Richard Butler

Richard Butler

DPReview Administrator
Lives in United Kingdom Seattle, United Kingdom
Works as a Technical Editor
Joined on Nov 7, 2007
About me:

Richard graduated as a scientist but had a lot more fun writing and shooting for his university magazine. A number of years spent variously as a reporter, writer and editor on science and engineering titles combined his knowledge of science with his interest in images and words. But it was spotting the connections between emission spectra, white balance and all the nonsense he'd taught himself playing around in Photoshop that helped kindle an interest in digital photography. Searching for a camera led to him discovering DPReview and Richard was recruited by Phil Askey in 2007. He's been combining his love of photography, communication and attention to detail (pedantry?) ever since.

He has unusually strong opinions about lenses for the APS-C format.

Comments

Total: 6145, showing: 6061 – 6080
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On article Why make a small-sensor mirrorless camera? (271 comments in total)
In reply to:

Timothy Stark: The target market Nikon wants to attract is not represented by the readers of DPR.

I sold cameras as my first job, Nikon sold Nikkormat 50 F2 kits at a rate of about 150:1 of the F2's. This is the same market plan, updated.

Everyone who uses a Nikon D whatever and has a bag of lenses knows 20 people that don't. Onlookers who ooh and ah at the shots pouring from skilled photographers only need to know: they can buy a NIKON with interchangable lenses that is small and expensive.

Noticed the demise of the independent camera shop? They aren't needed anymore. Nikon, Canon, whoever has an enormous, global and free sales force known as "enthusiast photographers".

I use a 5D with old Contax glass, and a Pentax DS with either an M mount 28 2.8, or a 300 4.5 F*. I do not own a single Canon lens and I get asked about cameras all the time.

Nikon understands nodern marketing by spheres of influence and I'm certain they will sell boatloads. Just not to me and at least 137 other DPR readers!

I suspect you may be proved right.

Link | Posted on Sep 22, 2011 at 00:40 UTC
In reply to:

Cyril Reif: What a strategic mistake.....Nikon should have gone with Micro Four Thirds and competed head-to-head with Panasonic and Olympus...what cowards. They would have also created a great new market for Micro Four Thirds Nikkor lenses......and I've been a loyal Nikon user for over 40 years!

There's a difference between allowing lens makers to join (which can make the system seem more attractive), and letting one of the market's biggest players join.

I'd also query whether you can have a 'pretty open' standard. If someone can prevent you joining, it's not open.

Link | Posted on Sep 22, 2011 at 00:38 UTC
In reply to:

RedFox88: I can't seem to find a note about this. Does the Nikon 1 have in-body image stabilization via a moving image sensor or even optically in the lenses?

It's in three of the four lenses announced so far.

Link | Posted on Sep 22, 2011 at 00:31 UTC
In reply to:

Leuf: 13.2mm x 8.8mm = 15.86mm diagonal = 0.624 inches. How is that a 1" sensor?

They're actually called '1" type' sensors. It's a crazy but sadly industry-wide way of describing the format of the sensor, not any actual dimension. That's why we always state the actual size - we're not just giving the metric conversion:

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/key=sensor+sizes

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 23:29 UTC
On article Why make a small-sensor mirrorless camera? (271 comments in total)
In reply to:

Skip M: I disagree that this path will work to Nikon's advantage. Many consumers are getting wise to the sensor size issue, and most people work on the "bigger is better" principle, anyway.

Salesperson? That is only likely to be true in camera stores. What about non-specialist electrical retailers or online purchases?

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 22:55 UTC
On article Why make a small-sensor mirrorless camera? (271 comments in total)
In reply to:

ryansholl: So as other mirrorless models and brands eat into DSLR sales as a whole, Nikon seeks to protect their DSLR sales by offering a product that seems not-too competitive with the products with which DSLRs are competing?

This either pure marketing genius or a speculative swing and miss, dpreview.

It depends who you think the audience for mirrorless is. If it really is the compact upgrader (as Panasonic and Sony keep telling us), then this system might not be the disaster many commenters are assuming.

However, if they're wrong, and the market is concerned about sensor size and absolute IQ...

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 22:49 UTC
On article Why make a small-sensor mirrorless camera? (271 comments in total)
In reply to:

boho: if nikon is not able to challenge itself, it may just be the beginning of the end.
I don't try to be sound like some kind of "Oracle of Delphi", but I would bet that nikon is not going to be, what it used to be in ten years from now, if it doesn't dare to challenge itself.
I just feel sorry for them.

"We think it makes a lot of sense for the company"
yes! maybe! but you are supposed to understand the customers point of view and stand by it.
I fully agree with MP Burke. Is just spin. Spin from a company designed to serve the customers and bought by the sellers in order to increase their selling. I just have not a clue why I still check it out.
sorry dpreview boys! don't take it personally. is definitely not.

It's an opinion piece explaining what we think Nikon's logic is. We're not saying we agree with it and I stressed that it appears to make sense 'for the company' because I'm specifically not writing from the consumers point of view.

It's not spin, it's speculation.

In the review, it's the consumer's point of view we'll be considering.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 22:40 UTC
On article Why make a small-sensor mirrorless camera? (271 comments in total)
In reply to:

djsphynx: First sentence seems to be missing something... roughly what?

The article makes very clear that this is what we think Nikon's logic is not what we think of it.

It's an opinion piece that explicitly says that we're trying to imagine Nikon's perspective, not staying ours.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 22:34 UTC
On article Why make a small-sensor mirrorless camera? (271 comments in total)
In reply to:

WT21: This line is also telling: "If bringing multiple sensor sizes into the mirrorless market ends up seeding customer confusion about the camera's capabilities (especially in markets where such systems haven't yet become a success), this would only serve to benefit Nikon's DSLR sales."

So, sink likely millions in R&D to "confuse" the CSC market, to drive sales to your DSLR? Really?? Stick to shooting brick walls and studio test charts, guys.

I'm not suggesting for one moment that's why they did it. But it's not a bad potential side-effect, from a Nikon perspective.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 22:29 UTC
On article Nikon V1 and J1 - hands-on first impressions (245 comments in total)
In reply to:

GeorgeZ: Does the pancake lens have image stabilization too? Couldn't find that info.

No. The other lenses have 'VR' in the name, the pancake doesn't.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 22:15 UTC
In reply to:

Ibida Bab: Made in China mass produced cheapo.

And how many components of the 'German-made' or 'Japanese' cameras do you think are made in those countries, rather than China? I'd worry more about the quality control processes (and hence reputation) of the manufacturer than where the factory is, personally.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 22:03 UTC
On article Nikon V1 and J1 - hands-on first impressions (245 comments in total)
In reply to:

Ken Aisin: "it also incorporates a 'Hybrid' autofocus system that employs both Phase and Contrast Detection focus methods. The result is, according to Nikon, the fastest autofocus of any camera the company has ever made - including its professional flagship DSLR, the D3S."

This means Nikon has the capability to build DX and FX mirrorless cameras with hybrid AF system that can autofocus faster than D3s, but Nikon somehow chose a sensor with 2.7x crop factor. Interesting.........

Except, of course, that all the lenses for the Nikon 1 system have been designed specifically for CDAF (small, light, short-travel internal focus elements). It would be much harder to achieve the same speed with bigger lens elements and we've never seen anyone make legacy (PDAF-designed) lenses work quickly with CDAF.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 21:57 UTC
On article Nikon V1 and J1 - hands-on first impressions (245 comments in total)
In reply to:

Doug Frost: "For now, the company will focus on compact camera users as the target for its mirrorless cameras. Luxury ILCs (such as Sony's NEX-7) represent a very small niche. Nikon, he says sees 'much greater potential' at the lower end of the market."

Well, there we have it from the horse's mouth. The Nikon 1 is a low end system. Case closed.

I thought the products expressed that pretty eloquently already.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 21:54 UTC
In reply to:

Cyril Reif: What a strategic mistake.....Nikon should have gone with Micro Four Thirds and competed head-to-head with Panasonic and Olympus...what cowards. They would have also created a great new market for Micro Four Thirds Nikkor lenses......and I've been a loyal Nikon user for over 40 years!

What makes you think Panasonic or Olympus would allow Nikon to join?

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 19:17 UTC
On article Why make a small-sensor mirrorless camera? (271 comments in total)
In reply to:

djsphynx: First sentence seems to be missing something... roughly what?

Diagram? Good idea, Perry.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 07:26 UTC
In reply to:

Najinsky: Title says final GR Digital II update, but text says GR Digital III. Assume the title is just a typo?

I'm afraid so. Sorry it took so long for me to spot your comment.

Link | Posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 23:46 UTC
In reply to:

Buzzzman: A 45 mm lens is not a portrait lens. A 45 mm lens is just a cropped 45mm image-nothing more The reason Longer lenses are used in portraiture, are flatten out facial features.- a 45mm on any small sensor won't do that. So- if it was produced only to emulate a portrait lens-- it is a complete failure.
Max headroom- you shouldn't tell others they don 't know what they are talking about,, when obviously, you don't know what you are talking about. .Believing 45 mm lens is the same as 90- on that small sensor is is just flat out wrong... This is one of the most misunderstood terms in Digital Photography.
Hey- i believed a 50 mm lens on my Nikon DSLR was equivalent to a 75m (1.5x)for several years, before I realized I was wrong...
If you don't believe me -just google "crop factor.
Buzz

Because it's true *if* you shoot images from the same distance with both formats. Taking a portrait with a 45mm on full frame is likely to put you too close to your subject and hence not be flattering. The same would be true if you took an image with the MFT 45mm from the same spot (your photo would be the same as a crop from the middle of the full frame shot).

The flaw in the argument is, of course, the assumption that you'd shoot from the same distance. What most people would do is step back to re-frame their shot on the smaller format (rather than shooting the middle chunk of a properly composed image). At which point they're shooting from the same position as you would with a 90mm lens on full-frame and the apparent perspective is the same on both.

Link | Posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 19:05 UTC
In reply to:

Valentinian: if this Olympus lens is mounted on a Panasonic camera will the camera correct the distortions the same as an Olympus camera does?

Yes - distortion correction is part of the Micro Four Thirds standard. The degree to which correction is needed will be covered in the full review.

Link | Posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 02:15 UTC
On article Olympus 45mm F1.8 first impressions (46 comments in total)
In reply to:

karstdj: Why is nobody mentioning the excellent Panasonic/Leica 45? It is one of my favorite lenses for m4/3.

Exactly. The point I'm making is that this my early impressions suggest this lens gives a really nice balance of aperture (and hence d-o-f), size and price. The Panasonic/Leica 45mm may well be lovely but it's expensive and F2.8, because it's principle purpose is as a macro lens - which isn't the combination I'm looking for.

Link | Posted on Sep 19, 2011 at 20:55 UTC
In reply to:

Buzzzman: A 45 mm lens is not a portrait lens. A 45 mm lens is just a cropped 45mm image-nothing more The reason Longer lenses are used in portraiture, are flatten out facial features.- a 45mm on any small sensor won't do that. So- if it was produced only to emulate a portrait lens-- it is a complete failure.
Max headroom- you shouldn't tell others they don 't know what they are talking about,, when obviously, you don't know what you are talking about. .Believing 45 mm lens is the same as 90- on that small sensor is is just flat out wrong... This is one of the most misunderstood terms in Digital Photography.
Hey- i believed a 50 mm lens on my Nikon DSLR was equivalent to a 75m (1.5x)for several years, before I realized I was wrong...
If you don't believe me -just google "crop factor.
Buzz

Which would be true if you shot a 45mm lens on Micro Four Thirds at the same distance from the subject that you did on a full-frame camera.

But I tend to think more about what's in the picture than maintaining the distance from the subject. As a result, I'll step backwards when shooting with a 45mm on MFT. To the same distance as I'd shoot a longer lens (say 90mm) on full frame.

Link | Posted on Sep 19, 2011 at 19:16 UTC
Total: 6145, showing: 6061 – 6080
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