ITS NIKON BASHING TIME AGAIN!!

Well not exactly. But the Nikon mirrorless / no mirrorless / Nikon 1 system / DSLR's rule saga keeps on going. So settle back, think Bloomberg Channel and lets all pretend to be market analysts and photographic marketing experts for a little while longer. God I love this stuff!!

One of the reasons I like Mirrorlessons and Heather and Mathieu's posts is not because they bought me lunch in Wales (Though that helps!!) but because they are just so damn good. They got this brilliant interview with Dirk Jasper (now that's a name) of Nikon. And they got more out of him than the usual suspect hacks who report on events like Photokina did. Intriguing article which for me reveals a lot about what goes on at Planet Nikon. 

I was moved to write a long rambling reply on their website which is reproduced below. And it does ramble and it's very much off the top of my head. But I will get this organised in a major article I'm planning. In the meantime treat below as a work in progress.

'Interesting what you teased out the interview. It reads very much like what I suspect. Nikon simply don’t seem to understand that the professional photography world is changing. And there are also many different kinds of professional photographer out there. It strikes me that both Nikon and Canon are locked into a notion of what a pro photographer does that is changing rapidly away from their preconceptions. The importance of video, the need to upload fast using wi-fi, the fact that probably 50% of all images are published web only. I’ve done jobs and I’m sure you have, where nothing is printed, everything is online.

Much as I love my Df, it’s a camera I can indulge myself with, because all my upcoming pro assignments are much better served with my mirrorless kit. Most of it is, as I indicated going to be online. I keep meaning to get round to writing an article about this but I haven’t dome it yet. My basic argument is that what i call ‘old-school’ photographic practice basically substitutes a digital image for one that was taken on film. Plus the way that cameras are designed, the lenses that are used and all the preconceptions about making pictures and publishing them is still philosophically film based.

However, I think the requirements for making images is changing, as are tastes in what images should look like and how they are created. The Social Media style, for want of a better description, is moving in everywhere. Film photography is exclusive and technically based, but a new kind of photography, that again for want of a better word, is totally digital and could be called smartphone photography, though it doesn’t need a smartphone to be achieved, is becoming more prevalent . And the basic idea is that it’s shot from within rather than outside the action. It’s looser, less formal and less structured and less bothered about technical issues and more based on interaction and a sense of involvement and inclusion.

And it has to be said that the Nikon 1 system should be ideal for this. Apart from the fact that it’s basically not flexible enough and there are systems out there that do it better and cheaper. It’s a question of values. Nikon share the same values of their ageing fanboys, of whom I am of course one, but there are exciting and interesting young photographers out there who produce ineteresting and innovative work with smartphones. Nikon and the rest of us fuddy duddys value the gear, this ‘new breed’ sees the gear purely as a means to an end and getting the image out there and just as importantly getting a reaction to it is what is important to them. It’s a different mindset and one that Nikon don’t seem to want to embrace.

They will always have a place, and this ‘old-school’ photography isn’t going away, but I believe that as pro’s we have to be prepared to be more flexible and less ‘anal’ about technical quality. I’m seeing it all over the stock photography marketplace and people now want to source a different kind of imagery. When we met for lunch I used the phrase that I’m ‘destroying’ images because that’s what some of my libraries want. Since they don’t do anything without some anticipation of sales, it’s obviously what clients want too. I’ve had trouble getting my head round this and I’m still not entirely comfortable with it, but it’s something I’m adding to what I do already.

My ‘beef’ with Nikon, if that is what it is, is that other manufacturers make kit that lets me go either way, whereas, though I might still like to work that way., Nikon pushes me into one direction. Plus the assumptions that Mr. jasper makes about current mirrorless systems and what a ‘professional’ photographer would want from them are simply arrogant, lacking in understanding and in fact just plain wrong.'