Interesting response from Nikon on replacing the shutter button with a touch sensor

This is an interesting comment from Nikon staff on their Facebook page about an idea ofย replacing the shutter button with a touch sensor:

Now at least you now know how to submit your ideas to Nikon.


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  • Tony

    Thank you….but “NO”

    • Haha, yep. That’s pretty much it.

      • Global

        Nikon doesn’t want to get sued.

        So Nikon doesn’t want user feedback about design/interface. lol

        Maybe they tell Nikon reps to use this “cut and paste” for anyone offering a technological idea that could require a patent. In some ways, its nice of Nikon to offer that advice, even if its a bit duhh.

        • Banned

          LOL well at least with that kind of process they won’t be too bothered with user feedback.

  • Weird idea, but good way to get in touch with the manufacturer ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Seshan

    I don’t get the point of the idea, seems kinda stupid.

    • Ruben

      To avoid shaking your camera on longer exposures if it’s on a tripod and you forgot your remote. ex

      • Tony

        Setting a timer should work better, I guess.

        • Kevin Watkins

          eh…it’s totally not “broke”…why try to fix it? Then again..I’m probably just like one of those guys who clung to beta and 8 track tapes and couldn’t see the future. Oh well…I stand by my original statement and “regret nothing”! haha

  • melissa

    i really hope they don’t ever ever do this. i don’t understand the obsession with touchscreen; i love it on my phone but i swear some people would have us using ‘swipe to unlock’ to get into the bloody fridge! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You obviously haven’t ever used a Panasonic GH2! Touch interfaces are so useful in photography you won’t want to switch back the day your photo system uses a touch technology. Trust me (I have been a Nikon enthusiast for 5 years).

      • Ronan

        You obliviously haven’t used the GH2 since you would see how shitty the touch screen is on it! Trust me (I have been a Nikon professional user for many, many years).

        • Jesus


        • Worminator

          I wouldn’t be surprised to see touchscreens on Nikon professional cameras in the future. “swipe-to-unlock” jokes aside, it would be an efficient way to navigate through the menus, a lot less clumsy than the 4-way controller / OK button used today.

          Plus at the rate the screen sizes are creeping up in five years there will be no room for physical buttons on the back of the camera anyway.

      • You’re talking about using a Panasonic and then you’re telling us to trust you because you’re a Nikon enthusiast?

      • tere

        Anything touch screen must use eye-hand coordination that takes attention away from subjects/events being photographed. Good UI design is ability to make quick and sure adjustments to settings without looking.

        • Schlosser

          With the GH-2 that os a huge problem i agree, but the idea presented to Nikon wouldn’t have that problem. I can see the advantage in 2 touchbuttons since it can be very strenuous to hold a button halfway down for a longer period of time.
          A huge problem with this solution though, is that if the buttons get wet (rain or like) or dirty (continues use in hard environments) the function will likely fail and you would have to clean them and the next second your motive is gone.

      • Don Pope

        Touch is ok for navigating menus and setting options, but not for taking the actual picture. There is no way to hold the camera steadily while using the touchscreen.

  • interesting idea but seems cumbersome

  • Ronan

    Fail before it starts.

    What if i wear gloves?

    Or my fingers are dirty because i have been hiking in X place for X hours?

    At least we know how to legally reach them ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Ban

      exactly, what works for some consumer toy doesn’t fly when on the job.

  • Mike S

    This is a standard response in many realms. My friends in television have a similar reply to anyone that approaches them with a show idea — they won’t let the person discuss the idea with them as it can become a can of worms if at a later date something with a similar (even vaguely) concept is developed.

    Product-wise, big corporations won’t discuss an idea until a patent is filed, to protect both parties. Sadly, filing for a patent is such an expensive and time consuming ordeal, it makes this almost impossible for a casual consumer who has a great idea.

    • I didn’t know that this is a standard procedure by big companies to avoid lawsuits. Thanks.

      • DRE

        I can confirm that what Mike is saying is accurate. My brother submitted a shoe design to Nike about 20 years ago and was responded to in an identical manner.

      • Louie

        I can confirm it as well. Too many people are more than happy to pursue litigation when they think of something and see a major company come up with the same idea (as if conceptional and creative ingenuity is exclusive).

        The disclaimer Andrew received was more about Nikon protecting itself rather than encouraging photographers to submit their ideas for camera designs.

      • Mark H

        This reply isn’t as…. terse, abrupt as other replies I’ve heard about. At least it’s saying “we might already be working on that- get yourself a lawyer ASAP to protect your own interests.” Vs. “We’re not listening. We shredded your letter as soon as we saw you had a suggestion. Don’t ever do that again.”

      • The coolest thing about it is that Nikon replied at all. I love those personal touches. Next step is to approach them with a patented idea and see if they’ve got interest in acquiring it…

      • I made a suggestion to eBay and got the same type of response. They’re trying to protect themselves from “you stole my idea” lawsuits with a standard, corporate lawyer approved response. I imagine they have standing instructions to post this in response to any suggestion, regardless of how ridiculous it is.

        eBay still hasn’t implemented my suggestion, which was brilliant. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (To prevent sniping, a bid in the last minute should extend the auction by 1 minute. Auction ends when bidding ends…)

        • Jeremy

          You probably only sell on eBay. Those of us who mostly buy think that’s a lousy idea. To get a good bargain you never show your face until there are fewer than 10 seconds remaining.

      • dave

        Oh yes, most industries do this. And Nikon was quite polite. A couple years ago, a young girl sent Apple several suggestions about improvements they could make to her wonderful new iPod Nano. Apparently she received a somewhat rude letter that basically said, we don’t want your ideas, don’t talk to us again.

        In my job, I am occasionally allowed to take requests from customers about new features they’d like to see, however, if they wanted to discuss how those features might be implemented, NDAs and other legal documents must be signed.

        The USA, in particular is a very litigation-happy country. 50% of the world’s lawyers work here.

      • Humanonymous

        I work as a patent agent and can tell you that this response is pretty standard amongst the bigger corporations.

  • M!

    fail idea. as mentioned, gloves etc. as well, ergonomics and functionality.
    my fingers work much quicker the normal way. my brain works normally too – on command for action, the muscle contracts and fingers fold in to grab, not the reverse muscles pulling out and letting go.

  • El Cabong

    Surprised that there was even a response. If Nikon had a nickel for every “improvement” on their products some dumbsh*t on the internet thinks is brilliant…

    That said, here’s a suggestion: every Coolpix camera currently in production should go straight from the factory to a landfill.

  • f/2.8

    Manufacturers in particular the brand name ones don’t entertain unsolicited ideas from random joes. That is because someone may claim it was their ideas and sue.

    It is stupid but that’s the state of our society. Anyway, most of these are dumb ideas anyway like this one from Mr. Andrew Yu. He should try the Al-Quada tho. An activate on release switch would be useful for suicide bombers.

  • Ant

    2 fingers needed to do a job where you currently need only 1, with little benefit or improved functionality. Nope, I don’t think so in this case. But there are potential benefits to PCap touchpanel interfaces in general. I’m surprised that Canikon haven’t looked at this on their DSLRs…. yet.

  • Interesting.

  • broxibear

    I’ve posted here before about the possibility of a touchscreen on either the D400 or D800.
    Not for the shutter release but for the menu system…wouldn’t surprise me ?
    The one on the GF2 doesn’t work to well but that doesn’t mean another company can’t perfect it.

    • broxibear

      I forgot about those damn Coolpix things, the COOLPIX S6100 already has a touchscreen for the menu system
      This is a rumour site so I’m starting a rumour… The D800 will have a rear lcd touchscreen…what do you mean you’re not going to buy one now lol ?

  • Sarge


    I hate the whole touch screen thing. Not only to I prefer tactile switches anyway, but we don’t all live in Arizona and Southern California. It’s nice to be able to operate the camera with gloves on in norther latitudes. Like Jackson Hole, WY.

  • sflxn

    If that loser wants a touch button instead of a real button, he can kindly go buy a Panasonic and leave real camera equipment to Nikon users. This has got to be one of the stupidest idea ever.

  • yeah… no thanks.

    You could maybe make a case for a touchscreen speedlight or speedlight commander, but the SB-900 is pretty intuitive and easy to adjust on-the-fly as it is… Plus, what’s the point of how rugged pro-grade equipment is if you can’t/shouldn’t expose it to extreme moisture?

  • R R

    If Nikon ever produces this crap idea of a shutter, I will switch to another brand (never Canon though)

    • Ronan

      Agreed if they put something like that on their Dx and Dxxx camera’s, i would HAVE to switch…

  • enchantedphoto

    Touch shutter button?…electronic over-kill. Digital cameras already have enough of this. My Nikon DSLR’s still have a certain amount of “feel” to operating them and my future ones do not need to be more “convenient”. There are plenty of factors and methods to capturing tack-sharp images.

  • Just A Thought

    Sony now owns the patent on this, as Minolta had this on at least one of their AF SLR years ago.

  • The invisible man

    Years ago I was thinking about a “lock” for my camera because I did not want my invisible clumsy family using my $$$$ camera.

    Finaly I found that keeping all my gear in an invisible bag was a better solution, even if sometimes it’s not easy to locate the bag, specialy in the dark !

  • Mmm, I dunno, I’ll stick with the simpler “press lightly to focus then press harder to capture” solution. Any idea can be good, just needs good follow-up considerations.

  • Knurd

    That’s a terrible idea. Perhaps the touchscreen idea on the back is good for navigating through menus faster, resizing preview with pinch, deleting, folders, etc…

  • keep what works and fells good

    • The invisible man

      Here we say, “don’t fix it if it’s not broken”

  • Geoff1

    What a horrible idea! Please don’t do anything even close to this Nikon.

  • James E. Donahue

    I have contacted Nikon about many things over the years and have always received a reply within 24-36 hrs.

  • BDP

    This is clearly a standard response to ensure they don’t get sued. If they said “That is The Stupidest, Most Brain-Dead Idea we have heard in decades, and believe us, we heard a LOT of stupid, brain-dead ideas every single day of those decades. We’d create some sort of award for Stupidest, Most Brain-Dead Idea, but that would only encourage you…”

    • BDP

      …they would get sued for sure.

  • As for submitting ideas, I just prattled on to my Nikon Pro Service rep for 15 minutes when I met her in person.
    Ideas I provided:
    1.Neoprene straps as standard, because the current ones suck and hurt
    2. Wireless, radio, not optical, flash triggering, perhaps licensing or working with Pocketwizard.
    And yeah, that is standard. “La la la, I can’t hear you, cause I don’t wanna get sued for listening to my most ardent supporters.”

  • Thom Rockwell

    Dear Nikon,

    My idea is to put an AF-S motor on the 80-400 lens.

    thank you
    Thommy R.

    • R R

      I support your idea

    • Now you’ve done it. No new lens until the patent rights on that idea expire! Thanks a load… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • sflxn

    Nikon needs a REAL idea? Here’s one. Make a camera like the X100 or M9 with interchangeable autofocus lenses that are slightly larger than Leica lenses. Frivolous features like projector in a camera or touchscreen won’t improve anybody’s photography or sell anymore cameras. Make the camera that everyone wants! Smaller, lighter camera and lenses with APS-C or larger sensors with optical or hybrid viewfinders.

    I will bet money that if they every implemented the stupid touch screen shutter release, they will lose massive marketshare. As for me, I would sell all my Nikon gear and go to Canon, Leica, or Fuji.

  • Wow, now that is what I call service!
    A positive reply, encourageous too.

    Great support! =D

  • CK Dexter Haven

    I’m surprised there are so many dolts who can’t imagine a benefit here. While i don’t suggest this will or should ever be implemented, it is a response to a real and potentially significant issue. Pressing a button does have the potential for moving the camera. Anyone who shoots rangefinders is probably aware of auxiliary ‘soft release’ buttons that are meant to minimize the finger travel when activating a shutter. In this instance, removing a finger is surely going to have less impact on the camera than adding sudden pressure. So, whatever – criticize a guy for thinking out of the box. I’m sure the fine folks at Canon and Nikon have already imagined such a thing. That they may have dismissed it because of the smallbox thinking of most of their consumer base doesn’t mean better minds haven’t considered it.

    Someone WILL eventually implement a system that accomplishes this. Hopefully in a more elegant manner. Worthwhile innovations don’t always occur in one step. An odd or even radical thought can often lead to something productive. I’d wager that the people calling this idea “stupid” are typing their little quips on PCs.

    • Not my real name

      I implemented this for the prefocus part of the shutter for a concept camera at work, but then we found out someone else had already patented that idea and the camera was never shown again. No, I’m not in the camera biz, just selling controls.

    • sflxn

      Funny thing about the real dolts who don’t know the use-cases for touch screen and physical buttons. They should watch videos of X100 reviews. Users have been left wondering if they took a photo because the camera was too silent. We humans respond to anthropomorphic designs. Sound, material, pressure exerted by our fingers, resistance from the button (no matter how small) are all anthropomorphic. How would Bresson responded to a camera where he wasn’t sure he “captured the moment”? I am involved in the mobile development industry. Touch push buttons when you’re not looking at the touch screen is NOT anthropomorphic. Anyone who have used iPhones and Android apps extensively would know this, but only humans would know that. The true dolts would not. We also have another name for these real dolts — gadgeteers, gadget geeks, gadget freaks, etc. We never call them photographers.

    • Nikonian4465

      Why don’t you just go ask Steve Jobs to make DSLRs? Im sure it’ll be fully automatic, have a 3mp 4/3s sensor, shoot at 1.4 fps and cost around $4000. Hey, maybe itll have that touch release you wanted!
      Oh, plus it’ll be white, fanboy.

    • dave

      I don’t think a touch sensor necessarily requires a touch screen. We’ve had electrical touch contacts (sensors) on consumer scuba computers for 20 years now.

      The gentleman’s suggestion, I admit has several flaws. For example, once you touch the sensor, you are committed to taking a picture. A better solution, although it still requires two fingers, would be focus on touch with first finger and shutter release on touch of the second finger. If you decide not to shoot, just stop touching with the first finger. There are many people that do that today on their DSLRs, activating the AF button on the back with their thumb and the shutter with their index finger. All you would really need to do is replace the shutter button with a touch sensor. The shutter cycle will provide the feedback. but there are issues of dirt and corrosion, etc depending on the kind of touch sensor you use.

      A agree the problem he is out to solve is a real one. Just because there are several factors that influence camera shake doesn’t mean we can’t address the issues individually.

      • Not my real name

        I think the guy should try to prototype this idea first and see how it goes.

        He could take a remote cable release (say the MC-30), a commercially available capacitive sensor (a number of different ones are available through DigiKey), and a microcontroller (overkill, but better than messing with discrete logic and easier to change the functionality). Wire it all together and see how he likes it.

        He could go overkill on the microcontroller and use an Arduino, some capacitive sensors already have microcontrollers, or he can use a simple Basic Stamp.

        Actually, first I’d use regular tact switches in place of the capacitive switches, just to make sure the microcontroller is programmed correctly, or have LEDs connected to the switch outputs. The main thing is to consider how all the combinations and sequences of button pressing will work. What does pressing only one button do? Take a picture immediately? What about accidentally brushing across the buttons? How much debounce do the buttons need? Should the shutter be released when lifting from one contact but not the other? Otherwise how do you abot taking a photo? Etcetera.

        Prototyping the setup with a wired remote (or even wiring into the shutter button of a cheap P&S) will give great insight into the pros and cons of his idea and allow him to better explain exactly how it works.

        Also, he should document (and/or patent) his work on the prototype and save different iterations of it in case he needs to use it as prior art in the event of intellectual property discussions/litigation.

        • Not my real name

          Darn keyboard. That was “abort taking a photo” not abot.

  • warghhh

    bad idea IMHO..seems like more work compared to the traditional way. Not gonna be a big fan for pro photographers. Probably ideal for them people who’d probably use it for a few weeks and then spend years tucked away in their bag.

  • Mock Kenwell

    This is legal CYA boilerplate. Hell, I got one of these when I WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD and recommended that Lego come out with Knights, castles, pirates and sci-fi character sets. I even drew pictures. And the letter couldn’t have been more cold or more legal. Same deal.

  • Eric Calabros

    my idea is: please do something to Sendai plant sooner than later, and release a pro body before September!
    my attorney said I can submit it here.

  • Please noooo!!!!!! This will be the end of underwaterphotography…

  • VJ

    Seems like a nice, helpful but standard answer for any suggestions given.

    Touch interfaces have they place, but the shutter button is not one IMO… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Richard Spencer

    Intruiging! My suggestion to Nikon UK (provide a hand grip to fit in place of detachable tripod mounting foot on 70-200 VR II) didn’t get that reply – just a “Thank-you, and we’ll pass it on to the design guys”, but perhaps that wasn’t a patentable idea? Maybe they do think about suggestions before replying?

  • NikonStaff

    Thanks for the ideas Nikon Rumors commenters; we are always willing to hear new ideas and would be willing to pass your ideas on to our design group. However, you all should first contact your attorneys about protecting your ideas since we may already be working on something similar or have other knowledge about similar ideas. By registering your ideas you protect yourselves for the future. Once you have spoken with your attorneys about this please let us know and we’ll send you all mutual non-disclosure forms and then you can send us your ideas which we’ll pass on to our design groups for consideration. Thanks Nikon Rumors! Haha!

  • Marlon Correa


  • Kuhni

    Sounds like a standard answer from Nikon (c&p). A sensor? No, thx!

  • Brian Davis

    Touch screen buttons? Half the time the touch screen on my phone doesn’t work, why would I want that on my camera? Just another thing to go wrong. Stupid idea.

  • sjms

    thats the first professional answer i’ve heard from a company in a long time. i can tell that most here have no concept of business and how to do it.

  • Definitely, NO!

  • Peter

    Photography is going in the wrong direction…. FAST!

  • Don

    Push versus touchscreen… hmm.. why not i push you down the cliff while you touch me and i’m still standing? Same theory. Pushing a shutter button gets more feel than stupid touchscreens (although i myself uses iphone but that’s the only touchscreen i touch!)

    That’s gotta be the worst idea ever.

  • ducatidad

    The response is a standard company response to any new idea submission. Nikon is correct to suggest legal advice before submitting any idea.

  • mario

    this is not new, check the old minolta cameras ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • T N Args

      Which, according to Daniel above, must be bad.

  • Daniel

    I think touch screen for menu nav is a good idea, but absolutely not on the shutter button, you need that tactile response and reliability.

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