I’m going to be honest and say I wasn’t an unhappy Nikon user. My D750 was great, the lenses were great, and the system was great. But I wanted a second body and I wanted that body to be mirrorless. I would have been great to have a mirrorless body coming from the same system as my DSLR but after waiting and hoping for Photokina, that didn’t happen, so I had to question how important DSLR or full frame was for me. The more I compared, the more I really that there was no longer a loss of performance moving to mirrorless, at least not for what I was doing.
I always said that when mirrorless offered a viable alternative, I’d consider switching. Sadly for Nikon, mirrorless now offers a viable alternative, but Nikon isn’t close. To put it into perspective, the race started 5 minutes ago, and the problem isn’t that Nikon started late, they’re still in bed sleeping.
Their last announcement at Photokina was more than just a little disappointing, and I wasn’t the only one. I don’t think I saw many positive comments at all. For those who missed it, Nikon seemed to indicate they might consider, thinking about contemplating, potentially, maybe looking at mirrorless and they would continue to monitor it. Gee, thanks. I’m glad you’re monitoring it, but if I’m going to continue to invest in a system, I want to know they are doing more than just watching this space. I can watch this space and I don’t even manufacture camera’s.
So where did Nikon go wrong? Well, for starters, if your customers are waiting for you to produce a mirrorless, and we know there are a lot of them out there waiting for this, if you are actually developing a mirrorless, you may want to mention it. I know what you’re thinking…maybe they wanted to keep it quiet so the market doesn’t know what theyre doing for competitive reasons. No, 10 years ago if Nikon was doing it, it might have been a secret. Now the market actually thinks you an idiot if you’re not doing it. And if you’re doing it and not mentioning it, they think your marketing department are idiots.
In the last 12 months, I’ve seen 5 Nikon amateurs/enthusiasts switch to mirrorless. They probably would have stuck with Nikon if they knew there was a mirrorless coming. Sure, we’re not professional sports photographers bu we’re not spending small sums of money either. We may not be buying 400 f/2.8’s but we are buying D810’s, D750’s and pro glass like 24-70’s, 70-200’s and 14-24’s. To put that into perspective, when these photographers go out and buy into another brand, they’re spending $5,000 – $10,000 to start with along with a another $5,000 – $10,000 over the next year or two. Maybe that’s not much to Nikon, but it should be, because when enough people start doing that, the numbers and up. This is the next generation of photographers that influence the youth who are buying and right now, we’re telling them not to buy into Nikon and Canon, because mirrorless is where the future is at, and Nikon and Canon aren’t the future.
The reality is that Nikon should have been developing mirrorless a long time ago, they should have been there first. Journalists have been saying this for ages. The average mirrorless user at the moment doesn’t want the Nikon 1. They want something which is DX or FX with good glass, and while you may have the FX glass covered, you haven’t produced a decent set of glass specifically for DX in ages. In conjunction to this, you’re still missing a big piece of the puzzle…a decent mirrorless camera. Remember Nokia? That’s where you are going to be headed at a rapid rate of you don’t do something soon.
In Short, Nikon, if your mirrorless project exists and marketing team is telling you to keep your mythical project secret, fire them, because you’ve probably lost a lot of business as a result of them. And if you aren’t developing a DX or FX mirrorless camera yet, fire your strategy team as well. They may have got you this far, but they’re out of their depth right now.
So where to for me? I sold my gear, at least Nikon still carries its resale value. Then I went out and got myself an XT-2, 16-55 f/2.8, 50-140 f/2.8, 23 f/2, 35 f/2, 90 f/2 and I’m pretty happy with the outcome.