Since it was announced back in 2006, Canon’s 70-200mm f/4L IS lens has been an attractive option for photographers who want a lighter and cheaper alternative to the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS. For the price of one stop, one could get a lens that’s nearly half as heavy (1.7lb vs 3.3lb) and significantly less expensive. Nikon shooters may soon have a similar choice as well: Nikon is planning to fill in this gap in its lens lineup by announcing its own 70-200mm f/4 a week from now.
Is “camera toss” photography ready to go from fad to feature? Apparently Nikon thinks so. A recently published patent (No. 2012-189859) shows that the company has been thinking about building specific features into its compact and mirrorless cameras that would assist in using the technique.
Last week, we wrote that Nikon was tooting its own horn by claiming that both the D4 and D800 DSLRs had passed the European Broadcasting Union test, popularly known as the BBC test, making them the “first DSLR cameras fit for broadcast.” Now it appears that the horns were tooted prematurely, as the BBC is refuting Nikon’s interpretation of the tests.
Update: Eye-Fi has released a firmware update that fixes this issue.
If you shoot with a Nikon D800 or D800E and have been experiencing issues with wireless file transfers using Eye-Fi SD cards, it’s not just you: Eye-Fi has found that some aspect of the cameras’ SD slots make them incompatible with the cards.
Well, that was abrupt. On Tuesday, we wrote that the Nikon D4 that Usain Bolt had famously used after winning an Olympic gold medal was up for auction on eBay, with the proceeds going toward educational and cancer research charities. After the story was reported worldwide, the high bid quickly rose until it hit $11,600 today. Then suddenly, it was gone.
A little over a year ago, Nikon launched its new 1 Series mirrorless system by unveiling the V1 and J1 cameras. This past August, the company launched the J2 as the successor of the J1, but it’s 2nd generation counterpart, the V2, was strangely absent. Luckily for the J2, it won’t be lonely for too much longer.
Nikon Rumors is reporting that the V2 is scheduled to be announced by the end of this year. It’s pretty clear that the road is already being paved for the new camera: at the beginning of this month, Nikon dropped the price of the V1 (with kit lens) down to $400 — a good deal lower than the $900 MSRP the kit was launched with. As with the J2, the V2 is expected to be a minor refresh of its predecessor.
Image credit: Camera mockup by Nikon Rumors
Nikon published a news post recently boasting that its D4 and D800 DSLRs had “become the first DSLR cameras to pass the very elaborate European Broadcasting Union (EBU) test, commonly referred to as the BBC Test.”
These tests were conducted by Alan Roberts, who spent most of his career in research and development at the BBC and wrote the new EBU guidelines and testing procedures. Alan commented that both the D4 and D800 exhibited the lowest amount of rolling shutter he has ever seen in a CMOS equipped camera. He also commented that the exposure latitudes of the D4 were truly remarkable at around 13 stops;
Other publications reporting on the test results aren’t nearly as enthusiastic as Nikon about the results. wolfcrow writes that the D800 actually failed the test, pointing to the concluding line, “This camera cannot be recommended for serious programme-making.”
Usain Bolt ran beyond the boundaries of sports and made headlines in the world of photography earlier this year at the London Olympics. After winning yet another gold in his 200m race, he ran over to Scandinavian newspaper photographer Jimmy Wixtröm, grabbed his Nikon D4, and began shooting some awesome photographs of what he was experiencing.
Wixtröm just sent us an email with some neat news: the famous D4 is now being auctioned with the proceeds going to charity.
Proto-photo-blogger Ken Rockwell has interesting things to say about what he calls “Nikon’s big deception.” If you’re currently considering the new D600, his “What’s New in September 2012″ words will be music to your ears:
Holy cow, I just realized Nikon’s big deception: the D600, D800, D800E and D4 are all the same cameras designed and produced in parallel at the same time and all have the same insides, producing the same images with the same processing power, same LCDs, same green-shift problems and identical AF controls. They differ only in exterior packaging and when Nikon chose to announce them to make them appear different. It’s just like 1980 again!
Back when Nikon ruled the pro 35mm world, all their 35mm cameras took the same pictures. The only differences were how tough and how fast they were. Consumer cameras like the EM were plasticy and worked OK, while the F3 was tough and fast, with the FE in the middle. All took the same film and same lenses, had the same meters, the same automatic modes, all focused the same, and all took exactly the same pictures.
[...] Today, Nikon’s 2012 FX trio of D600, D800 and D4 obviously were all designed and manufactured at the same time with the same innards, and merely announced in descending cost order at different times to try to hide the simple fact that they’re the same camera inside.
So Rockwell’s claim is that Nikon is taking the same powerful guts of the D4 and hamstringing it in various ways (e.g. firmware, build, features) in order to target different segments of the camera market — the same thing Canon is doing with the 1D X and 1D C.
We’ve seen ring flash units that redirect light from a DSLR’s pop-up camera and a hot shoe-mounted flash, but never from a compact camera’s built-in flash. Based on a patent filing published earlier this month and uncovered by Egami, that’s what Nikon appears to be in the process of building.