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Archives: 2011 July

July, 2011 Archives

Here are my predictions for the new Nikon lineup that is expected sometime between this quarter and the middle of 2012. (See the previous post for my reasoning on the pricing.)

What do you think? Do you agree with these predictions, or do you think we’ll see something different? Share your thoughts in the comments!

D4:

16-20 megapixels
Top ISO somewhere between 204,800 and 1,638,400 (likely 409,600)
16-bit processing
Full HD (or higher) 24p, 25p, 30p, and a good chance of 720p or higher 60fps. Full manual controls are guaranteed.
$4,999 – $5,500
The rest (fps, autofocus, buffer, etc) is already incredible, so any improvements will be that much more amazing.

D4x:

36-50 megapixels
Top ISO somewhere between 25,600 and 102,400 (likely 25,600)
16-bit processing
Full HD (or higher) 24p, 25p, 30p, and a good chance of 720p or higher 60fps. Full manual controls are guaranteed.
$7,999
The rest (fps, autofocus, buffer, etc) same as above

D800:

18-24 megapixels
Top ISO somewhere between 25,600 and 102,400 (likely 51,200)
16-bit processing
Full HD (or higher) 24p, 25p, 30p, and a good chance of 720p or higher 60fps. Full manual controls are highly anticipated.
$2,999
The rest (fps, autofocus, buffer, etc) same as above

D400:

16 megapixels
Top ISO somewhere between 25,600 and 102,400 (likely 51,200)
14-bit processing
Full HD 24p, 25p, 30p, and a slight possibility of 720p or higher 60fps. Full manual controls are expected.
$1,799
The rest (fps, autofocus, buffer, etc) same as above

Joey Shooter, Issue #1

Updated version above. Original version here. Thanks to you Dan for the suggestions.

There are a number of folks around the internetz who seem to have forgotten two basic realities in regards to Nikon’s forthcoming announcements:

A) Nikon’s “new and improved camera” is only worth what the market will bear, and
B) Various realities, including Moore’s law, dictate that the cost will almost definitely stay virtually the same, product will improve exponentially, and profits may marginally improve or degrade depending on a number of factors.

Folks seem to think that Nikon produced the D3 only for a niche market of folks with highly specific needs, irrespective of their sensitivity to price. Really, it’s the other way around: the D3 is made for a photographer who can spend roughly $5k, give or take a few hundred. The best, generally appealing camera Nikon could produce while still sustaining profitable margins is, in the end, what they shipped.

If they charge significantly more than the $5k price point which the D3 carried they’ll get folks who will bail on that segment and find a lower end body, or jump ship altogether and find a different brand. Charge significantly less, and they also risk attrition, but this time through the photographers who think they’re being ripped off in the feature, specs, or quality department—regardless of the facts. For them, more is more (money) no matter what logic says.

If Nikon produces a D3 replacement that is more than, say, 10% higher (or 20% lower) than current selling price Nikon will not only profoundly confuse buyers, they will ultimately drive many of them away.

But alas, if you look at recent history you’ll see they did increase prices (dramatically!!!), but in a way that “reset” buyers’ thinking enough to partially mitigate market damage, or at least spread it over a longer period of time. They needed to increase prices to adjust for the softening dollar. What did we see? The DnH line was “done away with” (psst…it was really just replaced with the D3—sans the “h”) while the DnX (D1x, D2x, D3x etc) line saw a significant “bump” in price.

Now ask yourself, can you recall the response to greet the D3, (again, remember that it was being introduced with an effective price increase of $1,500)? It was embraced with open arms.

Now, if you’ll consider further the D3x announcement—particularly, how was that received: it was hailed as none other than the biggest ripoff in corporate history, with many photographers speaking out publicly against purchasing it until the price came to a more reasonable level.

Why? The D2x -> D3x was within the same realm of price increase as the D2h -> D3 (both bodies seeing roughly a 150% increase). See below:

(D2h) $3,499 -> (D3) $4,999 = ~ 145% increase
(D2x) $4,999 -> (D3x) $7,999 = ~ 160% increase

I don’t think it was the fact that the Nikon D3x was disproportionately increased compared to the D3 (i.e. folks weren’t angry because the D3x wasn’t priced instead at 145% above the D2x, or $7,250). I think folks were expecting to buy a camera with a D3x emblem, something that was historically in their price range of around $5k, and upon release they realized the new price had eclipsed their budget. Until the D3x was released, many claimed the DnH line was dead, and the D2h and D2x bodies had merged, resulting in their highly talented love child, the D3. They were more than happy to pay the $5k for that camera assuming it was the new “X” pro camera, despite there being many factors which indicated otherwise.

In other words, Nikon has a market full of people with preset expectations which they must consider if they desire to remain competitive. These people are not necessarily objective or rational. In fact, Nikon bet on this very idea during the last round. They got their big bump in market price, and while they may not have sold as many D3x bodies as they did of the prior D2x line, did they really need to given the increased profit margins? I doubt all those calls for boycott did nearly the damage the decriers dreamed it would. In fact, it probably just fed into the ego of those who could afford the D3x but were on the fence—likely enough to push them over the edge, driving them to splurge on the newest status symbol in the DSLR photo world.

For the record, my predictions for the next round of pro camera bodies:

D4:

16-20 megapixels
Top ISO somewhere between 204,800 and 1,638,400 (likely 409,600)
16-bit processing
Full HD (or higher) 24p, 25p, 30p, and a good chance of 720p or higher 60fps. Full manual controls are guaranteed.
$4,999 – $5,500
The rest (fps, autofocus, buffer, etc) is already incredible, so any improvements will be that much more amazing.

D4x:

36-50 megapixels
Top ISO somewhere between 25,000 and 102,400 (likely 25,000)
16-bit processing
Full HD (or higher) 24p, 25p, 30p, and a good chance of 720p or higher 60fps. Full manual controls are guaranteed.
$7,999
The rest (fps, autofocus, buffer, etc) same as above

Of course, lots of magic powder is likely to accompany these new cameras—things we never saw coming. Here’s to hoping…

Years ago I happened upon an incredible find: a leather-bound quote book printed in 1910 entitled Old Friends Are Best which contains quotes selected and arranged by Richard Brooks. I love the paper, the letterpress design on the pages, and the well-worn cover. But even more, I love the quotes inside. Almost every page contains a treasure, revealing the care and attention to detail the compiler took in arranging this book.

So, with something so old and so rare, what better background for a few images of something new and ubiquitous, yet equally as well designed 101 years later: the iPhone. I took these images with an ebay auction in mind. I find that my attempts to create above-average images of my occasional for-sale product usually fetches me a higher price, and the extra few minutes it takes almost always turns out to be an enjoyable distraction. Below you can enjoy the images of the phone and the book.

And if you like, you can scroll down below the images for the story of how lame ebay has become.

EBAY SUCKS:

I thought I’d try selling my excellent-condition iPhone with a highly coveted baseband on Ebay in order to supplement my purchase of an officially unlocked version.

My only hitch? Ebay sucks Llamas teeth.

A few hours after I finished listing my auction, I received this email:

Followed shortly by this one:

But before you jump to judgement, try to understand this from Ebay’s perspective. First, I did log in with my own password. Second, I was also asked to verify my identity by answering a security question. Third, I uploaded these really generic-looking images that easily could have been mistaken for images like those often lifted from any company’s product pages by thieving Nigerian 419 scammers. After all, there are plenty of companies taking product pictures of their near-mint condition iPhone on a one-hundred-and-one year old leather-bound book, right? And lastly, I have an account that is nearly as old as Ebay itself, with 100% positive feedback, and a history of listing things intermittently.

Therefore—given the circumstances—there is only one logical thing for them to do: DELETE my auction, refund the clearly fraudulent .50¢ listing fee charged to my credit card, and disable my ability to login, forcing me instead to answer the same security questions all over again in order to verify my identity so I can then re-list the same auction a day later than intended while fighting off the impending feeling of déjà vu. Perfect.

Of course, their reset password feature is broken, so all this is for naught even after I get customer-non-service on the line.

In the end I must give up and say no thanks, Ebay. You can keep your crappy auctions and crappy customer-non-service, your crappy policies and crappy overzealous fraud department. I’ll take my business elsewhere—even if that means I’ll lose money. At least I won’t lose my sanity dealing with you inebriated monkeys.

The Stone of Destiny.

I loved it. The movie featured a unique storyline, a good cast, enough excitement, and a plot that was based on a true story. I don’t recall having heard of the Stone of Scone prior to this movie, but I found the movie interesting and the message inspiring.

If you’re into sex and blood, this show isn’t for you. Also, I love ultra-cinematic masterpieces. Despite this being nothing of the sort, it’s very much worth watching. I only wish it was streamed in widescreen. Fullscreen is sooooooooo 1992.