I just think back the summer. I had a couple of trips to Sussex and the South Downs. It is an area I didn't know well at all and in many cases was viewing for the first time. For the most part I didn't know what to expect. And so for the vast majority of my pictures I used a Nikon D800E and a huge zoom lens. Its not an area of the country I will be returning to soon, so in order to make sure I "got the shots" I went with something I've trusted over the years, something I know from experience I can rely on. And no, I've not had any trouble with any m4/3 cameras apart from a tendency to run out of battery power somewhat quicker than I'm used to, but with Nikon i've got 22 years of experience using them, in all sorts of situations, and they have never let me down. But hang on didn't I say the opposite earlier on?
At the top of the page I did indeed write about how a Nikon film camera had a shutter button that stopped working. What I didn't mention was that because the F4 had a socket to accept a mechanical cable release built into the camera I could in fact continue using it. Yes the camera had to be replaced when I returned to the UK, but there was enough of a backup system in place for me to carry on taking pictures.
People have been saying how DSLR's are out of date for some time now. The mirror system in not the best way to go, and when you think about it it does seem somewhat cumbersome and clunky. But because its been around for so long and Nikon and Canon have experience of making it and making sure it works and works well under the most demanding of conditions, its still part of the cameras that are built to handle anything that gets thrown at them.
So ultimately in many circles, Panasonic are very much "newcomers" and in order for Panasonic to be considered a "Pro" company, with "Pro" cameras then there has to be a worldwide support system in place. Some professionals put there cameras through hell and they expect to keep on doing that. They expect them either to keep working or be able to get them fixed easily and quickly. I once sold a Canon 1Ds Mk II to a Formula 1 photographer, who told me he wouldn't use anything else because at every Grand Prix there was a mobile Canon repair shop that followed the whole entourage around the circuit. they would repair any accredited photographers cameras for free and even clean their sensors on demand, 24 hours a day. Nikon apparently do the same. So how do Panasonic come up with something like that?
And yes I'm talking about extremes here. But working photographers see those extreme cases and rightly or wrongly feel that when they invest in a Nikon or Canon DSLR system they are investing in something thats been around for years, and will still be around in years to come. And its this perception of a history and an infrastructure that gives some camera brands a reputation that a photographer feels they can trust. Panasonic are making noises that this is a direction in which they want to go, and thats a good thing, but it is going to be a while before they can establish themselves in the way that Nikon and / or Canon have. It is going to take more than one camera to give them this gravitas and give demanding photographers the confidence to say "Yes, this is a system I'm prepared to trust my livelihood to."
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