Nikon in 2018

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Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Senior Member • Posts: 2,729
Nikon in 2018
3

2018 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for Nikon, both figuratively and literally. In his recent blog post, Thom Hogan forecasts what he expects to see. It's an interesting read that includes the release of two mirrorless bodies (FX and DX), several new lenses designed for a new mirrorless mount and Nikon effectively killing all FX DSLRs below the D850.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikons-2018.html

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T O Shooter Veteran Member • Posts: 8,187
Re: Nikon in 2018
3

Bill Ferris wrote:

2018 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for Nikon, both figuratively and literally. In his recent blog post, Thom Hogan forecasts what he expects to see. It's an interesting read that includes the release of two mirrorless bodies (FX and DX), several new lenses designed for a new mirrorless mount and Nikon effectively killing all FX DSLRs below the D850.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikons-2018.html

Nikon is lost.  Those two mirrorless will need to be really, really good if they're going to take sales away from the Fujis and Sonys.  With a new mount for mirrorless, unless the adapter for F mount is seamless, there's no point in buying the Nikon ML over any other.

With no DSLRs below a D850, Nikon has said the DSLR is dead. ( assuming any of it is true )  I said in another thread that it's time to sell my big primes and probably my 200-400.  If I get out now and I can always jump back in at a lower price.  Hate to do it, as all my lenses are pristine bought from older owners and barely used, at fantastic prices, but.............

No point in going down with the F mount ship.

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ahrensjt Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Nikon in 2018
2

I am actually quite optimistic that the FF mirrorless will be highly capable - much more "mature" than the early Sonys.  Many of the things Nikon does REALLY well in their DSLRs are directly "portable" to mirrorless models:  ergonomics (button/customization/menus/etc) for one.  Also, functions like Autofocus should be able to be ported because the "programming logic" can remain mostly the same, but the inputs coming from on-sensor phase points rather than the DSLR sensor.  Same for metering (smostly the same code, but inputs come from the sensor.
Yes, it is easier said than done, but Nikon has shown that their best engineers bake class-leading cameras:  D850, D750, D500, D7500.  The one main area is to match Canon's Dual-Pixel AF, which is where Nikon does not have experience.  But for most other aspects of a mirrorless body, I'm optimistic.

Jeff

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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,145
Re: Nikon in 2018

Not much interested n a DX ml system, but it’ll be interesting to have it out soon so we can have a better idea where N is going w ml. I hope the smaller, low-light FX ml comes then, a great street/candid compact FF with a couple of fast primes, the camera I want. If Nikon goes with fat, dslr-like body style only, Sony is the first option.

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ahrensjt Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Nikon in 2018
2

Ironically, seeing that the N1 series cameras are basically being discontinued reminded me that Nikon in fact DOES have high performance mirrorless experience.  The N cameras were 20fps, on-sensor phase AF, and many people think that it was bad "marketing" that doomed them.  (Specifically, packaging high-tech into consumer bodies with no appeal to pros, and not being comparable with flash units and the existing Nikon world - they tried to recreate too much).

So my hunch is that Full Frame mirrorless model will be a pleasant surprise.  There won't be enough lenses, for sure, but from a capabilities perspective I think it will establish that there is a future in Nikon mirrorless.
Not sure about the lower-end DX model that Thom Hogan projects, but I think this could reach Canon M level right away (the key being AF that is close to dual pixel).  Maybe not an A6500 challenger, but enough to establish Nikon as a legit mirrorless player.
Just my hunch.

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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,145
Re: Nikon in 2018
1

T O Shooter wrote:

Bill Ferris wrote:

2018 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for Nikon, both figuratively and literally. In his recent blog post, Thom Hogan forecasts what he expects to see. It's an interesting read that includes the release of two mirrorless bodies (FX and DX), several new lenses designed for a new mirrorless mount and Nikon effectively killing all FX DSLRs below the D850.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikons-2018.html

Nikon is lost. Those two mirrorless will need to be really, really good if they're going to take sales away from the Fujis and Sonys. With a new mount for mirrorless, unless the adapter for F mount is seamless, there's no point in buying the Nikon ML over any other.

With no DSLRs below a D850, Nikon has said the DSLR is dead. ( assuming any of it is true ) I said in another thread that it's time to sell my big primes and probably my 200-400. If I get out now and I can always jump back in at a lower price. Hate to do it, as all my lenses are pristine bought from older owners and barely used, at fantastic prices, but.............

No point in going down with the F mount ship.

I doubt Nikon, after all the effort to get the dslr about perfect with D850, will just abandon the D750 line. It’d be easy for them just to put the new AF system in a D750 level body and sell them at a decent price. R&D is already being paid for by D850 revenues.

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havoc315 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,304
Re: Nikon in 2018
1

I was going to post Thom's article.

If he is right, then Nikon has firmly decided to go with a new mount for mirrorless. They are going to do FX and DX. They have debated which to do first. But we are going to start seeing something very quickly.

Some thoughts:

Adapter: The decision to go new mount makes the quality of the adapter pivotal. As Thom points out, Nikon is starting way behind in "native" lenses. If there is a fantastic adapter, the lens issue becomes a much less significant issue. We know Canon will ultimately be able to do a great full frame adapter: They already have a good APS-C adapter. Canon lenses adapt very nicely onto Sony full frame cameras, so they will only adapt even better on to a full frame Canon mirrorless. On the other hand, to date, we have never seen a true full functional Nikon adapter. There was the FT1 adapter -- it worked reasonably well on a 1" sensor. But it did not provide full functionality, it was limited to center point AF. There are adapters for Nikon lenses to Sony FE. I was playing with one today, trying it with a couple Nikon lenses. It works, but definitely not nearly as well as Canon lenses adapt. (It basically stuttered into focus). So whether Nikon can do a 100% flawless adapter is simply unknown.

Adapter #2: http://thenewcamera.com/exclusive-nikon-patent-af-adapter-to-use-dslr-lenses-in-mirrorless/

We know Nikon has a patent for a "SLT" adapter.  This would not solve the lens issue.  If Nikon goes this route, it is a very imperfect solution.   This could potentially give Nikon F-mount lenses excellent focus -- in fact, the EXACT same as a Nikon dSLR.   That has a pro (Nikon dSLR focus is excellent).. but also has a pro (it is not compatible with most of the benefits of mirrorless autofocus).      It wouldn't give AF over the entire full frame.   It can't really do things like eye-AF.   It doesn't eliminate focus shift issues, etc.   And it adds an entirely new problem: light loss.  If they go with this adapter, then they are basically just letting you use your mirrorless camera as a dSLR with an EVF.

FX first:   If you asked me a year ago, I would have said Nikon should go with FX mirrorless first.   My reasoning, a year ago:   The DX/APS-C market is crowded.  As of a year ago, the Sony A6300 and A6500 were recent entries.  Canon was just doing the M5 and M6.  You have Fuji..... you still had Samsung for a bit.... and m4:3 competes with DX.  On the other hand, full frame had Sony and Leica only.   I felt Nikon could really benefit from beating Canon to the full frame market.   And with less competition in full frame, Nikon could make a more buzz-worthy splash.    Some of the logic still applies, but now...

Maybe DX first:   How my thinking has changed a little since a year ago.  Nikon has the D850, a product that is still buzzing and making full frame shooters happy.   But Nion needs sales volume and a well priced quality APS-C camera will typically generate a lot more volume than a full frame camera.   Nikon hasn't had a buzz worthy DX camera in 2 years, since the D500.  The D7500 reception has been lukewarm.  My understanding (as suggested by Thom) is that DX sales are soft overall.   Meanwhile, Sony hasn't been focused on the DX market in the last year (no APS-C cameras in 2017).

So an affordable DX camera may be the perfect way to introduce Nikon mirrorless into the world, with a clear roadmap that full frame is coming.   If priced right, every serious Nikon shooter might buy one as a backup/second body...  giving them a chance to start sampling Nikon mirrorless, start the road of buying new lenses.   This about it... if you're a D850/D5 shooter... or even a D500 shooter with $5,000 worth of lenses, wouldn't you be interested in a small portable backup body packed with the newest technology and video features, for $899?

Do 2 DX bodies:   Without EVF for $749, with EVF for $899.  (body only, add another $150 for kit lens).

Enthusiast/big budget shooters who fall in love with their $899 Nikon M-DX will line up to buy the $2300 M-FX that gets released at Photokina.

Starting with DX also gives them a few months to perfect the product before releasing for the more discriminating FX market.

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havoc315 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,304
Re: Nikon in 2018
3

ahrensjt wrote:

Ironically, seeing that the N1 series cameras are basically being discontinued reminded me that Nikon in fact DOES have high performance mirrorless experience. The N cameras were 20fps, on-sensor phase AF, and many people think that it was bad "marketing" that doomed them. (Specifically, packaging high-tech into consumer bodies with no appeal to pros, and not being comparable with flash units and the existing Nikon world - they tried to recreate too much).

Bad marketing, terrible pricing, lack of lens development, terrible ergonomics and user interface. But there was some great tech in the cameras. The ability to upsize the tech to full frame is the question. But my bet is that Nikon can do it.

So my hunch is that Full Frame mirrorless model will be a pleasant surprise. There won't be enough lenses, for sure, but from a capabilities perspective I think it will establish that there is a future in Nikon mirrorless.
Not sure about the lower-end DX model that Thom Hogan projects, but I think this could reach Canon M level right away (the key being AF that is close to dual pixel). Maybe not an A6500 challenger, but enough to establish Nikon as a legit mirrorless player.
Just my hunch.

If they can nail the autofocus (big if), then they could actually challenge the A6500 right out of the gate. Remember, the A6500 still has terrible battery life, a laggy touch screen. It is a not exactly a brand new camera -- it is a year and a half old, and still based on a pretty old sensor design. And many people would say the ergonomics of the A6500 are pretty poor. (Personally, I love the features and performance of the A6300/A6500... but the ergonomics really are poor). They might not get a camera as fast as the A6500 out of the gate, but if done right, they could get a camera that overall is more appealing than the A6500. They also could/should be pricing well below the A6500.

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havoc315 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,304
Re: Nikon in 2018
6

ahrensjt wrote:

I am actually quite optimistic that the FF mirrorless will be highly capable - much more "mature" than the early Sonys.

Yes... but they aren't competing with the early Sony's.  They need to come pretty close to matching current Sonys, Canons and Fujis.

Many of the things Nikon does REALLY well in their DSLRs are directly "portable" to mirrorless models: ergonomics (button/customization/menus/etc) for one.

Yes.   This is a possible strength.  BUT.... let's look at the truly horrible UI and ergonomics of the Nikon "1" series.   It's not an automatic that they will do a good job porting over their strengths.  So keep your fingers crossed.

Also, functions like Autofocus should be able to be ported because the "programming logic" can remain mostly the same, but the inputs coming from on-sensor phase points rather than the DSLR sensor. Same for metering (smostly the same code, but inputs come from the sensor.
Yes, it is easier said than done, but Nikon has shown that their best engineers bake class-leading cameras: D850, D750, D500, D7500.

Nikon has great engineers... no question.   But they are facing some extreme challenges.   As you implied above-- Sony went through multiple generations to get to their present state.  Nikon has to get it right, right away.    Meanwhile, Canon has been using a uniform fully electronic format for all their legacy lenses for 30 years... which makes adapting lenses far easier than when you have to deal with Nikon's various D, G, E lenses.    So they do have great engineers.... but this may be the most challenging project they have ever faced.   I'm optimistic, but call it tempered optimism.

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xPhoenix
xPhoenix Senior Member • Posts: 1,140
Re: Nikon in 2018
1

havoc315 wrote:

ahrensjt wrote:

I am actually quite optimistic that the FF mirrorless will be highly capable - much more "mature" than the early Sonys.

Yes... but they aren't competing with the early Sony's. They need to come pretty close to matching current Sonys, Canons and Fujis.

Many of the things Nikon does REALLY well in their DSLRs are directly "portable" to mirrorless models: ergonomics (button/customization/menus/etc) for one.

Yes. This is a possible strength. BUT.... let's look at the truly horrible UI and ergonomics of the Nikon "1" series. It's not an automatic that they will do a good job porting over their strengths. So keep your fingers crossed.

Also, functions like Autofocus should be able to be ported because the "programming logic" can remain mostly the same, but the inputs coming from on-sensor phase points rather than the DSLR sensor. Same for metering (smostly the same code, but inputs come from the sensor.
Yes, it is easier said than done, but Nikon has shown that their best engineers bake class-leading cameras: D850, D750, D500, D7500.

Nikon has great engineers... no question. But they are facing some extreme challenges. As you implied above-- Sony went through multiple generations to get to their present state. Nikon has to get it right, right away. Meanwhile, Canon has been using a uniform fully electronic format for all their legacy lenses for 30 years... which makes adapting lenses far easier than when you have to deal with Nikon's various D, G, E lenses. So they do have great engineers.... but this may be the most challenging project they have ever faced. I'm optimistic, but call it tempered optimism.

Yep, that part about getting it right, right away is crucial.  IMO, they waited way too long to get into the mirrorless scene, and it's going to be a very tough battle at this point.  I just got the D850, so my needs should be well-served for many years to come.  Going mirrorless was very tempting (and I probably would've went with Sony), but for my interests (wildlife and nature), the 850 made more sense.

Good luck, Nikon!

T O Shooter Veteran Member • Posts: 8,187
Re: Nikon in 2018
6

havoc315 wrote:

ahrensjt wrote:

I am actually quite optimistic that the FF mirrorless will be highly capable - much more "mature" than the early Sonys.

Yes... but they aren't competing with the early Sony's. They need to come pretty close to matching current Sonys, Canons and Fujis.

Nikon may have great engineers, but I remember their first attempt at a D850.  ( D800 ) and their first and last attempt at a D750 ( D600, D750 ).  Are they all of a sudden going to get that much better and be able to nail ML the first try, when they couldn't nail what they do ( DSLRs ) the first, maybe second try. I wouldn't go betting the farm on it.

Many of the things Nikon does REALLY well in their DSLRs are directly "portable" to mirrorless models: ergonomics (button/customization/menus/etc) for one.

Yes. This is a possible strength. BUT.... let's look at the truly horrible UI and ergonomics of the Nikon "1" series. It's not an automatic that they will do a good job porting over their strengths. So keep your fingers crossed.

Also, functions like Autofocus should be able to be ported because the "programming logic" can remain mostly the same, but the inputs coming from on-sensor phase points rather than the DSLR sensor. Same for metering (smostly the same code, but inputs come from the sensor.
Yes, it is easier said than done, but Nikon has shown that their best engineers bake class-leading cameras: D850, D750, D500, D7500.

Nikon has great engineers... no question. But they are facing some extreme challenges. As you implied above-- Sony went through multiple generations to get to their present state. Nikon has to get it right, right away. Meanwhile, Canon has been using a uniform fully electronic format for all their legacy lenses for 30 years... which makes adapting lenses far easier than when you have to deal with Nikon's various D, G, E lenses. So they do have great engineers.... but this may be the most challenging project they have ever faced. I'm optimistic, but call it tempered optimism.

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ahrensjt Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Nikon in 2018
2

xPhoenix wrote:

Yep, that part about getting it right, right away is crucial. IMO, they waited way too long to get into the mirrorless scene, and it's going to be a very tough battle at this point. I just got the D850, so my needs should be well-served for many years to come.

D850 is awesome.  Nikon at least has a shot at my business.  My Panasonic G5 and Olympus E-M5i will be six years old this summer, and I want to upgrade to:

- better low light performance than m43
- stills + 4k video, especially of my young kids

Fuji AF capability (and slow lens motors) are insufficient at least right now.  A6500 looks good, but Nikon controls+ergonomics, lossless compressed RAW, etc could swing it.  Ironically, Nikon could have BETTER AF in video than the A6500 (see DPR's review).

Also ironically, Panasonic pushes me away because I would have to upgrade a number of lenses to newer versions to get their DFD Autofocus - which still is not A6500 level.  So if I'm going to spend $$ to upgrade body AND lenses, it opens more options.

Hopefully Nikon put their A-team on these products.

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GrapeJam
GrapeJam Senior Member • Posts: 1,146
Re: Nikon in 2018
2

T O Shooter wrote:

Bill Ferris wrote:

2018 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for Nikon, both figuratively and literally. In his recent blog post, Thom Hogan forecasts what he expects to see. It's an interesting read that includes the release of two mirrorless bodies (FX and DX), several new lenses designed for a new mirrorless mount and Nikon effectively killing all FX DSLRs below the D850.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikons-2018.html

Nikon is lost. Those two mirrorless will need to be really, really good if they're going to take sales away from the Fujis and Sonys. With a new mount for mirrorless, unless the adapter for F mount is seamless, there's no point in buying the Nikon ML over any other.

With no DSLRs below a D850, Nikon has said the DSLR is dead. ( assuming any of it is true ) I said in another thread that it's time to sell my big primes and probably my 200-400. If I get out now and I can always jump back in at a lower price. Hate to do it, as all my lenses are pristine bought from older owners and barely used, at fantastic prices, but.............

No point in going down with the F mount ship.

Wat

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ahrensjt Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Nikon in 2018
2

T O Shooter wrote:

Nikon may have great engineers, but I remember their first attempt at a D850. ( D800 ) and their first and last attempt at a D750 ( D600, D750 ). Are they all of a sudden going to get that much better and be able to nail ML the first try, when they couldn't nail what they do ( DSLRs ) the first, maybe second try. I wouldn't go betting the farm on it.

That's a good point - add the N series to that observation as well, and possibly DL.

The D500 is probably their best "template" to follow - yes, an upgrade, but ages apart from the D300s... and with a stronger push on video.

Jeff

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sts2
sts2 Contributing Member • Posts: 807
My 2 cents
1

It's pretty simple: Nikon basically has the best tech available already for the "guts" of the camera (image sensor, AF). They currently make the best DSLRs in the world, and the Nikon 1 series already had lots of tech that's now being hailed as "game-changing" with the A9 years later, albeit in a smaller sensor. They also have an incredibly extensive range of lenses that many of their users are already (heavily) invested in.

We also know that ergnomics, design, and reliability are incredibly important. Switching brands is an expensive ordeal for many, so they have to give their current users an incentive to stay with Nikon.

Finally: abandoning DSLR cold-turkey means abandoning the professional market altogether. With all the hoo-hah on forums about how brilliant mirrorless is, less than 5% of the pros I know and see uses Fuji or Sony or whatever. They all use Canon and Nikon. Tells you something, doesn't it?

So if Nikon is going the mirrorless route, they need to get this right:

- The bodies need to be as reliable as a brick and as ergonomic as a DSLR. There should be no compromise in the grip, and it will need to be as large as it needs to be.

- Battery life should be somewhere between a DSLR and a current mirrorless. A larger body can accomodate a larger battery, so that should be no problem.

- They NEED to have a GOOD F-mount adapter available right out of the gate. This means early adopters can buy the body and use it with their current lenses, making it a much smaller investment to get a taste of this "mirrorless goodness".

- The performance (mainly AF and IQ) need to be as good as what we can expect from their DSLRs

- They should be serious about their product. I always thought of the Nikon 1 as a bit of a consumer toy, and never gave it much thought. I guess many people did

- This will result in a product that appeals not just to enthusiasts, but to pros as well. Having a good foothold in the professional market yields benefits (role models, ambassadors, feedback, references etc) that can spill over into the enthusiast market.

- They need to keep development into new DSLRs going until they've established a significant reputation with mirrorless

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 14,876
Re: Nikon in 2018
1

It is difficult to comment constructively on a forecast about a forecast!

Nikon rattled a few feathers in 1986 when they introduced 12 new AF lenses; nothing spectacular, with long telephotos going AF some time later.

There are very few who remain manual focus only in 2018.

This aside I see lots of "golden oldies" who for whatever reason are no longer as physically strong as they were moving to smaller more compact systems, and no great change in younger photographers moving into DSLR's.

With the "oldies going or gone" the traditional DSLR market has shrunk somewhat but has not disappeared.

The perhaps serious competition for Canon as well as Nikon is Sony is increasingly moving into the high end territory, and medium format digital is becoming a little more affordable.

How Nikon responds is in some ways of no practical interest until Nikon responds.

Right now there is nothing to respond to with CES having come and gone for Nikon and Canon..

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Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than the equipment being used.

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bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 56,767
Re: Nikon in 2018
3

Bill Ferris wrote:

2018 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for Nikon, both figuratively and literally. In his recent blog post, Thom Hogan forecasts what he expects to see. It's an interesting read that includes the release of two mirrorless bodies (FX and DX), several new lenses designed for a new mirrorless mount and Nikon effectively killing all FX DSLRs below the D850.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikons-2018.html

Thom's article is pure speculation, dressed up to appear as though it has hard information behind it. Some of it might be right, but look back at his previous record, he's not been as right as people imagine.

I would think that there are simple answers to the lens problems he cites, using a mixture of new mount variants of existing Nikon lenses and subcontracting the third parities such as Sigma, Tamron and Tokina, that already have working lenses than can be adapted to the new mount.

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 56,767
Re: Nikon in 2018
2

havoc315 wrote:

BUT.... let's look at the truly horrible UI and ergonomics of the Nikon "1" series.

The UI and ergonomics of the 1 series was really good, just not what people were used to, so got dismissed out of hand by the conservatives (UI wise).

T O Shooter Veteran Member • Posts: 8,187
Re: Nikon in 2018
3

GrapeJam wrote:

T O Shooter wrote:

Bill Ferris wrote:

2018 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for Nikon, both figuratively and literally. In his recent blog post, Thom Hogan forecasts what he expects to see. It's an interesting read that includes the release of two mirrorless bodies (FX and DX), several new lenses designed for a new mirrorless mount and Nikon effectively killing all FX DSLRs below the D850.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikons-2018.html

Nikon is lost. Those two mirrorless will need to be really, really good if they're going to take sales away from the Fujis and Sonys. With a new mount for mirrorless, unless the adapter for F mount is seamless, there's no point in buying the Nikon ML over any other.

With no DSLRs below a D850, Nikon has said the DSLR is dead. ( assuming any of it is true ) I said in another thread that it's time to sell my big primes and probably my 200-400. If I get out now and I can always jump back in at a lower price. Hate to do it, as all my lenses are pristine bought from older owners and barely used, at fantastic prices, but.............

No point in going down with the F mount ship.

Wat

??

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havoc315 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,304
Re: Nikon in 2018
6

bobn2 wrote:

havoc315 wrote:

BUT.... let's look at the truly horrible UI and ergonomics of the Nikon "1" series.

The UI and ergonomics of the 1 series was really good, just not what people were used to, so got dismissed out of hand by the conservatives (UI wise).

To each their own.   It still takes me 10 minutes to figure out how to change the shutter speed on my son's J3.   And there is basically no grip.

 havoc315's gear list:havoc315's gear list
Sony a6300 Sony Alpha a7R III Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Sony FE 35mm F2.8 +10 more
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