Nikon actually listening to us ?!? -- Survey

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by markogden, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Imagine my shock when I woke up this morning to find a very detailed multiple-choice survey from Nikon in my inbox. The initial questions were heavily weighted around the whole pixel thing, they asked a lot of questions about my attitude towards pixel-counts, how many pixels I would find "adequate" in an FX sized sensor, and other camera features, which were important to me and the like. Plus an odd question about why I did NOT buy a D700, then the usual "what other suggestions can you give us?" type of thing. It struck me that they were looking for some guidance in where to go next, which then led me to believe that they have nothing on the horizon now as far as new bodies go. Did anyone else get this?
     
  2. That survey regarding the D700 has already been reported by the European press, but I'm getting the impression it's being sent only to NPS members.
    It'll be interesting to see the data if they release it later. I'd favor a lower megapickle count in favor of better high ISO performance, but the web CW seems to indicate other folks would squawk if they didn't get 20+ megapickles.
     
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    In this digital era, some new DSLR bodies are always on the horizon. This type of survey is more for setting the direction 2, 3, 4 or more years down the road. Currently most of Nikon's DSLRs are staying at 12MP from the D5000, D90, D300S, D700 to the D3S, with only the D3X at 24MP. However, Canon is pushing for more pixels (at least more than 12M) across the board from the 50D, 7D, 5D Mark 2 to 1D Mark 4. Those are fairly different approaches.
    I for one am quite happy with 12MP, but if photographers in general still prefer more pixels, it can potentially put Nikon in a bad position for years to come if they don't catch up quickly.
     
  4. pge

    pge

    If Nikon is listening, I couldn't give a rat's ass about more pixels.
     
  5. Whatever Nikon or Canon does, one thing is for sure..Their decisions are driven by profits; not necessarily what (we) want or need. If they were, the DSLR's would look and behave differently (ergonomics).
    These surveys while nice in concept, are designed to show (us) that they care (marketing concept); not so much to build a better camera. They could build a better camera based solely on input from pro's and advanced amateurs, but no one could afford it.
    I'd venture a guess in saying Nikon & Canon do not derive their greatest bottom line profits from their pro line of DSLR's. How many P&S's were sold at $200-$300 vs how many D3's?
    I doubt the Nikon or Canon marketing people would release this data to anyone.
    I'm with Shun on this one, 12MP is plenty for me as well, FX or DX, as the mega-pixel marketing game is not aimed at pro's or advanced amateurs.
    I have a hunch 24MP may be the roof for Nikon & Canon DSLR's..Ya' need more pixels?..Talk to Leaf, Hasselblad or Mamiya.
     
  6. I wish we could get something in the middle, I like my 21mp a lot, but wish for better high iso, being able to do fine art prints at 24 x 36 is great. The roof at 24mp ? I think not and the 7D shows that, at full frame the 7D would be 32mp, I do wish Canon would slow down the MP race however, but I also see a lot of Nikon people wanting what the 5D2 offers.
     
  7. I got it and told them I care about quality affordable lenses more than what pixel count a camera has.
     
  8. I don't think this is proof they are listening. Producing cameras that feel like a photog has used/designed them rather than an engineer would be proof.
     
  9. Whatever Nikon or Canon does, one thing is for sure..Their decisions are driven by profits; not necessarily what (we) want or need. If they were, the DSLR's would look and behave differently (ergonomics).​
    Really? In what ways would it "look and behave differently"? Please, try to keep it simple, I've only been working in ergonomics for a quarter of a century.
    The average camera user wouldn't know an ergonomic camera if it trorred up to them and bit them on the rump.
    • Olympus eliminated the left hand "vestigal" area where the film spool used to go on the E-1. People whined so much that they put it back on the E-3, as well as their midline E-400, E-500, E-600, and E-30 series.
    • The aperture ring on the lens is the biggest crime against ergonomics in the history of photography. But 25 years after Canon and Minolta got rid of theirs, and 10 years after Nikon stopped making new lenses with it, people are still whining.
    • Only two companies have ever introduced rotating sensor medium format backs: Fuji and Leaf. Each of them exited the MF back market about 6 months after their respective introductions.
     
  10. "Whatever Nikon or Canon does, one thing is for sure..Their decisions are driven by profits; not necessarily what (we) want or need. If they were, the DSLR's would look and behave differently (ergonomics)."
    Giving clients what they want, and doing it profitably, are not mutually exclusive. IMHO, modern DSLRs are already very good. The real art is in compromise. Clients often have conflicting wants that designers must sort out.
     
  11. Producing cameras that feel like a photog has used/designed them rather than an engineer would be proof.​
    OK, Mark, same challenge as I made Kevin. Tell me what a camera designed by a "photog" would "feel like".
     
  12. >>Whatever Nikon or Canon does, one thing is for sure..Their decisions are driven by profits; not necessarily what (we) want or need.
    This statement doesn't make sense. Profits come from selling cameras. Selling cameras comes from meeting the customers wants and needs.
     
  13. Not sure about the NPS-only theory. I am an NPS member, but haven't received a survey invitation.
     
  14. I use Nikon because they are a nicer camera and it feels good when I hold and use it. Nikon seems to care a lot about the quality of their product. They only make imaging products, so their full concentration would be on its quality and perfomance and it shows. Much of what I see people complaining about is stuff they don't understand, and they don't understand how it functions. And rather complaining about it. Why don't these people take the time to study how their purchased camera works, what are the strengths and weaknesses. Do you know how the sensor works? Or it colour sensors? Why do slr cams generally get better iso performance than compact p/s? If you don't know, take advantage of the internet and learn. Then you will understand what the manufacturers are up against and why they spend millions developing and refining their technology maybe. Some like Canon, some like Nikon, some like Olympic and Pentax. I like Nikon, so I do not worry what the others offer. When we buy anything, that is our own personal choice, no one forced a Nikon or Canon into your hands and said you have to buy it, you made your own mind up.
     
  15. I don't care about megapixels, but then again I just bought a Contax G1 and I also have 17 rolls of film I've been meaning to get developed..
     
  16. I did not get a copy of the survey but it seems that they are focusing their questions on camera bodies. I'm surprised that they didn't ask about lenses since they seem to be lagging significantly in this area. (See Thom Hogans site) I've been waiting for a new 80-400 AFS VR for several years. I have the original 80-400 and while the optics are good, the auto focus just can't keep up with fast college football action. I recently bought a Sigma 120-300 F2.8 HSM and use it to shoot night football games. Outstanding lens, especially at F2.8.
     
  17. I don't see a negative on this. It is nice that Nikon ask your opinion. There is no real way of knowing why they ask these questions but, in this case, I assume it is a mainly a marketing reason to help them to shape their marketing and get their messages to align with the way photogs are thinking. I, too, doubt that it will have much real effect on future models and development, but one cannot know for sure.
    Comments like "I wish Canon would stop the megapixel race" speak of uneasyness to me and an irritation that you know they won't stop this race. Sooner than you would like, you (or we) will be pining for a new high MP low-noise wonder.
     
  18. The aperture ring on the lens is the biggest crime against ergonomics in the history of photography​
    Well, I actually like the aperture ring on the lens. In fact, some experts (you can search in this forum) suggest that if you want precise and repeatable exposures (i.e. time lapse) it is better to set the aperture using the aperture ring on the lens (unless you have a G lens, of course)
     
  19. "I'm getting the impression it's being sent only to NPS members."
    Not me.
     
  20. I don't give a hoot about more pixels. What I want is a compact wide prime. Are ya listening, Nikon execs? Every time I see that Pentax 15mm f4 I wonder why we can't get something like that from Nikon.
     
  21. "Not sure about the NPS-only theory. I am an NPS member, but haven't received a survey invitation."
    According to the survey, only some people were asked: "Names were randomly selected through our customer list.". To me it looked like an attempt to do market analysis, and find out what customers wanted. A range of questions were asked, about a range of issues, and it was not D700 biased. Questions such as "Tick the items that are important to you" with options such as price, image quality, tonal quality, dynamic range and so on.
     
  22. If the pixel count goes up, then these will go down:
    1. frame rate
    2. buffered image capacity for continuous firing
    3. noiselessness
    unless some other new technologies are found to handle [1] and [3]. Obviously [2] can be handled with larger memory buffers but the cost will rise.
    I am in agreement with Shun about the 12Mpix range. I think it is fine as it is; especially, for the FX platform. It is currently noise-free and performs reasonably well in terms of frame rate.
    For improvements, ... when the light is low, I would like to see
    1. higher clarity: yes, the noise is low at high ISO but I noticed that the clarity is good as mud. Color delineation is low.
    2. better AF subsystem that can actually work in low contrast and low light situation without focusing-aid from flash units
    If one needs higher pixel count for non-moving subjects, stitching will give you all the pixels you need.
    If you really need higher pixel count with moving subjects, then get the D3X.
     
  23. Ergonomics isn't the only reason to design an element, such as an apeture ring on something. There is thing called usability. By giving as many options as possible, you can make the user interface better for many people. It is kind of like why there is almost 3 ways to do anything in Adobe programs.
    Oh, and if Nikon was truly listening to us, we would have pro level f4 zooms. It is the only thing from Canon I envy.
     
  24. at full frame the 7D would be 32mp​
    18 MP x 2.25 = 40.5 MP
    I have no idea whether squeezing that many dots onto a 24x36 mm sensor would be efficient, but it's fun to imagine near P45+ resolution in a 35mm body.
    The D3, D700, and (reportedly) D3s do amazing things with 12 MP, but more resolution is always welcome in my book (as long as it's clean). I'd love to have a 20-24 MP High ISO Nikon body for general purposes and a 32-36 MP Low ISO monster for tripod-based work.
    Think of the crops! Think of the enlargements!

    :~D
     
  25. Arthur, on the buffered frame rates, there are three factors. Factor one, which you control, is how fast the card you write to is. Factor two, as you said, is the built in memory. and factor three is the bus speeds between everything. You can increase bus speeds through better designed circuits and materials. We haven't reached the limit of that capability, so there is still advancements to be made. Now, I don't know if the current bus speeds are faster than the cards in use. That could be more of a limiting factor.
     
  26. What am I going to do with 18 vs. 12 MP that is more important than better low-light performance? I'd love to see the type of low-light performance in the D3x in a camera I could afford at the D300 level.
     
  27. Really? In what ways would it "look and behave differently"?​
    Joseph,
    It's a pipe dream and as I said, would not be affordable to the masses.
    1) Built in flash meter
    2) User replaceable shutter
    3) Water proof
    4) Reduced menu driven access..(Three Kings Plus)
    5) Moveable hand contours to accomodate left handed shooters.
    6) Opening back to accomodate film with a movable sensor to accomplish it.
    The list CAN go on, but I hope you see my point. Consumers/pro's would love something like that, yet their desire is secondary to profit..a camera like that would be limited production and cost a arm & a leg.
    ...and yes, there are compromises, yet I maintain my original statement and stand by it, Nikon/Canon are far more profit driven than they are customer design request driven.
    How many professional photogs are driven to purchase a DSLR with movie mode? It's a ridiculous option in my opinion
    as a pro shooter, yet, it does appeal to the masses and it SELLS. If I were forced to define Nikon or Canon as a pro or consumer
    producer of photography goods, I'd have to say photo consumer/rank amateur. Does anyone believe the people who buy P&S's should participate in product design surveys? Ever see the D3s advertised in a Nikon TV ad campaign? I didn't think so.
    Yet that is where the vast majority of Nikon/Canon's profit margin lays; the sub $1000 camera range, probably lower...so no one will ever convince me the Photogs drive their
    concepts. It's more like some engineer says "Hey, I think this widget will sell more cameras boss." SLR's haven't changed that much over the years. The add on's have changed...and these companies spend a ton of money trying to convince us we must have it.
    As far as I'm concerned, take all those little bells & whistles and put the money back into R&D and find ways to bring down the price AND low light noise in the FX sensors. I own a D3 and a D-300; there are options on there I will never use! Can you imagine the money in material and production cost if they would eliminate that crap and instead as Isaid, put it back into R&D where it really counts?..Like lower noise sensors at more reasonable costs for starters.
    This is an old Toyota/Lexus comparison game..same company, different cars yet identical in quality and separated by a price chasm that can not be justified by any intelligent logical person.
     
  28. Just switched to Canon 5dMkII from Nikon D300 + several lenses. Was ready to upgrade to full frame but had a hunch that Canon are looking after its fashion/ studio shooters a bit better than Nikon who seem to be focussed on the sports/ photojournalist segment. At least, that's the impression I got from last few issues of Nikon Pro magazine I get sent through the post (UK version) - virtually nothing on fashion/ studio. Okay - the D3x was sold as a dream for studio shooters. I'm sure it is. But there is no way I can afford it! Also, Nikon have just been too slow at introducing AF-S into their short tele primes. Canon is already on its second incarnation of the 85 f/1.2 USM.
    Nikon produces amazing stuff and I'm pleased they are in the game and keeping Canon on their toes. But their game is exclusively targeted at the low noise, high ISO market when it comes to FX. They still haven't brought the 5dMk II's competitor to market, nor have they refreshed their short tele prime range. Hence my (reluctant) switch to the other brand in photography.
    I'll miss my Nikon, especially its AF, feel and handling.
     
  29. I am contemplating switching to Canon. Nikon (seems to me) is not keeping up with canon.
     
  30. I for one would love to have an upgraded and actually usable 80-400 zoom..... The original one wouldn't track a glacier, much less a bird in flight............
     
  31. OK, Mark, same challenge as I made Kevin. Tell me what a camera designed by a "photog" would "feel like".​
    Specific to the D700:
    Currently sometimes you have to hit the OK button to save the changes you made, sometimes you don't
    A number of menu items cannot be put into my menu
    No 100% viewfinder on non 'pro' models
    Can't use scroll wheels to change values in the menu
    Can't change the exposure delay value to anything other than 1sec
    No dual card slots on non 'pro' models
    No 1/focal length + - option for min shutter speed on auto iso
    Histogram shows jpg values not RAW
    D-pad feel slike it will fall off each time you use it
    Can't switch AF points without activating the meter
    CLS flash system doesn't work reliably enough outside for pro use (ie. it should use radio)
    etc.
     
  32. "OK, Mark, same challenge as I made Kevin. Tell me what a camera designed by a "photog" would "feel like"."
    No offense Joseph, I've worked with many ergo-gineers in the past, and no two were alike. I myself loath menus. I know it's a complicated task, but then again, I don't get paid to design cameras. I would love to see complex menus ELIMINATED and replaced by dedicated buttons. On the other end of the product line, I'd love to see silly marketing features ELIMINATED on narrow focused products (as shown by the new Leica X1).
     
  33. Well, I actually like the aperture ring on the lens.​
    I like 1050's T-Birds. Doesn't alter the fact that they're not particularly ergonomic.
    In fact, some experts (you can search in this forum) suggest that if you want precise and repeatable exposures (i.e. time lapse) it is better to set the aperture using the aperture ring on the lens (unless you have a G lens, of course)​
    I don't have to search the forums. I'm one of the people who's mentioned this. Of course, you get even better repeatability for time-lapse if you remove the lens's stop-down lever totally or if you use lenses with a real collar driven iris (like the 28mm and 25mm PC Nikkors).
    Again, time-lapse shooters are not the demographic that Nikon caters to. If it were, they'd simply modify the shooting cycle for time-lapse in the M or A modes so that the aperture isn't cycled from wide open to shooting aperture on every shot.
    Ergonomics isn't the only reason to design an element, such as an apeture ring on something. There is thing called usability. By giving as many options as possible, you can make the user interface better for many people. It is kind of like why there is almost 3 ways to do anything in Adobe programs.​
    Usability is part of ergonomics. And a camera is not an Adobe program, it's a device. Like a car. There's one steering wheel, one brake pedal, one shifter. And that is part of usability.
     
  34. Kevin, yoru original comment was
    If they were, the DSLR's would look and behave differently (ergonomics).​
    You have just described a list of things that would adversely affect ergonomics.
    1) Built in flash meter​
    Where? I haven't anything but incident metering on my flash meters in years (indeed, on the Minolta IIIF with interchangeable discs and domes, I couldn't even tell you where the disc or the spot attachments are right now. The dome has been on all through the 00's. I challenge you to find a location to place a decent sized dome on an SLR where it won't get in the way of any more critical controls.
    2) User replaceable shutter​
    The shutter is a large, motor driven assembly, precision mounted. To make it user changeable, you're going to need to put a door the size of the mirror box on either the front of the camera (probably bu making the "bull nose", the part of the camera around the lens mount larger) or on the back. These are big doors, and will need a mechanism to weather seal them. You're talking about moving controls, increasing weight and size. Again, you've damaged the ergonomics of the camera. Do you have any figures on the percentage of cameras requiring shutter replacement in their lifetimes.
    3) Water proof​
    That's a truly massive hit to the ergonomics. Ever used a waterproof camera, like a Nikonos. Stiff controls, because of the sealing mechanisms. Large controls, because they're intended to be worked with or without gloves. And virtually no buttons, mostly rotary controls. Buttons "press themselves" under water. Did you know there's a little flooded chamber under the shutter button of the Nikonos? And a very stiff spring, to keep even the shaft from acting as a "plunger" under water pressure.
    4) Reduced menu driven access..(Three Kings Plus)​
    As in "three kings plus two programable function buttons?" We've got that, now. Or do you mean more buttons? Which menu functions would you put on those buttons? A dedicated button for manual lens selection? Dedicated buttons for sharpness or contrast? And let's not forget, we're waterproofing the camera, so those buttons are more likely to be rotary controls. Sort of like the old Nikon D100. Rotate one knob to WB, ISO, or Quality, and another knob to adjust the parameters. Except in order to eliminate all the buttons on the camera, you'd have about 15 positions on the "what to adjust knob", and then still have to use a different knob to make the actual adjustment.

    5) Moveable hand contours to accomodate left handed shooters.​
    And still waterproof? Seriously, try to make the controls movable from the right to the left, and you've eliminated the right and left sides of the camera as places for connectors (when the grip is on the left side, the right hand memory card door is blocked, and the USB and HDMI connectors reside on the left side of the camera. So we relocate the connectors to areas of the body currently occupied by controls. Goodbye to "three kings plus".

    6) Opening back to accomodate film with a movable sensor to accomplish it.​
    Again, you've just totally destroyed the ergonomics of the camera. It's now bigger (places for the film cart and take-up spool inside the camera), has more seams to seal (more weight, size, and cost) and more controls and connectors that have to be moved. And the demand for film is so low (and falling) that you're asking the entire user population to put up with accommodating it in order to satisfy the wants of a very small minority.
    The list CAN go on, but I hope you see my point.​
    No, I'm afraid I don't. You cited "ergonomics" as something that the camera companies are not giving us, then proposed six new features that make such an ergonomic mess of the camera that no one would want to use it.
    How many professional photogs are driven to purchase a DSLR with movie mode?​
    How has the movie mode affected the ergonomics of any of the DSLRs that now have it?
    As far as I'm concerned, take all those little bells & whistles and put the money back into R&D and find ways to bring down the price AND low light noise in the FXsensors.​
    I've explained the real life methods by which R&D is funded many times, and I'm not going into it again. Sufice it to say it's not the "zero sum" alternative you paint it to be. R&D is funded as a percentage of sales (anticipated sales, when figuring the budget for new products). So, if you take away the budget from the bells and whistles, it's simply gone. Poof! Vapors. Your price and low light features have to make a coherent business case to get allocated money of their own.
    I own a D3 and a D-300; there are options on there I will never use! Can you imagine the money in material and production cost if they would eliminate that crap and instead as Isaid, put it back into R&D where it really counts?​
    I own a D3 too, and there are options that I will never use. But, guess what: the ones that I will never use aren't the same as the ones that you will never use. Can you imagine the R&D, marketing, and product distribution nightmare if there were a D3jw for me, a D3kd for you, etc. etc. etc.
    That's why Nikon does market research, to find out the best mix of features to satisfy the needs of the most photographers.
     
  35. Specific to the D700:
    Currently sometimes you have to hit the OK button to save the changes you made, sometimes you don't​
    That one does sound like a flaw that should be addressed. But it's not a differentiation between "a photog has used/designed them rather than an engineer", it's a comment on the competence of the engineer who did those menus. Orthogonality is a fundamental principle of user interface design.

    A number of menu items cannot be put into my menu​
    Again, that's not a photographer vs. engineer issue, it's an inadequacy in the engineers.
    No 100% viewfinder on non 'pro' models
    No dual card slots on non 'pro' models​
    Those are cost issues, and substantial ones.
    Can't use scroll wheels to change values in the menu
    No 1/focal length + - option for min shutter speed on auto iso​
    Isn't it amazing what "ergonomic" means to different people. Here you are saying "add more features", and there's Kevin saying the menus are too complex, and you're both invoking ergonomics to defend your conflicting views. The bigger question is "how many people want those features". Since you're the first I've seen (on two very active sites) mention the scroll wheels and only the second I've seen want to tie auto ISO to 1/fl. That's not "photog" design, it's "one or two far fringe photog" design.
    Can't change the exposure delay value to anything other than 1sec​
    Because remote releases, which let you have any delay you want, are so expensive. A real photographer uses one, and keeps an eye on the action instead of depending on the power of prayer to have you subject not blow, crawl, or fly away in 2, 5, or 10 seconds

    Histogram shows jpg values not RAW​
    What?

    D-pad feel slike it will fall off each time you use it​
    Amazing. Possibly a legitimate complaint on your list. But then again, only a photographer can feel that control, an engineer is (in your little world) too thick to get it.

    Can't switch AF points without activating the meter​
    Because you've got to engage some displays. What's wrong with activating the meter? How much power do you think it takes?
    CLS flash system doesn't work reliably enough outside for pro use (ie. it should use radio)​
    Radio isn't international. That's why you have differnent WiFi units for the North American and European markets, and why Pocket Wizard has to sell radios in different brands in different countries (and why oyu have black, blue, and green Pocket Wizards). You can't legally use the wrong transmitter for your country.
     
  36. No offense Joseph,
    None taken, Petrana. You're so far the only one showing a realistic view of ergonomics. (The "improve the ergonomics by making the camera waterproof" one was epic).
    I've worked with many ergo-gineers in the past, and no two were alike. I myself loath menus. I know it's a complicated task, but then again, I don't get paid to design cameras. I would love to see complex menus ELIMINATED and replaced by dedicated buttons.​
    But then you get into personal taste. Try a design exercise, print the owners manual pages that show the top or back controls for your camera (or any camera that you find interesting) and see how many places you can find to add buttons. Then try drawing a "thumb arc" over them and see how many new buttons can be added in places where you can actually press them. I doubt most camera will accommodate even 4 new buttons. Sure, it's possible to set come cameras to log how often each menu feature is used, give them to the beta testers, and come up with a "generally appealing" pecking order for the assignment of "hard" buttons, but you've seen some of the "back seat driving" in this thread. People want their favorite functions, and if you add 4 new buttons (or even pulled off a miracle and added 10) you're not going to satisfy the guy who wants a 1/f tie in to auto ISO.
     
  37. Aperture rings may not be ergonomic but sub command dials are much worse. Try to move from wide open to smallest aperture, with aperture ring it will take one movement, with the sub-command dial you'll have to move several times your finger
     
  38. This has been a fascinating thread, particularly Joseph's analyses. However, I am curious as to why Joseph doesn't like having the aperture on a ring on the lens barrel. The most comfortable camera I ever handled was the Olympus OM1, that had the aperture on the lens barrel and the shutter speed on a ring just behind to the lens barrel. With my left hand under the body, I could control speed and aperture with thumb and forefinger.
    My custom-built camera, by the way, would have rails designed to be grabbed by an Arca-Swiss clamp on the bottom and on the left side. Not for everyone, but I would like it.
     
  39. Again, you've just totally destroyed the ergonomics of the camera.​
    Given the R&D now AND the mentality of designers who work for turn a buck fast companies, yes.
    You seem to proceed under 2 assumptions.
    1) That manufacturing methods must remain as they are and
    2) There is no way you are wrong about anything.
    Joseph, you may have come from a engineering background, but every "excuse" you wrote as to "why" it can't be done is baseless and founded in the "not invented here" mentality.
    With your way of thinking, nothing would have ever been miniturized, the transistor would never have seen evolution to the current day IC.
    I really don't wish to debate this any further, you have your ideas which seem to be from the 1950's way of manufacturing and I have my ideas.
    To mention only ONE of the reasons you cite "it can't be done"..and it would ruin any decent ergonomics.
    Built in flashmeter: Who said it can't be a incident flash meter?
    Maybe a remote sensor, unclip it from the camera, place and trigger..what's the problem? Surely not a technical problem.
    The technology is here now to accomplish that..Right now; but as I've tried over and over to get across and what you seem to not hear is that this is about what is profitable to a company. It has zero to do with ergonomics..Yes, ergonomics can be made far better but at a cost; a cost most companies will not sacrifice in the name of profit.
    My original postulate: Nikon/Canon doesn't give a hoot about what you think, what I think or what Mr. Super Pro Shooter thinks..
    Their little surveys serve to pacify and placate the masses, and maybe, just maybe if they can accomplish something suggested from a end user and stay in budget; they will scream from the house tops how they listen to "us."
    They think about profits and how to get there regardless if you or I are happy campers. Could they build a better more ergonomically sound camera? You bet they can. Will they? Not unless it can turn a fast buck.
    If scanning were not such a pain in the butt and overly time consuming, I'd be shooting with my med formats now.
    Talk about beautiful ergonomics! Few buttons, gorgeous image quality.
    My old 35mm F5 HP still shoots great..Not many buttons on their either. Great ergonomics.
     
  40. Again, that's not a photographer vs. engineer issue, it's an inadequacy in the engineers.​
    Hmmm?..so the engineers are not communicating with the survey takers?
    OMG. Money..it's all about the money.
    No..It's not that it would cost too much, it's simply too much effort with a risk in upsetting the apple cart.
    Nikon and canon had best take heed and read what's in the wind.
    If they proceed as they are now, a new camera company will arrive one day soon with (everything) the amateur AND pro want in a camera. The 2 camera giants will be left in the dust playing catch up..ask Dr. Demming about how that works.
    Good discussion..thought provoking.
    Joseph, you are a lot like me I think in one regard..Passionate about life in general and wishing for better days ahead.
     
  41. I enjoyed doing the survey because it asked some pretty intelligent questions directed to users like those who partake in this forum.
    Those who have not had the chance would certainly enjoy it — I am glad so many well-informed photographers as those in this very thread have had an opportunity to provide information to Nikon.
     
  42. Personally I think this whole MP race is getting out of hand. How much is enough, and how are we going to have to pay for bodies while Nikon and Canon try to keep up with the Jones'?
     
  43. I would trade high iso speed (low light ability) I need, for pixels I dont need(more detail). Hence, I shoot a d700. I shoot portraits and tend to blur or soften alot already. I dont know about you, but I am always scratching for that extra stop, not that imperceptable detail. I dont print posters often, but last did so with 7 mp and have no criticism. 12? Got room to crop. Isnt this pixel/iso race have a built in limiting factor?- the human eye? Oh, and nikon, how about updating the 17-35.
     
  44. I am a Pentax user, but I appreciated Nikon's approach of sticking with sensors of fewer megapixels but better noise performance - it takes guts to go against popular trends. But Canon puts a lot of pressure on them with the new cameras - I was recently looking at some discussions where guys were really excited over 7D "surpassing" Nikon in noise performance. Nikon must be hearing this and I guess their resolve is getting a bit shaky, hence their survey.
     
  45. I got the survey and I'm not an NPS member.
     
  46. I dunno. Maybe I'm a dinosaur, but my shooting habits and the way I handle a camera have remained fundamentally the same since I bought my first F2 in 1975. As long as the shutter release falls comfortably beneath my right index finger and I've got reasonably easy access to aperture and shutter speed controls, I'm happy. I rarely access any other setting except before or after shooting a particular subject. Hell, I can't remember the last time I chimped, even to look at a histogram.
    Once you get to know a camera, how it meters, how it frames, and how it responds when you want the shutter to open, there's really not much else that matters. For ME, if the camera fits my hand, and has a decent eye-relief, then I'm satisfied with it ergonomically.
    Yes, I'd like more pixels. I'll happily take as many as they want to give me.
     
  47. I also got the survey and I am not an NPS member. In fact, I had to google the acronym to find out what it stood for (Nikon Professional Services). My guess is that Nikon sent the survey to people that had registered buying more than one Nikon digital SLR and/or at least one professional SLR lens. I purchased the 70-200mm f2.8 lens new. I basically told Nikon on the survey that pixel count did not matter as much as Nikon having available great FX lenses like the 14-24mm f2.8 but at a reasonable price.I almost forgot- I mentioned that Nikon needs to release an AFS 80-400mm lens upgrade.
     
  48. I'd certainly like to see the D800 with a FF 24mp sensor. For me, 12mp just doesn't allow enough detail for a models face in a full length portrait.
     
  49. I got the survey and I'm not an NPS member. I liked how in the question about why you like FX cameras, two of the possible answers were basically "Because owning an FX camera makes me feel superior to other people" and "Because I feel good about owning a high-end camera."

    LOL, Nikon market researchers. LOL.
     
  50. I've only been working in ergonomics for a quarter of a century. & Tell me what a camera designed by a "photog" would "feel like".​
    To Joseph Wisniewski, who cares if you worked in ergonomics for 25 years, people are allowed to have an opinion here. Most likely you have worked in the Sarcasm, Know All & Right at All Costs department all your life. Typical of your response on this forum.
     
  51. For Les Ens, just to put the record straight "Nikon only make imaging equipment". Sorry but they make a heck of a lot more than that, surveying equipment, spectacle lenses, eyetesting equipment, binoculars, fieldscopes and more. Maybe you mean optical equipment which would be more accurate. But then as a part of Mitsubishi.......
    Yes Nikon do listen to their customers in the same way that Canon do through their website and user database. All manufacturers do. Perhaps the problem is that they listen to what the majority of customers would like and not just the keener and more sophisticated users. We can all point to the more pixel / more noise issue but to the average Joe (and yes they do buy SLRs) more pixels means better. Maybe it's about time that the manufacturers started to try to educate the end users, in fact I think there is more than a hint of this in the marketing of the Canon G11 which has less pixels than expected and for which Canon claim better results. Then again please don't hold your breath for the new 10MP full frame SLR from any manufacturer!
     
  52. Not sure about the NPS-only theory. I am an NPS member, but haven't received a survey invitation.​
    I am not a member, have a d700, got the survey. I answered that affordable quality lenses for FX would be on my wishlist, like a 20ish - 85 ish f4
    Re the ergonomics, maybe that is not the right word, but I like that a Nikon slr feels like a Nikon slr. The d200 felt similar to my F3 which felt similar to my Photomic Tn. When I picked up the d700 for the first time it just fit my hand.
    And I sort of miss the aperture ring and the DOF scales on lenses. Redundancy of function is not necessarily a bad thing.
     
  53. I miss the aperture ring as well, as I miss analog volume knobs at most car stereos.
    A real analog know that is 360 degree accesible/turnable is tha fastest and most intuitive way to change a numerical scale.
    I hate up/down buttons to change things where I have to ajust sometimes in small steps and sometimes in big steps.
    Right hand: Shutter release, time, left hand: aperture/zoom (and focus in former times).
    One can argue that 3 functions for left hand was overload, but with focus being automatic, that is no longer valid.
    How many functions are put on right hand nowadays? ususally you have shutter release, aperture/time/EV corretion, selection of AF field, meter mode and many more on right hand, and left hand is is used to support camera and zoom.
    Nonsense.
     
  54. Well Nikon, in case you are accidently reading this thread: please give free the source code of the driver programs and the communication protocols of the electronics you are manufacturing or have been manufacturing in the past. Even it will not increase instantly your profit, users will keep on enjoying your products now an in the future, even if your, or third-party, software has become obsolete or does not work properly anymore on whatsoever new Operating System. So it will give you more credits.
    To be more specific: I am struggling already for a long time to get working the Nikon 9000 scanner working properly with the SANE project, which is Free and Opens Source Software supporting many scanners on different Operating Systems, among Linux.
    So for god's sake, please give free the source code of the driver software and the communication protocols of your electronics. You won't loose anything, only credits by (aspirant) users of your products in case you won't. I'll pass to buy new electroncs that strongly depend on the use of the Computer if its drivers are closed source. Which includes the risk the device will be obsolete after two or three years, when again a new sloppy MS-WIN is issued and lacking the drivers I need.
     
  55. I vote for a 6x9 folder. Not much interest in pixels.
     
  56. Justin, you said:
    two of the possible answers were basically "Because owning an FX camera makes me feel superior to other people" and "Because I feel good about owning a high-end camera."​
    Having designed questionnaires, I have used what I would call "social desirability distractors" that help to calibrate your responses. There were more than a few in the survey - the ones you noted among them. In other places they had other "silly bugger" statements that might serve to narrow the field of respondents.
    For instance, knowing the calibre of discourse in this forum, I doubt many here would want a PnS photographer providing significant input to Nikon about hi-end DSLR design. Nikon may feel the same way and discard silly bugger statements.
     
  57. I want a digital in my F3 body. There's a camera that felt like it was designed by a photographer!
     
  58. My 2 cents: I like more pixels so I can corp smaller pieces from the frame. However, if the clarity is not there what's the point? I think my D50 (6mp) delivers sharper images than my D90 but they can't be cropped very much. Before I'd go beyond 12mp I'd want better ISO (lower noise) and all the other things that increase sharpness. If I could afford a D700 I'd have one. I like to see Nikon hold it's own with Canon and know my collection of lenses will work on bodies of the future. Resolution should increase as long as there's a demand for it but beyond 12mp other things should take priority.
     
  59. Here's what a camera store manager told me:
    When the D700 first came out, the cameras were flying off the shelves. When Canon came out with the 5D Mark II, D700 sales tanked to just about nothing and the Mark II sold like hotcakes.
    On the face of it , it looks like folks want megapixels above all. But you really can't be sure until you drill down into the data and get people's opinions. It could very well have been some other feature about the Mark II that folks wanted.
     
  60. More megapixel... sure, like I'm not having enough fun downloading 12 gigs of raw files as it is?

    12-16mp at the current noise levels seems to be ample.
    Croping? Sorry, but I find that cropping is not what photography is about. To me, I've always thought of myself as a painter in this sense, am I going to paint on my entire canvas, and once I'm done cut off some of what i just painted? I'm going to paint what I want to convey. Now, granted, this is only applicable in an artistic sense and has nothing to do with photojournalism, where space and impact and context and relevance are key factors.
    Has everyone been needing to go back and take old photos with a new D3x so they can re-crop?
    I'm glad Nikon is at least asking it's customers what they want.
     
  61. Nikon needs to meet the specs of Canon, plain and simple.
    I am their target buyer and am patiently waiting for the D800. However, if they don't come out with something within a few months I am going to the Canon 7D or 5DMkII.
    So, while some might not care about pixels or video, to me I say "why wouldn't I want those?". If I can have an exceptional quality camera with those features for the same price, then that's what I will choose.
    It seems pretty black and white to me - if you have a Ferrari with 500hp and a Lamborghini with 300hp for the same price...people are going to buy the Lamborghini.
    If, indeed, this is a true survey for the D800 then it is too little too late and they'll lose a potential life longer buyer like myself. My money is that they are finish up the D800 and just confirming the final details and how to market it.
     
  62. Kevin, quite an impressive tantrum. I'd hate to be around you in person when you lose an argument.
     
  63. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As one of the moderators here, I'd like to remind everybody that this thread is about the fact that Nikon USA is conducting a survey. It is not really a thread for you to post your "wish list" to Nikon, although people frequently do that here.
    If somehow you are not receiving a survey from Nikon, as I am not getting one even though I am a registered D700 owner, and you would like your opinions heard, it is best to contact (your local) Nikon office yourself. I have no idea whether they read threads such as this one or not.
    And please focus on the topic and debate our disagreements; it is best to keep personal comments to a minimal.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  64. OK, several people have comments about the aperture ring, so I guess I am going to go into that again. Hector, bear with me, I did yous last.
    Holger: A real analog know that is 360 degree accesible/turnable is tha fastest and most intuitive way to change a numerical scale. I hate up/down buttons to change things where I have to ajust sometimes in small steps and sometimes in big steps.​
    But camera's don't have up/down buttons for aperture. They have dials, edge on. An intuitive method of controlling both the magnitude and speed of a motion. Aperture rings on cameras aren't "360 degree accessible/turnable". You can access maybe 1/3 of the ring circumference because of how you hold the camera (why some aperture rings had nubs or paddles to make operating them easier). p.s. what is a "real analog"?
    Francisco: Aperture rings may not be ergonomic but sub command dials are much worse. Try to move from wide open to smallest aperture, with aperture ring it will take one movement, with the sub-command dial you'll have to move several times your finger​
    Do you, by any chance, shoot a Sony? On a Nikon, it takes two movements on the dial, if the camera is on 1/3 stop mode. If you really want to match that "good old manual control feel", you can put the camera on full stop increments for shutter and aperture, and then a single stroke of a command dial will take you from wide open to fully stopped down. There's also a "fast shift" mode that I've never used (on D100, D2X, D3, D90) that lets you use one of the thumb buttons to switch the aperture and shutter momentarily to full stop mode.
    But I am having trouble seeing your particular used case as anything but a "straw man". How often do you shift the aperture from wide open to fully stopped down? Is the main reason you do it because the last time you used a particular lens, that lens was at f16 outdoors, and you're now indoors shooting available light? One of the beautiful things about camera body aperture control is that it affects every lens. Set up your landscape shot, stop down to f11, then if you switch from the 50mm to the 35mm, it's instantly at f11, no need to adjust the lens, at all.
    Hector: This has been a fascinating thread, particularly Joseph's analyses. However, I am curious as to why Joseph doesn't like having the aperture on a ring on the lens barrel. The most comfortable camera I ever handled was the Olympus OM1, that had the aperture on the lens barrel and the shutter speed on a ring just behind to the lens barrel. With my left hand under the body, I could control speed and aperture with thumb and forefinger.​
    Thanks. The analysis is part of a "book in my head" on ergonomics, a work in progress. Now, back you your OM1, I'm betting you didn't use any of the heavier lenses. I remember shooting a Nikon FM2 with my usual 3 lens kit being a 50mm f1.8 (170g, it was the pancake version, 27.5mm long, a shade over an inch, not the "fake big lens" version that replaced it), a 105mm f2.5 (435g, and 75mm long, but one unique feature of the Xenotar (often mistakenly called a "Gauss") design is that the center of gravity is pretty far back in the lens, almost in the middle), and either a 28mm (250g, 44mm long) or a 20mm (260g, 42mm long). Often two lenses in pockets, and one on the camera on a neck strap (those were happy days).
    But I often ran into jobs where I needed a 70-200mm f4, an 80-200mm f2.8, or a 300mm f4. Things just kept getting worse and worse. Even though I shoot a full frame digital now, my most often used "normal" isn't the 50mm f1.8, or even the 50mm f1.4 (230g, 42.5mm long), it's the 24-70mm f2.8 (900g, 133mm long). The 70-200mm f2.8 (1470g, 230mm long) is another lens that gets held for long sessions. The little 105mm f2.5 with it's center of gravity pretty far back typically is ignored in favor of the 135mm f2.0 DC (870g, 120mm long, and a center of gravity near the front of the lens).
    Large weight * distance = torque. The big lenses have focus and zoom rings placed where it's convenient to work them with your hand near the center of gravity of a lens+camera system. The camera balanced. Slide your hand back to the aperture ring, and suddenly you're dealing with large amounts of torque. That's not only awkward (camera pitching forward and twisting left)but it's possibly injurious to your hands.
    Here's somethign I wrote a few days ago on dpReview (it's really strange how different issues seem to have a "time", suddenly there's ergonomic discussions on several sites) concerning the ergonomics of the aperture ring. (Moderator, since I wrote it, I give myself permission to quote it at length). (It's amazing how much of the formatting was retained from the copy and paste. Only took two edits to remove a linked graphic smiley and fix the double line spaces to get it looking good. But I digress...)
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1018&message=33842600
    Here's some of the effects of an aperture ring on the lens.
    • Camera pitching forward - The right hand supports a camera from a point that is almost always behind the center of gravity. The left hand supports it from underneath, near the center of gravity. When you have a telephoto, or even a heavy normal like a 50mm f1.4, moving the left hand back far enough to work the aperture ring means that both hands are now behind the center of gravity, and the camera's tendency is to pitch down. The only way to pitch it back up is with tension on the right hand, employing both radial deviation (bending the wrist towards the thumb) and heavy flexion (bending the fingers inwards). The flexion is especially heavy on the first two fingers.
    • Stretching and pounding the carpel tunnel - The movement from the relatively neutral "hand under lens" position to the "hand under camera body" position increases supination (outward rotation) and flexion (outward bending) on the left wrist, while at the same time demanding operations of the flexor and extender tendons on the first finger and thumb (to work the aperture ring), and dragging the camera baseplate across the extended carpel tunnel (tendons tensed and vulnerable) and median volar nerve. It's an RSI waiting to happen.
    All camera manufacturers have access to that sort of ergonomic data, so in 2009, to have aperture rings is negligent, almost criminally so.
    Those are the most serious (as in "injurious") aspects of ergonomics. There's also workflow aspects.
    • Studio flash use - When you set aperture with an on-camera control, that aperture setting is retained if you change lenses. In a studio, that means you change aperture once, on the camera, when you change your flash setup.
    • Speed and accuracy - Changing the aperture from a well set up camera body control is faster than changing it from the lens. I've timed it, on multiple subjects. There are many people who say the lens ring is faster, but they state that from opinion, without timing it.
    • Variable aperture lenses - These have been in use since before the digital or autofocus days. One of my favorite lenses is still an old 70-210mm f4-5.6 Nikkor. It has an aperture ring, but you have to do math to use it. The labeled f4 setting is only right at 70mm. It is really f5.6 at 210, f4.3 at 90mm, etc. Try using that with studio flash. The on-camera control lets you set and see the real aperture. And, if you're trying to stay above an aperture where diffraction limits your sharpness, it's a lot easier of you can always see the real aperture, instead of having to wonder "ok, how do I get a real f11 at 210mm. Do I set the lens to f8?"
    • Macro lenses - As you extend a lens for higher magnification, the effective aperture drops. You lose two stops going to 1:1. The on-camera control lets you see what the real aperture is, which is handy both for flash use and for keeping track of diffraction.
    Then there's weather sealing. In order to prevent dust, moisture, and water drop infiltration, rings (aperture, focus, zoom) have soft (typically felt or foam) gaskets or hard (interleaved ring) catch rings. Those sort of gaskets only work if they're reasonably wide, so surface tension keeps the fluids from wicking too far into the gasket area. Focus rings can be made wide enough, and zoom rings can easily be made wide enough, but aperture rings are fixed by the design of the lens, a certain (relatively small) diameter to tie into legacy aperture mechanisms, and a certain small width because the lens typically needs to widen out quickly past the aperture ring. Narrower ring, narrower seals, and higher pressure. Smaller diameter than the focus or zoom rings, higher resistance. A sealed aperture ring would turn as stiffly as a faucet handle. ;)
    Strangely enough, the aperture ring on the lens advocates often turn their simple nostalgia into a near religious issue, using hyperbole like "always find it so much faster" (they've never timed it) or "a dial with 100 different functions embedded" (when aperture is the default function). They site conspiracies to pinch pennies "aperture rings cost money" (then why were they dropped on a lens like a Nikon 70-200, which adds everything but the kitchen sink, including three "focus lock" buttons?). Some even use the word "ergonomics", without having any idea how poor the ergonomics of an aperture ring really are.
     
  65. Shun, my apologies for typing my long ergonomic digression while you were making your "stay on topic" comment.
     
  66. Joseph - "Now...I'm betting you didn't use any of the heavier lenses."
    It's a little long-winded, but your argument in favor of command dials over aperture rings on long, heavy lenses is the one and only argument I've heard that holds any water. I shot for a long time, using only small, manual focus lenses (nothing longer than the 105) and the aperture ring was never an issue, but now that I'm using heavier AF lenses, I find that the command dial works better for me. Having said that, I'm still disappointed that Nikon did away with the aperture ring. I'd like to be able to use my newer lenses with my F4, but it's not worth the trouble.
     
  67. Joseph's insights into ergonomics issues resonated with me. As a (former) occupational safety and health inspector I attended some training courses in workplace ergonomics, just enough to have a passing familiarity with the subject.
    But, to put it personally, Nikon dSLRs simply felt better in my hands. I tried various Canon EOS 35mm SLRs and, later, dSLRs, but none felt quite right in my hands. The placement of the forward control dial in particular felt very awkward to me. After injuries limited the range of motion of my right wrist I was very aware of ergonomics and the best feeling models were Nikons and Olympus dSLRs. Since I already had some Nikkors from my F3HP and FM2N, it made sense to stick with Nikon. My only complaint now is the D2H and comparable pro bodies are too heavy for me to enjoy using comfortably. But the smaller models I've tried since then - D50, D200, more recently the D90 - share similar ergonomics and feel "right" in my hands.
    As well, Joseph's observations regarding the OM-1 design match my own. The placement of the shutter speed dial was odd but it was relatively easy to adapt - as long as no long or heavy lenses were involved. I used the OM series almost exclusively for available light photography with small, fast primes. The few times I tried telephotos the joy of these small, lightweight bodies tended to disappear.
    Overall, I find the D2H to be the closest to ergonomically friendly camera I've used - except for the weight. But the placement of the controls is generally good and the grip seems comfortable. And I had no trouble adapting to the forward control dial for adjusting the aperture, despite decades of having used an aperture ring around the lens barrel. It feels quite natural. So, if Nikon is indeed listening to us, hopefully they'll improve on what already works.
     
  68. I prefer the ergonomics of teh Nikons, too, and that is why I am holding out for teh D800. I will admit, though, that the 7D is pretty nice and better than the 5DMkII.
     
  69. Filled my survey in today, but I've had it since about Thursday. I live in the UK (i.e. Europe by Nikon categorisation) and recently registered my digital SLR on their website, so that's probably why they emailed me.
    Seems heavy on the pixel-count thing. I reckon they just want a new marketing handle for mid/high-end DSLRs. The "wish-list" could be there for any number of reasons - I hammered the "more FX lenses" thing and (for us Europeans, who are paying "over the odds" for Nikon hardware in general) bundled Capture NX2. At those prices, this should be a given!
     
  70. While not an NPS member I also received the survey.
    I was surprised at the detailed questions regarding the above mentioned specifics about digital photography.
    As others above I indicated that 12MP was plenty and that a wide dynamic range was the most import feature for me in a DSLR and I indicated that as a serious factor for my D700 purchase of four months ago, other than the questions relating to DX or FX preferences.
    I also noted my desire for more new, wide angle primes rather than more zooms.....and that I would prefer Nikon put an aperture control on all their new lenses.
     
  71. If they'd listen to me: there are only small refinements necessary for a D700 to become a D800:
    100% viewfinder
    User-selectable shutter delay to 2 sec, in order to have a decent one-touch MLU
    Bracketing steps up to 3 EV values to facilitate HDRs
    May be an updated sensor, something between D3x and D3s, say 18 meg pixels and yet slightly higher high ISO
    Did I mention a 100% viewfinder?
    Forget about video
    More effective sensor cleaning mechanism
    Lower shutter noise
    100% viewfinder...
     
  72. I want a 24-120 f/4 VR lens to use on my D700.
    I'm very happy with my D700 except that the viewfinder image seems shifted to the left so that the "extra" image one gets in the file seems all to the right of the image. Makes framing difficult when I want to shoot without cropping.
    A 100% viewfinder would fix that but so would a central placement for the viewfinder image.
     

Share This Page