D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
On a more personal experience note, just yesterday I finally decided I need to send my D800 in to Nikon service to have the focusing system assessed. Taking landscape and architecture photos with the camera has been an absolute pleasure but my "human" portraiture has always left me scratching my head as to why my photos aren't as clean and sharp as what I think a $3,000 camera should produce. I've done focus fine tuning on more than one occasion and realized that I do in fact have a backfocusing issue with all of my lenses to the tune of -15 to -20. This might not have been seen as a quality issue since there's a chance of this in all of these cameras but I'm thinking I shouldn't have to make such a huge adjustment for every lens.
After I get it back, I do plan on shooting my D800 until the letters fade off. By then things, as well as our issues, will be different.
As for the article...I agree with their comments and perspective. Be it Nikon or other manufactures. It all comes down to being truthful and providing the right level of service to your customers and consumer base.
We all know that electronic are far from being perfect, yet when their is an issue, the producers need to step up and address the matter in a fashion that the buyer will find acceptable in addressing the issue. Manufactures make/get it right most of the times but when they hesitate and try to see how bad the problem is before addressing it, that is when they get "egg on their face," thus they start to lose their credibility within the consumer market and those that have purchased their goods. This is the failure of the Marketing team. Engineers like nothing more than to fix the problems that arises from their creations...they are not "politicians."
canon and nikon are not rivals, they are good, if not best friends.
they wont admit to camera issues unless legally forced to, generally very cagey .....
its an interesting article, and i agree with most of it, if not all. however, we dont have to buy anything we dont want to. id never buy new cameras when they first get released, or anything else for that matter, it pays to wait until the hype of initial release dies down, same for phones, and computers etc. you get a better deal, and the problems have been ironed out. pre-ordering is madness imo; buying such an expensive product before even seeing it - though they do say arranged marriages last longer
also, at the end he makes a good point, entry level dslrs are better than top of the line cameras from just a few years ago. if you can tame your gear lust, we as camera consumers have it pretty good really.
After dealing with pre-ordering only once (D7000 back in 2010) I will never pre-order anything else. What a total fiasco. It only feuled my anxiety and frustration on a day to day basis.
Cost and price don't need to track each other. In fact, that's what drive innovations in capitalism. One tries to come up with things that people demand so that they can command a high price, but can be produced at better margins compared to existing products. If price is fixed to be just say 20% above the cost, we have a socialism system.
Now regarding Nikon's minimum price system which is not mentioned in the article, I'm against that.
I must be the only former writing teacher here. :-(
Long and difficult to read sort of like it was written without an outline. I'm sure there was something to say, I wish it was formed in a more straightforward way like the "Note to Nikon Management" and "Lessons Learned" which were organized and logical.
The paragraph structure rambled, rather than rocked.
@Golf007sd There is good and bad in all things. Nikon has, as the author of the piece pointed out, let the market down. I don't think we - the market - haven't been clear enough in letting Nikon know what we really think about it, either. I've been a Nikon customer for over 4 decades and it has crossed my mind to switch. I likely won't - it's just too costly, but if I'm considering it, others certainly are, too.
Nikon lost a lot of money last year by introducing products that they couldn't ship by the end of their fiscal year, and then those they shipped had problems that cooled the market. I've worked for a company that did the same thing. There is always a temptation to release products before they are ready, and then find that you don't have the quality procedures in place to produce 'six-sigma' 99.999% trouble free products.
Ah, to be a fly on the wall at the internal shouting matches between management, production, engineering and marketing at Nikon over these problems! Having been on the inside of Japanese companies all my adult life in both engineering and management, I am convinced a large part of the silence from Nikon on the problems is due the the fact that these groups have not yet sorted out their differences.
As a customer, I felt the need to return my D800 for warranty repair was annoying, but I have customers returning stuff to me for warranty repair as well, so I can't cast any stones. Overall, I am very happy with the D800 and have bought three so far for various jobs. One of the three (the first one that I pre-ordered) had to go back.
"Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
I realize working pros might have to compromise, to keep up with the competition, but as for the rest of us why? I see some landscape hobby shooters leaping on each new camera, just for the extra 1/2 a stop of dynamic range, when a grad ND filter set would have achieved the same result, and cost a heck of lot less. To me, unless you are needing to shoot video, the newer bodies aren't really needed by most people. I've set myself up in a every other generation upgrade cycle. I just hope Nikon gets the quality control in check by that point.
My savings of not buying everything Nikon could offer me are tremendous. But sometimes it happens that I want a specific product. And then I will preorder, like I did in the past, knowing I'll have to pay another price than others months after it was released. That's my pleasure, as much as I dare to get my food not in the cheapest stores. A question of priorities, nothing else. And since it's my money... I don't even ask from the late adopters for financial support that I might help to get better products afterwards. I don't even ask for support when I put some pressure on customer support to solve the problems - while others lean back and wait... and wait... and wait until the problem disappears in thin air.
Quality control makes the quality. Forget it. Quality cannot be produced by quality control, this happens before, very long before, starting with design. So complaining about QC shows only a very narrow thinking of the author.
When there's competition and life is endangered by disfunctional brakes as like in the car industry or cancer-causing breast implants, that's something different than "issues" of one of two pseudo-competing big players - nobody gets hurt by dust on sensors or focus issues. And truly, as long as we buy that stuff, nothing happens - but what will happen if we stop buying that stuff? Do we really want them both collapse? Or only one big player left? Anybody here who thinks with the smaller producers anything works better?
What I really dislike is the authors whining for the same features the more expensive models have. Hell, nobody from Nikon ever forced me to buy anything from them. If I want to be treated as grown up, I should come over childish allures. There are target groups for the models, I really dislike this greedy demand "get me everything for the same price of the entry level stuff, because it's oh so cheap...".
Changing systems? Yes, why not. If I have the customers paying me my luxurious switch to other brands, why not? I don't like fanboys, too, but what is wrong with sticking to a brand I made so far good experiences? I switched, several times from Yashica/Zeiss to Mamiya to Sony to Pentax and now to Nikon. Beg your pardon, but so far I have what I wanted and just because a professional photog starts a crusade, I don't have to join.
That doesn't mean I don't criticize Nikon's lack of information culture. But with high complex structures like today's cameras are it would be pretty foolish to expect 100% perfection - for that you pay much, much more.
Yes, Quality Control is a problem. So say it forcefully and move on.
yes, marketing's a black box. At what company is it not?
The article was then made even less relevant with the tangential chatter about switching systems. A system switch for non-pros isn't really feasible, even if you follow his guidelines. I admire the people who do it (it does not involve Nikon at all, but over on the Leica Rumours sister blog, J Shin wrote a great article on the process a couple months back), but in my mind if you're not a pro, it's not economical. If you're a pro, hey, go for it. Write off your new gear as a business expense and it might even pay you to do it. But for the rest of us? Get outta here. Cost barriers are way too high.
This could have been a good article. As is, it's got serious focusing issues. Oh, oil spots too.
Nikon is a company, they can make whatever the hell they want. He has the right to purchase and use whatever camera he wants.
He also talks as if Nikon is the only camera maker to offer its best features on their pro cameras. Every camera maker does the same. Try to get 8 fps on your Canon 60D. Take a look at the 7D as well- there hasn't been a clear update for that as well. Okay, it's newer than the D300s but it's no spring chicken either.
His writing is somewhat sensationalist and it reminds me of Ken Rockwell. It grabs clicks.
Of course he can tell you to change makers willy nilly. He's probably a professional and can afford to do so. If I could do that I'd do the same.
We know the D800 is a fantastic camera and people are willing to put up with the risk of flaws / dealing with returns, etc., to get it. The D600 is a great value to those wanting to jump to FF. The D7100 will probably be a best seller as well.
But no question in my mind that Nikon has lost a lot of goodwill among it's most loyal customers. And I don't know if they actually care or not... THAT, is the problem.
We are in a strange time. A legend in cameras has somehow determined that the issue of public relations is unimportant. Not only is this confusing to those of us who have been around a long time, but very frustrating as we may be seeing the handwriting on the wall. Arrogance may be the forerunner of disaster....
The problem is that while neither Nikon/Canon is monopoly in the absolute sense, they are monopolies in reality since there are heavy barriers to customers to switch as well for new companies to enter. That's why neither really care much about their customers. At least in Nikon's case, they try to put out cameras that are better in specs.
@Msmoto; The article points out some things which are already disastrous, but as he says, we keep on buying and preordering and for a simple signal to NIkon it's too long and not drilling a hole through the big walls of Tokio headquarters.
Nikon and Canon are so close in terms of performance that it takes nit picking (pixel peeping) to tell the difference. Both offer high quality equipment, and both have short comings and strong points. Use what you like and stop the hating.
There are many companies having issues dealing with customer service when it is below their primary focus of the company. (i.e. Nikon is a R&D, product, marketing focused as primary operations, customer service is a secondary focus.) I think a lot of it has to do with cutbacks from a few years ago when the market plunged and now the effects of the cuts have finely worked their way though the system. Many times that does take years for it to peek it's nasty head out.
There is a lot of people, including myself that are disappointed in Nikon's reaction, or the lack there of, with the current direction of releases, prices, lens updates, flash updates, accessories and of course issues.
• Having too small of sensor- DX wanted
• Size vs sensor seems too large
• Not retro
• Not interchangeable
• 28mm f/2.8 (ok I'll admit many do like the focal range)
DX interchangeable mirrorless system
• Non existent
• Everyone still has the upper hand here on options etc.
• Oil spots
• Where the hell is it
• People wanted a high/stratosphere iso rather than high MP
• Left AF
• Oil spots
• $600 battery grip? WTF!
• Wifi WT-5A is $877 when the D3200 one is $60!!!!! WTF!
• UT-1 Communication Unit with WT-5A is $1,300!!!
• Oil spots
• More oil spots
• Crippled AF sensor
• 24mp when they had the chance to fulfill the "Real D700" upgrade customer desires
• Overheating issue
• No wireless (RF)
DX lens line up
• Not building it up with 2.8/1.8/1.4 equivalents - going on 10 years now
• Out later than wanted
• $1000 higher than expected
50mm f1.2 AFS (add 85mm 1.2 as well)
• Seriously where is one? You did it for the V/J series!!!!
• Canon has owned this for 15 years?
Small primes - f/2.8 updates
• 18mm/20mm/24mm/28mm/35mm f/2. Last update 20 years ago?
• Canon releasing these with Image Stabilization
• Not everyone needs/wants/can afford f/1.4 glass nor the size of it.
• Well... My mother always said "If you can't say something nice..."
What else did I forget? I know there is more.
The list is daunting and it goes from issues to some desires that have been discussed lately that have not been met.
The thing is, Nikon in the last few years, has surprised everyone with many products, but in a disappointing way. That is not to say the products have not been good, but that they were not what was expected - and the expectations were higher and much different than what was delivered. That is not a sustainable path for any business.
To be fair, Canon has missed the mark many times, Pentax has also missed some demands (but they were bought by Ricoh so there is a good reason there).
Fujifilm & Olympus has hit the nail on the head over and over again, and Panasonic has met desirable niches as well. Sony is coming up strong as well.
Some are tuned in to meeting customer's desires, and with the speed that others have delivered/foreseen, they seem to be more attune to the market and have shown it can be done with great success, even with a few hiccups.
Instead listening to customer desires and observing market trends, it seems Nikon chooses to dismiss everything and instead believe they know better what the customer "actually" wanted. That can work if you exceed expectations (D800 fits that to a point), but the tendency is to miss the mark many and have customers go elsewhere.
... And no time to use them.
I could add some points, other I don't see as disadvantage or don't care about. And at least, each company could get such a list. Mine as well if I only ran one and yours possibly, too. So, keep the church in the village, as we say in Switzerland. If you like his posts, feel free to switch companies and see if the grass is greener in the next valley.
I don't mean it confrontative. I also was complaining some times about Apple, as example and got frustrated when I was told, "you're probably right but looking on the sales numbers, not many people seem to care about". And there's a grain of truth in that.
If you want to change Nikon's strategy, apply as CEO at them. There is no other way. Nobody can conduct the mass of customers.
The Japanese are a driven race who have achieved phenomenal success during my lifetime which we westerners are never likely to match and that is entirely down to deep seated cultural differences. Their inability to admit fault is part of those differences. Their first motorcycles were a joke, being bad copies of poor English designs, but boy did they learn fast and look where they are now. Talking motorcycles; they have produced their share of horrors with chocolate cams that gave the owners a terrible time and guess what - they were slow to admit it. Toyota? Now there is a fiasco - nobody got killed by their D600's dusty sensor... The Japanese mentality when combined with modern day marketing techniques is always going to give problems - that should not be a surprise to anybody that has been awake for the last 50 years.
I enjoyed Mansurovs article, and given that it dealt with so many aspects of Nikon's current state, I thought it was well enough written (by internet standards it was very well written!) although it was so long that if it wasn't about a subject that interested me, I would have skimmed it. Will it make a difference to anything at all? No! These things take time - give them another 50 years then see where they are in regard to being honest, open and transparent.