#1096. So … I (almost) bought a new Sony Camera

By pascaljappy | News

Mar 04

My love/hate relationship with Sony cameras is a secret to no long-term reader of this website. In spite of excruciating customer support (long ago) baffling quality control and ergonomics (some time ago) and colour science that’s subjectively not my cup of tea (up to recently) the mother ship keeps calling me back. Here’s the reasoning behind my latest relapse.

The Sony a7R ii on a good day
 

I need to answer (if only to myself) these three questions :

  • Why a new camera?
  • Why a Sony?
  • Why this specific camera?

And the answers to these questions can probably help many others questioning the future of their photography in ways similar to mine.

Onwards.

This begs an answer – Sony a7R ii
 

Why a new – VIDEO – camera?

Yes, video. No, I’m not stopping photography, on the contrary. No DS isn’t jumping ship to join the vlogging bandwagon.

For all its flaws, the Hasselblad X1D feels like THE camera to end all cameras to me. It’s now old, in industry terms. It was born slow and never got faster through aging. Multiple firmware updates exist that I never bothered to install. New kids on the block have shown up with twice the resolution, pixel shift, IBIS and more. I honestly couldn’t care less (although IBIS would be great. Please Hasselblad, could we get 3 stops of real-life stabilisation?) Frankly, unless a larger sensor comes along or an update of the X1D gets IBIS, I don’t see myself changing. Ever. Nothing thus far has come close to the shooting pleasure of the X1D or even nibbled at the feet of the X1D’s image quality, pixel count be damned.

Slow photography is my things and the X1D is it for me for the foreseeable future.

Chilling low – Sony a7R ii
 

Photography, on the other hand …

As an industry, it’s become a bit boring. More more more more more is the cult mantra. Keep it.

As a hobby, it’s as fun as ever. But I feel like my abilites have hit a plateau that’s not going to be easy to lift off from. I’m good enough at it to not benefit from much of the tuition available at human prices out there. And, far more relevant, my lifestyle puts a strict limit on how much exploration of new places / new techniques are realistically open for investigation to me.

As a storytelling tool, it has definite limits, as discussed in a previous series of posts. And this is the strongest motivator for this change of pace. The three photographs above are nice. The first I find very nice (in spite of the camera’s fugly highlight management). To make it extraordinay would require a level of commitment that’s just not realistic for me today. I can’t be there earlier in the morning. I can’t set up a tripod or filters. I can’t wait for the right moment. I can’t spend 12 hours post-processing it. It is what it is.

Who are you? – Sony a7R ii
 

But, most of all, to me at least, these photographs are questions that beg answers. What is this place? What are those sticks? Who are the people living off it? What do they do? Photography alone can inspire, evoke, educate, but doesn’t answer those questions in the same way as a film documentary could. Hence the draw, for me.

While some photographers have the ability to comb a place like this in search of the perfect angle and perfect light, will return as many times as it takes, and will eventually produce that one extraordinary photograph that hangs on a wall and you could look at for hours, that’s not my ability, or my goal. In each of these photographs, I see an open question that nothing is answering. That’s nice in a way, as you can look around for clues, scan the photographs a bit and try to assemble the pieces for yourself. That is the basis of photographic storytelling, after all. But I want to go further in that storytelling direction and explore longform content.

Is that compatible with my current lifestyle and my vacation-based run (literally) and gun habits? Absolutely not. Will I succeed? Probably not. And, this time next year, you might read a classified for my camera and a DS post titled “WHAT was I thinking?” πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ But I’ll never know if I don’t try. [Update: waiting a year wasn’t necessary, see below]

Step 2. Sony.

To success – Sony a7R ii
 

Why a Sony camera?

They say that understanding paradoxes elevates your mind. Well I’ll be a flippin’ genius if I ever understand my attraction to Sony. Techie stuff does nothing for me. I don’t even have a TV. Streaming music is not even a future consideration. Crushed trees and ink still support 95% of my book reading.

Sony’s core reason for existing is to bring very high tech to the masses. Often at the expense of aspects that luddites such as me crave. So why on Earth would a good 50% of all my electronic goods purchases in the past be Sony, with the hundreds of other brands out there battling for the minority rest?

Beats me.

But a wild guess would be that Sony – through their technology – sell enabling. Sony is an empowering brand. And dreamers like me see a Sony product, imagine what they could do with it, and go for it. And some succeed. A win win, wouldn’t you say?

Reflect on this, we must – Sony a7R ii
 

Consider the recent a1 camera – not what I bought – for example. In spite of the aggressively mediocre photographs delivered by some of the early ambassadors, this appears to be delivering an extraordinary shooting envelope to the (wealthy) masses. Put the price aside. For a pro, that camera is only expensive if she’s going to sell it 18 months after. Keep it for 10 years and it’s waaaaaaay cheaper than the daily Starbucks. The a1 will basically photograph and film more stuff in more conditions than anything else affordable before it. Your kid’s pillow fight at grandma’s. Charging rhinos. A Jupiter satellite eclipsing another. Murmurations. The extatic expression of the bride after her first married kiss. Easy.

It’s not for me. To my eyes, the best wildlife photographer out there is Nick Brandt. He uses large rolls of film and adapted lenses. His burst rate is one frame per hour. And to my worldview, the human mind will always be behind the most memorable photographs, not burst rates. Nick Brandt’s photographs are extraordinary because of the slow process, the infusion of meaning in every shot. But to other photographers with other priorities and internal stories, the a1 is a dream come true. To each his own. And Sony, for all my bad experiences, excel at delivering dream machines to carefully defined personas.

Dune and dusted – Sony a7R ii
 

Which brings me to the Sony FX6 and why it stole my heart, in spite of warning from those who know better.

Why the Sony FX6?

The FX6 is Sony’s entry level cinema camera. This places it in a more modular range than hybrid cameras such as the Canon R5, the Pana GH5, the Sony a7S iii, … This modularity makes it less convenient and more expensive, but able to deal with more varied filming scenarios (and I will be using it for corporate work as well). I very seriously considered the Canon C70 as a cheaper and more highly recommended alternative. The C70 is utterly brilliant and apparently significantly better for the solo operator.

Documentary ? Sony a7R ii
 

But this is what sold me the FX6:

  • The Sony sensor. Most of the photographs above were made with what I consider to be the best lens ever designed : the Zeiss Distagon 1.4/35 ZM, a.k.a Audrey. But, as much as that lens shone on an a7R ii, it was far less convincing on other cameras, including the X1D. So, my FX6 purchase is Audrey-driven, largely hinging on the hope that the combination of the two will be as copacetic as it was with the a7R ii. It’s a long shot, I know. And the lens really isn’t suited to video : short focus throw, aperture clicks, breathing … It’s simply a matter of (desired) positives far outweighing the negatives.
  • Low-light capabilities. I’ll get into this in another post. But video cameras need A LOT more light than photo cameras. Shutter speeds are not an option in filmmaking. They are set and rather short. IBIS means you can get away with 0.5s photos. But the slowest shutter speed you’re often going to get in video is 1/50s, 25 times less. So you need 25 times more light reaching your sensor (hence the millions of dollars spent on lighting movie sets) or a veeeery sensitive sensor, if you’re going to shoot in low-light. Since I intend to go for early morning or late evening bird filming, and possibly astrophotography, there’s really not much else out there at affordable prices. And the FX6 deals with noise reduction significantly better than the Sony a7s iii (in that is doesn’t do any, and lets you handle it in post).
  • Neutral-density filters. For the same fixed-shutter speed reasons, neutral density filters are a must on video cameras. Think of it in the same way as long exposure photography. If you want to blur water, you have no choice but to use a long exposure. Say 10 seconds. So, you need to decrease the amount of light reaching the sensor, through filters. Same with video. The shutter speed is determined by the type of look you want to obtain and often set at half the frame rate. You cannot use shutter speed to control the amount of light reaching the sensor and the typical shutter speed is too slow for sunny conditions (as well as being too fast for dark conditions, as seen above). So neutral density filters have to be used instead. In the FX6, they are integrated inside the camera, freeing your hands. And they can be entirely automatic, freeing your mind, by adjusting to the scene brightness as you pan. Precious. And not available in hybrids either.
It’s all about style – Sony a7R ii
 

Also, Sony’s colour science has progressed in leaps in bounds in recent years. And I’ve been assured that the Cine Line reliability is much better than what older hybrids shocked me with. So there. Done deal. It should get here in March and I should be proficient by end of March. I’m not specifying the year. [Update: And it turns out I shouldn’t even have specified the delivery date]  

How will this cohabit with photography?

As mentioned above, this is not a switch to video but a search for complementarity to my photography hobby. The FX6 won’t follow me on vacation. No time to use it well. No reason to spoil the fun of those around me. It will be a tool for documenting things closer to home, with a very specific idea in mind (stay tuned for discussions about that idea).

Is this a doomed project? Major success as a filmmaker isn’t the most likely outcome πŸ˜‰ Having to start from scratch at over fifty in a world crowded with incredibly creative young guns doesn’t stack the odds on my side πŸ˜‰ But that’s beside the point. Learning new skills is one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling activities we can undertake. And although many shy away from it, this psychological trait is common to all of us. I firmly intend to enjoy myself very much while trying πŸ™‚

In the throes of darkest self-doubt, my mind came up with this idea, which will be my starting point : document what is behind the photographs I make, what appealed to me that the still image cannot reveal, what the bigger picture is and why a location in particular is a photographic hunting ground for me. After that? No idea πŸ˜‰ What would you like to see in video, on this website?

Ready to launch – Sony a7R ii

The nasty update: work and other private life events have thrown a spanner in my carefully crafted plan. I had to cancel my order a few days after placing it. Shoutout to the amazing carl and Jordan at proav.co.uk who patiently guided me through my choices over weeks then accepted my cancellation without so much as a blink. As they say in my mother land “ce n’est qu’un au revoir”.

I’ll be reordering the camera in a few weeks time and would love to hear from you before that. What are your thoughts on video as a complement to photography? If you had a video camera yourself, what would you use it for?

 

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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    ROTFLMHA – well – Nancy is simply going to think you’re lazy and/or not trying hard enough. Do we have a Fuji fan in our midst, who can trample all over your daisies? A PenF enthusiast, perhaps? Or one of those antiques who still shoots [shudder!] roll film?

    Moi? I also still read “books”. I have something like fifty shelves of them, in this room. “Streaming music” makes me think you’re talking about stuff like YouTube provides – je joue du piano, I’ve been playing it now for about 70 years and I still adore playing it – and my “music” is beyond the reach of the gremlins in the wonderful world of all things digital.

    Camera brands? Cameras?

    Well I will say this – I regard portables as heresy – fakes – and to pay $2,000 for one of them, so you have the best “camera” in a telephone is worse than growing up as a left handed male and being expected to wear trousers with a right-handed zip fastener! It took me a very long time to adapt to that – and to compound that crime with right-handed Y-fronts was altogether TOO much! But enough of that – enough to say I have much the same opinion of these hybrid god-knows-whats that have chewed such a hole in the market for cameras.

    Gauged on sales, the most popular brand has to be Canon. I have one Canon. That’s enough for a WHOLE lifetime, as far as I’m concerned – yes it can take good photos, but the controls freak me out and the handbook is utterly hopeless

    But I am now on my 4th and 5th Nikons, and I love them. And unlike Canons, Y-fronts and zip-fasteners, the controls are all the right way round, for me.

    On the sidelines, there’s a professional photographer who knows me, and who is urging me to g mirrorless, go Nikon Z-mount. I feel his enthusiasm. I see sense in some of his comments. I know Nikon have a 70-200 for their Z-mounts which [narrowly] beats my 70-200. I know the sensor in the Z7II [narrowly] beats the sensor in my D850. So why not?

    Well for one thing, I do a lot of my photography with my D500 and despite its age, the D500 is still a favourite amongst a whole heap of ‘togs. But to date there’s nothing vaguely like it in the Z-mount range. For another, I’m reading – plowing through about 6,000 pages of technical books on my two Nikon DSLRs. Before I move on to the Z-mounts, I would like to at least TRY to finish that task – and learn something from it – and know that I’ve reach the top of Mt Everest – that I’ve finally managed to conquer the D5-00 AND the D850. Only then, would I be prepared to attempt the task of conquering K2, and reading another 6,000 pages on whatever Z mount replaces the D500, and whatever Z mount finally gets us to the same page as the D850.

    But that’s all a pipe dream, because I’ll never live long enough to do it all.

    So my friend – all I can say to you is “carpe diem” – enjoy the day. Enjoy EVERY day. Because the ones we waste, NOT enjoying them, will never be replaced – they’re simply gone – spent – wasted – vanished into a past where we can no longer go.

    If Hassy is you thing – go for it. If Sony makes you giggle more – gun it down.

    If you don’t like post processing, make friends with someone who is passionately keen on post – heaps of pros do precisely that, so they are free to get out there and actually USE their cameras – not stuck in a room with no windows, constant lighting, at least two monitors, and enough different software programs to blow the intestines out of the computers we had a few short years back.

    What a shame we live so far apart – I’ve just given away a couple of EXTREMELY expensive video tripods that my late brother-in-law left behind.

    Or maybe a DJI Mavik?

    Or underwater photography? (Brother in law did that – he must have had at least 50 grand’s worth of Canon gear and several hugely expensive underwater housings, so he could chase the turtles and the dolphins, etc) Just a thought – you do after all seem to be looking for “something different”.

    Now that me left knee is stuffed and I’m told I’m not eligible for surgery (for other reasons), I have to do a lot more “thinking and planning”, a lot more “observing” while moving around in the car. My range is more confined than yours. These are simply obstacles, that I have to think my way through, my way around. Your path is easy, by comparison. But nothing is impossible, if we really “want” hard enough.

    I hope some of this bilge is of some use to you. Or to some of our other readers, perhaps.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Ah, Nancee knows I’m lazy. There’s no hope there πŸ˜‰

      My first experience with Canon also left me wanting. It actually ended my love for photography for a couple of years. But this was also my first DSLR after years of a love relationship with the fantastict Mamiya 7, so my guess the fault was with digitial, not with Canon.

      Drones … hmmm … pretty ambivalent about thouse. Great creative opportunities. Gret distrubance. But, as Boris has shown us recently, well used drones produce incredible footage.

      If you have more video gear to give away, I’m happy to pay for postage πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      Cheers

  • Pascal O. says:

    Well, if I ever had a video camera, I would certainly not recommend it to you, Pascal, as your production would unquestionably put any of my shootings to shame ^^.
    As to your not liking Sony, when I look at the quality of your pictures with your esteemed A7 RII, well, seen from afar, they look damn good to me!
    You may prefer your Hassy, granted, but the pictures shown above would earn lots of brownie points anywhere. And Sony had made progress since then.

    • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

      It did occur to me to suggest that if he wants to critique his own photos, he should do it quietly – and if he wants them critiqued in public, then he should invite someone else to do it, instead of attempting the task himself.

      We NEVER see ourselves, as others see us – I didn’t even realise that I had always had a head shape at the back of my head that I lusted after, till one day I accidentally glanced at it in one those “double mirrors” that women use to look at the back of their dresses – my wife had left it open – for 70 years I’d been thinking it was “the wrong shape” and the only thing “wrong” was what I “thought” it looked like – not what it “actually” looked like.

      I’m 100% with you, PO – I think his photos are great and the self-effacing stuff ought to go into the junk folder. LOL

    • pascaljappy says:

      Ah, your flatter me too much, good Sir. My first results at videos with my current gear are so bad I never published them, even as a joke πŸ˜‰

      My photographs are nice and the lens is just gorgeous. But look at the brutal clipping in the clouds. That’s Sony’s signature all over the photo. That is unprintable, ergo not a good photo. And I’d have to underexpose massively to circumvent that issue, probably producing noise and colour shifts in PP. Not good. Thankfully, newer Sony cameras seem to handle highlights a bit better πŸ™‚

      Brownie points are in. Cookies are out! Google said so πŸ˜‰

  • Dallas says:

    Pascal, excellent images too many to name Audrey is such a wonderful lens. As for video I played with it about 20 years ago with a Sony Handy Cam and had lots of fun and documented travel. Today stills for me. I’ve shot one video my sons wedding some 12 months ago. Luckily I was able to set up a tripod and only had to start and stop. Helen (Milvus 50) did a wonderful job. Very basic editing and I was done. An external mic is a must. I wish you well on your video journey, for me stills is where I’m at and stay.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you Dallas.

      The journey is the destination for me. So I’ll give it a shot (pun intended πŸ˜‰ ) But stills will always be my ground as well !!

  • Boris says:

    Seems very familiar to me. Including being in the same age and canceling my Sony FX cinema camera preorder due to some changes in my shooting options for the near future two days ago. The only difference is, that I had preordered the FX3 and not the FX6. I think the FX6 is a great camera and the choice to completely switch off the NR is a huge advantage. But for me, it’s just too big. Contrary to Pascal I would like to take my camera on every vacation, trip, and hiking tour. Therefore the size and weight are really important to me. The FX3 (or A7SIII or A1) is the best compromise for me.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Ouch, sorry to hear about that Boris.

      Frankly, I don’t think the noise reduction is such an issue unless you really want to go into astro or scientific work. At ISO 12800, there would be no noticeable differences between the two cameras. I’m just hoping to get back into astro photography with the FX6 (one can dream πŸ˜‰ )

      Have you made a final selection, by now ?

      • Boris says:

        I will get an A1. Since it is unclear at the moment how much filming and how much photography I will do in the future it gives me the most flexibility. The only thing I lose over the A7SIII/FX3 is the option for vlogging due to the missing flip screen. It should arrive in two weeks.

        • pascaljappy says:

          Congratulations, Boris! That’s fantastic. I hope it proves up to your needs and expectations and look forward to seeing your work with it, both in stills and video πŸ™‚

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    Welcome to the game, Pascal πŸ™‚

    Until 20 years ago, I never cared for video.
    Then something happened: I was asked to be the photographer for a friend’s wedding.
    Later, being invited to see the “family movie” about the same event, I came back very surprised… the video had been created by the bride’s father like a “real” movie… script, story-board, cutting, music, you name it; and I found it interesting, not the usual awful “uncle Louis’ Slides Saturday” πŸ™‚
    So I went… spent a little fortune on a fully kitted Canon GH2 (yep, cassettes :D).
    Then Panasonic GH2 (same name, duh), then the GH4 – still great today!.
    Then a certain… A7R2.

    A few things in my mind now:
    – your choice of the FX is a very valid one; great low-light, and yes that bloody neutral filter inside; using variable NDs as I do is a pain in the butt, but no choice with hybrids;
    – the dimensions and weight would be a no-go for me (plane travel…); for you it will offer ergonomics 10 times better than hybrids; and the automatic ND is immensely improving the experience;
    – yes, even improved a lot, the Sony have a little trace of “videoish” look; the sequences I shot with the GH4 keep surprising me for their “velvety”, organig look… those pastel tones! And no, I don’t mean “because of the lenses”, since I compared with the same adapted lenses. I mean “because of the codecs and the color science”; but today the differences are small compared to just 5 years ago, so no big deal;
    – the camera itself is of course just a fraction of the total cost; once you buy a “real” video head, tripod, external monitor, better and better microphones, an external recorder (still “the” weak point of affordable video cameras), the bill explodes; my GH2 started at 3k, ended up at 9k… same with each new camera;
    – shooting with Audrey is a fascinating proposal… I am eager to see if you will later resist the temptations to fall for some Cine lenses…
    – I don’t know for others, but for me switching, on the field, the mindset for photography or for filming has been virtually impossible; a few times, one mode “imposed” itself… no way I could return to the other one; since I mostly use my gear during travel to different places each time, this has proven a real challenge; deciding in the morning and discovering during the day that I was in fact in the “other” mood gave me quite a few cursing times πŸ™‚
    – all being said, it is great fun! And the reverse happened for me: after filming a lot, returning to photography has been refreshing more than once πŸ™‚

    So… impatient for the next episodes, and… Happy trip!

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you Pascal.

      Regarding cine lenses, my lust will be intense, that’s for sure. But have you seen the price of those things ? They shouldn’t publish the prices and just write: “If you have to ask …” πŸ˜‰

      But adapted lenses such as your great Olympus set, the Leica R or some old Zeiss, that … definitely.

      Sadly, you are right about the cost of accessories. One main deterrent is the price of cards !!! 8 hours or recording sounds about right for a few days of autonomy, but that comes in at 2000€ !!! SImply crazy. So, yes, external recorded, SSD, mikes, sync, tripod head, gimbal, cage, lenses … It is a daunting prospect.

      My (planned) initial setup is simple: the camera, Audrey, an Atomos Ninja V with 2TB SSD (8-10 hours for 400€), a Rode mike and an RS2 gimbal, because the camera isn’t stabilised at all. Still not super cheap but it keeps things simple and vaguely affordable.

      Cheers!

  • Frank Field says:

    Pascal —

    Interesting journey. My pair (now trio, see below) of Nikon bodies each have 30k clicks on the shutter but 0 (zero) seconds of video capture so I’m really not able to respond to your concluding question.

    I’m probably the odd duck out but one bad consumer experience with a company colors my views for decades. In 1980 I bought a new Volkswagen Rabbit (Golf in Europe at the time). Worst car I’ve ever owned; spent more time in the shop than on the road. I’ve refused to consider a VW at any of my subsequent new car purchases, even tho some of the offerings from VW have been worthy of consideration. Circa 2000, I bought into Sony’s version of the Palm Pilot hook, line and sinker. Once Sony exited the business, you could not get one iota of support from Sony; couldn’t even purchase a replacement (odd-ball) stylus. All vestiges totally removed from Sony.com. No one else does as thorough a job of making a product totally disappear. Those were the last purchases I’ve made or am likely to make from Sony.

    About six months ago, one of my Nikon bodies was passed on to my wife, the artist in the family, as she started to explore use of digital imaging in her artwork. Time for a replacement body for me! After long consideration, not unlike what you are going through, I ended up purchasing what is now a third D750 body in our household. Six-year old technology (now seven) but truly does everything I need it too do. Excellent dynamic range, low noise, sweet spot of the pixel density curve (for my photo genres), compatible with every lens and accessory in my cabinet. More than good enough.

    Frank

    • pascaljappy says:

      Frank, I couldn’t put it better.

      My last job before becoming freelance was for a reputation management software company. And if the people in charge of those manufacturers had any idea how long it takes to rebuild trust, they’d make sure their customer service is much better. Of course, simple dignity should make them strive for that, but let’s not get carried away. Who’s interested in dignity these days?

      Most of my cameras have been Nikons, and I have loved them all. The company seems to have missed all the important evolutions, coming up late to the mirrorless revolution, the video revolution and other more minor revolutions, focusing only on making good dependable prodcuts. It was almost their undoing. And they are not yet safe. Today’s tech rush is preposterous. It’s OK to have flagships like the Sony a1 for pros and special uses, but the rest of the range should focus on quality rather than specification. The D750 is a brilliant, brilliant camera.

      All the best,
      Pascal

      • Frank Field says:

        Nikon is an extremely conservative company. As the point and shoot business, the industry’s cash cow and volume driver, faded post introduction of the smart phone, Nikon reacted by trying to cost cut its way to profitability. While all businesses need to continually guard against unnecessary expense, a cost-cutting strategy tends to take over the entire company and developments that should be funded tend to be sacrificed on the altar of cost reduction. People who are good at cost cutting tend to be the people who are promoted, further marginalizing the vital developments that will drive revenue growth. Couple that with an already conservative company and you have the ingredients for what we have and have not seen from Nikon. Their last really industry-leading steps came in 2007-2009 or so with the D3 / D3S, D700 and D300 / D300S. These products were the beginning of a new generation of DSLRs — a clear step forward for the industry, bringing us to the recognition that “digital is (finally) better than film.” (My apologies to those who choose to shoot film today for various good reasons). While one can argue that even today Nikon manages to get better performance from a Sony sensor than does Sony’s camera division (sensors and cameras are in different Sony divisions), the argument does not carry much weight in a mature technology where nearly every product is already “more than good enough.”

    • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

      LOL a friend of ours bought a second-hand VW camper van to go on a holiday across the continent, to visit his daughter and grandchildren – a round trip of over 6,000 Km. It broke down after 300 Km – delaying them for a week, while parts came across country and then inland – It broke down on the way home, about a third of the way home, and this time they were delayed for a fortnight, till the relevant parts arrived and were installed. Because it was no longer under warranty, they had to pay the costs- which came out at a total of over $10,000. On tope of all the additional accommodation costs.

      I have a rule – if any company lets me down more than twice, I will NEVER consider doing business with it again. Under ANY circumstances. Panasonic has – and they’re gone forever – I don’t care what they come up with. Honda has – our next car will NEVER be another Honda.

      Pascal mentions business goodwill. Businesses can’t “buy” that – they can’t gaslight their way into it, through their own advertising. They have to “earn” it. And it’s like “trust” – it takes a lot to build it, a little to destroy it, and no hope whatsoever of rebuilding it. “Goodwill” is their greatest asset – or at least customers are, and I guess that’s much the same thing.

      And yes, Nikon has missed a few, but they still make some fantastic gear. On any terms, the D6, D500, D750/780, 850 are all astoundingly good. I love what they’re doing with their Z range, it’s truly innovative and they deserve all the success that it’s bringing them. I do honestly believe that it will turn the tide for them.

      But in a way, they’re their own worst enemies. While I am a very happy and loyal customer, I have no real need to buy into the Z-range – what they’ve already sold me is great gear, and at my age, it’ll probably outlast and outlive me.

      • Frank Field says:

        Nikon has had its share of bad breaks, also. Floods in Thailand knocked out their factory apparently just ahead the planned introduction of the D300 successor. Two or three years later we got the D500. Now, they are trying to move all their production of higher-end gear from Japan to Thailand at a time when travel has been difficult. Hard to send engineers from Japan to Thailand to oversee production start-up, etc.

        Too, we tend to forget that Nikon was actually fairly early to market with the J1/V1 series. As I recall, that had some of the first on-sensor phase detect AF. Good technology / wrong sensor size as (apparently) the very conservative Nikon sought to avoid cannibalizing its then cash cow of traditional DSLRs. They certainly avoided self-cannibalization but also failed to attract much of a following for the J1/V1. Meanwhile, . . ..

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