|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
|scrum break away by al booth|
from Sport competition
|Chinese Acrobat by lim yau tong|
|Parking Deck by Olaf R|
from Your City - Parking Garage
|Communication Tech by alberto_b|
|With & without by OBellini|
from Empty - Full
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II brings more resolution, better autofocus and faster continuous shooting to Canon's entry-level full-frame camera. And we've had the opportunity to shoot with one.
The Canon 6D Mark II will ship to consumers in August, but we've been able to do some shooting with a pre-production unit well in advance.
Rumors have been swirling around for a while, and Canon has just unveiled the long-awaited successor to the popular and long-serving EOS 6D. Read all about it in our hands-on preview.
Canon's latest entry-level DSLR is here. The new Rebel SL2 (EOS 200D) is the belated successor to 2013's Rebel SL1, billed at the time as the smallest and lightest DSLR on the market.
Nearly five years after the announcement of the EOS 6D, Canon has finally replaced it with the EOS 6D Mark II. The Mark II features an all-new 26.2MP Dual Pixel AF full-frame sensor, 6.5 fps burst shooting, a fully articulating touchscreen, 1080/60p video and much more.
Canon has announced the EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D), which replaces the aging SL1. This ultra-compact DSLR features a 24MP sensor, DIGIC 7 processor, Dual Pixel AF system and a 3" fully articulating touchscreen LCD.
When one of his friends got a filter stuck on his $1,700 Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L, former MythBuster Adam Savage removed it using an unlikely, terrifying tool: a band saw.
The New Yorker asked Magnum's famed photographers, in town for the agency's 70th anniversary, to go out and capture 'the fleeting beauty of New York City's golden hour.' This is what they shot.
Roger Cicala is a difficult man to impress, but he's been waxing lyrical over at Lensrentals about Sony's new 12-24mm wide zoom.
Glassware is one of the most challenging subjects to photograph, especially against a white background. This tutorial shows you how to do it with hardly any gear.
Handevision is now shipping its all-metal Iberit 90mm F2.4 short telephoto lens for Leica M-mount 35mm and full-frame cameras.
Isocell comprises four sub-brands: Bright, Fast, Slim and Dual which are tailored to specific mobile device market demands.
The new store will be located at the Fotografiska center for contemporary photography in Stockhom, Sweden and carry the full range of Hasselblad products.
A recent vacation gave Richard a chance to think about the needs of travel photography – and how our reviews might recognize the perfect travel camera.
Need more evidence that 2017 is the year analog begins its comeback? Well, welcome another new film stock to the world.
The winners of the 10th annual iPhone Photography Awards have been announced, and they're striking.
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.