cameras, eBay will be flooded with old Sigmas, we will be forced to buy some new and better glass, some will switch to other system and all of us will continue our usual imaging workflow: shoot - view - delete :-)

1 upvote
beavertown
By beavertown (4 months ago)

There will be a lawsuit between Nikon and its customers soon.

The firmware update is a cheat. Nikon needs to pay back the money for their customers who lenses and accessories are no longer to be used after the update.

4 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (4 months ago)

This would be pretty difficult to win in court. Nikon never made any kind of agreement with its customers that third-party accessories will work with their cameras. Whoever sold you the battery did. (or lens in case of Sigma issues recently).

It's a shady thing to do, but it isn't illegal, nor did it violate any agreement or contract.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (4 months ago)

but eventually a competition authority (maybe the EU) will sit up and take notice. They see the bigger picture - it is not about the minutae of who contracted with whom, it is about Nikon trying to use its position to gain a monopoly power for its accessory products. Maybe the answer is for these compnies to liecense their interfaces on a fair basis?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (4 months ago)

That's right, bring on the EU and after collecting more taxes and telling Nikon what to make the batteries out of, they will make sure the 3rd party batteries will be just as expensive as OEMs.

0 upvotes
showmeyourpics
By showmeyourpics (4 months ago)

You can try to maximize your sales and profits by creative a captive clientele like Nikon is doing (and sooner or later everyone else), or by delighting your customers through policies that show appreciation for the business and allow them freedom of choice. Most people would be happy to stick with the latter kind of company. You get the feeling that they are not only obsessively greedy but that they also care about their clients and want to keep them for a long time out of satisfaction with their products and services (relationship marketing). I spent a lot of years as a consultant trying to convince business owners and senior managers about the long-term value of customer satisfaction but I ended up quitting the job because they wouldn't listen. This is especially true when the CFO is running the business. In the past, Japanese companies knew better. Now the only somewhat open-minded system is the 4/3-M43 consortium. Don't let this crap rob you of the pleasure to photograph though.

9 upvotes
BayToSierras
By BayToSierras (4 months ago)

Showmeyourpics, you said it very well!

0 upvotes
Peter Lacus
By Peter Lacus (4 months ago)

AFAIK Pentax K bayonet was available to others on a royalty free basis from the beginning - there were bodies made by Cosina, Chinon and Ricoh (of course) so basically it was sort of a "precursor" to "open" systems like m43...

0 upvotes
Olymore
By Olymore (4 months ago)

Actually I believe the Sony E mount is open as well. Not sure about the batteries though and the proprietary hot shoe (now dropped ?) was a bit unneccessary.

0 upvotes
percy
By percy (4 months ago)

Going after small money; losing on big market.

17 upvotes
SW Anderson
By SW Anderson (4 months ago)

Most often when there is a choice, I avoid proprietary gear and systems. I've always chosen Windows PC's over Apple computers and more recently Android tablets over iPads. Nikon might gain some additional profit from going proprietary, but those gains will have to be measured against the cost of future rejection of Nikon products by consumers like me.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (4 months ago)

How is windows non proprietary?
As on OS OSX is far less proprietary than windows.

2 upvotes
jwkphoto
By jwkphoto (4 months ago)

I have a Sony A57 and I needed some extra batteries to carry with me but I could not afford to purchase the original Sony batteries. Amazon had some no names for $5 and I bought 3 of them. What's so amazing about them is the Sony battery gives me about 450-500 shots and the cheepos are giving me around 650. They work perfectly with no problems and the digital % readout is right on.

6 upvotes
jdrpc
By jdrpc (4 months ago)

Bla, bla bla!...
shouldn't picture taking be more important than moaning?
what an horrible place this world has become!

0 upvotes
tramptime
By tramptime (4 months ago)

Shouldn't YOU be out taking pictures then instead of complaining on here? ;)

19 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (4 months ago)

Thanks for your positive addition.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (4 months ago)

I am starting to think that the camera industry as a whole no longer wants to sell cameras. Weirdest financial strategy I have ever seen.

15 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (4 months ago)

Boooo!

1 upvote
SushiEater
By SushiEater (4 months ago)

Canon is doing it for many years so no surprise if Nikon going to do it on the heels of really bad profit report.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (4 months ago)

I use third party batteries in all 3 of my Canon cameras. Not sure what you are talking about.

3 upvotes
hoei
By hoei (4 months ago)

canon has now warning the user of 3rd party battery for new cam like 5d mark III in new firmware.. but it only warning... you still can use it without any problem

0 upvotes
SushiEater
By SushiEater (4 months ago)

It is not a warning, many already reported that their batteries are no good after FW update. And also Canon changed lens protocol several times so some third party lenses had to be FW updated too.

1 upvote
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