Open letter to Mr. Thom Hogan (really, to Nikon)

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NaifNaif Junior Member • Posts: 33
Open letter to Mr. Thom Hogan (really, to Nikon)

Dear Mr. Hogan,

I have been reading your Change Begets Change… articles , as I usually do with much you write in your sites, that I follow with interest for a long time. Usually I can identify myself with most your views, but I am having a difficult time accepting what you say here.

That camera makers are transitioning from DSLRs to mirrorless cameras and that they would prefer not to further support DSLR customers, I accept as a fact, but that does not mean that I, as a customer, should be happy with it.

I have no interest arguing about which is better, I might even say that I recognize, with the Z9, that future mirrorless cameras will be really amazing (this already looks like). But there are still many customers that do not have the age, nor the will, to start a new system (for customers with low levels of “disposable income”, building a system, takes many, many years).

After defending a last iteration of the D850 and D500 range, you changed to a D900 and now to a D6h and D6x pair of twins. (I hope I am summarizing it right). I do not doubt, but do not care, that you have heard that Nikon moved from DX (it was a fact even before the Z) and desires to also move from FX as soon as possible. These might be facts, but are painful and unjust decisions for loyal customers of decades. I want to raise my voice against facts.

At least, you defend one last (or two, the twins) seminal DSLR. With it, we all should be happy…

Wrong (in my opinion). We, “ordinary” guys, do not need an ”idol-camera” to look at in Nikon’s pedestal (camera lineup), bowing and praising Nikon for the fantastic achievement of making, by far, the best DSLR ever made. We need tools we can afford and would be happy to, more or less easily, carry with us in a travel, a walk.

The D780 showed the way. Would it have IBIS, kept the built-in flash and have no dissonances between OVF and live-view use, it would be the perfect camera in its range.

You based your conclusions a lot on the feedback you receive from your readers. As you say, the majority of them are using a D850… Why would a D6 (h, x or both?) be the right next last camera for them?

Many also refer the D500… Sorry, nothing for these. And I believe, many more (the silent majority that is still committed to DSLRs) are D7500 folks.

So, I say, perhaps in 6 to 8 years, there will be the time to discuss a last seminal DSLR, for now, we still need real world products. The market size is too small to make many different cameras? “Change begets change” (I will also reduce my desired larger lineup), let us make only one FX and one DX camera.

For FX, I believe a D880 would be the right choice, (I would rather say a D890, as the D780 wasn’t quite a mature, full-accomplished “marriage” of a DSLR with the sensor of a mirrorless; not only because of the missing, already mentioned, features, but because new things, like the improving of AF with the help of the sensor, could be implemented), never a D6 type of camera and the inclusion of Z9 technology is too precocious and expensive (by now). So, I fully agree with your first idea.

As for DX, (that would have much more diverse customers, I believe), the question is not so easy. The D580, wouldn´t be the right answer (no, also not the top end here). We would need a camera to appeal both to the D500 and D7500 customer. That would be, essentially, a D580 with D7500 size and weight (and, unfortunately, but necessarily, only the D7500 built quality, lower fps than some might desire for a D580 and, I believe, the use of SD cards) and the built-in flash, user presets (U1, U2, …), IBIS of course; at an intermediate price point between the D500 and D7500. Here would be the camera to satisfy everybody (I hope), even a D850 customer as an ideal second camera: a much more portable camera with exactly the same UI, while also giving extra reach to their telephoto lenses.

Of course, some details are disputable, everybody will have his own view of how to make these the most “perfect” cameras in their range, but not the place to do it here; the important is the concept of useful tools for the most extensive variety of customers.

Only a final note. I can understand Nikon’s strategy, at the time, “crippling” the D780 in order to protect the Zs (more buttons, even in-built flash… and wait, IBIS!?!), but now the message is clear (no more “crippling” needed): Are you starting photography with a dedicated camera? Go Z. Are you still young? Consider, as soon as possible to you, transitioning to Z. Do you need/want the latest and greatest and can afford it? Hurry up to Z.

For people like me, let us (and the F-mount) enjoy a long, well cared old age, do not starve us, prematurely, to death.

Best regards.

Nikon D500 Nikon D7500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z9
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