Is it Possible for Nikon?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by panayotis_papadopoulos, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. After the announcement of latest Nikon's financial results and their decision to cut their future full year forecast - reason being the not expected, poor sales of mirrorless cameras in US and Europe and the general shrinking of the compact cameras sales - some thoughts crossed my mind...

    - Is it possible that Nikon didn't know that they ware late in entering the market of mirrorless?
    - Is it possible that Nikon didn't know thet their mirrorless product were nothing special in comparison to the existing competition and a bit overpriced when introduced?
    - Is it possible that Nikon didn't know that they want something special in order to gain market share in the field of mirrorless product? (i.e. a model with full frame mirrorless capabilities - something that the competition doesn't have in their arsenal)
    - Is it possible that Nikon didn't know that the market for compact cameras, eventually, will slow down for good due to the tremendous increase in sales of mobile phones with cameras?
    - Is it possible that Nikon didn't know that a part of their customers, as far as mirrorless is concerned, prefered the competition, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, for obvious reasons?
    - Is it possible that Nikon ignores the size of the World Economical crisis?
    - Is it possible that Nikon doesn't listen to what their customers are shouting for?
    - Is it possible that Nikon believed they can sell what ever they want neglecting people's willings?
    - Is it possible that Nikon made some huge errors?
     
  2. Is it possible that Nikon made some huge errors?​
    Of course. It's also possible that anybody else do that. Any single company can bet on the wrong horse, so Nikon can as well. The rest of the questions all have the same answer, in as far they're based on facts, rather than on your opinion on the Nikon 1.
     
  3. It is not a matter of what I believe and my opinion of Nikon 1 Wouter, we're talking about facts and people's reception of the product. If I like it or not has nothing to do with the results that Nikon is facing today.
     
  4. Facts?
    (i.e. a model with full frame mirrorless capabilities - something that the competition doesn't have in their arsenal)​
    You mean something like being the fastest AF and smallest mirrorless option, when it was introduced?
    Is it possible that Nikon doesn't listen to what their customers are shouting for?​
    What are those customers shouting for. then? Show me the facts what we are shouting for?
    Sorry, it is about your opinion and not about facts. Yes, the results today are what they are, and I do think Nikon has made a good few mistakes. But your list of questions is based on assumptions, opinions and not on data. Do not pretend otherwise.
     
  5. SCL

    SCL

    Is it possible this is a rant, not a factual analysis?
     
  6. In a rising market everyone looks like a genius, and in a falling market only geniuses look like geniuses. Everyone knew the compact market would get wacked by camera phones, so they started chasing the next BIG thing which they thought were mirrorless cameras. Camera makers all, to a certain extent, used a scatter shot model approach to figure out what people wanted. Mirrorless turns out to be sort of healthy in some markets, and a dud in many others. It turns out that in the North American and European markets mirrorless systems don't appear to have a high perceived value compared to the prices charged. They sell great when there are fire sales to clear out old stock, but not so much when introduced with high profit margins.
    What was generally unexpected is the bottom falling out of camera sales in general. Nothing new here; there have been several major cycles in the past 40 years. Nikon probably isn't losing any more money on mirroless cameras than the other makers, and they probably wouldn't be losing any less money if the Series 1 cameras were done differently. What they'll do now is shift their resources into DSLRs, which is their most solid product.
     
  7. Actually, the v1 was awesome at $299.
    I would have bought one if it had a f2
    lens. I ended up with the rx100,
    pocketable, better sensor, fastest at
    28mm, VR and a zoom to boot for
    $600...

    At $900/800, it was a joke to many but
    it sold okay to some buyers. Similarly,
    nex is (maybe was?) a joke to many dslr forumers here...
     
  8. When I am talking about facts I mean the Nikon's financial results. These are facts not assumptions. They saw the clear and real "picture" And if you haven't heard about what Nikon's customers are shouting for years, like a D400 or a D700 updated for example, (they don't consider the D800 as being the real thing), no more coolpix, then there's nothing I can do...
    My post is not exclusively based on mirrorless failure. My questions aim to the general policy of the company. And no, I don't accept your point that they bet on the wrong horse as an excuse for them. They had all the time in the world and all the facts in front of them to be prepared...the horses were already running in that field...they should have presented a competitive "horse". And as the results proved they didn't, no matter what you believe for Nikon 1 or not. I, myself was never in favorite on mirrorless, no matter the brand. I am a DSLR shooter.
     
  9. @ Stephen Lewis
    rant? Go to Nikon Site and see their financial results and top executives statements regarding what I have written above.
     
  10. Nikon did the best they could with the info they had at the time. Remember that what we see now is the result of planning they did two or three years ago. Camera gear seems to be in an overall down cycle. I think it's a very small segment of the population that wants a "real" camera, as most people, maybe >95%, only use a camera to take family snapshots etc. They don't need Nikons. Add to this that new models of camera gear no longer have real compelling improvements from the old--it seems to be leveling off. Nikon is simply caught up in several downward trends right now, the worst of which is probably a shrinking pool of customers.
    Kent in SD
     
  11. Nikon were late to the party - so were Canon. They did do something different, rather than a "me too". The original price - for something that could be made quite cheaply and which was competing with high-end compacts - was a joke, but presumably someone felt it was justified. At the discount rate, I'm very happy with my V1 as a very specialist high-speed camera, but it's no substitute for a DSLR or a compact in the "high quality results" or "small enough to be convenient" senses - especially since I have the 14-42PZ lens on my GF2. But I'm probably not the target market for the 1 series. To be fair, mirrorless cameras have generally sold for more than low-end DSLRs, presumably partly because of reduced production volume and partly because people pay for the convenience.

    Canon are trying a more conventional approach with the Eos M. I'm not aware of it doing all that much better than the 1 series, though I've heard a few recommendations of it (again, at a discount). The problem with a big sensor - as Nikon were well aware with the 1-series - is that you need big lenses to get a useful focal length, which removes the size advantage of mirrorless. A 200mm lens on an Eos M isn't much more pocketable than a 200mm lens on an Eos 100. This worked okay for micro 4/3, but Nikon suffered from taking it a step too far with the crop factor (as did Pentax with the Q). They - and Pentax - were also susceptible to competition the compact market, notably the RX100. Not that the Nikon compact range has ever been class-leading (well, since the turn of the millennium).

    If the problem had an easy solution, I'm sure everyone would be doing it. Panasonic and (to a lesser extent) Olympus didn't have successful DSLR systems to try to retain compatibility with, and didn't have customers that would be so dismissive of small sensors - and the 4/3 sensor format isn't that small. Now, if someone works out how to make a full frame diffractive optics 28-300 lens that folds down to the size that will fit in a pocket, I'm sure we'll see some different cameras appear.
     
  12. Smart phones are the new way everybody is taking pictures. It's never going to go back to the way it was.
    Connectivity is where it's at. Nikon had better get wireless connectivity in every single camera product.
     
  13. Nikon is a conservative company. It
    relies on optics mostly. They have
    never been innovative with anything.
    Not AF, IS, EVF, face detection, other
    features, etc...


    Nikon users don't want any features.
    They shoot RAW and process them
    with PS...I am even surprised they
    went with auto ISO and live view:)
    The last Nikon product I went crazy for was a d700. That was also my last Nikon purchase...
     
  14. Bruce Rubenstein said:
    "What they'll do now is shift their resources into DSLRs, which is their most solid product."
    This is exactly what I believe they should have done Bruce. This is their backbone of sales. Please read below what the President member of the board, Mr. Makoto Kimura said:
    For the Imaging Company, it is crucial that we determine how best to adapt our strategies in response to market changes, particularly in terms of new products and product lineups. The rapid penetration of smartphones is causing the compact digital camera market to shrink. Previously, cameras and smart devices were not direct competitors. However, in the current market structure in which these products are competing, we must examine closely the concepts on which our compact digital camera offerings should be based. Thus, when it comes to interchangeable lens-type digital cameras, we need to question our ability to offer truly innovative functions and performance.
    Does that ring any bells?
     
  15. This might be a time to bring up Thom Hogan's ongoing rant that Nikon makes its money out of DX (not FX) cameras, but they've released very few DX lenses. (On the plus side, they have just announced a DX lens. Against that, it's yet another slow street-sweeper zoom, not filling one of the gaps in the DX line-up. Fortunately, Sigma. Which is something I wouldn't have said a few years back.)
     
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I suggest people take a look at Thom Hogan's article on his mirrorless site: http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/mirrorless-problems-continu.html
    (IMO, Hogan is, at best, mediocre as far as predicting future Nikon products; I might even say he is quite poor at that. But I am referring to the facts in his article.)
    Essentially, mirrorless is not doing well outside of Asia, from any brand. I live in the San Francisco area and see very few people use mirrorless cameras, from any brand, including Olympus, which heavily depends on them and is struggling to break even.
    Overall, I don't think Nikon is doing all that poorly in a tough economy world wide. IMO, Nikon's choice to use the tiny CX sensor for their Nikon 1 mirrorless camera is likely a mistake. That is why I own none of that, or for that matter I don't own any mirrorless cameras.
    Actually, the v1 was awesome at $299.​
    Sure, but also at $299, Nikon is lucky not to lose a lot of money on the V1.
    Nikon introduced the D700 back in 2008 because they needed an "affordable, $3000" FX body, even thought it hurt D3 sales. That was why they quickly upgraded the D3 to a D3S with an improved sensor, but they kept the D700 as it was for a bigger product differentiation. Back then, the so called "out cry" was that 12MP wasn't enough on the D700.
    Today, Nikon has two, actually three, FX DSLRs below $3000: D800 (and D800E) plus D600. If they introduced a successor to the D700, they would have three (or actually four) FX models competing against themselves within a narrow price range in the still small FX market segment.
    Likewise, the D300 was introduced at $1800 at the same time as the D3 ($5000) back in 2007. Today, the D300/D300S price range is occuppied by the D600. Once again, you can't have too many products in the same price category, especially when the DSLR market is no longer under rapid growth.
     
  17. - Is it possible that Nikon didn't know thet their mirrorless product were nothing special in comparison to the existing competition and a bit overpriced when introduced?​
    Is it possible that your opinion of the Nikon 1 series is not based on actually using one of the cameras?
    - Is it possible that Nikon didn't know that a part of their customers, as far as mirrorless is concerned, prefered the competition, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, for obvious reasons?​
    Is it possible that the competition, as far as mirrorless is concerned, is also having to resort to fire sales (just as Nikon did with the V1)?
     
  18. I do think that we're unlikely to see a "D750" with a D4 sensor in a D800 body (and, presumably, a fast frame rate). I appreciate that people may want one, but the D600 and D800 are so close to providing that option that I don't see much market. What I hear most people wanting is a budget "almost D4" (in the way a D700 was barely inferior to the D3), and without a "D4s" to differentiate, I can't see the gain for Nikon; the portion of D700 customers who wouldn't be perfectly satisfied with an existing model or a used D3s has to be small. That's not to say that a D600 with a D800 AF module may be long in coming, but bear in mind that - however good the 5D3's autofocus - the D600 is competing with the 6D, and even the D7000's AF module is a world ahead of 6D/5D2 class.

    I believe there's a place for people who want a high-end DX camera, either for reasons of pixel density or portability, even if it's priced more than a D600 - there are reasons to want to buy such a thing where a D7100 won't cut it and a D600 solves the wrong problem. However, I can't argue that it would be two alternatives in the same price bracket. You could argue that the 1 series and the low-end DSLRs have the same problem, so selling two different devices at the same price isn't impossible, but I guess it's up to Nikon's marketing department to decide whether they can make the sales case for a "D400" as well as the existing line, and whether they can sell enough to the niche who want it to make up for the production costs. Technically, I'm sure they can stick a big buffer in a D7100 and wrap it in shrunk D800 ergonomics; whether the result is what people want and whether it would suck sales from more profitable models is beyond my remit. I still think Nikon could produce one of these, and it could sell. Whether they will is another matter.
     
  19. Is it possible that your opinion of the Nikon 1 series is not based on actually using one of the cameras?​
    I'm not going to defend everything that Panayotis said, but I own a V1. For me, describing the original launch price as "a bit overpriced" is a huge understatement. They priced it like an enthusiast model, but gave it consumer handling and (mostly) sensor characteristics. I'd be interested to know how many F-mount lens adaptors have been sold. I'm very happy to have mine, but it was only worth the discount price to me. Of course, it may be worth more to other people.
    Is it possible that the competition, as far as mirrorless is concerned, is also having to resort to fire sales (just as Nikon did with the V1)?​
    Absolutely, though they're also releasing more models and lenses than Nikon. I did buy my GF2 at a heavy discount, whereas my D800E was at original launch price. Still, as someone with a GF2 and a V1, the (older) GF2 is the camera that's more pleasant to use for general shooting.
     
  20. Dan Brown, Aug 09, 2013; 09:24 a.m.
    Smart phones are the new way everybody is taking pictures. It's never going to go back to the way it was.
    Connectivity is where it's at. Nikon had better get wireless connectivity in every single camera product.​
    This is exactly right. I don't understand the camera companies making anything less than a DSLR or DSLR like camera. Back in the film days, most prints were 4x6 or less. Today the 4x6 print is an image posted on a website or sent by email. The camera in my phone is perfectly capable of taking those images. WHY would anyone buy another camera to carry around the duplicates the cell phone camera? It makes no sense to me and I don't know of anyone in my extended family that owns a dedicated camera. Not one. They all use their cell phones or iPods. A B17 flew into an airport near me least summer. I went to get a tour and take photos. It was a hoot watching people with iPads video taping the B17.
    Nikon needs to have internet connectivity in EVERY phone. Not as an expensive add on. DSLR's need to be able to snap a photo and send it at the push of a button. Yes, I will still download my images and tweek them, but sometimes I just want a quick snap to send. This cost is minimal.
    Consumer grade cameras are following film into non existence.
    Later,
    Dan
     
  21. The Nikon 1 was created to provide a small, fast camera which could AF track quickly, so that relative novices to photography could capture action sequencies, which is something that most if not all compact cameras struggle at, and certainly the large sensor mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras struggle at. Nikon figured this was something their customers wanted and they implemented it. When it was asked why Nikon didn't put a larger sensor into their mirrorless product, they said they couldnt' get the phase-detect on sensor to work well on larger sensors. We now have some attempts at other manufacturers in providing on sensor phase detect AF; e.g. Sony's latest SLT cameras have both mirror-based conventional phase-detect AF and on-sensor phase-detect, and Fuji X100s is a mirrorless fixed focal length camera with on sensor phase detect and contrast detect AF. But the SLTs use the conventional approach for tracking movement in bright light - when a part of the main sensor surface are is allocated to AF sensors this means the area of the adjacent image pixels is reduced and the AF sensors are much smaller than that of AF SLRs, thus they receive less light which is not so good for low light sensitivity of the AF system. I think this is the issue why Nikon couldn't put a large sensor in the 1 series cameras, and why the other manufacturers' implementations still don't work well, some years after the introduction of the 1 series. It just doesn't work well enough when you have low light and shallow depth of field (due to combination of large sensor / long focal lengths and large aperture lenses). Fuji X100s is better in AF than its predecessor, and certainly better than the Coolpix A, but it just isn't able to properly track moving subjects across the frame like our DSLRs can. All the big manufacturers are trying to solve this problem; who knows when they will get there. Even so, I still prefer a real-time optical viewfinder to EVF, but for some applications, a hybrid viewfinder solution might be preferable (manual focus may be easier with EVF). I like the X100s, but the AF technology isn't yet ready for prime time.
    Once AF tracking of moving subjects works well with large sensored mirrorless cameras, I am sure Nikon will enter that market. They have many patents on both (AF for mirrorless cameras, lenses for large sensor mirrorless).
    Nikon has innovated in DSLRs; currently their cameras have arguably the best sensors in the business; the highest end AF system has improved sensitivity in low light and it has been propagated down to the D7100 price class, and they have made many new lenses which fill in blanks that previously were missed by many. I.e. 80-400 AF-S, 70-200/4 AF-S, the f/1.8 and f/1.4 AF-S primes and so on. Looking at the quality of images from the D800 it is hard to justify a general claim of lack of innovation really. There are some things that should be improved ... I would like to see more user calibration options to the AF system; Sigma has been providing this for a few of their latest lenses through an USB dock. I would like to see AF-S 135/2, AF-S 180/2.8, AF-S VR 300/4, AF-S VR 400/4, and improved AF in the 24/1.4 and 35/1.4. But I suspect good things come to those that wait a bit. Nikon has come very far from where they were 10 years ago.
     
  22. > Is it possible that Nikon doesn't listen to what their customers are shouting for?
    > Is it possible that Nikon believed they can sell what ever they want neglecting people's willings?
    There may be some truth to the above contentions, but the thing below is not the answer.
    > a model with full frame mirrorless capabilities
    What is it with this obsession with "full frame" mirrorless? If it is an argument that larger sensors have advantages, fine. Then why stop at 24x36? Demand even bigger sensors while you're at it. If the reason is that you want to use legacy SLR lenses on a mythical FF mirrorless, recall that said lenses are designed (by definition) for SLRs and thus cannot take full advantage of the new camera not having the big swinging SLR mirror: you still have the (now excessive) flange distance and the issues with wides and superwides. Seeing as Nikon has not gotten its act together on filling in a solid line of DX lenses I can't imagine them having the resources to make a new line of good "mirrorless" RF-type lenses covering 24x36. (Even if there was enough demand for such a product line to justify it economically, and I seriously doubt there is such demand.)
     
  23. I thought the Nikon V1 was an odd duck from the start. Cell phone people are happy with where they are at. Pretty good photos with facebook connectivity instantly. The King Kong camera enthusiasts do not want it either. Basically it does not fit anywhere, it's ugly and it costs way to much.
    So now we have the cell phone group that wants connectivity and instant sharing, The mirrorless crowd like me that wants big performance, prints and a packable light camera and the DSLR bunch that wants the full deal, prints, and a loud clanking mirror. So a crystal ball is needed to figure out what to do. I do not have one.
     
  24. What is it with this obsession with "full frame" mirrorless? If it is an argument that larger sensors have advantages, fine. Then why stop at 24x36? Demand even bigger sensors while you're at it.​
    I often wonder this myself. There is no question the larger sensors provide tangible benefits in the quality of the picture (if that is what you are after). I know for my film photography today, I vastly prefer the images out of my 6x6 MFs, than those out of my 35mm cameras. On the other hand, the 35mm is so much nicer to handle. My point is that the popularity of 24x36 in the film days may not just be an accident of history. It might just be that is the sweet spot of the size versus IQ and DoF compromises people are willing to accept, and makes for challenges that are reasonable to handle from an engineering/technical viewpoint and therefore reasonably affordable. I am not an optics engineer, and haven't read up on the mechanics and physics of sensor to lens couplings, but since a 24x36 sensor can use a wider lens than a APS-C sensor to get similarly out of focus areas, would that lead to smaller lenses?
     
  25. I like following the business of photo equipment. I was sure caught off guard of how fast smart phones with built in photo sensors could get so good for everyday, non professional, photography use. My adult children use iPhones and some of their imagery is amazing simply because they have the phones with them all the time.
     
  26. I'm not going to defend everything that Panayotis said, but I own a V1. For me, describing the original launch price as "a bit overpriced" is a huge understatement.​
    I agree that it was overpriced at launch (I bought mine 2 months ago). What actually surprised me was the first part of his statement (dismissing the Nikon 1 as "nothing special in comparison to the existing competition"). Evidently, Panayotis Papadopoulos has not noticed any difference in continuous and tracking AF between the Nikon 1 and the "existing competition".
    Still, as someone with a GF2 and a V1, the (older) GF2 is the camera that's more pleasant to use for general shooting.​
    I wish Nikon would make one (or two) buttons on the V1 customisable (would this be possible in a firmware update?). I haven't had the opportunity to use a Panasonic camera, but the layout of the buttons and wheel on the V1 is certainly better than on my (previous) E-PL2. I couldn't seem to avoid unintentionally changing settings on the Olympus.
     
  27. Songtsen: I appreciate that Nikon did good work in trying to differentiate the 1-series autofocus from the competition - it is a weakness of non-SLR (and SLT, hello Sony) cameras. I have to say that I've honestly never used mine in circumstances where the AF advantage would be useful, and I've usually used it in conditions where I'm either in manual focus or where there's insufficient light for the phase detect, but then I did say I'm probably not in the target demographic.

    I'd love a more configurable interface - but again, Nikon seem to be under the impression that the 1-series is bought by, shall we say, people who want a camera that they can put in a handbag. In Japan, by all accounts, it is. In the UK, while the only one I've seen in the wild other than my own was in use by a mother (who appeared to be Japanese), I suspect most people wanting a camera they can fit in a bag would pick either a smaller compact or a more flexible superzoom. Putting any interchangeable-lens camera in a large and overstuffed handbag is a recipe for trouble, if the contents of my wife's bag is anything to go by, and it's too big for a clasp bag. (The same is true of my back-pack, but at least it's bigger and I can hide a V1 in a pocket that seems to be designed for a phone.) Anyway, practicalities of transport aside, I don't believe Nikon want to risk confusing simplistic customers with a more flexible interface, useful though it would be to me. But it depends who actually is buying these cameras outside the native market.
     
  28. I was sure caught off guard of how fast smart phones with built in photo sensors could get so good for everyday, non professional, photography use. My adult children use iPhones and some of their imagery is amazing simply because they have the phones with them all the time.​
    Do your adult children also have children? Do those children play sports or engage in other active pursuits? If so, I bet their parents are getting mighty frustrated trying to take photos of those activities with their iPhones. iPhones are great; I have one and take pictures with it. But they have limitations like anything else.

    In my view, part of the problem with the Nikon 1 system is that it hasn't really been marketed in a way that distinguishes it from the competition, be it cell-phone cameras or other mirrorless or P&S cameras. (At least in the US. I'm not familiar with how it's done elsewhere.) If I were the Nikon USA marketing guy, I'd have commercials made that showed soccer moms trying to get shots of their little darlings with their iPhone and a P&S, followed by showing them doing it with a Nikon 1 camera and a 30-110 lens.
     
  29. ...but bear in mind that the depth of field of an iPhone is pretty immense. You get pretty good quality images of children at most sporting events just by focussing at infinity, especially at web or video resolutions. The 1 system can do better, but whether it's better enough (especially for a 10MP image from a V1, which is pretty noisy in low light to boot) is another matter. A DSLR is very good at tracking focus, but it has to be because the DoF is typically much shallower that a compact or a phone. If you want to make a 1-series look good, you need to compare the zoom range with a phone and the AF with a P&S. Then you need to make sure the P&S isn't such a big superzoom that it has much more reach available than the 1-series (getting blurry shots occasionally may be made up for by getting better framing), and hope nobody notices that the kit zoom on the 1-series doesn't have much reach, and that it's not actually all that small when you include longer lenses. Or shorter ones, compared with the Panasonic 14-42.

    The V1 has some nice tricks (for which I bought it), but it's very niche, and I'd think very hard before recommending one to someone in what appears to be Nikon's target market.
     
  30. The Nikon MILCs sit unfomfortably between camera phones and the larger sensor MILCs. In business terms, it's 'stuck in the middle' and hardly is a niche product when compared with the rest of the market. Therefore, the results are very much what I would have expected in a difficult market.
     
  31. Jonathon, when you quoted my statement about my children, you nailed Nikon's problem exactly. The original post was mostly about mirrorless camera sales taking a nose dive. If my children had children then they would most likely use a DSLR and not a mirrorless camera for speed. Of course they might also want me to take the sports pictures of their children for them with my DSLRs.
     
  32. A long thread, and I think a significant concept is missing.
    A camera like the D4 didn't suddenly appear out of nowhere - it wasn't the result of someone sitting at a desk in a quiet room with a clean sheet of paper and designing the camera, all its capabilities, and the methods to manufacture it efficiently and with quality, so it could be introduced as a surprise. It is the result of designing and building lesser cameras for over a decade, with the capabilities and manufacturing processes evolving as they learned to yield the camera we have today.
    We are seeing the same process in mirrorless cameras today. It demonstrates thinking and planning for the long term. Skipping the mirrorless product in favor of exploiting DSLRs because they are doing better in today's market would be beneficial in the short term, but only in the short term. Nikon is not operating solely to optimize this quarter's balance sheet. That practice is a major contributor to the economic difficulties that are proving so persistent.
    If long term thinking isn't to your liking, fine. There are plenty of short sighted companies to invest in. You just need to hurry.
     
  33. @ Songtsen Kampo
    First I would like to thank Andrew Garrard because his point of view and answers are covering, in a great extend, my side of story, regarding Songtsen's questions.
    And yes dear Songtsen, ...Panayotis Papadopoulos didn't mention the "continuous and tracking AF", the major fact that would "distinguish" Nikon from the "existing competition" and make the difference in sales. Did you see that thing happening?...I guess not. Why? What was wrong with the people that could not understand this specialty that solely Nikon was offering and translate it in sales?
    Is it because they remember Ashton Kutcher just having fun with the camera? Just saying...is it because the target group that Nikon addressed initially their mirrorless cameras were people coming from small compact P&S cameras? Is it because they just wanted to have fun just like Ashton Kutcher? How many of them you would estimate are interested in "continuous and tracking AF"? How many of them know what does that mean? Does Ashton Kutcher know?
    Ever occurred to you that might the whole marketing campaign Nikon used was not primarily addressed to connoisseurs? (and I am not blaming them for doing this). Did I mention Ashton Kutcher having fun?
    Thanks for reading and your valuable input. Panayotis.
     
  34. Gup

    Gup Gup

    So, should I stop waiting for my D2x and D700 replacements? I'm not getting any younger sitting here.
     
  35. I think that "shooting a soccer game with a phone" is a good example of how once you get beyond very basic needs, you
    need a real camera. As they are now phones can replace very cheap P&S cameras for a lot of uses but I don't see any
    phenomenon of people who would be using higher grade cameras not buying them and instead using phones. I think the
    slowing sales has more to do with the large number of people who already have a DSLR and the slow pace of
    improvement that's really meaningful. Somebody who bought a D90 four years ago and doesn't feel a pressing need to
    upgrade is somebody who hasn't contributed to SLR sales in the last 3 years.

    I see DSLRs all over the place - you can't walk a block in the city without seeing one. The installed base is saturated with
    the things. But most don't look like they were bought new in the last couple of years.

    The oft cited data showing that a huge percentage of photos on Facebook and other web sites came from phones doesn't
    mean people don't shoot other cameras. It means that people use phones to take snapshots to go on Facebook.
     
  36. Hehe, dear Gup I am not sure if you are talking about a D4X to replace your D2X, but for the D700, I think, it's a lost game. Nikon will pretty kind answer you "Get the D800/D800E". Or you could do what two members of the Greek Photo-site I am also registered did. They sold their D700 and 24-70 combo and moved to Sony A99 and Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8. They got tired of waiting for the successor of D700 and moved to another brand and never looked back again. One of them is a concert photographer and the other a weeding one. OF course they didn't have invest heavily in Nikon as you might have.
    Andy, in the US, a specific newspaper, I don't recall their name but the story was widely spread around, decided that they do not need pro cameras for the job and that they should train their personnel to take pictures with their mobile phones. DPreview, recently had a challenge as they call it, kind of contest, with pictures solely taken with mobile phones. And I guess they are not the only ones. So there are people who shot other cameras but what is happening with smartphones is huge and something to consider. I would not be surprised to see a Nikon mobile, or a Nikon cooperation with a known manufacturer of mobiles in the near future.
     
  37. The paper you're thinking of eliminated photographers and said they'd use freelance and citizen photos. The result is that
    the paper now has no good photography.
     
  38. It has been my opinion that the Series 1 cameras had two issues that kept them from being big sellers. Price and handing. Most reviews thought that were too high priced and that they had odd buttons/menus to get to the most commonly used features that a removable lens camera should have.
    I have an issue with most mirrorless cameras. They look like a cool pocket sized camera, until you actually put a lens on it. Then it fits in few , but the largest pockets. They are often smaller than the low end DSLRs but bigger than the point and shoots. I haven't quite figured out where they stand out from the rest, other than no mirror noise. For me, and I suspect many others, being smaller and quieter but still kind of expensive just don't add up. The Series 1 line has that too.
     
  39. - Is it possible that Nikon didn't know that they want something special in order to gain market share in the field of mirrorless product? (i.e. a model with full frame mirrorless capabilities - something that the competition doesn't have in their arsenal)
    "continuous and tracking AF".... What was wrong with the people that could not understand this specialty that solely Nikon was offering and translate it in sales? Is it because they remember Ashton Kutcher just having fun with the camera?​
    I think I get it now. Nikon 1 failed because people actually wanted a model with "full frame mirrorless capabilities" instead of which Nikon offered them Ashton Kutcher and a mirrorless product that was "nothing special". So they have all decided to use their iPhones until a full frame mirrorless camera is available.
     
  40. Nikon has another problem - a huge amount of old stock that isn't selling.
    D90, D300s, Nikon 1 (any flavor), D3100/3200, D5100/5200, D7000, over-priced Coolpix A ...
    Nikon needs to fire sale these older bodies in order to get their product line to make any sense. But doing so will cost them money and reduce the number of 1st time camera buyers - the people that would buy a rumored D1000 for example. It would also have a chilling impact on the used camera market by deflating used camera values, which might also serve to put downward pressure on new product pricing. It might also slow upgrading for those hoping to sell their old camera to help fund a new one.
    This reminds me of the housing market in the US. Nothing can get better until the foreclosures are out of the system and production meets demand again. Only then can actual demand sustain healthy profit margins as well as new products/construction.
     
  41. Steve, the old stock is a problem. But Nikon is still a profitable company. Maybe some bold decisions have to be taken regarding stock but the major challenge is how the market changes and what needs to be done to sail along. I think Nikon is having a bit of a hard time to adjust to this. I also think that the whole mirrorless situation was a compromise for Nikon. Especially if, as mentioned earlier, the mirrorless systems WERE only commercial to Asia and the fact that all the companies behind it, WERE struggling to earn profits. Then why bother? Were people knocking down doors to have a Nikon mirrorless system? I think, since Nikon was late to introduce such a product, that all these facts should have been taken under consideration more closely, with much more attention...just thinking out loud.
    On the other hand there was a "voice" for other Nikon products that never got an answer. Simply because Nikon ignored them. But now they have no other way than to adjust. Nikon D7100 is a fine example of that. After a series of not that successful launches for their latest DSLRs, as far as the quality control is concerned, D7100 is the camera that up to date we haven't heard about oil sticks on the sensor, back focus problems and left AF problems...Nikon's expansion to countries with low labour will eventually bring even better prices. The world crisis advocates that. The old trick was always give people what they want, in first place, and then innovate, as long as you have a steady basis and happy customers. My humble opinion. Cheers!
     
  42. I think Steve L hit the nail on the head. I am a faithful Nikon fan that has been waiting endlessly for the mythical d400. I finally decided to go to the d7100 and have been happy with my decision. If the d400 came out tomorrow I would not buy it. The money is spent and I will not dog for more to buy a camera body that is a d7100 on steroids. The d7100 is just too damn good a camera, shallow buffer or no shallow buffer or not. I have come to the conclusion that I am a fan of the DX format but have probably purchased my last one. The d7100 is an excellent machine and I think my endless upgrading days are over until I get knocked off me horse again.
    -Cheers
     
  43. Nikon offered them Ashton Kutcher​
    Even just now a Google™ for "jerk in the Nikon ads" still turned up Ashton Kutcher as first hit.
    I suppose they could have chosen Adam Sandler for a corporate representative, though.
    In any case, someone at Nikon wasn't really getting what was wrong or right.
     
  44. I love my V1... Is it as good as the latest and greatest FX or DX of course not.
    But at $529 for the two lens kit. It was a great deal . I no longer want to haul 15lbs of $3000 + equipment around
    Lightness and portability are key for me. And as someone who had a D70 kit stolen at gunpoint discretion counts for a lot.
     
  45. OMG...all contributors to this thread seem to be defending their own purchase decisions. Its all a lot of hot air and full of innuendo.
    Lets face it, the Nikon 1 has been a failure, both on pricing and on sensor choice. The $500-$1300 market is full of choice. It includes all the consumer grade DSLR's, the medium to high end mirrorless, the Fuji X.. range, Used D600's and D700's Used Canon 5D2's.......
    I would not want to be a senior marketing exec at Nikon right now, or for any manufacturer for that matter. But cameras are only part of what Nikon makes. The medical imaging and GPS surveying part is just as big as the camera business. This is also true of Leica and Olympus. So its useless to compare.
     
  46. Aren't there two main markets here; my market whereby I like and use cameras designed first and foremost as cameras and the other
    market, which is my daughter's market, whereby she snaps away merrily on her iPhone transmitting pics to friends and Facebook as she
    goes? I am an idiot on the iPhone, I detest the screen and my inability to find the button and the occasional recording of an unintended
    video piece. The lack of control is a real restriction but my daughter sees way beyond this and she and her generation will take over. As a
    matter of survival Nikon and others need to at least understand this market and make some decisions as to how to handle it otherwise
    they will get Kodaked.
    For me Nikon V1's and their Canon, Panasonic, Sony and others equivalents are only a slight improvement on the iPhone. I want a
    viewfinder and controls a la Fuji's X100s and Leica's X2.
     
  47. P.S. Yes I know the X2 needs an auxiliary finder.
     
  48. Its all a lot of hot air and full of innuendo.​
    I agree. It's interesting how some people tend to be quite forceful in their criticism of products they have never used.
    Lets face it, the Nikon 1 has been a failure, both on pricing and on sensor choice.​
    Perhaps they should have used a smaller sensor. Cameras with large sensors seem to be losing out to the iPhone.
    "The stats for first half mirrorless sales are 1.6m units in 2012, 1.3m units in 2013, or 82% this year versus last. More interestingly, only 10,235 mirrorless cameras were shipped to the US in June." (Link)
     
  49. The only significant miscalculations Nikon made with the V1 were:
    1. Using the CX sensor when they had the Coolpix A APS-C sensor in the pipeline.
    2. Burying common manual adjustments in the menu.
    Other than that it's a very capable camera in the right hands and was an outstanding value at last December's $299 blowout price for the V1 and 10-30 VR kit. I can't imagine going back to a bulky, heavy, noisy dSLR for my documentary and candid photography after using the V1 extensively for the past 8 months. The V1 is very quick, perfect for my style and subject matter. But it's not for everyone, just as a dSLR is no longer right for me.
    There's still plenty of viable market for well designed compact digicams to fill the gap between phone cams and dSLRs. I just helped a friend choose her first P&S digicam (an Olympus TG-630 iHS) Saturday because she was fed up with the slow, awkward phone cam for anything that moves. The main problem is the same as ever - too many tiny sensor P&S models with pointless, insignificant differences. Let the other manufacturers fight for those scraps.
    Best thing Nikon could do is drop all the tiny sensor Coolpix models and replace them with CX sensor models. Sony proved the one-inch sensor is a potential winner with the RX100. A Coolpix P7700 with CX sensor would be a winner.
    And much as I enjoy the V1 the entire 1 series is pointless in the CX format with competent but unexciting interchangeable lenses, and lack of compatibility with the existing SB-whatever flash units. Dumb, but not necessarily fatal to Nikon's mirrorless efforts. But an upgraded V1 with the APS-C sensor would be viable with minor external modifications to allow quicker adjustments to aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation, with a programmable Fn button, and standard hotshoe with SB-flash. Drop all the J-series and S-series. After using the V1 with EVF I wouldn't want another mirrorless system camera without a built in electronic finder.
    And a retooled Nikon V-whatever can't cost more than the next most comparable dSLR or mirrorless model, unless it offers significant advantages (hint: the EVF is nice; focus peaking would be nicer). While the Coolpix A is potentially attractive, it's priced too high against the Ricoh GR with APS-C sensor without offering any clear advantages over the Ricoh.
     
  50. "what Nikon's customers are shouting for years, like a D400"
    they dont care about their customers wishes and believe its just a matter of marketing.
    they ignored the menetekel, all over the forums a lot of people asked for a "new d300" for years, and they got a D7100; maybe its a OK camera but for sure its not what I wanted.
     
  51. Yes, if only Nikon people read these fora they'd know they had several dozen guaranteed D400 sales.
     
  52. Nikon did the best they could with the info they had at the time. Remember that what we see now is the result of planning they did two or three years ago. Camera gear seems to be in an overall down cycle. I think it's a very small segment of the population that wants a "real" camera, as most people, maybe >95%, only use a camera to take family snapshots etc. They don't need Nikons. Add to this that new models of camera gear no longer have real compelling improvements from the old--it seems to be leveling off. Nikon is simply caught up in several downward trends right now, the worst of which is probably a shrinking pool of customers.​
    Yes. Canon hasn't upgraded the image quality in it's Rebel line in, what, four generations? I recently upgraded to a T3i. They are dirt cheap and there isn't a compelling reason to spend HUNDREDS more on a T5i that will be obsoleted 5 years down the road. I upgraded my first DSLR within one year of purchase. Unless there are some dramatic changes on the video side of things I could see myself not upgrading my T3i for five years... or more. The US market is getting saturated and all the people that bought fancy DSLRs are probably realizing at this stage they really don't use them that much so they don't have any compelling reason to go out and spend another $500+ dollars on something they don't need.
    The mirrorless thing is kind of a joke. Once you put anything other than a pancake on the body it's not pocketable. If you are a reporter then a mirroless with a pancake makes a ton of sense especially with the mass firings that are going on in newspaper photography departments. But for me who has multiple Canon lenses buying a mirrorless camera and then the obligatory adapter was more expensive than just getting a T3i and having no constraints.
    How many people are really going to pay the premium for the EOS M just to cruise around with a single pancake prime? For the people that need it it is awesome but how many people really need it?
     
  53. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The only significant miscalculations Nikon made with the V1 were:
    1. Using the CX sensor when they had the Coolpix A APS-C sensor in the pipeline.
    2. Burying common manual adjustments in the menu.
    Lex, glad to see you back to photo.net.
    Rightly so or wrongly so, Nikon decided to make the Nikon 1 mirrorless cameras small, which is their main selling point.
    Since those cameras are so small, there is clearly no real estate on the camera for dedicated buttons for convenient controls. Burying controls deep into the menu system (or perhaps use a touch screen or perhaps remote control from something else, e.g. a smart phone??) is their only opion. Even the small DSLRs such as the D3200 and D5200 have that problem, perhaps to a lesser degree.
    "what Nikon's customers are shouting for years, like a D400"
    they dont care about their customers wishes and believe its just a matter of marketing.
    they ignored the menetekel, all over the forums a lot of people asked for a "new d300" for years, and they got a D7100; maybe its a OK camera but for sure its not what I wanted​
    I would say most of those people who are still "souting" for a D400 have never used a D7100.
    I have been using Nikon for well over 30 years, owning quite a few high-end models, including the F4, F5, D2X and also the D300, D700, and D800E. In fact, I currently still own all of those camera. However, today, my main camera is the D7100.
    I am not exactly sure what this "D400" is supposed to be, but if people are talking about another $1800, updated D300, I would say at $1200, the D7100 already does at least 90% of this "D400" would have done. Back in late 2010, I stopped using my D300 in favor of the D7000, and earlier this year I upgraded to the D7100. The D7100 can certainly be better, but I wouldn't be using it had it been posting serious restrictions to my action photography.
    Yes, if only Nikon people read these fora they'd know they had several dozen guaranteed D400 sales.​
    And do you think selling a few dozen "D400" will make Nikon any money?
    Even though Nikon might be able to sell another 300K this so called "D400," it would certainly off-set a lot of D7100 and D600 sales. Nikon could spend a lot of R&D money to add this "D400," but to me, their net gain will likely be very limited, if there is any in the first place.
    The D300 existed because FX was very expensive back in that era. Six years ago, on August 23, 2007, Nikon announced the D3 (their first FX DSLR) and the D300 simultaneously. The D3 was $5000 and the D300 $1800. Along with the distontinuation of the D2 family, Nikon had nothing between $1800 and $5000. Today, there is the $2800 D800 and $2000 D600. There is no more room for this "D400" any more.
    Having too many different models for customers to choose from is typically not a good business strategy. R&D cost is high, and you will also add to inventory, parts, repair ... issues.
    Below is one of my favorite bird action images, captured with the D7100. I have more in my D7100 folder: http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=1052968 and even a lot more that I haven't posted.
    00bu0X-541853384.jpg
     
  54. I use a D7100 with my 300-800 and it works very well although the buffer is restrictive (shooting large, fine JPEGs only), and 6FPS is a little slow. I also shoot football with a Sony A57 and 70-400 at 10FPS with full auto focus. Once you've experienced 10 FPS for sports, 6 FPS is disappointing. I believe Nikon purposely crippled the buffer and speed of the D7100 in order to introduce a faster cropped frame camera sometime in the future. This is not an unusual marketing practice as car companies do this on a regular basis.
     
  55. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I also shoot football with a Sony A57 and 70-400 at 10FPS with full auto focus.​
    The problem with the Sony A57 and many other modern Sony DSLR is that they are not traditional SLRs. Instead, they have a fixed, semi transparant pellicle mirror. That is an alternative Canon tried a couple of times in the past and abandoned. Additionally, the Sonys also do not use an optical viewfinder. To say the least, there are a lot of compromises in Sony's design and that is why nobody else uses it.
    To achieve 10 fps with a traditional SLR without a pellicle mirror that obstructs some of the light hitting the sensor, you need a very robust mechanical body similar to the D2, D3 and D4. Even though it is DX, I can't see that costing less than $3500 to $4000 and is certainly not the $1800 "D400" people are expecting. I very much would like to see another DX sports/action DSLR in the same vain as the D2H/D2HS even at $4000, but I simply don't see any market for Nikon to justify it.
     
  56. "The main problem is the same as ever - too many tiny sensor P&S models with pointless, insignificant differences. ... Best thing Nikon could do is drop all the tiny sensor Coolpix models and replace them with CX sensor models."​
    Amen to that. Nikon has TWENTY-FOUR frigging Coolpix digicams in the current catalogue. Honestly, if someone asked me for a Nikon P&S recommendation, I would probably need to throw a dart at the wall to pick one out. They need to seriously thin the herd in this segment.
    Nice to see you back Lex. :)
     
  57. "Since those cameras are so small, there is clearly no real estate on the camera for dedicated buttons for convenient controls."​
    I would have guessed the same thing... until the new Ricoh GR with APS-C sensor came out. It's slightly smaller than the V1 and only very slightly larger than the tiny sensor GRDs. Yet Ricoh retained the essential external controls - dedicated, multi-purpose and programmable - that defined the GR-series as the epitome of how a digicam should be designed. The Coolpix A is slightly smaller than the V1 yet retains a good selection of external controls. The Coolpix P7700 is larger and has better external controls.
     
  58. "Honestly, if someone asked me for a Nikon P&S recommendation, I would probably need to throw a dart at the wall to pick one out."​
    That's why I usually recommend Olympus P&S digicams over Nikon Coolpix to most folks who are snapshooters and have no desire to become "photographers".
    Olympus P&S models consistently produce better looking JPEGs straight from the camera, with less effort, and excellent autoexposure and auto-flash. Since most of these folks will print only around 4x6 or share online, they'll never notice or care about the typical Olympus tendency toward over-smoothing noise at ISOs above 200.
     
  59. Olympus P&S models consistently produce better looking JPEGs straight from the camera​
    I have no experience shooting with Olympus digital cameras, but I find this an interesting observation. I recently gave my nephew a Nikon Coolpix P7700 after testing it briefly and finding the image quality straight from the camera to be very good. It has the articulated screen and a hotshoe that one can use with recent Nikon SB flash units.
    I own and use a Nikon 1 V1 and enjoy it very much (bought it last December when they were sold at a huge markdown). I like the small size of the camera and lenses, but the lack of a normal hotshoe is a disappointment (I bought the small Nikon flash to go with it). I hope Nikon will continue to develop new cameras with the CX mount.
     
  60. I think the best Coolpix available at Best Buy the other day was the S9500. I liked it overall and wanted to recommend it to my friend, but we couldn't get satisfactory results in full auto mode against strong backlighting (subject's back to the brightly sunlit front doors), with or without flash. Same with every Nikon, Canon, Sony and other model we tried. Either the subject's face was too dark and the background properly exposed, or the subject's face was too "flash-y" and the background was underexposed. I'd need to tweak the exposure compensation and flash compensation to get the desired results. Not a satisfactory solution for a casual snapshooter who just wants good results without any technical know-how.
    The Olympus P&S models we tried (all from the TG-series waterproof/shockproof line) delivered great results in full auto-everything mode, effortlessly. My friend bought the TG-630 iHS. It's a terrific camera in the $200 range for the casual snapshooter, with surprisingly quick AF and shutter response. It neatly balanced ambient/fill flash in tricky situations without needing to tweak the exposure compensation. The only other P&S I've handled that can manage that as well is the Ricoh GRD4.
     
  61. "That is an alternative Canon tried a couple of times in the past and abandoned".
    I am surprised that you dont know about F3HS
     
  62. Mag: That Nikon tried once and abandoned. :)

    For once, I'm kind of going to agree with Shun on the "D400" situation. I don't think there'll be a D400 that's just a D7100 with a bigger buffer; I would expect a slightly rewarmed D7100 that fixes this at some point (and maybe tries to hit 7fps to match the 700D), but I'm reminded of the old story about two new army recruits: The sergeant asks them to drop and do as many press-ups as they can. The first one does a hundred. The second does one press-up, then collapses. "Aren't you ashamed?" asks the first. "No," says the second: "Tomorrow I'll do two press-ups, and I'll have 100% improvement. What are you going to do?"

    I do think there would be interest in a "D4DX" system (a D2xs successor). There's interest in high frame rates and in pixel density for reach (one reason why I would expect 24MP rather than 16), without the low light performance of the D4. As Shun says, it wouldn't be cheap - I don't see it as cheaper than the D600, for example. This isn't necessarily a problem - it's a specialist item, just as the D800 is better than a D4 for many tasks. It might be alarmingly better than the D4 at some tasks, which is why I might not expect it to appear until a D5 raises the game. The question is how much Nikon could sell it for. I'm not personally after one, but the comments I keep reading seem to assume that it would cost much less than a D4 (or even D600). Less than the D4 I'd believe; less than a consumer camera, not so much. And, in those terms, I've no idea whether Nikon think they can sell any, and whether they'd be right. But then, they weren't right about the 1 series, for the most part.

    As for the handling of the V1, I agree with Lex - I'd use it far more if it was easier to use as a general-purpose camera. It's just about possible to use in manual mode, but it's fiddly. The V2 looks better, but not enough (for me) to pay the premium for it. SLR pricing for compact handling, even without the sensor, just don't make sense - I don't believe it's all a size thing, but maybe that's because I'm male.
     
  63. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    "That is an alternative Canon tried a couple of times in the past and abandoned".
    I am surprised that you dont know about F3HS​
    Actually I did, because I looked up "pellicle mirror": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellicle_mirror
    The F5 was already out in 1996 for the Atlanta Olympics. Adding some F3HS in 1998, two generations behind, is not exactly an achievement.
     
  64. Good link, Shun. Given that... "That Nikon tried twice and abandoned". My apologies. :) (It's interesting that they got to 13fps without starting with an 8fps conventional camera, though.)
     
  65. For once, I'm kind of going to agree with Shun on the "D400" situation. I don't think there'll be a D400 that's just a D7100 with a bigger buffer; I would expect a slightly rewarmed D7100 that fixes this at some point (and maybe tries to hit 7fps to match the 700D)

    I guess not. It's too late now. Perhaps a DX model with an Expeed 4 and new AF system (not the 51 point AF system), would make more sense as the new, and future, DX flagship now, if any...
    Same I think goes for the D700+ that some people are waiting for...it's D800/D800E. Disappointed?...then wait the next generation of Nikon's FX models if you're going to stick with the brand.
     
  66. The iPhone 5s it seems will be announced in September. It will probably offer further photographic improvements which
    will probably make a further dent in the sales of all P&S makers. Such a trend will need attention from all manufacturers,
    in terms of making their P&S more competitive or getting out of the market. Once they can offer zoom and better
    handling why would you buy a P&S over a cell phone?
    What caught my attention recently was the Lumix FMC70 with 20mm to 1200mm equivalent zoom at $399 or euro. For
    someone who has no direct need for such a zoom but would nevertheless find it useful, this is an attractive option to a
    long focus Nikon lens for my D800. Coincidentally last night some friends were showing us some photos from a recent
    trip to New York. One photo stood out. It was made with a 50 times zoom on a cheap P&S. I can't see Nikon though
    deploying gimmick technology to try and stay ahead of the curve.
     
  67. Lex, glad to see you back to photo.net​
    Agree.
     
  68. It's easy to criticize after the result came out. Well, some may have criticized before the result, but who knew it would be good or bad in the end. Many Japanese consumers like Nikon's mirror-less (Nikon 1 has satisfaction scores 4.74 out of 5.00 by the owners), although not the most sold camera. When it fails, it fails. It is what it is.
    Nikon has learned the lesson, hopefully, and let's hope it make better products this fiscal year. And you all meet the better products, too.
     

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