|Dirk Jesper is Product Manager for Professional Products and Product planning at Nikon Europe. Photo: Barnaby Britton|
Nikon has had a busy year, launching several new products including two full-frame DSLRs, the 36MP D800 and the enthusiast D600, which offers a 24MP sensor. In a week when Canon announced its own affordable full-frame camera, the EOS 6D, Barnaby Britton caught up with Dirk Jasper, product manager for professional imaging at Nikon Europe, to get his opinion on the competition, as well as some more detail on Nikon's newest - and cheapest - full-frame DSLR.
Dirk - is the D600 the new D300S? In other words a bridge between your DX format DSLRs and high-end full-frame?
It's hard to compare the D600 to the D300S. I see this camera sitting between the D7000 and D800, which are closer to the D600 than the D300S is. It has a decent resolution - 24MP full-frame - and we've included some of the features of the D7000, in terms of accessibility, and the scene modes and so on, but also we have D800 technology like the HDMI output, uncompressed video recording, the metering capabilities, which are adapted from D800 and D4-level technology. The D300S is a different concept. It's a semi-pro DX system camera and [the D600] is an enthusiast camera. So really we're talking about two different types of product.
We expect to get some upgraders coming to the D600 from the D300/S, though, also D80 and D90 users, we have received a lot of positive comments from them. They are considering entering the full-frame system with the D600, because they think it's good value for money, it's something they've been waiting for, because the D700 was out of reach when they bought their cameras. The D600 can process information twenty times faster than the D700. It has double the pixel count, the color range and the dynamic range is better…
The AF system is taken from the D7000 - have you made any changes?
Yes it's the same module, but there have been refinements, especially in terms of the sensitivity. With this camera you can focus at a combined aperture of F8, which isn't possible with the D7000.
Is that because the AF array occupies a smaller area of the image circle in the D600? So there's no light drop-off towards the edges than there might be in the D7000?
No, it's really the internal technology itself, which has been changed. This is something new that has been developed for the D600. Thirty three out of thirty nine focus points can offer AF down to F8. This is incredibly good for an enthusiast camera.
What are the challenges in putting all this technology into an enthusiast-level product?
That is something you should ask the engineers! I think the melding of proven, existing technology and new, or recently-introduced technology was very difficult. To find the right balance. That was one of the hardest things. Incorporating technology into a new product is not such a big thing, but to find the right balance so it still hits the target price point, so it's affordable, that's the key.
How important is video to your target audience for the D600?
Not so important for 'classic' photographers, but we see a huge community out there, a group of customers that we have not addressed really before the launch of the D4, the D800 and now the D600. These cameras are now being used by the video broadcasting community. For the first time this year we attended a major broadcast conference in Holland, and we had really positive feedback, people were waiting for us to go there. The D800 was used to film the UEFA championships in Sweden, among others. We're entering new markets now. Dexter is now filmed on the D800, too, it's broadly accepted even in a field where we really never intended it [to compete].
How many enthusiast photographers will shoot uncompressed HD footage?
I don't know, I can't tell you. I think it is becoming more popular though. There will always be people who concentrate on stills, which is absolutely fine of course, but a camera is there to offer opportunities. Not to say 'you must go there' but to say 'you can, if you want to'. That's the idea.
The D600, like the D800 and D4, does not feature focus peaking. Why not?
Currently, no, we don't have an in-camera solution. If we're talking about 24MP capture, and 36MP, any minor focus offset is more noticeable than it might be on a 12MP camera, no question. Working in video, where focus peaking is used most, working at open apertures focus can be an issue. But there are solutions for the problem. If you're serious, there are external recording options like the Ninja from Atmost, this works really well with the D600 and it offers focus peaking, zebra-ing, everything you might want.
But the D600 and D800 are not video cameras, they are still cameras. They have outstanding video capabilities, so we get a lot of requests for extra features but it takes research, it takes development, we have to do this step by step. For us, video is a new space. I'm not saying no, but I can't say whether we can provide focus peaking in a firmware upgrade or not.
When Canon introduced the 5D Mark II, there was some surprise that its video capabilities ended up being so popular. Were you surprised?
No. We were not. Video creatives came to us very early asking when were going to have something for them.
What's your opinion of the Canon EOS 6D? You must have been looking at it pretty closely?
I cannot really comment much on competitive models, but if you look at the concept of the 6D, I think Canon has a different approach to us. With the D600 we are really concentrating on the photographic features and we're trying to give the best photographic package that we can. We've seen a lot of cameras with full-frame sensors released in the past ten days but my feeling is that all of them - the 6D, Sony's A99 and RX1 - all have a different approach, and represent a different concept to ours.
We are really concentrating on delivering something for the photo enthusiast - so for example it was important to include a 100% viewfinder, a good AF system with enough cross-type AF points, the ability to shoot with teleconverters and still focus at F8, a built-in flash… also, you can use the D600's flash as a commander in Nikon's Creative Lighting System. That is we've been asked for by our customers. And our 'want to be' customers.
Which of your customers were you thinking about when you first sat down to plan the D600?
We were really thinking about applications, not what a specific owner of another camera might want. So landscape photographers for example who want 'real wide angle' and feel that APS-C isn't the best solution, that was one of the main audiences we had in mind. The D600 is a full-frame FX format camera that is easier to carry around than the professional models in our lineup, but it's still weather-sealed, for use out in the wild.
Are you selling more D600s body only, or with a lens?
I don't know yet, we only just started to sell the camera this week but I expect initially we will sell more cameras without a lens. We know there are a lot of lenses out there, enthusiasts already have lenses that they can use with the D600, and they want to test these existing lenses before they buy new ones.
The D600 has an automatic DX crop mode that will let you shoot at 10.5MP with DX lenses. Do your customers actually do this?
I don't know, I don't have that information. But it is important for us to maintain that compatibility, and that's why we have the automatic DX crop mode when a DX lens is mounted. This year we reached 70 million Nikon lenses produced, and maybe say, 40 million of those are compatible with the D600. At least. This is an amazing number and I think this is a core benefit of the Nikon system - you have a future-proof, and long-reaching ability with all of the Nikon lenses.
Even second hand, or refurbished, a good lens is still worth its price, ten or twenty years later. Especially for enthusiasts, backwards and downwards compatibility is very important. Once you invest your money in a system it must be safe. You must get value for money.
Sep 17, 2015
Sep 16, 2015
Sep 20, 2015
Sep 19, 2015
|Hot Air Balloons Over Bagan by User9320321874|
|Blue mood by darub|
from Fixed lens shootout.
|Yellow Warbler by LeeS|
from A Big Year - birds
|Waiting for the Parade by tcoker1103|
from - La Vida Loca - (Black and White Street Photography+ A Border)
Adobe says that many of its users have been relying on SkyBox for VR editing and it therefore made sense to make the plug-ins available to all subscribers through Creative Cloud.
The Pictar grip provides a number of customizable physical controls for your iPhone camera, but at its price point we would like to see better materials and build quality.
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not known as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you know where to look. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.