Photokina 2012: Interview - Dirk Jasper of Nikon
|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.
|CZ54-1-2 by TrickTheLight|
from anything you can do I can do better
|Fork-tailed Sunbird On Ivory Coral Tree by cntlaw|
from A big year - birds 2019
|Washing day by Jill Hancock|
from -Minimum Wage- (non-human shot in Full Colours Only)
The Auschwitz Museum has asked visitors to be more respectful after an upsurge of pictures posted on social media showing people posing on the train tracks that lead to the main gate.
This week Chris and Jordan take the new Leica Q2 for a spin, and while most of us in the Northern Hemisphere are welcoming spring, they head even farther north than usual to visit ice castles. Because #Canada.
Harvard is facing a lawsuit over profiting from 19th century daguerreotypes that captured the portrait of a slave and his daughter on a South Carolina plantation.
From the detailed textures in rural landscapes to the incredible lighting inside futuristic buildings, the photorealism of Unreal Engine 4 is blurring the lines between fiction and reality...you know...aside from the spaceship.
According to a report from The Informant, a number of Instagram users' passwords were shared as plaintext in URLs used to download their data.
We've added Panasonic's new Lumix S1 and S1R full-frame mirrorless cameras to three of our buying guides. If you're looking for a quick summary of each model, then have a read.
YouTube channel Photoshop Cafe has shared a video detailing ten tips and tricks you can do to both fix and speed up Photoshop when it's running slow and sluggish.
It's not going to be the banger of the year, but it'll get a few laughs.
DJI has confirmed its drones won't be affected by the GPS 2019 week rollover.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has teamed up with Kodak to release a beer that's capable of doubling as a film developer.
The Diana Instant Square is a retro-inspired camera with manual controls that's fun to shoot in good light, but largely unpredictable in its operation.
Residents of a Paris street plagued by Instagrammers, selfie takers and music video crews are asking the city government for a weekend and evening ban to give them some peace.
The adapter plugs into the Osmo Pocket's USB Type-C port and features a 3.5mm TRS jack to plug in various external microphones.
Checkout allows Instagram users to select products for purchase and make payments directly in the app.
GauGAN as it's known, can create photorealistic images from basic drawings using the power of artificial intelligence.
The EOS RP is Canon's latest full-frame mirrorless camera, with diminutive dimensions and a diminutive price. Find out how it stacks up and get our thoughts in our early review.
Montana judge Dana L. Christensen has ruled the Republican National Committee did not infringe upon the copyright of photographer Erika Peterman after they took a photo from a Democratic candidate's Facebook page without permission and altered it to use in a derogatory promotional mailer.
Nikon has launched updates for three of its programs to address various bugs and glitches that could cause crashes and unwanted results.
LEE Filters has launched the LEE100, its next-generation filter holder that improves the design and looks in all the right places.
With the arrival of some much-needed sunshine and final production firmware for the Panasonic S1, we've been able to get outside and really start putting the camera through its paces.
Importing, culling and tagging photos is about to get a whole lot faster and look a whole lot better with the impending arrival of Photo Mechanic 6.
On its own, the FTZ adapter retails for $250 and when bundled it dropped the cost to just $150. Now, Nikon is offering it for free with all Z6, Z7 purchases in the United States.
Profoto said it spoke with Godox back at Photokina 2018 and continues to contact Godox in an effort to stop it from marketing its V1 light.
Product renders in Italian publication Notebook Italia show an unusual design that conceals all cameras with the help of a slider mechanism.
Canon says its new EF 400mm F2.8L IS III and EF 600mm F4L IS III lenses can suffer from an intermittent flickering when shooting video in M or Av modes with certain cameras.
Leica recently announced the Q2, a digital rangefinder with a fixed 28mm F1.7 lens. It's a heck of a lot of fun to shoot with, but is it right for you? Based on our time with the camera, and its specifications, we've examined how well-suited it is for common photography use-cases.
Now that our Panasonic Lumix S1R has final firmware, we couldn't wait to get out shooting with it - and we also tried the high-res mode, which combines files to get 187 megapixel images. Because sometimes, 47 megapixels just isn't enough.
In this article, travel and landscape photographer Mitch Green encourages us to spend more time in the the field.
the lens lacks any electronics whatsoever and is constructed entirely of glass and metal. Of course, that comes at the expense of weight — this thing weighs in at 1.1kg / 2.43lbs.
Drones can be useful tools in urban areas, where they're utilized for everything from news reporting to building inspections, but flying in these areas requires careful preparation. Here's what you need to know to do so safely.