D5, A9… or waiting for Z9 (sports photography)

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 7,493
Re: D5, A9… or waiting for Z9 (sports photography)

Droster wrote:

primeshooter wrote:

T O Shooter wrote:

michaeladawson wrote:

My question is why haven’t you, TO, lickity, et.al. left already? It’s apparently clear from your opinions that Nikon will never make mirrorless cameras that beat their DSLR counterparts.

I did not say that. The Z9 very well might.

Or if it does, the fallback reasoning is going to be that it doesn’t match the competition.

As Primeshooter just posted, and I re-posted to Thierry

A recent comment from Ryan Cooper at f stoppers -

I think, for me, as a Nikon shooter the biggest problem Nikon is facing is that it is a really tough sell getting me to jump into Nikon Z. (I am still on Nikon F).

Nikon Z seems like a perfectly good line but it doesn't appear to have anything whatsoever setting it apart to justify the downsides. They claim the larger lens mount design offers optical opportunities that their competitors lack but in reality that hasn't actually come to fruition in any meaningful way. (other than an absurdly expensive manual 50)

Add in the fact that Nikon, as a business, seems to be on awfully wobbly ground which makes me very apprehensive about investing in that platform. If/when I decide to go mirrorless, what does sticking to Nikon really benefit me over switching brands? I can just as easily adapt my existing glass to Sony as I can to Nikon Z. It isn't measurably better. I don't save money by sticking to Nikon. I don't have much brand loyalty.

I like Nikon. I think Nikon Z is a very solid system and can produce world-class images. I just can't justify investing in it. I'm not the only one.

it’s also quite clear that Canon and Nikon are shrinking their DSLR business. A D880 may or may not appear and since the refresh of the pro line is 4 years even a D7 becomes questionable.

I am not looking for a new DSLR, likely never. I bought a 6000 shot D2h about 15 years after it was released. I could do that with a D850 or D6 in 15 years time. And get another 15 years out of them. The D2h still works as good as it did new.

Or are you all going to shoot with your existing gear for the next 30 years?

Or maybe you are all 70 already and are going to ride your gear into the sunset.

Likely neither. I switch to Sony Alpha except a Sony Alpha in Toronto would run be $10k. If that was $5000 or $6000 I'd be gone.

Otherwise, based on what I’ve heard I’m scratching my head.

You may be extracting what you want to hear, not what's being said. As from Ryan Cooper at f stoppers, this IS the new narrative on Nikon by many.

"what does sticking to Nikon really benefit me over switching brands? I can just as easily adapt my existing glass to Sony as I can to Nikon Z. It isn't measurably better. I don't save money by sticking to Nikon. I don't have much brand loyalty."

Nikon dropped the ball by not locking us in. They opened it wide open. How stupid of them.*

*a more than half hearted attempt at an adapter might have helped them on this one. Just a bit.

I mean for most of the target audience of this camera who have lenses like the 400, 500, 600, 800, the current adapter works. Or people who uses the trinity, we have the native lenses, or the adapter works too.

If it seems like Nikon's not targeting the two of you specifically, it may be because they've done enough to lock in the people who matter.

Nikon has been forcing out customers who matter for years. Since 2013, Nikon has lost more than half its market share. Taking into account the fact the market has contracted significantly over the last eight years, that market share loss probably translates to a 60% or greater decline in total Nikon customers.

Nikon hasn't locked in any of their their current flagship shooters. They haven't locked in D850 shooters. Nor have they locked in D500, D750, or D7500 shooters. Those of us who haven't migrated to another brand and are waiting to see what the Z9 will be, have mentally prepared for the possibility that Nikon mirrorless AF and user interface won't be class-leading; not in the same way the most recent generation of flagship and professional DSLRs were.

If the Z9 fails as a flagship - an outcome I do not expect -  Nikon will eventually join Fuji and Olympus as a company making quality products that customers enjoy using but that nobody who matters will talk about or consider in the same class as Canon and Sony. Nikon market share will drop into the low-double or high-single digits. It won't be pretty.

And also if one's heart is set on switching, does it matter what Nikon does anymore? "The adapter's not good enough."
"The AF won't be good enough."

This is entirely subjective.

Any objective comparison of Nikon mirrorless AF finds it lacking in comparison with Canon and Sony.

I'm looking forward to see what the Z9 brings to the table. I'm looking forward to the future Z lenses. You may not be and you'll be right to hold that position. I mean the Sony's right there but you're not moving on. You're just stuck here hanging on to the bitterness. Time to move on yo. The a1 should be in stock soon.

It's not bitterness; it's disappointment. Nikon built a significant customer base by developing and releasing the best DSLRs in the world: D3, D700, D300, D4, D810, D5, D850, D500.

They also allowed sloppy quality control (D600) to tarnish the Nikon brand. They failed miserably in their first two attempts at entry into mirrorless: Nikon 1 and the DL series. Nikon had thousands of customers on waiting lists for the DLs but cancelled the series before releasing a single camera.

Nikon has also alienated customers by rolling out warmed over "meh..." upgrades like the D780.

I was genuinely excited about the Zs when they were announced. I figured (and said in multiple DPR posts) that if Nikon adopted the Sony strategy of aggressively releasing gen II and III updates, they could quickly sort out the bugs and end up with class-leading products by year-three. That hasn't happened. We're in the gen IIs, which are modestly improved - mostly as a result of firmware updates - from the gen I cameras and widely regarded as distant thirds in comparison with their Canon and Sony counterparts.

The Z9 is Nikon's last bite at the apple, as far as I'm concerned. Either they release a flagship monster and an APS-C version for D500 shooters, or it may be time to add a low-shutter count used D500 or D850 just to have 'em on the shelf in the closet for the day I finally wear out my current D500.

If that were to happen, I'd be disappointed in Nikon. They worked hard for decades to establish the Nikon brand as one professionals and serious enthusiasts associate with quality, class-leading products. They've flirted too long with squandering that. I've been shooting Nikon film and digital cameras for 30 years. I want the Z9 and their future mirrorless products to be both excellent and financially successful.

But if they're not...

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Bill Ferris Photography
Flagstaff, AZ

 Bill Ferris's gear list:Bill Ferris's gear list
Nikon D610 Nikon D500 Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +4 more
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