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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you enjoyed this article you may want to have a look at New Zealand Tip-to-Tip. This 250 page eBook features 89 locations in New Zealand and over 400 original photographs. You can use the link to see more detailed information about the eBook. The cost of New Zealand Tip-to-Tip is $12.99 Canadian.
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