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FedeoApril 14, 2016

In own cause

boandjrp2015_400pix.jpegThanks to our many supporters, we have been able to improve the Nikonians site giving the community an even better place to be.

The fundraising campaign started in August 2015 and is now reaching its final stage. We need your support and hope that you can contribute, any amount counts.

Ramón and I are continuing to lead the changes at Nikonians and there are many items on the list, some of them are due out later this year, like improved photo management and redesign of the display of photographs in our galleries.

Posted by bgs at 12:14 PM

FedeoJanuary 14, 2016

Is the Compact Flash format doomed (anytime soon)?

CompactFlash-MemoryCards_BGS1062a-400 copy.jpgWith the Nikon D5 and D500 preferring the XQD format for storage, is the Compact Flash card format doomed (any time soon)?

My take on this is, yes. Of course the format is doomed over time, but it will be around for quite a few more years, just that manufacturers will not produce much of any new camera models supporting it. One reason being reduced manufacturing costs to support XQD vs. higher costs for supporting CF. The CF format is physically great, being robust. The size of these cards reminds me of video cassettes somehow and it is clear that smaller cards are often more practical, ignoring any speed advantages newer specs provide in addition.

For us CF dinosaurs, we can order the D5 with CF slots, for anyone else, get the one for XQD cards. Maybe we can come up with some DIY projects, things to create out of old CF cards, something to put in the window, or to have the kids playing with.

Join the discussion on the future of the Compact Flash in our forums.

More about the XQD card format (on wikipedia)

The Nikon D5 camera (Nikon Japan)
The Nikon D500 camera (Nikon Japan)

Posted by bgs at 12:29 PM

FedeoFebruary 25, 2015

Size does matter

Bo-JRP-THU-SQ_120.jpg

Nikonians.org has always been a user-driven community. Whenever our members show interest in enhancing our site, we take notice. 

Our founders have acted on your needs ---


Nikonians.org co-founder J. Ram?n Palacios (jrp) recently announced an upgrade you may have missed.

Here are the details:

Palacios-150.jpg

Responding to our members needs and wants in regard to:
? Uploading of larger images, both in size and weight for better image appreciation and no degradation from compression for posting, and to ...
? Easier viewing of images on portable devices, a segment that is growing rapidly,
we have implemented the following changes:

Previous specs
As of recently, we were able to post images in the forums of up to 1,200 pixels wide and/or tall, with a maximum weight of 300KByte.

New specs
Those dimensions have now been expanded to 1,800 pixels X 1200 pixels (for horizontal compositions) and 1,200 pixels tall for vertical compositions with a maximum weight of 1,000KBytes (1MByte).

Recommendation
If you want your images to be appreciated by most members without scrolling we do recommend your images to be not taller than 900 pixels whether in vertical or horizontal composition to accommodate the full image in the most common resolution size of monitors in use by our members.

These new specifications will be updated everywhere in the forums and at the corresponding wiki section for uploading images.

For those with smaller monitor resolutions or on mobile devices, our system will automatically show an 800pixels wide version of the image for more convenient viewing.

 

----------------------------------------

 

Stahlbrandt-150.jpg

Meanwhile, from co-founder Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs), we have received even more good news in the ?size? department:

Here are the details:

We are going to change the sizes of the previews used in our galleries. This has no effect of the full size (original) images.

Currently, for every image uploaded to the galleries we are creating 1) A so called "thumbnail", an image having its largest side set to 150 pixels and 2) a "medium sized preview", having its longest side set to 400 pixels.

Both of these image types are going to increase in size as follows:

? Thumbnails from 150 pixels to 250 pixels. These images are used e.g. on the homepage of the galleries and in overviews of the content of galleries.

? The medium-sized previews from 400 pixels to 800 pixels. These images are used as previews for the full size images in the galleries, for the image linking (imglink) in the forums and as previews in the image sliders in e.g. the wildlife forum.

All new images uploaded to the galleries are affected immediately by this change, getting the larger thumbnails and previews generated. Existing images in the galleries on the other hand, will be getting new thumbnails and medium sized previews generated over the next few weeks.

Until all thumbnails and previews have been regenerated, you will see a mix of the smaller (older) thumbnails and previews and the new, larger ones.

------------------------------------------------------

We invite you to join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help make these enhancements happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

Posted by flashdeadline at 7:47 PM

FedeoJuly 16, 2014

Fundraising kick off thanks from Bo and JRP

fundraiser-cht-w_120.jpgNikonians.org founders Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs) and J. Ramón Palacios (jrp) are thanking the generous members already supporting the Nikonians 2014 fundraising campaign.

As of this week the fundraising thermometer is creeping towards the $4,000 mark, thanks to some hefty additions (including one for $1,000).  Our founders want to make sure everyone understands that all donations, regardless of the amount, are deeply appreciated. 

The campaign is designed to expand and improve the experience for all users visiting the community.  

Our Nikonians 2014 Fundraiser News Blog provides background on this campaign. In brief, your support will allow us to pursue our work and continue our mission to share, learn and inspire. The goal is to apply funds raised towards improved navigation and ease-of-use as demanded by today's Internet users. 

Additionally, your donations will help members take advantage of increased worldwide opportunities to meet up and interact, through local gatherings, tours and chapters.

Gratitude:

  -- We wish to publicly thank the following members for their generosity thus far :

thermo_75.jpg

  Darryl Hodson 

▪ Chris Brown 

▪ Dave_K 

▪ Richard Luse 

▪ Mike Beresford 

▪ Steve Johnson 

▪ Jim and Glynda Knighten 

▪ Luke Gardner 

▪ Teofilo (Ted) Moreno 

▪ Conrad J. Obregon 

▪ Mike Sherwin 

▪ Gary Poole 

▪ Aniki Yamaguchi 

▪ Anthony Manansala 

▪ Mike Benveniste 

In addition, quite a few members chose to stay in the anonymous listing category (but the founders know who you are and thank you). 

-------------------------------

If you donate $100 US Dollars or more, you will receive a unique Nikonians cap signed by the founders.

nikonians_cap_150.jpgIf you donate at least $250 US Dollars, you will receive two unique Nikonians t-shirts plus the cap. Donations over $5,000 US Dollars will receive an invitation for a special North American photography trip with the founders in 2015. 

Please allow for three to four months for the shipping of merchandise. We will contact you for details and address prior to shipping.
   

For more information about Nikonians community, its vision and values, please go to About Nikonians. For detailed information about operating Nikonians as a not-for-profit site, read our Wiki: Are you doing all this for a profit?

Posted by flashdeadline at 7:07 AM

FedeoApril 21, 2014

Founders meeting leads to future plans

map-cabo_200.jpgNikonians founders Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs) and J. Ramón Palacios (jrp) have been meeting to discuss future innovations in the community.

The meeting was held in Los Cabos in Baja California, Mexico (about a 25 Km strip between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas in South Baja California, Mexico).

Our founders (Bo on the left and JRP on the right in the photo below) had a full schedule of annual meeting agenda items to handle during their short stay, working on topics such as improving design and navigation, and expanding the support for beginners and mobile users.

They also are preparing steps to enhance the visibility and awareness of the complete Nikonians experience.

Their full schedule, with lots of data to analyze, left very little time (if any) to photograph any of the local world famous icons, such as El Arco de Cabo San Lucas (Lands End).
Bo-JRP_450.jpg

Posted by flashdeadline at 7:16 AM

FedeoMarch 12, 2014

Member Benefits Explained -- Gold

Shield-Gold_THU.jpgNikonians founders J. Ramón Palacios (jrp) and Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs) are happy to welcome the large number of new members joining us in the past few years. They have also noticed an interesting trend.

It seems many members are not aware of the specific additional benefits that come with each level of community membership. Our Silver, Gold and Platinum levels each have unique benefits, and we are highlighting them, one by one.

Last week week we looked at our Silver membership benefits. This week the spotlight is on our Gold members.

Shield-Gold_250.jpgGold membership is only $75 USD per year.

As a Gold member, you receive the following benefits (above the basic trial membership):

▪ Upload and store images in forums

▪ Show personal gallery images in forums

▪ Access premium content area with how-to guides and more

▪ Access to Fine Art Nude Gallery

▪ Access to Fine Art Nude Forum

▪ Access our forums via RSS

▪ Send email to another member

▪ Access to our classifieds section, where you find many good items to buy and friendly, quality-minded members interested in buying your used gear

▪ Receive immediate rewards for being a Nikonians member: discounts for photo equipment, accessories and software from our sponsor partners. See also our Rewards Program.

▪ Receive the exclusive Nikonians personal Photographer's ID

▪ Get your personal Nikonians Business Card

▪ Write access to the Nikonians Wiki

▪ Your own, personal blog at Nikonians

▪ 20% discount on Annotate Expert Software (list price $79)

Logo_Nikonians-Contests-kl.jpg▪ Access to all of our photo contests. Participate in the Nikonians Photographers of the Year and in monthly contests. Prizes are awarded throughout the year as well as in the contest finals.

▪ Get your personal Membership Certificate

▪ Membership valid for 12 months.
Receive 15% off on membership if signing up for three years.
Bonus for upgrading: If you upgrade to a higher level, e.g. from Silver to Gold, whatever is left of your currently paid period will be converted to the new level as well.

▪ Access to our Nikonians Photo Tours and Workshops at very attractive prices, held throughout North America and in Europe

▪ Search for other Nikonians

Membership-Shields_300.jpgHere's a tip: -- if you want to see the full memberships benefits listing, check our comparison chart.

At the top of that chart, you will see a message from our founders explaining the community support you will be making through your choice of membership:

"Nikonians is a not-for-profit community. All capital generated through our operations (the Nikonians Community, the PhotoProShop and the Nikonians Academy) are reinvested to sustain our growth. Each membership counts and we take this opportunity to thank you for your support!"
---Bo Stahlbrandt and J. Ramón Palacios, Founders of Nikonians.

Posted by flashdeadline at 2:14 AM

FedeoJune 19, 2013

Are you concerned about your privacy?

You might want to switch to a search engine that claims they are not storing data of their users. I personally have switched to DuckDuckGo which seems to work well. There is an interview with their CEO here. Btw DuckDuckGo has a plugin for Firefox and other browsers.

Posted by bgs at 4:03 PM

FedeoSeptember 22, 2012

Google + Nik Software = Death of Rich Client Photo Editing

OK, so Google bought Nik Software a few days ago. This goes inline with the reported unhappy marriage and factual divorce between Nikon and Nik I mentioned back in March 2012.

What will now this acquisition by an advertising-driven web search portal with adjoining social and business tools of a photo imaging/editing application vendor like Nik Software mean?

1. Googles image capturing and editing offering will expand with mobile access
2. Google will enrich their portfolio of online editing tools and increase functionality
3. Nik Software portfolio will cease to exist over time

The third point is interesting for anyone who has been betting on the Nikon software Nikon Capture (NX et al), a software that is the intellectual property of Nikon and was developed by Nik.

Specifically, will Nikon have the interest, ambition, budget and skills to place the existing software codebase as a start for a new outsourcer that will develop it further according to their needs?

Vic Gundotra, Senior VP of Engineering at Google stated that they are inclined to keep the suite of pro tools and plugins for image editing as provided in the past by Nik. That sounds first pretty cool for photographers. But, we must understand that Google does not care about photographers with DSLRs any more they would care about anyone without direct online access to Googles services. They care just as much about a photographer using a Nikon D700 as they care about someone who is offline in deep Africa on a bicycle.

They want traffic, the online audience. Just like Imperium Z they feast and consume online souls. A photographer who is not online with his stuff is of no interest. Small devices staying online connecting to their services day and night. Small, personalized devices with advertising shown in various known and also still unknown ways, that is interesting for the search folks, making the billion dollars ad wheel spin and the servers heat up.

Where does advanced offline editing tools fit in here, the Nikon Captures of this world? Well, sure, they can and will connect to online services like those of the search folks. They will connect to all kinds of cloud services in the future. But, it is not a focus of Big G. And, anyways, Nikon Capture was never a part of the assets Big G acquired.

So, back to the Nikon question: Is Nikon going to get a new release out the door of Capture NX anytime soon? It does not seem to be a priority of Nikon though, with e.g. websites not updated on this since 2009. My personal take on this is, we have less than 50% chance of anything happening from Nikon to seriously improve NX. Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture is doing what most of us need already.

Posted by bgs at 2:11 PM

FedeoMarch 26, 2012

Nik Software divorces Nikon... right?

Seems the 2006 wedding between the two has been annulated. How much of a happy wedding that was is hard to say, but, we have been waiting for a follow up on the Nikon Capture NX2 a few years now and nothing is on, not even on the most sensitive of rumor radars.

Is the software some minority groups claim we'll still get worth waiting for, risking it will never come?

I would say hardly. Life's moved on and there are great, new tools out there. Take your pick, even if your new one does not come from Nik(on).

Posted by bgs at 4:46 AM

So much good stuff to read

Our sponsor Profoto runs their own blog and I really liked what I read. You probably have heard of this vendor before, providing leading light solutions for professionals and ambitious amateurs alike. If you are into understanding more about light and how you can deploy their solutions to get the right light, check their blog.

We have had the luck to use their equipment on various locations, including on the community stand on various Photokina exhibitions.

Posted by bgs at 12:33 AM

FedeoSeptember 23, 2010

Visit the Nikonians via video with FotoTV

Photokina_88.jpgNikonians interested in a peek at the Photokina in Cologne, Germany should check out the internview with our co-founder Bo Stahbrandt (bgs), posted by FotoTV.


Bo's interview with host Marc Ludwig runs almost ten minutes and covers a wide range of Nikonians background information. foto-tv.jpg

Posted by flashdeadline at 1:25 PM

FedeoJuly 1, 2010

Share good locations - Spontaneously

Our iPhone app Good Locations allows you to spontaneously share good shooting locations with other photographers. Now we also have our Good Locations Website where you can search and filter for locations around the world.

The iPhone app and the website is based upon Nikonians motto: To share, learn and inspire. As a community, it is important that we do not only learn from each other, but that we share what we know as well. Only by sharing our knowledge, and our locations, that good stuff we'll grow as photographers and also become a better community.

You will notice that the website is in an "early access" stage, which basically means that we are working on it. We are going to improve it over time, introducing features such as upload of locations directly through your browser, from the Nikonians galleries and to be able to comment and give feedback on locations.

If you are logged in to the site, you can edit your own images and you need to use the login credentials you used when you first used the iPhone app (typically your Nikonians username and password).

We will also provide good locations apps for other smart phones this year. Google Android is one of them.

We are removing postings we believe are not providing any real value, such as shots of your office desk. If you feel you need to do a test, then flag that location as a "bad location" by selecting the sad smiley in the app when you post it. Also enter the comment "test" or similar in the comment field on that contribution.

So, please go ahead and use both the app and our Good Locations Map website and go and and scout for new locations today.

Posted by bgs at 2:01 PM

FedeoJune 28, 2010

iPad is disruptive to photography

The Apple iPad, meanwhile over 3 million units sold in a few months, is changing business. I am also convinced it is changing the way photographers will work.

Why? Because the iPad is intuitive to use, has a good battery life (approx 8-10h), a great display, enough connectivity, enough CPU, enough memory and we will see loads of applications and online services that are enhancing our work as photographers and also enabling us to do things we couldn't do before.

Some stuff I believe we will see - Some of it is already available:


  • Wireless preview of my shots, directly from the camera to the iPad

  • Loads of camera controls at my finger tips - Setting up my intelligent flash groups from the iPad, controlling light from it and getting meter readings from my meter or camera. Factually the iPad replaces the camera's built-in controls and gives me much better working space

  • Scouting locations, navigation to locations, ranking and reshuffling my public and private shooting locations, showing alternate locations, sharing locations in groups. Of course augmented reality views are supported as well, where I "look through the iPad" to see the locations

  • Taking notes and annotations directly on the photographs - also while shooting, sharing notes and comments in classes/groups

  • Automatic keywording, tagging images of faces that are automatically recognized based upon my online tag libraries or friends, all while the images are sent from the camera directly to the iPad

  • Uploading selected images during the shoot

  • Sharing images with a group of students while outside shooting - all students can digest the images of the whole group at once

Hurray for change!

Posted by bgs at 10:27 AM | Comments

FedeoJune 18, 2010

Annotate Expert with Eye-Fi support

Annotate Expert, our tool for keyword-tagging certain parts of an image now supports wireless, tethered shooting with your Eye-Fi memory card. Just select "Eye-Fi" in the camera selection drop down in the tethered dialog and the images you shoot will automagically show up in Annotate, ready for tagging and further processing/uploading.

AnnotateExpert-EyeFi-Wireless-TetheredShooting.png

Posted by bgs at 4:57 PM

FedeoDecember 25, 2009

Peaceful holidays to all Nikonians

No matter where you are on this beautiful, blue planet of ours, Ramón and I are wishing you peaceful holidays. 2009 has been a tough year on many of us, though the Nikonians community, the waterhole for anything Nikon, has grown steadily and we're ready for launching new inventions, software and website features for the community in 2010, the year of our 10th anniversary.

Sail safe and enjoy your photography!
Bo Stahlbrandt & J. Ramón Palacios

Posted by bgs at 2:18 PM

FedeoNovember 30, 2009

How XMP is used in Annotate

Our Annotate software uses the XMP (eXtensible Meta Platform) notation that was developed by Adobe back in 2001 to store the coordinate-bound annotations (comments) and virtual crop information in a non-destructible way in an image.

XMP metadata can be embedded into almost any file format that is being used today. Annotate V1.10 stores the XMP information into the JPG file's header and future releases will support NEF and other raw formats as well, storing the meta data with the same XMP data structure.

You may already be using XMP to store metadata in your image withouth even knowing it -- if you are adding keywords to your photographs, these are written using the IPTC Core schema in XMP format.

XMP allows anybody to extend it by declaring so called "schemas" describing the structure of the stored data. There is a range of photo editing software that is already using XMP to store metadata, and that is aware of some of the existing schemas (the currently supported schemas include Dublin Core & Extension, IPTC Core and PLUS)

Some catalogs and editing software are storing metadata using sidecar .xmp files that are stored next to your jpeg/raw images. These sidecar files contain the metadata describing the image, but they can get lost if you move the image, send it to someone via email or upload the image to a web gallery.

When developing Annotate, we have extended the XMP schema to be able store metadata about the image bound to coordinates. This way, the annotations you make using Annotate are stored as XMP image metadata in the same way as the keywords or tags you make in your favorite image workflow software.

The main difference between keywords and annotations is that annotations are bound to coordinates, while tags describe an image as a whole. You can think about annotations as keywords bound to coordinates.

Annotate stores XMP metadata describing the annotations directly in the image (as opposed to sidecar .xmp files). When you e.g. share an image with your friend by sending it to him via email, the meta data is kept inside the file. It is possible to send an email directly from Annotate. To learn how, see our wiki on how to send images via email.

The approach of storing your comments in the image in XMP format has many advantages. The annotations are non destructive: Your original image is unchanged. Furthermore, as opposed to drawings made in Photoshop, annotations are included in your images as text. And text can be processed by your computer. For example, a computer can quickly search for specific annotations in large volumes of your image catalogue.

An example: Someone is annotating a photograph with 10 people in it. Using keywords you would only enumerate the people, while annotations will identify the persons accurately. When you are searching based on keywords, you will find the photograph, but you may not know who is who. When searching in annotations, you will find the image and immediately know who is who in the photograph.

A search feature will come in a future version of Annotate, but you can start annotating your image collection right now.

Posted by bgs at 4:16 PM

FedeoJuly 3, 2009

50th Anniversary of a Revolution

Nikon_F_150x150px.jpg It was back in 1959 that a new camera came to market, revolutionizing the photographic industry and transferring forever the epicenter of the photographic marketplace from Germany to Japan. The Nikon F, by Nippon Kogaku K. K.

This camera was conceived not as just as another camera but as the core of a system; a body with interchangeable lenses, viewfinders, finder screens, camera backs, meter coupling, film advance motor and many more accessories for the future. This 35mm film single-lens reflex (SLR) quickly gained the respect of professionals around the world for its reliability and durability even in combat zones.

Its lens mount, the 44mm internal diameter Nikon F-type bayonet, which allowed for speedy and secure lens mounting and switching, has been subject to refinements to adapt to new and forthcoming technology, but it basically remains the same. At the outset of auto focusing many experts said this mount could not be kept, and later again they repeated it at the advent of digital photography. Both times the naysayers were proven wrong by Nikon engineers.

That such a camera is to this date cherished by countless users and collectors is an undeniable tribute to Nikon Engineering. That the quality standards set then are kept to this date (when cutting corners for the sake of cost competitiveness is the norm) is a testament to the deeply ingrained values and pride of the Nikon Engineering of today.

And that is why the Nikonians community was presented as a humble tribute to:

  • The Nikon™ brand that has given us and so many others so much joy in photography

  • The pioneering efforts of all those anonymous engineers who have made, and continue to make extraordinary advances possible within photography

  • The generous Nikon corporate loyalty to all the users world wide, clearly manifested through the possibility to use nearly any Nikkor® lens on any Nikon camera ever made.


nikon_f_400x281.jpg Those of you who own a Nikon F, take it out for a spin in fresh air, shoot a roll, enjoy her shutter’s “clank” while taking gorgeous pictures (or not), but let her know you love her still — like the first day. Forget for the moment whether you’ll find a processor for your film or not; let her know you (we) wish her a very happy anniversary.

Have a great time!

Posted by jrp at 6:26 PM

FedeoJanuary 29, 2009

Why you should care about Nikon D3X

If you believe you should ignore the Nikon D3X because it is too big, too expensive or does not have video, read on.

25442_D3X_34r.jpg
Nikon D3X has an impact on upcoming generations of DSLR cameras. That is the short version of why you should care to know more about the new king on the DSLR throne, even if you are not considering buying it.

We know it from earlier Nikons where the pro models have launched some new firmware strategies/design and system imaging functionality, later to be found in the mid and low end cameras.

I believe the D3X sensor and imaging processing will be found in mid range cameras in the next 18-24 months. These cameras will sell for significantly less than the D3X and will attract many Nikonians who do not want to spend the money on the D3X.

So, go ahead and study the various seriously made reports at Nikonians and on the net, talking about the dynamic range of the D3X, how its noise behaves at various ISO settings and check the firmware's white balance settings. This is all stuff you will find in other, upcoming bodies.

Here at the back office of Nikonians, we are checking the D3X and we're comparing it with other cameras. It is a very impressive camera and delivers excellent results with several older pro AI lenses, the latest AF-S lenses and with much of the good, prime glass in between.

We expect to have a new review up on the D3X soon.

Posted by bgs at 4:51 PM

FedeoDecember 10, 2008

Nikonians Reach 150,000 Members

It feels like it wasn't long ago Ramón and I started Nikonians. Today we reached the 150,000 active members milestone.

Out of our 150,000 members, a majority are on the basic, free membership, but 8,937 or ca 6% are supporting the community through a Silver, Gold or Platinum membership. These memberships help to pay a part of the servers (we have a server cluster, plus several separate servers) and some of the maintenance and software development needed.

We are though dependent on other revenue streams as well. The customers in the community's own Photo Pro Shop and our sponsors and advertisers help out further to ensure we can exist and grow. Also buying a workshop in our Nikonians Academy help out.

If you are still not on a Silver, Gold or Platinum membership, this is a good time to sign up to help the community :-)

Posted by bgs at 3:15 PM

FedeoNovember 27, 2008

Measuring raw performance

In case you have missed it, DxO (French specialist of noise reduction software, also advertising their products on Nikonians) came out with a new raw format benchmark (dubbed "DxO Mark") some days ago.

What they do is actually not really measuring the performance of the sensor, but rather of the raw format the camera produce - which is probably the single best option you have if you are not going to ignore the firmware sitting behind the sensor.

The benchmark takes three quality metrics into consideration:
1: Color depth
2: Dynamic range and
3: Low-light ISO

and the resulting, aggregated “DxOMark” value (-> infite) for each of the most commonly used DSLR’s including some compact cameras are stored at their website. Right now, the highest DxO Mark of 80.6 is held by Nikon D3

There database, albeit not really too comfortable to navigate IMO and several links are hidden pretty well, allows you to compare various brands side by side as well as to see the top ranked cameras listed.

The list is lead by Nikon D3 followed by the Nikon D700. Third position is held by Canon 1Ds Mark III. This is due to change very soon since new cameras are just right around the corner.

The DxO team has collected and answered some of the questions that were raised after the first week of beta running their site and state they will continue with an open dialog with the photographers.

I think this benchmark moves us in the right direction, allowing for more transparency, making various manufacturers more comparable by objective means.

Posted by bgs at 11:09 AM

FedeoJuly 22, 2008

World of Imaging and Nikonians

We (www.nikonians.org) have partnered up with World of Imaging, a magazin and site that are informing the imaging industry about imaging in general and Photokina in particular.

World of Imaging (aka WoI) is an "Event Loyalty Media" (ELM) product that is produced in contract by Koeln Messe, the organizer of the Photokina exhibition. Photokina is the largest exhibition for Imaging and Photography on earth - You really have to see it. No kidding.

WoI ran an article on us in their first issue. Some further issues are due and an ebook will be created by WoI as well in which we will participate.

WoI is making sure that the imaging industry and consumers are staying well informed, prior to the show, during it and afterwards. A pretty tall order, but they seem to be very professionally staffed.

If you decide to visit Photokina, make sure you visit Ramon and me for a chat at our booth: Hall 2.1 E014. You can also give us a short ping through the contact form at Nikonians up front. If you want to schedule an appointment to discuss media or marketing opportunities, you should get in touch with Hendric Schneider.

Posted by bgs at 9:38 PM

FedeoJuly 10, 2008

New Face, D700 Thoughts and Gear Twins

Welcome to our Nikonians blog facelift. Also great to see the large number of reads the first edition of Tom's Nikon D700 preview have gotten so far.

Blog facelift
We had grew tired of the looks of our old blog while plans for updating were collecting dust. As so often, other items had higher priorities so it felt really good to be able to roll out the new design at last. Big thanks to Maria and Federico at enprovia who have been instrumental on this.

Oh, and what happened to the Nikon USA blog? We thought it was really good seeing Nikon touching some viral marketing potential, getting their own blog up and running and now this, last entry nearly two months old, from May 20th. I hope Nikon get back on track with the blog.

D700 and other bodies
I would bet my old, starched pants on that the Nikon D700 will cause a similar, even though not as strong response as the D300 when hitting the shelves. The D300 is really mass market, but the current price of the D700 somewhere around 3k USD will cause it to be somewhat less so. The street price of the D700 will for sure drop and we should take into consideration that the Canon EOS 5D had a similar price when it first came out. Today, since many are waiting for the (much awaited) Canon 5D MkII, you can find fairly cheap 5D's used and this is creating an interesting tendency, first time in history: Beginners and photographers with potentially fairly shallow pockets out shopping for used full frame cameras. The brand for them right now is Canon and not Nikon, where used equipment is sold to first timers who will stick to the brand due to lens-lock.

We can expect the Nikon D700 to hit the 2.3k USD level fairly soon it's out the door and end of 2009 we should be able to go shopping used FX cameras at significantly lower prices.

I find it extremely amusing how we have fought for DX sensors over the years when it is clear that full frame has some definite advantages. Now when Nikon comes out with the first consumer full frame DSLR, we users are very interested and we probably will bash DX sensors just as the Canon camp has for several years.

How could Nikon miss out on not introducing full frame earlier? I recall discussions with a Nikon rep on the Nikonians Brussels get-together in 2003 where he answered my question if Nikon is going to release full frame anytime soon with "yeah, but maybe not or possibly so if I could say something". Is it because Nikon haven't had its own engineering capability for sensors and are tied up with Sony in OEM agreements on this?

What is happening now when Sony is pushing in to the professional DSLR segment? Are top rated sensors from Sony going into the Sony bodies first and then later in to the competitors bodies, sort of a Redmond-of-sensors-monopoly controlling who will receive the best sensors when? How do you secure the supply of top rated sensors if not investing in engineering yourself?

Are You My Gear Twin?
We thought the idea to be pretty cool: As you touch the page, automagically you see which people, maybe even living very close to you are using exactly the same gear as you. Without much ado, you can get together with other people using exactly the same camera (Nikon of course) lens (maybe Nikkor...) tripod, ball head and backpack. Hey, I was born exactly 3 years, 2 months and 13 hours before my Gear Twin. We are sort of family you know... same gear.

So, we decided to upgrade NikoScope, our search portal that indexes all the data we have, to allow us to create such family bonds of material lust. Of course, this information is only visible to members on Silver level or higher. Er, will be... We are launching it coming week.

Posted by bgs at 11:27 AM

FedeoMarch 10, 2008

Crowds are wise, communities are wiser

A Newsweek article "Is User-Generated Content Out?" discussed how important are expertise views vs. the crowd. Pretty good comments on that article from Steve Rosenbaum over at AlwaysOn.

I especially agree with Steve on that experts do not need to be housed in media companies to support them. The Nikonians community has "raised" several experts over the last years, some of them becoming authors, others professional photographers. These experts see strong growth in traffic, in audience and some also in direct revenue.

Nikonians has many experts and they have a platform that is not a media company, but a user community: Nikonians.org

/Bo

Posted by bgs at 3:53 PM

FedeoFebruary 19, 2008

Loyal Membership Act 2008 Action 1

(February 19th, 2008 Playa del Carmen, Mexico) Loyal Membership Act Proclaimed. The founders of Nikonians agreed to reward loyal members who've decided to support the community.

Every member on a Silver, Gold or Platinum level, will receive a membership extension of half a year with the purchase of a Markins ball head or a Gitzo tripod from the community's own PhotoProShop.

To benefit from this act, it is required that you enter your username in the comment field when placing your order in the shop system during checkout.

The founders have committed themselves to seek further action in the cause of thanking supporting members.

loyal_membership_act_1.jpg

The founders at work: bgs and jrp from left to right

Posted by bgs at 11:41 PM

FedeoSeptember 8, 2007

Bo and jrp chat- we get to listen in

Nikonians co-founders Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs) and J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) recently discussed the impact of Nikon's announcements of the new Nikon D3, Nikon D300 (and new ultra-wide-angle, standard zoom NIKKOR and VR lenses). The chat was brief, focusing primarily on the D3 and thoughts on future developments.

The pair had very little time to discuss the new announcements while making last minute arrangements for the sold-out 7th Annual Photo Adventure Trip (ANPAT) beginning later this month. For Nikonians who could not attend the ANPAT -- this Internet conversation between them gives you an idea of their current views.

Bo (at right) begins the chat (in blue text) followed by jrp (at left in the Nikonians hat):

bgs: Partner ---Thanks for taking the time to discuss the new Nikon D3 DSLR and what the near future probably brings for us Nikonians in terms of DSLR cameras. Please have a virtual seat. :)  

 

 

 

jrp: Thanks ;)

 

 

 

bgs: I bet that everything in the pro segment will be FX from now on (D3, D3X, D4...), since it is easier to pump up the resolution that way and is probably the best tactic against Canon's marketing to the same segment. It is natural to see the prosumer bodies being DX for now and since the DX lenses are still usable on the FX bodies not much is lost. The "sexiness" of DX lenses will drop fast though.  

jrp: Not sure that everything in the pro segment will be FX only. If that were the case the D3 would have been named D3H, then for sure the incoming D3X would also be FX--a bit slower frames per second but with more megapixels -- Like it was the case with the D1H and D1X, then D2H/D2Hs and D2X/D2Xs -- But who knows.  

bgs: If I recall right, "H" = highspeed. For sure the D3 is high speed, but probably the former "H's" where dubbed "high speed", since that was about the most important, marketable additional feature that would sell... With the new D3 we have a new generation of cameras, not the case with the D1H and D2H which were nothing IMHO but cosmetics.  

jrp:

Let us take a look at the new lenses that are coming out. The two new zoom FX lenses look most attractive, even to me with my D2X. The optical performance is simply incredible - if one is to judge by the published MTF tables. So yes, for the pro and deadly serious amateur segments, the DX lenses "sexiness" is gone.---- But the cost and weight will cause many to still largely favor the DX lenses. They are here to stay and its customer loyalty tradition and margins will make Nikon continue to offer DX lenses and DX DSLR bodies, now that they have broken the initial resistance. There are now 2 FX lenses and 26 DX lenses in production.  

bgs: Yes, good hint on the weight. So that can be another reason for the "heavy pro's/prosumers" to go with FX and the larger "average" crowds to use DX.. 26 DX lenses currently in production is a majestic number. As we can (usefully) connect a large number of non-DX lenses to the FX based Nikon D3, I bet we'll see many interesting lens-D3 combinations in the forums.

jrp: This move makes the three market segments "consumers", "prosumers" and "pros" more complete, covering the entire price/features range and yet with more clearly separated subsegments:

Consumers: D40x - entry level (possibly a D30/D30x coming soon)

Prosumers: D300 (and the alleged D3X that should be coming soon)

PJ Pros: D3 -- which is the main market for the D3

All other Pros: Future D3X and D4

And in this DSLR progression-- we at Nikonians won't forget our loyal Nikon Autofocus Film Bodies, F4/F5/F6 owners , F100 , F80/N80 , D1/D2/ , D100/D200 , D80 and D70/D70s users. 

With less spilling over from one segment to the next, both under and above, via price, there will be fewer models with more efficient manufacturing, the old tooling lines for 35mm lenses is being revamped with new optical formulas and coatings, etc. It is a great move and shows that the new Nikon management is really performing. 

bgs: I am with you on that segmentation except that even if the D3 is targeting PJ's, the D2X is less versatile than the D3 and we are using the D2X's "for everything", so we can expect to see D3's being used "for everything" while that is the most high performance body Nikon has. What do you personally think is the most exciting with the D3?  

jrp: Well, the most exciting to me about the Nikon D3 is not that is a full frame sensor camera, although it is undeniably a source of brand pride and an opportunity to "recover" the wide angle and shift lenses we used on 35mm film bodies; but the main feature for me is the much extended ISO range, from Lo-1 (ISO 100) all the way up to Hi-2 (ISO 25,600!). Adding to that the several other extraordinary improvements, makes the D3 a photojournalist, sports specialist and paparazzi dream camera.  

bgs: What do those very high ISO numbers mean for nature photographers? How do you expect that they will change your own photography?  

jrp: For nature photographers it could mean a lot. For example those into landscape photography can use smaller apertures for sunrises and sunsets with faster shutter speeds, particularly important when there is wind and you demand high sharpness. For wildlife photographers, to be able to freeze a bird in flight and forget about noise and motion blur is surely a big thing. 

bgs: Are you going to move to the D3 now or stick with your D2X and wait for a future D3X?  

jrp: I am going to keep my D2X, as I kept all cameras I ever owned, and continue to use it, but as responsible for the forums at Nikonians, I feel I must know this camera first hand, so will have to own one and know it well. Also, as head of the publishing team I need to be able to edit our content before it is published at the Resources and the Nikonians Press.

The D2X' DX APS-C sensor is an advantage in telephoto usage given the 1.5 crop factor. To do the same on the D3 one needs to invest on the really big guns, not alwasy easy for those of us who don't make money from our photographs to pay for gear.

Of course the D3X carries great expectations, even when the prospective of having to switch to terabyte hard disks for image storage is not exactly compelling for amateurs; but -after all- we moved out of floppy disks and diskettes, didn't we?  

bgs: Yes, the larger image files produced by the alleged D3X will lead to higher storage capacities required. As you said, storage is getting cheaper and prices are really dropping fast. Many of us have now terabyte hard disks connected to our computers. Even if this is a very speculative question, I have to ask it: What kind of resolution do you think we can expect from an allegged D3X?  

jrp: 28-30 Mpix would not be impossible, unless I am missing something crucial in sensor density projections. 

bgs: Of your arsenal of lenses, which lenses would you like to use on the D3 -- which combination would be thrilling to test? On what subjects?  

jrp: Apart from the constant f/2.8 AF-S magic trio (17-35mm, 28-70mm and 70-200mm), I am intrigued by how the legendary Nikkors will perform in that D3 FX sensor, like the 105mm f/2.5 AI-S and the 85mm f/1.4D AF, the 180mm f/2.8 AI-S for portraits, as well as the superwides for landscapes, like the 14mm f/2.8 AF.  

bgs: Btw, you are mentioning the D3X as if this is a fact. Will there be one and if so, what could be the release time period?  

jrp: Yes, I find it a logical upcoming event. Most likely next year we'll see a succesor of the D2Xs in APS-C format DX sensor. 

bgs: The D3 delivers 9 frames per second at max speed. Why would someone need that and can this be of any interest to Nikonians in general?  

jrp: Sports and Wildlife photographers may need this frame rates, like when shooting a footbal sequence or a cheetah running for a kill, not to mention if running straight at you in the jungle. This is likely an important appeal to our professional members. Even more so as files get larger. Memory card manufacturers work closely with camera makers and we are already seeing new speeds in reading and writing such as the Professional UDMA 300X by Lexar with 45MB/sec USB transmission to computers, and up to 40MB/sec sequential read and write by Sandisk Extreme IV CF cards. I don't think this is just for the sake of being faster, but direct response to a real upcoming industry need.  

bgs: Thank you very much for your time partner. Always good to chat with you about something _else_ than the most pressing daily issues :)

Posted by flashdeadline at 10:00 PM

FedeoMarch 25, 2006

Nikonians 40,000 Members

JRP and I never thought Nikonians would grow at this rate as we started the community back in April 2000. What took off as a hobby has become a site with over a million visitors per month, a community being a very important part in our lives, affecting many others as well.

Today we crossed the 40,000 member mark and with the current growth, the community will be 50,000 members strong this summer. With all the interaction in over 60 forums, we are very lucky to have a dedicated team helping out around the clock with moderating, creating content and much, much more.

You gals and boys on the team are the core of Nikonians and together with our large number of regular members, supporting us in all kinds of ways, you are carrying the Nikonian spirit high. We are very proud to be able to say that our community is a friendly and helpful island in the vast ocean of the Internet.

Thanks to all of you on board for making these first six years such an exceptional, rich, deep experience.

Bo & JRP

P.S. For those of you who hadn't the chance to meet us at the PMA, Nikonians exhibits at the Photokina, Cologne, Germany this year. You are most welcome to visit for a chat.

Posted by bgs at 11:07 PM

FedeoJanuary 31, 2006

Nikonians and the Open Raw International Survey

We are strong supporters of open RAW standards.

Our support of open documentation standards is a priority in matters that pertain to our community.

Wider dissemination of the art and science of photography, wider choices of better tools for the craft and ensuring the preservation of its recordings for the future are of our primary interest and concern.

It is due to this conviction that we fully endorse the Open Raw Initiative International Survey, launched today, January 31, 2006, which for 8 weeks will collect information about the experiences, requirements, preferences, and concerns of digital photographers and other interested parties regarding RAW imaging technology.

Many photographers involved in this debate come from the film background and may remember the problems regarding proprietary issues raised by different manufacturers of film and chemistry.

The single binding force through these years has been our ability to use cameras, made by distinctly individual and highly competitive companies, to create history-making images, with at least a knowledge that once we had a "negative" - we had the ability to produce and reproduce the photographs that achieved a desired result.

The cameras were only the light-capturing devices that used different schemes and technologies to record the moment. Some were excellent (like the Nikons we prefer) and some were not. However, regardless of the camera manufacturer, we always had that standard of a workable negative to produce our efforts.

Proprietary RAW eliminates that opportunity to a large extent.

Photography as an art has not changed.
Photography as a profession has not changed.
However, photography has become a nightmare for those entering the digital age.

Camera manufacturers need to level that "playing field" and rely on the merits of their products, without resorting to digital proprietary schemes that force the consumer to rely on their brand.
Of course we at Nikonians are confident in the Nikon brand, but we also recognize that this is a matter of photography at large - not "photography with a certain camera."

Our support of open documentation standards is a priority in matters that pertain to our community.

Wider dissemination of the art and science of photography, wider choices of better tools for the craft and ensuring the preservation of its recordings for the future are of our primary interest and concern.

It is due to this conviction that we fully endorse the Open Raw Initiative International Survey, launched today, January 31, 2006, which for 8 weeks will collect information about the experiences, requirements, preferences, and concerns of digital photographers and other interested parties regarding RAW imaging technology.

openraw_survey2006_120.gif

Although these topics have being discussed in our forums and others, there is little systematic information about the experiences, requirements, preferences, and concerns of photographers regarding RAW.

We therefore encourage our community members and readers to participate in this survey, anonymous and confidential, with no connection to any business or commercial interest, which will make available the statistical results to camera manufacturers, software development firms, and other key participants in the digital imaging industry, making sure our collective voice is heard, in the hope that the future of the craft will benefit.

Our appreciation and support to our friends Juergen Specht, Nikon photographer and founder of the OpenRAW initiative, and Calvin Jones, statistical research consultant, sponsors of the Open Raw International Survey.

The results will be made widely available and also published at our Nikonians community.

Posted by jrp at 12:16 AM