P6000 with raw support and integrated GPS

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ilkka_nissila, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Nikon annouced some new Coolpixes. What is interesting is that they managed to integrate GPS into a small compact
    camera body (P6000). It would therefore seem logical that in new DSLRs, there would also be integrated GPS. I
    can't wait for this! I use a 3rd party device which is really compact and works well but it's still an additional
    component that needs to be attached and takes up a port in my DSLR.

    What is not so good is that they put 13.5 MP in a 0.4 cm^2 (!) sensor. This is crazy! I wonder how much damage
    this does to the image quality.

    I'm thinking of getting one of these things and putting it on an RC helicopter for some interesting viewpoints in
    the countryside.
     
  2. "I'm thinking of getting one of these things and putting it on an RC helicopter for some interesting viewpoints in the
    countryside."

    Ilkka, I never would have suspected this side of you. ;-)

    My theory is that Nikon already has GPS installed in all our digital SLRs, so they always know where we are. :-0
     
  3. Well... it looks like really great kit in so many ways but I think Ilkka is likely right about the image quality.

    Judging from the sample photos at nikon's page

    http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/digitalcamera/coolpix/p6000/index.htm

    the sensor is remarkably good at ISO 64. But there aren't any full-size samples at any higher sensitivities, and the fact that ISO 3200 and 6400 are only available at three megapixels and below does rather suggest to me that we aren't going to see Fuji F100fd-style performance here. We'll have to wait and see. Judging by the performance of the predecessor, I am not that optimistic.

    But then it does have lens-shift VR, which will hopefully work quite well, and support for iTTL flashes, so I imagine that as an events camera it's going to be quite usable.
     
  4. Yikes, it has a new RAW format, NRW?! I'd be very tempted to pick this up if it could shoot a true NEF file. I've been thinking to replace my Canon A620, which shoots a 7.1mp file and no RAW format. It's OK for low-priority photos, but I've often wanted a worthy backup to my D300, and the P6000 looks like it would be that, IF it could produce an NEF file. What was Nikon thinking???
     
  5. B&H list it as approx. arrival October. Too bad, if I could snap one up before leaving for Europe next month I'd probably do so. Looks like it might be the Canon G9 after all, which should still be a good small camera to supplement my D300.
     
  6. I realize that 28mm equivalent is considered wide for a P&S, but it's too bad Nikon didn't bring back a little of the Coolpix 8400 and give the P6000 a 24mm equiv. lens.
     
  7. What was Nikon thinking???

    They were thinking you'd like a nice, shiny new copy of Capture NX - that's what they're thinking!

    But they'll make far more money selling Ilkka the same camera over and over again as he wrecks them in small but spectacular helicopter crashes.

    Ilkka: I'd LOVE to see some output from such a project. Fascinating. Having played, many years ago, with an early RC 'copter, I'd wonder if the vibration would present too much of a problem. I guess on a larger vehicle with very well balanced rotors, it might work... but I'd still worry about the fuel/exhaust spray on the camera. You'd have to build it a nice little enclosure. Don't you dare do something like that without posting a shot of the rig, and what you get out of it. Fun!
     
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    It looks like features such as built-in GPS, some video capture, sensor cleaning ... will soon be standard features on high-end DSLRs. Add those with the expanded memory buffer should produce a pretty nice, improved D3s.
     
  9. I agree, built-in GPS would be very cool. I am thinking of getting some sort of GPS deal for my D300 when I'm in London, but I don't want to have some dorky dongle hanging from the camera when I'm shooting...
     
  10. >They were thinking you'd like a nice, shiny new copy of Capture NX - that's what they're thinking!

    Well that's what I'd have thought they were thinking! But according to dpreview:

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0808/08080702nikonp6000.asp

    'Capture NX, Capture NX2 and NEF files are not compatible with NRW (RAW) images.'

    Which is just plain odd...
     
  11. Incompatibility with Capture NX2 rules it out for me ... and I was waiting to buy one since the first announcement several months ago. This is as short-sighted as leaving the bracketing button off the D300.
     
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Apparently those NRW files can be converted with NikonView NX but on Wimdows machines only.
    If you are an Apple Mac user, you are out of luck.
    That indeed seems to be a strange restriction, but perhaps I don't understand it correctly.
     
  13. And View NX doesn't do a fantastic conversion.. so all in all.. this new NRW format is a big loser for Nikon. And whoever in marketing thought of it should be fired.
     
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If it is merely a software issue, I am sure Nikon can fix it easily with a future version of Capture NX2 or Adobe can fix it with the Camera RAW soon. Hardware issue such as the missing bracket button on the D300 and D700 are more long-term problems (for as long as you are using that camera).
     
  15. The reason it is windows-only is because they are relying on microsoft's raw converter thing. Perhaps the only thing necessary for it to work on the Mac is for Apple to similarly support it.

    As to all this complaining about a new raw format... it's a compact camera with probably quite a lot of on-camera image processing. It seems to me that maybe this raw file needs to communicate data that NEF can't, or in a format that NEF can't. Adobe will rapidly support it with Camera Raw, either way.

    But if I was in the market for one, I don't think this would be the main thing holding me back. I'd want to see if it is as ghastly and reliant on on-camera processing at ISO 400 as every other nikon compact for two years has been.
     
  16. Shun, the bracketing button problem could also be fixed in software by making more of the buttons dual-function in the functions that matter - like bracketing. It's a lame fix, but it would sell more cameras.
     
  17. I have used and passed on to relatives the Canon Powershots A80 (now in Iraq), A95 (now with my daughter) and
    A620 (now with my wife). I currently use the Canon A650IS (as well as a Nikon D200). Nikon got my hopes up with
    the P5000 and P5100, but both got tepid reviews.

    BTW, I have made excellent 12 by 18 inch prints from the 5 meg A95. I like the use of AA batteries, a flexible
    LCD and a camera one can get a could grip on. That's why I passed on the G9.

    I never take photos in machine gun mode, nor require extreme telephoto. With adequate ambient light (EV 10 or
    higher) and with low end ISO settings, the advantages of a DSLR over a good P&S are marginal in terms of IQ, and
    the smaller cameras are much more portable. Heresy, I know.
     
  18. Why the concern over the NRW RAW format? Even if it were NEF, wouldn't we have to wait for an upgrade to our s/w before we could convert the file, anyway? At least that's been the case with the release of most of the DSLRs.

    larsbc
     
  19. By the time the camera is released, ViewNX will be upgraded to support it. However, it appears there is no such intent to have support in NX, much less Adobe. And then there is the issue of non-support for Macs.

    I think other than this limitation -- which is a dealbreaker for me -- it sounds to be a pretty neat P&S. Thom Hogan obviously doesn't agree because he gave it a clear two thumbs down.
     
  20. Well no NEF no purchase for me. I'm thinking Canon G9 this time. Sorry Nikon, you tried, you failed.
     
  21. On reflection, I'd say wait and see on this one. There are lots of other unknowns at the moment (is the AF any good? what's the noise like at 800 ISO?). Unless NRW is a wildly unconventional raw format (or perhaps not a real raw format at all!) it may be very easy for ACR, dcraw, Aperture, Bibble, PhaseOne and the rest to support it. Raw files even from completely different manufacturers tend to be broadly similar in structure, and the authors of 3rd party converters have had few difficulties in supporting all the existing formats (even oddball files like those from the Foveon sensors, or those with encrypted metadata). If Nikon can't or won't support NRW in CNX2 or Mac VNX (as dpreview suggests), then that's only a problem for diehard NX users and the Nikon software sales division.
     
  22. Difficult for me as well to understand what's magic or critical about having NEF.

    I doubt Nikon would include a raw format so limited -- or limiting -- that most users will be unable to make use
    of it. Keep in mind that these users, a number of whom are on Macs, are the same folks for whom the raw has been
    included.

    My first take:

    - very pleased to see 28mm on the wide end and very decent zoom range

    - pleased that the 'grippy' looking body has been preserved

    - pleased that the optical viewfinder is still there (though I know it's small)

    - not too bothered by f/2.7 - 5.9

    - bothered by 13.5 mpxls on a small sensor, which I regard as a bad thing, not a good thing

    - incredulous at the inclusion of 6400 iso, so that we might have "new opportunities to take sharper, more
    natural-looking photos in lower light conditions." ** How naiive does Nikon believe we actually are ? :)

    - hoping that one can pre-set and preserve a manually focused distance for fairly quick street snapping, which
    is what I like to do, and hoping also that this is a reasonably responsive camera when left in autofocus --
    something I'd say has been a persistent weakness in the top-of-line Nikon compacts for several years

    Let's see what happens when the camera materializes.

    ** My quote comes from the Nikon web page describing the new P6000:

    http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Nikon/Product/Digital-Camera/26135/COOLPIX-P6000.html
     
  23. I'm mostly unsurprised that Thom doesn't like this new beastie, but I'm tremendously surprised to see him recommending the Panasonic LX-3. This camera is not yet out, the technical press seem to be being asked by Panasonic not to show preproduction sample images at greater than 640x480, and the only sample images coming from Panasonic themselves are ISO 80.

    Any full res images I have seen look pretty scrappy at ISO 400 or above, although it's fairly clear that some of the test shots from journalists show more the limitations of the journalist than the camera.

    So they are really doing what Nikon is doing; telling us it has extended sensitivity, but then only showing its slowest. I am unimpressed.
     
  24. Again on the NEF thing, I'm just not seeing why everyone is panicking here. Larry Anon and Richard Williams have it right. NEF isn't a single, immutable, cross-device-compatible format. It would be possible for a new NEF-producing camera to come out with exactly the same restrictions as this one has. We've seen this before. Every new Nikon needs new support from application manufacturers, and Nikon has thrown worse spanners in the works than a new raw format, before now. Encrypted white balance data, anyone?

    If you are concerned, don't take the weird wording of a press release as final. Nikon's press release can only speak for Nikon, and you are reading intent where no clear indication of it exists, from what I can see. Contact Bibble, Adobe, Apple, etc., and find out what the likelihood of support is.
     
  25. "Contact Bibble, Adobe, Apple, etc., and find out what the likelihood of support is."


    Very enthusiastic as one can imagine. See e.g.:

    http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/?13@763.ID35iqIOSWh@.59b61a1b

    A new restriction in RAW format conversion is just what we need - especially in view of the history of
    "excellent" software rom Nikon. Nikon must be out of their mind.
     
  26. "If it is merely a software issue, I am sure Nikon can fix it easily with a future version of Capture NX2 ..."

    Perhaps in a few month we need to pay for an upgrade for NX2->NX3 that might come in cheap at 99US$ to be amazed
    by the benefits of the new Nikon RAW format ^^.

    Or perhaps NX3 with WIC support and conversion into a MAC NEF format will be a "completely new" product like it
    happened to me with Nikon camera control (just to set the shutter speed and trigger the camera going from D200 to
    D3) and there is no "cheap" upgrade^^.
     
  27. Still, I am interested in this camera.

    If image quality (please enlighten me, what is this "IQ" that I read in every 3 photo.net postings?? Is it "image quality" ? "Intrinsic?" "Internal"..) is excellent up to ISO400 at least, my interest is raised even more. 'Manual focus' is promised, hopefully through a direct ring around the lens! And the GPS feature is absolutely nice to have, for recording natural history data, for example.

    ...Should I continue saving & salivating for the D700 first?
     
  28. 'A new restriction in RAW format conversion is just what we need - especially in view of the history of
    "excellent" software rom Nikon. Nikon must be out of their mind.'

    It's quite possible that NRW will have no more restrictions than NEF does, and I think the WIC support discussed
    on the Adobe forum may be a red herring. NEF files are also supported by WIC if you install Nikon's codec, but
    this doesn't mean that NEFs can only be read via WIC. If NRW has a standard Bayer pattern and a conventional
    (unencrypted, not deliberately obfuscated) file structure, then I imagine it will be supported quite quickly by
    3rd parties in exactly the same way they support other file formats (i.e., straightforward reverse engineering -
    no mainstream raw converters use Nikon's own full NEF SDK , and as Thomas Knoll suggests WIC isn't suitable for
    ACR-style raw converters even under Windows).
     
  29. Richard reversed engineering is limited by legal restrictions. The short lived Nikon encryption of the white balance data in NEF files was not a tough job for reverse engineering but may have required some illegal actions and Adobe was careful not to go along this road.
     
  30. Sounds like fail: "But, though it has raw capability, the P6000 doesn't shoot Nikon's NEF format, instead producing .NRW files using Windows Imaging Component under Vista"

    Given that many of the people wanting raw capability are serious photogs are likley to be using a mac I do not understand this at all.
     
  31. I suppose the idea here is that every Windows application will be able to read the NRW files without going through a raw converter outside of the operating system. It's a convenience feature (for the expected user base). I wonder what software will eventually emerge that will be able to edit the NRW files. Perhaps there will be an option to do it using Microsoft software.

    Macs ... yes, but a Mac user is likely to be a serious photographer, not a point and shoot user. ;-)
     
  32. 'Richard reversed engineering is limited by legal restrictions.'

    Yes, potentially it is, but only if it involves breaking encryption, etc. (as in your example). Adobe reportedly
    only uses a small piece of Nikon code (the so-called 'mini SDK') to decrypt white balance (and as you suggest,
    purely for legal reasons). Everything else (and support for nearly every other raw format) is done by reverse
    engineering, since hardly anyone publishes their formats. Incidentally, I don't think Nikon ever stopped
    encrypting a portion of the metadata - a quick look at the ExifTool Nikon.pm code suggests it's still necessary
    to invoke the decryption function to read MakerNote data from even the D300 etc. But Nikon has chosen not to
    change the infamous 'xlat' encryption/decryption key in the later models even though they must know it's been
    compromised. Let's hope that means they've learned their lesson and won't start playing games again with the NRW
    format...
     
  33. [[thinking to replace my Canon A620, which shoots a 7.1mp file and no RAW format. ]]

    Off-topic here, but you can indeed shoot RAW files with your A620. It just takes a 3rd party tool that sits on your memory card.

    http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
     
  34. They asked the wrong question on that Adobe forum, as far as I can tell.

    Of course Adobe aren't going to support WIC (they would be nuts to re-engineer their app to support a competitor's technology).

    The question they should have asked was whether the P6000's raw format is to be supported, not WIC.
     
  35. IMO, Nikon had an opportunity to finally offer a P&S that could appeal to DSLR users who shoot RAW. Yes, I often
    take a P&S with the rest of my gear. Comes in handy sometimes for the 'better to get something than nothing'
    shot. I guess Nikon doesn't see me as part of their target market.

    JPEG shooters won't use the RAW, NEF users will be frustrated with it. So just who is the market for this camera?
    Since most P&S users only shoot JPEG anyway, why not leave out RAW altogether as Nikon has done in the
    past? By adding this limited RAW conversion, who do they hope to attract?
     
  36. I think the idea behind NRW is that every application will see the exact same image. As opposed to NEF, where
    changes made in Nikon Capture NX cannot be correctly read by other programs like Lightroom, and vice versa. So
    the image looks different in every program you can open it with. Nikon doesn't like this, hence they try to
    monopolize the raw conversion algorithm and incorporate it into Windows as a WIC codec. This way, all
    applications will be able to read the image but how much control over the raw conversion there will be in the
    applications, I have no idea. Perhaps there will be a little control, similar to what is provided in the camera
    post-processing options, or the upcoming version of ViewNX which supports NRW. In any case it's a closed format.
    They don't want other applications to directly access the data and do the bayer interpolation with non-Nikon
    algorithms. That doesn't mean there won't be any benefits over JPG.
     
  37. Even Mac OSX 10.5 can read NEF in the finder and display them with quick look. I doubt NRW format will act this way. Sad. I am looking for a small point and shoot like this to supplement my photography. If quality is good enough it could become a good walkaround anywhere camera for places where I'd not feel comfortable wielding my D300 around. And quieter too. This is one area Canon has a major advantage over Nikon, that they make their RAW format open and compatible whereas Nikon does not.
     
  38. I asked the Bibble developers in their forum what they thought about the new RAW format. They don't seem to
    think supporting it will be a big deal, although they aren't at all interested in WIC:

    http://support.bibblelabs.com/webboard/viewtopic.php?t=11072

    For my RAW workflow as long as Bibble works I'm there. So as far as this camera is concerned, I'm more concerned
    about the noise levels with that sensor density. I guess we'll see.
     
  39. I wonder What’s the difference between intergraded and independent third part device?
     
  40. As far as I know, Sony, Nikon P6000 have intergraded device. While Nikon cancelled this function since P7000 because it needs much power and its instability. On the other hand, independent device with its high stability and multiple choice ( Aoka, Easytagger, foolgraphy etc. ) that is pursuing by most photography funs.
     

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