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.
Earlier this year, I published an article with a long wishlist of features that I would like to see on the Nikon D820. Since Nikon decided to skip this model number and jump directly to D850, I figured it was time to revisit that article with more realistic goals and features many of us would be willing to upgrade our D810 DSLRs for. I think as a large community of Nikon shooters, we should do our best to reach out to Nikon directly and put in our requests, so that the company knows what its dedicated user base expects from the future generations of their cameras.
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…
With the release of high-quality modern lenses that are made to satisfy our insatiable appetite for sharpness, it seems that they also come with a curse. Unlike older classics that shone with their stunning look and feel, along with their beautiful rendition qualities that resulted in particularly attractive photographs with subjects popping out of the scene (also known as “3D pop”), it seems like modern lenses are no longer equipped to give us this magic – they are made to look flat and dull, lacking the character of the old classics. In this article, we will go through a number of different images shot with modern lenses and compare them to their classic counterparts and see how they do. Grab a cup of coffee, sit tight and put on your glasses, because you will need them. And yes, that even applies to those with 20/20 vision.
Note: Since this is a rather controversial subject, I highly recommend that you read the whole article through, especially the last paragraph.
Before getting into this article, I’d like to state upfront that its intent is NOT to suggest that other people do what I have done in terms of choice of photographic equipment. Just because the 1″ sensor Nikon 1 system is the best choice for my specific needs does not mean it will be appropriate for other photographers. It very well may not be. I regularly get emails and calls at the office from people asking why I prefer shooting with Nikon 1 which I handle on an individual basis. Since I receive a good number of these inquiries each month, I thought I’d also respond in a public forum with this article.
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.
While the previous Nikon camera and lens rebates are now over, Nikon has just introduced a few more lens-only rebates. The list of lenses has changed considerably this time, probably based on demand. Interestingly, Nikon included the recently announced Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR as part of this rebate program (see my in-depth review) with $200 off its MSRP, just like the 24-70mm f/2.8E VR last time. It is definitely not normal for Nikon to include such new lenses in its rebates – this shows just how much pressure Nikon is getting from third party lens manufacturers. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from this rebate program.
In this in-depth field review, we are going to have a look at the Nikon telezoom DX lens the Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR, which was launched in August of 2016. This is one of the three existing DX lenses featuring the new AF-P abbreviation, along with the Nikkor 18-55mm (VR and non-VR versions) and the new Nikkor 10-20mm VR wide-angle lens. AF-P stands for a new piece of technology – a pulsing / stepping focusing motor.