Started Feb 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,326
Re: It's a shame she won't live . . .

MiraShootsNikon wrote:

. . . But then again, who does?

I find DX-direction anxiety deeply strange. If Nikon decided to end DX camera production tomorrow, no one's DX camera would suddenly stop working. Your current DX picture quality wouldn't suddenly decline. People who couldn't tell (or don't care) yesterday what you used to take your photographs--by which I mean to say, nearly everyone--wouldn't suddenly start caring and rejecting DX-shot work today.

It doesn't stop working, but a modern sensor could take significantly better images - particularly when the light was low or when using a TC or in low contrast AF situations or in high DR situations.  We've invested our learning and lens inventory in a particular brand under the assumption that we could keep buying upgraded equipment that met our particular needs as technology improved.  It's only natural to have a bit of anxiety when you start to wonder if your brand has abandoned your particular shooting needs and you won't be able to benefit from technology advances without starting over.  Sure, you can keep shooting forever with your current gear, but then you give up benefiting from technology advances (low light performance, AF, buffer, fps, DR, etc...) and that's discerning if you now find yourself on a path that never gets any upgraded technology.

Photography is one of those wonderful arts in which the equipment used to produce it doesn't have an expiry date. Shoot with a 1970's Polaroid? You're out of luck! Except that you're not, because the Impossible Project now makes hip film for it. If you like the feel, you could still call yourself son-of-weejee and crank out gorgeous stuff with a speed-graphic. Should you land a gallery show, I guarantee that very few of even your most ardent fans would ask you *how* you produce what you do. More would care about *why* you take the shots you take--they'd ask about the camera last.

If I were shooting a D300s, and if I liked it, and if I were wearing it out, then I'd just buy another one. And then I'd wear that one out.

If you never want to benefit from technology advances and a D300 meets your shooting needs forever, then you're all set.  I, on the other hand, sometimes have to shooting soccer games at ISO 1600 or ISO 3200 and would love a better sensor.  I also sometimes have to shoot at mid-day and could use more DR to protect skin highlights and/or recover shadows.  I also sometimes have to shoot with a TC on an f/4 lens and would love AF improvements that work better at f/5.6 or f/8.  I also sometimes shoot birds in low contrast situations and could use AF that works better with lower contrast.  I sometimes get forced to crop more than I want and could use more pixels that 12MP.  None of these things stop me from shooting right now and I make due with the D300, but all of these areas have advanced in other Nikon cameras so we know Nikon already has the tech to improve all these things.  I could get better images in some circumstances with an improved camera.  I'm willing to spend for one.

I suppose there's the issue of "investment value." The story goes: if Nikon ends DX sometime (!!) then DX equipment won't be useful financial instrument. So far as I can tell, that ship sailed in 2005 on the day Canon introduced the 5D "classic." If you're more camera broker than photographer, DX has been a terrible investment for a very long time.

DX is still ~80% of Nikon's sales and it's a better price/performance tradeoff for most of the population than FX.  So, the ship hasn't sailed on it yet, but it will sail for Nikon products if they stop producing anything more than the D3200 and D5200.

Maybe everyone's just worried about being "left behind." But technology doesn't define the bleeding edge of photography nearly so much as does creativity. State-of-the-art in photography is the art, not necessarily the process or tools by which it gets produced. Sure, I get it that technology enables new possibilities, but who's making the absolute most of *everything* they've got right now? Who's shot *every possible picture* the D300s can produce? Hey, I'd be more worried about shooting crap with the latest and greatest tool than missing the creative edge with Nikon's last generation.

If you really know your equipment and shoot difficult things, then you know what photos your equipment was a limitation on and how those photos would have benefited from a more modern camera.  Sure, lots of photos are not limited by the equipment.  If I was shooting landscape shots in Yosemite, I don't need a large buffer, the last greatest tracking AF or high fps.  Except for missing mirror lock up, a D3200 would do just fine for that type of use.  But, try shooting a darker colored bird in flight at dawn with a confusing background with a TC on your lens.  You will be able to take advantage of every possible tweak Nikon can provide in AF, focus tracking, fps, etc... Or try shooting a soccer team with black uniforms after the sun has set.  These are very challenging things to shoot and every improvement in the equipment helps you get better/more keepers.

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