Wednesday 6 November 2013

Nikon 2013 year in review and Christmas holiday gift guide (Nikon Df)

The end of the year is getting closer and we have most likely seen all the announcements that we can expect from Nikon, so it is time for a year review of the announcements from Nikon. I will skip the Coolpix market (with one exception - Coolpix A) and I will skip the accessories market (flashes and other things).

This year bought 5 new lenses for the DSLR market (more on Nikon 1 lenses later). Most of the market is targeting the upper part of the market for the professional and serious amateurs. All expect one lens has the FX (full frame) cameras as their main target. Lets look at the new lenses

Nikon delivered a great set of lenses to the photographers this year, but it is weird that Nikon doesn't give us more DX lenses. Have they given up on this market looking for a lens point of view or are they just to busy refreshing the lens collection for the full frame market?

The DSLR announcements is divided by two cameras for the DX market and two cameras for the FX market. I bet that Nikon at the start of the year only expected to launch three cameras, but decided that cleaning up the sensor mess on the Nikon D600 was best fixed my a second edition of this camera.

  • Nikon D7100 (average rating: 87%) - $1200 buy at Amazon (Almost the perfect DX SLR camera, but Nikon decides to have a very low buffer making it bad choice for wildlife/action shooters, who still are hoping for a Nikon D300s replacement) 
  • Nikon D610 (average rating: 91%) - $2000 buy at Amazon (Nikon tries to clean up the mess (sensor) by creating this second edition of Nikon D600. Could be a huge hit) 
  • Nikon D5300 (average rating: not reviewed yet) - $800 buy at Amazon (It is the Nikon D7100 light edition. A great buy for those that are on a budget and/or would (wisely) rather use the money on better lenses) 
  • Nikon Df (average rating: not reviewed yet) - $2750 buy at Amazon (The retro D4 in mini format without video and a couple features removed or with less options. The design statement choice) 

The DX replacements were more or less expected, but also with a couple of surprises. Many (including me) were expecting that the Nikon D7100 would be the replacement for both Nikon D7000 and Nikon D300s. It was only a replacement for the Nikon D7000. There are still no option for action/wildlife photographers in the Nikons camera offerings that have current technology besides the professional Nikon D4, which are to expensive for most. Action/wildlife photographers might be able to live with the fps and buffer capabilities of the Nikon D7100 or Nikon D610, but it is a step back from their Nikon D300s, so there are still many waiting for Nikon to fill out this range in their line-up.

The pro/advance amateur options have in the last couple of years gotten a new market. These photographers wants to keep their great image quality and their control over taking pictures, but want it in a small form factor. It could also be a second lightweight backup to their main DSLR camera. Reasons are many. Nikon uses the year 2013 to keep pushing a lot of Nikon 1 products to try to give the customers a lot of buying options, so they would go for the Nikon product and not one of the other camera makers. Nikon is still behind on this market, but finished the year strong with a model (Nikon 1 AW1), which is a unique product for the sports action photographers that want a combination of good image quality with a product that can survive being used in water, or similar things.

  • Nikon Coolpix A (average rating: 76%) - $1100 buy at Amazon (Nikons first product in a Coolpix product that uses a bigger image sensor. Many of the other camera makers have a lot more options) 
  • Nikon 1 J3 (with 10-30mm VR lens) (average rating: 75%) - $400 buy at Amazon (Nikons main product in the mirrorless camera market. It will give you great image quality and the option to have a system you can grow with) 
  • Nikon 1 S1 (with 11-27.5mm VR lens) (average rating: 71%) - $300 buy at Amazon (Same as the above but with a older sensor, so this is the entry model, but at the current price level it would be better to go for the Nikon 1 J3) 
  • Nikon 1 AW1 (with AW 11-27.5mm lens) (average rating: 80%) - $800 buy at Amazon (As mentioned above this is a unique product in the market place, but with a little high price) 
  • 1 Nikkor VR 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 (average rating: 85%) - $500 buy at Amazon (The wide angle zoom lens (equal to ~18-35mm in the 35mm world) for the Nikon 1 market for those that want to shoot great landscape pictures) 
  • 1 Nikkor VR 10-100mm f/4-5.6 (average rating: not reviewed yet) - $550 buy at Amazon (The super zoom lens (equal to ~28-300 in the 35mm world) option for the Nikon 1 market for those that just want one lens on your camera) 
  • 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 (average rating: 90%) - $900 buy at Amazon (The portrait lens (equal to ~85mm in the 35mm world) option for the Nikon 1 market. Many DX and FX photographers envy that Nikon 1 has a aperture lens on 1.2) 
  • 1 Nikkor 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 (average rating: 80%) (The standard zoom lens option for the Nikon 1 AW1 camera) 
  • 1 Nikkor AW 10mm f/2.8 (average rating: 82%) (The standard lens option for the Nikon 1 AW1 camera) 

Here are my awards for Nikon products 2013:

  • Nikon lens of the year: AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR (Just love the range of this lens and it has gotten great reviews) 
  • Nikon camera body of the year: Nikon Df (Loves the design of this camera and the D4 sensor in a small body) 
  • Nikon mirrorless product of the year: Nikon 1 AW1 (Love the uniqueness of this camera) 

And my Nikon 2013 product of the year: Nikon 1 AW1

A lot of great products by Nikon this year and a lot of good option for Christmas presents to your wife/husband/child with a love for photography or just your Christmas present for yourself. I hope you will support my hard work with the indexes by buying your Christmas present from the Amazon links on this page or the index pages. You pay the same, and I get a small commission. Have a great holiday season.

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