December 2019

Dec 30

Mirrorless Cameras, Class of 2019. Nikon today released firmware update version 2.2 for the Z6 and Z7 cameras. The basic news: the 2.2 update includes support for CFexpress cards [sic] and the ability to update the cameras to provide ProRes Raw video output to Atomos Ninja V recorders. Both those things need a lot of explaining. Article on

You Got a Nikon Z for XMAS. Now What? You got a Nikon Z6, Z7, or Z50 as a Christmas present (probably to yourself, but I’m not going to judge you ;~). This is your first Nikon mirrorless camera, so now you’re thinking: what do I do next? Article on (Sony version of the article coming soon.)

Stop Being a TechnophobeThe latest protests from users I see boils down to this: XQD and CFexpress cards are too expensive. Well, when compared to ten-year old SD cards, sure. Article on

Dec 17

And Here's the Under Deliver. Nikon today released firmware update version 2.2 for the Z6 and Z7 cameras. The basic news: the 2.2 update includes support for CFexpress cards [sic] and the ability to update the cameras to provide ProRes Raw video output to Atomos Ninja V recorders. Both those things need a lot of explaining. Article on

Fujifilm updated firmware for the X-A5, X-A7, X-T3, X-T100, and X-Pro3. Sony updated firmware for the A7 m3, A7R m3, and A7R m4.

Dec 16

Over Promise and Under Deliver. Nikon's been in a bit of a conundrum for quite some time with mirrorless cameras. By pulling their first effort completely (the Nikon 1/CX series) and then seeming to rush back in with the Z mount, they find themselves playing defense, not offense. But the defense seems tired and out of sorts, and it's not communicating before, during, and after the game. Article on

Camera Repairs. I wasn't the first to comment this way, but it seems that the camera companies now have a simplified repair estimate form. This article tells you how to deal with each of these four likely scenarios. Article on

Dec 10

Nikon Cuts Back on Third Party Repairs, Again. No sooner had I posted my Profits over Progress article I received an email from iFixit and a pointer to an article on Nikon repair they were posting. The gist of the article is this: NikonUSA is no longer going to support Authorized Repair Centers with official parts—and by implication, testing gear, training, and tools—after March 31, 2020. Article on

Dec 9

Fighting All Trends. It’s common among those trying to explain the collapse of the dedicated camera market to ascribe this solely to the rise of smartphones. No doubt that the progress companies like Apple and Google have shown with the cameras built into their yearly updates coupled with the ease of sharing the photos those phones take has had a large impact on whether people might opt for a dedicated camera, but it’s really only one of the factors that come into play (careful, strong generalizations ahead). Article on

The Kit. We're deep into the big buying season now, and I'm constantly answering my email trying to help guide many of you to the best new gear decision for you. Thanks for your questions, I hope my answers are helping. But all that product contemplation has made me pull back a bit and do some soul-searching. Knowing what I know, if I were starting from scratch today trying to build a "full" and "flexible" system, what would I buy? Article on

Profits over Product. If you've been getting a signal from much of what I've written lately, it should be this: the camera makers went for profits over improving their products. Instead of pressing hard on every real gain they could at the product level, most of the time the camera makers have been trickling out predictable, small incremental things while stripping out costs every place they could find. Article on

The Sad Case of the MB-N10 Battery Pack. It only took a year or so—who's counting?—but Nikon eventually got around to shipping the MB-N10 Battery Pack for the Z6 and Z7. Maybe they should have waited another year. Article on


2019 Holiday Buying Guide. Every year I get a lot of requests to make suggestions on products to purchase for holiday gifts, either to oneself or to a loved one. In the past I've responded to those emails individually (and still do), but the volume level has gotten up to the point where I thought that I'd be organized about this and put some formal suggestions on the Web site. Today I post the camera suggestions. Later this month I'll get to the accessories and holiday gift suggestions. Article on

Dec 5

The US$1000 Camera Buying Dilemma. One way of looking at what's happening in the camera market is to slice it in a way that is more consumer-facing. I've chosen price as my slice mechanism today. Not sensor size, not camera type, not anything else other than price. Article on

Dec 2

Nikon 85mm f/1.8 S Review. The 85mm f/1.8 S is the third in a series of moderately fast Z-mount prime lenses to appear. At least two more such lenses will eventually arrive (20mm and 24mm focal lengths). Review on

Quick Takes on New Cameras. I’m juggling a bunch of new mirrorless gear in the review process right now. Since I’m getting a lot of email inquiring about these specific products during this holiday buying season, I thought I’d give you a quick take on my current thoughts on these products. Article on

Are You Tracking Tracking Correctly? One common theme I get in my In Box these days has to do with “the Nikon Z’s can’t track in autofocus.” This is incorrect. It started with YouTube videos at camera introduction that made similar claims, and has morphed and metamorphosed like a chameleon that makes cocoons in its larval stage but never quite becomes beautiful and gains flight. Article on

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