Cameras and Photography Explained

This page points to all recent articles published on, and, and is updated as new articles appear (most recent on top). For articles from previous months, check the Articles Index Archive. 

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My workshops are full, and spring is coming. So I plan on doing some on-line teaching soon. 

Yes, the Nikon trade-in for the Z6 and Z7 is still current [advertiser link]. In the US you will now also get the US$250 FTZ Adapter for free. 

Nikon's been using a veiled form of Price Skimming with the Z cameras. If you bought Day 1 you paid something like US$3500 for a Z7 body and FTZ adapter. With the trade-in credit that's been running for awhile now, that dropped the effective price for an upgrader to US$3100. With the trade-in and the free adapter active today, we're now at US$3000. Realistically, given the D850's current pricing and the differences in overall capability, the Z7 probably is more realistically priced at US$2800 or so with the adapter. 

Will it get there? Depends upon how Nikon is doing on their demand/price model. But if you want a prediction, I'd say that the discounts will go away or be significantly reduced on April 1st, partly because that's the day Nikon kicks off a new fiscal year. Some new discounting would likely then return later in the quarter based upon specific time-based promotions (e.g. May/June timeframe has Father's Day and Graduation in it), and based upon demand analysis. I can't exactly predict what they'll do, as I don't have access to Nikon's modeling. Nikon measures demand and micromanages price very carefully, possibly more so than any of the other camera companies. When you're seeing significant discounts as we are now on the Z's, that means that either (a) Nikon is seeing less demand than expected; and/or (b) Nikon sees that a discount pricing produces more overall profit. Given that the Z cameras are built with more automation and at lower cost than the equivalent DSLRs, Nikon has plenty of flexibility in moving their prices around to get the maximum benefit (for them). And that leads to price skimming. (Note that Canon's US$1300 price point on the RP denotes more of a Penetration Pricing approach from them. Welcome to MBA 101, Lecture 9, Product Pricing Strategies.)

>>> This Week's Articles: 

March 19

Nikon 35mm f/1.8 S (Z mount) Lens Review. The 35mm f/1.8 was the first prime lens Nikon delivered for the Z cameras. As such, many looked at it as a harbinger of lenses to come, as Nikon also promised f/1.8 primes at 20mm, 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm. Article on

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 S (Z mount) Lens Review. The 50mm f/1.8 S is the second in Nikon's prime lens offerings for the Z system. Surprisingly, it's pretty much the same size as the 35mm f/1.8 S (in this case 3.4" x 3", or 86.5 x 76mm). Article on

March 18 

Chasing Gains. My article last week about whether ISO is fake or not brought up a lot of discussion points. But there's one in particular I want to talk about today, because it plays into many of those discussions. Article on

May I ask that you start your photographic-related shopping by clicking on any of the B&H links on this site, such as the following one. B&H is this site's exclusive advertiser. Starting a purchase at B&H from a link on this site helps support this site.

Some of you probably aren't aware that I've long had a dedicated B&H Landing Page [advertiser link] where the items in each of four different "gear bags" I use lives. We've just updated that page and the underlying pages, as well.


>>> Recent Articles:

March 14

The Next Full Frame Cameras. That headline got your attention, didn't it? ;~) Article on 

March 11

The Blanks in the Canon RF Lens Lineup. We don't really have a lens roadmap from Canon like we do for most of the other companies. The lenses we know about so far give us this picture by focal length. Article on

The Blanks in the Nikon Z Lens Lineup. Nikon's roadmap for Z mount lenses keeps getting small adjustments. At the moment, Nikon is showing charts with three unidentified lenses to be released in 2020, eight in 2021. The operative question is what do we want those lenses to be, and what are they likely to be? Article on

The Photographer Creates the Image. The camera makers have fixed your problems. But have you fixed any, yourself? I'm old enough to say that I started in the do-it-all-yourself world when it comes to photography. Manual exposure (no built-in camera meter, either), manual focus, manual frame advance, and keep it steady yourself. Article on

The State of Camera Sales. It's that time of year again. The Japanese camera companies are all wrapping up their fiscal years (other than Canon, who's in their first fiscal quarter), and CIPA has published their deeper look at the industry numbers for 2018 as well as their forecast for 2019.  Article on

If I Were to Switch. Let me work you through a thought experiment and show you how to correctly evaluate whether it's worth it to switch to another system or not. Article on

March 4

Is ISO Fake? A recent YouTube post by a well-known camera commentator provoked a lot of debate on the Web, but it's not new debate. For quite some time the term ISO has been argued over. What exactly is it, and do we need to pay attention to it? Article on

CP+ Wrap Up, Mirrorless. The mirrorless related products (plus a few compacts) that were introduced prior to and during the CP+ show in Japan, with an emphasis on trying to point out the current state of the market. Article on

CP+ Wrap Up, DSLR. The DSLR related products that were introduced prior to and during the CP+ show in Japan, with an emphasis on trying to understand where Canon, Nikon, and Pentax currently are at. Article on

February 26

Firmware Announcements Versus Shipments. You may have noticed that I have not commented on "future firmware updates." Not from Fujifilm, not from Nikon, not from Olympus, not from Panasonic, and not from Sony, all of which have put out press releases or held conferences on future firmware recently. Article on

Also note that I've been adding data pages for new lenses as they pop up, for example the Sony 135mm f/1.8. As I note above, I'll have a WPPI/CP+ wrap-up article next week that goes into commentary.

February 25

The One-Bag Photographic World Traveler. I've known a few people who are serious photographers who've decided to spend a year or more just wandering the world. One of the big issues they face is just how to winnow down their camera and computer gear to the point where it doesn't impact their ability to go anywhere, any time for any length, and in any manner of travel (plane, train, auto, boat, walking). Article on

Establish Your Own Standards, but... "My current 50mm 1.8 works just fine and is very sharp, so what can this new lens offer?" I get this sort of message fairly often. If you're happy with the performance of your current 50mm, then any improvement from a new optic would probably be useless to you. Be happy that your standards are met with what you have. But... Article on

February 19

Time to Step on the GAS? GAS stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Over the years, photographers have been on and off again with their gear buying patterns. Sometimes the foot is on the GAS pedal, sometimes it's on the credit card brakes. Article on

Did the Camera Makers Follow the Trends? At this point you can find the basic claim I first made back in 2007/8 all over the place in the media: smartphones are cannibalizing the camera market. Or have cannibalized the dedicated camera market. Or continue to cannibalize the camera market. Basically, smartphones are cannibals, apparently. Article on

All the previous articles for my sites can be found in the Articles Index.

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