|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
|Waffles with fruits by Coolinarka|
from Food photography (desserts)
|Vestrahorn Frozen Reflection by Will B Milner|
from Ice cold
We got our hands on the first zoom lens available for Fujifim's new digital medium format system. Check out the samples
As summer really gets going over here in the Northern hemisphere, the team at Imaging Resource has put together a list of the best cameras for backpacking.
The Ukrainian Parliament banned statues of Lenin in 2015. Two years later, the monuments no longer adorn public buildings or stand watch over town squares, but they're still there.
If you had to choose one camera to bring along for the ultimate West coast road trip, what would it be? DPR's Sam Spencer choose the X100F. Read more
The a9 boasts impressive capability. As more examples of it in practice pour in, Sony's claims hold up. Watch the a9 track and maintain focus on a rapidly approaching basketball.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more