The Matter of Obsolescence

Leaves

Let me show you what an old man can do. I’m not talking about myself, of course; rather that’s what my 8-year-old DSLR said to me before I went walking in Epping Forest yesterday. Given the rate of change of digital technology, 8 years may as well be 28 years. And most consumers are conditioned into thinking that only the newest and latest gear can deliver the best shots, and anything old is obsolete. But just because something is old doesn’t meant it’s not useful.

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6 Simple and Useful Tricks for Nikon DSLRs

Nikon Tricks

Our perception of any piece of technology is greatly influenced by it’s ease of use and overall user experience. For example, when I bought my first DSLR, my decision came down to Canon vs Nikon. I tried Sony, Pentax and Olympus and didn’t like them for one reason or another, but I knew that I could be happy shooting with either Canon or Nikon. How did I finally end up making my decision? The menu system. I preferred Nikon’s menus and navigation over Canon’s, so I bought a D40. Now, eight years and tens of thousands of dollars later, I’m still a Nikon guy, all because of the difference in menu design.

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Nikon Refurbished Camera Deals

Nikon D610

Our friends at B&H are selling some Nikon-refurbished cameras at great prices, so I wanted to share those deals with our readers. The Nikon D610 is already available at a great price of $1,749 for a refurbished model, as well as the Nikon D7100, which you can buy now for $939. As before, the Nikon D800 is also available at $2,399 and there are a few other options for refurbished lenses. Please note that a manufacturer-refurbished item means that the camera was returned by a customer (sometimes due to flaws and other times for no reason / dissatisfaction) and the manufacturer thoroughly re-inspected the item, fixed any potential issues and put it for sale it at a significantly lower price. Just like with any new item, B&H provides a 30-day warranty for refurbished stock, so you can return the item if you are not happy with its condition. In addition, there is a 90-day manufacturer warranty in case anything goes wrong, so you can send it back to Nikon for free repair. If you would like to find out more about refurbished gear, check out this article at B&H.

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Nikon Df Review

Nikon Df

This is an in-depth review of the Nikon Df, a retro-style digital SLR camera that was announced in November of 2013. The Df is a very controversial release, I would say perhaps the most controversial one in Nikon’s DSLR history. After Nikon teased the public with its short videos that slowly revealed parts of the camera, many were excited to see something completely different than a traditional DSLR. Videos titled “it is in my hands again” and “no clutter, no distractions”, with constant repetition of “Pure Photography”, hinted at a camera that combines old style Nikon film cameras with a modern digital sensor. Nikon “Df”, a “Digital Fusion” of retro style and modern technology, became an instant hit on the Internet and one of the hottest topics of discussion and speculation on photography sites and forums. As we got closer and closer to the release date, enthusiasts from all over the world started speculating on the features of the yet to be released Nikon Df and pointed at possibilities of seeing a mirrorless camera, electronic viewfinder and a myriad of other technologies we now come to expect from modern mirrorless cameras. Film shooters had their own list of must-have features, including a large bright viewfinder with a split focusing screen for easy focusing with old manual focus lenses. In a very short period of time, the Nikon Df, a fusion of technologies, became an over-hyped camera with very high expectations…

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Camera Pollution

Nikon D3300 in 3 colors

With the proliferation of all kinds of gadgetry not only for everyday needs, but also for needs we thought we would never have, the camera market sadly seems to be moving in the same direction. Actually, it is already half way there. New cameras, lenses and accessories keep popping up every few months and come in all shapes, forms and colors. The camera market seems to be experiencing the same over-saturation that other electronics companies are seeing today. People do not want to buy new TVs anymore, so manufacturers are trying to find new ways to sell more TVs by adding more features. The approach is built on typical consumerism – make something look shiny and more interesting than it was before and it might lure people into buying it every year. Camera companies are sadly following exactly the same practice. Announcements are becoming more important than the products themselves, so manufacturers are pushing more redundant choices year after year just to make headlines.

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Nikon D4s to be Nikon’s Next Flagship Camera

Nikon D4s

Today Nikon announced that it will preview its next “professional flagship D-SLR”, the D4s, at this week’s CES show.  How much will be previewed at the show remains to be seen since today’s announcement was thin on details. In fact, it only said that the D4s is “currently in development” and one could interpret that to mean that final specs are subject to change. Nikon did give a little insight to what the new model will offer over the existing D4. First they state the new pro body will feature “improved image quality with the adoption of a new image-processing engine” and second, the press release promises more advanced autofocus performance. That is about all Nikon revealed with this “currently in development” announcement.

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Nikon Df – Heart vs Head Rebuttal

Nikon Df

When Bob Vishneski wrote his “In the Nikon Df Crossfire – Heart vs Head” humorous article a couple of days ago, I had a hard time with hitting the publish button, because I knew it would create some controversy (especially from those that like their Nikon Df cameras). In addition, I did not necessarily agree with all of Bob’s points, since I look at the Df differently. But that’s the beautiful thing about our team here at PL – we can differ in opinion, share our thoughts / feelings and we do not have to agree! In this case, the below article is sort of a rebuttal to Bob’s article.

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Nikon Full-Frame DSLR Size Comparison

Nikon full-frame DSLR Size Comparison

I am working on a couple of articles related to the new Nikon Df camera (see the announcement / overview and pre-order options) and I decided to post a size comparison between Nikon’s most current line of full-frame DSLR cameras. Starting from the left, we have the flagship Nikon D4, then the Nikon D800, followed by the Nikon D610 and finally, the new Nikon Df (click on the image for a much larger version):

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Nikon D610 Review

Nikon D600

This is an in-depth review of the Nikon D610, a very minor update that replaced the existing Nikon D600. Since full-frame DSLR cameras typically have a 2-3 year life cycle before they are refreshed with newer models, the D610 was an unusual update, as it replaced a camera that was only 13 months old – something that typically only happens with entry-level/consumer DSLRs. The thing is, the Nikon D610 is what the D600 should have been when it was initially launched. Plagued by a shutter mechanism issue which shred small particles from the shutter that fell directly onto the camera sensor (causing “dust bunnies” visible at small apertures), the Nikon D600 got a lot of negative press from its owners and camera reviewers. We were among the first ones to report the dust issue in our Nikon D600 review and later received many reports from our readers that confirmed the same issue. In a couple of months, the Internet was full of all kinds of examples of the same issue. Nikon ended up issuing a service advisory that categorized the behavior as “natural accumulation of dust” and suggested to try using the “Clean Image Sensor” feature of the camera, along with manual cleaning with a blower bulb. As a last resort, if those two options failed, Nikon recommended to consult with service centers to get the camera examined and serviced. Unfortunately, despite all the reported issues, service orders and returns from unhappy customers, Nikon never acknowledged the problem.

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