It is a big day today at Nikon, since the company is celebrating its 100th year anniversary. Nippon Kogaku K.K. was founded on July 25th 1917 and the company has been making everything from consumer cameras to industrial optical equipment ever since. As part of this important day and celebration, Nikon’s president Kazuo Ushida gave an important statement that reassures the future of the company, particularly when it comes to addressing the “rapidly changing consumer needs”. With the announcement of the development of the Nikon D850, the company wants its customers to know that it is working on a next generation DSLR that will exceed their expectations. That’s a bold claim for sure, and many of us Nikon shooters cannot wait to see what Nikon is planning with the D850. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the camera and we at PL really hope to see a true D810 successor! And let’s not forget that Nikon has also promised to release a mirrorless camera, something many of us also are very excited about. For now, sit back, relax and enjoy some of the great videos Nikon put together for its 100th year anniversary.
Tomorrow is the 100th year anniversary of Nikon. While we have been patiently waiting for the company to announce something new for this big date, it looks like we will only be seeing a teaser in the form of the Nikon D850 “development announcement”. Unfortunately, aside from the teaser video (see below) that does not reveal much aside from the ability to shoot 4K video and 8K timelapses, no additional information is provided as part of this development announcement, which is quite unfortunate! Perhaps Nikon is still going through some changes to the camera features, or perhaps there are other reasons for not giving us any further details, but it will be a painful few months of waiting for additional details on this highly anticipated camera…
It is always fascinating to contemplate what is beneath the strategy of various companies as they announce new products. Nikon’s official confirmation that it is developing some new mirrorless cameras is garnering all kinds of attention. Rather than add to all of the speculation regarding potential camera specs of these new Nikon mirrorless cameras in development, my first thought was to look at camera industry statistics. A basic question popped into my head…”Was growth in the Asian market the tipping point for Nikon with this new mirrorless camera confirmation?”
If you are a Nikon shooter, you might have found the announcement of the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E VR AF-P puzzling. While it looks great on paper, the lens seems to be ahead of its time, since the only cameras the lens is fully compatible with are the recent DX cameras. What is the point of announcing a full-frame lens, if it is limited to only a few DX cameras and practically no FX cameras? To me, it shows that Nikon is getting ready to announce something really big, something many of us Nikon shooters have been waiting for – a full-frame mirrorless camera. As I was looking at the details of the new 70-300mm VR AF-P, I realized that this lens would be an ideal candidate for a mirrorless camera. It is small, sharp and lightweight, which is exactly what a lightweight and compact Nikon mirrorless system needs. On top of all this, Nikon’s president has already hinted at an upcoming mirrorless release (link in Japanese, use Google Translate), although nothing was said about the format / sensor size. While this is my personal speculation, the release of the full-frame 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E VR AF-P to me is an indication of a full-frame mirrorless coming to the market.
Today Nikon revealed its first pulse motor (AF-P) lens designed specifically for full-frame cameras, the AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR. This is a very interesting release for a number of reasons. First, it improves the already great 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR budget telephoto lens by making it sharper, faster and lighter. Second, it vastly improves the image stabilization system on the lens, capable of compensating up to 4.5 stops when shooting hand-held, in addition to adding a Sport VR mode for panning. Third, the new 70-300mm gains an electronic diaphragm and its new optical design allows to get even closer to subjects with a minimum focus distance of 1.2 meters. And lastly, its $700 price tag puts it just $100 above its predecessor, making it a great choice for budget conscious photographers. Being such a lightweight and compact lens, it seems like an ideal choice for travel photography.
Tamron announced yet another new-generation lens for both Nikon F and Canon EF mounts, the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. The new professional-grade lens sports an impressive optical design, with a total of 17 elements in 12 groups, four of which are aspherical elements, two have extra refractive and three have low dispersion properties. Just like the recent “G2” series lenses from Tamron, the SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 comes with eBAND and BBAR coatings to reduce ghosting and flare, and fluorine coating has been applied to the front element to protect the lens against dust, dirt and smearing. Sporting an advanced image stabilization system, the lens is capable of reducing camera shake by up to 5 stops. Lastly, the lens is weather sealed and is compatible with optional TAP-in Console for fine-tuning the focusing properties of the lens and updating lens firmware. All this technology available at a very appealing price point of $1,199, making the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 even cheaper than the recently introduced Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art. This is a very exciting release and I am looking forward to testing and reviewing the lens later this year, as soon as it becomes available.
Earlier today Canon unveiled the much anticipated Canon 6D Mark II, which offers a number of incremental updates over its predecessor. The new 6D Mark II comes with a slightly higher resolution 26.2 MP full-frame sensor featuring Dual Pixel AF and its image processor has been also bumped up to DIGIC 7. But the more exciting news has to do with the autofocus system – the 6D Mark II comes with a powerful 45-point all-cross-type AF system, which is significantly better than the 11-point center cross-type AF system found on its predecessor. With a native ISO range of 100-40000, a 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, a tilting LCD screen, continuous shooting speed of 6.5 fps and an MSRP of $1,999, the 6D Mark II is aimed as a great all-around camera for Canon shooters.
We are happy to announce a big change to the way we handle and process email subscriptions for our readers. As of today, we have completely switched to a new system and migrated away from two previous email subscription systems, which will hopefully alleviate all the frustrations our readers have had with our newsletters. While we have been relying on free email delivery services from Google and WordPress for the past few years, they have proven to be very limited in terms of delivery and customization options. One service in particular would send an email as soon as content was posted, so if we posted several articles within a short period of time, it would result in practical spamming of the mailboxes of our readers. Going forward, we will no longer have these issues, as emails will only be delivered once, no matter how many times we post content on a given day. In addition, we have made it easy to both subscribe and unsubscribe from our email newsletter, so we are hoping that you will take a moment to try this new service out.
While I wait until quarterly data is available from CIPA to do full camera market updates on my photography blog, I thought Photography Life readers may like to have a quick look at how 2017 is shaping up for the digital camera market. The charts in this short article are based on April YTD 2017 CIPA statistics. I’ve included YTD actuals for 2017 as well as my market estimates for 2017. These estimates were calculated after examining some basic trends that the camera market has been demonstrating for the past decade.
Today Nikon revealed three new lenses: AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED, AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED and AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR. While the latter 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR is an addition to the DX line-up of lenses, the 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E Fisheye and the 28mm f/1.4E lenses are pro-grade lenses designed specifically for full-frame cameras. Let’s take a look at these three lenses in more detail.