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The groundbreaking design of Kuwait's National Assembly building was designed by Jorn Utzon, the internationally renowned Danish architect and winner of the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honor after he won the competition for the Sydney Opera House in 1956. Design of the Kuwaiti parliament building is made of concrete and its shape evokes a series of large tents, traditional meeting places for Kuwait's Bedouin nomads. The building has had its share of criticism with some architectural intellectuals mocking it's grandiose modernity as a lame attempt at projecting the image of modernity by a not so modern state. "I reject such criticism; that is intellectual snobbery. Utzon created an image which is a real reflection of Kuwait's combination of old and new," said Abu Mohammed. After many months of the Iraqi occupation and the Gulf War, the Assembly building was left severely damaged. Immediately after the war's conclusion, the United States Army Corp of Engineers worked in conjunction with the Kuwait Emergency Recovery Office to rebuild it. The cost of repairing and restoring the grand building was $68 million. "Seeing Parliament's building back in shape was priceless.

 

On May 18th 2009 - there were some great news for women in the conservative Persian Gulf: Kuwaitis elected their first-ever women lawmakers [second item] to parliament. Voters in four districts elevated women into parliamentary jobs. It's believed to be the first time women have been elected to serve as lawmakers in any of the oil-rich Gulf monarchies.

 

Kuwaiti women were only granted the right to vote in 2005.

 

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8053088.stm

 

Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Lens’s focal length: 17 - 40 mm, Photo Focal length: 23.00 mm, Aperture: 18, Exposure time: 30.0 s, ISO: 50

 

All rights reserved - Copyright :copyright: Lucie Debelkova - www.luciedebelkova.com

 

All images are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without expressed, written permission of the photographer.

Questa foto non è contro Flickr, ma CONTRO LA CENSURA.

 

"La decisione di cambiare Flickr in Germania non ha mai riguardato la censura - è stata presa per fare in modo che Yahoo!Germania rispettasse le restrizioni legali del Paese." (Leggete qui)

 

"Il Governo Cinese sta attualmente censurando Flickr" (Leggete qui)

 

Flickr sta attraversando il periodo più complesso della sua storia, denso di scandali. A quanto pare ci sono molti conflitti tra Yahoo Corp e i governi Cinese e Tedesco. Le restrizioni imposte dal sito non sono certo le migliori, ma a quanto pare sono attualmente costretti ad agire così.

 

Quindi io spero che gli azionisti Yahoo propongano una nuova mozione contro la censura, e che si continui a lottare CONTRO LA CENSURA in Germania, in Cina e in tutto il Mondo!

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This not against Flickr, but AGAINST CENSORSHIP:

 

"The decision to change the Flickr experience in Germany was never about censorship - it was made to try to ensure that Yahoo! Germany was in compliance with local legal restrictions." (read here)

 

"Chinese Government is currently censoring Flickr" (read here)

 

Flickr is through the most difficult time of its history, and there are some hard conflicts between Yahoo Corp and China and German governments. The restrictions taken by the site aren't the best ones, but it seems they need to take them.

 

So I do hope Yahoo investors will vote a new policy against censorship, and we all will stand AGAINST CENSORSHIP, in Germany, in China and all around the world!

Texturized.V3 Blackout

Camera: Pentax Optio E30

Exposure: 0.1 sec (1/10)

Aperture: f/2.7

Focal Length: 6 mm

ISO Speed: 80

Exposure Bias: -1 EV

Title Meaning: Fear

 

This image is copyrighted to ©Mario G. Pinlac II. Any users, found to replicate, reproduce, circulate, distribute, download, manipulate or otherwise use my images without my written consent will be in breach of copyright laws as well as contract laws.

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WE ARE NOW SUFFERING AND IN FEAR because of the heinous acts of terrorism within our Provinces, the entire Zamboanga Peninsula especially here in our City, Pagadian.

 

For several days and nights, specifically for four [4] days straight, we are only given at least two to four [2-4hrs] hours of electricity, and another 2-4 hours of blackout.

 

Everyone, from men, women, and children of all ages in the whole part of Southern Mindanao is hiding in their respective capes of fears.

 

Fellow Flickeristas please do include us in your prayers for our safety down here in Pagadian City especially the whole Island of Mindanao.

 

Thank you so much and May God Bless us all. Peace...

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BANDITS BOMB TRANSCO TOWER IN LANAO source ABS-CBN News

 

The entire Zamboanga Peninsula and other parts of Mindanao were hit by blackout Saturday after an unidentified group bombed a tower of the National Transmission Corp. (Transco) in Lanao del Norte province.

 

Police said a bomb explosion damaged Transco's Tower 22 in Barangay Tingintingin, Kauswagan town around 2:25 a.m.

 

Police and military personnel in the province went on a heightened alert status after the blast. Authorities have yet to identify the people responsible for the attack.

 

Power supply in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula was cut off right after the blast. Parts of Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte also suffered blackouts.

 

The Transco was able to restore power in Zamboanga City around 4:30 a.m. Efforts to light up other affected areas were underway.

1211 Avenue of the Americas (also known as the News Corp. Building) is an International style skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Formerly called the Celanese Building, it was completed in 1973 as part of the Rockefeller Center extension, that started in the late 1950s with the Time-Life Building. A french BD I read somewhere in the seventies is responsible for my very first souvenir of these three iconic buildings: «Aventure à Manhattan» (by Hermann & Greg). Bernard Prince was the hero

 

PS - I’ve been working in a new on-line project – a weekly travel magazine in English about Portugal, which was launched this very week in the apple store – so, if you have an iPad, search for PT ZINE (Portugal Magazine), you will find there our presentation number. Tell me what do you think.

Big hug, André

 

If you want to take a look on the magazine:

 

itunes.apple.com/us/app/ptzine/id688329194?l=pt&ls=1&...

 

You can see too: (click on PT Zine link)

 

www.lxconsult.com/

 

Today we hod our first snow of the winter in Edinburgh, but as you can see it was really little more than a sprinkling. It's been much worse in other parts of the country: according to the BBC News website thay had 26cm in Powys!!

Department of Probation

The mission of the Albany County Probation Department is to ensure the safety of Albany County residents by supervising all juvenile and adult clients on probation and helping them become responsible productive and law-abiding members of the community. www.albanycounty.com/Government/Departments/DepartmentofP...

 

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KeyBank, the largest bank in the Capital Region - 66 S. Pearl has 11 working floors that were at one time completely occupied by KeyBank. The 250,000-square-foot building was built in 1991 exclusively for KeyBank, which at the time had its national headquarters in Albany and about 400 employees there. The bank moved its headquarters to Cleveland shortly after its 1993 merger with Society Corp., cutting the workforce at its headquarters in half.

 

Today, about 150 KeyBank employees remain at the South Pearl Street headquarters. www.timesunion.com/news/article/KeyBank-downsizes-Albany-...

 

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image by Photo George

copyrighted: :copyright:2015 GCheatle

all rights reserved

 

locator: GAC_3273_Enhancer

Rockefeller Center was named after John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who leased the space from Columbia University in 1928 and developed it from 1930. Rockefeller initially planned a syndicate to build an opera house for the Metropolitan Opera on the site, but changed his mind after the stock market crash of 1929 and the Metropolitan's continual delays to hold out for a more favorable lease, causing Rockefeller to move forward without them. Rockefeller stated "It was clear that there were only two courses open to me. One was to abandon the entire development. The other to go forward with it in the definite knowledge that I myself would have to build it and finance it alone."[5] He took on the enormous project as the sole financier, on a 27-year lease[6] (with the option for three 21-year renewals for a total of 87 years) for the site from Columbia; negotiating a line of credit with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and covering ongoing expenses through the sale of oil company stock.

 

It was the largest private building project ever undertaken in modern times.[7] Construction of the 14 buildings in the Art Deco style (without the original opera house proposal) began on May 17, 1930 and was completed on November 1, 1939 when he drove in the final (silver) rivet into 10 Rockefeller Plaza. Principal builder, and "managing agent", for the massive project was John R. Todd and principal architect was Raymond Hood, working with and leading three architectural firms, on a team that included a young Wallace Harrison, later to become the family's principal architect and adviser to Nelson Rockefeller.

 

It was the public relations pioneer Ivy Lee, the prominent adviser to the family, who first suggested the name "Rockefeller Center" for the complex, in 1931. Junior initially did not want the Rockefeller family name associated with the commercial project, but was persuaded on the grounds that the name would attract far more tenants.[8]

 

What could have become a major controversy in the mid-1930s concerned the last of the four European buildings that remained unnamed. Attempts were made by Ivy Lee and others to rent out the space to German commercial concerns and name it the Deutsches Haus. Junior ruled this out after being advised of Hitler's Nazi march toward World War II, and thus the empty office site became the International Building North.[9]

 

This subsequently became the primary location of the U.S. operations of British Intelligence, British Security Coordination (BSC) during the War, with Room 3603 becoming the principal operations center for Allied intelligence, organized by William Stephenson, as well as the office of the future head of what was later to become the Central Intelligence Agency, Allen Welsh Dulles.[10]

 

The Center is a combination of two building complexes: the older and original 14 Art Deco office buildings from the 1930s, and a set of four International-style towers built along the west side of Avenue of the Americas during the 1960s and 1970s (plus the Lehman Brothers Building). (The Time-Life Building, McGraw-Hill and News Corporation/Fox News Channel headquarters are part of the Rockefeller Center extension now owned/managed by the major private real estate firm, Rockefeller Group.)

 

In 1985, Columbia University sold the land beneath Rockefeller Center to the Rockefeller Group for 400 million dollars.[11] The entire Rockefeller Center complex was purchased by Mitsubishi Estate, a real estate company of the Mitsubishi Group, in 1989, which fully bought out Rockefeller Group. In 2000, the current owner Jerry Speyer (a close friend of David Rockefeller), of Tishman Speyer Properties, L.P., together with the Lester Crown family of Chicago, bought for $1.85 billion the older 14 buildings and land from the previous syndicated owners: Goldman Sachs (which had 50 percent ownership), Gianni Agnelli, Stavros Niarchos, and David Rockefeller, who organized the syndicate in 1996 and is historically associated with the other partners.[12]

The lighting here changes incessantly..........film simulation with Nik

 

The coming death of Nikon 11

Nikon FX D-SLR vs Sony FF MILC. Should Nikon keep the venerable F mount for their future serious mirrorless system(even with a lot of technical restrictions)?

First of all, there are a few very erratic but interesting Nikon related rumors we've heard at CP+ show and at Kyobashi Tokyo camera museum, which I sometimes call Nikon graveyard.

But I think it is just a bit too early for us to write about these rumors here or anywhere else now.

We have to analyze these rumors a bit deeper to see which ones might become close to the real things or all are a bit too far-fetched stupid typical internet lies, and at this point, I think all Nikon related rumors we see at NR and many Japanese camera forums are all fakes.....or exaggerated version of the real ones.. or some Nikon fanatic's dreams or requests sent to Nikon via Internet forums.

Mr.Hogan recently said there were a few new Nikon FX rumors floating around internet and one of which actually stimulated his interest was: that the D810 update would not come at the last CP+ show and probably until the next CP+ show in 2018 because instead that camera would be replaced by a mirrorless model. That way Nikon would have a Sony A7R2 competitor instantly.

Well this one was spread across almost all Japanese camera forums and I think some Western guy or girl Google translated the Japanese original rumor erroneously and some very important info was lost in Google translation.....

Anyway, the original Japanese rumor in which Thom seems to have got interested said Nikon would come out with a similarly specified FX mirrorless body to the Sony A7R2 but with a new 46.4mp or 54.7mp sensor sensor designed by Nikon and fabricated by a new sensor manufacturing fab that Nikon, Olympus and Pentax have been trying to set up with some serious help from Tower Jazz and Panasonic. And this new FX mirrorless comes in F mount and a new mount and Nikon would evaluate which version would be selling better for them(like they did with the D800 and the E version of it).

I think this rumor might be true since we dealers always hear this kind of things every where, from third-party lens manufacture guys, from third-party LCD cover sells guys, some third-party speedlite sells guys,etc.

Well this rumor may be true, but the real problem here in this rumor is that Nikon seems to be choosing the F mount for their future mirrorless system and there is no benefit for them with that technically very restricted mount.

Thom commented below on this issue.

"Well, they already have a considerable A7r2 competitor: the D810. I own and shoot both, and I consider the D810 the better choice most of the time. I’d expect a D810 replacement to retain that distinction. So exactly what would we gain with a switch to mirrorless? I’m not sure we'd gain anything that excites me, especially if this means yet another new lens mount".

Well what can I say? I'm not sure if Mr.Hogan is really serious or just joking here? but I think there is no way Nikon will choose the F mount for their upcoming SERIOUS mirrorless system and succeed with it. True the D810 is a good camera already and it may compete well with the A7R2, especially considering its bargain price compared to the Sony.

But I guess Mr.Hogan is not a big fan of EVF and therefore he does not see many advantages of the Sony over the Nikon unlike us who love the EVF and video features of the Sony.

As a pure stills camera the Nikon is still a great body, but it cannot be as versatile hybrid camera as the Sony A7R2, in fact even the cheap Fuji X-T2 beats the Nikon hands down for video and any sort of hybrid use.

Here are some of main advantages of the Sony over the Nikon and Nikon should seriously study about these.

1 incredible video ability for a cheap stills camera.

2 incredibly smooth LV and fast LV AF.

3 effective live exposure compensation.

4 IBIS and effective electronic IS in video mode(although I am not a fan of IBIS thing, I can see it is very useful for handheld lowlight work).

5 I think the Sony system provides better event shooting experience for many of us(who were growing up with digital not film) due to the better LV implementation with the better more accurate tilty LCD screen compared to the D810 based kit with very low resolution fixed LCD.

In addition to all the above Sony or mirrorless specific benefits, Sony already has the more complete newer design better lens line up, especially the manual focus prime selection for the Sony system is a huge advantage of the Sony system over Nikon or Canon. IMHO, the Sony system has the best lens line up for most of normal shooters who are mostly in the range of 10-200 mm FF equivalent focal range, and this is because Sony has got all newly designed digital-optimized Zeiss Loxia, Batis, Voiklander CV-E line primes and Sony's own GM series zooms. IMHO, Nikon has nothing really as strong as the Sony GM line zooms in performance in their current lens line up to compete with Sony E mount system. I mean too many Nikon lenses are already too old and very restricted in use and not really compatible to most of the latest Nikon bodies.....and the latest E series lenses are only compatible to the latest and greatest line of Nikon D series bodies and these E series lenses are all more expensive than Sony and Canon counterparts........so where is never changing F mount lens compatibility that always Nikon fanatics brag about ?

Just a couple of years ago, Sony E mount haters always made fun of the E mount system for its(then) very poor lens lineup. But now ironically enough, with some serious help from Coshina, Zeiss, Samyang, Tokina, etc, Sony seems to have got one of the very best lens line in the FF class in just a matter of a year or so and I think we have to give some serious credit to Sony for keeping it an open mount system unlike Canon and Nikon trying hard to shut out all the third-parties out of their respective FF system. Nikon has sued Sigma for a several times already and they have lost a lot of money and customers over that stupid lawsuits.

Sony E mount has the widest range of digital-optimized MF(manual focus) lenses and many people who find precise MF-ability more important to them than super fast C-AF will always choose the Sony FE system. I mean it is almost impossible to really precisely MF on your Nikon with their poor soft LV image quality..no peaking,etc. The Canon D-SLRs at least have very good LV and LV exposure simulation mode, but the Nikons including the latest D5600, the D500, the D5 do not have that. The LV speed of the latest Nikon is basically the same as the 7year old D7000, in fact, Nikon has made no progress in this area since the D600.

It is really pity and the Nikon D-SLRs-even the best ones are not comparable to any of the Sony A7X series cameras in this regard.

In last week, I just tried the CV40mm f1.2 in Osaka, and I must say it is incredible, extremely sharp and extremely compact,I think this new Coshina Voiktlander E mount prime series is instantly becoming really an indispensable prime line to many E mount shooters.......

The CV-E 40mm f1.2 is incredible, the CV 12mm f5.6 and 10mm f5.6 are both indispensable and I am sure the upcoming 65mm f2 APO-Lanther will be incredible too, but it is a bit too bulky for me and I might not buy it but still it is a great lens for sure.. And most importantly they are only really practical on a EVF camera with focus peaking.

I do really appreciate the new Voiklander primes and Zeiss Loxia series, and they are one of the main reasons I have been using the A7R and A7R2 for most of things now....

 

Anyway Mr.Hogan wrote below:

"But let’s assume for a moment that the Mirrorless D810 update rumor is true and Nikon will not update the D810 but put out a high megapixel full frame mirrorless camera instead. What would that say about Nikon’s product line management?

To me, such a switcheroo would be just another sign of Nikon product panic.

Let's see, the F3, F4, D1h/D1x, D3/D3x all worked, and the D5 seems to be working while the F6 worked for the few remaining film-shooting pros. Great products that the pros and high end enthusiasts loved. The F5, D2h/D2x, and D4 didn't quite rise to the same level, but I know plenty of pros that (mostly) love those cameras, too. What I can't understand is why establish the h/s combo and then abandon it? Until the D4 came out we all had h/s twins in our gear closets. Now our gear closet is a bit of a mess. A mirrorless replacement for the D810 would just increase that mess."

I do not know he is actually honest or just writing the above because he has hugely invested into the Nikon eco-system and writing the books on the D series Nikon bodies, after all Nikon is his client and probably the most important one, so he can not be brutally honest about it, maybe? I mean no Nikon cameras even come close to the A7R2 or the A7M2 in terms of LV and video shooting experience or in terms of sheer IQ..........even the ancient A7R ORIGINAL was already a bit better than the D810 with respect to the base ISO noise, color accuracy and most importantly resolving power...and more importantly these high resolution bodies are usually used on a tripod and so they do not need any kind of extra shock generating mecha like the mirror-box or completely mechanical shutter...Almost all the Sony E mount cameras now shoot without shutter mirror slap and therefore they can better utilize the high resolution sensor with the latest high-grade lens combo.....I have compared a couple of the D810 bodies with a couple of the A7R(not the 2) many times and the A7R produces better sharper images most of times as long as it is set on a solid tripod.....so if the D810 cannot get as sharp as the A7R most of times, then how can it compete with the even better almost mechanical internal shock-free A7R2 body? On top of that, the D810 has less durable shutter unit than the one used in the A7MK2 and any Sony released after that. The A7R2 has about 3 times longer rated shutter life with much more quiet electronic shutter.

And why he still wants to have a so-called pro body with a super high resolution sensor is beyond me. He seems to want a D5 with the D810 or A7R2 sensor, but is that really needed in the current Nikon line up? I mean all these high resolution cameras are normally used on a tripod or in a studio or like that, so the ultimate speed of pro body is not that important for that kind of camera market. In fact, I think most of people who buy or consider high resolution FF prefer a mirroless over a D-SLR body.

MR.Hogan also said below:

"The D500 is one of Nikon's big successes recently—told you so, Nikon—despite the rushed and slightly unfinished feel. There really should be a D500s soon to polish it up, but we don't hear rumors about that, do we? Meanwhile, the D7200 has been a workhorse for everyone that bought it. It'll give a D500 a run for the money in terms of image quality, though not in build or a few critical performance aspects. "

Well this is a common forum myth or almost an urban legend.....the D500 is not selling well in real world, it was actually a bit too late since most of Nikon shooters that really needed that kind of sports body already dumped their once beloved Nikon kit for the Canon 7DMK2 kit.

We have had many customers complaining about how slow Nikon was and if they had known it coming, then they would have kept their Nikon lenses altogether, but too late.......

Yeah in this sense Hogan is right, Nikon should have talked to the most important user base of theirs about the D500 coming way before ahead.

And how much is the Canon 7DMK2 these days , how much is the Sony A77MK2 or A6500?

Well they are all much cheaper than the D500, and one thing I agree with Mr.Hogan is the D7200 is the biggest enemy of the D500.......the D7200 is cheaper, produces sharper file, with a bit more DR and color range to play with in Capture One pro 10 or DXO Pro 11.

Yeah I agree it is the best Nikon body for our bucks. It is really cheap and really reliable, probably one of these most cost effective camera body solutions. The D7200 and the D750 are really hard to beat for the modest price they carry.

Well, as Thom rightly said, the D500 might have a bit tougher body, but would you really feel it in real life use? I think no. I've abused my puny dinky A7R for almost 4 years but it does not even develop a line of scratch on it, it may be a cheap plastic body but it will definitely take any kind of abuse, even a few drops on to a concrete sidewalk. And still it will work well without any issue. My cheap dinky NEX5n is even more durable, I really abuse it and I do not even care if or when it breaks , so I always use it in the worst possible conditions I can conceive of, but it never breaks. My Nikon D7200 is the same-it is really cheap and easy to replace when it breaks so I use it in the worst possible condition I can conceive of, but it too never breaks.

So the so-called pro build quality is really overrated.......I mean hey try to drop your D5 or D4s or 1DX2 onto a sidewalk, they'd immediately die, I am sure about it but if you drop a Panasonic G85, a Sony A6300, or a Canon EOS-M5, they all would survive. These plastic cameras are more durable than these heavy pro metal bodies and if you doubt it try to drop your so-called pro D-SLRs from some rocky slope onto rocky ground to see how weak fragile they actually are.

Why do we have to worship the usual the more metal contain the better body religion? Why do they all think metal is so much better than plastic ? And why do they all seem to love the loud Nikon shutter so much? Do they never shoot any concert? or piano recital, etc? I am a big fan of Mozart so I do really need silent shutter.........

 

Hogan also said:

"Many of you think that horse should be FX mirrorless. But I don't see how that helps Nikon at all. Note what I wrote about the FX DSLR line above: those are all good cameras, and it's a strong lineup. Probably the strongest part of Nikon's current camera lineup. Do you really think they're going to risk that? I don't. Moreover, it doesn't solve Nikon's biggest problem: negative growth."

Yeah exactly, this is what these annoying Nikon fanatics or forum denizens cannot get, they chant FF, FX, FF and belittle everything else...........but in real life the so-called FF sales makes up for only about 8 percent of the entire ILC market sales and it is not getting much better...

And even before that Nikon's financial crisis is nothing to do with their camera business but the bean counters from Mitsubishi bank stipulate them to stick forever with the silly money losing stepper business.....But even so,Nikon really needs to rectify their consumer camera business as soon as they can, too, since most of their income is now coming from that ever contracting camera business...and the majority of camera buyers never care about FX or DX, or they do not even understand the difference between these two formats. I think one thing Thom has got right-spot-on was Nikon needs more programmable camera (open mount system) and definitely needs to get the SnapBridge thing right. All cameras should have more thorough sophisticated connectivity. After all, the majority of consumers want to upload their images(mostly selfies) right up to their FaceBook pages instantly. Most of my normal friends have already ditched their serious cameras and got something more casual because they hated post-processing or RAW processing, they simply prefer to shoot everything Jpeg and up these directly to their facebook pages.

"By now, as everybody already knows,Nikon has two extremely weak sectors right now: (1) serious compact or One sensor camera; and (2) big sensor mirrorless product that effectively covers from below the D3400 space up to the D7200 range.."

Mr.Hogan continued:

"I've heard absolutely nothing about what happens after the DL fiasco. If Nikon is really not going to play in the 1" compact game, the only choice they really have now is to build Coolpix A replacements. But Nikon proved they didn't know how to market the Coolpix A. Great camera, bit of a price stretch, terrible name and marketing."

Do I agree? No, the Coolpix A was a terrible camera, IMHO.......it needed to have some sort of real EVF and fast static AF, and at least a bit brighter lens than the lame 28mm f2.8 equivalent lens on it. Well the marketing campaign and the software part were really terrible too, but the camera itself was already a terrible camera to start from, so how could any amount of marketing help it moving?

Meanwhile, for DX mirrorless, I haven't heard a lot. I know Nikon has designed prototypes of such cameras and lenses, but I don't know what their target was or whether they decided to move forward with them. I think Nikon has produced a several prototypes already but they decided not to mass-produce these since they all designed to cover the Thom-called- a bit below D3400 market, and I guess they thought it would not be good enough to fight with the Fuji XT2 and similar products. In fact, there is a long lasting rumor that Nikon will join in the Fuji X system camp, but I do not think this rumor is correct since Nikon is not very close to Fuji any more they basically fought and decided to go against each other 7 years ago after Nikon stupidly tried to restrict Fuji to design a F mount body with Fuji's own sensor and electronics inside.

Realistically, I think the only two remaining options Nikon should and still can do now are:

1 to join the m43 or the E mount system, but I do not think Sony will allow Nikon to sell E mount body in the existing E mount eco-system. This means if Nikon wants to join in some already popular mirrorless mount system, that would have to be the m43 club.

2 to start new mirrorless that takes all the advantage(or disadvantage of)existing F mount eco-system. This means Nikon will have to use non optimized mount for FF and video, real electronic aperture control, etc. Or they simply design a new mount like Sony E or Canon M and take the F mount legacy lenses with a sophisticated fully compatible mount adapter like Canon did with their EOS-M mount.

But in this case Nikon can only use the P type and E type lenses for their new mirrorless systems since the older G and D series lenses are not fully compatible to fully electronic aperture control system. Too many Nikon lenses are already too old and very restricted in use and not really compatible to most of new Nikon bodies.....But if the only really fully compatible lenses to their new mirrorless system are the E and P series lenses, then there will be no advantage of choosing the optically very restricted venerable F mount. After all, how many E and P series lenses does the F mount have? I think 13? And is it enough to start a new system from scratch?

Thom and many of his followers seem to prefer Nikon to choose the F mount for their future serious FX mirrorless system, but do they think just having P and E series lenses in the catalogue for that is fine? I think Nikon initially needs at least two very different mount systems:

A: a big FF mirrorless with the F mount for event/ sports /wildlife kind of camera market, they need this type of silly but important F mount mirrorless to just shut up the old whiners in the forums that demand the F mount mirrorless forever...

B: a small FF or APS-C mirrorless system with short flange back design just like the A7 series but with a fully F mount compatible mount adapter(maybe it also needs a kind of focal reducer in case they make it with the DX sized sensor).

So I think it is not too late for Nikon since Sony is the only one player in the FF mirrorless market. But it must be great and fully compatible to the F mount lenses at least the E series lenses, hopefully also compatible to the G series(but I doubt it possible).

Many people in forums asking Nikon to keep the F mount, but in the long run keeping the F mount has no advantages over moving to a new mount system with a fully compatible F mount adapter.

1, the F mount makes camera unnecessarily thick and awkward to hold.

2, the F mount never allows Nikon or any third-party lens maker to develop a set of primes like the Voiklander CV-E series and Zeiss Loxia.......and also the F mount forces Nikon to use super long registration distance for every lens they will make.

3, there are a very few F mount lenses work well without the mirror. Actually only the E series and maybe the P too work well even without the mirror.

The G, the D, etc, never work well since they do not have electronically controlled aperture design.

4, The F mount really restricts Nikon to design a real hybrid camera like the GH5 or the A6500, if not the F mount makes it impossible. The terrible mechanically controlled aperture design really restricts smooth AF and aperture control in video mode and even in LV mode, we already experienced that in any of Nikon LV capable cameras if you ever tried shooting it LV. It is literally useless.

However Nikon should not discard the F mount system just yet since there are simply too many old men asking Nikon to keep using the venerable F mount for their future mirrorless system, and I think this is the biggest long term problem for Nikon.......

The F mount has become a big burden on Nikon's aged back and it will really really limit their camera design options in the future.

However, for a temporal very short time success, it may be better to just continue using the F mount for their action/sports bodies since using short mount registration distance design does not make FX zooms and long primes smaller or cheaper as Sony FE lenses have already shown it...

So they may just want to keep the F mount for their new FF mirrorless system designed for sports/PJ/wildlife market that mostly use a trio of the f2.8 zooms and long super tele primes.

A tiny body like the A7R2 does not hold the heavy lenses well, even the 24-70mm f2.8 feels too big on that body. So Sony will need a big body mirrorless in addition to the A7 line and it should come with the A mount not the puny E mount. I think the A99Mk3 will be that kind of camera covers the PJ/ Wildlife and sports market.

Now for the type B kind of a small bodied mirrorless system, Nikon needs a new mount design with short flange distance with a bit wider than the E mount mount design. If it is compact and actually fine-tuned for the FF sensor from the very start(unlike the E mount , which was originally designed for the APS-C system), I think it will be interesting, but they must have a full line of lenses from the very first day.

And Nikon needs better 21st century camera user interface and program-ability, I think the Leica SL has the best UI and it is definitely a very intuitive camera.

The A7R2 has no touch screen, no proper touch interface, not open to third-party App developers, so if Nikon or any one gets that all right in one body at the Sony price (not the Leica price) , I think they might have a serious chance.

For me touch screen and better more intuitive U.I is more than enough to try the new Nikon system, especially if it gets wider mount diameter than the E mount. Also Nikon(Sony too) must consider developing really effective sensor dust reduction system, for me the most important feature in any new mirrorless system is effective supersonic dust reduction system like the one in the Olympus EM1MK2 and the Panasonic GH5. The effective Dust Reduction system in any m43 body really eliminates the fear of changing lenses in the field. And it is a big plus for me.

Finally, if Nikon wants to really succeed it, then they must persuade Zeiss, Coshina, Sigma, Tamron, Samyang, etc, to enter into their new mount system.

But I doubt they will do it since Nikon always loves proprietary closed system , the Nikon-Sigma court case really shows us how close-mined Nikon is.

If Nikon stupidly closes their new MILC system and shuts out all the third-party lens makers , it will definitely kill the new system immediately. Also they need to persuade Phase One to make Capture One pro for Nikon for around 50 bucks just like Sony does for us.

So while it is not too late, I think, considering the all negative facts such as how they treat the third-parties, etc, it is really really difficult for them....but it is definitely not impossible.

PS. At the last CP+ show Nikon was rumored to have revealed they have already produced a small number of FX mirrorless prototypes a few times in the past, but decided not release these.

Actually, many of us who have closely followed Nikon Japan for at least 6 years or so all have heard about that Nikon has already developed a several or more FX mirrorless prototypes, and a very few of those people have actually tried some of these prototype cameras.

But for some very obscure reasons Nikon just dropped all of them off before the actual planned announcement dates.

I recalled the very first Nikon FX mirrorless prototype design rumor came out in 2015 just before the actual A7R2 announcement, and I think because of that camera, Nikon decided to drop it off. I guess Nikon was embarrassed of their very primitive /crude FX mirrorless camera compared to the already very sophisticated Sony camera at the time.

It was still a rumor but I actually believed it was the case.

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

Now Canon's main customer is Honda, who buys a billion of small high

ISO capable 4k sensors for their cars.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 4: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE5:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

 

UPDATE6: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

Why m43 is doomed 10:

 

Will m43 be around in 2020? Or will Nikon just go under by 2020?

I personally doubt the both cases. I think m43 is doomed and so is Nikon........but the main difference here is Nikon has no way to fix their camera business while m43 may have quite bright future if they just simply rectify a few known issues of the system and start listening to the smartphone generation people.

But I feel they always have some difficulty to convince or persuade their system is good enough even if it actually becomes some sort of point of sufficiency for many........the tiny sensor choice forces for any m43 lenses to be at least two times sharper than FF counterparts and still not as sharp as the whole system, the recent DXO review of the Olympus 25mm f1.2 pro clearly shows its limitation as a system.

 

But one thing that is becoming quite clear to most of us (gear heads) in the last 2 years is that Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore all the annoying self-proclaimed experts such as Tony Northrup, Kevin Raber, and the guy runs Photography Life, etc.

I think Mr.Hogan is an exception because he is more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore he sees it clearly that the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon.

So-called mirrorless is also important for them for the short term future......but it is not the long term solution....

 

Nikon should listen to the young smartphone generation photographers instead of the annoyingly condescending self-proclaimed experts online.

 

I went to Amakase area of Oitah prefecture for work and academic conference held in there.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 2 days. I visited Amakase, Hita and Yufuin, which is a famous hot spring village.

 

After this short academic trip to North East Kyushu I realized the death of consumer camera market issue is more serious than I once thought; it is really not the time to discuss mirrorless vs DSLR or iPhone, but it is really the time to discuss how to save this industry at any cost...........anyway to my surprise, I did not see or meet any one with a Sony A7X camera, which is supposed to be the most popular game-changing camera currently available according to many self-proclaimed camera experts. I honestly almost never met any one shooting a Sony A7X or A6XXX other than my co-worker who bought his first ILC camera from me.

 

Every where we go together, now we are wondering why no one we meet here shoots any Sony ILC, is Sony relaly profitable in this business?

 

But the maybe more shocking reality to those of us long time Nikon users is that no one seems to be shooting Nikon any more any where and even in a big anti Nuclear demo I encountered near JR Kumamoto station no one using Nikon due to the poor LV and video performance of all Nikon FX bodies. Also many guys told me the excessively loud shutter sound of Nikon DSLRs would make the cops really irritated or angry.

I guess Nikon is rapidly becoming kind of an irrelevant player , no longer a rival of Canon but seems really like a rival of Ricoh Pentax.......Nikon really needs serious Fullframe or APS-C mirrorless system with silent shutter very soon, or Nikon may lose all the pro PJ shooters and concert photographers to Sony, Fuji or Canon..

 

Now the D500 and D5600 got a several FW updates already and I have tested it at our shop here with the latest FW installed, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than before it was first launched, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

 

I think this really slow Live View AF issue is a serious issue and becoming a serious sales hindrance against Nikon.

All young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

  

Let's be honest even Sigma's CEO Yamaki admits that many young people see bulky DSLR's in particular as a vestige of the past and wouldn't be caught dead with one, the fad having lost its "coolness factor" some 8 or so years back. I , for one, always feel -DSLR odd whenever I try to shoot my D-SLR again. It feels so anachronistic.

But then, the so-called mirrorless perceived any better than the D-SLR by the young?

I think no, all the Cool Kids take photos with their iPhones. I don't know of any type of stand-alone camera that would qualify as cool. If there was or is such a camera system, it would have to be the One sensor compact such as Sony RX-100M5 or Canon G7X MK2.

If someone doesn't want an DSLR because it's "not cool" they aren't getting a m43 or a Fuji X ,either. To normal people they are not really small or discrete at all.

They may get a 1" compact, or simply use their phone. Majority of NORMAL people never care about long zooms or super wide or a set of super fast primes.

Actually, no camera forum denizens realize this but we have to face the fact that all ILC cameras are big to most of NORMAL non-photographer people, and they are very intimidating to most of NORMAL people(I mean regardless of mount type or sensor size).

I never realized it before but while walking around down town Tokyo with one of my younger friends here forced me to understand it. A friend of mine told me that he thinks all interchangeable lens cameras are huge and intimidating to most of average people regardless of sensor size or format, it's just simply annoying! He even said it is really pain-in-ass to use any ILC, it does not matter a m43 or a FF, but if he has to use a ILC, he will go all the way up to FF or at least APS-C cause every ILC even m43 or Nikon One are big and annoying to most anyway.

I guess a big lens scares or annoys people more than a big camera body......I never saw it his way but I got his point and I decided to carry my tiny Canon G7XMK2 when I just walk around the city area with other people. If I am alone shooting something on tripod, then I usually carry my big camera, and I think it does not matter it's a m43, a FF, an APS-C, it is all big to most of NORMAL people, anyway as my younger friends say............

Honestly, ILC's for the most part are a pain in the ass to use and annoying and quirky that deprives away our freedom of choice of our tourist activities or at least restrict it. You need to carry a camera bag, usually with at least one or more other lenses, you are switching lenses, and fiddling around with non-phone like ergonomics that only your creepy old grandpa could love, plus you must change lenses over and over every single block you walk pass by to get at least acceptable focal range like in the zoom on the RX100M5..

To my surprise, a huge group of twenty-something guys and girls, all with tripods, down at the city hall park, taking night shots of the fountain or cityscape using high end dSLRs-mostly Canon 5DMK4 or 5DS-R.

Contrary to the common forum belief all women photogs I know use a big D-SLR or at least A7 or Fuji X, no one use m43 or Nikon One, and they say to occupy the good place, they need the biggest camera and tallest tripod they can handle ..........or they'd be looked down cause Photographic world is dominated by older men who look down on young and women....... Sad, but I think it is the reality. When I shoot paid events with D-SLRs the cops or the security guys never bother me, but when I have a tiny compact camera or NEX type of mirrorless, many cops bother me. Many Westerners do not understand it how look of our camera changes the way people perceive us in the public in East Asia especially city area. It is a huge issue for us in most part of East Asia. If you are a girl not a boy, you really need a big serious looking camera to get the best position you want to get for any event you shoot here.

In China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, etc, public perception is very important, and the ignorant public usually thinks the bigger the more serious camera, or the people with a big camera or cameras are more important paid serious shooters, and thus, people respect them.............it is why m43 is not taken seriously in the nations with relatively tiny people such as Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea, Singapore,etc. If you want to be taken seriously but hate a D-SLR like me, you need a highend Sony or a highend Fuji here in Japan and in most part of Asia. When I was shooting a big piano concert with my A7R2(because it had silent shooting feature unlike my Nikon d750 or Sony A7R), an old guy with Nikon D3300 told me not use a TOY...........Surprising but even old guys with Rebels or Nikon D3XXX think my Sony A7R or A7R2 a toy.........laughable but true, average people are that ignorant and proud of being ignorant.......

And yes, young and trendy mom's who want the next best thing to a point and shoot do select mirrorless, but I've never seen one with a m43 has, a flash, or a tripod. That's based on dozen of events around the world, from Hong Kong to Bangkok to Tokyo to Taipei. And I study what the crowd is doing as much as I do the "real" photographers out in the streets, in fact, I am more interested in studying about others' choices than my own photography.

Not specifically related to market share, etc.,but if you haven't read it already Thom Hogan has an interesting and I think quite balanced article about the differences, as he perceives them:Nikon FX vs Mirrorless.

 

www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/seven-reasons-why-im-still.html

 

Obviously improvements in technology over time will probably narrow some of those differences and, for example, one might be Canon's patent to reduce autofocus hunting below........but again it will definitely hurt m43, not FF or APS-C.

 

www.digitaltrends.com/photography/canon-af-hunting-patent/

Finally, contrary to the common forum belief, the younger photogs the more into heavy gear serious-looking gear, this is glaring especially in Asia.

I think it is a simple psychology case, they just want to be taken seriously.

Those do not care about how they perceived usually just use their iPhone or Google Phone, and nothing wrong with that.

So there is no way m43 will be able to consolidate its market position despite of their recent high quality products such as the amazing GH5, the EM1MK2, etc.

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

Now Canon's main customer is Honda, who buys a billion of small high

ISO capable 4k sensors for their cars.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 4: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE5:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

  

UPDATE6: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

 

But one thing we are very sure about now is DSLR is finally dead , and Nikon's future is very bleak........

  

UPDATE7: I heard that the A9 might not be the long rumored Sony flagship model, but it is the flagship consumer model.

And this means that there will be the ultimate FF or MF Sony camera coming and it will be called Alpha One.

Active Region 11967 consisted of a major sunspot that released numerous solar flares in early 2014. Above is an image taken by the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) aboard Hinode in the Calcium II H line on Feb. 7, 2014 at 16:09 UT. Below is a wider view of Active Region 11967 as seen by SDO on Feb.12, 2014, at 01:35 UT.

 

By studying the sun's magnetic field, scientists hope to shed new light on explosive solar activity that can interfere with satellite communications and electric power transmission grids on Earth and threaten astronauts on the way to or working on the surface of the moon. In particular they want to learn if they can identify the magnetic field configurations that lead to these explosive energy releases and use this information to predict when these events may occur.

 

Led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Hinode mission is a collaboration between the space agencies of Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. NASA helped in the development, funding and assembly of the spacecraft's three science instruments. Hinode is part of the Solar Terrestrial Probes (STP) Program within the Heliophysics Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Hinode science operations.industry.

 

The Lockheed Martin Corp. in Palo Alto, Calif., is the lead U.S. investigator for the Solar Optical Telescope.

 

Original image:

www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hinode/multimedia/solar-flares...

 

Credit: NASA/JAXA/Lockheed Martin

 

Read more about Hinode:

www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hinode/index.html

 

p.s. You can see all of our Hinode photos in the Hinode Group in Flickr at: www.flickr.com/photos/28634332@N05/sets/72157606297030945/

 

_____________________________________________

These official NASA photographs are being made available for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photographs. The photographs may not be used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement by NASA. All Images used must be credited. For information on usage rights please visit: www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelin...

 

E-M5-OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.- -ISO 125-+Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95

My heart goes out to all the family and loved ones killed in the tragic crash of flight 3407

 

Pictures from the media command center at Clarence Center Library

 

"Media briefing on Colgan

Flight 3407

Officials try to piece together what

happened

 

Updated: Friday, 13 Feb 2009, 9:17 AM EST

Published : Friday, 13 Feb 2009, 7:15 AM EST

 

* Written by Aga Dembinska Posted by Emma Orn

 

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - Officials are trying to piece together exactly what happened with Continental Flight 3407 before it crashed into a home in Clarence Thursday.

 

44 people and 4 crew members were on the plane. One person on the ground also died. The flight was a 74-seat Q400 Bombardier aircraft and operated by Colgan Air. Colgan officials are expressing sorrow to the family members of the victims in the accident.

 

The President and CEO of the Pinnacle Airlines Corp and CEO of Colgan Air, Philip Trenary says they are doing everything they can to find out what caused the crash. Officials say they Q400 Bombardier was a brand new plane. The pilot flying the plane was a male and had a female co-pilot. They have confirmed the flight did leave Newark and was delayed.

 

The flight was originally scheduled to arrive at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport around 8:30pm Thursday, they have not said why it was delayed. This is the first accident with the company."

   

Copyright WIVB.com

 

shutterbugstroll.com/

The coming death of Nikon 11

 

Nikon has shown us a several or more of FX mirrorless prototypes already at some local dealers' shows here in Japan,and I believe many of these were actually the F mount bodies just like Thom Hogan recently has written clearly in his latest article at Sansmirror. But is the F mount FX mirrorless actually solves Nikon's mirrorless problem or just even complicate it or makes it even much worse?

  

Nikon FX D-SLR vs Sony FF MILC. Should Nikon keep the venerable F mount for their future serious mirrorless system(even with a lot of technical restrictions)?

First of all, there are a few very erratic but interesting Nikon related rumors we've heard at CP+ show and at Kyobashi Tokyo camera museum, which I sometimes call Nikon graveyard.

But I think it is just a bit too early for us to write about these rumors here or anywhere else now.

We have to analyze these rumors a bit deeper to see which ones might become close to the real things or all are a bit too far-fetched stupid typical internet lies, and at this point, I think all Nikon related rumors we see at NR and many Japanese camera forums are all fakes.....or exaggerated version of the real ones.. or some Nikon fanatic's dreams or requests sent to Nikon via Internet forums.

Mr.Hogan recently said there were a few new Nikon FX rumors floating around internet and one of which actually stimulated his interest was: that the D810 update would not come at the last CP+ show and probably until the next CP+ show in 2018 because instead that camera would be replaced by a mirrorless model. That way Nikon would have a Sony A7R2 competitor instantly.

Well this one was spread across almost all Japanese camera forums and I think some Western guy or girl Google translated the Japanese original rumor erroneously and some very important info was lost in Google translation.....

Anyway, the original Japanese rumor in which Thom seems to have got interested said Nikon would come out with a similarly specified FX mirrorless body to the Sony A7R2 but with a new 46.4mp or 54.7mp sensor sensor designed by Nikon and fabricated by a new sensor manufacturing fab that Nikon, Olympus and Pentax have been trying to set up with some serious help from Tower Jazz and Panasonic. And this new FX mirrorless comes in F mount and a new mount and Nikon would evaluate which version would be selling better for them(like they did with the D800 and the E version of it).

I think this rumor might be true since we dealers always hear this kind of things every where, from third-party lens manufacture guys, from third-party LCD cover sells guys, some third-party speedlite sells guys,etc.

Well this rumor may be true, but the real problem here in this rumor is that Nikon seems to be choosing the F mount for their future mirrorless system and there is no benefit for them with that technically very restricted mount.

Thom commented below on this issue.

"Well, they already have a considerable A7r2 competitor: the D810. I own and shoot both, and I consider the D810 the better choice most of the time. I’d expect a D810 replacement to retain that distinction. So exactly what would we gain with a switch to mirrorless? I’m not sure we'd gain anything that excites me, especially if this means yet another new lens mount".

Well what can I say? I'm not sure if Mr.Hogan is really serious or just joking here? but I think there is no way Nikon will choose the F mount for their upcoming SERIOUS mirrorless system and succeed with it. True the D810 is a good camera already and it may compete well with the A7R2, especially considering its bargain price compared to the Sony.

But I guess Mr.Hogan is not a big fan of EVF and therefore he does not see many advantages of the Sony over the Nikon unlike us who love the EVF and video features of the Sony.

As a pure stills camera the Nikon is still a great body, but it cannot be as versatile hybrid camera as the Sony A7R2, in fact even the cheap Fuji X-T2 beats the Nikon hands down for video and any sort of hybrid use.

Here are some of main advantages of the Sony over the Nikon and Nikon should seriously study about these.

1 incredible video ability for a cheap stills camera.

2 incredibly smooth LV and fast LV AF.

3 effective live exposure compensation.

4 IBIS and effective electronic IS in video mode(although I am not a fan of IBIS thing, I can see it is very useful for handheld lowlight work).

5 I think the Sony system provides better event shooting experience for many of us(who were growing up with digital not film) due to the better LV implementation with the better more accurate tilty LCD screen compared to the D810 based kit with very low resolution fixed LCD.

In addition to all the above Sony or mirrorless specific benefits, Sony already has the more complete newer design better lens line up, especially the manual focus prime selection for the Sony system is a huge advantage of the Sony system over Nikon or Canon. IMHO, the Sony system has the best lens line up for most of normal shooters who are mostly in the range of 10-200 mm FF equivalent focal range, and this is because Sony has got all newly designed digital-optimized Zeiss Loxia, Batis, Voiklander CV-E line primes and Sony's own GM series zooms. IMHO, Nikon has nothing really as strong as the Sony GM line zooms in performance in their current lens line up to compete with Sony E mount system. I mean too many Nikon lenses are already too old and very restricted in use and not really compatible to most of the latest Nikon bodies.....and the latest E series lenses are only compatible to the latest and greatest line of Nikon D series bodies and these E series lenses are all more expensive than Sony and Canon counterparts........so where is never changing F mount lens compatibility that always Nikon fanatics brag about ?

Just a couple of years ago, Sony E mount haters always made fun of the E mount system for its(then) very poor lens lineup. But now ironically enough, with some serious help from Coshina, Zeiss, Samyang, Tokina, etc, Sony seems to have got one of the very best lens line in the FF class in just a matter of a year or so and I think we have to give some serious credit to Sony for keeping it an open mount system unlike Canon and Nikon trying hard to shut out all the third-parties out of their respective FF system. Nikon has sued Sigma for a several times already and they have lost a lot of money and customers over that stupid lawsuits.

Sony E mount has the widest range of digital-optimized MF(manual focus) lenses and many people who find precise MF-ability more important to them than super fast C-AF will always choose the Sony FE system. I mean it is almost impossible to really precisely MF on your Nikon with their poor soft LV image quality..no peaking,etc. The Canon D-SLRs at least have very good LV and LV exposure simulation mode, but the Nikons including the latest D5600, the D500, the D5 do not have that. The LV speed of the latest Nikon is basically the same as the 7year old D7000, in fact, Nikon has made no progress in this area since the D600.

It is really pity and the Nikon D-SLRs-even the best ones are not comparable to any of the Sony A7X series cameras in this regard.

In last week, I just tried the CV40mm f1.2 in Osaka, and I must say it is incredible, extremely sharp and extremely compact,I think this new Coshina Voiktlander E mount prime series is instantly becoming really an indispensable prime line to many E mount shooters.......

The CV-E 40mm f1.2 is incredible, the CV 12mm f5.6 and 10mm f5.6 are both indispensable and I am sure the upcoming 65mm f2 APO-Lanther will be incredible too, but it is a bit too bulky for me and I might not buy it but still it is a great lens for sure.. And most importantly they are only really practical on a EVF camera with focus peaking.

I do really appreciate the new Voiklander primes and Zeiss Loxia series, and they are one of the main reasons I have been using the A7R and A7R2 for most of things now....

 

Anyway Mr.Hogan wrote below:

"But let’s assume for a moment that the Mirrorless D810 update rumor is true and Nikon will not update the D810 but put out a high megapixel full frame mirrorless camera instead. What would that say about Nikon’s product line management?

To me, such a switcheroo would be just another sign of Nikon product panic.

Let's see, the F3, F4, D1h/D1x, D3/D3x all worked, and the D5 seems to be working while the F6 worked for the few remaining film-shooting pros. Great products that the pros and high end enthusiasts loved. The F5, D2h/D2x, and D4 didn't quite rise to the same level, but I know plenty of pros that (mostly) love those cameras, too. What I can't understand is why establish the h/s combo and then abandon it? Until the D4 came out we all had h/s twins in our gear closets. Now our gear closet is a bit of a mess. A mirrorless replacement for the D810 would just increase that mess."

I do not know he is actually honest or just writing the above because he has hugely invested into the Nikon eco-system and writing the books on the D series Nikon bodies, after all Nikon is his client and probably the most important one, so he can not be brutally honest about it, maybe? I mean no Nikon cameras even come close to the A7R2 or the A7M2 in terms of LV and video shooting experience or in terms of sheer IQ..........even the ancient A7R ORIGINAL was already a bit better than the D810 with respect to the base ISO noise, color accuracy and most importantly resolving power...and more importantly these high resolution bodies are usually used on a tripod and so they do not need any kind of extra shock generating mecha like the mirror-box or completely mechanical shutter...Almost all the Sony E mount cameras now shoot without shutter mirror slap and therefore they can better utilize the high resolution sensor with the latest high-grade lens combo.....I have compared a couple of the D810 bodies with a couple of the A7R(not the 2) many times and the A7R produces better sharper images most of times as long as it is set on a solid tripod.....so if the D810 cannot get as sharp as the A7R most of times, then how can it compete with the even better almost mechanical internal shock-free A7R2 body? On top of that, the D810 has less durable shutter unit than the one used in the A7MK2 and any Sony released after that. The A7R2 has about 3 times longer rated shutter life with much more quiet electronic shutter.

And why he still wants to have a so-called pro body with a super high resolution sensor is beyond me. He seems to want a D5 with the D810 or A7R2 sensor, but is that really needed in the current Nikon line up? I mean all these high resolution cameras are normally used on a tripod or in a studio or like that, so the ultimate speed of pro body is not that important for that kind of camera market. In fact, I think most of people who buy or consider high resolution FF prefer a mirroless over a D-SLR body.

MR.Hogan also said below:

"The D500 is one of Nikon's big successes recently—told you so, Nikon—despite the rushed and slightly unfinished feel. There really should be a D500s soon to polish it up, but we don't hear rumors about that, do we? Meanwhile, the D7200 has been a workhorse for everyone that bought it. It'll give a D500 a run for the money in terms of image quality, though not in build or a few critical performance aspects. "

Well this is a common forum myth or almost an urban legend.....the D500 is not selling well in real world, it was actually a bit too late since most of Nikon shooters that really needed that kind of sports body already dumped their once beloved Nikon kit for the Canon 7DMK2 kit.

We have had many customers complaining about how slow Nikon was and if they had known it coming, then they would have kept their Nikon lenses altogether, but too late.......

Yeah in this sense Hogan is right, Nikon should have talked to the most important user base of theirs about the D500 coming way before ahead.

And how much is the Canon 7DMK2 these days , how much is the Sony A77MK2 or A6500?

Well they are all much cheaper than the D500, and one thing I agree with Mr.Hogan is the D7200 is the biggest enemy of the D500.......the D7200 is cheaper, produces sharper file, with a bit more DR and color range to play with in Capture One pro 10 or DXO Pro 11.

Yeah I agree it is the best Nikon body for our bucks. It is really cheap and really reliable, probably one of these most cost effective camera body solutions. The D7200 and the D750 are really hard to beat for the modest price they carry.

Well, as Thom rightly said, the D500 might have a bit tougher body, but would you really feel it in real life use? I think no. I've abused my puny dinky A7R for almost 4 years but it does not even develop a line of scratch on it, it may be a cheap plastic body but it will definitely take any kind of abuse, even a few drops on to a concrete sidewalk. And still it will work well without any issue. My cheap dinky NEX5n is even more durable, I really abuse it and I do not even care if or when it breaks , so I always use it in the worst possible conditions I can conceive of, but it never breaks. My Nikon D7200 is the same-it is really cheap and easy to replace when it breaks so I use it in the worst possible condition I can conceive of, but it too never breaks.

So the so-called pro build quality is really overrated.......I mean hey try to drop your D5 or D4s or 1DX2 onto a sidewalk, they'd immediately die, I am sure about it but if you drop a Panasonic G85, a Sony A6300, or a Canon EOS-M5, they all would survive. These plastic cameras are more durable than these heavy pro metal bodies and if you doubt it try to drop your so-called pro D-SLRs from some rocky slope onto rocky ground to see how weak fragile they actually are.

Why do we have to worship the usual the more metal contain the better body religion? Why do they all think metal is so much better than plastic ? And why do they all seem to love the loud Nikon shutter so much? Do they never shoot any concert? or piano recital, etc? I am a big fan of Mozart so I do really need silent shutter.........

 

Hogan also said:

"Many of you think that horse should be FX mirrorless. But I don't see how that helps Nikon at all. Note what I wrote about the FX DSLR line above: those are all good cameras, and it's a strong lineup. Probably the strongest part of Nikon's current camera lineup. Do you really think they're going to risk that? I don't. Moreover, it doesn't solve Nikon's biggest problem: negative growth."

Yeah exactly, this is what these annoying Nikon fanatics or forum denizens cannot get, they chant FF, FX, FF and belittle everything else...........but in real life the so-called FF sales makes up for only about 8 percent of the entire ILC market sales and it is not getting much better...

And even before that Nikon's financial crisis is nothing to do with their camera business but the bean counters from Mitsubishi bank stipulate them to stick forever with the silly money losing stepper business.....But even so,Nikon really needs to rectify their consumer camera business as soon as they can, too, since most of their income is now coming from that ever contracting camera business...and the majority of camera buyers never care about FX or DX, or they do not even understand the difference between these two formats. I think one thing Thom has got right-spot-on was Nikon needs more programmable camera (open mount system) and definitely needs to get the SnapBridge thing right. All cameras should have more thorough sophisticated connectivity. After all, the majority of consumers want to upload their images(mostly selfies) right up to their FaceBook pages instantly. Most of my normal friends have already ditched their serious cameras and got something more casual because they hated post-processing or RAW processing, they simply prefer to shoot everything Jpeg and up these directly to their facebook pages.

"By now, as everybody already knows,Nikon has two extremely weak sectors right now: (1) serious compact or One sensor camera; and (2) big sensor mirrorless product that effectively covers from below the D3400 space up to the D7200 range.."

Mr.Hogan continued:

"I've heard absolutely nothing about what happens after the DL fiasco. If Nikon is really not going to play in the 1" compact game, the only choice they really have now is to build Coolpix A replacements. But Nikon proved they didn't know how to market the Coolpix A. Great camera, bit of a price stretch, terrible name and marketing."

Do I agree? No, the Coolpix A was a terrible camera, IMHO.......it needed to have some sort of real EVF and fast static AF, and at least a bit brighter lens than the lame 28mm f2.8 equivalent lens on it. Well the marketing campaign and the software part were really terrible too, but the camera itself was already a terrible camera to start from, so how could any amount of marketing help it moving?

Meanwhile, for DX mirrorless, I haven't heard a lot. I know Nikon has designed prototypes of such cameras and lenses, but I don't know what their target was or whether they decided to move forward with them. I think Nikon has produced a several prototypes already but they decided not to mass-produce these since they all designed to cover the Thom-called- a bit below D3400 market, and I guess they thought it would not be good enough to fight with the Fuji XT2 and similar products. In fact, there is a long lasting rumor that Nikon will join in the Fuji X system camp, but I do not think this rumor is correct since Nikon is not very close to Fuji any more they basically fought and decided to go against each other 7 years ago after Nikon stupidly tried to restrict Fuji to design a F mount body with Fuji's own sensor and electronics inside.

Realistically, I think the only two remaining options Nikon should and still can do now are:

1 to join the m43 or the E mount system, but I do not think Sony will allow Nikon to sell E mount body in the existing E mount eco-system. This means if Nikon wants to join in some already popular mirrorless mount system, that would have to be the m43 club.

2 to start new mirrorless that takes all the advantage(or disadvantage of)existing F mount eco-system. This means Nikon will have to use non optimized mount for FF and video, real electronic aperture control, etc. Or they simply design a new mount like Sony E or Canon M and take the F mount legacy lenses with a sophisticated fully compatible mount adapter like Canon did with their EOS-M mount.

But in this case Nikon can only use the P type and E type lenses for their new mirrorless systems since the older G and D series lenses are not fully compatible to fully electronic aperture control system. Too many Nikon lenses are already too old and very restricted in use and not really compatible to most of new Nikon bodies.....But if the only really fully compatible lenses to their new mirrorless system are the E and P series lenses, then there will be no advantage of choosing the optically very restricted venerable F mount. After all, how many E and P series lenses does the F mount have? I think 13? And is it enough to start a new system from scratch?

Thom and many of his followers seem to prefer Nikon to choose the F mount for their future serious FX mirrorless system, but do they think just having P and E series lenses in the catalogue for that is fine? I think Nikon initially needs at least two very different mount systems:

A: a big FF mirrorless with the F mount for event/ sports /wildlife kind of camera market, they need this type of silly but important F mount mirrorless to just shut up the old whiners in the forums that demand the F mount mirrorless forever...

B: a small FF or APS-C mirrorless system with short flange back design just like the A7 series but with a fully F mount compatible mount adapter(maybe it also needs a kind of focal reducer in case they make it with the DX sized sensor).

So I think it is not too late for Nikon since Sony is the only one player in the FF mirrorless market. But it must be great and fully compatible to the F mount lenses at least the E series lenses, hopefully also compatible to the G series(but I doubt it possible).

Many people in forums asking Nikon to keep the F mount, but in the long run keeping the F mount has no advantages over moving to a new mount system with a fully compatible F mount adapter.

1, the F mount makes camera unnecessarily thick and awkward to hold.

2, the F mount never allows Nikon or any third-party lens maker to develop a set of primes like the Voiklander CV-E series and Zeiss Loxia.......and also the F mount forces Nikon to use super long registration distance for every lens they will make.

3, there are a very few F mount lenses work well without the mirror. Actually only the E series and maybe the P too work well even without the mirror.

The G, the D, etc, never work well since they do not have electronically controlled aperture design.

4, The F mount really restricts Nikon to design a real hybrid camera like the GH5 or the A6500, if not the F mount makes it impossible. The terrible mechanically controlled aperture design really restricts smooth AF and aperture control in video mode and even in LV mode, we already experienced that in any of Nikon LV capable cameras if you ever tried shooting it LV. It is literally useless.

However Nikon should not discard the F mount system just yet since there are simply too many old men asking Nikon to keep using the venerable F mount for their future mirrorless system, and I think this is the biggest long term problem for Nikon.......

The F mount has become a big burden on Nikon's aged back and it will really really limit their camera design options in the future.

However, for a temporal very short time success, it may be better to just continue using the F mount for their action/sports bodies since using short mount registration distance design does not make FX zooms and long primes smaller or cheaper as Sony FE lenses have already shown it...

So they may just want to keep the F mount for their new FF mirrorless system designed for sports/PJ/wildlife market that mostly use a trio of the f2.8 zooms and long super tele primes.

A tiny body like the A7R2 does not hold the heavy lenses well, even the 24-70mm f2.8 feels too big on that body. So Sony will need a big body mirrorless in addition to the A7 line and it should come with the A mount not the puny E mount. I think the A99Mk3 will be that kind of camera covers the PJ/ Wildlife and sports market.

Now for the type B kind of a small bodied mirrorless system, Nikon needs a new mount design with short flange distance with a bit wider than the E mount mount design. If it is compact and actually fine-tuned for the FF sensor from the very start(unlike the E mount , which was originally designed for the APS-C system), I think it will be interesting, but they must have a full line of lenses from the very first day.

And Nikon needs better 21st century camera user interface and program-ability, I think the Leica SL has the best UI and it is definitely a very intuitive camera.

The A7R2 has no touch screen, no proper touch interface, not open to third-party App developers, so if Nikon or any one gets that all right in one body at the Sony price (not the Leica price) , I think they might have a serious chance.

For me touch screen and better more intuitive U.I is more than enough to try the new Nikon system, especially if it gets wider mount diameter than the E mount. Also Nikon(Sony too) must consider developing really effective sensor dust reduction system, for me the most important feature in any new mirrorless system is effective supersonic dust reduction system like the one in the Olympus EM1MK2 and the Panasonic GH5. The effective Dust Reduction system in any m43 body really eliminates the fear of changing lenses in the field. And it is a big plus for me.

Finally, if Nikon wants to really succeed it, then they must persuade Zeiss, Coshina, Sigma, Tamron, Samyang, etc, to enter into their new mount system.

But I doubt they will do it since Nikon always loves proprietary closed system , the Nikon-Sigma court case really shows us how close-mined Nikon is.

If Nikon stupidly closes their new MILC system and shuts out all the third-party lens makers , it will definitely kill the new system immediately. Also they need to persuade Phase One to make Capture One pro for Nikon for around 50 bucks just like Sony does for us.

So while it is not too late, I think, considering the all negative facts such as how they treat the third-parties, etc, it is really really difficult for them....but it is definitely not impossible.

PS. At the last CP+ show Nikon was rumored to have revealed they have already produced a small number of FX mirrorless prototypes a few times in the past, but decided not release these.

Actually, many of us who have closely followed Nikon Japan for at least 6 years or so all have heard about that Nikon has already developed a several or more FX mirrorless prototypes, and a very few of those people have actually tried some of these prototype cameras.

But for some very obscure reasons Nikon just dropped all of them off before the actual planned announcement dates.

I recalled the very first Nikon FX mirrorless prototype design rumor came out in 2015 just before the actual A7R2 announcement, and I think because of that camera, Nikon decided to drop it off. I guess Nikon was embarrassed of their very primitive /crude FX mirrorless camera compared to the already very sophisticated Sony camera at the time.

It was still a rumor but I actually believed it was the case.

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

Now Canon's main customer is Honda, who buys a billion of small high

ISO capable 4k sensors for their cars.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 4: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE5:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

 

UPDATE6: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

  

UPDATE7: I heard that the A9 might not be the long rumored Sony flagship model, but it is the flagship consumer model.

And this means that there will be the ultimate FF or MF Sony camera coming and it will be called Alpha One.

 

Tokyo sky is very polluted.......There is too much pollution

 

The coming death of Nikon 11

Nikon FX D-SLR vs Sony FF MILC. Should Nikon keep the venerable F mount for their future serious mirrorless system(even with a lot of technical restrictions)?

First of all, there are a few very erratic but interesting Nikon related rumors we've heard at CP+ show and at Kyobashi Tokyo camera museum, which I sometimes call Nikon graveyard.

But I think it is just a bit too early for us to write about these rumors here or anywhere else now.

We have to analyze these rumors a bit deeper to see which ones might become close to the real things or all are a bit too far-fetched stupid typical internet lies, and at this point, I think all Nikon related rumors we see at NR and many Japanese camera forums are all fakes.....or exaggerated version of the real ones.. or some Nikon fanatic's dreams or requests sent to Nikon via Internet forums.

Mr.Hogan recently said there were a few new Nikon FX rumors floating around internet and one of which actually stimulated his interest was: that the D810 update would not come at the last CP+ show and probably until the next CP+ show in 2018 because instead that camera would be replaced by a mirrorless model. That way Nikon would have a Sony A7R2 competitor instantly.

Well this one was spread across almost all Japanese camera forums and I think some Western guy or girl Google translated the Japanese original rumor erroneously and some very important info was lost in Google translation.....

Anyway, the original Japanese rumor in which Thom seems to have got interested said Nikon would come out with a similarly specified FX mirrorless body to the Sony A7R2 but with a new 46.4mp or 54.7mp sensor sensor designed by Nikon and fabricated by a new sensor manufacturing fab that Nikon, Olympus and Pentax have been trying to set up with some serious help from Tower Jazz and Panasonic. And this new FX mirrorless comes in F mount and a new mount and Nikon would evaluate which version would be selling better for them(like they did with the D800 and the E version of it).

I think this rumor might be true since we dealers always hear this kind of things every where, from third-party lens manufacture guys, from third-party LCD cover sells guys, some third-party speedlite sells guys,etc.

Well this rumor may be true, but the real problem here in this rumor is that Nikon seems to be choosing the F mount for their future mirrorless system and there is no benefit for them with that technically very restricted mount.

Thom commented below on this issue.

"Well, they already have a considerable A7r2 competitor: the D810. I own and shoot both, and I consider the D810 the better choice most of the time. I’d expect a D810 replacement to retain that distinction. So exactly what would we gain with a switch to mirrorless? I’m not sure we'd gain anything that excites me, especially if this means yet another new lens mount".

Well what can I say? I'm not sure if Mr.Hogan is really serious or just joking here? but I think there is no way Nikon will choose the F mount for their upcoming SERIOUS mirrorless system and succeed with it. True the D810 is a good camera already and it may compete well with the A7R2, especially considering its bargain price compared to the Sony.

But I guess Mr.Hogan is not a big fan of EVF and therefore he does not see many advantages of the Sony over the Nikon unlike us who love the EVF and video features of the Sony.

As a pure stills camera the Nikon is still a great body, but it cannot be as versatile hybrid camera as the Sony A7R2, in fact even the cheap Fuji X-T2 beats the Nikon hands down for video and any sort of hybrid use.

Here are some of main advantages of the Sony over the Nikon and Nikon should seriously study about these.

1 incredible video ability for a cheap stills camera.

2 incredibly smooth LV and fast LV AF.

3 effective live exposure compensation.

4 IBIS and effective electronic IS in video mode(although I am not a fan of IBIS thing, I can see it is very useful for handheld lowlight work).

5 I think the Sony system provides better event shooting experience for many of us(who were growing up with digital not film) due to the better LV implementation with the better more accurate tilty LCD screen compared to the D810 based kit with very low resolution fixed LCD.

In addition to all the above Sony or mirrorless specific benefits, Sony already has the more complete newer design better lens line up, especially the manual focus prime selection for the Sony system is a huge advantage of the Sony system over Nikon or Canon. IMHO, the Sony system has the best lens line up for most of normal shooters who are mostly in the range of 10-200 mm FF equivalent focal range, and this is because Sony has got all newly designed digital-optimized Zeiss Loxia, Batis, Voiklander CV-E line primes and Sony's own GM series zooms. IMHO, Nikon has nothing really as strong as the Sony GM line zooms in performance in their current lens line up to compete with Sony E mount system. I mean too many Nikon lenses are already too old and very restricted in use and not really compatible to most of the latest Nikon bodies.....and the latest E series lenses are only compatible to the latest and greatest line of Nikon D series bodies and these E series lenses are all more expensive than Sony and Canon counterparts........so where is never changing F mount lens compatibility that always Nikon fanatics brag about ?

Just a couple of years ago, Sony E mount haters always made fun of the E mount system for its(then) very poor lens lineup. But now ironically enough, with some serious help from Coshina, Zeiss, Samyang, Tokina, etc, Sony seems to have got one of the very best lens line in the FF class in just a matter of a year or so and I think we have to give some serious credit to Sony for keeping it an open mount system unlike Canon and Nikon trying hard to shut out all the third-parties out of their respective FF system. Nikon has sued Sigma for a several times already and they have lost a lot of money and customers over that stupid lawsuits.

Sony E mount has the widest range of digital-optimized MF(manual focus) lenses and many people who find precise MF-ability more important to them than super fast C-AF will always choose the Sony FE system. I mean it is almost impossible to really precisely MF on your Nikon with their poor soft LV image quality..no peaking,etc. The Canon D-SLRs at least have very good LV and LV exposure simulation mode, but the Nikons including the latest D5600, the D500, the D5 do not have that. The LV speed of the latest Nikon is basically the same as the 7year old D7000, in fact, Nikon has made no progress in this area since the D600.

It is really pity and the Nikon D-SLRs-even the best ones are not comparable to any of the Sony A7X series cameras in this regard.

In last week, I just tried the CV40mm f1.2 in Osaka, and I must say it is incredible, extremely sharp and extremely compact,I think this new Coshina Voiktlander E mount prime series is instantly becoming really an indispensable prime line to many E mount shooters.......

The CV-E 40mm f1.2 is incredible, the CV 12mm f5.6 and 10mm f5.6 are both indispensable and I am sure the upcoming 65mm f2 APO-Lanther will be incredible too, but it is a bit too bulky for me and I might not buy it but still it is a great lens for sure.. And most importantly they are only really practical on a EVF camera with focus peaking.

I do really appreciate the new Voiklander primes and Zeiss Loxia series, and they are one of the main reasons I have been using the A7R and A7R2 for most of things now....

 

Anyway Mr.Hogan wrote below:

"But let’s assume for a moment that the Mirrorless D810 update rumor is true and Nikon will not update the D810 but put out a high megapixel full frame mirrorless camera instead. What would that say about Nikon’s product line management?

To me, such a switcheroo would be just another sign of Nikon product panic.

Let's see, the F3, F4, D1h/D1x, D3/D3x all worked, and the D5 seems to be working while the F6 worked for the few remaining film-shooting pros. Great products that the pros and high end enthusiasts loved. The F5, D2h/D2x, and D4 didn't quite rise to the same level, but I know plenty of pros that (mostly) love those cameras, too. What I can't understand is why establish the h/s combo and then abandon it? Until the D4 came out we all had h/s twins in our gear closets. Now our gear closet is a bit of a mess. A mirrorless replacement for the D810 would just increase that mess."

I do not know he is actually honest or just writing the above because he has hugely invested into the Nikon eco-system and writing the books on the D series Nikon bodies, after all Nikon is his client and probably the most important one, so he can not be brutally honest about it, maybe? I mean no Nikon cameras even come close to the A7R2 or the A7M2 in terms of LV and video shooting experience or in terms of sheer IQ..........even the ancient A7R ORIGINAL was already a bit better than the D810 with respect to the base ISO noise, color accuracy and most importantly resolving power...and more importantly these high resolution bodies are usually used on a tripod and so they do not need any kind of extra shock generating mecha like the mirror-box or completely mechanical shutter...Almost all the Sony E mount cameras now shoot without shutter mirror slap and therefore they can better utilize the high resolution sensor with the latest high-grade lens combo.....I have compared a couple of the D810 bodies with a couple of the A7R(not the 2) many times and the A7R produces better sharper images most of times as long as it is set on a solid tripod.....so if the D810 cannot get as sharp as the A7R most of times, then how can it compete with the even better almost mechanical internal shock-free A7R2 body? On top of that, the D810 has less durable shutter unit than the one used in the A7MK2 and any Sony released after that. The A7R2 has about 3 times longer rated shutter life with much more quiet electronic shutter.

And why he still wants to have a so-called pro body with a super high resolution sensor is beyond me. He seems to want a D5 with the D810 or A7R2 sensor, but is that really needed in the current Nikon line up? I mean all these high resolution cameras are normally used on a tripod or in a studio or like that, so the ultimate speed of pro body is not that important for that kind of camera market. In fact, I think most of people who buy or consider high resolution FF prefer a mirroless over a D-SLR body.

MR.Hogan also said below:

"The D500 is one of Nikon's big successes recently—told you so, Nikon—despite the rushed and slightly unfinished feel. There really should be a D500s soon to polish it up, but we don't hear rumors about that, do we? Meanwhile, the D7200 has been a workhorse for everyone that bought it. It'll give a D500 a run for the money in terms of image quality, though not in build or a few critical performance aspects. "

Well this is a common forum myth or almost an urban legend.....the D500 is not selling well in real world, it was actually a bit too late since most of Nikon shooters that really needed that kind of sports body already dumped their once beloved Nikon kit for the Canon 7DMK2 kit.

We have had many customers complaining about how slow Nikon was and if they had known it coming, then they would have kept their Nikon lenses altogether, but too late.......

Yeah in this sense Hogan is right, Nikon should have talked to the most important user base of theirs about the D500 coming way before ahead.

And how much is the Canon 7DMK2 these days , how much is the Sony A77MK2 or A6500?

Well they are all much cheaper than the D500, and one thing I agree with Mr.Hogan is the D7200 is the biggest enemy of the D500.......the D7200 is cheaper, produces sharper file, with a bit more DR and color range to play with in Capture One pro 10 or DXO Pro 11.

Yeah I agree it is the best Nikon body for our bucks. It is really cheap and really reliable, probably one of these most cost effective camera body solutions. The D7200 and the D750 are really hard to beat for the modest price they carry.

Well, as Thom rightly said, the D500 might have a bit tougher body, but would you really feel it in real life use? I think no. I've abused my puny dinky A7R for almost 4 years but it does not even develop a line of scratch on it, it may be a cheap plastic body but it will definitely take any kind of abuse, even a few drops on to a concrete sidewalk. And still it will work well without any issue. My cheap dinky NEX5n is even more durable, I really abuse it and I do not even care if or when it breaks , so I always use it in the worst possible conditions I can conceive of, but it never breaks. My Nikon D7200 is the same-it is really cheap and easy to replace when it breaks so I use it in the worst possible condition I can conceive of, but it too never breaks.

So the so-called pro build quality is really overrated.......I mean hey try to drop your D5 or D4s or 1DX2 onto a sidewalk, they'd immediately die, I am sure about it but if you drop a Panasonic G85, a Sony A6300, or a Canon EOS-M5, they all would survive. These plastic cameras are more durable than these heavy pro metal bodies and if you doubt it try to drop your so-called pro D-SLRs from some rocky slope onto rocky ground to see how weak fragile they actually are.

Why do we have to worship the usual the more metal contain the better body religion? Why do they all think metal is so much better than plastic ? And why do they all seem to love the loud Nikon shutter so much? Do they never shoot any concert? or piano recital, etc? I am a big fan of Mozart so I do really need silent shutter.........

 

Hogan also said:

"Many of you think that horse should be FX mirrorless. But I don't see how that helps Nikon at all. Note what I wrote about the FX DSLR line above: those are all good cameras, and it's a strong lineup. Probably the strongest part of Nikon's current camera lineup. Do you really think they're going to risk that? I don't. Moreover, it doesn't solve Nikon's biggest problem: negative growth."

Yeah exactly, this is what these annoying Nikon fanatics or forum denizens cannot get, they chant FF, FX, FF and belittle everything else...........but in real life the so-called FF sales makes up for only about 8 percent of the entire ILC market sales and it is not getting much better...

And even before that Nikon's financial crisis is nothing to do with their camera business but the bean counters from Mitsubishi bank stipulate them to stick forever with the silly money losing stepper business.....But even so,Nikon really needs to rectify their consumer camera business as soon as they can, too, since most of their income is now coming from that ever contracting camera business...and the majority of camera buyers never care about FX or DX, or they do not even understand the difference between these two formats. I think one thing Thom has got right-spot-on was Nikon needs more programmable camera (open mount system) and definitely needs to get the SnapBridge thing right. All cameras should have more thorough sophisticated connectivity. After all, the majority of consumers want to upload their images(mostly selfies) right up to their FaceBook pages instantly. Most of my normal friends have already ditched their serious cameras and got something more casual because they hated post-processing or RAW processing, they simply prefer to shoot everything Jpeg and up these directly to their facebook pages.

"By now, as everybody already knows,Nikon has two extremely weak sectors right now: (1) serious compact or One sensor camera; and (2) big sensor mirrorless product that effectively covers from below the D3400 space up to the D7200 range.."

Mr.Hogan continued:

"I've heard absolutely nothing about what happens after the DL fiasco. If Nikon is really not going to play in the 1" compact game, the only choice they really have now is to build Coolpix A replacements. But Nikon proved they didn't know how to market the Coolpix A. Great camera, bit of a price stretch, terrible name and marketing."

Do I agree? No, the Coolpix A was a terrible camera, IMHO.......it needed to have some sort of real EVF and fast static AF, and at least a bit brighter lens than the lame 28mm f2.8 equivalent lens on it. Well the marketing campaign and the software part were really terrible too, but the camera itself was already a terrible camera to start from, so how could any amount of marketing help it moving?

Meanwhile, for DX mirrorless, I haven't heard a lot. I know Nikon has designed prototypes of such cameras and lenses, but I don't know what their target was or whether they decided to move forward with them. I think Nikon has produced a several prototypes already but they decided not to mass-produce these since they all designed to cover the Thom-called- a bit below D3400 market, and I guess they thought it would not be good enough to fight with the Fuji XT2 and similar products. In fact, there is a long lasting rumor that Nikon will join in the Fuji X system camp, but I do not think this rumor is correct since Nikon is not very close to Fuji any more they basically fought and decided to go against each other 7 years ago after Nikon stupidly tried to restrict Fuji to design a F mount body with Fuji's own sensor and electronics inside.

Realistically, I think the only two remaining options Nikon should and still can do now are:

1 to join the m43 or the E mount system, but I do not think Sony will allow Nikon to sell E mount body in the existing E mount eco-system. This means if Nikon wants to join in some already popular mirrorless mount system, that would have to be the m43 club.

2 to start new mirrorless that takes all the advantage(or disadvantage of)existing F mount eco-system. This means Nikon will have to use non optimized mount for FF and video, real electronic aperture control, etc. Or they simply design a new mount like Sony E or Canon M and take the F mount legacy lenses with a sophisticated fully compatible mount adapter like Canon did with their EOS-M mount.

But in this case Nikon can only use the P type and E type lenses for their new mirrorless systems since the older G and D series lenses are not fully compatible to fully electronic aperture control system. Too many Nikon lenses are already too old and very restricted in use and not really compatible to most of new Nikon bodies.....But if the only really fully compatible lenses to their new mirrorless system are the E and P series lenses, then there will be no advantage of choosing the optically very restricted venerable F mount. After all, how many E and P series lenses does the F mount have? I think 13? And is it enough to start a new system from scratch?

Thom and many of his followers seem to prefer Nikon to choose the F mount for their future serious FX mirrorless system, but do they think just having P and E series lenses in the catalogue for that is fine? I think Nikon initially needs at least two very different mount systems:

A: a big FF mirrorless with the F mount for event/ sports /wildlife kind of camera market, they need this type of silly but important F mount mirrorless to just shut up the old whiners in the forums that demand the F mount mirrorless forever...

B: a small FF or APS-C mirrorless system with short flange back design just like the A7 series but with a fully F mount compatible mount adapter(maybe it also needs a kind of focal reducer in case they make it with the DX sized sensor).

So I think it is not too late for Nikon since Sony is the only one player in the FF mirrorless market. But it must be great and fully compatible to the F mount lenses at least the E series lenses, hopefully also compatible to the G series(but I doubt it possible).

Many people in forums asking Nikon to keep the F mount, but in the long run keeping the F mount has no advantages over moving to a new mount system with a fully compatible F mount adapter.

1, the F mount makes camera unnecessarily thick and awkward to hold.

2, the F mount never allows Nikon or any third-party lens maker to develop a set of primes like the Voiklander CV-E series and Zeiss Loxia.......and also the F mount forces Nikon to use super long registration distance for every lens they will make.

3, there are a very few F mount lenses work well without the mirror. Actually only the E series and maybe the P too work well even without the mirror.

The G, the D, etc, never work well since they do not have electronically controlled aperture design.

4, The F mount really restricts Nikon to design a real hybrid camera like the GH5 or the A6500, if not the F mount makes it impossible. The terrible mechanically controlled aperture design really restricts smooth AF and aperture control in video mode and even in LV mode, we already experienced that in any of Nikon LV capable cameras if you ever tried shooting it LV. It is literally useless.

However Nikon should not discard the F mount system just yet since there are simply too many old men asking Nikon to keep using the venerable F mount for their future mirrorless system, and I think this is the biggest long term problem for Nikon.......

The F mount has become a big burden on Nikon's aged back and it will really really limit their camera design options in the future.

However, for a temporal very short time success, it may be better to just continue using the F mount for their action/sports bodies since using short mount registration distance design does not make FX zooms and long primes smaller or cheaper as Sony FE lenses have already shown it...

So they may just want to keep the F mount for their new FF mirrorless system designed for sports/PJ/wildlife market that mostly use a trio of the f2.8 zooms and long super tele primes.

A tiny body like the A7R2 does not hold the heavy lenses well, even the 24-70mm f2.8 feels too big on that body. So Sony will need a big body mirrorless in addition to the A7 line and it should come with the A mount not the puny E mount. I think the A99Mk3 will be that kind of camera covers the PJ/ Wildlife and sports market.

Now for the type B kind of a small bodied mirrorless system, Nikon needs a new mount design with short flange distance with a bit wider than the E mount mount design. If it is compact and actually fine-tuned for the FF sensor from the very start(unlike the E mount , which was originally designed for the APS-C system), I think it will be interesting, but they must have a full line of lenses from the very first day.

And Nikon needs better 21st century camera user interface and program-ability, I think the Leica SL has the best UI and it is definitely a very intuitive camera.

The A7R2 has no touch screen, no proper touch interface, not open to third-party App developers, so if Nikon or any one gets that all right in one body at the Sony price (not the Leica price) , I think they might have a serious chance.

For me touch screen and better more intuitive U.I is more than enough to try the new Nikon system, especially if it gets wider mount diameter than the E mount. Also Nikon(Sony too) must consider developing really effective sensor dust reduction system, for me the most important feature in any new mirrorless system is effective supersonic dust reduction system like the one in the Olympus EM1MK2 and the Panasonic GH5. The effective Dust Reduction system in any m43 body really eliminates the fear of changing lenses in the field. And it is a big plus for me.

Finally, if Nikon wants to really succeed it, then they must persuade Zeiss, Coshina, Sigma, Tamron, Samyang, etc, to enter into their new mount system.

But I doubt they will do it since Nikon always loves proprietary closed system , the Nikon-Sigma court case really shows us how close-mined Nikon is.

If Nikon stupidly closes their new MILC system and shuts out all the third-party lens makers , it will definitely kill the new system immediately. Also they need to persuade Phase One to make Capture One pro for Nikon for around 50 bucks just like Sony does for us.

So while it is not too late, I think, considering the all negative facts such as how they treat the third-parties, etc, it is really really difficult for them....but it is definitely not impossible.

PS. At the last CP+ show Nikon was rumored to have revealed they have already produced a small number of FX mirrorless prototypes a few times in the past, but decided not release these.

Actually, many of us who have closely followed Nikon Japan for at least 6 years or so all have heard about that Nikon has already developed a several or more FX mirrorless prototypes, and a very few of those people have actually tried some of these prototype cameras.

But for some very obscure reasons Nikon just dropped all of them off before the actual planned announcement dates.

I recalled the very first Nikon FX mirrorless prototype design rumor came out in 2015 just before the actual A7R2 announcement, and I think because of that camera, Nikon decided to drop it off. I guess Nikon was embarrassed of their very primitive /crude FX mirrorless camera compared to the already very sophisticated Sony camera at the time.

It was still a rumor but I actually believed it was the case.

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

Now Canon's main customer is Honda, who buys a billion of small high

ISO capable 4k sensors for their cars.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 4: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE5:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

 

UPDATE6: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

The coming death of Nikon 8(updated)

  

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

 

Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore all the annoying self-proclaimed experts such as Tony Northrup, Kevin Raber, and the guy runs PhotographyLife.

I think Mr.Hogan is a rare exception case here because he is more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore he sees it clearly that the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon.

So-called mirrorless is also important for the short term future......but it is not the long term solution....

 

Nikon should listen to the young smartphone generation photographers instead of the annoyingly condescending self-proclaimed experts online.

 

To me it is really shocking that no one shooting any of highend Nikon cameras any more in any where in Japan, it is really hard to spot any one with Nikon product here, and I think it is getting worse these days.

 

Now the D7500 is announced and we have had some chance to test it through at a big camera dealers meeting here, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than anything before it from Nikon, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

 

I think this really slow Live View AF issue is a serious issue and becoming a serious sales hindrance against Nikon.

All young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

    

Nikon should have learned something from the big fail of the D800. Just a few years back the Nikon D800 and E were the greatest cameras among those self-proclaimed experts online and those avid Nikon lovers(Canon/Sony haters) all predicted the death of Canon and trashed all Canon cameras for Canon's infamous "2 stops less DR at base ISO" issue ..........but did the D800E actually become a big hit for Nikon ? at least commercially a successful model?

All those Nikon lovers made the sensor DR at very base ISO a huge deal and trashed all those cameras having lesser DR at base ISO than their beloved Nikon as though they were all useless junks for any application without realizing their beloved Nikons all had lesser DR and resolution than the rival Canon and Sony before the advent of the D800E.

Many Nikon avid fans make the D800 series a huge deal, but besides the sensor what has been so appealing to non-Nikon users or even Nikon users who are not interested in landscape or budget studio work?

Many avid Nikon fans still saying something like below.

"Nikon 85, 105, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 800 primes all superior to Canon. Vast superior to Sony, except new 85 only exception for Sony, and by little bit.

Nikon D5, D500, D810 all superior to Canon. Sony a7r2 does a little bit better than D810, only after iso 800. But the Sony is still not as good all around.......

As for zoom, Nikon 200-400 VR II is as good as Canon, just no extendor but 1/2 the price. Sony has nothing to compare to it. Old Nikon 14-24 still edges out the Canon 11-24/4. Canon has a few good zooms, but most else behind. Most Sony lenses old Minolta, way behind. No sense argue further, you Sony fanboys have to agree."

But if Nikon is still that great, why Nikon is the only one company really doomed and expected to go bankrupt by 2020 Tokyo Olympics by many many industry journalists here?

And even Leica's Andreas Kaufmann already thinks Nikon has one foot in the grave, but in Nikon avid fans minds, Nikon still has better products than Canon and Sony at least in APS-C and FF DSLRs category.......They claim the D810 is still the reference model and the camera to beat.....If Nikon is so great then why has it been in the constant finanical crisis since about 2012?

A long time Nikon shooter at our shop said below.

"Most of Nikon's recent lenses are superior, Nikon has better high end bodies in APS and action class, the D810 remains the best all round body 2 years after its release,...

Yet, few people seem to consider that Canon is in trouble. If Nikon is in difficulty, Canon is IMHO in even more difficulty. The truth being that they both are but not quite as much as those "rumors" are telling us. So go figure!"

Well, the real problem of Nikon is its avid fans all think like what those small number of online forum denizens and those crazy base ISO DR freaks represent the main stream of camera buyers or the industry trend, and they tend to confuse their wishful thinking, or view of the current camera world really with the representation of what is actually selling. In fact, if Nikon is listening to those or even to Tony Northrup, actually Nikon will suffer even more.

All what Tony and his internet followers saying sounds to me like the head-in-the-sand thinking of a small business owner who sees only one solution to a problem (in their case build better cameras) because he only knows how to do one thing (build cameras), rather than the dispassionate thinking of an investor or corporate strategist with a clear goal (maximizing company profit).

Their(Canon hating Nikon fans) argument essentially consists of, 'They make good gear for some specific type of internet photographers(DR freaks), so they'll be fine', without any rational justification as to why this would be the case, or whether the company would be more profitable taking a different direction altogether.

And I think Tony Northrup and the guy writing so-called reviews at " photographylife" the biggest fans of Nikon that consistantly trash Sony, Canon, Fuji, Olympus,etc, albeit in a very very discreet mannar, actually disguisingly so. And listening to them really hurts Nikon. I even think Nikon should shun all DR fanatics since they have no clue why Nikon is suffering this much and why the better DR alone does not sell the system better.

Also, we should realize actually many successful companies change direction all the time. IBM used to make commercial scales and consumer class PCs. Sony's biggest money-spinners are films/music and financial products. Ten years ago, Sony barely made a serious camera system. And companies divest themselves of unprofitable divisions all the time, or even profitable arms which aren't as profitable as they could be - it frees up capital which can then be invested elsewhere with greater return.

Don't believe me? Look at the share price history of Nikon vs Canon and Sony over the last five years. It's not a pretty picture - evidently, other investors are thinking along the same lines. I see Nikon is clearly going on the way of bankrupt, I bet Nikon won't be around in this business by 2020-if not completely go bankrupt by then.

Seriously look at Nikon financials and its in-house capabilities. Product lineup doesn't matter - look at Sony's lineup just five years ago.

Canon produces a lot more than just cameras. Canon can also design and manufacture its own electronics, including sensors. So can Sony - and they also happen to uplead the field in sensor technology.

Nikon is largely reliant on camera sales for its income. Not only that, but it can't even manfacture its own sensors. It can design some of them, but its best ones are all designed and made by either Sony or Toshiba or Aptina, which is now a part of Onsemi. Yes, Nikon makes good products. But it has no other significant source of revenue, and its ability to continue developing and making good products is largely at the mercy of other companies.

What would happen if Nikon suddenly lost supply of Exmor and Toshiba sensors? Nikon-designed sensors (produced by someone else) might hold up at the high-ISO, low-resolution end, but they'd lose the D7200 and D810 sensors that have worked so well for them, with no indication that anything Nikon can design can match their performance.

Their product line might be getting better with the new D5600 and the D500, but their very narrow focus and reliance on direct competitors for supply of critical parts puts them in a very weak position competition-wise. Basically, they live or die at Sony or Canon's behest. And most of online camera experts do not realize this but Nikon buys the glass off from OHARA corporation, which is the biggest high-end glass manufacture and subsidiary of Canon. So basically Nikon has ben buying most of major sensors from Sony and lens glass from Canon subsidiary. So how can they win over Canon and Sony?

Cutting off supply of Exmor sensors might hurt Sony a bit (although most of their income isn't from camera sensors anyway) but it would deal a major, possibly lethal blow to Nikon - perhaps making their lens and non-sensor electronics manufacturing capabilities, and its library of patents, onto the market, for acquisition by Fuji or Sony. There has been a long lasting rumor here in Japan that Fuji is interested and negotiating the price of Nikon with Mitsubishi UFJ, which is the bank controls and actually owns Nikon ownership.

So it's the slowly boiling frog analogy. It's not there yet. But you can see it coming. The dedicated stills camera market isn't getting any bigger - it's shrinking every year and the market is becoming more high-end, as those who may previously have bought low-end cameras gravitate towards phone cameras, One compacts and the older slighly lesser but still very capable used ILC cameras. Nikon is bottom of the pack in mirrorless, bottom of the pack in video - both vital technologies for future, increasingly multipurpose and interconnected devices - and can't actually make a sensor in-house.. If Nikon wants the best sensor on the market for their camera, Nikon 'll have to pay whatever the seller wants, or go with a lesser option, to the detriment of their product. Nikon's also too small to easily catch up to Sony, Canon and Fuji in either manufacturing capability or technology - Nikon just doesn't have the capital or the cashflow of the larger corporations. If Canon lacks something in house, Canon just simply buys it just like Canon did buy the sweedish internet seculty company or Toshiba medical in 2015. Nikon has no option of doing this.......

Sure, Nikon could pour all its money into trying to turn the ship around. But the market is shrinking and Nikon is outgunned both financially - it would be able to keep it up for a while (an Exmor equivalent made by a non-Sony-owned company would help Nikon a lot, until the next big leap came along and that is why Nikon must have bought Aptina when it was for sale), but, eventually, must fall behind technologically, because Nikon simply can't spend as much on R&D as the big companies. Nikon has been barely making a profit as it is - pretty soon,Nikon'd start posting losses and have to find more and more sources of capital to make up for it. Nikon fanboys usually mock Olympus for losing money on its camera business, but even Olympus and its partner Panasonic are not as vulnerable as Nikon is, because Olympus is a far bigger company than Nikon is, and you do not compare Panasonic to Nikon to know its size.......relative to Nikon.

Nikon actually could sell out of the camera business (its plants, infrastructure and human capital would be worth a huge amount to anyone able to make its own sensors), take the billions of dollars from the asset sale and invest it in something much more likely to generate profit and growth in the medium to long term. Maybe optics, maybe something else entirely (e.g. property, finance, or realestate).

Certainly, as a photographer, it would be nice for Nikon to stay in the game and continue to come up with good products. But, as an investor interested in profit, there are far better things Nikon could do with its very limited resources than continue to compete in the camera game. And, ultimately, Nikon's purpose as a company is to make money, not cameras - making cameras is just one of the many ways to make money, and, given their current strategic position, not a very good one in the long term.

Nikon should try to be a new Asian Zeiss or a Sigma.....make the best possible lenses for electronics giants or medical industry, or maybe for industrial use.

Their expertise is optics. Not digital imaging or the electronics that go with it.

But most of internet camera loving experts cannot get this point and they all just think making innovative(to them) cameras solve all Nikon issues, and even suggest go modular, go programmable camera, or better workflow is the key to re-ignite the rapidly dying stills camera market, oh well, it is not that easy.

If Nikon sold its camera (not optics) division now, Nikon would gain a large chunk of cash. Probably considerably smaller if Nikon sold it in 10 years' time instead. But, either way, still a chunk of cash. Nikon could dispose of that cash in several ways. Firstly, Nikon could wind up most of the company and return a huge chunk of cash to their shareholders. That's actually not a bad option - instead of Nikon investing the money as a company, individual shareholders would take their one-off dividend and invest it themselves. Secondly, Nikon could take the money and invest it in other assets - bonds, shares, property and the like - in a similar manner to a trust fund, with shareholders as beneficiaries. No, Nikon's not expert in it now, but Nikon can easily afford to hire the actual experts needed for the genre Nikon wants to enter into.. A company, even a bank, has no inherent expertise in investments - it's the people they hire who have the expertise. On average, a large company doing that as an institutional investor on behalf of shareholders is going to get a better return than people investing as individuals, due to the centralization and greater availability of resources, reduced transaction costs, better access to international exchanges and better access to loans. Thirdly, Nikon could focus on the optics side of its business, which is potentially far more profitable than its dying camera business, given Nikon's ability to do things in-house and the expanding nature of that sector. Finally,Nikon may do a bit of each - return some cash to shareholders, invest some and expand its optics business.

Optics go in everything, not just interchangeable-lens cameras. Look at what Zeiss, Olympus, Fuji, etc do with it. Their lenses go in everything from Bluray, TV broadcasting business, to microscopes, to satellites. That's what Nikon needs to concentrate on if Nikon is to survive as a company that actually makes something. Forget about proprietary ancient F mount and its own camera system and start making optics for everyone and anyone out there, compatible with all sorts of different imaging systems. That's a far larger market than Nikon-branded stills cameras, is an expanding rather than a shrinking market, and utilises what Nikon is best at (optics) and much less of what it's not so good at (electronics).

All that said though, I actually doubt Nikons ability to compete in broad casting lens market, or interchangeable lens market as a thirdparty lens maker. Nikon has tried this in the 90s and Nikon has miserably rejected and failed at it. TV industry has chosen Canon and Fuji and cinema industry has chosen Canon and Zeiss...........so I am not very sure if Nikon has the ability to make a great lens for TV industry........also, Nikon has competed in medical lens market and failed at it miserably. In 2014 Nikon sued Sigma for unfounded patent infringement and Nikon has lost the patent war in the end. I think if Nikon was still a great optical manufacture as it once was, able to compete with Sigma, then Nikon would not have sued Sigma since after that Sigma decided not design some specific lenses for Nikon mount or deliberately delaying actual release of some very popular lenses for the Nikon fit, and this is affecting a lot on Nikon system sales negatively.

Nikon has lost much more than it could gain anything from the lawsuit.

So I think Nikon has no way to survive, let alone thrive after its camera division fails in very near future.

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

Now Canon's main customer is Honda, who buys a billion of small high

ISO capable 4k sensors for their cars.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 4: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE5:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

  

UPDATE6: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

 

But one thing we are very sure about now is DSLR is finally dead , and Nikon's future is very bleak........

   

The coming death of Nikon 13

 

Now every camera rumor site reporting Sony announcement of Sony over takes No2 position in the USA( with erroneous interpretation of it).........and now Nikon sounds even more doomed than it did ever before.

photorumors.com/2017/04/14/sony-overtakes-2-position-in-u...

This is the link from Photorumors site on "Sony overtakes No2 position in the US FF interchangeable lens camera market " post, and as usual their link does not include any link to the original article.

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/04/14/sony-overtakes-n...

Here is IR link of it and they report it pretty accurately with the legitimate link to Sony site.

alphauniverse.com/stories/sony-overtakes--2-position-in-u...

This the original article from Sony Alpha universe blog site.

 

But is Sony really no2 in this market?

Well yes and no, it is a very complicated issue.

In very narrow limited research Sony itself has conducted and reporting Sony seems to have become no 2 FF manufacture in the US and Canada.

But well it is very very complicated and limited research with a lot of special conditions(Sony invented statistics).

And without the special conditions, Sony is not even close to No2.

First of all, it is clearly cherry-picked. It's sales dollars and for only the first two months of 2017, 60 day YTD reports for the two slowest months of the year is silly.

Second of all, it's actually just camera REVENUE they're looking at. And not even total dollars. It's touting a percentage increase in revenue. To illustrate how ridiculous this metric is to claiming "second place" in the ongoing race, consider this made up scenario:

Nikon revenue from Jan/Feb 2016 = $100 million

Sony revenue from Jan/Feb 2016 = $100

Nikon revenue from Jan/Feb 2017 = $95 million (or a 5% loss)

Sony revenue from Jan/Feb 2017 = $123 (or a 23% growth)

Conclusion: Sony is now in second place!* & **

*in revenue growth, year over year, for a 2 month period when the market is typically rather slow

**please ignore the fact that if Sony is in second place in revenue growth, that means Canon is in first place with greater than 23% growth even in Sony's own so-called market research......this means huge.

Anyone can invent a statistic that shows a growth or something in a particular market, it doesn't make it a relevant statistic.

This is known as "cherry picking". That Sony is always doing to cheat the naive camera forum denizens who simply believe whatever any camera related rumor site reports as a fact...........

This new Sony to take the no2 position in the US market report is similar to the one they did in Germany a few years back for another two month sample, and not a word or announcement since then.

The fact that Sony feels such a statistic is important, and announce it IMO shows how badly they are doing in the US. Or , quite honestly, they may be doing incredibly well vs their own forecasts. But my point is still valid... this is a ridiculous statistic and should be considered nothing more than propaganda.

Sony claims to have around a 30% marketshare for those two months (23% increase in their sales = 7% overall increase).

But what Sony calls market share is actually "revnenue growth"

And really, that single statistic is worthless as I already pointed out above.. Total profit and/or profit per unit could be down for that period (thanks to the sales I reference below). Who knows? Sony does and they could have preemptively answered that question, but chose not to. Which makes me raise an eyebrow.

Again, the main issue here is everyone is looking at this as unit sales. It's not. It's revenue increase. Sony was running some HUGE sales in Jan/Feb so an increase in revenue should be expected or LOTS of people are getting fired!

Bragging about that? Means one must be desperate about it.

Possibly. But in this case, I actually see them as smart. They were smart enough to know that EVERY major and minor camera website would pick up on this propaganda and spit it back out without questioning it, and many of them would even interpret it incorrectly as unit sales, putting that little nugget into the minds of tens of thousands of potential consumers for FY 2017. Smart move, IMO.

Sony seems to know how ignorant those camera fanatics are about financial , accounting terms, etc, and so Sony seems to have taken an advantage of that.....and they(the rumor sites) trapped into the Sony trap and reporting it as a FACT......

Also it is really silly that all this kind of sells report in West mostly using Amazon sells ranking as some kind of real authoritative true market state representation is beyond me.

Amazon is huge, no doubt about it but it is not the entire world, far from it.

Plus, I believe Amazon sales rankings are unreliable. They rank items in tiers, for variable lengths of time, and don't share the algorithm. Best sellers are ranked hourly, second tier daily, etc. I had one of my authors buy 20 of his books off Amazon for an event and his book went from #10,000 to low double digits in his category. The next days it was back as before. After that, we have learned not to use Amazons rankings in our sales analysis.

 

But, is Sony really doing so much better than Nikon even in this very limited short period of time?

Well it is really a complicated issue.

I think we have to admit Nikon's balance sheet is actually quite strong; they are in good financial shape. And that's primarily because their camera business is consistently profitable. It will post its 20th consecutive annual operating profit for the fiscal year just concluded. There have been only two strong (i.e. consistently profitable) camera businesses over the past 15 years, and Nikon's is one of them. At least if those camera rumor sites want to be taken any seriously, they should acknowledge it and report it fairly........in addition to negative news of Nikon.......such as they would be in the 4th stage of 4 phase company restructuring process and may reduce headcounts of Semiconductor unit.

Anyway, the point here is the small overall loss Nikon will post this year is almost entirely due to troubles in their semiconductor lithography business, not cameras ,and it is far from a serious loss.......

Sony, on the other hand, is still trying to recover from massive losses over the past 5-6 years -- more than $10 billion caused by the previous management team.

Sony's balance sheet is "battered", in the words of a Business Insider article, although slowly getting better. And Sony's camera business may be slightly profitable, but if it is, that's new — the company has been losing money in cameras for most of the past 10 years.

So Sony is still not a healthy company, let alone a slowly awakening camera giant that of Sony image many of those forum and rumor sites want to push us to believe, so many forum denizens have very positive image of Sony as a imaging company. But if they try to read deeply into their last 5 year financial reports, they realize they were wrong , Sony has been losing quite a lot of money on the DP unit.

And another big negative point no Western camera rumor sites and self-proclaimed experts mentioned about the Nikon-Sony corporate relationship is that Sony has a lot of debt to Mitsubishi UFJ trust and banking corporation, which is the actual owner of Nikon co. So their corporate relationship is not very simple, Nikon is not as weak to Sony as many internet experts think Nikon is. They simply have no real reliable Japanese sources to see it clearly.

On Canon, there's no doubt — they run the most profitable camera business in the world by far, and that's been true for almost 30 years. It is actually remarkable, a note-worthy event that the rumor and camera news site should report, but again they choose not to report it. By now, we should realize none of those rumor sites are fair to Canon or Nikon at all, but they are all in something to try to sell their ridiculously biased image of Sony that Sony is the new awakening giant that no other camera other camera makers are big enough to effectively compete with in this market.

 

The reality is only Canon is quite profitable in this game and any one else is struggling at many levels and none of us know who will survive through next 5 years and who will die or exit out this market.

And the main points of this Sony taking over no2 position from Nikon report are below:

1>it is the USA only report.

2>It is only about FF market, and the FF consists of only 5.4 percent of the entire ILC market.

3>It is a carefully cherry picked this Jan and Feb only FF revenue report.

4>It is only about revenue growth in FF market..

So I have to conclude all of this as Sony is cherry picking only favorable data for them; mixing different things, by reporting value in $ for two months (NOT unit sales), therefore likely a local extremum. Then they present a graph showing _lens_ sale increase over the whole year, giving the impression to be in front of Nikon both in sales and units (lenses + bodies) for not just a moment in time. Additionally, the graph implies that the market would shrink without Sony being in the game, neglecting that a non-negligible percentage of the customers would have bought Canikon gear instead.

Pretty cheap marketing in my personal opinion.

However, the key thing here is not that Sony is actually No2 now or Nikon is in decline like Sony says, it does not matter if it is a fact or a simple lie; but that impression the public gets that Nikon is really in decline or on a death spiral and Sony can manipulate the info this effectively. People love a winner; and unfortunately, seeing Nikon at No3(although as I explained it is not true yet) marks them as being in decline, especially after their pathetic announcement of Nikon's future company restructuring plan that includes stringent headcount reduction and lay-offs.

This has nothing to do with the quality of their cameras and lenses , or accuracy of the Sony published articles - it's simply the psychology of the buyer and their reactions to the news And Sony has just made sure the buyers see that news at every camera news and cheesy rumor sites, and I have to say they succeeded it very effectively.

 

Now there are a several subscription only Japanese analysts' sites reported who will survive through the next 5 years in this ILC camera market.

And If I were to trust their conclusion , there would be only 4 or 3 consumer camera companies that would survive after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and those will be:

If there is enough room for 4 companies in this market:

1 Canon

2 Fuji

3 Sony

4 Olympus

If there is a big enough room for only 3 players in this market after 2020:

1 Canon

2 Fuji

3 Olympus or Sony but they seem to believe Olympus......most likely.

And I kind of take it as about 70 percent right.

After the article was published and many of members of of the sites questioned accuracy of the article because they listed Olympus as safer bet than both Nikon and Sony.

But I personally think it is a fair opinion; as we can all see it in their latest hit EM1M2, their cameras are quite innovative and very unique only one kind of camera both in bad and good ways.

Nikon cameras, on the other hand, are extremely boring , and now many feel all Nikon cameras very dated or anachronistic products, or even unreliable.

Nikon has the worst service and support in the business in Japan(they used to be rated no1 in this area).

Even NPS guys cannot get their 6 year old D700, D3s, D4, etc, properly repaired.

Even NPS guys cannot get a lease body. And it is a fact that many Nikon shooters (mostly PJ guys and sports guys) moving to Canon because of this new Nikon service policy.

In addition to the above two points, the customer demographic of Olympus seems to be the youngest and to my surprise the average age of Fuji X shooters seems to be quite young.

By comparison , average Nikon, Sony and Canon users are very old and usually over 50......

And the Japanese articles point out Sony's near future decision(to stay or exit this market) is very unsure, and they do not guess about it at this point , but at least one analyst thinks Sony will definitely go out of this market at some point and will try to be the Intel of camera sensor. I think it makes sense since I know almost all of their rich shareholders asking about it , in fact forcing Sony to do it.

Plus, as the camera market is tiny and we all know it will become even smaller, Sony will have to face the reality to honestly re-analyze the market and if Sony wants to stay in this business. And as considering the whole size of Sony corporation, and unlike all the other camera makers still in the business Sony has no camera DNA, I think Sony will decide it is too small a market for them.

 

Oh another interesting data which is not from Sony but camera dealers association here is that Nikon guys buy less lenses per body on average than Sony or Canon guys. This means over all profit level of Nikon is quite much lower per body sold than Canon or Sony.

 

So what should Nikon do against the Sony takes no2 position campaign?

 

If Nikon has a few marketing guys who actually understand how serious the after-effect of this Sony takes no2 in "the USA" campaign is, then they should do counter "Nikon is still the no2 in the world "campaign to shut Sony and its paid cheesy rumor sites up......Also Nikon should sue those rumor sites for providing erroneous data and deliberately misleading the naive public and actually damaging the potential sales of Nikon cameras.

 

So why don't you start "I am still the no2 in the world" campaign, Nikon?

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

Now Canon's main customer is Honda, who buys a billion of small high

ISO capable 4k sensors for their cars.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 4: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE5:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

 

UPDATE6: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

  

The coming death of Nikon 9

 

A few weeks back, when the miserable Nikon financial result (although it was nothing to do with their camera business as I reported a month ago) was reported over the usual internet camera related sites, many many Nikon fanatics usually gathering at the trashy sites like Nikon Rumors and Photo Rumors requested Nikon to keep the venerable F mount even for the their future upcoming MILC system.

 

I was really shocked to see that and I thought the real problem of companies like Nikon is that they are too sincere(more like naive?) to listen to the old (usually over 50) fanatics who are only interested in discussing about cameras and debating over it at these camera fora but actually still holding on to their beloved ancient D800.

 

These fanatics are usually stingy and not buying many new cameras(definitely not something uses non-F mount lenses) but just whine whatever the camera their favored maker comes up with. So Nikon or any one else should ignore them.

Instead, Nikon should listen to the Young who actually know why the dedicated cameras are no longer appealing to the majority of buyers.

The F mount will severely restrict Nikon in lens design and also in hybrid camera design, and they should not go with it.....

Oh well but it seems to be what the core Nikon fans want or prefer it over any kind of new mount.....

 

"Whats the point of a Nikon FF camera without Nikon legacy mount? Why anybody should prefer that new born with uncertain future thing to the well received A7 series? "

"the 24-70 Sony GM is bigger and heavier than the Nikon's and Canon's. In this case, the small size body is actually a disadvantage."

"The small size is required only by casual photographers. It reminds me when it was cool to have a small phone (Nokia vs Ericsson ). Then the Samsung Phablet came and people were making fun of the iPhone because it was "too small"l!! And look what we have now!"

 

Hearing this kind of ignorant comments all the time at shops and camera fora, I really wonder if they are really thinking about the smaller size is the only one advantage of the Sony, the Fuji and the other mirrorless systems, or they just pretending not to see the other merits of the Sony system over the Nikon venerable mechanical mount?

"Size advantage is not the only reason for mirroless.In fact, it is the least important one. One day SLRs will pretty much go to the Nikon Tokyo camera museum and all cameras will be mirroless. But working professionals(PJ, Event and Wild life guys) with large glass are not going to want dinky cameras, they will want large grips and good ergonomics. So personally I think Nikon should keep f mount for those. That also means they don't have to catch up on lenses. Plus, they could use the space that is left by the mirror for lens design. The trouble with small mirrorless like the Sony E and the Fuji X is the very small flange has left no room for inverting back into the camera for wide angle lens design as rangefinders used to do. Nikon could potentially create ultra compact wide angle lenses for a F mount mirrorless, and include a small notch so it won't mount on SLRs similar to their non Ai /Ai-S lens issue. They should jump into the mirrorless market with a huge selection of the F lenses rather then just a couple of new mount lenses. Removing their legacy would be dangerous I think."

 

If it was about 6 months ago, I may have agreed with the above comment, but now I think if Nikon chooses the F mount for its new FX or DX mirrorless system, that means Nikon is shooting itself on the foot by killing hybrid functionality and all associated benefits come with that new fully electronic mount design..If they use the ancient mechanical F mount, their new mirrorless system will suffer from very slow LV and very slow and imprecise aperture control system that all their latest D-SLRs just show, and that means it won't sell well.

Actually,the short flange distance let them put the rear lens elements much closer to the image sensor without having to put things deep into the body like in the old days, 50 years ago when seriously wide angle lenses often required mirror lock up and an optical finder on the hot shoe! Thank Sony, Zeiss and Fuji, we don't have to put up with such nonsense any more! All Sony E mount wide angle lenses are superb, sharp across the FF and it is mostly because of the freedom of lens design created by the short flange back design.

With a short flange distance as with most of mirrorless mount, you can then add a converter to use traditional lenses. But you can also use much smaller lenses designed for the short flange distance, such as the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f2.8, compare that amazing Zeiss glass to the typical D-SLR lens of this class, say the Milvus 21mm f2.8 ZF2, you will see my point. The new Coshina Voiklander 10mm f5.6 is even more amazing lens and that kind of design is only possible with the very short flange distance design of the E mount.

If Nikon goes larger format mirrorless and keeps the F mount exactly like it is, they will fade into irrelevance as SLRs fade away into the mirrorless future. That said, they also have to provide full featured mirrorless to F mount adapters for a future serious mirrorless camera. Ideally one that has a screw drive motor in it for all those older AF lenses although I think it is difficult for them to do now. In fact, realistically Nikon can only fully utilize their E series lenses nothing else for the future mirrorless system.

So even if they decided to keep the F mount for the future upcoming mirrorless system that may be announced in this June (in the fastest case), there would be only a few really usable lenses in the current F mount line up, namely the E series and possibly the P series lenses.

Another serious issue for Nikon now is that they might have too little resources to design a completely new lens line in a very short time........as the below customer questions.....

"the dilemma for Nikon should be starting "fresh" means that they are in last place, even behind competitors like Olympus and Panasonic, but is it still better than the venerable F mount for the next coming decade? As you can see in Nikon DX lens line up, Nikon's proclivity to see any non-FX DSLR as something more for convenience means they won't make competitive lenses any time soon for that "fresh" start. And so it will surely fail, and they should keep the F mount."

"As far as I'm concerned, lens adapters like that are like Linus' blanket: it's a security thing. Having it means you can pretend to keep using your lenses.

But frankly, looking around at people shooting with the A7, other than videographers I'm not seeing a lot of folk running adapters all the time on them."

 

Well this is a really difficult question........indeed a very tough one to answer correctly.

I personally dislike the adapter for technical mount precision reason too, but I also know that many many of A7 and Fuji shooters are using that and that is the biggest contributor to their success in the rapidly declining market.

And now video is the most important aspect of any good hybrid camera, and therefore, it is the most important area that Nikon or any new comer in this market should focus all their effort into.

 

So Nikon must go with a wide new mount with very short flange distance design or it will definitely fail, but the real question here is : Can they really afford it ? and even if they can, will they be able to keep up with the speed of Sony and Fuji on lenses?

When some rational people pointing out Nikon really need to react very fast to Fuji and Sony with a completely NEW mount, many avid Nikon fanboys at NR and Photo Rumors belittle Sony and Fuji system all the time like below:

" Sony has no lens or Fuji system is no where near complete. Micro 43 is only just now reaching the point where you can buy almost any piece of glass you need, Fuji and Sony are getting there but its a long road."

 

Well, but then, how many lenses do you really need or able to buy? The reality is Sony and Fuji both have a great lens line up and the quality of their lenses are far better than that of Nikon equivalents. The Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis is an incredible lens, sharp across FF even at wide open and relatively cheap for that kind of quality. The Fuji 90 mm f2 is a portrait shooter's dream, a fantastic portrait lens that also does landscape very very well. Honestly, there is no better lens than the Fuji 90mm f2 in under 35mm class. The Sony FE24-70mm f2.8GM is a fantastic lens that comfortably beats the huge Nikon 24-70mm f2.8VR, and in facts the Sony GM zoom beats all Nikon primes in its range. It is that sharp.

The Sony FE 90mm f2.8G is like a Mini Otus, it is the sharpest Sony E mount lens and probably the best corrected AF lens ever made in any mount. The most amazing thing about the FE90 mm f2.8G macro lens is that it has no CA to speak of, I mean literally!

The Zeiss Loxia 21mm f2.8, while I am not a fan of its focal length, is amazingly sharp and it is extremely well made, a Leica-like lens priced like a Tamron or Sigma. The 25mm Batis is also great, the FE16-35mm f4 is also a better lens than the Nikon AF-S16-35mm f4 VR, which I hated for the terrible fish-eye like distortion at 16mm. The FE55mm f1.8 Z is also fantastic a Mini-Otus like lens and it is already a legend, and it is the sharpest AF capable 50-ish lens, only the Otus 55mm f1.4 comes close to its amazing resolving power! Some may say the Sigma art is as good as the Sony FE 55. But,IMHO, there is no contest, the Sony is a much better lens in terms of CA, flare resistance, bokeh, over all look, etc. The Sigma may be just as sharp as the Sony but that does not mean it is just as optically well corrected as the Sony FE 55mm f1.8Z.

Even the cheap FE lenses like FE24-70mm f4, FE 35mm f2.8, FE28mm f2 are not too bad. The 24-70mm f4 is arguably the worst FE lens, and is a bit worse than the similar Canon, but at least as good as the Nikon AF-S24-120mm f4 VR and the Sony is a lot smaller with better built barrel I have owned all of these and tested all myself and I only kept the Sony and sold the Canon and Nikon 24-XXX f4 zooms. The most hard-core Nikon lovers at the Photo Rumors site never admit it but the Sony FE24-70mm f4 Z is actually not as bad as many chart shooting obsessed useless review sites like Photozone tend to make it out to be, really it is a very versatile lens.

The Sony FE28mm f2 is much more compact than the similar Nikon AF-S28mm f1.8G.

The FE35mm f2.8 Z is a bit dim lens but it is an extremely sharp lens with amazing flare resistance, just a bit dim, but most of times, the IBIS compensates that. The Fuji XF16-50 f2.8 is also an amazing lens, if not the very best std zoom ever made by anyone. The Fuji XF23mm f1.4 is also a stellar lens, I could not find any flaw in this lens at all no matter how hard I look for it, it is that good. Nikon has no lens like the amazing Fuji 23mm f1.4 or Zeiss Batis 25mm f2..

Oh I almost forgot to mention,but the Fuji XF50-140mm f2.8 is probably the best portrait zoom ever made by any one, and it is also a great concert event lens, and again, Nikon has nothing like it. The new Coshina Voiklander 10mm f5.6, 12mm f5.6 super wide primes are only possible with the short mount registration distance. The Voiklander 40mm f1.2 is also a quite small lens and it is very very sharp even at f1.2, I am sure it will become an instant hit for Coshina.

So unless you need very specific super tele or fish eye or TS lenses, they both already have almost any lens most of us ever need with generally better IQ than similar Nikon or Canon lenses. And in case of TS or some short macro lens, we can just adapt Canon lenses or Leica glass, so again no issue here.

 

I think their already having almost complete lens line respectively at this stage of this game is a huge advantage over hypothetical Nikon big sensor mirrorless system.

I guess it is very difficult for Nikon to catch up with Fuji or Sony or both, and even before that, they cannot afford to start a completely new mount system as Nikon is a tiny rapidly contracting company. They simply don't have the resources to invent an entirely new range of lenses for mirrorless when they still don't have a convincing DX range and the only CX lenses they ever announce are versions of the ones that already exist. Just think about how many years they actually needed to complete the current FX F mount line up, almost 10 years since 2007 and still missing a set of PC-E lenses that rival the quality of the Canon TS-E lenses. Well there is a new 19mm f4 PC-E but it is super overpriced and not as wide as the Canon TS-E17mm f4L, which was released in 2009.

So, I think, there are only three realistic options left for Nikon now. These area:

1 to Join in the E mount(most realistic option but I am not sure Sony allows Nikon to do so since Nikon has nothing Sony does not have in-house).

2 to Join in the X or EOS M mount if Fuji or Canon allows that.

3 or to become a third party lens maker for Sony, Fuji and Canon.

As video and legacy lens adaptability are the 2 most important aspects of all future mirrorless cameras, Nikon must go fully electronic FX mount for its rumored prosumer mirrorless system something like Nikon's version of the Fuji X-Pro 2, or Nikon will have to join in the E mount or the X mount or become a third party lens company for Sony, Fuji and Canon. I really hope they can afford the new mount option but I do not think they can do it under the current really obtuse management team. I think my dad and his generation of people will cry when they see Nikon finally becomes a third-party lens manufacture like Sigma to Sony, Canon and Fuji.

But I think it is the future only realistic future left for Nikon.

Finally, it is really sad to see too many folk argue solely from a size perspective when it comes to mirrorless vs D-SLR, Mirrorless cameras have several advantages nothing to do with size. I miss my EVF and all its plus points when I use my Nikon D-SLR much more than I miss the OVF when I use my Sony, Fuji and Panasonic. In fact, I would be delighted if Nikon makes an external EVF for my D-SLRs.

IMO, the main advantages of using mirrorless cameras are:

1 better VF with much more usable info display.

2 better Manual focus-ability with focus peaking and zeburra.

3 superb S-AF speeds at least on par with the very best DSLR, with much better focus accuracy.

4 much better utility for video, with excellent EVF. D-SLRs cannot use the finder during video shooting.

5 more simple, more durable body. On average my mirrorless cameras last much longer than my D-SLRs. My ancient NEX5n is still going very strong without any issue. It has been really abused under torrential rain, extremely intense snow,etc but never broke.

6 much faster much usable LV AF with much better keeper rate, this is very usable when shooting some event at very crowded venue.

7 AI based much more accurate metering system directly off the sensor.

So, as opposed to many D-SLR lovers believe, I think once we go mirrorless it is hard to go back to the D-SLR with antique 1950th style OVF.

I mean I did not like Sony, Fuji,etc and tried to go back to Nikon many times, but once re-used the OVF, I was quickly disillusioned and came back to the reality. And I realize why I ditched my D810 at the very first place for the A7R because I hated the thickness of the D810 body plus the terrible anachronistic OVF.............. I have been shooting mirrorless since 2009 and even before that I was using EVF on my video cameras and I prefer even the most primitive EVF I had on my Minolta A2(in 2005) to any of the best D-SLR OVFs. Now, I have collected at least 24 mirrorless cameras and it is really hard for me to go back to Nikon or Pentax, not because I hate them or their cameras IQ, but the terrible LV AF performance and even more terrible video features they offer really scare me away.

And I actually think the slow 2009 LV AF speed of the Nikon 2016 cameras is the main issue why Nikon is dying out, it is quickly becoming an irrelevant player in this game. All our iPhone generation boys expect any camera to do LV better than the best Nikon can do it.

 

Sony and Fuji both admitted that the main advantage of MILC is nothing do with the potential size or weight reduction, but reading out the chip info directly off the sensor chip itself without funny extra AF sensors/processors combo intervening the process of the main processor processing the sensor distance data.

Honestly I found the "real advantage of mirrorless" bullet interesting because it's a complete redirect from the whole notion of a size advantage, which was particularly misleading in the case of full frame. It becomes even less relevant when we realize that manufacturers will be organizing their line-ups to push enthusiast buyers up-market to larger sensor cameras.

This new tact about "direct information," however, is equally misleading because any feature that can be incorporated onto a sensor, can work within a mirrored camera as easily as a mirrorless one. But some of us who are already extremely used to shooting with an EVF camera do not want to go back to the OVF........the real reason why some of us need mirrorless is the EVF and the amount of info that the EVF can show us while shooting through the finder............any OVF even the best one like the A900 or the K1 finder cannot do that.

So I am sure the mirrorless will become bigger and bigger each generation as the GH5, EM1MK2, A7R2,etc already show us that trend.

Finally, the main difference between Nikon 1 and EOS-M is the evolution potential. The 1 can´t go further, there are better 1´ sensors, but not that much better, and all the lenses are constructed for this size of sensor, so you can´t get something much more powerful in there in the future. But by contrast, Canon can get their most potent APS-C sensor inside, all EF/EF-S lenses can be used with the same crop factor as with their DSLR´s via adapter, and it's all about their will to invest into this system. If they choose, they can make a powerful EOS-M - Nikon can´t do anything more with their CX system, they will have to begin from the scratch when they want to offer their own competitive MILC system. The EOS-M has some potential, and it´s only about Canon if they want to take it further. But it´s definitely not dead like the Nikon One...

After the EOS M5 launch, Canon has actually announced that they now own 23.5 percent of world wide MILC market, and they are already no2 in that market.

However, it is still not too late for Nikon, Nikon just should develop a Fully compatible new electronic mount with short registration distance and fully compatible F mount adapter with automated electronic aperture.

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

Now Canon's main customer is Honda, who buys a billion of small high

ISO capable 4k sensors for their cars.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 4: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE5:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

  

UPDATE6: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

 

But one thing we are very sure about now is DSLR is finally dead , and Nikon's future is very bleak........

  

The actual state of Sony Nikon sensor relationship(updated)

 

Some clarification(correction) to the recent IR interview of Sony DI.

Now every body at Nikon Rumors and similar Nikon related sites getting seriously caught up with the idea Sony would bully Nikon with the new" keep every best sensor they make for only in-house use" marketing strategy.........

But is it true?

There are some new interesting tidbits from a Sony execs interview on PR. The backstory seems to be that it went up on Imaging Resource and then was taken down, but captured and preserved on PhotoRumors at but it is completely misinterpreted by NR and PR guy, I do not think he did it in a malicious way or anything but he did indeed misinterpreted it.

The link is below:

 

photorumors.com/2017/03/18/interesting-interview-with-son...

 

The main points that I corrected from the original interview article at IR in relation to the last Sony interview at CP+ show in original Japanese that was also misinterpreted in the West.......

 

1 Some sensors are originally developed for only in-house use and never intended to sale to any of thirdparty camera manufactures.

 

2 To Sony, the 35mm Full Frame market is the most important and it is relatively stable compared to more fragile smaller sensor camera markets, but Sony wants to grow it slowly but steadily.

3 Now Sony thinks three "essential" aspects of camera system are becoming most important to any good camera system, and Sony will focus on that three factors:

A sensor resolution and system resolution.

B better sensitivity at both base ISO and higher ISO value.

C sensor read-out speed in order to get the highest possible frame second in video and do some image averaging in the near future.

4 Sony thinks the real advantage of MILC design is the system processor gets all image info directly off the sensor and process it immediately, not the lack of a mirror and mirror box.

5 the main problem with the early mirrorless cameras was sensor read-out speed, getting the data off the chip fast enough to the main processing chain. Now the old-day problem is solved but now interpreting all that massive amount of data from the extremely fast -read-out sensor is becoming another big issue. But Sony is very confident solving it by the end of this summer.

6 Sony's main focus in ILC market is so-called FF system, and therefore they will not sell some of FF sensor that are developed for their in-house use only.

7 The huge price gap between so called FF 35mm sensor and APS-C will get smaller with time, maybe in a matter of a couple of years period, Sony will make a relatively affordable FF model(I guess it will be the long rumored FF version of NEX5 series, called A5).

  

Interspersed between these points is a some corporate BS about the future and what Sony can and cannot do relative to it's competitors, but these points above are the most honest assessment of where camera makers how to find the money, and that's at the high end, where bodies and lenses define the category and most sensors are essentially commoditized.

 

Even if it doesn't sound like they're saying so, they are. They realize, that at best they can hold back a sensor technology for a short time, maybe a few months and take an advantage of it. This persuades them, and others, to create some unique technologies/implementations in order to differentiate some models from others. Fuji X-trans, Canon Dual-pixel AF, Depth from defocus, OSPDAF features are all attempts to leverage sensor information and digital processing to do something unique.

However, as Sony clearly said it in Japanese version of this interview and actually in the original IR interview also, Sony will not hold back any other format sensors but some of special designed FF 35mm sensors. This means Nikon or any one can buy their best APS-C sensors any time and it is not a big deal.

So Sony seems to be honest and trying to imply that if you are kind of person not interested in their excessive FF focus marketing at the cost of the entry level market share, then you may want to find something else that suits your style better in some where else........ Well I think this view is stupid and will fail, but Sony is, unlike Fuji, at least honest and saying it clearly(or at least implying it to us in many of their recent interviews both in West and in Japan).

So seems like many Nikon related online forums and sites have got kind of obsessed with the idea Sony would bully Nikon with their narrow minded sensor supply strategy that was wrongly interpreted by Nikon Rumors site, but it was all stupid unfounded paranoid view generated by Nikon Rumors and its sister sites like Sony Addicts and PR.

Yeah Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have for at least a generation.

So Sony would sell almost any sensors to any one who wants to buy their sensors, except the some special speed focused new design FF sensors(with super fast read-out chain) that are specifically designed for their in-house use. The A7R2 sensor was clearly one of these and therefore Nikon did not get it but it was an exceptional case, and Sony-Nikon sensor relationship will not change unless Nikon decides to change their future main sensor supplier from Sony to something else.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

  

UPDATE: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE2:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

Ryogoku pier

  

In my original plan I walked from the Imperial palace area of Tokyo to Tokyo Budokan area and then go explore in deep inside of the imperial palace park, but it was closed.

So I went to Yotsuya after Hanzomon park, I just walked down Shinjuku-dori street to Yotsuya and then took a bus to Kojimachi. I had a quick dinner at Kojimachi. After that I took a Tokyo metro Yurakucho-line train to Tsukishima, where I changed my train to Tokyo subway Oedo line to finally get Ryogoku. After Ryogoku I walked along Sumidagawa river side to Azumabashi and Asakusa area, I did not plan to go there but by following interesting light from Asahi beer building I got there....

  

The coming death of Nikon 9

 

A few weeks back, when the miserable Nikon financial result (although it was nothing to do with their camera business as I reported a month ago) was reported over the usual internet camera related sites, many many Nikon fanatics usually gathering at the trashy sites like Nikon Rumors and Photo Rumors requested Nikon to keep the venerable F mount even for the their future upcoming MILC system.

 

I was really shocked to see that and I thought the real problem of companies like Nikon is that they are too sincere(more like naive?) to listen to the old (usually over 50) fanatics who are only interested in discussing about cameras and debating over it at these camera fora but actually still holding on to their beloved ancient D800.

 

These fanatics are usually stingy and not buying many new cameras(definitely not something uses non-F mount lenses) but just whine whatever the camera their favored maker comes up with. So Nikon or any one else should ignore them.

Instead, Nikon should listen to the Young who actually know why the dedicated cameras are no longer appealing to the majority of buyers.

The F mount will severely restrict Nikon in lens design and also in hybrid camera design, and they should not go with it.....

Oh well but it seems to be what the core Nikon fans want or prefer it over any kind of new mount.....

 

"Whats the point of a Nikon FF camera without Nikon legacy mount? Why anybody should prefer that new born with uncertain future thing to the well received A7 series? "

"the 24-70 Sony GM is bigger and heavier than the Nikon's and Canon's. In this case, the small size body is actually a disadvantage."

"The small size is required only by casual photographers. It reminds me when it was cool to have a small phone (Nokia vs Ericsson ). Then the Samsung Phablet came and people were making fun of the iPhone because it was "too small"l!! And look what we have now!"

 

Hearing this kind of ignorant comments all the time at shops and camera fora, I really wonder if they are really thinking about the smaller size is the only one advantage of the Sony, the Fuji and the other mirrorless systems, or they just pretending not to see the other merits of the Sony system over the Nikon venerable mechanical mount?

"Size advantage is not the only reason for mirroless.In fact, it is the least important one. One day SLRs will pretty much go to the Nikon Tokyo camera museum and all cameras will be mirroless. But working professionals(PJ, Event and Wild life guys) with large glass are not going to want dinky cameras, they will want large grips and good ergonomics. So personally I think Nikon should keep f mount for those. That also means they don't have to catch up on lenses. Plus, they could use the space that is left by the mirror for lens design. The trouble with small mirrorless like the Sony E and the Fuji X is the very small flange has left no room for inverting back into the camera for wide angle lens design as rangefinders used to do. Nikon could potentially create ultra compact wide angle lenses for a F mount mirrorless, and include a small notch so it won't mount on SLRs similar to their non Ai /Ai-S lens issue. They should jump into the mirrorless market with a huge selection of the F lenses rather then just a couple of new mount lenses. Removing their legacy would be dangerous I think."

 

If it was about 6 months ago, I may have agreed with the above comment, but now I think if Nikon chooses the F mount for its new FX or DX mirrorless system, that means Nikon is shooting itself on the foot by killing hybrid functionality and all associated benefits come with that new fully electronic mount design..If they use the ancient mechanical F mount, their new mirrorless system will suffer from very slow LV and very slow and imprecise aperture control system that all their latest D-SLRs just show, and that means it won't sell well.

Actually,the short flange distance let them put the rear lens elements much closer to the image sensor without having to put things deep into the body like in the old days, 50 years ago when seriously wide angle lenses often required mirror lock up and an optical finder on the hot shoe! Thank Sony, Zeiss and Fuji, we don't have to put up with such nonsense any more! All Sony E mount wide angle lenses are superb, sharp across the FF and it is mostly because of the freedom of lens design created by the short flange back design.

With a short flange distance as with most of mirrorless mount, you can then add a converter to use traditional lenses. But you can also use much smaller lenses designed for the short flange distance, such as the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f2.8, compare that amazing Zeiss glass to the typical D-SLR lens of this class, say the Milvus 21mm f2.8 ZF2, you will see my point. The new Coshina Voiklander 10mm f5.6 is even more amazing lens and that kind of design is only possible with the very short flange distance design of the E mount.

If Nikon goes larger format mirrorless and keeps the F mount exactly like it is, they will fade into irrelevance as SLRs fade away into the mirrorless future. That said, they also have to provide full featured mirrorless to F mount adapters for a future serious mirrorless camera. Ideally one that has a screw drive motor in it for all those older AF lenses although I think it is difficult for them to do now. In fact, realistically Nikon can only fully utilize their E series lenses nothing else for the future mirrorless system.

So even if they decided to keep the F mount for the future upcoming mirrorless system that may be announced in this June (in the fastest case), there would be only a few really usable lenses in the current F mount line up, namely the E series and possibly the P series lenses.

Another serious issue for Nikon now is that they might have too little resources to design a completely new lens line in a very short time........as the below customer questions.....

"the dilemma for Nikon should be starting "fresh" means that they are in last place, even behind competitors like Olympus and Panasonic, but is it still better than the venerable F mount for the next coming decade? As you can see in Nikon DX lens line up, Nikon's proclivity to see any non-FX DSLR as something more for convenience means they won't make competitive lenses any time soon for that "fresh" start. And so it will surely fail, and they should keep the F mount."

"As far as I'm concerned, lens adapters like that are like Linus' blanket: it's a security thing. Having it means you can pretend to keep using your lenses.

But frankly, looking around at people shooting with the A7, other than videographers I'm not seeing a lot of folk running adapters all the time on them."

 

Well this is a really difficult question........indeed a very tough one to answer correctly.

I personally dislike the adapter for technical mount precision reason too, but I also know that many many of A7 and Fuji shooters are using that and that is the biggest contributor to their success in the rapidly declining market.

And now video is the most important aspect of any good hybrid camera, and therefore, it is the most important area that Nikon or any new comer in this market should focus all their effort into.

 

So Nikon must go with a wide new mount with very short flange distance design or it will definitely fail, but the real question here is : Can they really afford it ? and even if they can, will they be able to keep up with the speed of Sony and Fuji on lenses?

When some rational people pointing out Nikon really need to react very fast to Fuji and Sony with a completely NEW mount, many avid Nikon fanboys at NR and Photo Rumors belittle Sony and Fuji system all the time like below:

" Sony has no lens or Fuji system is no where near complete. Micro 43 is only just now reaching the point where you can buy almost any piece of glass you need, Fuji and Sony are getting there but its a long road."

 

Well, but then, how many lenses do you really need or able to buy? The reality is Sony and Fuji both have a great lens line up and the quality of their lenses are far better than that of Nikon equivalents. The Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis is an incredible lens, sharp across FF even at wide open and relatively cheap for that kind of quality. The Fuji 90 mm f2 is a portrait shooter's dream, a fantastic portrait lens that also does landscape very very well. Honestly, there is no better lens than the Fuji 90mm f2 in under 35mm class. The Sony FE24-70mm f2.8GM is a fantastic lens that comfortably beats the huge Nikon 24-70mm f2.8VR, and in facts the Sony GM zoom beats all Nikon primes in its range. It is that sharp.

The Sony FE 90mm f2.8G is like a Mini Otus, it is the sharpest Sony E mount lens and probably the best corrected AF lens ever made in any mount. The most amazing thing about the FE90 mm f2.8G macro lens is that it has no CA to speak of, I mean literally!

The Zeiss Loxia 21mm f2.8, while I am not a fan of its focal length, is amazingly sharp and it is extremely well made, a Leica-like lens priced like a Tamron or Sigma. The 25mm Batis is also great, the FE16-35mm f4 is also a better lens than the Nikon AF-S16-35mm f4 VR, which I hated for the terrible fish-eye like distortion at 16mm. The FE55mm f1.8 Z is also fantastic a Mini-Otus like lens and it is already a legend, and it is the sharpest AF capable 50-ish lens, only the Otus 55mm f1.4 comes close to its amazing resolving power! Some may say the Sigma art is as good as the Sony FE 55. But,IMHO, there is no contest, the Sony is a much better lens in terms of CA, flare resistance, bokeh, over all look, etc. The Sigma may be just as sharp as the Sony but that does not mean it is just as optically well corrected as the Sony FE 55mm f1.8Z.

Even the cheap FE lenses like FE24-70mm f4, FE 35mm f2.8, FE28mm f2 are not too bad. The 24-70mm f4 is arguably the worst FE lens, and is a bit worse than the similar Canon, but at least as good as the Nikon AF-S24-120mm f4 VR and the Sony is a lot smaller with better built barrel I have owned all of these and tested all myself and I only kept the Sony and sold the Canon and Nikon 24-XXX f4 zooms. The most hard-core Nikon lovers at the Photo Rumors site never admit it but the Sony FE24-70mm f4 Z is actually not as bad as many chart shooting obsessed useless review sites like Photozone tend to make it out to be, really it is a very versatile lens.

The Sony FE28mm f2 is much more compact than the similar Nikon AF-S28mm f1.8G.

The FE35mm f2.8 Z is a bit dim lens but it is an extremely sharp lens with amazing flare resistance, just a bit dim, but most of times, the IBIS compensates that. The Fuji XF16-50 f2.8 is also an amazing lens, if not the very best std zoom ever made by anyone. The Fuji XF23mm f1.4 is also a stellar lens, I could not find any flaw in this lens at all no matter how hard I look for it, it is that good. Nikon has no lens like the amazing Fuji 23mm f1.4 or Zeiss Batis 25mm f2..

Oh I almost forgot to mention,but the Fuji XF50-140mm f2.8 is probably the best portrait zoom ever made by any one, and it is also a great concert event lens, and again, Nikon has nothing like it. The new Coshina Voiklander 10mm f5.6, 12mm f5.6 super wide primes are only possible with the short mount registration distance. The Voiklander 40mm f1.2 is also a quite small lens and it is very very sharp even at f1.2, I am sure it will become an instant hit for Coshina.

So unless you need very specific super tele or fish eye or TS lenses, they both already have almost any lens most of us ever need with generally better IQ than similar Nikon or Canon lenses. And in case of TS or some short macro lens, we can just adapt Canon lenses or Leica glass, so again no issue here.

 

I think their already having almost complete lens line respectively at this stage of this game is a huge advantage over hypothetical Nikon big sensor mirrorless system.

I guess it is very difficult for Nikon to catch up with Fuji or Sony or both, and even before that, they cannot afford to start a completely new mount system as Nikon is a tiny rapidly contracting company. They simply don't have the resources to invent an entirely new range of lenses for mirrorless when they still don't have a convincing DX range and the only CX lenses they ever announce are versions of the ones that already exist. Just think about how many years they actually needed to complete the current FX F mount line up, almost 10 years since 2007 and still missing a set of PC-E lenses that rival the quality of the Canon TS-E lenses. Well there is a new 19mm f4 PC-E but it is super overpriced and not as wide as the Canon TS-E17mm f4L, which was released in 2009.

So, I think, there are only three realistic options left for Nikon now. These area:

1 to Join in the E mount(most realistic option but I am not sure Sony allows Nikon to do so since Nikon has nothing Sony does not have in-house).

2 to Join in the X or EOS M mount if Fuji or Canon allows that.

3 or to become a third party lens maker for Sony, Fuji and Canon.

As video and legacy lens adaptability are the 2 most important aspects of all future mirrorless cameras, Nikon must go fully electronic FX mount for its rumored prosumer mirrorless system something like Nikon's version of the Fuji X-Pro 2, or Nikon will have to join in the E mount or the X mount or become a third party lens company for Sony, Fuji and Canon. I really hope they can afford the new mount option but I do not think they can do it under the current really obtuse management team. I think my dad and his generation of people will cry when they see Nikon finally becomes a third-party lens manufacture like Sigma to Sony, Canon and Fuji.

But I think it is the future only realistic future left for Nikon.

Finally, it is really sad to see too many folk argue solely from a size perspective when it comes to mirrorless vs D-SLR, Mirrorless cameras have several advantages nothing to do with size. I miss my EVF and all its plus points when I use my Nikon D-SLR much more than I miss the OVF when I use my Sony, Fuji and Panasonic. In fact, I would be delighted if Nikon makes an external EVF for my D-SLRs.

IMO, the main advantages of using mirrorless cameras are:

1 better VF with much more usable info display.

2 better Manual focus-ability with focus peaking and zeburra.

3 superb S-AF speeds at least on par with the very best DSLR, with much better focus accuracy.

4 much better utility for video, with excellent EVF. D-SLRs cannot use the finder during video shooting.

5 more simple, more durable body. On average my mirrorless cameras last much longer than my D-SLRs. My ancient NEX5n is still going very strong without any issue. It has been really abused under torrential rain, extremely intense snow,etc but never broke.

6 much faster much usable LV AF with much better keeper rate, this is very usable when shooting some event at very crowded venue.

7 AI based much more accurate metering system directly off the sensor.

So, as opposed to many D-SLR lovers believe, I think once we go mirrorless it is hard to go back to the D-SLR with antique 1950th style OVF.

I mean I did not like Sony, Fuji,etc and tried to go back to Nikon many times, but once re-used the OVF, I was quickly disillusioned and came back to the reality. And I realize why I ditched my D810 at the very first place for the A7R because I hated the thickness of the D810 body plus the terrible anachronistic OVF.............. I have been shooting mirrorless since 2009 and even before that I was using EVF on my video cameras and I prefer even the most primitive EVF I had on my Minolta A2(in 2005) to any of the best D-SLR OVFs. Now, I have collected at least 24 mirrorless cameras and it is really hard for me to go back to Nikon or Pentax, not because I hate them or their cameras IQ, but the terrible LV AF performance and even more terrible video features they offer really scare me away.

And I actually think the slow 2009 LV AF speed of the Nikon 2016 cameras is the main issue why Nikon is dying out, it is quickly becoming an irrelevant player in this game. All our iPhone generation boys expect any camera to do LV better than the best Nikon can do it.

 

Sony and Fuji both admitted that the main advantage of MILC is nothing do with the potential size or weight reduction, but reading out the chip info directly off the sensor chip itself without funny extra AF sensors/processors combo intervening the process of the main processor processing the sensor distance data.

Honestly I found the "real advantage of mirrorless" bullet interesting because it's a complete redirect from the whole notion of a size advantage, which was particularly misleading in the case of full frame. It becomes even less relevant when we realize that manufacturers will be organizing their line-ups to push enthusiast buyers up-market to larger sensor cameras.

This new tact about "direct information," however, is equally misleading because any feature that can be incorporated onto a sensor, can work within a mirrored camera as easily as a mirrorless one. But some of us who are already extremely used to shooting with an EVF camera do not want to go back to the OVF........the real reason why some of us need mirrorless is the EVF and the amount of info that the EVF can show us while shooting through the finder............any OVF even the best one like the A900 or the K1 finder cannot do that.

So I am sure the mirrorless will become bigger and bigger each generation as the GH5, EM1MK2, A7R2,etc already show us that trend.

Finally, the main difference between Nikon 1 and EOS-M is the evolution potential. The 1 can´t go further, there are better 1´ sensors, but not that much better, and all the lenses are constructed for this size of sensor, so you can´t get something much more powerful in there in the future. But by contrast, Canon can get their most potent APS-C sensor inside, all EF/EF-S lenses can be used with the same crop factor as with their DSLR´s via adapter, and it's all about their will to invest into this system. If they choose, they can make a powerful EOS-M - Nikon can´t do anything more with their CX system, they will have to begin from the scratch when they want to offer their own competitive MILC system. The EOS-M has some potential, and it´s only about Canon if they want to take it further. But it´s definitely not dead like the Nikon One...

After the EOS M5 launch, Canon has actually announced that they now own 23.5 percent of world wide MILC market, and they are already no2 in that market.

However, it is still not too late for Nikon, Nikon just should develop a Fully compatible new electronic mount with short registration distance and fully compatible F mount adapter with automated electronic aperture.

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

Now Canon's main customer is Honda, who buys a billion of small high

ISO capable 4k sensors for their cars.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 4: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE5:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

 

UPDATE6:Now Sony guys kind of implying that there would never be a E mount camera that carries number 9 as rumored as A9. When we interviewed a high ranked Sony official he said that there would be no E mount cameras that carry no9.

The official said no 9 may make some old A mount fans recall of Minolta legacy and using the number for a E mount body may make some old A mount fans furious. So Sony wants to avoid that, they seem try hard not to agitate or perturb the old A mount guys unnecessarily, and so Sony's high-end models will carry either no 7 as already used or no 1 when Sony feels it is necessary or Sony feels it is good enough to carry the ace number 1.

The official also said he and his team cannot say it officially just yet, but he personally thinks the ultimate E mount body would be called Alpha One, not 9 that hay hurt or agitate some people unnecessarily.

So there will be no Alpha 9 or A9, their ultimate highend body will be called Alpha One.

   

Just about 30 minutes after I shot this one a huge storm hit this area of Kobe, and I felt quite scared of it and cancelled my train to Himeji and went back to my hotel room.

Processed with Silverefex pro2 , applied Ilford Delta pro ISO100 film simulation.

I have never used real black and white film except Kodak ISO32 film that I inherited from my grandpa, so I am not sure if this one look like the Ilford film or not, but I kinda like it this way.

 

I like the Kodak ISO32 but it is a bit too contrasty for this image. So I applied this Ilford similation.

 

The coming death of Nikon 16:

  

Recently, we've been almost forced to read so many death of Nikon camera business or Nikon itself(fake) news online(almost every week), and I am usually critical about whatever Nikon does or has done recently, but I have to wonder why so many of Sony taking over the industry at the big cost of Nikon articles floating around online when Sony's balance sheet is still a lot weaker than that of Nikon?

Why is every anti-DSLR article targeting at Nikon not at Canon or Pentax?

Isn't it a bit too odd recently?

  

After the A9, everybody in camera forums and junk rumor sites talk about the coming death of Nikon thing including myself, but is Nikon really doing that much worse than Sony is? Is Sony doing every thing so much better than Nikon or Canon?

 

Well,actually it is a very complicated issue........... In terms of pushing the technology envelop , Sony is doing well, but in terms of sells, obviously not.

The true nature of those recent reports on bleak future of Nikon's camera business has been widely misunderstood, or intentionally exaggerated to make Sony look better than it actually does.

I mean Nikon is fnancially better looking than Sony is or in fact any other camera manufacture except Canon.......

Shortly, Nikon will post a small overall loss this year due to restructuring in a business line that has nothing to do with cameras. But the truth is Nikon has made fairly good profits for many years and consequently has a very strong balance sheet — i.e. Nikon's financial condition is quite good. They can easily handle this year's small loss — could pay for it out of petty cash.

Maybe to some of you it is a surprise, indeed a big one to many, but the truth is Nikon's camera division will post its 20th consecutive annual operating profit this year. If Nikon goes down, that will be the last business they close. If you were heavily invested in Nikon's chip manufacturing machines, or medical devices, or microscopes and inspection equipment, I might have a different story to give you. Those businesses haven't been doing as well as cameras. It was the chip manufacturing business that was recently drastically cut back, and which is posting the losses many of you read about at many online rumor sites with exaggerated titles like "Extraordinarily big loss and it is the biggest loss reported by Nikon in the last 5 years".

I do think Nikon's camera division faces some important challenges, and it has made some troubling mistakes over the past 18 months (despite being nicely profitable over that time), but it's much too soon to write them off.

And just for context: Sony is currently recovering from massive losses incurred over the past 5-6 years. It appears to be on a good recovery path, but its balance sheet is still in much worse shape than Nikon's due to those past losses. Sony lost over $10 billion in the period from 2009-2015 when it was run by Sir.Howard Stringer and his Japanese servant Kazu Hirai, who is the current CEO of the company; Nikon is forecasting a net loss of $70 million [with an 'M', not a 'B'] for this year. In other words, Sony lost 150X as much money in recent years as Nikon will lose this year.

Again, Sony appears to have corrected its problems, and its camera business (a tiny part of Sony's overall business) is evidently a little bit profitable in the last year or two, but still compared to more than a decade of prior losses, what they have gained in the last two years is almost nothing. However, Sony's current main business is not electronics related, actually it has nothing to do with electronics; their main business at least for now is banking and financial with special emphasis on mobile insurance business.

I do not know why but no Western digital camera sites point this out clearly, and thus they are often compared or thought to be a rival of Canon, Nikon , or even Red camera.

But again their main rivals are not electronics related companies, let alone consumer camera companies. And Sony's entertainment and financial business units are both very profitable and so they are able to afford investing some big $ into sensor and general semiconductor business now. But that does not mean Sony will keep investing the same amount of R&D money into the camera business unit for long time.

Panasonic, BTW, had a similar period of massive losses ($15 billion), and it is not recovering as well as Sony. Its camera business (a small part of the company) hasn't made a profit in many years, and is therefore at some risk. However, combined it with the video division, then it suddenly becomes looking OK, in fact, a bit profitable and far better than many think it is now. Plus, their main business is, just like Sony's , no longer electronics related and it has been doing very well. In case you are not very aware of it, their main business is real estate and housing service. And they have increased their presence in airplane and mobile battery market as well. So they, too, do not look as bad as many think they do now.....at least in the longer run than usual annual report period.

 

Ricoh (Pentax) is in the midst of a restructuring, which puts its unprofitable camera business (a small part of Ricoh) at some risk, as well. But the CEO of Ricoh clearly mentioned that they would continue the Pentax business although they may change their branding policy for that line of MF cameras. I think Ricoh is very interested in Mirrorless MF market to compete with Fuji and Hassy. But they may stop making any K mount cameras except the K1 series.

Olympus is nicely profitable, but not in cameras, which has lost money every year for at least a decade. Its balance sheet is decent but also recovering from losses related to a big financial scandal. But now at least their OMD series and that ILC division is making some money.....and there is a big rumor that Olympus will sell their compact and digital audio business to Sony, but no one has any confirmation yet to write about it even here in Japan.

Canon has a very strong balance sheet, and its camera division has been very profitable for even longer than Nikon's — probably every year since 1987. No way to know this for sure, but Canon has probably made more money selling cameras, in inflation and currency adjusted terms, than any other company in history. And their main business is no longer camera or any electronics related thing just like Sony or Panasonic. Their main business is internet security and medical equipment related division. And that is why they could justify spending more than 620 million USD for Toshiba medical company that Canon bought in 2016. Canon has also acquired a few internet security and surveillance /industry camera related businesses.

 

Yeah Nikon looks OK as you simply just look at their sales and balance sheet values.........at least for now.

But what really makes us really worry about them is that their complete lack of success in any new business or even photographic items except the very highend D-SLRs ,which will very soon die out completely and soon to become a part of camera history as with the consumer grade Range Finder or film cameras.

The KeyMission was a huge mistake, a several years too late.

The Cool Pix A was a huge mistake with terrible clunky U.I and a fixed LCD without a proper EVF.

The Nikon DL was aborted even before actually released..........and I think Nikon should have actually released this line of cameras instead of the Key Mission line of action cameras.

Their recent attempt to enter into TV broadcasting lens market has failed miserably, beaten badly by Fuji and Canon.

They also lost the technical lab microscope market to Olympus and Zeiss.

And I think these facts tell you the common forum belief that Nikon is very good at optics but just weak extremely inept at software part of electronics is totally wrong, in fact, they are no longer considered to be a great optics manufacture.

Many many Nikon fans tell you that Nikon just needs to step up their software game then they are fine again......but I do not agree with them on that one at all.

Yeah their biggest problem for now are software and terrible quality control, but the lens is no longer a strength of theirs, either. And in the bit longer run, it may become the biggest problem for them since they can no longer find a new business that fully utilizes their supposedly great optical tech/ design skill (that no longer exists).

This is why they are now desperately suing anyone they can sue to try to get an easy temporal income source.

They sued Zeiss and ASLM......and counter-sued by them.......and they will probably lose it since the court is located in EU.

Nikon has also sued Sigma for a few times and also counter-sued and lost the court game.

So in the short run(usual one or two year period of business view), I think Nikon's weak and ever deteriorating optics division is not a very big issue, but in 3-5 years it will become the biggest issue even for their consumer camera business.

I mean if their optics are as amazing as many Nikon fans believe they are,then why are their lenses all rejected by broadcasting industry or many university labs in Japan and South Korea? and now most of labs use either Olympus or Zeiss microscopes?

And Nikon has been rejected by endoscope industry , now many of them use Fuji or Olympus....You may say their E series prime, especially the AF-E105mm f1.4 is great! Yeah it is, but it is a relatively easy lens to design, any one can do that if the extreme size and price are accepted. In fact, it is nothing special, even the new Sigma 135mm f1.8 beats it in almost every aspect of measurable IQ.

Another recent big fail of Nikon is that they are failing in Japanese X Ray and CT-Scan market, it used to be a big part of their business and they were no 1 in that market at least in Japan.

But now that market is taken over by Philips and Canon, who has bought Toshiba medical(that has been the biggest rival of Nikon in this market) last year.

Finally, as Thom Hogan and likes always pointing out this game will become more and more of a software game than a hardware game.

In 10 years or so, we will be using multi sensored computational camera with multiple liquid lenses from an as-yet-unknown manufacture that will eventually kill the camera SYSTEM concept as we all know today, or maybe Apple, Google, or MS will have completed developing a completely new photographic tool (not smartphone but better imaging capability) with much better more thorough networking capabilities.

So the mirrorless vs the D-SLR issue is kind of a moot point in the long run.

But in the shorter run,as I said, their real problem is having lost many of their truly talented lens designers to other companies.

This is why they have lost the stepper market to ASLM.

This is why they have lost the Endoscope market to Olympus.

This is why they have lost the broadcasting lens market to Fuji and Canon.

This is why they have lost the telescope business from JAXA.

So I think it is not Sony or Canon that has been killing Nikon but Nikon itself.

 

P.S. One thing I am very sure about by now is that the A9 is not a real big threat to Nikon but the A7R2 and its successors are.....and actually the Fuji XT line is a serious threat to Nikon as well. There are many people switching to the Fuji from Nikon, especially those physically compromised elder people and once they moved to the much lighter Fuji X system, they would never come back to Nikon , in fact,probably,never even remotely consider about going back to the clunky Nikon DXXX with ancient OVF ever again.

After having shot Sony and all kinds of mirrorless for about 8 years or so, I really feel shooting through the tiny low-tech analog VF odd, clunky and uncomfortable.

I think It is really strange not to have proper histogram in the VF now, and the slow LV AF speed of Nikon is a big problem. Many people, especially the young ones think the D-SLRs are too slow since they all shoot any camera we display at our shops LV with their arms stretched out in front of their face.

So I guess despite of the good balance sheet Nikon has for now, Nikon's future looks extremely bleak.

  

UPDATE: Recently, I decided to sell some of my Sony, Nikon, and Fuji gear and the results were really surprising.

 

I sold a couple of Fuji X-T2, a Sony A6500, a A6300, a A7R, a A7R2, three A7MK2. I also sold my Nikon D800E, D750, and D810.

 

The most expensive camera by far of the list was the A7R2, but surprisingly I got about identical amount of money for it to what I got for my much cheaper(as a brand new) D810. I paid about 3200 USD for my A7R2 in 2015 and shockingly it was devalued a lot more than I thought, I could only get about 1750 USD for it.

I must say it was a terrible loss.

I paid around 2000 US for my D810 in 2016, and got back about 1800 US for it in May 2017.

 

I got about 123000 yen for my X-T2, and I must say the resell value of this camera is great, I think Fuji has been controlling the price of this camera quite well. I just lost about 5000 yen on this camera and I have used it for more than 7 months, so it was a great deal. Renting it over 5 months and paid only 45 US or less, is an amazing deal.

 

I got offered only 72000 for my A7R and it was really pity, so I did not sell it.

 

I got only 64000 yen for my A6300, but I expected this so it was not really shocking, still it was a bad value camera, though. But it was replaced by the A6500, so I did not expect too much for this one.......

 

I got about 75000 yen for my A6500 and it was quite shocking, I expected to get more for that since I paid 118000 yen for it in last Oct.

 

I got 95000 yen for my A7MK2, it was quite sad, deplorable since it is a FF and cheaper than the X-T2 in the used camera market here.

I got about 134000 yen for my 2 year old D750, and it was a positive surprise. I did not expect to get this much of money for it since I paid only about 158000 yen for it in 2014.

 

So I realized Sony cameras seem to hold the worst resell value (by far) in Japan and my Thai friend told me in Thailand too.

I was about to sell my second A7R2, but I decided to keep it just for my FE16-35mm f4 and Voiklander 15mm f4.5 and Sony 85mm f1.8...

 

But the shocking loss by far this time was the Batis 85mm f1.8 or the Batis 18mm f2.8, I have lost a lot of money on those 2 lenses, and I did not expect this.....I thought I might get about 900 US for my Batis 85, but I got only about 630 US for it.

The 18mm Batis was even worse, I paid about 168000 yen for it in 2016..... and now I could get only about 98000 yen for it, it was the most shocking and the biggest loss by far, I never thought the resale value of the Batis 18mm f2.8 this bad.

  

So now I decided never buy any more Batis series lenses, I have lost too much on this terribly built so-called Zeiss(actually Tamron made) lenses.

  

UPDATE: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE2: Recently, I decided to sell some of my Sony, Nikon, and Fuji gear and the results were really surprising.

 

I sold a couple of Fuji X-T2, a Sony A6500, a A6300, a A7R, a A7R2, three A7MK2. I also sold my Nikon D800E, D750, and D810.

 

The most expensive camera by far of the list was the A7R2, but surprisingly I got about identical amount of money for it to what I got for my much cheaper(as a brand new) D810. I paid about 3200 USD for my A7R2 in 2015 and shockingly it was devalued a lot more than I thought, I could only get about 1750 USD for it.

I must say it was a terrible loss.

I paid around 2000 US for my D810 in 2016, and got back about 1800 US for it in May 2017.

 

I got about 123000 yen for my X-T2, and I must say the resell value of this camera is great, I think Fuji has been controlling the price of this camera quite well. I just lost about 5000 yen on this camera and I have used it for more than 7 months, so it was a great deal. Renting it over 5 months and paid only 45 US or less, is an amazing deal.

 

I got offered only 72000 for my A7R and it was really pity, so I did not sell it.

 

I got only 64000 yen for my A6300, but I expected this so it was not really shocking, still it was a bad value camera, though. But it was replaced by the A6500, so I did not expect too much for this one.......

 

I got about 75000 yen for my A6500 and it was quite shocking, I expected to get more for that since I paid 118000 yen for it in last Oct.

 

I got 95000 yen for my A7MK2, it was quite sad, deplorable since it is a FF and cheaper than the X-T2 in the used camera market here.

I got about 134000 yen for my 2 year old D750, and it was a positive surprise. I did not expect to get this much of money for it since I paid only about 158000 yen for it in 2014.

 

So I realized Sony cameras seem to hold the worst resell value (by far) in Japan and my Thai friend told me in Thailand too.

I was about to sell my second A7R2, but I decided to keep it just for my FE16-35mm f4 and Voiklander 15mm f4.5 and Sony 85mm f1.8...

 

But the shocking loss by far this time was the Batis 85mm f1.8 or the Batis 18mm f2.8, I have lost a lot of money on those 2 lenses, and I did not expect this.....I thought I might get about 900 US for my Batis 85, but I got only about 630 US for it.

The 18mm Batis was even worse, I paid about 168000 yen for it in 2016..... and now I could get only about 98000 yen for it, it was the most shocking and the biggest loss by far, I never thought the resale value of the Batis 18mm f2.8 this bad.

  

So now I decided never buy any more Batis series lenses, I have lost too much on this terribly built so-called Zeiss(actually Tamron made) lenses.

  

UPDATE3: I am now in the process of replacing all my Sony E mount lenses(except a few) with Canon EF mount lenses.

I hated adapters, but after I tried the Sigma MC11, I changed my mind and I think it is much safer to use my Sony bodies with Canon lenses since Canon EF mount is the safest long term future proven mount, and the resell value of the super expensive Sony GM and so-called Sony Zeiss are too bad, the Batis line is even worse. So I think by selling off all expensive Sony E mount lenses that cannot be reused in any other mount system in the near future, I will be more secured and adding the Sigma adapter expand the possible AF lens selection for my FE bodies. After all, I realized that Sony FE zooms are all mediocre , even the most expensive GM ones.

 

I will replace my FE16-35mm f4 Z with a Canon EF16-35mm f4 L IS, I have compared ten copies of each and I am 100 percent sure the Canon is the better lens and cheaper one. In fact, the adapter plus the lens price is the same as the Sony FE16-35mm f4 Z alone. And another benefit of this lens over the FE16-35mm f4 Z is that the Canon lens does not extend its length when it zooms out or in.

 

I will also replace the FE24-70mm f4 with the EF24-70mm f4 LIS.

I will get the 40mm f2.8 STM, which is a surprisingly good lens for the modest size and price.

 

I will also add Sigma 135mm f1.8 Art, which is the sharpest lens ever produced by any one according to Photozone,de.

 

I also add Canon EF70-300mm f4-5.6IS MK2 lens, which is really cheap and for me it is a worth lens since I am not a serious telephoto shooter and so I do not want to invest over 100000 yen for a lens like FE70-300mm f4-5.6G, which is clearly overpriced.

 

I also add Tamron 35mm f1.8VC to replace my Sony FE 35mm f2.8 and Loxia 35mm f2, both of which I actually detest for the terrible corner quality and terrible coma(in case of the Loxia).

 

I may also add the amazing Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC G2, which is about half the price of the Sony FE70-200mmf2.8GM, and in my experience, the Tamron is the sharper lens(I compared 4 copies of each once at my shop).

 

I will keep my FE85mm f1.8, which is one of the best 85mm primes ever made and I much prefer this to the overpriced oversized GM and my plastic coated cheap looking Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8E lens.

 

I will also keep my Voiktlander 15mm f4.5 and 12mm f5.6.

  

UPDATE4: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their digital-imaging division(Sony DI) and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use-only. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.....and Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many armchair experts in many camera fora think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. No one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features... I think Sony should try to be an Intel of camera.

 

UPDATE5:I attended a few academic conferences in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. And I visited many many very crowded tourists venues there and I have come to realize the death of real camera thing is nothing but extremely exaggerated by those silly clickbait sites. There were many many people still using a REAL ILC camera along with their smartphones.

Then what is the problem I've found there?

Well there were a very few people using so-called mirrorless there , especially the high-end mirrorless cameras like theA7R/A7R2,theA7M2, the X-T2, the X-P2, etc. I saw many m43 cameras even the EM1MK2 and GH5, I also spotted many people with XT20, A6300, etc, but I never spotted any A7R2, A7M2, XT2,etc......even at the most crowded tourist places like Kinkaku-ji temple, Kobe Great earthquake museum, Kiyomizudera temple, etc.

And that makes me worry about the long term future of so-called Mirrorless, if Sony and Fuji actually going under before Nikon?

 

To be honest, there are many many Nikon shooters and of course Canon guys and girls, but no A7 or XT2 guys at all.

 

In my last academic conferences in Tokyo area, I found it the same, and in Bangkok and Korea I did not see any Fuji or Sony high-end mirrorless bodies at all.

And more worrying fact was that there were so many Chinese tourists there with big cameras, but none of them shooting a Sony or a Fuji, that makes me really nervous about the future of Sony.

 

Sony is investing a lot of money very quick into the FE system but the ship seems to be sinking. I think the stupid shill marketing and silly "mirrorless taking over the entire industry "hype generated by Fuji and Sony paid internet sites is not at all working for them , but maybe working against them.

  

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

   

We tried to go up to a mountain garden about 8km above this intersection but we realized that our car would not take this much of snow and decided to just make a u-turn here and go back to the city area.

 

Why m43 is doomed 10:

 

The coming death of Nikon 5

 

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

 

Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore all the annoying self-proclaimed experts such as Tony Northrup, Kevin Raber, and the guy runs Photography Life.

I think Mr.Hogan is an exception because he is more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore he sees it clearly that the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon.

So-called mirrorless is also important for the short term future......but it is not the long term solution....

 

Nikon should listen to the young smartphone generation photographers instead of the annoyingly condescending self-proclaimed experts online.

 

I went to Tsukuba area of Ibaraki prefecture for work and academic conference held in there.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 4 days. I visited Tsukuba, Mito, which is the capital city of Ibaraki pref, Tokyo and Chiba.

 

After this short academic trip to North East Kanto I realized the death of consumer camera market issue is more serious than I once thought; it is not the time to discuss mirrorless vs DSLR or iPhone, but it is really the time to discuss how to save this industry at any cost...........anyway to my surprise, I did not see or meet any one with a Sony A7X camera, which is supposed to be the most popular game-changing camera currently available according to many silly online self-proclaimed camera experts. I honestly almost never met any one shooting a Sony A7X or A6XXX other than my co-worker who bought his first ILC camera from me.

I met a couple of American researchers from UC something(probably UCSD), and one of them climbed a middle sized mountain together with me and he had 2 m43( G85 and EM5MK2) and Fuji X-Pro2.

 

I think the dinky fragile Sony cameras I have are not very well suited for both urban documentary of my academic travels and mountain hiking........Most of photographers I met in mountain area of Tsukuba had a Canon 5D something or a m43 or a Fuji. My coworker said ," it was really surprising but no one other than us had a Sony, how come?"

Well it is nothing surprising since I know Sony Alpha 7 series cameras are not selling well in real world outside of camera forums. They are only popular among those camera fanatic forum denizens like us...........

But the maybe more shocking reality to those of us long time Nikon users is that no one seems to be shooting Nikon any more and even in a big anti Nuclear demo I encountered near JR Chiba station station no one using Nikon due to the poor LV and video performance of all Nikon FX bodies. Also many guys told me the excessively loud shutter sound of Nikon DSLRs would make the cops really irritated or angry.

I guess Nikon is rapidly becoming kind of an irrelevant player , no longer a rival of Canon but seems really like a rival of Ricoh Pentax.......Nikon really needs serious Fullframe or APS-C mirrorless system with silent shutter very soon, or Nikon may really become an irrelevant player to all.

 

Now the D500 and D5600 got a several FW updates already and I have tested it at our shop here, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than before it was first launched, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

 

I think this really slow Live View AF issue is a serious issue and becoming a serious sales hindrance against Nikon.

All young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

  

The recent excessive focus on high profit/ high end products of Sony,Olympus, Nikon,etc, will not work in the long run since there will not be enough number of well heeled guys interested in photography any more, and most of us who might switch to Sony or Fuji already have done that in the last 3 years or so.

However, Sony has been just forcibly updating their highend cameras every 8 months or so. Now Sony has already announced A6500, and I believe Sony will announce the A7M3 very soon(at CES if not in November 17th)..........and everybody at least a bit rational realizes that it is just an update model to set back the already overpriced A6300 price high again.............

I think Canon (especially) can afford to refresh their FF DSLR (and even semi-pro APSC DSLR like EOS 7DMK2) in roughly 4 year cycles, because they sell a truck load of entry and mid-level DSLRs. The bottom sustains the top.

Sony learned that they can not compete in the bottom, so they targeted the top level with the Alpha 7 system(especially with the A7X2 series), plus very high quality lenses such as the new FE50mm f1.4Z. They are able to make some profit out of that for very short time, as the margins are higher for those products. However, this is not sustainable in the long run, as:

 

1. People who moved from other systems have already done so as I already explained many times(thus, now already the A7X line sells slowed down here in Japan and in most of East Asian countries including Taiwan), and their number is even more rapidly decreasing with time. Plus, perception is very important; people using Canikon are perceiving that their brands are about to/will do something important soon, and so refrain from switching. Like my very dearest friend Derek and Thomas, who just temporarily bought the A7MK2 for high DR work with their EF lenses. They have owned the Sony for about 12 months but they never bought any Sony or Zeiss lenses. And As the 5DMK4 with improved sensor was released they simply sold the Sony and went back to Canon.

 

2. There is only a certain number of arguably high quality gear that the market can absorb, so the number of Alpha 7 cameras sold will be reducing in time. As I said, not all people want huge camera lens system at all costs of usability/cost and weight. Actually, most of normal people do not want that even if they can get FF system free.

What the die-hard Sony FE fans in many forums do not get is they are not normal photographers but just gearheads in a very odd minority group whose main interest is not photography or camera system at all but arguing about the camera systems or cameras.

So most of them do not even care about system capability but just one latest greatest body or a lens or two.

 

3. Sony, Olympus and Panasonic,etc, are not Leica or Phase, no one perceives them as some sort of premium brands. So once they feel ripped they do not want to drop a lot of money on their so-called "system" unless they actually produce something really game-changing, and they will not.

4. the recent airplane regulation changes really force many people to eventually go back to a big bodied camera with powerful battery since we are no longer allowed to fly with many camera batteries in our " carry-on"bag.....if only one or two batteries are allowed, most of mirrorless, especially the fullframe ones suddenly become useless. 

I just experienced that last week, an airplane security guy seized 3 of my tiny Sony batteries, and by the time I got to my last destination, my camera was already dead............

I used my iPhone USB charger to recharge it on my train from Naha(Okinawa) airport since on the airplane we could no longer charge battery here.

So , in the end, I might agree/have to think the industry itself is dying, it is safest to just stay with what you already have and keep your money in your bank or house or spend your money on a new PC or a Mac or something like that, until you see what is actually winning in this game clearly. And, the saddest part is I think there is no winner in this game.

 

I told my customers that they better keep their D800E and stick with it as long as they can, at least they see what is actually winning clearly. I have strong feeling Sony will not win this game, but it will be the biggest loser like Sony always has been in every single market it entered. I think it will be either Canon, Fuji or some complete outsider such as Microsoft or Red or Black Magic design or some Western company will take over the entire industry in the next decade. Or maybe even Toyota or some one like Epson will take it over from Canon, Nikon and Sony. So it is really the safest to stay with the F mount or EF mount system as long as you can and when the right time comes sell it to move to the final winner's new universal mount system.

But then, the mount system idea is the 20th century idea and must be rectified, I mean we need an universal mount system.

Don't you think so? Sony E mount can be like that, however, Sony does not understand the sentiment of the main stream users. Sony has just replaced so many premature cameras without any FW update or any proper support.

Some just takes it positively and says Sony is pushing the envelop harder than any one else, or keeps trying or like that, but to most of us it seems like just irritating us users by unnecessarily depreciating every camera by replacing them too often.

The A6300 had a just few months of its life, even not a full year. This is amazing and I am actually furious about it. Sony really eventually exhausts almost all its long time users.......So I think 2017 will be a really tough year for the camera companies, esp for Sony and they are making it tougher and tougher themselves........they should have listened to Thom Hogan, who has been giving the great modular camera idea for Nikon for over a decade. He even came to Japan and gave a great presentation of his idea of programmable camera system. But Nikon ignored it.

Tony Northrup said it very well.

"It's comforting as a camera nerd to know that it's the consumer market that's disappearing, especially "Built-in Lens" cameras (P&S cameras). The market for higher-end pro & semi-pro cameras still seems to be strong.

Consumers are more into photography than ever, but traditional camera manufacturers are cut out because they couldn't transition to the modern era of software- and cloud-centric photography (Instagram, FB, Snapchat, Twitter,Line, etc)."

I think he is spot-on this time, I know why none of my friends use cameras I gave them any more since they cannot upload their images to FB or Line automatically.

They just interested in documenting their own lives, so they snaps a lot and they want to upload their images online immediately after they shoot them to talk about that experience with their friends...........no current expensive cameras can get it right, but all new phones have got it right.

On top of that there is a huge world-wide used camera market online and the extreme fast pace camera replacing cycle of Sony and Nikon really making the second-hand market even stronger. There are many many mint D800E, D810, D800, D750, A7, A7MK2, 5DMK3, 6D, etc, sold at the half or less than half the average price of the latest cameras.

And they are perfectly capable in terms of IQ, overall usability,etc. They just to not have the new gimmicky futures that you may or may not use..........and if the IQ is the same or identical most of people just keep using their old cameras or just buy the cheap used models. I have a few guys asked me to keep lightly used D800E or D810 for them as we get them, so I asked them deposit and they paid 60000yen.

I am sure we will get a few good D800E bodies in next week and we will send these to them and they will pay us about another 60000yen.

So I think cellphones are not the real high end camera killers, but the market saturation and the used camera market is. I personally never buy any new any more, just get a shop displayed model for very cheap and use it for six months and sell it to someone I know.

So the camera companies will suffer more from this sudden death of the consumer camera market in the next few years. I wonder if there is no natural disaster occurs in next year in Japan, then what will they use for the next excuse of their bad performance.

    

UPDATE: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE2: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 3: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE4:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

 

UPDATE5:Now Sony guys kind of implying that there would never be a E mount camera that carries number 9 as rumored as A9. When we interviewed a high ranked Sony official he said that there would be no E mount cameras that carry no9.

The official said no 9 may make some old A mount fans recall of Minolta legacy and using the number for a E mount body may make some old A mount fans furious. So Sony wants to avoid that, they seem try hard not to agitate or perturb the old A mount guys unnecessarily, and so Sony's high-end models will carry either no 7 as already used or no 1 when Sony feels it is necessary or Sony feels it is good enough to carry the ace number 1.

The official also said he and his team cannot say it officially just yet, but he personally thinks the ultimate E mount body would be called Alpha One, not 9 that hay hurt or agitate some people unnecessarily.

So there will be no Alpha 9 or A9, their ultimate highend body will be called Alpha One.

   

The coming death of Nikon 7

Is the so-called mirrorless going to really help Nikon ?

  

After the shocking DL cancellation announcement from Nikon, many obviously confused so-called MirrorLess fanatics( who do not understand anything about what has actually happened to Nikon and to the camera industry itself) writing about something like below:

"The Nikon Group had record losses and scrapped the DL line as part of a restructuring of Nikon's parent company. The main losses were not in the camera division but they put the entire company in a very precarious position. They are retrenching."

 

Well it is actually very incorrect or even very malicious way of interpreting the numbers Nikon has presented.. Realistically it is not even half as bad as many mirrorless fanatics want to make it out to be at many silly camera forums. Financially Nikon is still a very strong company both in terms of profitability and balance sheet (certainly when compared to the average Japanese company.)

The company isn't as profitable as in the past but it is very well run (by Japanese standards anyway) financially.

Actually Nikon still provides a strong balance sheet; certainly strong enough to handle a small loss (which they are forecasting for this year), or even several small or modest loss-making years.

What those armchair forum experts do not understand or do not want to see is that Nikon has provided a very strong balance sheet and the term like "extraordinary loss" is simply an accounting term rather than a reference to crisis. So I have to say their intention to exaggerate the situation by using much stronger terms than the more moderate terms that actually fit better into the context seems very malicious, ill-minded and plain stupid.

Nikon is forecasting a small overall loss for the current fiscal year, (and most of that is attributable to a division that has nothing to do with cameras.)

In fact, Nikon has lost much more money than this before, in years when the semiconductor lithography business has been very bad. Nikon's first loss-making year was in 1992, and it was bigger than what they are forecasting for this year. It was entirely attributable to the semiconductor lithography business, as probably all Nikon loss-making years have been (certainly all that I have looked at.)

In accounting, "extraordinary loss" means out-of-the-ordinary expense or write-off -- i.e. an expense or loss that was unexpected in the ordinary course of business. If an earth quake crushes down one of your warehouses, and you have to write off the inventory that it held, that's an extraordinary loss. Publicly traded companies have to report these events when they happen, so Nikon did and it is nothing special.

In this case, it's what's called an "impairment loss" -- Nikon has some lithography machines that they expected to sell for a certain price (so they had a certain inventory value) and their accountants have recently determined that the machines will never sell for that price. So the inventory has to be "written down" to its true value. In this case, it's a 29.8 billion yen write-down, but that is counted against whatever operating profits Nikon has made over the same period.

That has caused them to restate their earnings for the 9 months ended Dec 31, 2016.

markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/Nikon-Posts-9-mon...

The very article above that many camera related sites linked us to just leads with the information that Nikon is now reporting a "net loss to owners of the parent" (that means net loss to Nikon Corp.) of 831 million yen, or about 7.5 million dollars. In other words, the extraordinary loss on the lithography inventory, subtracted from their operating profits, has resulted in a small net loss.

Yes further losses are expected in the final quarter , and they are forecasting a 9 billion yen net loss for the entire year ending March 31, 2017 (so, including the 9 months we're discussing above). That's on forecasted sales of 750 billion yen, so it represents a net loss of about 1.2%. In dollars, it's a net loss of about 80 million (at 110 yen/dollar, which is the figure Nikon has been using for three months or so now.) For clear perspective, last year they made a net profit of 201 million dollars, and 166 million, 425 million, and 386 million respectively in 2015, 2014, and 2013.

Nikon has about 256 billion yen in cash on its balance sheet, and 541 billion yen in net assets (cash, retained earnings, and shareholder's equity). Speaking very loosely that means they could pay off a 9.1 billion yen net loss every year for 28 consecutive years just from the cash they have in the bank.

And as I already explained some where above, Nikon has lost much more money than this in the past, both in absolute and percentage terms. It is not even close to "record" losses for them.

Realistically, if Nikon is recording a 30 billion yen write-down in its lithography division, and another 23 billion yen expense related to "restructuring" costs, but forecasting only a 9 billion yen net loss for the year, then that certainly means that the camera division will report a pretty healthy operating profit. As it has for 18 consecutive years.

So all of this is nothing to do with their camera business and not as serious as many forum armchair experts think it is.

All the above said though, still, it is true, as all of us already know, that Nikon has some long-term concerns, as the camera market stumbles. They certainly know this, and have said so explicitly in their financials going back to at least 2012.

Since the 1980s, when Nikon made great trainloads of money in the semiconductor lithography business, the company has thought of that business as its main diversification pillar, to go along with cameras. In fact, in the early 1990s, they thought that business would be their ticket to decades of high profitability, and it dominated their thinking and investment. But since the mid 1990s, they haven't been able to make consistent money in semiconductor lithography (the Dutch company, ASML, has eaten their lunch).

Their statements in the past 3-5 years indicate to me that they've finally given up on the lithography profitability dream, and are looking very seriously for another big, profitable business to get into. Their default is medical imaging. Well Okay, but plenty of formidable competitors there. That Color me skeptical.

So, as they know and everyone who studies about them closely knows, they need to find something else that leverages their extremely high optical and precision mechanical technologies. So far, I haven't seen any evidence that they have, and that's definitely worrying long-term. And it's also definitely reflected in their stock price.

But likes of many forum pundits always exaggerates it to the point where everybody feels as though Nikon already failed in every category of business they have entered and there would be no way for them to rectify anything......but many people actually reading the official financial reports know what exactly happening here and there in detail and know it is actually better than most of the other camera companies based in Japan.

Many mirrorless fanatics tend to think it a "one-specific-company" issue but it is not that simple, and it is actually getting worse every year, however, it is still no where near the worst time of film in mid 90th.

Plus,I really wonder if the so-called Mirroless will ever become the majority, let alone the dominant player in this business? I have been saying D-SLR is dead for more than 7 years already , but the D-SLRs haven't gone extinct yet. In fact it is still the dominant player in this business with over 67 percent of the entire ILC market share. In 2010 when I bought my first NEX5 camera I thought the Mirroless companies would've already taken over the entire ILC market by 2012, and how much have they gained in this market? Nothing.

In 2011, Sony, Panasonic , Olympus, etc, gain a bit of their respective market share and the mirrorless share finally became about 27 percent of the over all ILC market........but in 2012, they got more competitors coming in to the already over crowded tiny market. Fuji and Canon entered into the MILC market. In the end of the year 2012 Sony reported its actual unit based sells peaked with about 14.1 percent of the ILC market share, and the entire mirrorless share actually peaked as well(28.9%) in the same year 2012.

After that, the mirrorless share in the entire ILC market is declining slowly but steadily.

So if the so-called Mirroless is the future, or even mildly disruptive game-changer as many Olympus, Fuji, Panasonic and Sony guys often claim, then why is the D-SLR still dominating the market? And why are the majority of Canon Nikon guys not selling their D-SLRs for one of these so-called mirrorless mount systems yet?

Well I think the current trend of the tiny so-called mirrorless is not the future or final winner in this game, may become a temporal short term winner, but not in the longer run.

If any of extremely militant die-hard mirrorless biased self-proclaimed experts was right, the mirrorless should've already been dominating the ILC market and all the D-SLRs should've been wiped out by 2015 or so, but I have repeat again the mirrorless share in the entire ILC market is decreasing not increasing.

I actually predicted the mirrorless would become the dominant player by 2014 or 2015 when I bought my first A7 in the winter 2013.........but now I am seeing more and more people actually going back to Canon from Sony or m43. And actually Fuji's best selling camera is an Instant film camera from the 90's.

I think most of NORMAL camera buyers outside of forums do not understand or care about it's a D-SLR or a MILC at all. To them they are identical, just another bleak camera technology.

I have had some customers who were actually very interested in photography and wanted to try it seriously and bought some so-called mirrorless cameras...........but they all gave up in a few months and sold all what they bought from us to us..........After that we did some survey with them and they all said it was just too difficult to use it to produce great images and it was very difficult to transfer images to their phones via WiFi and the manufacture provided app, they said these cameras should have had at least easy "one-button-connection" to the Android and i-OS devices.........

I think this is the point, my younger friends all want to upload all their images instantly within the day they capture them. And many of them complain how bad the IQ of an ILC(including both D-SLR and ML) plus a kitted zoom was even compared to their phones..

Well I told them they'd need a better prime or pro zoom and DXO Optics Pro to develop the RAW files to see the true potential of these cameras........they always replied to me it would be too expensive and would be too time-consuming or complicated.....and they all called it quits......How sad? But it is the reality.

What really shocked me the most in the last few months was my father wanted to go back to photography and bought a A7R2 as I recommended..... The very first day he seemed to be very happy about it and playing with it around his house........but in the morning of the very next day he called me and complained why his Sony did not have any kind of touch screen with the "NORMAL" touch U.I. like in his iPhone 7 Plus. I was shocked even a 74 year old man asked for a touch screen with iPhone-like U.I. I realized this is the real reason why no cameras sell well. It does not have to be a mirrorless but it has to be always connected or at least easy to connect with their phones via BT LE.....

He also complained how laggy his camera's EVF was and he thought it may hurt his right eye. I did not see it that way. But now I know many people especially old men hate EVF, especially the Sony's.

Honestly the software on these cameras is simply terrible......I think most of fanatics get caught up in comparing them to each other, which is like asking which pile of turd smells best, Lol!.

Just take the cranky wireless implementations. There's absolutely no reason why cameras could not have had always on connection to smartphones or laptops via BT LE for years.....but it's only now Canon is rolling this feature out in the EOS M5 and the 5D4 models. The other makers all still use the old Wifi connection and that is really unstable.

Maybe eventually someone(maybe Lenovo?) will build an ILC or some computational smart camera( with multi sensor and lens design like the Light L 16) around an interface that most of smartphone users are already familiar with, and I bet it is not going to be any of the current camera manufactures.

So I think in this regard Thom Hogan is very right, they all need to get proper wireless connectivity to smartphone right. And in addition to that they also need smart Android-like graphical U.I., and also very fast processor to average out a few images shot in a succession to reduce out of the camera noise at high ISO, or produce outstanding in-camera HDR out of the camera, etc, etc. I think they also need some sort of open mount design to get more third-parties coming into their system. The E mount is open to the lens and adapter manufactures but not open to APP developers, it is really stupid.

If Sony were to decide to keep it open to any software developer, there might have already been many great apps for the A7X developed by now. Sony could not develop any truly useful app for the A7X or A6500 yet, but I think many normal people might have written many good apps for them if they kept it open to them.

I wonder who will fail this game next? Maybe Sony? or Fuji or Pentax or Nikon?

Then what happen to these failed mounts? The E and X mounts may be saved, some might buy them, but the K mount ? So I think the Pentax K mount is the ultimate loser.

And thee so-called mirrorless is not the long term future, just a temporal stop-gap solution for this dying industry.

 

UPDATE: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

Why m43 is doomed 10:

 

Will m43 be around in 2020? Or will Nikon just go under by 2020?

I personally doubt the both cases. I think m43 is doomed and so is Nikon........but the main difference here is Nikon has no way to fix their camera business while m43 may have quite bright future if they just simply rectify a few known issues of the system and start listening to the smartphone generation people.

But I feel they always have some difficulty to convince or persuade their system is good enough even if it actually becomes some sort of point of sufficiency for many........the tiny sensor choice forces for any m43 lenses to be at least two times sharper than FF counterparts and still not as sharp as the whole system, the recent DXO review of the Olympus 25mm f1.2 pro clearly shows its limitation as a system.

 

But one thing that is becoming quite clear to most of us (gear heads) in the last 2 years is that Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore all the annoying self-proclaimed experts such as Tony Northrup, Kevin Raber, and the guy runs Photography Life, etc.

I think Mr.Hogan is an exception because he is more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore he sees it clearly that the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon.

So-called mirrorless is also important for them for the short term future......but it is not the long term solution....

 

Nikon should listen to the young smartphone generation photographers instead of the annoyingly condescending self-proclaimed experts online.

 

I went to Amakase area of Oitah prefecture for work and academic conference held in there.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 2 days. I visited Amakase, Hita and Yufuin, which is a famous hot spring village.

 

After this short academic trip to North East Kyushu I realized the death of consumer camera market issue is more serious than I once thought; it is really not the time to discuss mirrorless vs DSLR or iPhone, but it is really the time to discuss how to save this industry at any cost...........anyway to my surprise, I did not see or meet any one with a Sony A7X camera, which is supposed to be the most popular game-changing camera currently available according to many self-proclaimed camera experts. I honestly almost never met any one shooting a Sony A7X or A6XXX other than my co-worker who bought his first ILC camera from me.

 

Every where we go together, now we are wondering why no one we meet here shoots any Sony ILC, is Sony relaly profitable in this business?

 

But the maybe more shocking reality to those of us long time Nikon users is that no one seems to be shooting Nikon any more any where and even in a big anti Nuclear demo I encountered near JR Kumamoto station no one using Nikon due to the poor LV and video performance of all Nikon FX bodies. Also many guys told me the excessively loud shutter sound of Nikon DSLRs would make the cops really irritated or angry.

I guess Nikon is rapidly becoming kind of an irrelevant player , no longer a rival of Canon but seems really like a rival of Ricoh Pentax.......Nikon really needs serious Fullframe or APS-C mirrorless system with silent shutter very soon, or Nikon may lose all the pro PJ shooters and concert photographers to Sony, Fuji or Canon..

 

Now the D500 and D5600 got a several FW updates already and I have tested it at our shop here with the latest FW installed, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than before it was first launched, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

 

I think this really slow Live View AF issue is a serious issue and becoming a serious sales hindrance against Nikon.

All young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

  

Let's be honest even Sigma's CEO Yamaki admits that many young people see bulky DSLR's in particular as a vestige of the past and wouldn't be caught dead with one, the fad having lost its "coolness factor" some 8 or so years back. I , for one, always feel -DSLR odd whenever I try to shoot my D-SLR again. It feels so anachronistic.

But then, the so-called mirrorless perceived any better than the D-SLR by the young?

I think no, all the Cool Kids take photos with their iPhones. I don't know of any type of stand-alone camera that would qualify as cool. If there was or is such a camera system, it would have to be the One sensor compact such as Sony RX-100M5 or Canon G7X MK2.

If someone doesn't want an DSLR because it's "not cool" they aren't getting a m43 or a Fuji X ,either. To normal people they are not really small or discrete at all.

They may get a 1" compact, or simply use their phone. Majority of NORMAL people never care about long zooms or super wide or a set of super fast primes.

Actually, no camera forum denizens realize this but we have to face the fact that all ILC cameras are big to most of NORMAL non-photographer people, and they are very intimidating to most of NORMAL people(I mean regardless of mount type or sensor size).

I never realized it before but while walking around down town Tokyo with one of my younger friends here forced me to understand it. A friend of mine told me that he thinks all interchangeable lens cameras are huge and intimidating to most of average people regardless of sensor size or format, it's just simply annoying! He even said it is really pain-in-ass to use any ILC, it does not matter a m43 or a FF, but if he has to use a ILC, he will go all the way up to FF or at least APS-C cause every ILC even m43 or Nikon One are big and annoying to most anyway.

I guess a big lens scares or annoys people more than a big camera body......I never saw it his way but I got his point and I decided to carry my tiny Canon G7XMK2 when I just walk around the city area with other people. If I am alone shooting something on tripod, then I usually carry my big camera, and I think it does not matter it's a m43, a FF, an APS-C, it is all big to most of NORMAL people, anyway as my younger friends say............

Honestly, ILC's for the most part are a pain in the ass to use and annoying and quirky that deprives away our freedom of choice of our tourist activities or at least restrict it. You need to carry a camera bag, usually with at least one or more other lenses, you are switching lenses, and fiddling around with non-phone like ergonomics that only your creepy old grandpa could love, plus you must change lenses over and over every single block you walk pass by to get at least acceptable focal range like in the zoom on the RX100M5..

To my surprise, a huge group of twenty-something guys and girls, all with tripods, down at the city hall park, taking night shots of the fountain or cityscape using high end dSLRs-mostly Canon 5DMK4 or 5DS-R.

Contrary to the common forum belief all women photogs I know use a big D-SLR or at least A7 or Fuji X, no one use m43 or Nikon One, and they say to occupy the good place, they need the biggest camera and tallest tripod they can handle ..........or they'd be looked down cause Photographic world is dominated by older men who look down on young and women....... Sad, but I think it is the reality. When I shoot paid events with D-SLRs the cops or the security guys never bother me, but when I have a tiny compact camera or NEX type of mirrorless, many cops bother me. Many Westerners do not understand it how look of our camera changes the way people perceive us in the public in East Asia especially city area. It is a huge issue for us in most part of East Asia. If you are a girl not a boy, you really need a big serious looking camera to get the best position you want to get for any event you shoot here.

In China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, etc, public perception is very important, and the ignorant public usually thinks the bigger the more serious camera, or the people with a big camera or cameras are more important paid serious shooters, and thus, people respect them.............it is why m43 is not taken seriously in the nations with relatively tiny people such as Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea, Singapore,etc. If you want to be taken seriously but hate a D-SLR like me, you need a highend Sony or a highend Fuji here in Japan and in most part of Asia. When I was shooting a big piano concert with my A7R2(because it had silent shooting feature unlike my Nikon d750 or Sony A7R), an old guy with Nikon D3300 told me not use a TOY...........Surprising but even old guys with Rebels or Nikon D3XXX think my Sony A7R or A7R2 a toy.........laughable but true, average people are that ignorant and proud of being ignorant.......

And yes, young and trendy mom's who want the next best thing to a point and shoot do select mirrorless, but I've never seen one with a m43 has, a flash, or a tripod. That's based on dozen of events around the world, from Hong Kong to Bangkok to Tokyo to Taipei. And I study what the crowd is doing as much as I do the "real" photographers out in the streets, in fact, I am more interested in studying about others' choices than my own photography.

Not specifically related to market share, etc.,but if you haven't read it already Thom Hogan has an interesting and I think quite balanced article about the differences, as he perceives them:Nikon FX vs Mirrorless.

 

www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/seven-reasons-why-im-still.html

 

Obviously improvements in technology over time will probably narrow some of those differences and, for example, one might be Canon's patent to reduce autofocus hunting below........but again it will definitely hurt m43, not FF or APS-C.

 

www.digitaltrends.com/photography/canon-af-hunting-patent/

Finally, contrary to the common forum belief, the younger photogs the more into heavy gear serious-looking gear, this is glaring especially in Asia.

I think it is a simple psychology case, they just want to be taken seriously.

Those do not care about how they perceived usually just use their iPhone or Google Phone, and nothing wrong with that.

So there is no way m43 will be able to consolidate its market position despite of their recent high quality products such as the amazing GH5, the EM1MK2, etc.

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

Now Canon's main customer is Honda, who buys a billion of small high

ISO capable 4k sensors for their cars.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 4: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE5:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

  

UPDATE6: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

 

But one thing we are very sure about now is DSLR is finally dead , and Nikon's future is very bleak........

  

UPDATE7: I heard that the A9 might not be the long rumored Sony flagship model, but it is the flagship consumer model.

And this means that there will be the ultimate FF or MF Sony camera coming and it will be called Alpha One.

The coming death of Nikon 5

 

Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore the armchair experts or pundits like Tony Northrup,Kevin Raber, Nikon Rumors and some other junk sites like Photo Rumors, which just continuously lies everything..........They should listen to the young iPhone generation boys and girls...instead of the self-proclaimed experts.

The armchair experts will actually kill Nikon not help, you can see that in the last Sony-Nikon sensor relationship paranoid rumors from Nikon Rumors and Photo Rumors.

 

I went to Yufuin Onsen(hot spring complex) area of Oita prefecture for work and academic conference held in there.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 2 days. I think I went to Yufuin,Beppu, Oita, which is the captial city of Oita pref, Kuju(volcano complex), and Aso(volcano complex near Kumamoto).

After this short academic trip to North East Kyushu I realized the death of consumer camera market issue is more serious than we once thought; it is not time to discuss mirrorless vs DSLRs or iPhone, but it is really the time to discuss how to save this industry at any cost...........anyway to my surprise, I did not see or meet any one with a Sony A7X camera, which is supposed to be the most popular innovative camera currently available according to many silly online camera forums, other than my self in any of the 5 places I visited in this trip.

I met a couple of American researchers from UC something, and one of them climbed a middle sized mountain together with me and he had 2 m43( GX80 and EM5MK2) and Fuji X-Pro2.

 

I think the noisy puny Sony cameras I have are not very well suited for both urban documentary of my academic travels and mountain hiking climbing........Most of photographers I met in Volcanic complex areas of Oita prefecture had a Canon 5D something or a m43 or a Fuji. My coworker said ," it was really surprising but no one other than us had a Sony, how come?"

Well it is nothing surprising since I know Sony Alpha 7 series cameras are not selling well in real world outside of camera forums. They are only popular among those camera fanatic forum denizens like us...........

But the maybe more shocking reality to those of us long time Nikon shooter is that no one seems to be shooting Nikon any more and even in a big anti Nuclear demo I encountered near Oita station no one using Nikon due to the poor LV and video performance of all Nikon FX bodies. Also many many guys told me the excessively loud shutter sound of Nikon DSLRs would make the cops really irritated or angry.

I guess Nikon is rapidly becoming kind of an irrelevant player , no longer a rival of Canon but seems really like a rival of Ricoh.......Nikon really needs serious Fullframe or APS-C mirrorless system with silent shutter, or Nikon may have to die soon.

 

Now the D5600 is out and I have tested it at a trade show here, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than the D500 or anything from Nikon since 2011, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest mirrorless champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

  

The recent excessive focus on high profit/ high end products of Sony,Olympus, Nikon,etc, will not work in the long run since there will not be enough number of well heeled guys interested in photography any more, and most of us who might switch to Sony or Fuji already have done that in the last 3 years or so.

However, Sony has been just forcibly updating their highend cameras every 8 months or so. Now Sony has already announced A6500, and I believe Sony will announce the A7M3 very soon(at CES if not in November 17th)..........and everybody at least a bit rational realizes that it is just an update model to set back the already overpriced A6300 price high again.............

I think Canon (especially) can afford to refresh their FF DSLR (and even semi-pro APSC DSLR like EOS 7DMK2) in roughly 4 year cycles, because they sell a truck load of entry and mid-level DSLRs. The bottom sustains the top.

Sony learned that they can not compete in the bottom, so they targeted the top level with the Alpha 7 system(especially with the A7X2 series), plus very high quality lenses such as the new FE50mm f1.4Z. They are able to make some profit out of that for very short time, as the margins are higher for those products. However, this is not sustainable in the long run, as:

 

1. People who moved from other systems have already done so as I already explained many times(thus, now already the A7X line sells slowed down here in Japan and in most of East Asian countries including Taiwan), and their number is even more rapidly decreasing with time. Plus, perception is very important; people using Canikon are perceiving that their brands are about to/will do something important soon, and so refrain from switching. Like my very dearest friend Derek and Thomas, who just temporarily bought the A7MK2 for high DR work with their EF lenses. They have owned the Sony for about 12 months but they never bought any Sony or Zeiss lenses. And As the 5DMK4 with improved sensor was released they simply sold the Sony and went back to Canon.

 

2. There is only a certain number of arguably high quality gear that the market can absorb, so the number of Alpha 7 cameras sold will be reducing in time. As I said, not all people want huge camera lens system at all costs of usability/cost and weight. Actually, most of normal people do not want that even if they can get FF system free.

What the die-hard Sony FE fans in many forums do not get is they are not normal photographers but just gearheads in a very odd minority group whose main interest is not photography or camera system at all but arguing about the camera systems or cameras.

So most of them do not even care about system capability but just one latest greatest body or a lens or two.

 

3. Sony, Olympus and Panasonic,etc, are not Leica or Phase, no one perceives them as some sort of premium brands. So once they feel ripped they do not want to drop a lot of money on their so-called "system" unless they actually produce something really game-changing, and they will not.

4. the recent airplane regulation changes really force many people to eventually go back to a big bodied camera with powerful battery since we are no longer allowed to fly with many camera batteries in our " carry-on"bag.....if only one or two batteries are allowed, most of mirrorless, especially the fullframe ones suddenly become useless. 

I just experienced that last week, an airplane security guy seized 3 of my tiny Sony batteries, and by the time I got to my last destination, my camera was already dead............

I used my iPhone USB charger to recharge it on my train from Naha(Okinawa) airport since on the airplane we could no longer charge battery here.

So , in the end, I might agree/have to think the industry itself is dying, it is safest to just stay with what you already have and keep your money in your bank or house or spend your money on a new PC or a Mac or something like that, until you see what is actually winning in this game clearly. And, the saddest part is I think there is no winner in this game.

 

I told my customers that they better keep their D800E and stick with it as long as they can, at least they see what is actually winning clearly. I have strong feeling Sony will not win this game, but it will be the biggest loser like Sony always has been in every single market it entered. I think it will be either Canon, Fuji or some complete outsider such as Microsoft or Red or Black Magic design or some Western company will take over the entire industry in the next decade. Or maybe even Toyota or some one like Epson will take it over from Canon, Nikon and Sony. So it is really the safest to stay with the F mount or EF mount system as long as you can and when the right time comes sell it to move to the final winner's new universal mount system.

But then, the mount system idea is the 20th century idea and must be rectified, I mean we need an universal mount system.

Don't you think so? Sony E mount can be like that, however, Sony does not understand the sentiment of the main stream users. Sony has just replaced so many premature cameras without any FW update or any proper support.

Some just takes it positively and says Sony is pushing the envelop harder than any one else, or keeps trying or like that, but to most of us it seems like just irritating us users by unnecessarily depreciating every camera by replacing them too often.

The A6300 had a just few months of its life, even not a full year. This is amazing and I am actually furious about it. Sony really eventually exhausts almost all its long time users.......So I think 2017 will be a really tough year for the camera companies, esp for Sony and they are making it tougher and tougher themselves........they should have listened to Thom Hogan, who has been giving the great modular camera idea for Nikon for over a decade. He even came to Japan and gave a great presentation of his idea of programmable camera system. But Nikon ignored it.

Tony Northrup said it very well.

"It's comforting as a camera nerd to know that it's the consumer market that's disappearing, especially "Built-in Lens" cameras (P&S cameras). The market for higher-end pro & semi-pro cameras still seems to be strong.

Consumers are more into photography than ever, but traditional camera manufacturers are cut out because they couldn't transition to the modern era of software- and cloud-centric photography (Instagram, FB, Snapchat, Twitter,Line, etc)."

I think he is spot-on this time, I know why none of my friends use cameras I gave them any more since they cannot upload their images to FB or Line automatically.

They just interested in documenting their own lives, so they snaps a lot and they want to upload their images online immediately after they shoot them to talk about that experience with their friends...........no current expensive cameras can get it right, but all new phones have got it right.

On top of that there is a huge world-wide used camera market online and the extreme fast pace camera replacing cycle of Sony and Nikon really making the second-hand market even stronger. There are many many mint D800E, D810, D800, D750, A7, A7MK2, 5DMK3, 6D, etc, sold at the half or less than half the average price of the latest cameras.

And they are perfectly capable in terms of IQ, overall usability,etc. They just to not have the new gimmicky futures that you may or may not use..........and if the IQ is the same or identical most of people just keep using their old cameras or just buy the cheap used models. I have a few guys asked me to keep lightly used D800E or D810 for them as we get them, so I asked them deposit and they paid 60000yen.

I am sure we will get a few good D800E bodies in next week and we will send these to them and they will pay us about another 60000yen.

So I think cellphones are not the real high end camera killers, but the market saturation and the used camera market is. I personally never buy any new any more, just get a shop displayed model for very cheap and use it for six months and sell it to someone I know.

So the camera companies will suffer more from this sudden death of the consumer camera market in the next few years. I wonder if there is no natural disaster occurs in next year in Japan, then what will they use for the next excuse of their bad performance.

    

UPDATE: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE2: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 3: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE4:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

 

UPDATE5:Now Sony guys kind of implying that there would never be a E mount camera that carries number 9 as rumored as A9. When we interviewed a high ranked Sony official he said that there would be no E mount cameras that carry no9.

The official said no 9 may make some old A mount fans recall of Minolta legacy and using the number for a E mount body may make some old A mount fans furious. So Sony wants to avoid that, they seem try hard not to agitate or perturb the old A mount guys unnecessarily, and so Sony's high-end models will carry either no 7 as already used or no 1 when Sony feels it is necessary or Sony feels it is good enough to carry the ace number 1.

The official also said he and his team cannot say it officially just yet, but he personally thinks the ultimate E mount body would be called Alpha One, not 9 that hay hurt or agitate some people unnecessarily.

So there will be no Alpha 9 or A9, their ultimate highend body will be called Alpha One.

   

it was snowing but not much, I was walking around with my A7R , A6500, and A7M2 around this area, I always carry 2 or 3 E mount cameras to eliminate any sort of lens swapping in the filed. I put my Sony 16-35mm f4 zoom on my A7R, Voiklander 10mm f5.6 on my A7M2, 85mm Batis on my A6500 this time.

in fact, I also had my 6 year old NEX5n in my coat pocket with E30mm f3.5 macro mounted.

  

The coming death of Nikon as a camera company 4

 

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

 

Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore all the annoying self-proclaimed experts such as Tony Northrup, Kevin Raber, and the guy runs Photography Life.

I think Mr.Hogan is an exception because he is more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore he sees it clearly that the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon.

So-called mirrorless is also important for the short term future......but it is not the long term solution....

 

Nikon should listen to the young smartphone generation photographers instead of the annoyingly condescending self-proclaimed experts online.

 

I went to Tokyo and Tsukuba area of Ibaraki prefecture for work and academic conference held in there.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 2 days. I visited Asakusa, Kitasenju, Ginza , Nihonbashi, Kasumigaseki, Shiba, and Shinjuku areas of Tokyo, and snapped around many things there with my Sony A7R, A7R2 and A6500.

 

After this short academic trip to North East Kanto I realized the death of consumer camera market issue is more serious than I once thought; it is really not the time to discuss mirrorless vs DSLR or iPhone, but it is really the time to discuss how to save this rapidly shrinking industry at any cost...........anyway to my surprise, I did not see or meet any one with a Sony A7X camera, which is supposed to be the most popular game-changing camera currently available according to many self-proclaimed camera experts. I honestly almost never met any one shooting a Sony A7X or A6XXX other than my co-worker who bought his first ILC camera from me.

 

Every where we go together, now we are wondering why no one we meet here shoots any Sony ILC, is Sony really profitable in this business?

 

But the maybe more shocking reality to those of us long time Nikon users is that no one seems to be shooting any Nikon any more any where and even in a big anti Nuclear demo I encountered near JR Kitasenju station(North East Tokyo) no one using Nikon due to the poor LV and video performance of all Nikon FX bodies. Also many guys told me the excessively loud shutter sound of Nikon DSLRs would make the cops really irritated or angry.

I guess Nikon is rapidly becoming kind of an irrelevant player here in Japan , no longer a rival of Canon but seems really like a rival of Ricoh Pentax.......Nikon really needs serious Fullframe or APS-C mirrorless system with silent shutter very soon, or Nikon may lose all the pro PJ shooters and concert photographers to Sony, Fuji or Canon..

 

Now the D7500 is announced and we have had some lucky chance to test it through at a big camera dealers meeting here, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than anything before it from Nikon, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

 

I think this really slow Live View AF issue is a serious issue and becoming a serious sales hindrance against Nikon.

All young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

  

Nikon is extremely slow to change: Which one is the next Samsung NX, the Nikon F or the Pentax K mount?

I think the camera manufacturer's dilemma is manifold and maybe very complicated.

•On the low end, many folks either bought their first and last ILC, or are happy with their smartphones. I can't count how many times non photo related friends have pulled me to the side walk to show me photos out