Relax…it’s just a camera

As major photography shows draw near many photographers seem to get an extra dose of GAS in their bodies as they ponder what may, or may not, be introduced by their brand of choice. I received a number of emails over the past couple of weeks with the most common question being, “What will you do if the Nikon 1 system is discontinued?” After thinking about it for a few minutes my reply was quite simple, “Relax…it’s just a camera.”

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 24mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-800

Having had my own bouts with GAS over the years I do appreciate how tempting new gear can be – especially for those of us that are technically oriented.

I suppose many Nikon 1 owners, or folks considering the system, are a bit worried that Nikon may pull the plug on it down the road. This fear has been in the market for at least a couple of years. A few ‘drop dead dates’ for Nikon 1 predicted by various industry pundits over the past few years have come and gone and those little Nikon 1 cameras are still around. And, the skepticism surrounding the system remains.

Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 24mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-320

Fears about other camera brands have been out there for a while too. Will Panasonic stay in the market given its small market share? Or, what will happen to Olympus given its lack of profitability and issues with questionable financial reporting in the past? Can a small market share brand like Pentax survive? Will some, or all, go the way of Samsung?

All of these fears are legitimate of course. None of us really knows what kinds of decisions will be made in executive boardrooms.

Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 24mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-400

There really is no point in wringing our hands about what may, or may not, happen. If the gear we are using is doing a good job for us does it really matter what happens to the brand or system in the near term? Likely not…unless your body or lens needs repair then there could be an issue if your brand totally disappears. Otherwise there still should be parts and service available for a number of years on older cameras.

I drive a Scion XB and love the car. It is reasonably comfortable, gets decent fuel economy and is a wonderful vehicle when I need to move a lot of camera gear and accessories when doing a video shoot. It was discontinued a while ago and the Scion brand may soon disappear. Do those two facts make my vehicle any less capable today? No. Did my XB suddenly stop meeting my needs because it has been discontinued? No. I’m sure it will remain serviceable for many years to come. The same is true of our camera gear.

Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 24mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-100

As I’ve been working on my New Zealand photography e-book I’ve had to go back to some of my 2013 images. I need to fill in some some photographs for locations where the weather was particularly inclement during our 2016 photo tour. As I looked over many of those older Nikon D800 photographs it made me think about the two trips and the gear I used during each.

Without question the D800 files are much better in terms of image quality when it comes to colour depth, dynamic range and low light capability. Will they be immeasurably better than my Nikon 1 J5 images when used in my upcoming e-book? It’s doubtful. Using images at smaller sizes is a great equalizer. Many readers of my upcoming New Zealand e-book likely won’t notice much, if any, difference at these smaller reproduction sizes.

Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 @ 29mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO-100

How did my shooting experience compare between using full frame DSLR gear and Nikon 1 equipment? The second trip using smaller equipment was much easier on me physically, and capturing images was faster. The smaller size and lighter weight made composing some photographs far easier. As is often said, every photographic gear choice comes with some kind of trade-off…in my case this is overall image quality vs portability and ease of use.

I think the key point to remember when we begin to worry about the future of camera brands and specific systems is that we should all relax…it’s just a camera. The world will not end if a particular brand or system disappears. Most of us would find that our current gear will remain serviceable and meet our needs for many years to come…just like my Scion XB.

Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 @ 24mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO-100

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Article is Copyright 2017 Thomas Stirr. All images are Copyright 2013 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. While we do allow some pre-authorized links to our site from folks like Nikon Canada and Mirrorlessons.com, if you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending web sites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!

17 thoughts on “Relax…it’s just a camera”

  1. Would really lIke to see an article on low light photography from you. As you pointed out its only a gear and a peraonal choice. I have come across some beautiful compositions even using mobile. With the right technique and good composition the difference in gear can be negated to some extent.
    Srikanth

    1. Hi Srikanth,
      I almost never do low light photography which is why my selection of the Nikon 1 system works very well for my needs. What specific issues associated with low light photography are of interest to you?
      Tom

  2. Thomas,
    Thanks for all the great real-life articles you produce about the Nikon 1.

    As a result I scored the deal of the century on a new-in-box J5 w/10-100 that a local photographer won in a contest.

    I’ve since added the 10-30 and have not found time for my D300s or D90 and their 10 lenses in weeks. Thinking about culling the herd of big lenses and buying the FT-1 and extension tubes for the J5.

    I’ve probably mastered (or at least used) about half the amazing features of this J5. It’s time to put it down and read the manual. The video options and fast still shooting need some serious study.

    1. Hi Steve,
      As you become more familiar with the J5’s capabilities I think you’ll discover why so many owners really enjoy the camera. The Nikon 1 system is panned by many folks who have never even used one or understand its many interesting capabilities.
      Tom

  3. The images are really good with lots of details and nice color. Did you shoot handheld with the D800?

    It is a good hint to get some extra batteries, but I’m quite sure they will be in stock for a very long time. I just checked that batteries are still available for my Coolpix 4500 which was my second digital camera and it was released in 2002.

    Generally I’m not so worried about Nikon 1 as I have the V1, J5 and a V3 which I’m sure will last for a very long time, but I still hope that Nikon will continue developing the system as it is such a nice lightweight system with some unique features.

    1. Hi Anders,
      Yes, I shot hand-held with the D800. Sounds like you have a good assortment of Nikon 1 bodies! I’m also hoping that Nikon keeps the Nikon 1 system going for a long, long time!
      Tom

      1. Hi Tom,
        You certainly have good technique for hand held photography! I must admit that after acquiring the V3, I rarly use the V1 and I pick up the V3 more often than the J5, because it is such a nice little camera.
        Anders

        1. Hi Anders,
          I’m still getting used to the V3…only had it a few weeks now. For general photography and macro-type images with extension tubes I prefer the J5 because of the improved 20.8MP BSI sensor. I have adjusted to shooting without an EVF so that’s a non-issue for me. Everyone’s different…that’s what makes the world so interesting!
          Tom

          1. Hi Tom,
            I agree on the J5, that it has a better sensor, but the V3 is still very good in good light. I have had no problems with the J5 either even if it has no EVF. Actually an articulated touch screen is sometimes an advantage as you can shoot more unnoticed. I have been really happy with the J5 which I have had for something like 1.5 year, while I have only had the V3 for around 2 months now and I just enjoy its different capabilities and DSLR layout a lot 🙂
            Anders

  4. Hi Thom
    I am more worried in a few years on gears using special batteries that will not be manufactured anymore. I own the first electronic Nikon body the Nikkormat EL it has a special battery located under the mirror that I am sure I can’t find anymore.
    regards
    Luc

    1. Hi Luc,

      That is a valid concern for sure! I know some folks that were able to find some older batteries, some used, on amazon.com etc. I have also thought about that and to try to futureproof my camera bodies as best I can I’ve bought additional batteries for all my bodies. Hopefully that will extend the life of not only my camera bodies, but batteries as well.

      As far as your Nikkormat EL I did a search online and found this: https://www.batteriesplus.com/battery/film-camera/nikon/nikkormat-el/durpx28lb. Your Nikkormat EL is likely 30 years old or more…so if there’s still batteries available for it I’m hoping that won’t be an issue for any of my Nikon 1 bodies.

      Tom

  5. Please tell me what place is photo number one and what is the circle thingy in it?

    Love the color of the water in photo number three and the many, many, wonderful textures in photo number six.

    We get attached to a special camera, car, or other item and worry about it. Like Windows 7 — I still miss some things about it that are not around anymore in Windows 10. Sometimes we don’t want change.

    1. Hi Joni,
      The first image was captured at the Visitor’s Centre at Mount Cook National Park on the South Island of New Zealand. As far as I can tell the ‘circle thingy’ is an interior design element. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
      Tom

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