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Author Topic: Nikon in difficulty?  (Read 44996 times)

Rob C

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2016, 08:43:09 AM »

1    Everything you say is very true provided Sony really wants to be in the camera business and not the component business; but I suspect they really want to turn themselves into the ARM of sensors - and remember Acorn and Olivetti exited computers quite early ...

In other words, I think Sony knows cameras will be commoditized, but sensor/optic combos will be everywhere. They stick it out until everybody else is their customer, or until they own a piece of everyone else except Canon, and they're happy.

On a related note, I'm surprised Canon isn't pouring money into sensor research, seeing the market for phones, cars etc.

2   Nikon and photography generally look to be a footnote of a much larger move to electronic imaging systems in which ultimately commoditisation will prevail.

Edmund

Edmund,

1. I still have an Olivetti Lettera 32 in its case; were if not for the ribbons I'd still be able to use it. Will my descendents be able to access my photo files, should the silly idea strike them in a few years?

2. I think you have it spot on. Photography, even in film days, was driven by the vast amateur market rather than the tiny pro one. Advances were made as time went by, and on the whole, they were more about refinements in mainly similar body types and lens quality. There was always the rich amateur and the pro with the turnover and taxable income better spent by him than by his wasteful government, so new cameras were being bought, even if only new ones of the same model.

I can't remember reading any news about Nikon etc. being in trouble back then; only after digital came in and the 'need' for constant upgrades was accepted as an industry norm, do we see these sales figures giving rise for doubts for the future health of camera companies.

Every camera maker makes too many models. There's no real need for it; it just strikes me as a desperate ploy by which to knock out the competition and hog the market. That's simply a case of assured mutual destruction. Leica got it right, and making class products for those who can afford them is a clever and simple idea. Just like Rolex and the rest of them in Geneva, they know the rich will always be with us, and if not, all is lost anyhow - for all of us.

Too much supply will kill off manufacturers as surely as it has many, many photographers' businesses, mine included. A fight to the bottom is hopeless - get out while you can with what dignity you can muster.

Rob
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 08:47:11 AM by Rob C »
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Yashika

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2016, 09:59:21 AM »

Releasing top-class products doesn't mean you're in a good position from a product development or competitive standpoint. It's merely a prerequisite for even being in the game - if a company can't produce a class-leading product (be it a body, lens or sensor) for at least one major photographic application, they're not even considered. That's why no-one mentions Olympus, Fujifilm or Samsung - without a full-frame camera system, they're not in the game.

Sensor quality matters a lot - Canon lost a lot of market share over the issue. So far, only Sony has released a high-resolution (for its time), high-DR sensor. Nikon and Pentax both use the older, 36MP version. They also make the 50MP and 100MP medium-format sensors used by a number of manufacturers. At high ISO, the A7R2's sensor also demonstrates great image quality at high ISO, competitive with the 1Dx2 and D5. Not to mention the A7S sensor, if you don't need the resolution - ample proof that Sony leads the pack, or is tied in front, no matter the DR, resolution or ISO requirement. Canon, so far, hasn't made a high-resolution sensor in the same league - the 50MP 5Ds sensor falls far short DR-wise, and performs poorly at high ISO. Nikon hasn't designed or made a high-resolution sensor at all - they're almost totally reliant on Sony for their better sensors. That's an ace in Sony's hands.

Nikon has the advantage in SLR AF systems. But how much of that can be translated to mirrorless systems? Sony leads the way in mirrorless AF technology, with Canon not far behind and Nikon not even in third place. To remain competitive for the next decade, they'll have to move in that direction, or risk becoming the next Nokia, stuck with old technology while everyone else moves ahead. After gaining a foothold with non-action shooters and Canonites frustrated with poor sensors, Sony is close to having a mirrorless camera capable of replacing an SLR for wedding, event and other general photography - indeed, for anything other than sports or fast action - and the D810 and A99 Mk 2 are likely more vulnerable than the 5D4 or D750. They're probably not too far off having a sports-capable system either - almost certainly, they'll be aiming to have one in the stands (likely als 8k-capable) in time for the 2020 Olympics, and the fact that they're in Tokyo will only make it a more important goal for them.

Nikon designs and makes its own lenses (some of which are great, some of which - particularly the zooms, which are the bread-and-butter of many photographers - aren't up to the standard of the latest Canon and Sony zooms), which is probably its greatest strength. But Sony has somewhat neutralised this by teaming up with Zeiss, at no cost to itself - being an optics company which doesn't make cameras and relies on other people's cameras to sell lenses, Zeiss' relationship with Sony is entirely symbiotic, rather than competitive or parasitic.

Yes, at the moment, Nikon is still ahead. But the momentum is in Sony's favour, and Sony also holds a better hand - there's nothing Nikon can do to slow down Sony other than developing and releasing better products, but far more that Sony can do to pile the hurt on Nikon should it find it in their advantage to do so.


Interesting and complex picture. Sony is a huge company, has great advantage in sensor market share, in top leveraged position for capital. Will always be bigger company than Nikon and Canon.

Nikon is smaller, more specialized. As you admit, Nikon is already ahead in technology which means releasing better products. Cameras with full function, not limited. More capable AF system and professional cameras as well as full spectrum of lenses.

With respect to sensor, not sure you realize many of Sony's purchased imaging sensor foundries are based on Nikon precision semiconductor equipment. Nikon's Precision Equipment division is lead manufacturer of semiconductor used in imaging sensor production. Should Nikon change its model to invest in their own manufacture, would not need Sony. Nikon already ahead in other camera and lens technology. Sony is the bigger overall company, buys sensor factories to increase market share, but it is actually Nikon at forefront of more specific camera of the technology already. Best move for Nikon would be to manufacture their own complete sensors.
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shadowblade

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2016, 10:38:18 AM »

Nikon is smaller, more specialized. As you admit, Nikon is already ahead in technology which means releasing better products. Cameras with full function, not limited. More capable AF system and professional cameras as well as full spectrum of lenses.

With respect to sensor, not sure you realize many of Sony's purchased imaging sensor foundries are based on Nikon precision semiconductor equipment. Nikon's Precision Equipment division is lead manufacturer of semiconductor used in imaging sensor production. Should Nikon change its model to invest in their own manufacture, would not need Sony. Nikon already ahead in other camera and lens technology. Sony is the bigger overall company, buys sensor factories to increase market share, but it is actually Nikon at forefront of more specific camera of the technology already. Best move for Nikon would be to manufacture their own complete sensors.

Ahead in AF technology for SLRs, not camera technology in general. As for lenses, Sony has Zeiss for that. Nikon's zooms are relatively weak, and zooms are the bread-and-butter of most photographers out there.

Doesn't matter what Sony uses to manufacture their chips. It's what they make that counts. Sony has Exmor. Nikon doesn't, and has to buy it off Sony. Nikon's own efforts at sensor design fall far short - if it didn't, they wouldn't have to buy Sony-designed sensors for so many of their cameras. The sensor is the weakest element of the D5.

Nikon's technology put them in good stead for the last 5 years, but there's not much beyond that. Unlike what Canon and Sony have done, most of what Nikon has done just isn't applicable outside of an SLR design. Sony's technological direction and investment in R&D will pay off greatly over the next 10 to 20 years. And Canon should do well too, with what they've achieved using their dual pixel design, now that their sensors are starting to catch up again; if anything holds them back, it won't be technology, but their obsession with market segmentation.
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scyth

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2016, 10:49:31 AM »

interesting remark.
could you give a ref to the tech please and save me some time?

you are not seriously saying you did not read (as it was discussed here and elsewhere many times) that Aptina patent (DR-Pix) where they switch off some /not needed when you intend to use some higher gain|"ISO"/ capacitance to reduce the readout related noise ?

http://www.photonstophotos.net/Aptina/DR-Pix_WhitePaper.pdf
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2016, 11:02:58 AM »

Nikon's own efforts at sensor design fall far short - if it didn't, they wouldn't have to buy Sony-designed sensors for so many of their cameras. The sensor is the weakest element of the D5.

The D5 sensor is outstanding for it what designed for. Color and DR at high ISO are best in class. Performance at lower ISO clearly isn't as good, but is still decent.

Nikon's technology put them in good stead for the last 5 years, but there's not much beyond that. Unlike what Canon and Sony have done, most of what Nikon has done just isn't applicable outside of an SLR design.

You have never used a Nikon 1 have you? They still have the best mirrorless AF.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 11:06:33 AM by BernardLanguillier »
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Yashika

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #45 on: September 23, 2016, 12:18:53 PM »

Ahead in AF technology for SLRs, not camera technology in general. As for lenses, Sony has Zeiss for that. Nikon's zooms are relatively weak, and zooms are the bread-and-butter of most photographers out there.

Yes Nikon ahead for camera technology in general. Zeiss lenses specialized in MF only, no sophisticated AF which is what most want. Sony Zeiss have no long lenses (elder Minolta design for Sony not competitive with Nikon). As for zooms, Canon is ahead in some respect but Nikon compares well. Sony is empty in most zooms and zooms more for enthusiasts than professional. Nikon specializes in AF primes, particularly long and portrait.

Doesn't matter what Sony uses to manufacture their chips. It's what they make that counts. Sony has Exmor. Nikon doesn't, and has to buy it off Sony. Nikon's own efforts at sensor design fall far short - if it didn't, they wouldn't have to buy Sony-designed sensors for so many of their cameras. The sensor is the weakest element of the D5.

D5 sensor class lead for its purpose. d5 was not designed for landscape, but for action. Color sensitivity and reproduction outstanding right out of camera, vital for professional with deadline and no time for post.

Nikon's technology put them in good stead for the last 5 years, but there's not much beyond that. Unlike what Canon and Sony have done, most of what Nikon has done just isn't applicable outside of an SLR design. Sony's technological direction and investment in R&D will pay off greatly over the next 10 to 20 years. And Canon should do well too, with what they've achieved using their dual pixel design, now that their sensors are starting to catch up again; if anything holds them back, it won't be technology, but their obsession with market segmentation.

Canon current DSLR technology still not yet what Nikon was years ago. Nikon specialization at DSLR means they excel at what they do which is the current subject. Seems you confuse overall size and diversity of company with quality of its DSLRs and lenses. Sony is expanding in this area but still long way to go.
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Guillermo Luijk

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #46 on: September 23, 2016, 01:37:36 PM »

Nikon specialization at DSLR means they excel at what they do which is the current subject. Seems you confuse overall size and diversity of company with quality of its DSLRs and lenses.

What if DSLR's were not what mainstream IL system market users really demand/need, and only the inertia deliberately impossed by Canon and Nikon so far prevented a quicker DSLR/mirrosless crossover?. DSLR vs CSC sales:



What if Canon finally enters mirrosless seriously with the M5, a developed EFM lens lineup, and a FF mirrorless body?. What would then Nikon's strategy be, resist as an only DSLR company? or being the last to expand from scratch to a serious mirrorless system?.

Regards
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scyth

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #47 on: September 23, 2016, 01:41:06 PM »

The D5 sensor is outstanding for it what designed for. Color and DR at high ISO are best in class.
what you actually mean is = conversion implemented in camera's firmware to make OOC JPG from high iso RAWs is best in class...
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AreBee

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2016, 01:46:42 PM »

Yashika,

Quote
Nikon came out with the D5 and the D500, both class leaders. The D810 still class leader. Every super telephoto lens they make, 200 - 800mm, class leader.

Most Nikon photographers use none of the above noted equipment.
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scyth

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #49 on: September 23, 2016, 01:55:15 PM »

Yashika,

Most Nikon photographers use none of the above noted equipment.

doesn't matter - invent a class and call yourself a leader in that class  ;D ...
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Peter_DL

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #50 on: September 23, 2016, 04:42:25 PM »

... What would then Nikon's strategy be, resist as an only DSLR company? or being the last to expand from scratch to a serious mirrorless system?.

Let’s compare both cameras as shown below.

What would be the key differences ?

Size ? OVF vs EVF ? … probably not.

Peter
--
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #51 on: September 23, 2016, 04:48:17 PM »

what you actually mean is = conversion implemented in camera's firmware to make OOC JPG from high iso RAWs is best in class...

No, this is not what I mean. I have shot more than 20,000 images with my D5 since March and not a single one in jpg.

Go check DxO DR curves btwn ISO1600 and 25,600.

Btw even that won't tell you much about the ability of the camera to produce pleasing colors in terrible WB at those ISO, which is s pity because this is precisely where the D5 shines brighest.

If you are truly interested, I suggest to rent one and use it in the applications for which this specialized tool was designed. You won't be disappointed.

I don't know whether my poor skills are a suitable testimony to the abilities of the D5, but you'll find some images captured with it after this link.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 08:23:20 PM by BernardLanguillier »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #52 on: September 23, 2016, 04:56:03 PM »

What if Canon finally enters mirrosless seriously with the M5, a developed EFM lens lineup, and a FF mirrorless body?. What would then Nikon's strategy be, resist as an only DSLR company? or being the last to expand from scratch to a serious mirrorless system?.

Nikon should have entered the APS-C mirrorless market years ago, no doubt.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #53 on: September 23, 2016, 05:01:08 PM »

Let’s compare both cameras as shown below.

What would be the key differences ?

Size ? OVF vs EVF ? … probably not.

Peter,

I believe that the answer for photographers is the quality of the lenses. Because not only did Nikon not enter the APS-C mirrorless market early enough, they also didn't provide their APS-C DSLR customers the high end DX lenses they would have needed.

Now, to be fair, yes your comparison shows a mirrorless as large or larger than a DX Nikon body but it doesn't tell the full story since the X-T2 is much better featured. It is also 3 times more expensive. It takes a d7200/d500 to beat the Fuji and they are larger than the D3400.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 09:33:45 PM by BernardLanguillier »
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eronald

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #54 on: September 23, 2016, 06:41:13 PM »

you are not seriously saying you did not read (as it was discussed here and elsewhere many times) that Aptina patent (DR-Pix) where they switch off some /not needed when you intend to use some higher gain|"ISO"/ capacitance to reduce the readout related noise ?

http://www.photonstophotos.net/Aptina/DR-Pix_WhitePaper.pdf

Dementia doubtless explains my lack of reading, and schadenfreude my belief that my mental issues are less significant than those affecting Mrs. Clinton.

Thx for the reference and the nutshell summary.

Edmund
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2016, 08:25:47 PM »

Most Nikon photographers use none of the above noted equipment.

Your point is probably that FX shooters are a minority and you are totally correct.

Now, how is Canon in a better position that Nikon for APS-C shooters?

Which of their Kina annoucements did improve on that?

Cheers,
Bernard
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shadowblade

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2016, 10:42:21 PM »

Your point is probably that FX shooters are a minority and you are totally correct.

Now, how is Canon in a better position that Nikon for APS-C shooters?

Which of their Kina annoucements did improve on that?

Cheers,
Bernard

FX shooters are a minority in terms of numbers. But FX shooters buying multiple bodies, multiple high-end lenses and regularly updating their equipment probably account for more revenue than DX shooters buying low-end bodies and kit lenses. It's like business class vs economy class on planes - there are more economy seats, but business class accounts for more revenue.
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BJL

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2016, 10:53:52 PM »

I get the sense that Nikon is doing well in the high end sector of 35mm format SLRs – which I am sure is a good source of profits – but not so well in any other area: smaller format SLRs or mirrorless ILCs or fixed lens compact cameras.  So I won't try to judge how well it is doing overall.  The fact that even Canon is now taking mirrorless system a bit more seriously suggests that MILC will be one important part of any mainstream camera maker's future, so the failure of the Nikon One system (despite some very nice attributes) is something that Nikon needs to address.  So I expect another attempt at mirrorless from Nikon, probably with a DX size sensor and so better backward compatibility with existing DX lenses.
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eronald

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2016, 11:18:50 PM »

Your point is probably that FX shooters are a minority and you are totally correct.

Now, how is Canon in a better position that Nikon for APS-C shooters?

Which of their Kina annoucements did improve on that?

Cheers,
Bernard

Canon have double-pixel tech in their sensor, which basically solves the focus issues for any future camera, and also allow  video AF in various forms.

Edmund
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AreBee

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Re: Nikon in difficulty?
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2016, 04:19:28 AM »

shadowblade,

Quote
FX shooters are a minority in terms of numbers. But FX shooters buying multiple bodies, multiple high-end lenses and regularly updating their equipment probably account for more revenue than DX shooters buying low-end bodies and kit lenses.

Food for thought:

Sales of FX versus DX bodies.
Sales of FX versus DX lenses.


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