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Tuesday, 23 February 2016


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If only they had added a viewfinder I'd consider the DL24-85 as a replacement for my aging LX5 (lack of a built in viewfinder is my major gripe with it). I prefer an internal viewfinder, but I have been able to tolerate the use of the add on one for the LX5. Looks like the new Nikons don't offer either option.

Addendum to my earlier comment. It looks like their is an optional viewfinder - it's just not listed as an accessory yet on the B&H page.

Never mind the boring Canikon stuff, how about that new interchangeable-lens Sigma, with an available APS-H-sized Foveon sensor? Basically, it looks like Sigma's removed the mirror box from their DSLR, and replaced it with an EVF. This is an idea that more than a few D810 users (including me!) wished Nikon would do.

The SA mount is similar to Canon EF (is it a clone?), so Nikon lenses as well as Contax/Yashica Zeiss should be adaptable to it, in addition to Sigma's own excellent Art lenses. BTW, the C/Y Zeiss 85/2.8 is quite an amazing landscape lens on a D810, and I believe you really like that lens too, Mike.

The physical design is interesting too, as it's more conventional (relative to the DP Quattros), but still a bit out there.

The Sigma site appears to be down right now but the usual rumor sites have all of the information: just search for “Sigma SD Quattro”.

I was interested in the DL24-85 for a daily walkaround camera... until I noticed it has no EVF. Bzzzt. Nice specs otherwise.

Regarding the Nikon.. the better these cameras get, the more they look like the new sweet spot for a certain type of photographer.

SLR -> mirrorless -> "compact mirrorless"?

I've had a micro 4/3rds camera with one lens for 5+ years. Upgrading to a genuinely pocketable camera is quite appealing.

Nikon's DL series really looks great, especially since it appears to feature the autofocus performance of the Nikon One series. But I already have a Panasonic LX100 so I suspect I won't be buying a DL.

Note that none of the DLs are particularly small in the context of one-inch sensored cameras. They're larger than anything in Sony's RX100 line and both the Canon G7X and G7X II.

I truly wish Nikon had added a DL to directly compete with Canon's G9X - a truly pcketable compact. Nonetheless, I predict those who buy any of the DLs will enjoy their purchase.

I expect that these little Nikon DL cameras are excellent picture-making devices. But will there be a market? Even the cheapest is $650, which may be a bit more than most phone-camera users want to spend. Wouldn't most users wanting to move up to a "serious" camera choose a Nikon 1, where they have the option to change lenses? Well, I hope it works out for Nikon.

Although it didn't shoot RAW and wasn't very special in any way, I had great luck and pleasure shooting with Nikon's P5100 a few years back.

Interesting how Fuji's EV comp dial is now standard on all mirrorless compact cameras...

It's all in how you parse it:

Can I Con?
     Some of the people, some of the time.
Canny Con.
     Sharp prisoner
Can Nikon?
     With these funny cameras?
Canon I can.
      The big Engine is sure It can.

Can I Con[tinue]?
Canned I Corn
     The above

'I detest the term "prosumer."'

Prosumer, n.
  1. A "Anti" who eats "Pros" for breakfast.
  2. A gourmand of properly prepared professionals (and alliteratives)
  3. A buyer, user and disposer of Professional goods and services.
  4. A professional creator of and/or believer in affirmative assumptions.

You should not call the Coolpix A a 'would be GR killer' when it has been discontinued as a market failure after a short run while GR is doing very well and is now in it's mark II. 'Could have been...' would be more accurate even though you sort of imply it did not do well.
Let's see how the Fuji X70 does, another would be GR killer. I just fondled one in Tokyo and it is very different so I doubt it will be a killer but it could be an also ran. Especially since Fuji seems to have a bit more will to stay in the competition unlike Nikon who so easily gives up even when they have a seeming winner. It is like a 50 lap car race where Nikon gives up after two laps if they are not the leader at that time. How to win?

I am totally underwhelmed by the 80D, it has no evf, no inbody AS and no pixel shift and if I'm not mistaken no 4k video. Why have Canon stopped innovating, for almost a decade?

Now if you want innovation take a look at the Sigma SD Quattro cameras announced today


This might sound absurd but I've been wondering lately why I can't "talk" to my DSLR (or any camera including my phone) or use the display like a touch screen (with the exception of the pro-sumer D5300). The thought of just saying the words, Camera:ISO-1600 or Camera:F8 or Camera:Shutter 1/30 or Camera:zoom infinity and having it just happen seems relatively straightforward when I can dictate no end of paragraphs right to my phone.

I would think there's plenty of room and processing power for such a think and that the pro's would love this. Just a thought. shrug..

The DL cameras are certainly intriguing.

Its worth noting that they sport the same autofocus system as the superfast Nikon V3, and 4k video.

The combination of these two features actually puts them ahead compared to the mane competition (Rx100, LX100).

To my knowledge, no compact camera has ever had an autofocus system this capable, and none has ever gone as wide as the DL18-50. Very interesting.

Canon copied the Rx100 first with the G7x. I think Canon has the best diversity of choice amongst the 1 inch sensor cameras. They have the truly pocketable G9x, the middle of the road sort of pocketable G7x II, and the full featured fits in a coat pocket G5x. I'm tempted by all of these cameras but then I remind myself that I'm saving up for the Canon 24-70 L II for my clunky DSLR.

$845 or $645 (???) to purchase a camera with a small sensor for which you have to buy a $? add-on viewfinder. A shame the CX format cameras were so badly executed because they had a lot of potential. So Nikon emulates Sigma's eccentric pocket cameras; if you need multiple focal lengths (or focal length ranges) you have to buy multiple cameras.
"Never give a sucker an even break"
W.C. Fields

I've never been a Nikon fan, primarily because I've always rooted for the underdog. (To wit - I was once a diehard fan of the Washington Senators.) In the heyday of film and SLRs, I always considered Nikon to possess a bit of hubris and their tendency to produce big and heavy iron, no matter how reliable, to ignore the need for smaller, lighter, but just as tough seemed to exemplify that. For a short period I sold a lot of cameras and when the Nikon rep talked trash about other lenses (including Olympus and Tamron,) it confirmed that assessment in my mind.

I did, however, like the 35Ti a lot and sold quite a few. So now with this DL lineup, my interest is piqued, especially the DL18-50 which has the focal length range that is in my wheel house and yes, looks to be the business. Congratulations, Nikon, you have my attention. Canon? Not so much.

*I detest the term "prosumer."

So do I, but I'm not sure pro-am is any better. Sounds like a camera for dilettantes 8-D

Users may be either pro or amateur, but a camera is just a tool.

Why oh why oh why can't the EV dial just be an ISO dial? Or at least a shutter speed dial? Here you have a perfectly good dial, with quite possibly the least useful function imaginable. Do we blame Fuji for that?

These are good looking cameras, and quite interesting, but adding a $400 (guessing) viewfinder that occupies the hotshoe does not interest me.

The selfie flipping screen is no good, either. I have come to prefer the Olympus-style locking waist-level screen, not a floppy one that articulates as far as these Nikons do.

Anyhow, that's just me. I do try out a lot of cameras, however, and I know what I like!

The DL 18-50 sounds interesting, due to the wider than normal lower focal length. But Canon did the right thing with the G5X, adding a EVF to the camera.

Dear Mike,

A friend of mine, Scott Dennis, pointed out to me several years back that the obvious counterpart to "prosumer" was "confessional."

pax / Ctein

Pro-Am reeks of gasoline and burning tires. (Or was that Cam-Am?) You can tell I am sports-illiterate, but really that is a poor name for a camera type or photographer type.


The Nikon DL18-50 is great for professional architects and interior designers. Maybe even for professional photographers who specialize in architecture. The camera has perspective control! And a fast wide angle zoom that is as far as I know the first in its class.

I detest "prosumer" too. Almost as much as "Canikon."

To avoid "prosumer" one could concatenate the two words in the opposite direction to get "confessional".

What I find most vexing and frustrating about Nikon is its conservatism. With Nikon, the one camera category where design and engineering are truly in the driver's seat is the pro DSLR with high spec zoom lenses. (Even their best primes, while nice, seem slightly outside this central shooting concept.) So, if you're a pro who needs to shoot in this traditional way (or an enthusiast who likes to), Nikon offers arguably the best experience.

The rest of Nikon's offerings seem made to meet the dictates of the marketing department, where use and user experience take a back seat to margin and market niche, and lack an essential integrity. The biggest disappointment in this regard, for me, was the Nikon Df.

Nikon came close to breaking out of this with the Coolpix A. Perhaps they felt the market demanded it. But in any case the company proved less than committed to the concept when they priced it too high and then withdrew it after a short time.

These DL cameras do appear, as you say, to be a response to the RX100. Whether they have any real design and performance chops remains to be seen.

Earl Dunbar, who claims "To wit - I was once a diehard fan of the Washington Senators."

If you want to talk about being an underdog, you should have rooted for their cross-town team, the Generals ;-)


Yes, Nikon has had a spotty (and poor) record in consumer cameras. These are not consumer cameras ;~).

If I was just starting a general commercial photography business right now, it would be a tough decision between interchangeable-lens mirrorless and just getting a DL 18-50 and DL 24-85 and calling it a day. Yes, they're pricey (probably $2k for two bodies + two EVFs), but you can cover just about every day-to-day need with just those two DLs, and a decent set of lenses plus two mirrorless bodies would almost certainly cost more.

The 1" format won't give you as much DOF control, but that's always a trade-off, with each step in sensor size being about a stop different from the next. Could I live with a bit less subject isolation in return for a tiny, tiny bag, no lens changing, and features tuned to each camera (the 18-50 has tweaks for architectural work, for instance)? Quite possibly.

As Thom Hogan pointed out, this very much calls into question Nikon's continuing support of their 1 series - the DLs are everything people have asked for in that format, but done with fixed lenses. This may be the only way to make 1" attractive to the "pro-am" market, since it gets you a significantly smaller package than can be achieved with an interchangeable lens mount, while also allowing fast enough lenses to mitigate against some of the small sensor's weaknesses.

Someone finally did it!! Yay!
My pocket, Tri-Elmar, compact camera!
16~18mm to 45~50mm lens, check.
f2~f2.8 at least throughout the range, check.
At least a 1" sensor, check.
EVF....crap. Never mind.

To quote Mr. Simon:
Why am I soft in the middle
The rest of my life is so hard

Nikon - wtf? (Why the Floundering?)

The good old prime lens days; shot some of the '84 LA Olympics (torch relay, marathon) with two Leica CLs,400 Asa color neg, and the 40mm and 90mm lenses, set for f11, 1/500, prefocused. I didn't want to try switching lenses or rangefinder focusing while jostled and/or running, and changing film in the CL, (though easier than an M), was still an involved three hands process. Did quite well - a large percentage of the 15 rolls in focus and well exposed.
Then high quality zooms came along, and the concept of OCOL became OCOZ to me. When I got used to that, autofocus, soon followed by digital computography ...everything changed except the concept of good lenses. I've longed for those CLs in an affordable, portable, digital form. The superb Panasonic 20mm and Oly 45mm lenses are great substitutes, and some of the Pen and EP bodies have done well, but I've been longing for 2 fixed zoom lens cameras. CL sized body, integral viewfinder, 1" or M4:3 sensor, and a 24-90 (eq.) f2.8 (or better) manually zoomable, and a second model, same everything but with 90-210 f2.8. Since most pros carry this basic combination with large interchangeable lenses, smaller fixed lenses in smaller EVF bodies should be pretty logical. Note the Panasonic LX100.

I love my small Fujis X10-20-30 – perfect one camera carry-all-the-time. Wish the sensor was a bit larger.
The LX 100 comes close, very close. Lovely camera, hate the slow zooming, thin little lens tube, vulnerable, toy like, sticking out like an unloved worm. Been waiting for the follow up.
The Panasonic FZ1000 fulfills it all, except the constant f2.8 aperture. A superb, somewhat large-ish camera.
The Sony RX10 also does a beautiful job, shorter (adequate) zoom, a bit oversized and overpriced, but very capable.

These new Nikons? 18-50 zoom? Nice if the second camera had a 50-150. Nice if you didn't have to shell out a couple hundred more for a lump of an EVF sitting in the hotshoe (gesundheit) of your $850 camera. Sony did that with the RX 100 MkII, and earned enmity when they integralized (word invented) it in the MkIII (as if we didn't see that one coming). The second Nikon, the 24-85 ? See VIEWFINDER comment above. Seems to be a me-too camera - strangely, the body somewhat resembles the LX100 from the front. The third, the 24-500 - a ridiculous specification bridge camera,overpriced, and (at least on spec.) far outclassed by the almost 2 year old Panasonic and Sony.

I was a happy Nikon shooter both film and digital, until I discovered EVF. My standard kit is M4:3,and Fuji X for serious available light work. I've been waiting for the sleeping giants to wake up, but so far they've fumbled. Contrast this to the elegance and inventiveness of Olympus, the quality of Fuji, the video pioneering Panasonic, and the market creating Sony. Apparently innovation and invention are not forthcoming from CaNikon. A pity ...... they're capable of so much more.

You describe these as the "DL cluster,"

After reading a bit on this new introduction, I would use "cluster" as an adjective with (expletive deleted) to describe this group.

Basically these strike me as throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping to cover some other companies' better thought out offerings.

Nikon, want a class leader? Duplicate the body design concept of the Leica Q with the same lens option as these new DL models. Give us a proper internal EVF and traditional dial based control set and the world will beat a path to your door.

RE: Steve D.
how about verbal commands for the supplied presets and allow assigning verbal commands to our defined presets
e.g. 'pastel', 'low contrast', 'tripod' etc.

I'll be the contrarian and make the case for accessory viewfinders. I like 'em. I've had one attached, on and off, to my little LX7 for the last couple of years and grown to like it lots.

When slipping the camera into a bike jersey pocket or a jacket pocket for an evening - just-in-case camera for non-photo travels - the viewfinder can be left at home, leaving a smaller, neater package than otherwise. Carrying a bag: slip on the finder. Nice and flexible.

Some camera brands even appear to put a little more into accessory finders than built-in ones, too. The one for the LX7, for example, is much pleasanter to use than the one in the LX100 (sadly). It even niftily articulates, as, it would seem, do those for these new Nikons. The DL24-85 might finally be the go-everywhere upgrade I've been looking for.

I came back to Nikon last year because I realized how much I like the colors from their cameras, even their point-and-shoots. So now I'm shooting with a D700, and I still use a Coolpix P7000 as a point-and-shoot. Yet, I remain perpetually frustrated with Nikon's lack of attention to detail in the high-end market (I fault Canon here as well). A separate EVF for the two smaller models? Is Nikon not aware of its competition like the Panasonic LX100 with a larger sensor, comparable zoom to the DL 24-85, and built-in EVF for less?

Nikons: no EVF, no sale. To me, anyway. I would rather look through a camera, not wave it around at arms' length.

Rather stick to Fuji's X30, notwithstanding the smaller sensor etc. etc.

As a professional Nikon user looking for a compact, carry everywhere 'dog walking' camera, I think I'm going to get the latest Sony RX100. They're about £550 on eBay right now (mint condition / unwanted gift) and don't need an external viewfinder.....

I wish the middle one (and the RX100) had a zoom which went beyond 100mm-e.

You're right about small Nikons. I had one I really liked, with a wide-angle zoom and tiltable screen, one of the first. It also had one of the first EVS, I think it had 18 pixels or so.

But before that (I think) I had one of the first compacts with wifi. The problem was that the lens sucked. I've never seen the like, any tree in the background looked like porridge.

Just because I cant leave a nit unpicked: the inversion of prosumer would be conducer. The term came about because of an envisioned "Great Democratization of Media" in which ordinary people would not only consume content, but produce it as well. Think VHS and 8mm multi-deck editing suites and the Newtek Video Toaster, or cassette-based 4-track audio console-ettes... the things that had us all fired up in the late '80s, until folks figured out that there was more to it than having gear capable of the task. In that sense, the iPhone paired with, say, Instagram is the real "prosumer camera" these days.

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