Hello, F-mount (and DX) customer(s) still here!

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NaifNaif Junior Member • Posts: 31
Hello, F-mount (and DX) customer(s) still here!

It’s with satisfaction that I keep reading from some very capable and respected analysts (my opinion) that DSLRs are still a product to continue developing, at least for some time more. I want to join my voice to them and add some personal views (instead of simply repeating what I read). As a Nikon customer I will limit my references to this brand, I suppose some of them could be valid to Canon too.

1 – The F-mount constitutes an immense legacy, everybody says; but F-mount customers are also, by themselves, a “legacy” that is being disregarded. I won’t change to Z, not for the foreseeable future, nor easily (I speak for myself).

2 – An optical viewfinder still has great/ some fascination. It might even be/ become only a matter of irrational sentimental connection, but it is real and I believe will keep its enchantment for a considerable user base for a long time (perhaps EVFs will eventually be exchanged for something else and OVFs will still appeal to many).

3 – My (desired) view for the future of Nikon (contrary or, at least, diverging from the opinions I read) would be a two-mount company: F and Z, but with the Z-mount more dedicated to full frame, being Z-DX mainly a complement, and the F-mount becoming gradually a dedicated DX system with FX as a complement (and adding m4/3 offerings).

I must explain this view a little better:

1 – The F-mount has a somewhat small throat to FF, but the Z is too big for crop sensors.

2 – A complete system needs a smaller sensor, fully compatible camera offering (my opinion). So, DX, to become a “major” system, needs a m4/3 complement (using the F-mount, obviously, although I would make it mirrorless). (I believe that the FX DSLRs could then become a niche of that future DX-centered system).

3 – DX was the larger part of the DSLRs sales. I do not believe that all these customers are gone (but ever more should be in the process); they simply do not have anything interesting to buy:

3.1 – For too long Nikon pursued this policy of uninteresting iterations and crippling of the DX system. They did not want people to buy DX, so we did not, but most do not buy FX (or mirrorless) also, because we don’t want to.

3.2 – Smartphones are only a part of the question; all their image quality and attempts of bigger sensors are not the point, what matters is the user experience. No viewfinder, no ergonomics, no buttons. Even a compact camera could continue to have its attraction with the right features. Yes, give them a pop-up viewfinder; a real-camera responsiveness; a variable-speed motorized-zoom button, effectively usable for video (zooming slowly and controllably) like the old camcorders had and a manual zoom ring for stills and there you have a camera untouchable by phones. Give these camera “smart” features and I would carry one instead of the phone every day. (The ever-bigger screens for games or watching Tv are useless to me and make them uncomfortable to carry). So, FF is not necessary to keep the “distance” to smartphones: a phone is a phone, a camera should be a camera; IQ is irrelevant (it is now always good enough for most), but how and what kind of photographs and videos can be made is the question.

3.3 – Can it really be that no D780-like upgrade comes to DX? That would be interesting to buy. But please, go all to the end of it: no dissonances between OVF and Live-view UX; put IBIS on our DSLRs… don’t you want to sell? Will the DX system die without ever seeing its fulfillment?

I do not resist to express some camera desires before ending. Some insist too much (I think) only at the top-end: D880 and D580. I could agree with the “only” D880 (and D6 and D780 for some time) for FX, but the D580 is not a DX-class camera, it is too big and expensive, it is mostly a complement to use FX lenses. I really believe in a smaller-cameras-and-more-economical DX system.

So, a D7800 would be most necessary, with all the mirrorless goodies and the same button layout of the D580 (I could forgive the extra Fn2 button, but then really why?). It is time to end with that senseless UI design dissonance. What should differentiate the two cameras should be the extra size and heft of the D580 (that is an advantage for some, but not for most); the built quality and extra toughness; the use of twin CF cards instead of twin SD cards; an additional, well implemented “bank system” to the user presets (make it at least 5 U (U1, U2, … U5) for both); the extra fps (at least 12 fps for the D580, 10 for the D7800); an “infinite” buffer for the D580; a mic to attach audio notes to the photographs; a bigger viewfinder… there is so much to add, without crippling the D7800. (Don’t be stubborn, don’t also take the built-in flash away, don’t take us our fun to buy it.)

I would also make an SL1 (1, not 2 or 3) sized camera, but a much higher-end camera than Canon’s, maintaining the idea of a coherent UI with the other of the lineup as much as possible. A miniature, but serious camera, that anyone would love to carry in an exhausting hike. All these cameras using a new 32(?) MP sensor common to the higher-end Z-DX camera to come (two Z-DX cameras could be enough, I think). [If an entry-level camera would prove to be desired, a D5800 type camera, fully revamped, could be interesting, using the same sensor of the Z50. I know some entry-level hobbyists, that believe that a “real” camera must have an OVF; this should perhaps not be forgotten when thinking to attract new customers.]

And start to give us the right lenses. Most DX customers are price-sensitive but have big expectations; a new type of what I call middle-class lenses must be created for DX (in the FX realm there are already some), the right balance between not-so-high-nor-low built quality but convincing specifications/ performance must be searched to offer appealing options at acceptable prices.

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