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

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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!!

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.

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...

 

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.

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 7(updated5)

 

Now we were 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?

   

Here's What actually happened to Nikon recently:

  

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.

  

UPDATE2: Now Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

UPDATE3:Now the D850 has been out, available for us to test it at many shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc, here. And I have tested it a several times, it is a great camera indeed as a D-SLR as we all expect, but is it a game-changing camera for Nikon?

No. It may be the opposite, game shuttering camera for Nikon since this shows clearly how Nikon has wasted its very limited resources(for mirrorless) on something really do nothing great for Nikon in the long run.

 

And as I have written it a week or so back here, Nikon has changed its mirrorless plans. It will not be announced until 2019.......and this is really terrible, showing us how little Nikon managers actually understand their company's current situation and what they actually need to change the rules of the game they've been playing against Canon and Sony.

 

It is not the D850 that may save Nikon as it is just a incremental iteration of the D810, or can I say a more refined version of it?

Make no mistake here, the D850 is a fantastic camera and I probably buy it myself in this winter. But as Thom Hogan and others have rightly pointed out, the highend FX D-SLRs Nikon has released were all good, nothing really terrible at all , however, it is not the line they desperately need to change the rules of the game they have been playing against Sony , Fuji and to a lesser degree Canon.

 

I think it is too late for Nikon to enter big sensor mirrorless market since the top dog in the race has changed and now it is Canon that Nikon or any one tries to be in this race has to beat, no longer Fuji or Sony.

 

I think when the main rival was Sony, Nikon had chance, but now it is more and more difficult for Nikon since the one to beat here is no longer Sony or Fuji but Canon.

 

This is the reason why Nikon managers are so desperate and their fanboys going crazy, making a terrible system comparison vid like below to bash all the other brand FF systems but Nikon.

 

nikonrumors.com/2017/09/02/what-is-the-most-expensive-ful...

 

I think this comparison is hilarious.

Very unfair and very stupid, clearly showing how desperate the Nikon fanboy community has become.

 

Plus, as I said it rightly many times, the idea of "SYSTEM" should die, not every body needs to get a set of super teles or super wide, or even the 70-200mm f2.8 kinda zoom.

 

Personally, I think a FF with super wide to around 85mm plus TSE lenses make more sense than usual 24-70 plus 70-200 plus 50/1.4 type of kit that NikonRumors deliberately chose to make Nikon system look nicer than the others.

 

Anyway the point here is Nikon guys cannot see the fact the situation is changing, the rules of the game is changing, and now they are the only ones left out there without the new weapons that the others are all allowed to rightly possess.

 

UPDATE4: it is now really too late for them unless they now can bring it out with at least 7(24-70/2.8, 16-35/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 24/1.4,35/1.4,85/1.4, and some sort of macro at least) lenses at the very start of it.

 

And considering their current financial state, it is near impossible.

 

Even if they can some how manage to do it , it will not give us any rational reason to choose their system over the A9 series or even over the cheap A7M3, which will be announced in October or November this year(100 percent sure about it).

 

And Nikon just clearly stated they think they can launch it in the end of 2018 or more realistically in early 2019 in their recent interview with Asahi Shimbun news.

 

This means that it will not be announced in this year or early next year, the best case in third Q of the next year.

 

If they wand me to buy into their new mirrorless system, they must have a 12-24mm f4 G kind of lens and a 50mm f1.4 prime as good or better than the FE50mm f1.4Z without oversizing it to the Sigma Art or Zeiss Otus size...

The Art and Otus may be a great lens, but many of us hate them for the awkward ergonomics and size alone.

 

Also for those who own some of their lenses, Nikon should provide (better included in the package) a smart adapter for their F mount E and G type lenses.

 

But then, the mirrorless is already outdated before it gets even fully matured. The future is definitely the computational camera like the Light L16 but more sophisticated one that would be released some one like Google, MS or Apple or any real American tech giant, not from a tiny company like Light or Red or any of these old-fashioned camera companies.

    

Anzac Memorial,

Sydney, Australia.

 

Architect: Charles Bruce Delitt

Artworks: Rayner Hoff

 

Background.

 

On 25 April, 1916, the first anniversary of the Gallipoli landing of Australian troops at Anzac Cove, a fund was created to raise money for a permanent memorial in Sydney.

By the end of the War the fund had raised 60,000 pounds, and in 1923 the ANZAC Memorial (Building) Act was passed with a decision to erect a monument in Hyde Park.

Parliament sanctioned the erection of the Memorial in 1929, and a competition was held for the design of the Memorial and 117 entries were received from all over the world.

On 9 July, 1930, the winning design was awarded to Mr. Charles Bruce Dellit, and the following year Kell & Rigby were named the successful building contractors.

Delitt, along with Emil Sodersten, the architect of the Canberra War Memorial, were among the leading figures of the Art Deco style in Australia.

 

Construction.

 

The foundation stones were laid on 19 july, 1932, and the Memorial was completed in 1934.

Some of the original design had to be scrapped due to the cost of construction.

The Pool of Reflection was built when the Sydney Council was granted the use of unemployment relief funds.

The Hyde Park War Memorial was officially opened by His Royal Highness, Prince Henry, The Duke of Gloucester, on 24 Nov, 1934.

 

Description.

 

The Memorial is aligned to the north-south axis of Hyde Park.

The War Memorial building is on a raised square podium, featuring a circular domed hall that can be approached from wide stairs from either the north or the south.

Entrance to the lower level of the Memorial is via east or west entrances.

The concrete structure is clad in red granite from the Bathurst region, and the stepped geometric form is typical of the Art Deco style.

Concrete sculptures are the main decorative components of the exterior, and on each face of the building is a window with glazed amber cathedral glass.

The building’s buttresses are mounted with imposing seated figures cast in artificial stone.

On each corner is a standing brass sculpture representing the Australian Army, Navy, Air Force, and Medical Corp.

The bronze bas relief panels on the western side illustrate the Australian campaigns on the Western Front, with the eastern panels showing scenes from the Eastern Campaigns.

 

Interior.

 

Enclosed within the main dome is the circular Hall of Memory, and within it the Well of Contemplation leads down to the Hall of Silence.

At the central heart of the Memorial is Raynor Hoff’s bronze sculpture ‘Sacrifice’, which portrays a young Anzac soldier lying over a shield & sword.

The sculpture symbolises the spirit of courage, endurance & sacrifice, and is supported by three female figures and a child that represents future generations.

The ‘Sacrifice’ sculpture is centred in a bronze ring signalling the flames of destruction.

 

The walls of The Hall of Memory are covered in NSW white marble inscribed with the names of the places where Australian defence forces operated.

The upper level of the hall is surrounded by a wreath-like carved marble balustrade and is lit via natural light entering the amber glass panels of the main windows.

The windows are adorned with the rising sun insignia and the winged torch of liberty.

The dome of The Hall of Memory is decorated with 120,000 gold stars representing each man and woman from NSW that served in the First Wold War.

Around the walls of the Hall are four niches, each representing the major theatres of war of WWI.

On the floor are stones from Flanders, Gallipoli, Palestine, and New Guinea set amongst the rising sun motif.

 

Higher up on the walls are panels depicting the four branches of the Australian Military Service.

On the eastern side of the space is the Flames of Remembrance, with its sculpted doorway symbolising the Sword of Sacrifice, and the Rising Sun borne on the Wings of Time.

On the western side are marble stairs leading down to the foyer and the Hall of Silence.

 

Facts.

 

Two of Raymond Hoff’s (UK) sculptures, including one of a naked woman were not installed after protests by the Catholic Church.

One of the the offending sculptures was called The Crucifixion of Civilisation and featured a naked figure on a cross, that sits atop a pyramid of dead bodies, weapons, helmets and other debris.

The poplar trees lining both sides of the Pool of Remembrance symbolise the areas of France where Australian troops fought.

Original plans were for a pool on either side of the Memorial, but this was never completed.

In 2014, the NSW government approved a $38 million dollar upgrade to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the start of WWI, including a water cascade at the southern end of the Memorial.

 

The Anzac Memorial was included on the State Heritage Register on 23 Apr, 2010.

The War Memorial has been described as the most perfect monument ever built in Australia.

 

Sources:

 

Anzac Memorial website

Wikipedia Website

Sydney architecture website

ABC news website

Dictionary of Sydney website

   

One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the International Space Station recorded this early evening photo showing part of the Cygnus cargo carrier built by Orbital Sciences Corp. as well as almost the entire Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal and Andorra) on July 26, 2014. Part of northern Africa is visible at lower right, and the Strait of Gibraltar can be seen right of center frame.

 

Image credit: NASA

 

Original image:

www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/14774388926/in/set-721...

 

More about space station research:

www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

 

Crew Earth Observations on Flickr:

www.flickr.com/photos/nasamarshall/sets/72157621443555137/

 

________________________________

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...

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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: EF17-40mm f/4L USM; Focal length: 22.00 mm; Aperture: 18; Exposure time: 30.0 s; ISO: 100

 

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.

Sapporo station was huge , it was always crowded and busy.Probably it is one of the biggest stations in Japan. This time , I was waiting for my train to Wakkanai and shooting some odd things around this big station to kill my time.

 

Sapporo was really clean, almost no trash or anything on the side walk there, but everywhere else in Hokkaido was kind of dirty, I guess the locals there are not very well mannered or considerate people trashing craps every where.

 

And really odd thing there was I saw many times more girls than boys, there seemed to be no boy in this over 4 million living city, it was really odd.

 

And I found people in Sapporo kind of rude and not very kind at all.

 

Sapporo was a quite boring place. I think I will never go back to Sapporo ever again although I love the rest of Hokkaido and I will go back to Asahikawa, Wakkanai, Kushiro,etc, every year.

  

Shot with a Canon 6D

 

Why commercial cameras reviews are useless 2017:

 

The 5DMK2 and the MK3 sensor was one of the worst sensors(read noise wise) in digital camera history, and from that crappy banding machine to the Nikon D800E was a huge leap in terms of IQ, but after that?

 

The sad reality we must face if we are at least a bit honest with ourselves and sensor test data is that basically, image quality of so-called fullframe sensor hasn't improved since about 2012. The tech around it has been in stagnation, not any advancing. But according to the DPR,etc the A7R2 is a real game changer, so great that we should even change our own value and standard for system functionality, ergonomics preferences,etc, to get that specific camera. But in reality, as I said, the image quality of the 42.4 mp sensor is basically the same or identical to the old 36 mp sensor first introduced in the D800 in 2012. In fact, if the base ISO image quality is the most important aspect of a camera to you as DPR forced us to believe, then even the venerable D800 would still compete well against the A7R2. The A6300 is basically a bit more glorified, refined version of the NEX7 from the 2012, nothing more than that, but those so-called reviewers just intentionally dramatize the minor difference in the feature set of these 2 APS-C cameras, to call the A6300 a true game changer......before it they did the same to the A6000, which was actually a dumbed-down version of the NEX7.

The OM-D EM5MK2 is the same exactly the same as the ancient EM5 IQ wise and so on.

Now to them so-called reviewers, the Fuji X-T2 seems to be the most amazing camera that changes all current standard set by the A6300 or the D500 before it.

It is obvious to them what they want to sell at their affiliate sites are the best and they are usually the latest and most trendy cameras.

But again, the sad reality is no formats have actually got any better in terms of sheer image quality and basic functionality. So how can they sell well?

 

I think those so-called reviewers are all clickbaiters and those sites and so called reviews are all deliberately designed to make the greatest and latest but worst value cameras look much better than they actually are:

 

1, we have to define what is pro camera for most ? But is there really such a thing as pro camera?

I remember Marissa Mayer of Yahoo,who introduced the current style of Flick two years ago once said: "there is no such thing as professional photographer."

 

I don't actually agree with her, but the opinion out there that shared by many influential, powerful people like her and others can be very influential and strongly affect or even change the courses of thinking or opinion making process of many people. In the photography world, the CEO of the company that owns Flickr is a person whose opinions really have that kind of power, whose opinions can influence many many people, as I said that can or may change opinions of many many people. So we like her opinion or not, it is very very strongly influential.

 

There was the always interesting anecdote from one of those few former CEO's of Phase One, I did not know if it was true or not, though : once we asked Phase people who actually were buying their real high-end cameras? Phase answered was shocking to some,"CEO's of small companies and Dentists." Not so-called "professionals" are usual their customers, but more well heeled guys. I found it extremely interesting, but it may be true. When I asked a few of our main pro customers who mostly shoot architectures about their opinions on the above Phase anecdote, they replied to us,"well, it may be true,we sometimes used Phase One Backs but we never bought one but just rented their amazing products when we actually needed that kind of resolution,we do not consider ourselves professionals, though."

Very interesting, indeed.

I'd be willing to bet serious money that an overwhelming majority of A7R2, D810s and 5Ds-R camera users are just well heeled guys or girls, not shooting anything their "main" income-generating works. I'd put money somewhere around the 80% to 85% of those high end FF users are amatures or part time pros, or just geeks like us.

"Professional" (like "prosumer" or "enthusiast") is a marketing word, anyway. When someone from Nikon or Canon or any major camera company tells you that the new D5XS mark 4 is a true "professional" camera, they aren't saying anything meaningful about the camera itself. They're making an advertising pitch to your ego or pride.

Since, right now, most actually "professional" using camera in the Nikon lineup might be the cheap but excellent D5500. Or may even be the refurbished D3300? But its AF is primitive! It's plastic! It's not weather sealed! Who cares: the D3300's most "professional" feature is the tiny investment for the amazing IQ it stacks against any profit. Real professionals are stingy people and care about money spent on camera gear much more seriously than well heeled amatures or part time professionals like us.

The D3300 is better than the D300s from 2009 in almost every way,and some even consider it a better camera than the D700 and there are very few clients who wouldn't be thrilled by what comes out of a D700 shot with skill and vision. So in terms of sheer IQ, the D5500 can be considered as a pro camera.

I have many PRO customers shooting a EOS80D or a Nikon D5500 or a Sony A6300 or even an ancient Sony A6000, and many of Nikon guys use a D3300 as a back-up just because they can really abuse it. Not all pros or serious amatures need super fast AF or 4k video, and I think if they need serious 4k, they buy a dedicated 4k pro camera that can record much longer than 29 minutes a session anyway. It is actually cheaper than buying a half-baked 4k camera like the A7R2 or the GH4 in the long run.

So who needs commercial reviewers brainwashing us what they actually want to sell is the best camera or the actual best selling camera ?

 

2, some die-hard D-SLR loving reviewers always describe the A7X menu system as "inane" or confusing, but which camera has more organized menu system?

I've never understood anyone's criticism of camera menu systems. Because every camera's menu is the same, not exactly the same but identically disorganized. They're categorized lists with nested options. None of them are truly optimized for speed, they all bury (different) critical options, they all require a little practice to build familiarity.

That's why they love Canon or Nikon menu system better, and they do get confused just being more familiar to them with better for all. But I personally prefer the A7X menu better since it is more customizable, and actually I am just more used to Sony E mount than anything else. After all, I have been a long time Sony/Minolta user.

Controlling a camera with a menu is a stupid concept. It was a lazy, terrible idea in 1993 and it remains quite silly and terrible in 2016.

Many many many so-called reviewers are really really confused and forcing us to share the really silly "one menu system is more intuitive than the others" kinda notion they have.

But again, what they actually saying is they are more used to the one system than the other systems' menu lay-out or just they are too obtuse to understand anything a bit different than what they are used to using.

I guess most of so-called reviewers do not know cameras they think they are testing enough to test it and publish rushed-out reviews, so they never understand how to set up the Sony A7X or even how to shoot it fast. If they do understand it, then they should know it is quite customizable and it is less menu-driven than the Canon 5DS or the Nikon D810.

The A7X has 4 dials and you can actually change shutter speed, F number, EV value and ISO without diving into the menu.If they have to dive into the deep menu system all the time, then they do not understand how to set it up or customize the buttons and the dials of the Sony, and without even understanding it properly they rush to pan the menu system hard.

So what do you expect from so-called reviews?

 

3,SONY SONY SONY!!! Fuji Fuji Fuji!!! why are they worshiping for them, and keep writing so many of so-called reviews for them each week? Why are A7R2, A6300, A7S2 and now X-Pro2 and X-T2 so special? how many so-called reviews do they need deserve?

 

Well be realistic! Most of die-hard high end Nikon or Canon boys and girls are fanatics and difficult to influence or change their opinions or beliefs; as camera sales swirl down the toilet bowl, so does any review site's readership. Writing about or recommending two-year-old cameras or very old fashioned, 1950th minded big conventional cameras that many of their readers already own doesn't sell anything from their affiliate websites. It's that simple.

When did you actually read any review of any camera last time? a decade ago?

Have you ever expected any so-called review pan or even mildly criticize any camera?

Do you actually trust any so-called review? I think all your answer should be no to all the 3 questions above. They are all about money, deliberately designed clickbaiters..........so what do you expect from so-called reviews?

They never criticize as I said, even completely lazy, behind-the-curve products like the Fuji X-M1(only 16mp dated sensor), the Canon 7D(remember that terrible banding machine?), the Sony A58 (worst ergonomics in camera world)and the Nikon D3200(truly just announced to be already dated kind of junk) all got decent scores. No so-called reviewers actually pan anything they review, and definitely never say "we hated this product X or Y", or anything like that because their affiliate will stop feeding them if they actually do that.

Meanwhile, actual users of cameras, hate various cameras and lenses all the time. Well, they can't all be unreasonable, obtuse cranks. Then why the views or opinions of real camera users and so-called reviewers are so dramatically different?

Well it is easy; all review sites are affiliated with several big online camera sellers, such as Amazon, Adorama, B&H,etc in the USA, Digital Rev, Rakuten, Amazon,etc in Asia. So they cannot do real test such as using cameras in a humid Thailand jungle or testing it in an Icelandic mountain, or anything like that.

They do not even test cameras with Capture One since Adobe is a big sponsor of those junk camera review sites, but most of us who tether cameras or shoot studio portrait prefer Capture One pro to the cranky slow unreliable LR for tethering work.

Well after all, those commercial reviewers never buy any camera with their own money, so they do not get up-set or irritated even if a camera they are reviewing now is a real crap.

We real camera users, on the other hand, actually spend our own money to buy our cameras, so we always complain if they are craps or overpriced, of course.

 

4, all so-called reviewers usually love the latest and greatest like the Sony A76300 or the Fuji X-T2 or the Sony A7R2 or something very gadgetry like the Panasonic GH4 or the Samsung NX1, but none of them actually like Leica or Phase,why?

Well easy, they do not sell well, I mean how many more Leicas will sell if those reviews seriously recommend Leica in their silly so-called reviews? None, since we who like Leica cameras already know why we do love their cameras and we do not need any moron in disguise of a pro(oh well)reviewer to tell us about how good or amazing it is. After all, it is a Leica and it is a special to us those who understand and appreciate it fully.

As for Phase, it is not their area, they do not understand that kind of real high quality products anyway, what kind of high end commercial photographers whose main cameras are some sort of Phase One or even Mamiya will be interested in moronic reviews' opinion on Phase cameras ? No one. Can those so-called reviewers from commercial sites possibly some how change opinion of the actual Phase users? never.

Well, so-called reviewers are professionals but not photographic pros, they are marketing pros whose main interest is cheating manipulating naive new camera buyers.

All so-called reviews are just poorly designed marketing materials and nothing else, so they just recommend something they can sell with high-margin such as the Fuji X-Pro2 and X-T2, the Sony A7R2, A6300 and Sony A7SMK2, and now also the Pentax K1.

Then, why are almost all so-called pro reviewers recommending Sony and Fuji, pushing Sony A7R2, A6300 or Fuji X-Pro2 so hard to any one reading them now?

Well it is very simple, because it is what their affiliate want to sell and easier to sell because of the user base of that camera is not very narrow-minded like the core user base of the D810 or the 5DS-R. The potential high-end Sony or Fuji owners the only kind of high-end camera users that may be willing to listen to so-called reviewers, thus the reviewers think they may be able to manipulate them into buying more of their affiliate pushing products. So they naturally focus on these Sony, Fuji, and Pentax high-end, high-margin products now.

And anyway: Why shouldn't a high-end camera from 2015 or 2016 outperform a high-end camera from 2012 ? It should.

But the sad reality is that the latest gear does not outperform the 2012 camera.

The actual(in practical sense )performance is the same or almost identical, no dramatic improvement has made in the sensor design since 2012(the D800E). The D810 is better than the D800E only at the very base ISO albeit the slower exposure time due to the ISO64 vs the SIO100 base sensitivity difference . The A7R2 is only marginally better than the D800E in video department and at very high ISO for a lot more money.

The Pentax K1 is a bit better than the venerable Nikon D800E from 2012 at very high ISO, but with that lame lens line is that really any better than the ancient Nikon as a whole system? No.

But commercial review sites cannot say it honestly, how can they? if they say it then they cannot sell anything new any more.

 

I just used the Sony A7R2, the Pentax K1 and the D810 as typical example cases for the kind of products so-called review sites want to hard push to the naive readers, but I know they are actually quite fantastic products, just not as amazing or dramatic game-changers as those silly commercial camera review sites try to make them out to be. But they are good indeed.

So do not just listen to the hype too much that just obviously follows the money.

  

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.

  

UPDATE2: Nikon has just announced a new sensor fab development with Toshiba and it seems like their new sensor design uses very similar AF tech to the DP AF of the Canon EOS M5 sensor without losing almost no amount of light getting into the sensor.

 

Canon also patented a few new curved sensor designs with Toshiba. Toshiba seems to work as a special sensor designer for many companies rather than producing it themselves now.

 

And it found out that the Sony's old curved sensor patent is no longer effective, and it was originally a Toshiba patent.

So if Sony really lost the patent to Toshiba , then Sony would have a big problem since Sony would not be able to use the curved sensor tech for their FF camera lines that helps them to design smaller and sharper lenses for the FE system.

  

UPDATE3: Now, I've just confirmed that Nikon DL series actual shipment date would be next January 17th as planned in last Nikon conference at Nikon D5600 launch. But it may delay even further to next CP+ show in Yokohama Japan(in Feb 2017).

 

So it is already promised to be a failed product line before the actual launch. I think Nikon is really stupid, I mean I don't think phones or mirrorless killing Nikon but itself, it obtuse marketing killing it.

  

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 mediocre 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 imaging division 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. 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.......but Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many Sony fanboys 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. None 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...

 

Now even Tamron has sensor division in house and actually they designed the best sensor in the CMOS history and announced it recently. So sensor is becoming a large part of commodity kit. Now any one has the knowledge can design it.

  

UPDATE5: Now my first 2 copies of FE16-35mm f4 suddenly died and I just bought my 3rd copy of it.........and sadly found it terrible this time.

It is obvious buying any Sony Zeiss FE lens is like picking up an extremely difficult to win lottery ticket..........it might be great but most of times you get mediocre copies of it.

My first 16-35mm f4 was excellent , the second one was even better-almost outstanding, then this third one is literally lousy. I am returning it and get a new copy but I am not expecting to get a better one, I guess I was extremely lucky with my first two copies of this lens........I guess I will force the dealer to exchange my FE16-35mm f4 for the Voiklander 15mm f4.

 

Sony QC is just terrible, and it is not worth any premium over other cheap off-brand lens maker like Samyang, Tamron and Sigma. In fact, Sony is even worse than Tamron and much worse than Sigma Art series with respect to QC. I have had 4 Tamron VC lenses in EF and F mount and they performed fairly consistent....

I really miss Tamron 90mm macro, now I guess a brand name means nothing when it comes to QC and general after sales support. In fact, Tamron and Voiklander provided me the best service of any lens maker I have ever dealt with. It is extremely frustrating every time I spend more than 110000 yen or 1075 USD, I still have to worry about terrible sample variations.

I think we have to appreciate Roger Cicala's excellent site. He is the only one guy testing more than 5 copies of any given lens. All other reviewers just merely test one copy of each lens.........useless.

  

The coming death of Nikon 7(updated5)

 

Now we were 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?

   

Here's What actually happened to Nikon recently:

  

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.

  

UPDATE2: Now Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

UPDATE3:Now the D850 has been out, available for us to test it at many shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc, here. And I have tested it a several times, it is a great camera indeed as a D-SLR as we all expect, but is it a game-changing camera for Nikon?

No. It may be the opposite, game shuttering camera for Nikon since this shows clearly how Nikon has wasted its very limited resources(for mirrorless) on something really do nothing great for Nikon in the long run.

 

And as I have written it a week or so back here, Nikon has changed its mirrorless plans. It will not be announced until 2019.......and this is really terrible, showing us how little Nikon managers actually understand their company's current situation and what they actually need to change the rules of the game they've been playing against Canon and Sony.

 

It is not the D850 that may save Nikon as it is just a incremental iteration of the D810, or can I say a more refined version of it?

Make no mistake here, the D850 is a fantastic camera and I probably buy it myself in this winter. But as Thom Hogan and others have rightly pointed out, the highend FX D-SLRs Nikon has released were all good, nothing really terrible at all , however, it is not the line they desperately need to change the rules of the game they have been playing against Sony , Fuji and to a lesser degree Canon.

 

I think it is too late for Nikon to enter big sensor mirrorless market since the top dog in the race has changed and now it is Canon that Nikon or any one tries to be in this race has to beat, no longer Fuji or Sony.

 

I think when the main rival was Sony, Nikon had chance, but now it is more and more difficult for Nikon since the one to beat here is no longer Sony or Fuji but Canon.

 

This is the reason why Nikon managers are so desperate and their fanboys going crazy, making a terrible system comparison vid like below to bash all the other brand FF systems but Nikon.

 

nikonrumors.com/2017/09/02/what-is-the-most-expensive-ful...

 

I think this comparison is hilarious.

Very unfair and very stupid, clearly showing how desperate the Nikon fanboy community has become.

 

Plus, as I said it rightly many times, the idea of "SYSTEM" should die, not every body needs to get a set of super teles or super wide, or even the 70-200mm f2.8 kinda zoom.

 

Personally, I think a FF with super wide to around 85mm plus TSE lenses make more sense than usual 24-70 plus 70-200 plus 50/1.4 type of kit that NikonRumors deliberately chose to make Nikon system look nicer than the others.

 

Anyway the point here is Nikon guys cannot see the fact the situation is changing, the rules of the game is changing, and now they are the only ones left out there without the new weapons that the others are all allowed to rightly possess.

 

UPDATE4: it is now really too late for them unless they now can bring it out with at least 7(24-70/2.8, 16-35/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 24/1.4,35/1.4,85/1.4, and some sort of macro at least) lenses at the very start of it.

 

And considering their current financial state, it is near impossible.

 

Even if they can some how manage to do it , it will not give us any rational reason to choose their system over the A9 series or even over the cheap A7M3, which will be announced in October or November this year(100 percent sure about it).

 

And Nikon just clearly stated they think they can launch it in the end of 2018 or more realistically in early 2019 in their recent interview with Asahi Shimbun news.

 

This means that it will not be announced in this year or early next year, the best case in third Q of the next year.

 

If they wand me to buy into their new mirrorless system, they must have a 12-24mm f4 G kind of lens and a 50mm f1.4 prime as good or better than the FE50mm f1.4Z without oversizing it to the Sigma Art or Zeiss Otus size...

The Art and Otus may be a great lens, but many of us hate them for the awkward ergonomics and size alone.

 

Also for those who own some of their lenses, Nikon should provide (better included in the package) a smart adapter for their F mount E and G type lenses.

 

But then, the mirrorless is already outdated before it gets even fully matured. The future is definitely the computational camera like the Light L16 but more sophisticated one that would be released some one like Google, MS or Apple or any real American tech giant, not from a tiny company like Light or Red or any of these old-fashioned camera companies.

    

The coming death of Nikon 7(updated)

 

Now we were 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?

   

Here's What actually happened to Nikon recently:

  

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.

  

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!

   

Sapporo station was huge , it was always crowded and busy.Probably it is one of the biggest stations in Japan. This time , I was waiting for my train to Wakkanai and shooting some odd things around this big station to kill my time.

 

Sapporo was really clean, almost no trash or anything on the side walk there, but everywhere else in Hokkaido was kind of dirty, I guess the locals there are not very well mannered or considerate people trashing craps every where.

 

And really odd thing there was I saw many times more girls than boys, there seemed to be no boy in this over 4 million living city, it was really odd.

 

And I found people in Sapporo kind of rude and not very kind at all.

 

Sapporo was a quite boring place. I think I will never go back to Sapporo ever again although I love the rest of Hokkaido and I will go back to Asahikawa, Wakkanai, Kushiro,etc, every year.

  

The new race.

I've owned a7II, a7R, a7,A6500,A6000,A6300,NEX5n, NEX6,NEX7, A100, A350, A700,A99V and A900.You may not easily find a bigger Sony camera supporter than me.....So I am obviously not an anit-Sony or mirrorless kind of person. I think I was one of the very first Emount adapters in the world, and I have probably spent more money than most of just temporarily moved to Sony because of the A7RMK2 kind of guys out there. But I am realistic and know the Sony system is still incomplete, on many levels it is not comparable to Nikon and Canon D-SLR systems and even not comparable to Sony's own A mount system just yet.Yes, the EMount cameras produce great images in right conditions.But they have ignored maybe minor but actually very important subtle evolutions that larger cameras earned through decades of camera companies listening to their customers, including pros.

 

Please do not be overly defensive about Sony, and definitely not deny or ignore the facts, ignoring or denying it,or overly defending Sony just spoils Sony and stops the potentially the most interesting and advanced arguably almost universal mount system from fully developing its full potential. I honestly believe the E mount is an almost universal hybrid mount system that might replace all of the current camera mount systems to make it just simple one mount if Sony listens to its customer base..

The EMount system would be better for everyone if Sony listened to a few annoyingly loud but honest professionals like Ming, Thom and Michael,who raise valid issues/points. No one will be hurt if Sony engineers understand it some subtle nuances that many photographers have actually relied on for decades for their real life work projects in the filed, and only way for Sony engineers to be able to get it correctly is to listen to likes of Ming or Thom or like that even if they are not Sony fan. Only listening to likes of Michael Reichemann,who seldom criticize about Sony or any camera, just spoil the E mount and stop it from fully development.

Some of us are really crippled by Sony ignoring these minor but important features.

Face it and see the reality, Sony is not listening, but rather mean to its user base.

Try not to express strong opinion on Sony or Mirrorless l keep that to myself and just write about the facts of the current state of the E mount system and its main issues in real life use:

 

1>Even the most avid Sony enthusiast has to admit that Sony really screws their customers over with a new model in every few months

far as depreciation. This is as opposed to Canon, say the 5D3

loosing 2/3rds of an A7 resale value in 14 months is just hard to stomach. Ming is right that wait a year for the R3 and the R2 will be way way down probably 1200-1500 used. And even now, at least in Japanese market there a quite few used A7RMK2 floating around the internet.

thats a tough bite in a year for all but the professionals. wait 2 years, and its likely under a grand...and there is no serious FW update to any of the original A7X cameras,I mean there were a few FW updates but they were all minor bug fixes not like Samsung adding many super new features to its NX1 every time Samsung updates it.

 

I think this is a very important point, and I think this actually hurts Sony not helps in the long run since this really scares those who buy the"system" rather than just a body kind of guys away from the E mount system, and those buying into the system not a camera actually spend much more money in the long run for Sony. I still have the original A7, along with the a7R, A7M2 and A6000 just because it is almost impossible to sell my A7 without losing too much money, and sheer IQ wise, none of newer A7X cameras is a huge upgrade to my ancient A7 and A7R(I know in a lab they are much better tested,but I mean in real life)

I actually have NEX5n andNEX6 too, although I haven't even touched them for a couple of years or so.

I tried to sell my NEX6 and NEX5n,which I hate but I could not get any significant money for them,so I just kept it for days I would have to shoot in intense rain, or in risky or dangerous places.

I know the a7M3 is coming very soon, and I'm already preparing for it, but I have feeling that I might just avoid it even if it is a great camera, I just hate Sony keeps depreciating every single body it releases in a matter of a few months, most of Sony cameras do not even have a couple of years of life even the expensive A7RM2 will have just a year of life, it is really silly.

2>The widely reported promise of adapted lenses working as well as their native mounts is a big marketing lie. In reality even with Sony's own LAEA 1, 3, 4 adapters, AF-C is incompatible with Continuous High bust mode. Must use Cont Low at 2fps, and it's about as accurate as an old Sony A100 focus system. Also, no Sony/Minolta tele-converters are compatible. It is not a replacement for DLSR or SLT tracking. I'd be interested to know if Canon teleconverters work with Metabones adapter,though. Yes native EMount lenses focus better. But the selection doesn't present itself as a full DSLR replacement. Where is SEL70-400 mm SSM?

3>In my rent studio shoot comparison, two A7M2 with the external battery grip got 710 shots writing RAW only. One D750 without the external battery grip got 1560 writing RAW+JPG on two cards. The A7M2 required computer/hard drive backing up, lens adapter, battery grip, making it the larger system to carry around than any Nikon or Canon or even Sony's own A mount camera such as the A99V,which I had a year ago.

And even more serious problem for studio shooting is the external vertical grip with two batteries will not transfer power to second battery when tethering. Sony Remote Camera Control software shuts down with low battery warning at 20% left on battery one. Will not clear until first battery replaced, regardless if second battery is present. Second batt is useless in tethering mode.Less power, less shots, more tether software startups. Same thing happens when installing software from Play Memories App Store. a99/900 transfer VG battery power smoothly for tethering.

So,Sony can actually do proper tethering for the A, but for E mount system Sony chooses not to do it properly, this is extremely odd to me.

4>EMount really complicates its AF usability with at least minimum two button push for AF selector points. No diagonal scrolling available to get there faster,... the same usability issue for magnifier and playback for manual focus. Two hurdles which make it slower than regular DLSR joystick instant control with horizontal scrolling for AF selector, magnifier, and magnified playback viewing.

For small bodies like the A7X, there may be no space for the simple joystick UI of the DSLRs, but at least Sony can put some sort of touch-AF feature in the A7X.

It is a big mystery to me that Sony always refuses to put touch screen UI in the A7X and A99X cameras.

As Tony Northrup says, touch screen U.I is really practical,especially for small cameras.

As an Olympus and Panasonic user, I know this very well.

I think every EVF camera needs touch AF feature and even better touch pad featre of the latest Olympus EM10M2.

5>The dumb metal thumb bracket accessory for RX1 has a lock for so-called muti interface shoe fit... but the flash adapters and microphones of any Sony A7X don't have any locks. Should that be the other way around? CaNikon have full metal locking sleds on their flashes, yet Sony has four plastic toes... not even full sleds.

It may get some unwanted water or any kind of liquid in side of the main board of the camera. So I taped it with some vinyl tape.

6>Sony actually fixed the plastic lens mount flexing with a A7m2 and R2, but never actually bother to recall the A7R and A7 to fix that issue. Even worse when it used with lens adapters, the mounting points are doubled, causing rotational wobbles when the bigger lenses are zoomed, even the size of my relatively small SAL 85 mm f1.4 ZA.. and, the adapters the only way for any A7X to use any f 2.8 zoom or f1.2 prime, that is really annoying.

7> there are many features that would cost nothing to implement and are clearly better in pro cameras but Sony tends to ignore those,as far as I remember Sony seldom adds new features with FW updates, but forces us to buy a new minor update or even worse just some annoying usability issue fixed model like the A6000 or the A7M2. All Sony cameras are not weather sealed, I think neither are all Sony lenses. I am sure assemblance of real water resistance isn't that expensive as the myriad of inexpensive water resistant consumer products proves these days. A hot shoe lock is simple and effective. Why would Sony decide their cameras shouldn't have one? What possible advantage is there eliminating it? Speaking of flash, why can't Sony implement real slow sync fill flash or real ring flash for proper macro shooting? It is beyond my understanding, and really shocks me how careless some of so-called pro camera designers are, I am sure they are not ignorant or obtuse people but careless, choose not to listen to the real user base. This kind of arrogance is always found anything Asian electronics company produce, they do not listen because of their silly egoistic pride, especially Japanese.

 

10> Sony cameras may switch raw bit rate to 12-bit output,which actually has about 11.9 bit of info to deal with, in a few specific shooting modes;in continuous, in bulb mode, and I think also in silent shutter mode..Actually,this really odd phenomenon/behavior of the A7X cameras is much more annoying and a serious issue than the lossy compressed 11-7 RAW that always criticized by likes of Loyd Chamber, Thom Hogan, and Ken Rockwell,because the sudden bit change in silent, continuous,bracketing and bulb modes may actually cause visible compression artifacts. The 11-7 raw compression actually does not cause any visible artifact except in extremely harsh bright high contrasty scene or super long exposure image.

 

In addition:

 

•Rear dial is horrible. Cheap and fiddly.

•Sony's menu system is confusing. Things are not grouped logically even for a guy like me having used almost every single Sony camera since about 2006.

•Shutter button is mushy, and makes the shooting experience feel slightly laggy, sometimes even slow.

•Startup is inconsistent. Sometimes it is almost instant, but most times, it takes a few seconds to get going, especially once it goes sleep or needs to format the card.

•Back button focus is very poor, because the button around the AEL switch is small and fiddly, even for my relatively small hands it is too small and awkward to navigate..

•Flash system is limited compared to Canon/Nikon, and it feels old dated without proper radio control mode.

To me, the slow formatting time is a really annoying problem, and Sony cameras cannot share the same card with some other brands cameras in a shooting session. It is really annoying for a person like me who shoot many brands camera systems at once.

Last week I was shooting macro with my Olympus EM5M2 and Sony A7 and A7M2(my A7R and A6000 are at Sony for sensor replacement service), I tried to use the card I was using in the Olympus in my Sony, my Sony A7,A7M2 and NEX5n rejected the card with saying something like this card needs to be re-formatted since it has corrupted files.

I put it back into my EM5M2, it then worked properly and properly read at least jpeg files although they were not Olympus but Sony files.

I found all other manufacture cameras can share one SD cards for one shooting session if forced to, but Sony, Sony cameras require dedicated cards that are formatted in the PC or Sony cameras.

This is really really annoying, sometimes SD cards used in the Sony become full, and sometimes take out the card from my Oly or Nikon and use it in my Sony, then Sony tries to format it every time. This never happens in other brand cameras, so the cards can be shared between Canon, Nikon and Olympus safely without any issue, but need some dedicated cards for Sony.

And, I do not know what my A7,A7M2,A6000 and A7R doing but every time I try to format a card in them, they take a several minutes or at least a couple of minutes to do it. Because of this I've missed a several shooting opportunities in last week.

 

I, like Michael and Kevin,see real advantages to many features in the A7 series and other mirrorless cameras vs. DSLR's. And I strongly believe EVF is the future, and that is the main reason why I use Sony and Olympus.I would have totally adopted them by now and sold all my DSLR gear if it weren't for the above mentioned idiocracies in design.

As I wrote above,proper weather sealing is quite cheap to apply these days, but Sony refuses to use it even for the flagship A7RMK2 that costs about 2 times more than the Nikon's real pro camera D810 in its home market Japan. Again, it is really beyond my comprehension, and quite stupid. If Sony listens to its users and fix all above issues, I am sure they will outsell Nikon, maybe not Canon, but at least beat Nikon.

All my Nikon cameras are sealed, and I think some of my Canons are too, If Nikon and Canon had it covered , professionals or any one shooting in harsh environment would not deal with the idiosyncrasies and broken U.I of Sony cameras to use them even if they actually prefer the EVF and mirrorless design of Sony.

 

I think It will be the new race contest.Will Sony actually listen to its user to fix its terribly awkward UI, general usability of the E system first, or will CaNikon loosen their silly pride guard down to answer to Sony with some more sophisticated true pro grade mirrorless camera first.

  

UPDATE: Now, I just confirm that Nikon DL series actual shipment date would be next January 17th as planned in last Nikon conference at Nikon D3400 launch. But it may delay even further to next CP+ show in Yokohama Japan(in Feb 2017).

 

So it is already promised to be a failed product line before the actual launch. I think Nikon is really stupid, I mean I don't think phones or mirrorless killing Nikon but itself, it obtuse marketing killing it.

  

UPDATE2: I find Fuji's "Kaizen" policy very very attractive and their repair service seems excellent. I also like the new Joystick AF selector. So I may test my X-T2 a bit longer than I expected. However, I find the X-Pro 2 still a bit better body than the XT2 in terms of build and ergonomics.

The X-T2 Joystick is sometimes unusable when I look into the EVF since my nose sometimes touch the Joystick.

The quality of the body is obviously worse than that of the X-Pro2. The X-Pro2 is generally faster(I don't mean AF speed, but general operation speed). But when using a tele photo zoom or any big lens I think the X-T2 is better since it has the external grip option that counterbalances the weight of a big lens better.

The Sony A6300 really needed a similar grip to really take all its AF and speed advantages over the A7X series.

So I always saw the Sony A6300 as a halfhearted effort of Sony that was carefully deigned not to invade the A7X territory. It is a shame, since the A6300 has the potential to be the best camera for the most majority of ILC users.

In the end, for now, I decided to keep Canon, Fuji, Sony and Nikon and eventually pick one and sell all the others.

IMHO, Canon EF and Sony E seem to be the most future-proof systems, but I have feeling I may be happier with Fuji than either Canon or Sony in the long run.

In my mind, Nikon is ,like Leica's CEO kindly points out , already one leg in the grave kind of system, and I do not think they are any relevant now unless they some how just really immediately come up with a serious F mount mirrorless camera that takes full advantage of the F mount eco system.

I think until I get comfortable with the Fuji AF system, I keep my D750, but once I get hang of it, I do not need Nikon any more.

So in near future, I will be using just 3 system rather than 4 systems.

  

UPDATE3: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon 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 mediocre 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 imaging division 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. 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.......but Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many Sony fanboys 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. None 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...

  

UPDATE4: Now my first 2 copies of FE16-35mm f4 suddenly died and I just bought my 3rd copy of it.........and sadly found it terrible this time.

It is obvious buying any Sony Zeiss FE lens is like picking up an extremely difficult to win lottery ticket..........it might be great but most of times you get mediocre copies of it.

My first 16-35mm f4 was excellent , the second one was even better-almost outstanding, then this third one is literally lousy. I am returning it and get a new copy but I am not expecting to get a better one, I guess I was extremely lucky with my first two copies of this lens........I guess I will force the dealer to exchange my FE16-35mm f4 for the Voiklander 15mm f4.

 

Sony QC is just terrible, and it is not worth any premium over other cheap off-brand lens maker like Samyang, Tamron and Sigma. In fact, Sony is even worse than Tamron and much worse than Sigma Art series with respect to QC. I have had 4 Tamron VC lenses in EF and F mount and they performed fairly consistent....

I really miss Tamron 90mm macro, now I guess a brand name means nothing when it comes to QC and general after sales support. In fact, Tamron and Voiklander provided me the best service of any lens maker I have ever dealt with. It is extremely frustrating every time I spend more than 110000 yen or 1075 USD, I still have to worry about terrible sample variations.

I think we have to appreciate Roger Cicala's excellent site. He is the only one guy testing more than 5 copies of any given lens. All other reviewers just merely test one copy of each lens.........useless.

      

The coming death of Nikon 7(updated5)

 

Now we were 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?

   

Here's What actually happened to Nikon recently:

  

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.

  

UPDATE2: Now Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

UPDATE3:Now the D850 has been out, available for us to test it at many shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc, here. And I have tested it a several times, it is a great camera indeed as a D-SLR as we all expect, but is it a game-changing camera for Nikon?

No. It may be the opposite, game shuttering camera for Nikon since this shows clearly how Nikon has wasted its very limited resources(for mirrorless) on something really do nothing great for Nikon in the long run.

 

And as I have written it a week or so back here, Nikon has changed its mirrorless plans. It will not be announced until 2019.......and this is really terrible, showing us how little Nikon managers actually understand their company's current situation and what they actually need to change the rules of the game they've been playing against Canon and Sony.

 

It is not the D850 that may save Nikon as it is just a incremental iteration of the D810, or can I say a more refined version of it?

Make no mistake here, the D850 is a fantastic camera and I probably buy it myself in this winter. But as Thom Hogan and others have rightly pointed out, the highend FX D-SLRs Nikon has released were all good, nothing really terrible at all , however, it is not the line they desperately need to change the rules of the game they have been playing against Sony , Fuji and to a lesser degree Canon.

 

I think it is too late for Nikon to enter big sensor mirrorless market since the top dog in the race has changed and now it is Canon that Nikon or any one tries to be in this race has to beat, no longer Fuji or Sony.

 

I think when the main rival was Sony, Nikon had chance, but now it is more and more difficult for Nikon since the one to beat here is no longer Sony or Fuji but Canon.

 

This is the reason why Nikon managers are so desperate and their fanboys going crazy, making a terrible system comparison vid like below to bash all the other brand FF systems but Nikon.

 

nikonrumors.com/2017/09/02/what-is-the-most-expensive-ful...

 

I think this comparison is hilarious.

Very unfair and very stupid, clearly showing how desperate the Nikon fanboy community has become.

 

Plus, as I said it rightly many times, the idea of "SYSTEM" should die, not every body needs to get a set of super teles or super wide, or even the 70-200mm f2.8 kinda zoom.

 

Personally, I think a FF with super wide to around 85mm plus TSE lenses make more sense than usual 24-70 plus 70-200 plus 50/1.4 type of kit that NikonRumors deliberately chose to make Nikon system look nicer than the others.

 

Anyway the point here is Nikon guys cannot see the fact the situation is changing, the rules of the game is changing, and now they are the only ones left out there without the new weapons that the others are all allowed to rightly possess.

 

UPDATE4: it is now really too late for them unless they now can bring it out with at least 7(24-70/2.8, 16-35/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 24/1.4,35/1.4,85/1.4, and some sort of macro at least) lenses at the very start of it.

 

And considering their current financial state, it is near impossible.

 

Even if they can some how manage to do it , it will not give us any rational reason to choose their system over the A9 series or even over the cheap A7M3, which will be announced in October or November this year(100 percent sure about it).

 

And Nikon just clearly stated they think they can launch it in the end of 2018 or more realistically in early 2019 in their recent interview with Asahi Shimbun news.

 

This means that it will not be announced in this year or early next year, the best case in third Q of the next year.

 

If they wand me to buy into their new mirrorless system, they must have a 12-24mm f4 G kind of lens and a 50mm f1.4 prime as good or better than the FE50mm f1.4Z without oversizing it to the Sigma Art or Zeiss Otus size...

The Art and Otus may be a great lens, but many of us hate them for the awkward ergonomics and size alone.

 

Also for those who own some of their lenses, Nikon should provide (better included in the package) a smart adapter for their F mount E and G type lenses.

 

But then, the mirrorless is already outdated before it gets even fully matured. The future is definitely the computational camera like the Light L16 but more sophisticated one that would be released some one like Google, MS or Apple or any real American tech giant, not from a tiny company like Light or Red or any of these old-fashioned camera companies.

    

Shares in HTC rise 9.96 percent on Google's Pixel buyout

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#BestUSALatestBusinessUpdatesAndNewsUSALatestBusinessAndRegionalNews, #SharesInHTCRise996PercentOnGoogleSPixelBuyout, #USABusinessAndRegionalNews

Shares in HTC rise 9.96 percent on Google’s Pixel buyout

Shares in HTC rise 9.96 percent on Google’s Pixel buyout: Shares in Taiwanese technology company HTC Corp (2498.TW) rose 9.96 pct in early trading on Friday.

HTC Corp announced on Thursday that Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O)...

Shares in HTC rise 9.96 percent on Google's Pixel buyout

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www.biphoo.com/bipnews/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Shares-...

#BestUSALatestBusinessUpdatesAndNewsUSALatestBusinessAndRegionalNews, #SharesInHTCRise996PercentOnGoogleSPixelBuyout, #USABusinessAndRegionalNews

Shares in HTC rise 9.96 percent on Google’s Pixel buyout

Shares in HTC rise 9.96 percent on Google’s Pixel buyout: Shares in Taiwanese technology company HTC Corp (2498.TW) rose 9.96 pct in early trading on Friday.

HTC Corp announced on Thursday that Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O)...

The coming death of Nikon 13

 

Now we were 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?

  

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 Number10,000 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: 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.

 

Now I must wonder if the Sony and the Fuji are so popular as many mirrorless fanboy sites try to make it out to be, then why haven't they been able to keep up good resale value more than just a couple of months or so? Why have they been losing their resale value so fast , at much faster rate than Nikon or Canon or even m43?

 

UPDATE3:Now I have been testing the new Sony FE85mm f1.8E, I bought 3 copies of that lens. I have compared it to my 2 copies of Batis 85mm f1.8E many times now.

And now I know much more about these 2 lenses than a month ago when I first wrote about the FE85mm f1.8E.

 

The Batis 85mm f1.8E has a serious distortion issue, about -2.74 percent pincushion distortion which is a very high value for a 85mm. The Sony FE85mm f1.8E has about -1.74percent of pincushion distortion and which is already quite high for a mid tele prime.

The FE85mm f1.8 is , as DXO says, a tiny bit sharper wide open and continues to be sharper until f4 or f4.5.

From f4.5 or F4, the Batis becomes a tiny bit sharper than the FE, but after f7.1 or so, the FE becomes sharper again.

The Batis vignettes a bit more throughout the available f stops. But the Batis has noticeably better flare performance, with a bit better contrast.

To me the biggest difference between the 2 budget 85mm E mount primes is the color difference. The Batis produces quite a bit warmer tone, and for portrait many people prefer that. Personally, I do not shoot portrait with my Sony any more, so it is not a big issue, but if I do it still, then I probably choose the Batis(this lens) over the new FE85mm f1.8E since people I shoot prefer the color of it.

 

For landscape or flower shots I think the Batis still produces a bit better colors, especially red and blue channels.

But if resolution is the most important or distortion control is the most important aspect of a lens IQ to you , then the Sony FE85mm f1.8E is slightly but noticeably better than the Zeiss Batis.

 

But since I have 2 copies of Batis already and I will lose a lot of money selling them,I think I will return the FE85mm f1.8E. But if I were buying now, then it's easy, I will get the cheap FE85mmf1.8 Sony.

 

For me the cost is important but the size is more important advantage of the Sony FE85mm f1.8 over the Batis ,which is a quite fat lens and very ugly ,IMHO.

  

UPDATE 4: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 D800 boom in many camera fora made Nikon really damn stupid , but is Nikon the only one real victim of it?

  

UPDATE5: 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.

 

After all, a good camera system requires a set of great glass and speed lite system and determination to support it.

If the body alone performance is everything then the A99MK2 is selling like hotcakes every where, but in reality no one takes that high risk.....because no one trusts Sony that much.

I think sometimes public perception of a manufacture is very important, and Sony needs serious effort to improve their brand image, just a couple of great bodies do not do all the bad name fix for them.

   

TFS Corp eyeing to make India biggest business partner says Jagmohan Garg Delhi

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 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.

 

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...

 

++ ++ ++ ++ ++

 

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-...

 

++ ++ ++ ++ ++

 

image by Photo George

copyrighted: :copyright:2015 GCheatle

all rights reserved

 

locator: GAC_3273_Enhancer

1

From torture camps to black sites,

Abu Ghraib by the thousands.

Dark skies split with phosphorous lights,

Melting open hands.

 

2

Uranium-tipped rain falls near mom;

Her three-headed girl just born.*

Another girl with six fingered palm,

New heirloom bodies torn.

 

3

To the blind men cheering on…

Good Lord, was that really me?

God once blessed America,

And she's turned her back on Thee.

 

*Note: Fatima Ahmed was born with two heads attached and one head not attached.

  

1

Abu Ghraib

Betrayal of human rights, fairness and Geneva Convention agreement of conduct of war.

 

––––––––––

 

2

Uranium-tipped … bodies torn.

Thousands of tons of U.S. depleted uranium (DU) tipped missiles (dirty bombs) leave a legacy of cancer, leukemia, diabetes, heavy metal poisoning and record birth defects including limb, head, heart and nervous system for Iraqis to deal with. Following this discovery, women in Fallujah are told by city officials not to have children.

 

Uranium is heavy and slices through armor handily which makes it highly desirable for the Department of Defense (DoD) to use.The relationship of DU to the growing health problems in Iraq is controversial due to: lack of study, misinformation from DoD, incomplete studies and new evidence coming to light and finally inflammatory, sensational reporting. You can decide. In any case something is going on. Following the invasions we have a large increase in the above medical conditions.

 

More research is needed to determine all causes. In 1999, the Rand Corp. – hired by DoD after congress demanded studies to be done – dismissed the use of depleted uranium as dangerous. However, their study did not include combat use of the uranium where high pressure explosions turn this into a dust particle aerosol. The DoD began a program of misinformation by flooding different channels to confuse and put down the issue. A UN 2008 report from 2008 addresses a number of studies directly.

 

––––––––––

 

3

… blind men cheering on …

Pentagon uses marketing/media techniques (and contractors) to falsify testimony in media and in front of Congress. All our conventional media outlets (network TV and newspapers/magazines) have been controlled as a result. "Embedding" the journalists gives false keyhole impressions of the war to Americans (and Congressional leaders) as to why we are there, what we are doing, what WMDs we have been using and the extent that the horrific, nightmare effects playing out now in Iraq are related.

 

Interesting reading and viewing:

mikedoylesnap.blogspot.com/2012/06/power-of-freedom-iraq....

  

.

--------ONE OTHER MESSAGE OF INTENT ----------

 

My take on life is that people are generally good and want to be and do good, but are confused. I know this is the case often with me. This due to so much information that is manipulated by others. It is just so hard to know what is real. The above points were new to me until recently. I knew things were very bad and wrong in Iraq, that there was torture and loss of human rights, but the extent of our violations did not make their way to me. Some closure is needed. Those responsible need to be held accountable.

 

My hope is that this will soften some people's hearts to take a look at some of the points above (I have a link to my site where there are some recommended documentaries and writings). Perhaps someone will spread the news in a way that they can best do and better than I have to make a real difference. I wish you well and peace.

Captain Richard Ira Bong of Poplar, Wisconsin, who shot down his twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh enemy planes in a battle over Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea, setting a new record for aircraft destroyed in the air.

 

Richard Ira Bong, America's "Ace of Aces" in World War II was born Sept. 24, 1920, the son of Swedish immigrants in Superior, Wis. He had 40 aerial victories, 200 combat missions and more than 500 combat hours. At a time when he was not expected to fly combat missions, he volunteered for missions that resulted in eight enemy aircraft to be downed. For his bravery, he was awarded the nation's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor.When General Kenney went to the Pacific in Sept., 1942, Bong was one of the pilots he tasked to join the 49th Fighter Group. Bong was assigned to the 9th Fighter Squadron, the "Flying Knights," and was sent to Australia. While waiting for P-38s to be delivered, he flew with the 39th FS of the 35th Fighter Group, operating out of Port Moresby, New Guinea. On Dec. 27, 1942, while flying with the 35th, Bong scored his first aerial victories, a A6M Zero and a Ki-43 Oscar, and earned a Silver Star.

 

Bong began shooting down Japanese planes at a rapid rate. After his 27th victory, General Kenney took him out of action and promoted him to major. When Eddie Rickenbacker heard about it, he sent a message of congratulations reading, "Just received the good news that you are the first one to break my record in World War I by bringing down 27 planes in combat, as well as your promotion, so justly deserved. I hasten to offer my sincere congratulations with the hope that you will double or triple this number. But in trying, use the same calculating techniques that has brought you results to date, for we will need your kind back home after this war is over."

 

Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur presented the Medal of Honor to Bong on Dec. 12, 1944. The citation reads: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in the Southwest Pacific area from 10 October to 15 November 1944. Though assigned to duty as gunnery instructor and neither required nor expected to perform combat duty, Major Bong voluntarily and at his own urgent request engaged in repeated combat missions, including unusually hazardous sorties over Balikpapan, Borneo, and in the Leyte area of the Philippines. His aggressiveness and daring resulted in his shooting down eight enemy airplanes during this period."

 

After Bong scored his 40th victory, he was sent home. He was America's "Ace of Aces," with 40 aerial victories, 200 combat missions and more than 500 combat hours behind him. Among his many medals were the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, seven Distinguished Flying Crosses, 15 Air Medals, American Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with Silver Service Star for participation in the Leyte, Luzon, New Guinea, Northern Solomons and Papua Campaigns, two Distinguished Unit Citations, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with Bronze Service Star, Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, and Philippine Independence ribbon. He was also given the Australian air force's Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

He went to work at Wright Field as a test pilot, helping to develop the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. He studied jet propulsion theory and learned the engineering details of the new plane for two months, before flying one. After being checked out in the P-80, he flew it 11 times that summer.

 

On Aug. 6, 1945, Bong stepped into an airplane for the last time. His P-80 malfunctioned just after take-off, and while he bailed out, he was too close to the ground for his parachute to open. After surviving two years of combat flying, Bong died on a routine acceptance flight.

 

Photo Courtesy The Staff Sergeant Gail Allison Collection

www.photosfromonhigh.com aerial photos Albany NY aerial photos photographer Upstate albanyphotos@yahoo.com 518-495-7983

 

Globalfoundries Saratoga County NY Globalfoundries Albany NY New York Convention Center aerial photos Mercer Development aerial photographer M W ... at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, NY, in ... Did GlobalFoundries just become an 800-pound Fab gorilla?

9/8/2009 by: Theo Valich - Get more from this author

   

ATIC [Advanced Technology Investment Company], technology investment group from the Government of Abu Dhabi, the majority owner of GlobalFoundries announced that the group is making a bid to acquire Chartered Semiconductor.

 

The move is not entirely unexpected, but rather a consequence of events that had nothing to do with semiconductor industry: Chartered Semiconductor is one of golden eggs in Singaporean's government investment arm [Temasek Holdings Pte], who is feeling the pain of global economy slowdown and the changes in companies owned by Temasek were obvious. As Singapore Airlines went through ownership change [now mostly owned by Temasek] the investment arm needed the cash to complete the transaction and Abu Dhabi's ATIC rode into town.

 

ATIC was interested in buying its competition, but when an opportunity like this arises, there isn't much you can do but to take it. The acquisition of Chartered Semi puts GlobalFoundries in a role of an 800-pound gorilla in the contract manufacturing space. First GlobalFoundries signed the deal to manufacture chips for a chip maker [STMicroelectronics], and now the GF owner is buying one of own largest competitors. In fact, until TSMC gets its SOI production up and running, GlobalFoundries is acquiring its second largest competitor in the SOI space [we take that ATIC does not want to buy IBM... for now].

 

In case you're unfamiliar with Chartered semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, the foundry owns six cleanrooms in a giant fab complex in Singapore, with production based on 200mm and 300mm wafers. Total output of the company is also very interesting:

 

Fab 2: 50,000 200mm WSM 600-350nm

Fab 3: 25,000 200mm WSM 350-180nm

Fab 3E: 34,000 200mm WSM in 250-180nm

Fab 5: 24,000 200mm WSM 350-180nm

Fab 6: 39,000 200mm WSM 180-110nm

Fab7: 45,000 300mm WSM 130-40nm [equal to 101,250 200mm wafers]

So, we have 172,000 WSM [wafer starts per month], or around 2,06 million 200mm wafers per year, plus an additional 540,000 300mm wafers. This manufacturing capacity is nothing short of impressive, even though the majority is in less competitive 200mm wafer space. If you would compare Chartered's Fab7 [300mm2 one] to GlobalFoundries' Fab1 complex in Dresden, you might be surprised at the differences in size, since Fab7 is massive: clean room space is as big as whole Module 2 [ex-Fab30/38] and half of Module 1 [ex-Fab36].

 

Yes, it is true that currently "only" 27,000 wafer starts can be in 40nm, but SOI capacity is quite impressive. Inside this advanced 300mm facility Chartered makes Microsoft's Xbox 360 CPUs, some AMD CPUs and some of IBM's Power chips.

 

Clean room space is also quite impressive - six facilities with a grand total of 773,640 square feet [71,871.15 m2]. If you compare that to current manufacturing facilities in Dresden, Module 1 [14,500 m2 - 156,000 sqft] and currently upgrading Module 2 [16,700 m2 - 180,000 sqft], you can see that GlobalFoundries wants to go from 336,000 sqft [31,214 m2] in 2009 to 1.38 million square feet [128,202 m2] of clean room space in 2012.

Divided by wafer size, GlobalFoundries in 2012 could look like this:

 

300mm2 - 120,000 wafer starts per month, 838,000 sqft [77,850 m2] Class 100 clean room

200mm2 - 172,000 wafer starts per month, 541,640 sqft [50,318 m2] Class 100 clean room

All in all, this is quite a significant jump in manufacturing space, as there aren't exactly many contract manufacturers who can or plan to annually output almost 1.5 million 300mm wafers in 2012-2013 frame. In fact, one could put a question that GlobalFoundries is doing this to attract the heavy weights, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo - but Qualcomm and nVidia as well.

 

Over the past several months, we featured various articles on upcoming chips, but they all have one thing in common: they have to be built on 300mm wafers in order to be profitable. Qualcomm's quad-core ARM System-on-Chip is quite nice, but the company has to have 300mm wafers available to score a profit. Same thing with the 2010-2011 generation of nVidia's Tegra and Texas Instruments OMAP chips.

 

Thus, a foundry has to position itself aggressively and there is no doubt that this move puts GlobalFoundries on the map of TSMC and Intel challenger. While TSMC still has the overall lead in number of wafers it can produce, the numbers here show that GlobalFoundries is catching up and overtaking in 300mm wafer arena - a worrisome trend.

 

The clock isn't exactly stopping there - if we divide the wafers in SOI and non-SOI flavor, GlobalFoundries will be the largest SOI wafer maker, and with a move to optical interconnects starting in 2012-2013 there isn't exactly any doubt what's on the table. ATIC and AMD both want that GlobalFoundries change the semi playing field for good, and this acquisition only confirms that direction.

 

GlobalFoundries can freely disclose all of its plans and there isn't exactly a lot that other competitors can do but to launch massive FUD campaigns which again, would not stand due to engineering excellence shown by former AMD engineering teams, who saved Microsoft's bacon on Xbox 360 yields, for instance.

 

This move also solves one of major pains for GlobalFoundries exec team - no longer journalists and analysts need to ask "who are your customers?", because with the acquisition of Chartered Semi, that list grew by couple of dozen names, including Microsoft and IBM. You can expect that next GlobalFoundries event to feature numerous existing customers, even if they did not sign directly with GlobalFoundries, rather Chartered Semi.

 

ATIC's next move: Buying a wafer supplier?

We wonder what the next step for GlobalFoundries will be, but personally I would not bet against GF acquiring Soitec, as the largest SOI wafer vendor. Intel invested in the firm in 2007, when it became clear that the future chip interconnects [remember Intel Hybrid Silicon Laser demonstration on SOI wafers during IDF Fall 2006?] will require the use SOI wafers. AMD did not react at the time, but with over a trillion USD for investments alone, Abu Dhabi investment groups can easily flex their muscle and put everything they need under one roof.

   

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Advanced Technology Investment Co., the Abu Dhabi company that owns the majority of GlobalFoundries, plans to acquire chip maker Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd.

 

The Singapore-based Chartered Semiconductor would become part of GlobalFoundries, a joint venture with ATIC and Advanced MicroDevices Inc. (NYSE: AMD).

 

GlobalFoundries is building a $4.2 billion manufacturing plant in Malta in Saratoga County. N.Y., about 25 miles north of Albany. It also has operations in Dresden, Germany.

 

It was unclear early Tuesday how the acquisition would affect the Malta operation.

 

ATIC would pay $3.9 billion in cash and debt for the acquisition, the companies said in a joint statement. The transaction is expected to close in late 2009, pending required government and shareholder approvals.

 

GlobalFoundries CEO Doug Grose would head up the combined operations. Chartered (Nasdaq: CHRT) CEO Chia Song Hwee would become chief operating officer and head the integration of both companies, according to the companies.

 

ATIC is a technology investment company wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi government. It owns 66 percent of GlobalFoundries; AMD owns the remaining 34 percent.

 

Singapore’s state-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings owns about 62 percent of Chartered’s shares. The chip maker produces chips for Xbox 360 games and other consoles.

 

“Chartered and GlobalFoundries will be able to draw on each other’s strengths to enable the next generation of semiconductor innovation, utilizing the value of both companies and the intellectual capital of thousands of skilled employees,” said Ibrahim Ajami, CEO of ATIC. GlobalFoundries’ plant in Malta is under construction. It’s expected to employ 1,5000 during the construction phase and 1,6000 permanent and ancillary jobs when it’s running at full capacity in 2010.

 

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The move follows an earlier investment in GlobalFoundries, a joint venture with AMD

John Ribeiro (IDG News Service) 08 September, 2009 06:01:00

Tags: processors, globalfoundries, ATIC, amd

 

Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi has signed a definitive agreement to acquire chip maker Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing of Singapore in a deal valued at S$5.6 billion (US$3.9 billion) in cash and debt, the companies said on Monday.

 

Chartered, a contract chip maker, will become part of GlobalFoundries, the chip manufacturing venture formed by ATIC and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

 

The CEO of GlobalFoundries, Doug Grose, will head up the combined operations, while Chartered CEO Chia Song Hwee will become chief operating officer and head the integration of the businesses, ATIC said in a statement.

 

The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of this year. It will require approval by Chartered shareholders and government regulators.

 

ATIC is a technology investment company wholly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.

 

The acquisition of Chartered will be its second major investment in the semiconductor industry after the deal with AMD.

 

GlobalFoundries has a manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany, and another under construction in the state of New York.

 

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ATIC hopes to combine Chartered's customer relationships and capabilities in both 8-inch and 12-inch fabrication with GlobalFoundries' technology expertise, capacity, and global footprint.

 

Singapore state-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings, which owns about 62 percent of Chartered’s shares, fully supports the acquisition and has signed an irrevocable undertaking to vote in support of the transaction, the statement said.

 

Chartered also on Monday revised up its guidance for the third quarter of 2009.

 

The company increased its revenue forecast slightly and narrowed its loss forecast compared to guidance given in July, because of an incremental improvement in business.

  

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Posted: May 28, 2009

Job fair to Help M+W Zander fill 40 project management positions in new chip facility

(Nanowerk News) The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") of the University at Albany today announced plans to host a Job Fair to assist M+W Zander in building its project management team to support the construction of GlobalFoundries' computer chip manufacturing facility in Malta.

The Job Fair, to be held on Wednesday, June 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex, will help recruit candidates for 40 high-tech design and construction management positions, including electrical and mechanical designers, engineers and estimators; construction and design project managers and coordinators; architectural project managers, planners and interns; and, accounting, purchasing, document control and administrative personnel. The positions carry salaries that range from $40,000 to more than $100,000 annually.

Officials from M+W Zander will be on hand to accept resumes and conduct initial interviews on site, with representatives of CNSE also providing assistance at the event. This marks the fifth high-tech job fair to be held at CNSE in just the past three years, with previous events in May 2006, January 2007, September 2007 and October 2008.

Candidates interested in attending and interviewing at the Job Fair are encouraged to pre-register online by visiting cnse.albany.edu/events/jobfair2009.html.

Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari said, "That still another Job Fair is necessary to fill these high-tech positions is a great testament to the investments made in the rapidly growing nanotechnology sector in the Capital Region and New York State. I hope local residents will take full advantage of this opportunity to learn more about exciting careers in the nanotechnology industry."

Assemblyman John J. McEneny said, "The investments in nanotechnology are once again paying dividends in the form of exciting new high-tech career opportunities for residents of Albany and the Capital Region. It is an enormous source of pride to know that New York State is leading the worldwide nanotechnology revolution, which is creating new jobs and attracting new investments."

Rick Whitney, President and CEO of M+W Zander U.S. Operations said, "It is a pleasure to work in partnership with the UAlbany NanoCollege, the world leader in nanotechnology education, research and development, as M+W Zander builds its construction management team to support GlobalFoundries' world-class computer chip manufacturing facility at the Luther Forest Technology Campus. As a company that works on high-tech projects and facilities around the world, there is no question that the Capital Region and New York are recognized globally as the place to be for nanotechnology."

Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of CNSE, said, "With the vision, leadership and support of Speaker Silver, Assembly Majority Leader Canestrari, Assemblyman McEneny and the New York State Assembly, M+W Zander has become a valuable partner in building high-tech facilities that are critical to New York's global leadership in nanotechnology education, research and development, and economic outreach. The UAlbany NanoCollege is pleased to host this Job Fair, which will provide exciting career opportunities for local residents, and ensure that M+W Zander has a highly skilled management team in place to build GlobalFoundries' state-of-the-art computer chip manufacturing plant."

 

With headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, M+W Zander is one of the world's foremost companies for the design and construction of high-tech buildings and cleanroom facilities for research and development, pilot manufacturing, manufacturing, and assembly and testing operations. M+W Zander's Northeastern U.S. headquarters is located at the Watervliet Arsenal, where it employs more than 250 people.

About M+W Zander

The M+W Zander Group offers its customers worldwide integrated life-cycle solutions for high-tech production plants and infrastructure complexes including all necessary service and modernization support. The customer base focuses primarily on leading electronics, photovoltaic, pharmaceutical, chemical, automobile and communication companies, as well as research institutes and universities. The company ranks among the market leaders in various market sectors which include semiconductors, photo-voltaics and pharmaceuticals. MWZ Group GmbH, Stuttgart, manages the global activities of the group as a holding company. The group has three main divisions based on Facility Solutions, Process Solutions and Product Solutions which together generated 2008 revenues of $2.32 billion with a workforce of approximately 4,500.

 

Source: CNSE

Comments

no3rdw says:

Did you take this photo? I did a photosimulation of the nanotech facility expansion based off this very same photo.

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Yes I did. Who supplied the photo to you? I don't remember anyone calling me about this. Only an architect firm in Albany. Let me know. Chris

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

no3rdw says:

Oops, sorry it took a while to get back to you - I just PM'd you about this :)

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Thanks Chris

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Too Much work to do to enter. Chris

Posted 28 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Thanks

Posted 27 months ago. ( permalink )

Donna62 says:

  

A great image, much admired by Donna62 --,

a "FIRST - THE EARTH!" member - www.flickr.com/groups/first-the-earth/

Posted 24 months ago. ( permalink )

 

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President Barack Obama Visits Luther Forest Technology Campus Malta Saratoga County New york GlobalFoundries Breaks Ground in Malta

GlobalFoundries held a groundbreaking ceremony for Fab 2 in Malta, N.Y. The foundry's goal is to have the first tool move in by October 2011, with qualification coming in early 2012 and commercial production by the second half of 2012. The event marks "a significant shift in momentum" for chip manufacturing in the United States, said Norm Armour, Fab 2 general manager.

David Lammers, News Editor -- Semiconductor International, 7/24/2009

As an Albany, N.Y., taxi driver ferried a visitor to the GlobalFoundries Fab 2 groundbreaking ceremony near the village of Malta, he said, "For three years they've been talking about this, but I never thought they would actually build it."

 

Planning began in June 2006, and it was this year on June 19 that GlobalFoundries began clearing portions of its 230-acre site, located ~24 miles from Albany and seven miles from Saratoga Springs. Fab 2 is expected to be making volume silicon by the second half of 2012, employing 1400 directly and an estimated 5000 indirect workers. The spinoff of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD, Sunnyvale, Calif.) has room for two additional modules at the site.

 

Fab 2 General Manager Norm Armour said he watched manufacturing shift from the United States to Asian foundries during his career at LSI Logic Corp., where he spent a decade managing LSI's fab in Gresham, Ore. "We are on the other side, trying to bring manufacturing back to a U.S. fab," Armour said. "It is a significant momentum shift."

 

That shift was supported by a $6B investment in GlobalFoundries by the Abu Dhabi Investment Co. (ATIC). The money will be spent to build Fab 2 at Malta, expected to cost $4.2B, as well as to expand and upgrade the GlobalFoundries Module 2 in Dresden, Germany. The state of New York is providing an estimated $1.2B in subsidies for Fab 2, and is investing additional funding to expand the University at Albany's nearby College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). AMD contributed its existing manufacturing complex in Dresden as well as other assets, but no cash, providing AMD with access to a new fab without capital outlays.

   

GlobalFoundries Fab 2 will begin production in the second half of 2012.

  

Because the site is not space-constrained, Fab 2 will be a two-level building rather than three-level, said Tom Sonderman, vice president of manufacturing systems technology at GlobalFoundries. All of the wafer production will be on one floor, eliminating the need to move wafers-in-progress (WIP) up and down floors. A "zero footprint storage" approach will put some wafer stockers above the tools, he added. Implant will be located off of the main waffle slab, reducing construction costs, and maintenance shops will be on the upper production floor to further improve efficiencies.

 

Though its labor costs in both Dresden and Malta will be higher than at many Asian fabs, manufacturing innovations will make GlobalFoundries cost-competitive with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC, Hsinchu, Taiwan), according to Sonderman. GlobalFoundries is investing in the midst of a severe downturn, which also will reduce costs compared with the more expensive 24/7 construction schedules used when fabs are built in a hurry. Armour said it may take 18 months to build Fab 2, which is expected to have a 220,000 sq. ft. cleanroom with an option to expand cleanroom space to 300,000 sq. ft. The goal is to have the first tool move in by October 2011, with qualification coming in early 2012 and commercial production by the second half of 2012, a schedule that could be accelerated somewhat "depending on market conditions," Armour said.

 

Sonderman said construction begins at a time "of a lot of pent-up demand for advanced foundry capacity." Fab 2 will start at 28 nm technology, and then bring up a 22 nm SOI process for CPU production. GlobalFoundries will support AMD's manufacturing needs with the current 45 nm production, moving to 32 and 22 nm production. For foundry customers, however, most of the interest is at the half nodes, including 40 nm bulk technology immediately at Dresden and 28 nm high-k/metal gate technology late next year when 28 nm customer designs start to be accepted.

 

Sonderman said GlobalFoundries is accelerating its effort to support 40 nm bulk production, which he said comes as customers express concerns about yields at TSMC. "We definitely want to be a counterbalance to TSMC," Sonderman said, outlining plans to offer, by 2013, 600,000 wspy at Dresden and 400,000 wspy at Fab 2.

Posted in General, GlobalFoundries, Real estate, Tech Valley, Technology | 2 Comments

RPI spokesman joining GlobalFoundriesApril 2, 2009 at 10:25 am by Larry Rulison

Jason Gorss, the manager of media relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, will be joining GlobalFoundries later this month in a communications role.

 

Gorss (right) has been at RPI for several years now. He has a technical and scientific background that helps with his new role with the company, which is building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in Malta called Fab 2 and owns two others in Dresden, Germany.

 

GlobalFoundries spokesman Jon Carvill said that Gorss’ role will be “more global in nature and focused on our technology.

 

“We will still look to add additional resources specific to Fab 2 in 2009,” Carvill said.

 

The company already has an office in Malta at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park, which sits within the Luther Forest Technoogy Campus where GlobalFoundries is planning its factory on 222 acres. At least one former General Electric employee is now working there in a human resources position, and additional positions are expected to be filled in the coming months.

 

The new CEO of GlobalFoundries, Doug Grose, is himself an RPI graduate.

 

The Times Union contacted Gorss this morning by e-mail and he confirmed he is taking the job.

 

“My experience at Rensselaer has given me the rare chance to work with incredibly brilliant people on a wide array of fascinating projects. I am going to miss my colleagues here, but I am excited about the new opportunity with GlobalFoundries,” Gorss said. “It is a perfect fit for someone with my background and interests. I am a technophile at heart, and this job will allow me to immerse myself in some of the most advanced technology on the planet.”05/15/2009 10:10 AM EDT)

  

MALTA, N.Y. — It's rare these days in the semiconductor industry to witness the unfolding of a project on a grand scale. Based on what has been proposed so far, the Global Foundries project backed by Advanced Micro Devices and its partner is precisely that.

 

"We want to be the first truly global semiconductor foundry," said Global Foundries CEO Global Doug Grose at a recent event here, where a ground-breaking ceremony will be held in July.

 

Global Foundries has committed up to $6 billion to develop a new fab to produce chips for AMD and new customers. AMD and partner, Abu Dhabi-backed Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC). "This money is for a five- to seven-year stretch. Our investors [are] in this for the long haul," said Grose.

 

According to Jim McGregor, chief technology strategist at market researcher In-Stat, "Everything for the future depends on GlobalFoundries' ability to land new customers. Unfortunately, I can't predict that."

 

Jim Doran, senior vice president and general manager of AMD's Dresden, Germany, operation, said Global Foundries will use a Sunnyvale, Calif., facility for technology development and producing process design kits. The U.S. site also will be used for designing intellectual property and chip testing and validation.

 

Global Foundries also is engaged with neighbors here like the IBM Alliance on submicron research and development.

 

Global Foundries' 300-mm Fab 1 in Dresden includes a Module 1 used for 45-nm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) chips; Module 2 is used for 32-nm and beyond bulk CMOS process technology. Both modules are expected to operate at 25,000 monthly wafer starts at full capacity. Module 2 production will ramp up in late 2009.

  

The $4.5 billion Fab 2, a 300-mm manufacturing facility in Saratoga County, N.Y., is expected to come online in 2012 with 35,000 wafer starts per month at full capacity. Fab 2 is expected to create more than 1,400 jobs along with about 5,000 spin-off jobs.

    

Page 2: Global Foundries' big bet takes shape in upstate New York

  

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Global Foundries breaks ground on long-awaited NY fab.

 

The new 300-mm manufacturing facility is expected to bring 1,400 direct semiconductor manufacturing jobs and billions of dollars in economic development to upstate New York.

 

By Suzanne Deffree, Managing Editor, News -- Electronic News, 7/24/2009

Global Foundries today announced it officially broke ground on the construction of Fab 2, a new semiconductor manufacturing facility located at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, NY.

 

The construction and ramp-up phases for the new $4.2 billion facility are expected to take approximately three years to complete, with volume production expected in 2012. According to the company, once Fab 2 is completed it will stand as the "most technologically advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world" and the "largest leading-edge semiconductor foundry in the United States."

 

“As today’s chip designers push the boundaries on the next generation of products, there is a growing need for a new approach to design and manufacturing rooted in collaboration and innovation," Hector Ruiz, chairman of Global Foundries, said in a statement. "With Fab 2, Global Foundries moves the semiconductor industry away from the traditional model of isolated regional development and into an era of global hubs of manufacturing and technology expertise.”

 

The new facility is designed to manufacture microprocessors and logic products on 300-mm wafers, Global Foundries said, noting that initial production is expected to ramp at the 28-nm technology node and move to volume manufacturing on the 22-nm node. Fab 2 will work in conjunction with Global Foundries’ Fab 1 facility in Dresden, Germany.

   

Today's ground breaking was long awaited. Indeed, talk of the NY fab began in 2006, years before AMD spun out its manufacturing operations to form Global Foundries in October 2008. AMD saw significant support from the state during its decision and commitment process, including $1.2 billion in incentives. That largest private-public investment in the history of the state included grants, tax credits, and other New York City Empire Zone benefits. In accord with the investment, New York gave AMD a two-year window, from July 2007 to July 2009, to initiate the building of a new 300-mm wafer fabrication facility in Saratoga County, NY.

 

New York's significant support was not unwarranted. New York estimated that the plant will create approximately 1,400 new, direct semiconductor manufacturing jobs at full-scale production, providing an estimated annual payroll of more than $88 million to the upstate region. In addition, the project will create approximately 5,000 new, indirect jobs in the region, offering a sustained estimated total annual payroll of $290 million for all jobs, according to New York's estimates.

 

The state's universities also have several high-tech efforts in play that include AMD and its partners. Most recently, Intel, IBM, and Sematech backed an R&D joint venture with the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering center that is expected to add 475 jobs to New York.

 

“New York has worked with Global Foundries for three years to bring this [fab] project to fruition and I am pleased to say that with the groundbreaking of Fab 2, New York and Global Foundries take a lead role in delivering the type of economic growth needed to carry our nation toward sustainable growth,” said Governor David Paterson of New York in the Global Foundries statement. “This initiative not only provides our residents with a source for new jobs, but is integral in positioning New York as a future hub of innovation and an attractive destination for additional investment.”

 

AMD also showed its support at the ground breaking today. "This is an important opportunity to create thousands of jobs and strengthen US competiveness in the high-tech industry," said Dirk Meyer, president and CEO of AMD, in a company statement. “The multi-billion dollar investments in research and development and capacity expansion that Global Foundries is planning strengthen its position as a premier leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing foundry and make it the ideal AMD technology partner to help in bringing our innovative products to market.”

 

Link: www.edn.com/article/CA6672910.html

      

Location and plans:

m + w zander U.S. Operations, Inc. is designing and building the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing complex in the world for GLOBALFOUNDRIES. The Fab 2, Module 1 facility is to be located at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in the Towns of Malta and Stillwater, Saratoga County, New York. The realization of this project will be the crowning achievement in the continued development of New York's Tech Valley as a pre-eminent location for technological breakthroughs not only in the field of semiconductors but in nanotechnology, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals and alternative energy as well.

 

m + w zander is proud to be a leader in this effort and shares this website in order to provide information and the excitement of constructing this most important project with the local and world-wide communities.

 

link: fab2construction.com/

           

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Last edited by Buyckske Ruben; December 6th, 2009 at 03:22 PM.

  

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December 6th, 2009, 03:27 PM #2

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Posts: 1,539 slideshow of construction site:

 

www.flickr.com/photos/aerial-...th/3460543532/

  

Global Foundries' Fab 2: (part 1)

  

all the 3 parts:

    

Link: www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=3614

  

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December 13th, 2009, 01:52 PM #3

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Hector Ruiz, the chairman of GlobalFoundries said that the new chip plant is “by far the most significant high-tech investment made in this country in decades.” This plant will produce the most advanced computer chips in the world when it is completed.

      

Having been the construction project manager for AMD’s original Dresden-based fabrication facilities, Globalfoundries has awarded M+W Zander the full turnkey construction contract for Fab 2, currently being built at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, New York. A departure from pervious fab projects, M+W Zander is also responsible for the architectural aspects of the 4 building project. Previously, AMA Group, based in Italy had been the architectural firm responsible for this aspect of the work. The turnkey project is worth approximately €550 million to M+W Zander over the two-year construction schedule.

 

The Fab 2 complex is more than 130,000 square meters (1.45 million square feet), including a 28,000 square meters (300,000 square feet) Class 100 clean room. A ‘spine’ support building is also being built, along with administrative office building and a central utility building (CUB) along with service yards and small support buildings.

 

M+W Zander will also handle general contracting for all of the technical areas to include the manufacturing spaces, building utilities, central utility building and process systems.

LINK: www.fabtech.org/news/_a/mw_za...undries_fab_2/

   

OKT 2009:

          

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December 13th, 2009, 02:04 PM #4

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Impressions inside the fab:

    

Link: blogs.thenational.ae/beep_bee...abu-dhabi.html

        

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December 13th, 2009, 02:10 PM #5

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Posts: 1,539 YOUTUBE FILM about the concurrent Intel.

 

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Fab 32 - Intel's first high-volume 45nm chip factory:

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FLBtQC0F0c

 

Very impressive!

  

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Category: GlobalFoundries

Customer-centricMay 3, 2009 at 6:00 am by Larry Rulison

 

Talking about customers, GlobalFoundries is making sure that it treats the customers that it does get the right way.

 

The 1.3 million-square-foot factory it will build in Saratoga County features a special entrance for customers, separate from the visitor entrance. Inside, customers will find a nearly half-acre of space devoted to designing chips for them. GlobalFoundries expects its customer base to grow beyond AMD to include graphics chips companies and those that produce chips used in handheld electronics.

  

Posted in GlobalFoundries | 1 Comment

GlobalFoundries site clearing should be soonApril 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm by Larry Rulison

Although the closing on the sale of 222 acres in Malta at the Luther Forest Technology Campus has been in the final stages now for the last couple of weeks, officials with GlobalFoundries Inc. said again today the deal could be done any day now.

 

The deal will also set in motion a number of events, including the awarding of the first contract to clear the site for a $4.2 billion computer chip factory.

 

In fact, right around the time the sale occurs, GlobalFoundries will send its official commitment letter to the state of New York, making it eligible for $650 million in cash incentives for chip fab construction and research and development activities.

 

Around the same time, GlobalFoundries will make the announcement that it has hired a general contractor. Although not official yet, it’s largely expected that M+W Zander, which built Albany NanoTech, will be given the nod. (more…)

 

Posted in Economic development, GlobalFoundries, Tech Valley, Technology | Add a comment

No Malta meeting for GlobalFoundriesApril 28, 2009 at 10:37 am by Larry Rulison

There will be no Malta Planning Board meeting tonight for GlobalFoundries, the company building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in the town.

 

The town planning board had posted an agenda for the meeting on the town’s Web site, but Town Planning Director Anthony Tozzi said today that the planning board has decided it doesn’t need to meet. It was scheduled to review temporary construction plans for the project.

 

GlobalFoundries is still wrapping up the purchase of 222 acres of land at Luther Forest, and closing is expected later this week or early next week. The planning board doesn’t need to make any approvals until after the closing of that deal, which is why the board decided not to meet.

 

The Malta Planning Board usually meets the third Tuesday of every month, but it has set aside the second and fourth Tuesday of every month for the GlobalFoundries project if needed.

 

Posted in General, GlobalFoundries, Government | Add a comment

AMD posts loss of $416 millionApril 21, 2009 at 4:55 pm by Larry Rulison

Advanced Micro Devices Inc., the only customer of GlobalFoundries Inc., the company building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in Malta, posted a $416 million loss in the first quarter.

 

Sales totaled $1.177 billion.

 

AMD spun off GlobalFoundries earlier this year and included the results of GlobalFoundries in its consolidated results released today.

 

Those results say GlobalFoundries had sales of $283 million and an operating loss of $141 million.

 

The results also show AMD spent $44 million on the formation of GlobalFoundries during the past two quarters.

 

GlobalFoundries is expected to acquire 222 acres at the Luther Forest Technology Campus any day now and start construction of the chip fab this summer. The plant is expected to start full-scale manufacturing by 2012.

 

Posted in Advanced Micro Devices Inc., General, GlobalFoundries | Add a comment

Malta holding meeting on Luther ForestApril 20, 2009 at 11:48 am by Larry Rulison

The Malta Town Board will hold a workshop and special meeting tonight to make some minor changes to an agreement it has with the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

  

Aerial shows road construction at the Luther Forest site. (Times Union archive)

The meeting comes as it appears that the sale of 222 acres at Luther Forest to GlobalFoundries Inc. for a $4.2 billion computer chip factory could come any day now.

 

It’s unclear if the changes to the agreement with the town, technically a declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions, are needed so the sale can take place.

 

Malta Supervisor Paul Sausville said this morning that he thought the sale might take place today and he didn’t think the changes – considered minor — had to occur for the sale to go through.

 

Sausville said the document deals with things such as who is responsible for interior roads, sidewalks and lights at the tech park.

 

He said Luther Forest and the town reached an agreement last week, but the town of Stillwater made some minor changes to its version on Thursday, and the two documents have to be identical. The park straddles both towns, although most of the land is located in Malta.

 

GlobalFoundries spokesman Travis Bullard said the Malta meeting is being held just to make minor revisions. He has said the land deal is imminent.

 

Posted in GlobalFoundries, Government | Add a comment

Luther Forest looking for consultantsApril 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm by Larry Rulison

The nonprofit group developing the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta is looking for real estate and construction consultants to provide their expertise as it develops the 1,414-acre business park.

 

Computer chip manufacturer GlobalFoudries Inc. is expected to be the first tenant, taking 222 acres. A deal by the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based firm to acquire the land is due any day now.

 

The Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corp. issued a request for proposals today for consultants it can use on an as-needed basis.

 

The RFPs are due back April 30. The review process will begin in early May, with selection to take place within a few weeks after that.

 

To see the RFP, click here.

 

Posted in General, GlobalFoundries, Real estate, Tech Valley, Technology | 2 Comments

RPI spokesman joining GlobalFoundriesApril 2, 2009 at 10:25 am by Larry Rulison

Jason Gorss, the manager of media relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, will be joining GlobalFoundries later this month in a communications role.

 

Gorss (right) has been at RPI for several years now. He has a technical and scientific background that helps with his new role with the company, which is building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in Malta called Fab 2 and owns two others in Dresden, Germany.

 

GlobalFoundries spokesman Jon Carvill said that Gorss’ role will be “more global in nature and focused on our technology.

 

“We will still look to add additional resources specific to Fab 2 in 2009,” Carvill said.

 

Th