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Steller's Eiders have been successfully bred in captivity.

Reason for hope as Jane Goodall says... :-)

 

Fascinating fact that I learned yesterday - as you go north, the clutch size (the number of eggs in a nest) goes up. For example, it's 3 in the temperate latitudes but more like 5 in the arctic. Why is that - It's because in the high arctic, in summer there is more light in the day, and hence more insects and time to feed. So you can raise a larger family!

 

You have to wonder what's going on when ducks that used to be all around Alaska can't make a go of it in the arctic summer; our world's nursery is in trouble. But as Jane Goodall says repeatedly, "There is always reason for hope"...

 

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

GRAND ISLE, LA - JUNE 04: A brown pelican coated in heavy oil wallows in the surf June 4, 2010 on East Grand Terre Island, Louisiana. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident is coming ashore in large volumes across southern Louisiana coastal areas. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

PENSACOLA, FL - JUNE 07: A great blue heron stands on an oil containment boom that is being used to protect the beach area from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on June 7, 2010 in Pensacola, Florida. Early reports indicate that BP's latest plan to stem the flow of oil from the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident may be having some sucess. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

We just came back from a week long trip. We visited camera dealers meeting in Osaka and tried out many new cameras.

I was pretty impressed with some of new mirrorless cameras from Fuji, Sony, Oly and Panasonic.

I strongly feel D-SLR guys are shooting themselves in the foot by not incorporating fast LV AF and shooting-ability.

 

So will Nikon/Canon still be around in 2020?

I think Canon may survive but Nikon will not be around in this business in 5 years. They are severely criticized for their slow adaptation of new techs. In Hokkaido, I met many many people still shooting D-SLRs and they were rude and blindedly believing in the ancient semi-analogue 1950th tech of their Canon Nikon cameras the absolute best, it was like a bad religion. But even in D-SLR land, there are not many guys still shooting Nikons any more, I think 8 out of 10 people still using DSLRs today shooting Canon, and they seem to ratiocinating their choice to the better lens selection of Canon, the better support and QC of Canon and Nikon's long neglecting of a proper D300s update. Actually, I was kind of able to relate to some of them if I still had some Nikon glass, I was waiting for a D700 successor for a long time, but I got tired of it and moved to Sony.

Now, they can get the D500 but many of them told me it was just too late, they've already bought a couple of EOS7DM2 with more than 10k of lenses.

And Nikon is very very slow adapting to new tech and sudden market changes or environmental changes surrounding this stills camera market. How many years did they actually need to produce actual 4k capable consumer grade cameras in the D500 and the D5? How many years did they need to actually produce their very first FF camera in the D3?

 

So is Nikon sinking or doing just fine?

The camera companies(especially Nikon) do need to listen to our iPhone generation photographers.

By carefully studying our young gen customers' shooting behaviors I find they do almost never use the OVF when they try out one of our displayed D-SLRs.

They cellphone generation boys always just hold cameras we display at our shops in front of their face with arms stretched out to see the LCD not looking into the EVF or OVF when they try out any camera we display at our shops.

This means to them DSLR AF feels extremely slow, they always pan the DSLRs as slower than their smartphones in AF. We older people around 30 or older know if they shoot through the VF, the D-SLRs are actually still faster than most of mirrorless cameras out there(at least in C AF mode), maybe the Panasonic GH4, the GX8 and some latest gen Olympus being rare exceptions. But the young boys/girls almost never shoot through the VF unless they are already pretty well experienced or educated in this very odd hobby or art.

So after trying out a Canon or a Nikon FF D-SLR for about 10 minutes, many of them lovely young customers tell us,"we just gave up on DSLR AF already, it is too slow, just so annoying and we do not have time waiting for it to AF on what we want it to focus on,they are useless ".

 

Well, while I think they have no patience and it is obviously limiting them not the camera, but honestly, even if I were not a mirrorless shooter, I would still likely think very similarly about the D-SLRs and the dated tunnel view OVF since I have been quite used to using LCD and EVF devices since about I was 18y/o. So I definitely have no hard feeling on the EVF and the LCD LV shooting like many of my aged people have on the Sony EVF. I actually much prefer the current generation EVF and LCD to any of the current best tunnel view OVF from Canon or Nikon.

I think camera makers are too narrow-minded and conservative or stupid to ignore those kind of younger after digital era or iPhone gen people, but they should focus on them and they even need to educate them how to use cameras properly.

Many many those who claim themselves pro reviewers think the OVF cameras are faster in AF than the EVF cameras and they still always recommend the DSLRs for action shooters.

But I know many of our customers who are younger than me never use the VF when they try any camera out at our shops, and therefore, they think the DSLRs are actually much slower in AF even in C(action tracking mode), and they are right in LV mode, the D-SLRs(specially Nikons) are slow, I mean super slow to the point I consider it is useless in LV mode. In fact, the only 2 D-SLRs I know of to have fast LV AF are the EOS80D and the EOS7DMK2, which I've panned a few times for the poor quality sensor with the terrible conversion noise issue. All the Nikon FX D-SLRs that have a superb sensor with clean base ISO performance have terribly slow, almost useless LV AF, which has never got better since the D800 time.

Now, we have realized many of our customers telling us something like below after using any of our displayed DSLRs at our shops.

"Well, I still have and enjoy a DSLR, but I think that as a category, "DSLR Auto-focus" is overrated. Can you really put the Canon SL1 in the same boat as the Nikon D4s and generalize that the category is always the best? Why do you guys always compare the best D-SLR AF in the D4s or the 1DX vs the average class AF system of the mirrorless type cameras? It is simply wrong". I agree, many many reviews and camera sales persons compare the D4s or the 1DX vs the cheap mirrorless AF performance to pan or even bash the cheap mirrorless as slow or not capable of tracking action. It is not fair.

There are all kinds of problems with the general-comparison-discussion I see on the net.

First: very few people have deep experience with many different systems, so their comparison is actually "camera I have two years, with 50,000 frames of field experience shooting" (DSLR) vs. "camera I tried once in a local camera shop and didn't really understand in the two minutes I held it" (Mirrorless X).

Second: people obnoxiously mix categories to serve their argument. So we see comparisons of the very latest or flagship DLSR bodies (D4s, 1Dx,D750,etc) vs. the very cheapest mirrorless cameras (Fuji X-T10, Sony A6000). When the $500 mirrorless camera can't topple the $6000 pro FX DSLR, mirrorless technology is proclaimed generally insufficient as a category. Scott Kelby and his Canon-schilling cabal favor this approach. Someone asks him if he sees mirrorless as a viable alternative and he starts explaining all the ways an Olympus OM-D E-M10M2 won't get him the decisive shot on an NFL sideline. Um . . . yeah. How honest, sincere ? Why not compare your Canon to the best mirrorless the A7R2?

Third: people skip camera generations to serve their point. They compare the newest DSLRs ($1700 D750 from 2015) with much older mirrorless technology ($450 Olympus E-M5 from 2012) and, again, when the three-year-old mirrorless camera (that costs 1/4 as much) can't best the year-old DSLR in every possible test, mirrorless as a wholesale category fails. Some of so-called reviewers intentionally compare the D750 to the ORIGINAL A7R with the lamest AF tech to bash the entire Sony system as slow or useless fail in AF department. Why not compare the D750 to the A7M2 if you want to be taken seriously?

But we all real A7X shooters know that only the original A7R had slow(but accurate) AF and even that worst AF in the A7X camera history was decent enough for many of us. At least for me it was good enough, and actually I even say the worst AF in the A7X system- the A7R AF system was more accurate than any of the best D-SLRs I have used in my life, therefore, the A7R is better than any DSLRs even in AF department(at least for me). They-DSLR guys should realize not all of us shoot BIF or boring sports, in fact many of us have no interest in sports at all.

Honestly, It'd be easy to reverse these goofy arguments to "justify" an opposing conclusion. Compare an A7R2 with a Nikon D3300, conclude that DSLR autofocus categorically sucks. Voila, right? now do you get my point?

 

But the D-SLR guys always do this anyway to keep panning and stereotyping all different AF systems and EVF systems of all different brand mirroless systems as though they were all made to be the same lousy.

What we really need to see is tier-to-tier, generation-to-generation comparisons, conducted by photographers who're just curious--folks who aren't interested in jamming a point down the industry's throat. And they must be neutral persons not old farts who have crazy long history of shooting film and SLR type gear with the super analogue tunnel view finder.

My sense, there, is that you'd see pretty much even give-and-take in those comparisons. Pit a Sony A6300 against a Nikon D500, and I imagine you'd see that the Sony would win a few of the contests (accuracy / consistency, for sure, given that it uses the focal plane) and the Nikon would win a few (predictive, continuous acquisition speed). Neither victory would be decisive--it'd be give-and-take of a few points, either way,don't you think? And even if the A6300 is a lot worse than the Nikon D500, it is still 1k cheaper than the overpriced fat Nikon.

Pit a Fuji X-Pro2 against a Nikon D7200 and the X-P2 is going to come away with some AF victories. So will the D7200. Stack an A7R II up next to a D810 and you'd see the same thing. Neither camera will win all the tests for every subject. They'll be competitive, and some shooters(me included) will favor the mirrorless strengths. There's nothing strange about that. I personally cannot accept the size(not the weight) of the D810 and the inaccurate focus system of it. The AF fine tune thing was really annoying.

And as we start comparing the LV AF of the 2 different camera types, then the latest mirrorless system(even the cheapest one) is vastly better. In fact, even the current best D-SLRs such as the Nikon D810, the D750 and the Canon 5DS cannot touch the slowest LV AF of the OM-D E-M5 from 2012, let alone the cheapest m43 or Sony A7X of today.

 

As I said last month, I really really want to buy a new camera system because my 5 A7X cameras died in rain in the last November, and I have been testing many many camera systems that I might buy into. Like many of my young customers, I quickly lost interest in any of the best D-SLR options from Nikon, Canon and Pentax as I tested their terribly slow LV AF compared to my ancient Sony NEX5n(not even A6000 that I also owned at the time).

Honestly, none of current the best DSLRs can keep up with even an ancient primitive mirrorless camera like my 5 year-old NEX5n in LV AF mode shooting down slowly moving people from over my head height.It is just simply embarrassing, how bad the current DSLRs are in terms of LV/video AF. And it is really deplorable to see how conservative Canon Nikon really are, maybe not just conservative but arrogant, not to listen to the young gen photogs?

The D7000,which I shot in 2010-2011 had the same LV AF speed and accuracy as the D750, the D7200 and the D810. It is seriously embarrassing that Nikon has not made any progress in LV AF speed in the last 5 years. The D750, the D7200 are the same slow as the ancient D7000 that I owned in 2010-11.

I think as Canon has dual pixel AF tech and already using that in their latest APS-C D-SLRs, so they may be OK , they will improve their fullframe DSLR LV AF dramatically in the next gen 5D4 and 6D2. But I think Nikon really needs to take this issue seriously to rectify their Dxxx line of D-SLR into more modern hybrid camera system( if they do not want to go serious FX mirrorless route to compete against Sony and Leica/Panasonic).

Obviously, by carefully observing our young gen customers' camera shooting behaviors, we realize having really fast LV AF is actually becoming really really important.

The iPhone gen people simply ignore cameras having slow AF in LV mode. I emphasize this again " they always shoot it with the LCD monitor, not with the EVF or the OVF when they try any of our displayed cameras at our shops".

Most of boys and girls coming from their smartphones or tablets or even from point and shoot cameras rarely use the OVF and thus, they think the D-SLRs are slower in AF and video mode than anything else including their cheap $99 US Casio. I know it is not the best way to shoot moving things, but like or not they do it anyway, they do use the monitor not the OVF, period. This means Nikon has to up their game in this specific area or they will be ignored to be an irrelevant player. Personally,I shoot most of stills images with the EVF, but there are times I need to shoot or prefer to shoot with the LCD monitor of my A7X camera. When I shoot video, I do not use the EVF because I always use a tripod or stabilizer for video but I sometimes wish if I could shoot handheld snap like easy video with AF. So even some middle aged person like me find the real fast LV AF very important these days. And I am actually thinking I am and our generation might be the last people who actually use any type of VF on any camera.

 

Maybe this is one of many things that hurting Nikon sales and value of Nikon share price.

  

The reality is the D-SLR market is collapsing...and the current Nikon financial report shows it clearly. Nikon stock started out the year at ~$13 a share, and it's still ~$13 a share, while Sony stock started out the year at $24 a share, and now it is at $38 a share. The Canon stock started out the year at $34 a share, and now it is at $39 a share.

 

It seems like Nikon is the most vulnerable, because they aren't as diversified as canon , not as innovative as Sony, so what we see there is the true state of the D-SLR world.

 

Japanese Stocks Rise as Buyback Plans Lift Topix; Nikon Plunges - Bloomberg Business

 

Nikon Corp. tumbled 12 percent after slashing its operating-profit target.......

Nikon plunged 12 percent, the most since August 2014 and the biggest drop on the Nikkei 225 again. The camera maker forecasts 30 billion yen in operating profit for the year ending March 2016, missing the 49.8 billion yen estimate of analysts. The company also slashed its 2017 operating-profit target to 38 billion yen, down from 110 billion yen in June. And what is happening around me.

One of our pro customers that used to be buying everything from our rival shops called Kitamura and Map has recently told us below:

"When I bought 2 lenses (FE) both used and both via place called Map-camera(,which is like Japanese version of Craigslist) locally. First lens was from a kit parted by other Pro photographer doing travel photography. I talked to him a bit as I knew him very well from my P.J time at a big news company in Osaka. He said it turned out travel, street and wedding photographers, especially video guys, buying A7S2 like crazy. Some have bought 4 A7S2 and a few GH4 cameras... and most of them loved these cameras,especially the Panasonic GH4, which he thinks is the most versatile hybrid camera available now.

Got another FE lens from hardcore Nikon user who used to work for a big news company I used to work for. The avid Nikon guy switched 6 months ago for A7, then got A7R and now on the A7M2. Waiting for A7RI2 to go with his A7M2. He seemed to have bought too many FE lenses (I bought one from him), sold most of his Nikon gear, except couple of macro and tele zooms that Sony missed(still missing). He said even his hardest Nikon friends already ordered A7II and started selling Nikon gear."

It was amazing to me since I know how die-hard avid they were about Nikon. I never expected them go Sony or Panasonic. I recommended them a couple of Sonys when Sony first released the A99V,which I personally considered a ground breaking camera and I personally used at the time. They scoffed the Sony A99V at the time, and even insulted our shop for recommending such a camera to pros.

These days,It's almost like mass hysteria everybody here is talking about the A7RMK2 or the A7SMK2 or the GX8. If you go to local ads - what you often see is" do you want to trade in your Pro Nikon gear for A7R2 or A7M2", kinda promotion and such ads. Folks are starting to slowly realize, starting to open their eyes. Oh, most interesting stuff is only beginning. I think upcoming A99MK2 and A7MK3 will tip the balance and with every new iteration (whenever A7's will get GH4 or Samsung NX1 kind of super AF system, with some proper tethering software ) the super electric car of Sony and Panasonic will only go farther and farther from older gasoline cars of Canikon. They say," its time is coming" like in new Toyota go electric campaign here.

It's going to be like a nuclear reaction: accumulating critical mass and then BOOM exponential grow. I'm glad we Sony users are on the right car tech platform. Critical mass is almost reached. Just 1 or 2 more years till Boom to become stable ,or is it already stable enough?

Most of our customers who used to shoot weddings with Canon/Nikon already moved to Sony FE for the A7 and A7s.

Most of our customers who used to shoot travel with Nikon already moved to Sony for the A7M2. Many of our customers who used to shoot products and landscapes with Nikon D800E already moved to Sony for the A7R or the A7R2.

This is the reality, and it is still beginning the real change comes after the A99VMK2 and the A7MK3 in next year. I expect we will see the A99VMK2 in this April(at NBA show) and the A7MK3 in this coming August.

 

I hope Nikon will wake up before it becomes too late. But I think it may be too late already.

 

Anyway, if there was one thing the D800E hype and the recent A7R2 hype actually taught me, that was do not buy any crazy internet hype seriously. Most of times it is just not as good as the online hype seems to want us to believe it is.

Personally, after the trashy D800E with terrible AF and mirror shock experience, I decided never spend anything more than 2 k for a camera body.

  

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 Yole, 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.

 

Maybe Sony will be the final loser, not Nikon or Canon?

 

UPDATE 2: today Nikon announced some serious VR related issue with the D5 and the D500. I am not very sure what the real issue is here, their manual is really inanely written and hard for most of people to understand it. Me? I will wait what Thom says on this issue, it is much easier to read his article than annoyingly tedious Nikon manual.

But some Nikon technicians at Nikon Fukuoka warn me not use the VR in all lenses at super high ISO settings due to possible horizontal banding caused by the combination of high ISO plus the VR, I read this issue and many many people actually wondering what this issue really is and how serious it is.

I think Nikon really has some serious problem(probably internal power games in management) and all the current board members of Nikon corp should be replaced. The current president Kimura is terrible and running down the company to the worst possible, he has wasted about 40 percent of its total revenue money for nothing but silly one inch sensor compact business.

 

UPDATE3: Looks like Sony has actually done something right this year.

Sony was the only one of those 3 camera companies to break even this time, and was actually profitable for the year in Imaging, though it’s difficult to say how much of that is contributed by pro video gear. The Imaging Products group at Sony posted slightly lower sales (-1.7%) but a very healthy profit (up 30.4b yen and hitting about 10% of sales).

In terms of unit volume, digital cameras at Sony dropped from 8.5m units to 6.1m units year-to-year. That’s mostly compact camera sales that dried up. Sony won’t say exactly how that shift is working other than to say “improvement in the product mix of digital cameras.” In other words, they suggest that by getting rid of compact camera volume and focusing all its effort on high priced ILC units they are getting a better profit margin.

The other two camera companies still making some money out of their camera business are Fuji and Canon. We do not know Canon's result in detail yet.

I think it is fair to say Fujifilm has a hobby camera business as their Digital cameras are about 2.5% of the company’s overall revenue stream. That they give us any insight into how that business is working is actually a bit surprising. Sales for digital cameras were down 8.2% year-to-year, yet it is still quite profitable.Fujifilm Japan says the imaging business earned 9 percent more profit to them and it was the best of the last 9 years.

To me, the most surprising finding is that Casio's camera division is still profitable and they sell only compact cameras.

But how do they make any serious money out of that compact camera sells is a big mystery to me.

     

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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 08: Cherry blossoms bloom on the edge of the Tidal Basin after a colder than normal March and chilly April delayed the beginning of the cherry blossom season in the nation's capital April 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. Peak bloom was originally predicted between March 26 and March 30th, with the revised prediction moving to April 6-10. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

via someone's Topix account:

 

"Driving back and forth between our RV Park and the town of Holden, we passed by some interesting buildings....the second one drawing our attention was this concrete … what? Not a residence, although it had doors and windows. Not a church, although its entrances and windows are arched, and apparently not a business. It’s been unused for some time, as it is overgrown with vines, but someone still mows the grass around the building.

On one of our visits to the Holden City Hall I asked Sharon about it. She had other visitors at the time, and the three ladies told me it was a mausoleum, the Miller Mausoleum. They told me a little more, then gave me a copy of an article from Holden’s sesquicentennial book. The article had originally been published in the Kansas City Times of October 16, 1934, reprinted in the Holden Image on February 27, 2003. Now it was in print once again. Here’s the story, boiled down quite a bit:

 

Farmer Joseph Miller, being a man who liked read to the Bible and had studied some ancient history, did not want to be buried in the ground when he died. He told a visitor,“I dreaded the lot of lying in the water that settles into practically all graves.” He reminded the visitor that Biblical persons buried their dead in caves, Romans used tombs, and the Egyptians mummified their dead and buried them where they would be dry.

 

To accomplish his goal, in 1916 he began to build this concrete bunker, which later became known as “Joseph’s Tomb”. By the time the article was written in 1934, the main structure had been completed, but the doors and windows were not yet in place.

 

The walls of the first story, which are partly below ground, are three feet thick, and those of the second floor are two feet thick. Above the second floor rises a sort of turret. A dome at the top is flattened to form an observation platform. The original article in the Kansas City Times said,“One of the main entrances leads down into the family crypt room. Mr. Miller’s father and mother, brothers and sisters and six children of his and Mrs. Miller’s, who died in infancy, are interred there.”

 

The second floor of the tomb was devoted to religious pictures and space for a museum. Sharon at the city hall told me that, as a young child, she would play in the park surrounding the building and peek through the windows, where she saw pictures of angels and heaven. Sharon added that after the older family was gone, the younger generation had no interest in the project, and let it run down. There is also speculation in town (probably just idle rumor) that the bodies of the family had been removed and buried elsewhere. Wouldn't that be ironic?

 

An addendum had been added to the story appearing in the sesquicentennial book. A Mrs. Frances Hancock told of living in the Miller house from 1968 to 1978 and helping to maintain the mausoleum, keeping it clean and secure. She added that she sometimes guided curious visitors through the tomb."

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkj2VAX8OUE

BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 27: A model gets ready backstage before during the MGPIN Collection on the four th day of Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 at 751 D.PARK Workshop on March 27, 2013 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

We just came back from a week long trip. We visited camera dealers meeting in Osaka and tried out many new cameras.

I was pretty impressed with some of new mirrorless cameras from Fuji, Sony, Oly and Panasonic.

I strongly feel D-SLR guys are shooting themselves in the foot by not incorporating fast LV AF and shooting-ability.

 

So will Nikon/Canon still be around in 2020?

I think Canon may survive but Nikon will not be around in this business in 5 years. They are severely criticized for their slow adaptation of new techs. In Hokkaido, I met many many people still shooting D-SLRs and they were rude and blindedly believing in the ancient semi-analogue 1950th tech of their Canon Nikon cameras the absolute best, it was like a bad religion. But even in D-SLR land, there are not many guys still shooting Nikons any more, I think 8 out of 10 people still using DSLRs today shooting Canon, and they seem to ratiocinating their choice to the better lens selection of Canon, the better support and QC of Canon and Nikon's long neglecting of a proper D300s update. Actually, I was kind of able to relate to some of them if I still had some Nikon glass, I was waiting for a D700 successor for a long time, but I got tired of it and moved to Sony.

Now, they can get the D500 but many of them told me it was just too late, they've already bought a couple of EOS7DM2 with more than 10k of lenses.

And Nikon is very very slow adapting to new tech and sudden market changes or environmental changes surrounding this stills camera market. How many years did they actually need to produce actual 4k capable consumer grade cameras in the D500 and the D5? How many years did they need to actually produce their very first FF camera in the D3?

 

So is Nikon sinking or doing just fine?

The camera companies(especially Nikon) do need to listen to our iPhone generation photographers.

By carefully studying our young gen customers' shooting behaviors I find they do almost never use the OVF when they try out one of our displayed D-SLRs.

They cellphone generation boys always just hold cameras we display at our shops in front of their face with arms stretched out to see the LCD not looking into the EVF or OVF when they try out any camera we display at our shops.

This means to them DSLR AF feels extremely slow, they always pan the DSLRs as slower than their smartphones in AF. We older people around 30 or older know if they shoot through the VF, the D-SLRs are actually still faster than most of mirrorless cameras out there(at least in C AF mode), maybe the Panasonic GH4, the GX8 and some latest gen Olympus being rare exceptions. But the young boys/girls almost never shoot through the VF unless they are already pretty well experienced or educated in this very odd hobby or art.

So after trying out a Canon or a Nikon FF D-SLR for about 10 minutes, many of them lovely young customers tell us,"we just gave up on DSLR AF already, it is too slow, just so annoying and we do not have time waiting for it to AF on what we want it to focus on,they are useless ".

 

Well, while I think they have no patience and it is obviously limiting them not the camera, but honestly, even if I were not a mirrorless shooter, I would still likely think very similarly about the D-SLRs and the dated tunnel view OVF since I have been quite used to using LCD and EVF devices since about I was 18y/o. So I definitely have no hard feeling on the EVF and the LCD LV shooting like many of my aged people have on the Sony EVF. I actually much prefer the current generation EVF and LCD to any of the current best tunnel view OVF from Canon or Nikon.

I think camera makers are too narrow-minded and conservative or stupid to ignore those kind of younger after digital era or iPhone gen people, but they should focus on them and they even need to educate them how to use cameras properly.

Many many those who claim themselves pro reviewers think the OVF cameras are faster in AF than the EVF cameras and they still always recommend the DSLRs for action shooters.

But I know many of our customers who are younger than me never use the VF when they try any camera out at our shops, and therefore, they think the DSLRs are actually much slower in AF even in C(action tracking mode), and they are right in LV mode, the D-SLRs(specially Nikons) are slow, I mean super slow to the point I consider it is useless in LV mode. In fact, the only 2 D-SLRs I know of to have fast LV AF are the EOS80D and the EOS7DMK2, which I've panned a few times for the poor quality sensor with the terrible conversion noise issue. All the Nikon FX D-SLRs that have a superb sensor with clean base ISO performance have terribly slow, almost useless LV AF, which has never got better since the D800 time.

Now, we have realized many of our customers telling us something like below after using any of our displayed DSLRs at our shops.

"Well, I still have and enjoy a DSLR, but I think that as a category, "DSLR Auto-focus" is overrated. Can you really put the Canon SL1 in the same boat as the Nikon D4s and generalize that the category is always the best? Why do you guys always compare the best D-SLR AF in the D4s or the 1DX vs the average class AF system of the mirrorless type cameras? It is simply wrong". I agree, many many reviews and camera sales persons compare the D4s or the 1DX vs the cheap mirrorless AF performance to pan or even bash the cheap mirrorless as slow or not capable of tracking action. It is not fair.

There are all kinds of problems with the general-comparison-discussion I see on the net.

First: very few people have deep experience with many different systems, so their comparison is actually "camera I have two years, with 50,000 frames of field experience shooting" (DSLR) vs. "camera I tried once in a local camera shop and didn't really understand in the two minutes I held it" (Mirrorless X).

Second: people obnoxiously mix categories to serve their argument. So we see comparisons of the very latest or flagship DLSR bodies (D4s, 1Dx,D750,etc) vs. the very cheapest mirrorless cameras (Fuji X-T10, Sony A6000). When the $500 mirrorless camera can't topple the $6000 pro FX DSLR, mirrorless technology is proclaimed generally insufficient as a category. Scott Kelby and his Canon-schilling cabal favor this approach. Someone asks him if he sees mirrorless as a viable alternative and he starts explaining all the ways an Olympus OM-D E-M10M2 won't get him the decisive shot on an NFL sideline. Um . . . yeah. How honest, sincere ? Why not compare your Canon to the best mirrorless the A7R2?

Third: people skip camera generations to serve their point. They compare the newest DSLRs ($1700 D750 from 2015) with much older mirrorless technology ($450 Olympus E-M5 from 2012) and, again, when the three-year-old mirrorless camera (that costs 1/4 as much) can't best the year-old DSLR in every possible test, mirrorless as a wholesale category fails. Some of so-called reviewers intentionally compare the D750 to the ORIGINAL A7R with the lamest AF tech to bash the entire Sony system as slow or useless fail in AF department. Why not compare the D750 to the A7M2 if you want to be taken seriously?

But we all real A7X shooters know that only the original A7R had slow(but accurate) AF and even that worst AF in the A7X camera history was decent enough for many of us. At least for me it was good enough, and actually I even say the worst AF in the A7X system- the A7R AF system was more accurate than any of the best D-SLRs I have used in my life, therefore, the A7R is better than any DSLRs even in AF department(at least for me). They-DSLR guys should realize not all of us shoot BIF or boring sports, in fact many of us have no interest in sports at all.

Honestly, It'd be easy to reverse these goofy arguments to "justify" an opposing conclusion. Compare an A7R2 with a Nikon D3300, conclude that DSLR autofocus categorically sucks. Voila, right? now do you get my point?

 

But the D-SLR guys always do this anyway to keep panning and stereotyping all different AF systems and EVF systems of all different brand mirroless systems as though they were all made to be the same lousy.

What we really need to see is tier-to-tier, generation-to-generation comparisons, conducted by photographers who're just curious--folks who aren't interested in jamming a point down the industry's throat. And they must be neutral persons not old farts who have crazy long history of shooting film and SLR type gear with the super analogue tunnel view finder.

My sense, there, is that you'd see pretty much even give-and-take in those comparisons. Pit a Sony A6300 against a Nikon D500, and I imagine you'd see that the Sony would win a few of the contests (accuracy / consistency, for sure, given that it uses the focal plane) and the Nikon would win a few (predictive, continuous acquisition speed). Neither victory would be decisive--it'd be give-and-take of a few points, either way,don't you think? And even if the A6300 is a lot worse than the Nikon D500, it is still 1k cheaper than the overpriced fat Nikon.

Pit a Fuji X-Pro2 against a Nikon D7200 and the X-P2 is going to come away with some AF victories. So will the D7200. Stack an A7R II up next to a D810 and you'd see the same thing. Neither camera will win all the tests for every subject. They'll be competitive, and some shooters(me included) will favor the mirrorless strengths. There's nothing strange about that. I personally cannot accept the size(not the weight) of the D810 and the inaccurate focus system of it. The AF fine tune thing was really annoying.

And as we start comparing the LV AF of the 2 different camera types, then the latest mirrorless system(even the cheapest one) is vastly better. In fact, even the current best D-SLRs such as the Nikon D810, the D750 and the Canon 5DS cannot touch the slowest LV AF of the OM-D E-M5 from 2012, let alone the cheapest m43 or Sony A7X of today.

 

As I said last month, I really really want to buy a new camera system because my 5 A7X cameras died in rain in the last November, and I have been testing many many camera systems that I might buy into. Like many of my young customers, I quickly lost interest in any of the best D-SLR options from Nikon, Canon and Pentax as I tested their terribly slow LV AF compared to my ancient Sony NEX5n(not even A6000 that I also owned at the time).

Honestly, none of current the best DSLRs can keep up with even an ancient primitive mirrorless camera like my 5 year-old NEX5n in LV AF mode shooting down slowly moving people from over my head height.It is just simply embarrassing, how bad the current DSLRs are in terms of LV/video AF. And it is really deplorable to see how conservative Canon Nikon really are, maybe not just conservative but arrogant, not to listen to the young gen photogs?

The D7000,which I shot in 2010-2011 had the same LV AF speed and accuracy as the D750, the D7200 and the D810. It is seriously embarrassing that Nikon has not made any progress in LV AF speed in the last 5 years. The D750, the D7200 are the same slow as the ancient D7000 that I owned in 2010-11.

I think as Canon has dual pixel AF tech and already using that in their latest APS-C D-SLRs, so they may be OK , they will improve their fullframe DSLR LV AF dramatically in the next gen 5D4 and 6D2. But I think Nikon really needs to take this issue seriously to rectify their Dxxx line of D-SLR into more modern hybrid camera system( if they do not want to go serious FX mirrorless route to compete against Sony and Leica/Panasonic).

Obviously, by carefully observing our young gen customers' camera shooting behaviors, we realize having really fast LV AF is actually becoming really really important.

The iPhone gen people simply ignore cameras having slow AF in LV mode. I emphasize this again " they always shoot it with the LCD monitor, not with the EVF or the OVF when they try any of our displayed cameras at our shops".

Most of boys and girls coming from their smartphones or tablets or even from point and shoot cameras rarely use the OVF and thus, they think the D-SLRs are slower in AF and video mode than anything else including their cheap $99 US Casio. I know it is not the best way to shoot moving things, but like or not they do it anyway, they do use the monitor not the OVF, period. This means Nikon has to up their game in this specific area or they will be ignored to be an irrelevant player. Personally,I shoot most of stills images with the EVF, but there are times I need to shoot or prefer to shoot with the LCD monitor of my A7X camera. When I shoot video, I do not use the EVF because I always use a tripod or stabilizer for video but I sometimes wish if I could shoot handheld snap like easy video with AF. So even some middle aged person like me find the real fast LV AF very important these days. And I am actually thinking I am and our generation might be the last people who actually use any type of VF on any camera.

 

Maybe this is one of many things that hurting Nikon sales and value of Nikon share price.

  

The reality is the D-SLR market is collapsing...and the current Nikon financial report shows it clearly. Nikon stock started out the year at ~$13 a share, and it's still ~$13 a share, while Sony stock started out the year at $24 a share, and now it is at $38 a share. The Canon stock started out the year at $34 a share, and now it is at $39 a share.

 

It seems like Nikon is the most vulnerable, because they aren't as diversified as canon , not as innovative as Sony, so what we see there is the true state of the D-SLR world.

 

Japanese Stocks Rise as Buyback Plans Lift Topix; Nikon Plunges - Bloomberg Business

 

Nikon Corp. tumbled 12 percent after slashing its operating-profit target.......

Nikon plunged 12 percent, the most since August 2014 and the biggest drop on the Nikkei 225 again. The camera maker forecasts 30 billion yen in operating profit for the year ending March 2016, missing the 49.8 billion yen estimate of analysts. The company also slashed its 2017 operating-profit target to 38 billion yen, down from 110 billion yen in June. And what is happening around me.

One of our pro customers that used to be buying everything from our rival shops called Kitamura and Map has recently told us below:

"When I bought 2 lenses (FE) both used and both via place called Map-camera(,which is like Japanese version of Craigslist) locally. First lens was from a kit parted by other Pro photographer doing travel photography. I talked to him a bit as I knew him very well from my P.J time at a big news company in Osaka. He said it turned out travel, street and wedding photographers, especially video guys, buying A7S2 like crazy. Some have bought 4 A7S2 and a few GH4 cameras... and most of them loved these cameras,especially the Panasonic GH4, which he thinks is the most versatile hybrid camera available now.

Got another FE lens from hardcore Nikon user who used to work for a big news company I used to work for. The avid Nikon guy switched 6 months ago for A7, then got A7R and now on the A7M2. Waiting for A7RI2 to go with his A7M2. He seemed to have bought too many FE lenses (I bought one from him), sold most of his Nikon gear, except couple of macro and tele zooms that Sony missed(still missing). He said even his hardest Nikon friends already ordered A7II and started selling Nikon gear."

It was amazing to me since I know how die-hard avid they were about Nikon. I never expected them go Sony or Panasonic. I recommended them a couple of Sonys when Sony first released the A99V,which I personally considered a ground breaking camera and I personally used at the time. They scoffed the Sony A99V at the time, and even insulted our shop for recommending such a camera to pros.

These days,It's almost like mass hysteria everybody here is talking about the A7RMK2 or the A7SMK2 or the GX8. If you go to local ads - what you often see is" do you want to trade in your Pro Nikon gear for A7R2 or A7M2", kinda promotion and such ads. Folks are starting to slowly realize, starting to open their eyes. Oh, most interesting stuff is only beginning. I think upcoming A99MK2 and A7MK3 will tip the balance and with every new iteration (whenever A7's will get GH4 or Samsung NX1 kind of super AF system, with some proper tethering software ) the super electric car of Sony and Panasonic will only go farther and farther from older gasoline cars of Canikon. They say," its time is coming" like in new Toyota go electric campaign here.

It's going to be like a nuclear reaction: accumulating critical mass and then BOOM exponential grow. I'm glad we Sony users are on the right car tech platform. Critical mass is almost reached. Just 1 or 2 more years till Boom to become stable ,or is it already stable enough?

Most of our customers who used to shoot weddings with Canon/Nikon already moved to Sony FE for the A7 and A7s.

Most of our customers who used to shoot travel with Nikon already moved to Sony for the A7M2. Many of our customers who used to shoot products and landscapes with Nikon D800E already moved to Sony for the A7R or the A7R2.

This is the reality, and it is still beginning the real change comes after the A99VMK2 and the A7MK3 in next year. I expect we will see the A99VMK2 in this April(at NBA show) and the A7MK3 in this coming August.

 

I hope Nikon will wake up before it becomes too late. But I think it may be too late already.

 

Anyway, if there was one thing the D800E hype and the recent A7R2 hype actually taught me, that was do not buy any crazy internet hype seriously. Most of times it is just not as good as the online hype seems to want us to believe it is.

Personally, after the trashy D800E with terrible AF and mirror shock experience, I decided never spend anything more than 2 k for a camera body.

  

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 Yole, 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.

 

Maybe Sony will be the final loser, not Nikon or Canon?

 

UPDATE 2: today Nikon announced some serious VR related issue with the D5 and the D500. I am not very sure what the real issue is here, their manual is really inanely written and hard for most of people to understand it. Me? I will wait what Thom says on this issue, it is much easier to read his article than annoyingly tedious Nikon manual.

But some Nikon technicians at Nikon Fukuoka warn me not use the VR in all lenses at super high ISO settings due to possible horizontal banding caused by the combination of high ISO plus the VR, I read this issue and many many people actually wondering what this issue really is and how serious it is.

I think Nikon really has some serious problem(probably internal power games in management) and all the current board members of Nikon corp should be replaced. The current president Kimura is terrible and running down the company to the worst possible, he has wasted about 40 percent of its total revenue money for nothing but silly one inch sensor compact business.

 

UPDATE3: Looks like Sony has actually done something right this year.

Sony was the only one of those 3 camera companies to break even this time, and was actually profitable for the year in Imaging, though it’s difficult to say how much of that is contributed by pro video gear. The Imaging Products group at Sony posted slightly lower sales (-1.7%) but a very healthy profit (up 30.4b yen and hitting about 10% of sales).

In terms of unit volume, digital cameras at Sony dropped from 8.5m units to 6.1m units year-to-year. That’s mostly compact camera sales that dried up. Sony won’t say exactly how that shift is working other than to say “improvement in the product mix of digital cameras.” In other words, they suggest that by getting rid of compact camera volume and focusing all its effort on high priced ILC units they are getting a better profit margin.

The other two camera companies still making some money out of their camera business are Fuji and Canon. We do not know Canon's result in detail yet.

I think it is fair to say Fujifilm has a hobby camera business as their Digital cameras are about 2.5% of the company’s overall revenue stream. That they give us any insight into how that business is working is actually a bit surprising. Sales for digital cameras were down 8.2% year-to-year, yet it is still quite profitable.Fujifilm Japan says the imaging business earned 9 percent more profit to them and it was the best of the last 9 years.

To me, the most surprising finding is that Casio's camera division is still profitable and they sell only compact cameras.

But how do they make any serious money out of that compact camera sells is a big mystery to me.

     

.

   

Although 34,000 petitioners fell on the court's mercy for Tony, this dog was ordered to be destroyed by Judge Grace Nabor in Arizona this past week. Here you can learn more:

greenheritagenews.com/tonys-trial-arizona-dog-sentenced-t...

The owner's page:https://www.facebook.com/groups/savetonytuppyfaith/

Even that was not enough for this judge. Her ultimate betrayal of justice was in not releasing the dog's remains to his family. Look her up on the internet and leave a comment, please.

www.topix.com/forum/city/clifton-az/TJ0BLB99LHS1VTB7M

 

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 04: Shelly Gotlieb, Stefi Luxton, Christy Prior and Rebecca Torr of New Zealand pose for a picture with the Olympic Rings at the Athletes Village ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 4, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

This photo provided by the National Zoo shows the seven-week-old male giant panda cub during its fourth health exam, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005 at the zoo in Washington. The cub, born on July 9, now weighs 6.2 pounds, zoo staff say the cub looks healthy and robust. (AP Photo/National Zoo, Jessie Cohen) ORG XMIT: WX104

新年快来了,在新的一年里你有什么愿望

 

I shot this with just one hand. It was a bit dark,snowing a lot, so I had to hold my heavy golf umbrella with my left hand and held my camera with my right hand and quickly snapped this one off.At the time, I just happened to have my lowly original A7 and NEX5n. I had to shoot this handheld with one hand from very very low angle, it was really really difficult, and shooting this actually reminded me of my recent study of our young gen photographers shooting behaviors at our shop who shoot everything through the LCD. Basically, I felt like I actually understood why they hate a big camera or any ILC that needs a huge lens. It really does not matter DSLR or mirrorless, they simply hate huge FF cameras like my A7M2 or D750, it really does not matter DSLR or mirroless but they just hate huge cameras. I think all camera companies should try to make something really new with new without silly film era rules or influence. Why does it have to be FF or APS-C or m43? why not go bigger square or big 43 format that is much more versatile than the current so-called 3:2 ratio FF 135 mm format system. I think the type or the size of sensor format should not be stipulated by film era rules or influence or nostalgic feelings of camera designers. Let's face it most of us do not use films and many of us do not have any film experience, so we should stop comparing digital to film or using silly film terms such as 135mm, FF, APS-C, etc.

  

By carefully studying our young gen customers' shooting behaviors I find they do almost never use the OVF when they try out one of our displayed D-SLRs.

 

They cellphone generation boys always just hold cameras we display at our shops in front of their face with arms stretched out to see the LCD not looking into the EVF or OVF when they try out any camera we display at our shops.

This means to them DSLR AF feels extremely slow, they always pan the DSLRs as slower than their smartphones in AF. We older people around 30 or older know if they shoot through the VF, the D-SLRs are actually still faster than most of mirrorless cameras out there(at least in C AF mode), maybe the Panasonic GH4, the GX8 and some latest gen Olympus being rare exceptions. But the young boys/girls almost never shoot through the VF unless they are already pretty well experienced or educated in this very odd hobby or art.

So after trying out a Canon or a Nikon FF D-SLR for about 10 minutes, many of them lovely young customers tell us,"we just gave up on DSLR AF already, it is too slow, just so annoying and we do not have time waiting for it to AF on what we want it to focus on,they are useless ".

 

Well, while I think they have no patience and it is obviously limiting them not the camera, but honestly, even if I were not a mirrorless shooter, I would still likely think very similarly about the D-SLRs and the dated tunnel view OVF since I have been quite used to using LCD and EVF devices since about I was 18y/o. So I definitely have no hard feeling on the EVF and the LCD LV shooting like many of my aged people have on the Sony EVF. I actually much prefer the current generation EVF and LCD to any of the current best tunnel view OVF from Canon or Nikon.

  

I think camera makers are too narrow-minded and conservative or stupid to ignore those kind of younger after digital era or iPhone gen people, but they should focus on them and they even need to educate them how to use cameras properly.

Many many those who claim themselves pro reviewers think the OVF cameras are faster in AF than the EVF cameras and they still always recommend the DSLRs for action shooters.

But I know many of our customers who are younger than me never use the VF when they try any camera out at our shops, and therefore, they think the DSLRs are actually much slower in AF even in C(action tracking mode), and they are right in LV mode, the D-SLRs(specially Nikons) are slow, I mean super slow to the point I consider it is useless in LV mode. In fact, the only 2 D-SLRs I know of to have fast LV AF are the EOS70D and the EOS7DMK2, which I've panned a few times for the poor quality sensor with the terrible conversion noise issue. All the Nikon FX D-SLRs that have a superb sensor with clean base ISO performance have terribly slow, almost useless LV AF, which has never got better since the D800 time.

 

Now, we have realized many of our customers telling us something like below after using any of our displayed DSLRs at our shops.

 

"Well, I still have and enjoy a DSLR, but I think that as a category, "DSLR Auto-focus" is overrated. Can you really put the Canon SL1 in the same boat as the Nikon D4s and generalize that the category is always the best? Why do you guys always compare the best D-SLR AF in the D4s vs the average class AF system of the mirrorless type cameras? It is simply wrong". I agree, many many reviews and camera sales persons compare the D4s or the 1DX vs the cheap mirrorless AF performance to pan or even bash the cheap mirrorless as slow or not capable of tracking action. It is not fair.

 

There are all kinds of problems with the general-comparison-discussion I see on the net.

 

First: very few people have deep experience with many different systems, so their comparison is actually "camera I have two years, with 50,000 frames of field experience shooting" (DSLR) vs. "camera I tried once in a local camera shop

and didn't really understand in the two minutes I held it" (Mirrorless X).

 

Second: people obnoxiously mix categories to serve their argument. So we see comparisons of the very latest or flagship DLSR bodies (D4s, 1Dx,D750,etc) vs. the very cheapest mirrorless cameras (Fuji X-T10, Sony A6000). When the $500 mirrorless camera can't topple the $6000 pro FX DSLR, mirrorless technology is proclaimed generally insufficient as a category. Scott Kelby and his Canon-schilling cabal favor this approach. Someone asks him if he sees mirrorless as a viable alternative and he starts explaining all the ways an Olympus Pen won't get him the decisive shot on an NFL sideline. Um . . . yeah. How honest, sincere ?

 

Third: people skip camera generations to serve their point. They compare the newest DSLRs ($1700 D750 from 2015) with much older mirrorless technology ($450 Olympus E-M5 from 2012) and, again, when the three-year-old mirrorless camera (that costs 1/4 as much) can't best the year-old DSLR in every possible test, mirrorless as a wholesale category fails. Some of so-called reviewers intentionally compare the D750 to the ORIGINAL A7R with the lamest AF tech to bash the entire Sony system as slow or useless fail in AF department.

But we all real A7X shooters know that only the original A7R had slow(but accurate) AF and even that worst AF in the A7X camera history was decent enough for many of us. At least for me it was good enough, and actually I even say the worst AF in the A7X system- the A7R AF system was more accurate than any of the best D-SLRs I have used in my life, therefore, the A7R is better than any DSLRs even in AF department(at least for me).

 

Honestly, It'd be easy to reverse these goofy arguments to "justify" an opposing conclusion. Compare an A7R2 with a Nikon D3300, conclude that DSLR autofocus categorically sucks. Voila.

 

But the D-SLR guys always do this anyway to keep panning and stereotyping all different AF systems and EVF systems of all different brand mirroless systems as though they were all made to be the same lousy.

 

What we really need to see is tier-to-tier, generation-to-generation comparisons, conducted by photographers who're just curious--folks who aren't interested in jamming a point down the industry's throat. And they must be neutral persons not old farts who have crazy long history of shooting film and SLR type gear with the super analogue tunnel view finder.

 

My sense, there, is that you'd see pretty much even give-and-take in those comparisons. Pit a Sony A6000 against a Nikon D7200, and I imagine you'd see that the Sony would win a few of the contests (accuracy / consistency, for sure, given that it uses the focal plane) and the Nikon would win a few (predictive, continuous acquisition speed). Neither victory would be decisive--it'd be give-and-take of a few points, either way,don't you think?

 

Pit a Fuji X-T1 against a Nikon D7200 and the X-T1 is going to come away with some AF victories. So will the D7200. Stack an A7 II R up next to a D810 and you'd see the same thing. Neither camera will win all the tests for every subject. They'll be competitive, and some shooters(me included) will favor the mirrorless strengths. There's nothing strange about that. I personally cannot accept the size(not the weight) of the D810 and the inaccurate focus system of it.

 

And as we start comparing the LV AF of the 2 different camera types, then the latest mirrorless system(even the cheapest one) is vastly better. In fact, even the current best D-SLRs such as the Nikon D810, the D750 and the Canon 5DS cannot touch the slowest LV AF of the OM-D E-M5 from 2012, let alone the cheapest m43 or Sony A7X of today.

  

As I said last week, I am really really in need of buying a new camera system because my 5 A7X cameras died in rain in the last November, and I have been testing many many camera systems that I might buy into. Like many of my young customers, I quickly lost interest in any of the best D-SLR options from Nikon, Canon and Pentax as I tested their terribly slow LV AF compared to my ancient Sony NEX5n(not even A6000 that I also owned at the time).

Honestly, none of current the best DSLRs can keep up with even an ancient primitive mirrorless camera like my 5 year-old NEX5n in LV AF mode shooting down slowly moving people from over my head height.It is just simply embarrassing, how bad the current DSLRs are in terms of LV/video AF. And it is really deplorable to see how conservative Canon Nikon really are.

The D7000,which I shot in 2010-2011 had the same LV AF speed and accuracy as the D750, the D7200 and the D810. It is seriously embarrassing that Nikon has not made any progress in LV AF speed in the last 5 years. The D750, the D7200 are the same slow as the ancient D7000 that I owned in 2011.

I think as Canon has dual pixel AF tech and already using that in their latest APS-C D-SLRs, so they may be ok , they will improve their fullframe DSLR LV AF dramatically in the next gen 5D4 and 6D2. But I think Nikon really needs to take this issue seriously to rectify their Dxxx line of DSR into more modern hybrid camera system( if they do not want to go serious FX mirrorless route to compete against Sony).

 

Obviously, by carefully observing our young gen customers' camera shooting behaviors,I we realize having really fast LV AF is actually becoming really really important.

The iPhone gen people simply ignore cameras having slow Af in their LV mode. I emphasize this gain " they always shoot it with the LCD monitor, not with the EVF or the OVF when they try any of our displayed cameras at our shops".

Most of boys and girls coming from their smartphones or tablets or even from point and shoot cameras rarely use the OVF and thus, they think the D-SLRs are slower in AF and video mode than anything else including their cheap $99 US Casio. I know it is not the best way to shoot moving things, but like or not they do it anyway, they do use the monitor not the OVF, period. This means Nikon has to up their game in this specific area or they will be ignored to be an irrelevant player. Personally,I shoot most of stills images with the EVF, but there are times I need to shoot or prefer to shoot with the LCD monitor of my A7X camera. When I shoot video, I do not use the EVF because I always use a tripod or stabilizer for video but I sometimes wish if I could shoot handheld snap like easy video with AF. So even some middle aged person like me find the real fast LV AF very important these days. And I am actually thinking I am and our generation might be the last people who actually use any type of VF on our cameras.

 

Maybe this is one of many things that hurting Nikon sales and value of Nikon share price.

  

The reality is the dslr market is collapsing... nikon stock started out the year at ~$13 a share, and it's still ~$13 a share, while Sony stock started out the year at $24 a share, and now it is at $38 a share. The Canon stock started out the year at $34 a share, and now it is at $39 a share.

 

It seems like Nikon is the most vulnerable, because they aren't as diversified as canon , not as innovative as Sony, so what we see there is the true state of the dslr world.

 

Japanese Stocks Rise as Buyback Plans Lift Topix; Nikon Plunges - Bloomberg Business

 

Nikon Corp. tumbled 12 percent after slashing its operating-profit target.......

Nikon plunged 12 percent, the most since August 2014 and the biggest drop on the Nikkei 225 again. The camera maker forecasts 30 billion yen in operating profit for the year ending March 2016, missing the 49.8 billion yen estimate of analysts. The company also slashed its 2017 operating-profit target to 38 billion yen, down from 110 billion yen in June.

 

And what is happening around me.

 

One of our pro customers that used to be buying everything from our rival shops called Kitamura and Map has recently told us below:

 

"When I bought 2 lenses (FE) both used and both via place called Map-camera(,which is like Japanese version of Craigslist) locally. First lens was from a kit parted by other Pro photographer doing travel photography. I talked to him a bit as I knew him very well from my PJ time at a big news company in Osaka. He said it turned out travel, street and wedding photographers, especially video guys, buying A7s like crazy. Some have bought 4 A7s and GH4... and most of them loved these cameras,especially the Panasonic GH4.

 

Got another FE lens from hardcore Nikon user who used to work for a big news company I used to work for. The avid Nikon guy switched 6 months ago for A7, then got A7R and now on the A7II. Waiting for A7RII. He seemed to have bought too many FE lenses (I bought one from him), sold most of his Nikon gear, except couple of macro and tele zooms that Sony missed(still missing). He said even his hardest Nikon friends already ordered A7II and started selling Nikon gear."

 

It was amazing to me since I know how die-hard avid they were about Nikon. I never expected them go Sony and Panasonic. I recommended them a couple of Sonys when Sony first released the A99V,which I personally considered a ground breaking camera and I personally used at the time.

  

These days,It's almost like mass hysteria everybody here is talking about the A7RMK2 or the A7SMK2 or the GX8. If you go to local ads - what you often see is" do you want to trade in your Pro Nikon gear for A7R2 or A7M2", kinda promotion and such ads. Folks are starting to slowly realize, starting to open their eyes. Oh, most interesting stuff is only beginning. I think upcoming A99MK2 and A7MK3 will tip the balance and with every new iteration (whenever A7's will get GH4 or Samsung NX1 kind of super AF system, with some proper tethering software ) the super electric car of Sony and Panasonic will only go farther and farther from older gasoline cars of Canikon. They say," its time is coming" like in new Toyota go electric campaign.

 

It's going to be like a nuclear reaction: accumulating critical mass and then BOOM exponential grow. I'm glad we Sony users are on the right car tech platform. Critical mass is almost reached. Just 1 more year till Boom to become stable ,or is it already stable enough?

 

Most of our customers who used to shoot weddings with Canon/Nikon already moved to Sony FE for the A7 and A7s.

Most of our customers who used to shoot travel with Nikon already moved to Sony for the A7M2.

Many of our customers who used to shoot products and landscapes with Nikon D800E already moved to Sony for the A7R or the A7R2.

 

This is the reality, and it is still beginning the real change comes after the A99VMK2 and the A7MK3 in next year. I expect we will see the A99VMK2 in next March and the A7MK3 in next August.

 

I hope Nikon will wake up before it becomes too late.

 

UPDATE:Today, I sold my Sony FE70-200 mm f4 and got another copy of Zeiss Batis 85 mm f1.8 and I have been testing it carefully.

Unfortunately, now I do not have any fullframe Sony FE body to put the Batis 85 on, so I am testing it on my A6000 and NEX5n.

This latest copy of the Batis 85 mm f1.8(I had 3 before this one) looks like the best of my 4 copies of this lens, this one is extremely sharp wide open, a bit sharper than my second copy of the Batis that broke when my a7MK2 got hit by a car in this Sept. This fourth copy of Batis 85 mm f1.8 is definitely much better than the very first copy I got in last Augusta,which I returned and got another copy of it.

It seems like it is quite difficult to get this lens now. It was very easy to find this lens even locally a couple of weeks ago, but now it is very rarely found any where in Japan.

But we still have 2 more copies of this lens but I expect these last 2 Batis 85 mm primes we have at our shop will be sold out by the next Friday 25th of December.

I really want to get the Loxia 35 mm f2 again, which I got stolen on the last November 11th, but we do not have this lens and this lens is really badly back ordered(impossible to order it now).

The Loxia 50 mm f2 is also very very hard to get now, I really regret selling mine in the last Sept. Now it is back ordered and I must wait 3 months to get it. The Batis 25 mm f2,which I damaged and had to sell in last week, is now almost impossible to get in my area. But fortunately, in my area of Japan, it is much cheaper than it is in anywhere else in the world, the Batis 25 mm f2 is about 129800 yen,which is roughly $1040 US. The 85 mm f1.8 is about $50 US cheaper than the 25/2 here.

I think what I really want to get now is not either of the Batis combo that I just bought back again but the Loxia 50 mm f2, I really want the 50 mm f2, which is really a lovely lens, I love it more than more optically well corrected FE55 mm f1.8,which I do not really like and have found really very limited use for my type of photography or video work.

So if I can get the Loxia 50mm f2 in next month, I will sell my FE 55 mm f1.8 Sonnar(after re-comparing these 2), FE 35 mm f2.8 Sonnar, FE24-70 mm f4 and get the FE16-35 mm f4(I had it but broke it in a mountain), the FE 28 mm f2, the Loxia 50 mm f2 and the FE 90 mm f2.8G.

 

The FE55 vs the Loxia 50 is a very very interesting lens comparison. The Loxia is a bit less sharp,a bit more less distorted. The Sonnar is a bit more contrasty and seems to have better bokeh(subjective), but it has more vignetting, worse harsher color transition.

I think they are not very similar lenses but very very different kind of lenses. The Loxia has more typical Zeiss look, the Sonnar is sharper and optically more corrected but has less pop, wow-factor or so-called 3d-like look of Zeiss.

The FE55 is a better lens for portrait or landscape type of work, but the the Loxia is better for video, flowers, night scapes,etc. I like the Loxia much better than the Sonnar. But it is just my personal preference. The Loxia has better Lo-CA control, the better flare resistant coating but it is not as sharp as the Sonnar wide open.

I think I will be able to re-compare these 2 amazing near 50 mm lenses on FF soon, but this time I will compare these 2 and also the Batis 85 mm f1.8.

 

Right now, I think I rate the Sony FE lenses as below(just rated by sharpness only nothing else).

 

1 Sony FE90 mm f2.8G

2 Sony FE55 mmf1.8

3 Zeiss Batis 25 mm f2 Distagon

4 Zeiss Batis 85 mm f1.8

5 Zeiss Loxia 50 mm f2 Planar

6 Sony FE 35 mm f1.4 Distagon(if you can some how get a good copy of it, other wise it is worse than the cheap dim FE35 mmf2.8)

7 Sony FE35 mm f2.8

8 Zeiss Loxia 35mm f2

9 Sony FE28mm f2

 

I could not test the 21 mm f2.8 myself yet ,and I do definitely not know how sharp the Loxia 21mm actually is in comparison to the other Sony FE primes.

But I am sure I will get it soon,I ordered it in November 22nd and waiting it to come to my house. It seems really difficult to get this Loxia 21 mm now. I think I will compare the Loxia 21 mm vs the Sony FE16-35 mm f4 at 21 mm at f5.6 and on as I get the Loxia 21. I will not keep both the Loxia 21 mm and the Sony 16-35 mm f4 but just want to test these 2 myself.

  

As for 25 mm focal length, if the Batis 25 mm f2 is almost impossible to get by next January, I will get a Nikon AF-S24 mm f1.8G and an adapter to use it on my A7MK2. The Nikon seems to be a superb lens with extremely high immatest resolution figure. It also has superb anti flare coating and as such it is a great lens for wide angle landscape or city scape.

But it is not a great lens for architecture because of the pronounced distortion.

  

新年快来了,在新的一年里你有什么愿望

 

It was much darker than this image appeared here, I pushed this at least 2.5 stops in CS6.

It was quite windy, it was really really dark, I had only my lowly EOS6D. I had to shoot this handheld from very low angle. It was really really difficult because it had very limited range of actually usable DR, not the DXO engineering DR but practical DR, the engineering DR of this sensor is actually quite fine, but the actual practical or photographic DR is not great due to its very harsh banding near the the deepest point of black near clipping point. This Canon 20.3 mp FF sensor and its big brother 22.3 mp sensor are both really terrible in terms of DR.

 

When I shot this my hands were almost completely numb(had no feeling),but I shot this handheld putting my camera on a fence I found between the civic center and my hotel to stabilize it.Now, I am at my home and really regret shooting this with my Canon 6D, I should have shot this with my A7R.......for better image quality...Oh wait my A7R was already broken at this point of my Hokkaido trip in 2014.

Next Feb, I will go back to Hokkaido and I hope I will be able to re-visit Kushiro and re-shoot all frozen lake landscapes there with my Sony A7M2, but will it be able to survive through my upcoming North island trip? Will it be able to withstand minus 23 c super cold wind from Lake Akan? I do not think so........

So I guess what I really want for my cold winter island shooting is something like the 6D with a bit better sensor, I don't need silly hype but something actually works in real bad light like this. In cold environment shooting, my 6D was extremely reliable and versatile, my A7R or A7M2 cannot even touch it in this kind of tough environment. It is cold easily gets minus 10 c or colder, it is minus 23 c now in Kushiro area, and I do not think any of my A7X cameras actually works there without annoying sudden freezing up issues or some battery related issues(or card errors). I miss the long battery life of my Nikon and Canon, I know many Sony fanatics tell you it is not a serious issue, but I am sure those denying Sony A7 has serious battery and reliability issue in cold places have actually never shot it in a really cold winter mountain.If they have even once, I am sure, they'd agree with me or many more neutral A7X users who occasionally criticize the short uselessly short battery life of the Sony.

So Canon please give us an updated EOS6D Mk2 with EVF and a bit better sensor and 4k video(8k better, though), then I will be all over it.

 

I think the only one big issue of the latest Canon cameras is the infamous DR issue, it has very limited range of actually usable DR, not the DXO engineering DR but practical DR, the engineering DR of this sensor is actually quite fine, but the actual practical or photographic DR is not great due to its very harsh banding near the the deepest point of black near clipping point. This Canon 20.3 mp FF sensor and its big brother 22.3 mp sensor are both really terrible in terms of DR. Anyway, shooting from really low angle without tilty screen of my Sony mirrorless camera really reminded me of my recent study of our young generation customers shooting behaviors with many of our displayed DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras at our shop..they all seem to use LCD for framing and never use VF. So they seem to hate any so-called FF cameras due to the lens size and obviously terrible ergonomics of these cameras for framing with LCD.

It really does not matter mirrorless or DSLR, they just hate it.

So making next generation 6D or D750 a bit smaller like the A7M2 will not help Canon Nikon or even Sony. Being small is good but too small is not good, the original A7 has actually proven it, so now the A7X becoming bigger every iteration.

  

By carefully studying our young gen customers' shooting behaviors I find they do almost never use the OVF when they try out one of our displayed D-SLRs.

 

They cellphone generation boys always just hold cameras we display at our shops in front of their face with arms stretched out to see the LCD not looking into the EVF or OVF when they try out any camera we display at our shops.

This means to them DSLR AF feels extremely slow, they always pan the DSLRs as slower than their smartphones in AF. We older people around 30 or older know if they shoot through the VF, the D-SLRs are actually still faster than most of mirrorless cameras out there(at least in C AF mode), maybe the Panasonic GH4, the GX8 and some latest gen Olympus being rare exceptions. But the young boys/girls almost never shoot through the VF unless they are already pretty well experienced or educated in this very odd hobby or art.

So after trying out a Canon or a Nikon FF D-SLR for about 10 minutes, many of them lovely young customers tell us,"we just gave up on DSLR AF already, it is too slow, just so annoying and we do not have time waiting for it to AF on what we want it to focus on,they are useless ".

 

Well, while I think they have no patience and it is obviously limiting them not the camera, but honestly, even if I were not a mirrorless shooter, I would still likely think very similarly about the D-SLRs and the dated tunnel view OVF since I have been quite used to using LCD and EVF devices since about I was 18y/o. So I definitely have no hard feeling on the EVF and the LCD LV shooting like many of my aged people have on the Sony EVF. I actually much prefer the current generation EVF and LCD to any of the current best tunnel view OVF from Canon or Nikon.

  

I think camera makers are too narrow-minded and conservative or stupid to ignore those kind of younger after digital era or iPhone gen people, but they should focus on them and they even need to educate them how to use cameras properly.

Many many those who claim themselves pro reviewers think the OVF cameras are faster in AF than the EVF cameras and they still always recommend the DSLRs for action shooters.

But I know many of our customers who are younger than me never use the VF when they try any camera out at our shops, and therefore, they think the DSLRs are actually much slower in AF even in C(action tracking mode), and they are right in LV mode, the D-SLRs(specially Nikons) are slow, I mean super slow to the point I consider it is useless in LV mode. In fact, the only 2 D-SLRs I know of to have fast LV AF are the EOS70D and the EOS7DMK2, which I've panned a few times for the poor quality sensor with the terrible conversion noise issue. All the Nikon FX D-SLRs that have a superb sensor with clean base ISO performance have terribly slow, almost useless LV AF, which has never got better since the D800 time.

 

Now, we have realized many of our customers telling us something like below after using any of our displayed DSLRs at our shops.

 

"Well, I still have and enjoy a DSLR, but I think that as a category, "DSLR Auto-focus" is overrated. Can you really put the Canon SL1 in the same boat as the Nikon D4s and generalize that the category is always the best? Why do you guys always compare the best D-SLR AF in the D4s vs the average class AF system of the mirrorless type cameras? It is simply wrong". I agree, many many reviews and camera sales persons compare the D4s or the 1DX vs the cheap mirrorless AF performance to pan or even bash the cheap mirrorless as slow or not capable of tracking action. It is not fair.

 

There are all kinds of problems with the general-comparison-discussion I see on the net.

 

First: very few people have deep experience with many different systems, so their comparison is actually "camera I have two years, with 50,000 frames of field experience shooting" (DSLR) vs. "camera I tried once in a local camera shop

and didn't really understand in the two minutes I held it" (Mirrorless X).

 

Second: people obnoxiously mix categories to serve their argument. So we see comparisons of the very latest or flagship DLSR bodies (D4s, 1Dx,D750,etc) vs. the very cheapest mirrorless cameras (Fuji X-T10, Sony A6000). When the $500 mirrorless camera can't topple the $6000 pro FX DSLR, mirrorless technology is proclaimed generally insufficient as a category. Scott Kelby and his Canon-schilling cabal favor this approach. Someone asks him if he sees mirrorless as a viable alternative and he starts explaining all the ways an Olympus Pen won't get him the decisive shot on an NFL sideline. Um . . . yeah. How honest, sincere ?

 

Third: people skip camera generations to serve their point. They compare the newest DSLRs ($1700 D750 from 2015) with much older mirrorless technology ($450 Olympus E-M5 from 2012) and, again, when the three-year-old mirrorless camera (that costs 1/4 as much) can't best the year-old DSLR in every possible test, mirrorless as a wholesale category fails. Some of so-called reviewers intentionally compare the D750 to the ORIGINAL A7R with the lamest AF tech to bash the entire Sony system as slow or useless fail in AF department.

But we all real A7X shooters know that only the original A7R had slow(but accurate) AF and even that worst AF in the A7X camera history was decent enough for many of us. At least for me it was good enough, and actually I even say the worst AF in the A7X system- the A7R AF system was more accurate than any of the best D-SLRs I have used in my life, therefore, the A7R is better than any DSLRs even in AF department(at least for me).

 

Honestly, It'd be easy to reverse these goofy arguments to "justify" an opposing conclusion. Compare an A7R2 with a Nikon D3300, conclude that DSLR autofocus categorically sucks. Voila.

 

But the D-SLR guys always do this anyway to keep panning and stereotyping all different AF systems and EVF systems of all different brand mirroless systems as though they were all made to be the same lousy.

 

What we really need to see is tier-to-tier, generation-to-generation comparisons, conducted by photographers who're just curious--folks who aren't interested in jamming a point down the industry's throat. And they must be neutral persons not old farts who have crazy long history of shooting film and SLR type gear with the super analogue tunnel view finder.

 

My sense, there, is that you'd see pretty much even give-and-take in those comparisons. Pit a Sony A6000 against a Nikon D7200, and I imagine you'd see that the Sony would win a few of the contests (accuracy / consistency, for sure, given that it uses the focal plane) and the Nikon would win a few (predictive, continuous acquisition speed). Neither victory would be decisive--it'd be give-and-take of a few points, either way,don't you think?

 

Pit a Fuji X-T1 against a Nikon D7200 and the X-T1 is going to come away with some AF victories. So will the D7200. Stack an A7 II R up next to a D810 and you'd see the same thing. Neither camera will win all the tests for every subject. They'll be competitive, and some shooters(me included) will favor the mirrorless strengths. There's nothing strange about that. I personally cannot accept the size(not the weight) of the D810 and the inaccurate focus system of it.

 

And as we start comparing the LV AF of the 2 different camera types, then the latest mirrorless system(even the cheapest one) is vastly better. In fact, even the current best D-SLRs such as the Nikon D810, the D750 and the Canon 5DS cannot touch the slowest LV AF of the OM-D E-M5 from 2012, let alone the cheapest m43 or Sony A7X of today.

  

As I said last week, I am really really in need of buying a new camera system because my 5 A7X cameras died in rain in the last November, and I have been testing many many camera systems that I might buy into. Like many of my young customers, I quickly lost interest in any of the best D-SLR options from Nikon, Canon and Pentax as I tested their terribly slow LV AF compared to my ancient Sony NEX5n(not even A6000 that I also owned at the time).

Honestly, none of current the best DSLRs can keep up with even an ancient primitive mirrorless camera like my 5 year-old NEX5n in LV AF mode shooting down slowly moving people from over my head height.It is just simply embarrassing, how bad the current DSLRs are in terms of LV/video AF. And it is really deplorable to see how conservative Canon Nikon really are.

The D7000,which I shot in 2010-2011 had the same LV AF speed and accuracy as the D750, the D7200 and the D810. It is seriously embarrassing that Nikon has not made any progress in LV AF speed in the last 5 years. The D750, the D7200 are the same slow as the ancient D7000 that I owned in 2011.

I think as Canon has dual pixel AF tech and already using that in their latest APS-C D-SLRs, so they may be ok , they will improve their fullframe DSLR LV AF dramatically in the next gen 5D4 and 6D2. But I think Nikon really needs to take this issue seriously to rectify their Dxxx line of DSR into more modern hybrid camera system( if they do not want to go serious FX mirrorless route to compete against Sony).

 

Obviously, by carefully observing our young gen customers' camera shooting behaviors,I we realize having really fast LV AF is actually becoming really really important.

The iPhone gen people simply ignore cameras having slow Af in their LV mode. I emphasize this gain " they always shoot it with the LCD monitor, not with the EVF or the OVF when they try any of our displayed cameras at our shops".

Most of boys and girls coming from their smartphones or tablets or even from point and shoot cameras rarely use the OVF and thus, they think the D-SLRs are slower in AF and video mode than anything else including their cheap $99 US Casio. I know it is not the best way to shoot moving things, but like or not they do it anyway, they do use the monitor not the OVF, period. This means Nikon has to up their game in this specific area or they will be ignored to be an irrelevant player. Personally,I shoot most of stills images with the EVF, but there are times I need to shoot or prefer to shoot with the LCD monitor of my A7X camera. When I shoot video, I do not use the EVF because I always use a tripod or stabilizer for video but I sometimes wish if I could shoot handheld snap like easy video with AF. So even some middle aged person like me find the real fast LV AF very important these days. And I am actually thinking I am and our generation might be the last people who actually use any type of VF on our cameras.

 

Maybe this is one of many things that hurting Nikon sales and value of Nikon share price.

  

The reality is the dslr market is collapsing... nikon stock started out the year at ~$13 a share, and it's still ~$13 a share, while Sony stock started out the year at $24 a share, and now it is at $38 a share. The Canon stock started out the year at $34 a share, and now it is at $39 a share.

 

It seems like Nikon is the most vulnerable, because they aren't as diversified as canon , not as innovative as Sony, so what we see there is the true state of the dslr world.

 

Japanese Stocks Rise as Buyback Plans Lift Topix; Nikon Plunges - Bloomberg Business

 

Nikon Corp. tumbled 12 percent after slashing its operating-profit target.......

Nikon plunged 12 percent, the most since August 2014 and the biggest drop on the Nikkei 225 again. The camera maker forecasts 30 billion yen in operating profit for the year ending March 2016, missing the 49.8 billion yen estimate of analysts. The company also slashed its 2017 operating-profit target to 38 billion yen, down from 110 billion yen in June.

 

And what is happening around me.

 

One of our pro customers that used to be buying everything from our rival shops called Kitamura and Map has recently told us below:

 

"When I bought 2 lenses (FE) both used and both via place called Map-camera(,which is like Japanese version of Craigslist) locally. First lens was from a kit parted by other Pro photographer doing travel photography. I talked to him a bit as I knew him very well from my PJ time at a big news company in Osaka. He said it turned out travel, street and wedding photographers, especially video guys, buying A7s like crazy. Some have bought 4 A7s and GH4... and most of them loved these cameras,especially the Panasonic GH4.

 

Got another FE lens from hardcore Nikon user who used to work for a big news company I used to work for. The avid Nikon guy switched 6 months ago for A7, then got A7R and now on the A7II. Waiting for A7RII. He seemed to have bought too many FE lenses (I bought one from him), sold most of his Nikon gear, except couple of macro and tele zooms that Sony missed(still missing). He said even his hardest Nikon friends already ordered A7II and started selling Nikon gear."

 

It was amazing to me since I know how die-hard avid they were about Nikon. I never expected them go Sony and Panasonic. I recommended them a couple of Sonys when Sony first released the A99V,which I personally considered a ground breaking camera and I personally used at the time.

  

These days,It's almost like mass hysteria everybody here is talking about the A7RMK2 or the A7SMK2 or the GX8. If you go to local ads - what you often see is" do you want to trade in your Pro Nikon gear for A7R2 or A7M2", kinda promotion and such ads. Folks are starting to slowly realize, starting to open their eyes. Oh, most interesting stuff is only beginning. I think upcoming A99MK2 and A7MK3 will tip the balance and with every new iteration (whenever A7's will get GH4 or Samsung NX1 kind of super AF system, with some proper tethering software ) the super electric car of Sony and Panasonic will only go farther and farther from older gasoline cars of Canikon. They say," its time is coming" like in new Toyota go electric campaign.

 

It's going to be like a nuclear reaction: accumulating critical mass and then BOOM exponential grow. I'm glad we Sony users are on the right car tech platform. Critical mass is almost reached. Just 1 more year till Boom to become stable ,or is it already stable enough?

 

Most of our customers who used to shoot weddings with Canon/Nikon already moved to Sony FE for the A7 and A7s.

Most of our customers who used to shoot travel with Nikon already moved to Sony for the A7M2.

Many of our customers who used to shoot products and landscapes with Nikon D800E already moved to Sony for the A7R or the A7R2.

 

This is the reality, and it is still beginning the real change comes after the A99VMK2 and the A7MK3 in next year. I expect we will see the A99VMK2 in next March and the A7MK3 in next August.

 

I hope Nikon will wake up before it becomes too late.

 

UPDATE:Today, I sold my Sony FE70-200 mm f4 and got another copy of Zeiss Batis 85 mm f1.8 and I have been testing it carefully.

Unfortunately, now I do not have any fullframe Sony FE body to put the Batis 85 on, so I am testing it on my A6000 and NEX5n.

This latest copy of the Batis 85 mm f1.8(I had 3 before this one) looks like the best of my 4 copies of this lens, this one is extremely sharp wide open, a bit sharper than my second copy of the Batis that broke when my a7MK2 got hit by a car in this Sept. This fourth copy of Batis 85 mm f1.8 is definitely much better than the very first copy I got in last Augusta,which I returned and got another copy of it.

It seems like it is quite difficult to get this lens now. It was very easy to find this lens even locally a couple of weeks ago, but now it is very rarely found any where in Japan.

But we still have 2 more copies of this lens but I expect these last 2 Batis 85 mm primes we have at our shop will be sold out by the next Friday 25th of December.

I really want to get the Loxia 35 mm f2 again, which I got stolen on the last November 11th, but we do not have this lens and this lens is really badly back ordered(impossible to order it now).

The Loxia 50 mm f2 is also very very hard to get now, I really regret selling mine in the last Sept. Now it is back ordered and I must wait 3 months to get it. The Batis 25 mm f2,which I damaged and had to sell in last week, is now almost impossible to get in my area. But fortunately, in my area of Japan, it is much cheaper than it is in anywhere else in the world, the Batis 25 mm f2 is about 129800 yen,which is roughly $1040 US. The 85 mm f1.8 is about $50 US cheaper than the 25/2 here.

I think what I really want to get now is not either of the Batis combo that I just bought back again but the Loxia 50 mm f2, I really want the 50 mm f2, which is really a lovely lens, I love it more than more optically well corrected FE55 mm f1.8,which I do not really like and have found really very limited use for my type of photography or video work.

So if I can get the Loxia 50mm f2 in next month, I will sell my FE 55 mm f1.8 Sonnar(after re-comparing these 2), FE 35 mm f2.8 Sonnar, FE24-70 mm f4 and get the FE16-35 mm f4(I had it but broke it in a mountain), the FE 28 mm f2, the Loxia 50 mm f2 and the FE 90 mm f2.8G.

 

The FE55 vs the Loxia 50 is a very very interesting lens comparison. The Loxia is a bit less sharp,a bit more less distorted. The Sonnar is a bit more contrasty and seems to have better bokeh(subjective), but it has more vignetting, worse harsher color transition.

I think they are not very similar lenses but very very different kind of lenses. The Loxia has more typical Zeiss look, the Sonnar is sharper and optically more corrected but has less pop, wow-factor or so-called 3d-like look of Zeiss.

The FE55 is a better lens for portrait or landscape type of work, but the the Loxia is better for video, flowers, night scapes,etc. I like the Loxia much better than the Sonnar. But it is just my personal preference. The Loxia has better Lo-CA control, the better flare resistant coating but it is not as sharp as the Sonnar wide open.

I think I will be able to re-compare these 2 amazing near 50 mm lenses on FF soon, but this time I will compare these 2 and also the Batis 85 mm f1.8.

 

Right now, I think I rate the Sony FE lenses as below(just rated by sharpness only nothing else).

 

1 Sony FE90 mm f2.8G

2 Sony FE55 mmf1.8

3 Zeiss Batis 25 mm f2 Distagon

4 Zeiss Batis 85 mm f1.8

5 Zeiss Loxia 50 mm f2 Planar

6 Sony FE 35 mm f1.4 Distagon(if you can some how get a good copy of it, other wise it is worse than the cheap dim FE35 mmf2.8)

7 Sony FE35 mm f2.8

8 Zeiss Loxia 35mm f2

9 Sony FE28mm f2

 

I could not test the 21 mm f2.8 myself yet ,and I do definitely not know how sharp the Loxia 21mm actually is in comparison to the other Sony FE primes.

But I am sure I will get it soon,I ordered it in November 22nd and waiting it to come to my house. It seems really difficult to get this Loxia 21 mm now. I think I will compare the Loxia 21 mm vs the Sony FE16-35 mm f4 at 21 mm at f5.6 and on as I get the Loxia 21. I will not keep both the Loxia 21 mm and the Sony 16-35 mm f4 but just want to test these 2 myself.

  

As for 25 mm focal length, if the Batis 25 mm f2 is almost impossible to get by next January, I will get a Nikon AF-S24 mm f1.8G and an adapter to use it on my A7MK2. The Nikon seems to be a superb lens with extremely high immatest resolution figure. It also has superb anti flare coating and as such it is a great lens for wide angle landscape or city scape.

But it is not a great lens for architecture because of the pronounced distortion.

    

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Julie Andrews speaks onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

DOHA, QATAR - UNDATED: In this handout image supplied by Qatar 2022 The Doha Port stadium is pictured in this artists impression as Qatar 2022 World Cup bid unveils it's stadiums on September 16, 2010 in Doha, Qatar. The architecture of the stadium references its location by creating a shape reminiscent of a marine animal. (Photo by Qatar 2022 via Getty Images)

BEIJING - AUGUST 08: Fireworks explode over the National Stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Stadium on August 8 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Gemma Arterton (L) and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley attend at the Burberry Spring Summer 2012 Womenswear Show at Kensington Gardens on September 19, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

BEIJING - AUGUST 08: The China delegation enters the stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

We just came back from a week long trip. We visited camera dealers meeting in Osaka and tried out many new cameras.

I was pretty impressed with some of new mirrorless cameras from Fuji, Sony, Oly and Panasonic.

I strongly feel D-SLR guys are shooting themselves in the foot by not incorporating fast LV AF and shooting-ability.

 

So will Nikon/Canon still be around in 2020?

I think Canon may survive but Nikon will not be around in this business in 5 years. They are severely criticized for their slow adaptation of new techs. In Hokkaido, I met many many people still shooting D-SLRs and they were rude and blindedly believing in the ancient semi-analogue 1950th tech of their Canon Nikon cameras the absolute best, it was like a bad religion. But even in D-SLR land, there are not many guys still shooting Nikons any more, I think 8 out of 10 people still using DSLRs today shooting Canon, and they seem to ratiocinating their choice to the better lens selection of Canon, the better support and QC of Canon and Nikon's long neglecting of a proper D300s update. Actually, I was kind of able to relate to some of them if I still had some Nikon glass, I was waiting for a D700 successor for a long time, but I got tired of it and moved to Sony.

Now, they can get the D500 but many of them told me it was just too late, they've already bought a couple of EOS7DM2 with more than 10k of lenses.

And Nikon is very very slow adapting to new tech and sudden market changes or environmental changes surrounding this stills camera market. How many years did they actually need to produce actual 4k capable consumer grade cameras in the D500 and the D5? How many years did they need to actually produce their very first FF camera in the D3?

 

So is Nikon sinking or doing just fine?

The camera companies(especially Nikon) do need to listen to our iPhone generation photographers.

By carefully studying our young gen customers' shooting behaviors I find they do almost never use the OVF when they try out one of our displayed D-SLRs.

They cellphone generation boys always just hold cameras we display at our shops in front of their face with arms stretched out to see the LCD not looking into the EVF or OVF when they try out any camera we display at our shops.

This means to them DSLR AF feels extremely slow, they always pan the DSLRs as slower than their smartphones in AF. We older people around 30 or older know if they shoot through the VF, the D-SLRs are actually still faster than most of mirrorless cameras out there(at least in C AF mode), maybe the Panasonic GH4, the GX8 and some latest gen Olympus being rare exceptions. But the young boys/girls almost never shoot through the VF unless they are already pretty well experienced or educated in this very odd hobby or art.

So after trying out a Canon or a Nikon FF D-SLR for about 10 minutes, many of them lovely young customers tell us,"we just gave up on DSLR AF already, it is too slow, just so annoying and we do not have time waiting for it to AF on what we want it to focus on,they are useless ".

 

Well, while I think they have no patience and it is obviously limiting them not the camera, but honestly, even if I were not a mirrorless shooter, I would still likely think very similarly about the D-SLRs and the dated tunnel view OVF since I have been quite used to using LCD and EVF devices since about I was 18y/o. So I definitely have no hard feeling on the EVF and the LCD LV shooting like many of my aged people have on the Sony EVF. I actually much prefer the current generation EVF and LCD to any of the current best tunnel view OVF from Canon or Nikon.

I think camera makers are too narrow-minded and conservative or stupid to ignore those kind of younger after digital era or iPhone gen people, but they should focus on them and they even need to educate them how to use cameras properly.

Many many those who claim themselves pro reviewers think the OVF cameras are faster in AF than the EVF cameras and they still always recommend the DSLRs for action shooters.

But I know many of our customers who are younger than me never use the VF when they try any camera out at our shops, and therefore, they think the DSLRs are actually much slower in AF even in C(action tracking mode), and they are right in LV mode, the D-SLRs(specially Nikons) are slow, I mean super slow to the point I consider it is useless in LV mode. In fact, the only 2 D-SLRs I know of to have fast LV AF are the EOS80D and the EOS7DMK2, which I've panned a few times for the poor quality sensor with the terrible conversion noise issue. All the Nikon FX D-SLRs that have a superb sensor with clean base ISO performance have terribly slow, almost useless LV AF, which has never got better since the D800 time.

Now, we have realized many of our customers telling us something like below after using any of our displayed DSLRs at our shops.

"Well, I still have and enjoy a DSLR, but I think that as a category, "DSLR Auto-focus" is overrated. Can you really put the Canon SL1 in the same boat as the Nikon D4s and generalize that the category is always the best? Why do you guys always compare the best D-SLR AF in the D4s or the 1DX vs the average class AF system of the mirrorless type cameras? It is simply wrong". I agree, many many reviews and camera sales persons compare the D4s or the 1DX vs the cheap mirrorless AF performance to pan or even bash the cheap mirrorless as slow or not capable of tracking action. It is not fair.

There are all kinds of problems with the general-comparison-discussion I see on the net.

First: very few people have deep experience with many different systems, so their comparison is actually "camera I have two years, with 50,000 frames of field experience shooting" (DSLR) vs. "camera I tried once in a local camera shop and didn't really understand in the two minutes I held it" (Mirrorless X).

Second: people obnoxiously mix categories to serve their argument. So we see comparisons of the very latest or flagship DLSR bodies (D4s, 1Dx,D750,etc) vs. the very cheapest mirrorless cameras (Fuji X-T10, Sony A6000). When the $500 mirrorless camera can't topple the $6000 pro FX DSLR, mirrorless technology is proclaimed generally insufficient as a category. Scott Kelby and his Canon-schilling cabal favor this approach. Someone asks him if he sees mirrorless as a viable alternative and he starts explaining all the ways an Olympus OM-D E-M10M2 won't get him the decisive shot on an NFL sideline. Um . . . yeah. How honest, sincere ? Why not compare your Canon to the best mirrorless the A7R2?

Third: people skip camera generations to serve their point. They compare the newest DSLRs ($1700 D750 from 2015) with much older mirrorless technology ($450 Olympus E-M5 from 2012) and, again, when the three-year-old mirrorless camera (that costs 1/4 as much) can't best the year-old DSLR in every possible test, mirrorless as a wholesale category fails. Some of so-called reviewers intentionally compare the D750 to the ORIGINAL A7R with the lamest AF tech to bash the entire Sony system as slow or useless fail in AF department. Why not compare the D750 to the A7M2 if you want to be taken seriously?

But we all real A7X shooters know that only the original A7R had slow(but accurate) AF and even that worst AF in the A7X camera history was decent enough for many of us. At least for me it was good enough, and actually I even say the worst AF in the A7X system- the A7R AF system was more accurate than any of the best D-SLRs I have used in my life, therefore, the A7R is better than any DSLRs even in AF department(at least for me). They-DSLR guys should realize not all of us shoot BIF or boring sports, in fact many of us have no interest in sports at all.

Honestly, It'd be easy to reverse these goofy arguments to "justify" an opposing conclusion. Compare an A7R2 with a Nikon D3300, conclude that DSLR autofocus categorically sucks. Voila, right? now do you get my point?

 

But the D-SLR guys always do this anyway to keep panning and stereotyping all different AF systems and EVF systems of all different brand mirroless systems as though they were all made to be the same lousy.

What we really need to see is tier-to-tier, generation-to-generation comparisons, conducted by photographers who're just curious--folks who aren't interested in jamming a point down the industry's throat. And they must be neutral persons not old farts who have crazy long history of shooting film and SLR type gear with the super analogue tunnel view finder.

My sense, there, is that you'd see pretty much even give-and-take in those comparisons. Pit a Sony A6300 against a Nikon D500, and I imagine you'd see that the Sony would win a few of the contests (accuracy / consistency, for sure, given that it uses the focal plane) and the Nikon would win a few (predictive, continuous acquisition speed). Neither victory would be decisive--it'd be give-and-take of a few points, either way,don't you think? And even if the A6300 is a lot worse than the Nikon D500, it is still 1k cheaper than the overpriced fat Nikon.

Pit a Fuji X-Pro2 against a Nikon D7200 and the X-P2 is going to come away with some AF victories. So will the D7200. Stack an A7R II up next to a D810 and you'd see the same thing. Neither camera will win all the tests for every subject. They'll be competitive, and some shooters(me included) will favor the mirrorless strengths. There's nothing strange about that. I personally cannot accept the size(not the weight) of the D810 and the inaccurate focus system of it. The AF fine tune thing was really annoying.

And as we start comparing the LV AF of the 2 different camera types, then the latest mirrorless system(even the cheapest one) is vastly better. In fact, even the current best D-SLRs such as the Nikon D810, the D750 and the Canon 5DS cannot touch the slowest LV AF of the OM-D E-M5 from 2012, let alone the cheapest m43 or Sony A7X of today.

 

As I said last month, I really really want to buy a new camera system because my 5 A7X cameras died in rain in the last November, and I have been testing many many camera systems that I might buy into. Like many of my young customers, I quickly lost interest in any of the best D-SLR options from Nikon, Canon and Pentax as I tested their terribly slow LV AF compared to my ancient Sony NEX5n(not even A6000 that I also owned at the time).

Honestly, none of current the best DSLRs can keep up with even an ancient primitive mirrorless camera like my 5 year-old NEX5n in LV AF mode shooting down slowly moving people from over my head height.It is just simply embarrassing, how bad the current DSLRs are in terms of LV/video AF. And it is really deplorable to see how conservative Canon Nikon really are, maybe not just conservative but arrogant, not to listen to the young gen photogs?

The D7000,which I shot in 2010-2011 had the same LV AF speed and accuracy as the D750, the D7200 and the D810. It is seriously embarrassing that Nikon has not made any progress in LV AF speed in the last 5 years. The D750, the D7200 are the same slow as the ancient D7000 that I owned in 2010-11.

I think as Canon has dual pixel AF tech and already using that in their latest APS-C D-SLRs, so they may be OK , they will improve their fullframe DSLR LV AF dramatically in the next gen 5D4 and 6D2. But I think Nikon really needs to take this issue seriously to rectify their Dxxx line of D-SLR into more modern hybrid camera system( if they do not want to go serious FX mirrorless route to compete against Sony and Leica/Panasonic).

Obviously, by carefully observing our young gen customers' camera shooting behaviors, we realize having really fast LV AF is actually becoming really really important.

The iPhone gen people simply ignore cameras having slow AF in LV mode. I emphasize this again " they always shoot it with the LCD monitor, not with the EVF or the OVF when they try any of our displayed cameras at our shops".

Most of boys and girls coming from their smartphones or tablets or even from point and shoot cameras rarely use the OVF and thus, they think the D-SLRs are slower in AF and video mode than anything else including their cheap $99 US Casio. I know it is not the best way to shoot moving things, but like or not they do it anyway, they do use the monitor not the OVF, period. This means Nikon has to up their game in this specific area or they will be ignored to be an irrelevant player. Personally,I shoot most of stills images with the EVF, but there are times I need to shoot or prefer to shoot with the LCD monitor of my A7X camera. When I shoot video, I do not use the EVF because I always use a tripod or stabilizer for video but I sometimes wish if I could shoot handheld snap like easy video with AF. So even some middle aged person like me find the real fast LV AF very important these days. And I am actually thinking I am and our generation might be the last people who actually use any type of VF on any camera.

 

Maybe this is one of many things that hurting Nikon sales and value of Nikon share price.

  

The reality is the D-SLR market is collapsing...and the current Nikon financial report shows it clearly. Nikon stock started out the year at ~$13 a share, and it's still ~$13 a share, while Sony stock started out the year at $24 a share, and now it is at $38 a share. The Canon stock started out the year at $34 a share, and now it is at $39 a share.

 

It seems like Nikon is the most vulnerable, because they aren't as diversified as canon , not as innovative as Sony, so what we see there is the true state of the D-SLR world.

 

Japanese Stocks Rise as Buyback Plans Lift Topix; Nikon Plunges - Bloomberg Business

 

Nikon Corp. tumbled 12 percent after slashing its operating-profit target.......

Nikon plunged 12 percent, the most since August 2014 and the biggest drop on the Nikkei 225 again. The camera maker forecasts 30 billion yen in operating profit for the year ending March 2016, missing the 49.8 billion yen estimate of analysts. The company also slashed its 2017 operating-profit target to 38 billion yen, down from 110 billion yen in June. And what is happening around me.

One of our pro customers that used to be buying everything from our rival shops called Kitamura and Map has recently told us below:

"When I bought 2 lenses (FE) both used and both via place called Map-camera(,which is like Japanese version of Craigslist) locally. First lens was from a kit parted by other Pro photographer doing travel photography. I talked to him a bit as I knew him very well from my P.J time at a big news company in Osaka. He said it turned out travel, street and wedding photographers, especially video guys, buying A7S2 like crazy. Some have bought 4 A7S2 and a few GH4 cameras... and most of them loved these cameras,especially the Panasonic GH4, which he thinks is the most versatile hybrid camera available now.

Got another FE lens from hardcore Nikon user who used to work for a big news company I used to work for. The avid Nikon guy switched 6 months ago for A7, then got A7R and now on the A7M2. Waiting for A7RI2 to go with his A7M2. He seemed to have bought too many FE lenses (I bought one from him), sold most of his Nikon gear, except couple of macro and tele zooms that Sony missed(still missing). He said even his hardest Nikon friends already ordered A7II and started selling Nikon gear."

It was amazing to me since I know how die-hard avid they were about Nikon. I never expected them go Sony or Panasonic. I recommended them a couple of Sonys when Sony first released the A99V,which I personally considered a ground breaking camera and I personally used at the time. They scoffed the Sony A99V at the time, and even insulted our shop for recommending such a camera to pros.

These days,It's almost like mass hysteria everybody here is talking about the A7RMK2 or the A7SMK2 or the GX8. If you go to local ads - what you often see is" do you want to trade in your Pro Nikon gear for A7R2 or A7M2", kinda promotion and such ads. Folks are starting to slowly realize, starting to open their eyes. Oh, most interesting stuff is only beginning. I think upcoming A99MK2 and A7MK3 will tip the balance and with every new iteration (whenever A7's will get GH4 or Samsung NX1 kind of super AF system, with some proper tethering software ) the super electric car of Sony and Panasonic will only go farther and farther from older gasoline cars of Canikon. They say," its time is coming" like in new Toyota go electric campaign here.

It's going to be like a nuclear reaction: accumulating critical mass and then BOOM exponential grow. I'm glad we Sony users are on the right car tech platform. Critical mass is almost reached. Just 1 or 2 more years till Boom to become stable ,or is it already stable enough?

Most of our customers who used to shoot weddings with Canon/Nikon already moved to Sony FE for the A7 and A7s.

Most of our customers who used to shoot travel with Nikon already moved to Sony for the A7M2. Many of our customers who used to shoot products and landscapes with Nikon D800E already moved to Sony for the A7R or the A7R2.

This is the reality, and it is still beginning the real change comes after the A99VMK2 and the A7MK3 in next year. I expect we will see the A99VMK2 in this April(at NBA show) and the A7MK3 in this coming August.

 

I hope Nikon will wake up before it becomes too late. But I think it may be too late already.

 

Anyway, if there was one thing the D800E hype and the recent A7R2 hype actually taught me, that was do not buy any crazy internet hype seriously. Most of times it is just not as good as the online hype seems to want us to believe it is.

Personally, after the trashy D800E with terrible AF and mirror shock experience, I decided never spend anything more than 2 k for a camera body.

  

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 Yole, 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.

 

Maybe Sony will be the final loser, not Nikon or Canon?

 

UPDATE 2: today Nikon announced some serious VR related issue with the D5 and the D500. I am not very sure what the real issue is here, their manual is really inanely written and hard for most of people to understand it. Me? I will wait what Thom says on this issue, it is much easier to read his article than annoyingly tedious Nikon manual.

But some Nikon technicians at Nikon Fukuoka warn me not use the VR in all lenses at super high ISO settings due to possible horizontal banding caused by the combination of high ISO plus the VR, I read this issue and many many people actually wondering what this issue really is and how serious it is.

I think Nikon really has some serious problem(probably internal power games in management) and all the current board members of Nikon corp should be replaced. The current president Kimura is terrible and running down the company to the worst possible, he has wasted about 40 percent of its total revenue money for nothing but silly one inch sensor compact business.

 

UPDATE3: Looks like Sony has actually done something right this year.

Sony was the only one of those 3 camera companies to break even this time, and was actually profitable for the year in Imaging, though it’s difficult to say how much of that is contributed by pro video gear. The Imaging Products group at Sony posted slightly lower sales (-1.7%) but a very healthy profit (up 30.4b yen and hitting about 10% of sales).

In terms of unit volume, digital cameras at Sony dropped from 8.5m units to 6.1m units year-to-year. That’s mostly compact camera sales that dried up. Sony won’t say exactly how that shift is working other than to say “improvement in the product mix of digital cameras.” In other words, they suggest that by getting rid of compact camera volume and focusing all its effort on high priced ILC units they are getting a better profit margin.

The other two camera companies still making some money out of their camera business are Fuji and Canon. We do not know Canon's result in detail yet.

I think it is fair to say Fujifilm has a hobby camera business as their Digital cameras are about 2.5% of the company’s overall revenue stream. That they give us any insight into how that business is working is actually a bit surprising. Sales for digital cameras were down 8.2% year-to-year, yet it is still quite profitable.Fujifilm Japan says the imaging business earned 9 percent more profit to them and it was the best of the last 9 years.

To me, the most surprising finding is that Casio's camera division is still profitable and they sell only compact cameras.

But how do they make any serious money out of that compact camera sells is a big mystery to me.

     

.

   

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: A woman experiences the 'Rain Room' art installation by 'Random International' in The Curve at the Barbican Centre on October 3, 2012 in London, England. The 'Rain Room' is a 100 square meter field of falling water which visitors are invited to walk into with sensors detecting where the visitor are standing. The installation opens to the public on October 4, 2012 and runs until March 3, 2013. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Lady Gaga (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

My good friend, Rick Paulhamus of RJP Automotive in New Boston, NH just finished restoration work on this mint 1969 Shelby Mustang. He was kind enough to let me and Pete shoot it recently.

 

Bigger is Better

Side View

BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 27: A model gets ready backstage before during the MGPIN Collection on the four th day of Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 at 751 D.PARK Workshop on March 27, 2013 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Host Neil Patrick Harris speaks onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actress/singer Rita Ora attends the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

performs onstage during "VH1 Divas Salute the Troops" presented by the USO at the MCAS Miramar on December 3, 2010 in Miramar, California. "VH1 Divas Salute the Troops" concert event will be televised on Sunday, December 5 at 9:00 PM ET/PT on VH1.

冬新年快来了,在新的一年里你有什么愿望

  

We just came back from a week long trip. We visited Yokohama CP+ show and tried out many new cameras.

I was pretty impressed with some of new mirrorless cameras from Fuji, Sony, Oly and Panasonic.

I strongly feel D-SLR guys are shooting themselves in the foot by not incorporating fast LV AF and shooting-ability.

 

So will Nikon/Canon still be around in 2020?

I think Canon may survive but Nikon will not be around in this business in 5 years. They are severely criticized for their slow adaptation of new techs. In Hokkaido, I met many many people still shooting D-SLRs and they were rude and blindedly believing in the ancient semi-analogue 1950th tech of their Canon Nikon cameras the absolute best, it was like a bad religion. But even in D-SLR land, there are not many guys still shooting Nikons any more, I think 8 out of 10 people still using DSLRs today shooting Canon, and they seem to ratiocinating their choice to the better lens selection of Canon, the better support and QC of Canon and Nikon's long neglecting of a proper D300s update. Actually, I was kind of able to relate to some of them if I still had some Nikon glass, I was waiting for a D700 successor for a long time, but I got tired of it and moved to Sony.

Now, they can get the D500 but many of them told me it was just too late, they've already bought a couple of EOS7DM2 with more than 10k of lenses.

And Nikon is very very slow adapting to new tech and sudden market changes or environmental changes surrounding this stills camera market. How many years did they actually need to produce actual 4k capable consumer grade cameras in the D500 and the D5? How many years did they need to actually make their very first FF camera in the D3?

 

So is Nikon sinking or doing just fine?

The camera companies(especially Nikon) do need to listen to our iPhone generation photographers.

By carefully studying our young gen customers' shooting behaviors I find they do almost never use the OVF when they try out one of our displayed D-SLRs.

They cellphone generation boys always just hold cameras we display at our shops in front of their face with arms stretched out to see the LCD not looking into the EVF or OVF when they try out any camera we display at our shops.

This means to them DSLR AF feels extremely slow, they always pan the DSLRs as slower than their smartphones in AF. We older people around 30 or older know if they shoot through the VF, the D-SLRs are actually still faster than most of mirrorless cameras out there(at least in C AF mode), maybe the Panasonic GH4, the GX8 and some latest gen Olympus being rare exceptions. But the young boys/girls almost never shoot through the VF unless they are already pretty well experienced or educated in this very odd hobby or art.

So after trying out a Canon or a Nikon FF D-SLR for about 10 minutes, many of them lovely young customers tell us,"we just gave up on DSLR AF already, it is too slow, just so annoying and we do not have time waiting for it to AF on what we want it to focus on,they are useless ".

 

Well, while I think they have no patience and it is obviously limiting them not the camera, but honestly, even if I were not a mirrorless shooter, I would still likely think very similarly about the D-SLRs and the dated tunnel view OVF since I have been quite used to using LCD and EVF devices since about I was 18y/o. So I definitely have no hard feeling on the EVF and the LCD LV shooting like many of my aged people have on the Sony EVF. I actually much prefer the current generation EVF and LCD to any of the current best tunnel view OVF from Canon or Nikon.

I think camera makers are too narrow-minded and conservative or stupid to ignore those kind of younger after digital era or iPhone gen people, but they should focus on them and they even need to educate them how to use cameras properly.

Many many those who claim themselves pro reviewers think the OVF cameras are faster in AF than the EVF cameras and they still always recommend the DSLRs for action shooters.

But I know many of our customers who are younger than me never use the VF when they try any camera out at our shops, and therefore, they think the DSLRs are actually much slower in AF even in C(action tracking mode), and they are right in LV mode, the D-SLRs(specially Nikons) are slow, I mean super slow to the point I consider it is useless in LV mode. In fact, the only 2 D-SLRs I know of to have fast LV AF are the EOS80D and the EOS7DMK2, which I've panned a few times for the poor quality sensor with the terrible conversion noise issue. All the Nikon FX D-SLRs that have a superb sensor with clean base ISO performance have terribly slow, almost useless LV AF, which has never got better since the D800 time.

Now, we have realized many of our customers telling us something like below after using any of our displayed DSLRs at our shops.

"Well, I still have and enjoy a DSLR, but I think that as a category, "DSLR Auto-focus" is overrated. Can you really put the Canon SL1 in the same boat as the Nikon D4s and generalize that the category is always the best? Why do you guys always compare the best D-SLR AF in the D4s or the 1DX vs the average class AF system of the mirrorless type cameras? It is simply wrong". I agree, many many reviews and camera sales persons compare the D4s or the 1DX vs the cheap mirrorless AF performance to pan or even bash the cheap mirrorless as slow or not capable of tracking action. It is not fair.

There are all kinds of problems with the general-comparison-discussion I see on the net.

First: very few people have deep experience with many different systems, so their comparison is actually "camera I have two years, with 50,000 frames of field experience shooting" (DSLR) vs. "camera I tried once in a local camera shop and didn't really understand in the two minutes I held it" (Mirrorless X).

Second: people obnoxiously mix categories to serve their argument. So we see comparisons of the very latest or flagship DLSR bodies (D4s, 1Dx,D750,etc) vs. the very cheapest mirrorless cameras (Fuji X-T10, Sony A6000). When the $500 mirrorless camera can't topple the $6000 pro FX DSLR, mirrorless technology is proclaimed generally insufficient as a category. Scott Kelby and his Canon-schilling cabal favor this approach. Someone asks him if he sees mirrorless as a viable alternative and he starts explaining all the ways an Olympus OM-D E-M10M2 won't get him the decisive shot on an NFL sideline. Um . . . yeah. How honest, sincere ? Why not compare your Canon to the best mirrorless the A7R2?

Third: people skip camera generations to serve their point. They compare the newest DSLRs ($1700 D750 from 2015) with much older mirrorless technology ($450 Olympus E-M5 from 2012) and, again, when the three-year-old mirrorless camera (that costs 1/4 as much) can't best the year-old DSLR in every possible test, mirrorless as a wholesale category fails. Some of so-called reviewers intentionally compare the D750 to the ORIGINAL A7R with the lamest AF tech to bash the entire Sony system as slow or useless fail in AF department. Why not compare the D750 to the A7M2 if you want to be taken seriously?

But we all real A7X shooters know that only the original A7R had slow(but accurate) AF and even that worst AF in the A7X camera history was decent enough for many of us. At least for me it was good enough, and actually I even say the worst AF in the A7X system- the A7R AF system was more accurate than any of the best D-SLRs I have used in my life, therefore, the A7R is better than any DSLRs even in AF department(at least for me). They-DSLR guys should realize not all of us shoot BIF or boring sports, in fact many of us have no interest in sports at all.

Honestly, It'd be easy to reverse these goofy arguments to "justify" an opposing conclusion. Compare an A7R2 with a Nikon D3300, conclude that DSLR autofocus categorically sucks. Voila, right? now do you get my point?

 

But the D-SLR guys always do this anyway to keep panning and stereotyping all different AF systems and EVF systems of all different brand mirroless systems as though they were all made to be the same lousy.

What we really need to see is tier-to-tier, generation-to-generation comparisons, conducted by photographers who're just curious--folks who aren't interested in jamming a point down the industry's throat. And they must be neutral persons not old farts who have crazy long history of shooting film and SLR type gear with the super analogue tunnel view finder.

My sense, there, is that you'd see pretty much even give-and-take in those comparisons. Pit a Sony A6300 against a Nikon D500, and I imagine you'd see that the Sony would win a few of the contests (accuracy / consistency, for sure, given that it uses the focal plane) and the Nikon would win a few (predictive, continuous acquisition speed). Neither victory would be decisive--it'd be give-and-take of a few points, either way,don't you think? And even if the A6300 is a lot worse than the Nikon D500, it is still 1k cheaper than the overpriced fat Nikon.

Pit a Fuji X-Pro2 against a Nikon D7200 and the X-P2 is going to come away with some AF victories. So will the D7200. Stack an A7R II up next to a D810 and you'd see the same thing. Neither camera will win all the tests for every subject. They'll be competitive, and some shooters(me included) will favor the mirrorless strengths. There's nothing strange about that. I personally cannot accept the size(not the weight) of the D810 and the inaccurate focus system of it. The AF fine tune thing was really annoying.

And as we start comparing the LV AF of the 2 different camera types, then the latest mirrorless system(even the cheapest one) is vastly better. In fact, even the current best D-SLRs such as the Nikon D810, the D750 and the Canon 5DS cannot touch the slowest LV AF of the OM-D E-M5 from 2012, let alone the cheapest m43 or Sony A7X of today.

 

As I said last month, I really really want to buy a new camera system because my 5 A7X cameras died in rain in the last November, and I have been testing many many camera systems that I might buy into. Like many of my young customers, I quickly lost interest in any of the best D-SLR options from Nikon, Canon and Pentax as I tested their terribly slow LV AF compared to my ancient Sony NEX5n(not even A6000 that I also owned at the time).

Honestly, none of current the best DSLRs can keep up with even an ancient primitive mirrorless camera like my 5 year-old NEX5n in LV AF mode shooting down slowly moving people from over my head height.It is just simply embarrassing, how bad the current DSLRs are in terms of LV/video AF. And it is really deplorable to see how conservative Canon Nikon really are, maybe not just conservative but arrogant, not to listen to the young gen photogs?

The D7000,which I shot in 2010-2011 had the same LV AF speed and accuracy as the D750, the D7200 and the D810. It is seriously embarrassing that Nikon has not made any progress in LV AF speed in the last 5 years. The D750, the D7200 are the same slow as the ancient D7000 that I owned in 2010-11.

I think as Canon has dual pixel AF tech and already using that in their latest APS-C D-SLRs, so they may be OK , they will improve their fullframe DSLR LV AF dramatically in the next gen 5D4 and 6D2. But I think Nikon really needs to take this issue seriously to rectify their Dxxx line of D-SLR into more modern hybrid camera system( if they do not want to go serious FX mirrorless route to compete against Sony and Leica/Panasonic).

Obviously, by carefully observing our young gen customers' camera shooting behaviors, we realize having really fast LV AF is actually becoming really really important.

The iPhone gen people simply ignore cameras having slow AF in LV mode. I emphasize this again " they always shoot it with the LCD monitor, not with the EVF or the OVF when they try any of our displayed cameras at our shops".

Most of boys and girls coming from their smartphones or tablets or even from point and shoot cameras rarely use the OVF and thus, they think the D-SLRs are slower in AF and video mode than anything else including their cheap $99 US Casio. I know it is not the best way to shoot moving things, but like or not they do it anyway, they do use the monitor not the OVF, period. This means Nikon has to up their game in this specific area or they will be ignored to be an irrelevant player. Personally,I shoot most of stills images with the EVF, but there are times I need to shoot or prefer to shoot with the LCD monitor of my A7X camera. When I shoot video, I do not use the EVF because I always use a tripod or stabilizer for video but I sometimes wish if I could shoot handheld snap like easy video with AF. So even some middle aged person like me find the real fast LV AF very important these days. And I am actually thinking I am and our generation might be the last people who actually use any type of VF on any camera.

 

Maybe this is one of many things that hurting Nikon sales and value of Nikon share price.

  

The reality is the D-SLR market is collapsing...and the current Nikon financial report shows it clearly. Nikon stock started out the year at ~$13 a share, and it's still ~$13 a share, while Sony stock started out the year at $24 a share, and now it is at $38 a share. The Canon stock started out the year at $34 a share, and now it is at $39 a share.

 

It seems like Nikon is the most vulnerable, because they aren't as diversified as canon , not as innovative as Sony, so what we see there is the true state of the D-SLR world.

 

Japanese Stocks Rise as Buyback Plans Lift Topix; Nikon Plunges - Bloomberg Business

 

Nikon Corp. tumbled 12 percent after slashing its operating-profit target.......

Nikon plunged 12 percent, the most since August 2014 and the biggest drop on the Nikkei 225 again. The camera maker forecasts 30 billion yen in operating profit for the year ending March 2016, missing the 49.8 billion yen estimate of analysts. The company also slashed its 2017 operating-profit target to 38 billion yen, down from 110 billion yen in June. And what is happening around me.

One of our pro customers that used to be buying everything from our rival shops called Kitamura and Map has recently told us below:

"When I bought 2 lenses (FE) both used and both via place called Map-camera(,which is like Japanese version of Craigslist) locally. First lens was from a kit parted by other Pro photographer doing travel photography. I talked to him a bit as I knew him very well from my P.J time at a big news company in Osaka. He said it turned out travel, street and wedding photographers, especially video guys, buying A7S2 like crazy. Some have bought 4 A7S2 and a few GH4 cameras... and most of them loved these cameras,especially the Panasonic GH4, which he thinks is the most versatile hybrid camera available now.

Got another FE lens from hardcore Nikon user who used to work for a big news company I used to work for. The avid Nikon guy switched 6 months ago for A7, then got A7R and now on the A7M2. Waiting for A7RI2 to go with his A7M2. He seemed to have bought too many FE lenses (I bought one from him), sold most of his Nikon gear, except couple of macro and tele zooms that Sony missed(still missing). He said even his hardest Nikon friends already ordered A7II and started selling Nikon gear."

It was amazing to me since I know how die-hard avid they were about Nikon. I never expected them go Sony or Panasonic. I recommended them a couple of Sonys when Sony first released the A99V,which I personally considered a ground breaking camera and I personally used at the time. They scoffed the Sony A99V at the time, and even insulted our shop for recommending such a camera to pros.

These days,It's almost like mass hysteria everybody here is talking about the A7RMK2 or the A7SMK2 or the GX8. If you go to local ads - what you often see is" do you want to trade in your Pro Nikon gear for A7R2 or A7M2", kinda promotion and such ads. Folks are starting to slowly realize, starting to open their eyes. Oh, most interesting stuff is only beginning. I think upcoming A99MK2 and A7MK3 will tip the balance and with every new iteration (whenever A7's will get GH4 or Samsung NX1 kind of super AF system, with some proper tethering software ) the super electric car of Sony and Panasonic will only go farther and farther from older gasoline cars of Canikon. They say," its time is coming" like in new Toyota go electric campaign here.

It's going to be like a nuclear reaction: accumulating critical mass and then BOOM exponential grow. I'm glad we Sony users are on the right car tech platform. Critical mass is almost reached. Just 1 or 2 more years till Boom to become stable ,or is it already stable enough?

Most of our customers who used to shoot weddings with Canon/Nikon already moved to Sony FE for the A7 and A7s.

Most of our customers who used to shoot travel with Nikon already moved to Sony for the A7M2. Many of our customers who used to shoot products and landscapes with Nikon D800E already moved to Sony for the A7R or the A7R2.

This is the reality, and it is still beginning the real change comes after the A99VMK2 and the A7MK3 in next year. I expect we will see the A99VMK2 in this April(at NBA show) and the A7MK3 in this coming August.

 

I hope Nikon will wake up before it becomes too late. But I think it may be too late already.

 

Anyway, if there was one thing the D800E hype and the recent A7R2 hype actually taught me, that was do not buy any crazy internet hype seriously. Most of times it is just not as good as the online hype seems to want us to believe it is.

Personally, after the trashy D800E with terrible AF and mirror shock experience, I decided never spend anything more than 2 k for a camera body.

  

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 Yole, 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.

 

Maybe Sony will be the final loser, not Nikon or Canon?

 

UPDATE 2: today Nikon announced some serious VR related issue with the D5 and the D500. I am not very sure what the real issue is here, their manual is really inanely written and hard for most of people to understand it. Me? I will wait what Thom says on this issue, it is much easier to read his article than annoyingly tedious Nikon manual.

But some Nikon technicians at Nikon Fukuoka warn me not use the VR in all lenses at super high ISO settings due to possible horizontal banding caused by the combination of high ISO plus the VR, I read this issue and many many people actually wondering what this issue really is and how serious it is.

I think Nikon really has some serious problem(probably internal power games in management) and all the current board members of Nikon corp should be replaced. The current president Kimura is terrible and running down the company to the worst possible, he has wasted about 40 percent of its total revenue money for nothing but silly one inch sensor compact business.

 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Fireworks go off over the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: A new sculpture by Anish Kapoor 'Tall Tree and the Eye' is displayed in the courtyard of The Royal Academy on September 22, 2009 in London. The Anish Kapoor exhibition runs from September 26 to December 11, 2009 at The Royal Academy. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Catherine Middleton and her father Michael Middleton travel past Buckingham Palace as they make their way to the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Catherine Middleton;Michael Middleton;

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Host Neil Patrick Harris performs onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

TELFORD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: A competitor runs through water during the Tough Guy Challenge endurance race on January 29, 2012 in Telford, England. Every year thousands of people run the 8 mile assault course which involves freezing temperatures, fire and ice. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

 

Freezing temperatures, fire and ice is all part of the 8 mile assault course in Perton.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: A participant runs through the flames in the 2011 Tough Guy Challenge on January 30, 2011 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

General Steel, Stainless Steel or Sterling Silver, Which Flatware do you prefer?

 

When it comes to buying flatware for your home, there are several choices that you can make. Certainly, the most popular kinds of flatware that many people prefer is that made from stainless steel or from sterling silver. In this article, we take a look at the difference between stainless steel flatware and sterling silver flatware, along with how to care for it.

 

However, when it comes to buying such flatware there is one major difference you will notice almost immediately between both stainless steel and sterling silver, and that is the price. In many cases, stainless steel flatware is somewhat less expensive than its sterling silver counterpart. But let us first take a look at what these two types of flatware are made from.

 

Stainless steel flatware is made up of several different types of composite steel, the main ones being chromium and nickel. It is the nickel in this kind of flatware, which helps to provide resistance against the metal becoming corroded. The best type of flatware you can purchase for your home made from these metals is one that has 18% chromium and 10% nickel in its makeup.

 

As for sterling silver, flatware as mentioned previously this is more expensive to purchase than its stainless steel counterpart. But where the above mentioned is made up of composite steel materials, this particular kind of flatware contains more than 90% (92.5%) pure silver and 7.5% of other metals. In most cases, the additional metal used to make such flatware is copper.

 

What is important however is that when shopping for any new kind of flatware for your home that you take your time over choosing which product it is you want? If you can and are able to when buying it, take the item out of its packaging prior to purchase. This enables you to feel how it sits in your hand and if it is, has the right balance of weight in the handle.

 

Also, as you look at the products also look at the packaging in which the product is presented. Look at the other information provided on the package a good quality flatware product will show that it meets acceptable standards of manufacture both at home and abroad.

 

When it comes to caring for your flatware there are a number of different products available to ensure that it remains in the best condition possible. Certainly, for stainless steel ones al you need is a good quality cleanser, which can be purchased at your local hardware store or grocery store.

 

But as well as their being good quality cleaners for stainless steel flatware today you can also get good quality cleaners for sterling silver flatware as well. But these products have been specifically developed in order to help the silver retain its condition, they work to remove sulfur without actually causing any damage or making it warp. One of the easiest ways of ensuring that it stays in tiptop condition is by getting some baking soda (dry) and then rub it on to the metal with your fingers.

 

Robert is the owner of Replacement Flatware. You can find more information about Sterling Silver Flatware and Stainless Steel Flatware at his website.

 

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: The Olympic Stadium is seen during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31: The top of the Sky Tower is obscured by cloud during the New Years Eve fireworks display on January 01, 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. Just several hundred kilometres from the international date line, New Zealand's cities are amongst the first in the world to welcome the new year. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

 

Countries around the world welcome in 2012

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 08: Actor Idris Elba of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' poses at the Guess Portrait Studio during 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight on January 1, 2012 in London, England. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to see in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

TELFORD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31: A competitor takes part in the Tough Guy 2010 race on January 31, 2010 in Telford, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

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