Weekly Nikon news flash #268

Sony a7s beats the Nikon Df and scores as the best low-light camera at DxOMark.

Xtreme Tether wireless remote transmitter for Nikon Xtreme Tether wireless remote transmitter for Nikon DSLR cameras
→ Xtreme Tether is another wireless remote transmitter for Nikon DSLR cameras (see previous coverage on the blog).

→ New Nikon Behind the Scenes video - Dramatic Portrait Lighting:

→ Two new videos on the Nikon 1 V3 and D4s cameras from B&H:

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  • Tim sims

    Let’s all complain about the Df again

    • no not really

      It has overall score of 89. That means the a7s sucks.

    • Guy With-camera

      Exactly! All nikon had to do was EITHER add 1080p video to the df or clean hdmi out. BUT NO…..I’m getting an a7s. AND selling my d800. NOT SWITCHING TO SONY……Ill pick up a refurbished d810 when its available at the nikon outlet late next year.

  • Sports

    Regarding the high ISO result of the Sony, which comment should win?
    a) I don’t care, because I hate DXOMark.
    b) I don’t care, because the Sony has no lenses.
    c) Damn, this is how the D4s should have performed.
    d) I’ll switch to Sony.
    e) Where is the D400?

    • Reality Check

      f) Put this sensor into the D750 Noct and then watch it trump sales of the Df.

      • reductron

        Make that D750 Li xDrive and I’ll buy in a heartbeat.

    • Bobs ur uncle

      f) all of the above. Plus (g) The A7/D4s/D400 are too expensive.

      • reductron

        Especially the D400

      • FredBear

        (h) I gotta have this sensor or I’ll slash my wrists
        (i) Oh no! I just bought an ‘XYZ’ camera last week now I have to sell it to buy the Sony.
        (j) Who cares?
        (k) Yawn!

        • Ereshoping

          Skip to..
          (n) No Nikon D400

    • RRRoger

      There is more to low lght performance than a DXO Mark.

      The D5300 for instance is really good at 12,800 ISO due to the Expeed 4 processor and DXO shows it nearly the same as a D7100 that is not as good with the same lens at 6400 ISO

      • reductron

        I personally wouldn’t consider DXOMark till they include Lurpak’s performance in their charts! that or La vache qui rit

    • Photobug

      The D400 is dead and the D9300 is the replacement to the D300/s DSLR.

      • Patrick O’Connor

        The name is irrelevant.
        You say, “Tomato;” I say, “Fuck you.” 😉

    • Sony sucks

      The BIGGEST problem of a7s, is that it’s pretentious as hell. Sony is not even trying to do anything. Look at A7 products.. their design/handling/ergonomics as light years behind their A99, which is very smooth and very fun to use. Obviously sony has NO CLUE what they’re doing, since they’re trying to cater too hard on the soccer moms, and not enough on the ppl who want to take photographs with modes outside of “auto”.

      How about some sony camera, with A7s sensor, with body of nikon D610 / canon 5d3, with FPS of 8-11? Oh no, Sony can’t do this! They must squeeze some other markets first. They’re not even trying. Only the guys who can afford buy second body will buy this, and for those it’s really good, but I really don’t see any sane person buying this as their primary body, simply for the fact that it doesn’t even have changing exposure FPS of 4 (continuous drive of 5fps locks the exposure) or better yet 6!

      They could easily just throw away the SLT from A77m2, give it a sensor that could actually deal with low light ISO, but they just had to go with something that has been proven not to work. Who on earth will use camera that will take soft RAW pictures under sunlight @ ISO 100? Because that’s what the previous model was criticized for.

      So no, I’m really not that afraid. It’s simply because sony is missing some important fundamental stuff (canon / nikon have better processing algorithms, better focussing systems, nikon doesn’t cook RAW with NR). So it’s only matter of time before Canon or Nikon will do what Sony should’ve done on Day 1 with their A7. That is, a full frame mirrorless capable of 8-11 FPS, AF capable of tracking BIF.

      • bas076

        Big posting without any usefull idea but with a lot fanatism.

      • jon

        I agree with a lot of what you said, but I am more interested in this camera for video work. The size is really pleasant. But the controls and layout are miserable. I have a love/hate relationship with the Sony A7 cameras.

    • Jonathan

      I pick b and e. I would love to go for Sony, but the no lens issue keeps me away.

  • HF

    Look at preview, comparing a7s,a7r,canon 5diii. Up to 6400 very minor differences, even at 25k its very close:

    So a D800e should be able to compete very well, as will a DF or D4s, too.

  • HF

    Look at preview, comparing a7s,a7r,canon 5diii. Up to 6400 very minor differences, even at 25k its very close:

    So a D800e should be able to compete very well, as will a DF or D4s, too.

    • El Aura

      And being the ‘best’ according to DxO’s score represents a 1/6 of stop as an advantage, thus, even without the DPreview results, DxO’s rating in itself should not set anybody’s heart racing.

    • PGi

      Right, and this test just proved how meaningless dxo crap really is.

      • reductron

        Especially given that they don’t include Lurpak’s and La vache qui rit’s performances

    • bas076

      Very good example explaining why a7s in more interesting camera for most hobbist even if not to go more then ISO 6400.

  • dbltax

    Xtreme Tether is basically a TP-Link TR3040, but with custom firmware (which you can install yourself anyway) except it costs SIX times the price! Insane!

    • Can you talk more about this? Very interesting.

      Have you used it?

    • Spy Black

      You may be able to install some firmware, but you still need the controlling software. You’re paying for the full package, which isn’t horribly expensive. Unless you know of free or less expensive alternative, there’s pretty much this.

      • Airmaxone

        It seems a lot like camranger. Camranger has been around a tad longer so their software has been tweaked a little more. It’s available for ios and android devices. Or if you have an android device you can buy the TP-link tr-3040 (34.99) and download dslr dashboard (free make a donation). Put new firmware in the TP-link and bam a hell of a lot cheaper.

        • Spy Black

          I’m not seeing those options at their website, only the Camranger at $300, $100 more than this.

          • Airmaxone

            Do a quick google search “Dslr dashboard tp-link mr3040” and should pull up some tutorials. I should of specified more that cam ranger and Dslr dashboard are different.

          • Klaben

            Unfortunaly a German website, but shows it is a TP link with dashboard and a solution for android tablets. Complete video which shows how good it works. Costs all together below 75€. Android software is for free. You have to by just thre router and a usb cable.

            Remote control + tethering possible.


      • Mauro Schramm

        I think I can accomplish almost all features in my D600 with the WU-1b ($ 60, or an OTG cable) plus DslrDashoard application (for free).

        • Spy Black

          Not wireless.

          • Mauro Schramm

            Yes, I have WU-1b and I prefer to use it with Dslrdashboard instead of the very limited Nikon WMU.

            Dslrdashboard also allows you to control the camera via an OTG cable (WMU does not).

            • Mauro Schramm

              Anyway, I prefer to use the OTG cable instead of WU-1b, when possible. Sometimes it’s hard to connect to WU1b.

      • dbltax

        TP-Link TR3040 with custom firmware and the DSLR Dashboard app on Android. Total cost around $30, instead of the $300 for near Xtreme Tether. Been running it for a few months, it’s brilliant.

  • Ralph

    20 years ago I used to follow the discussions about cameras with some interest because to me the camera was just a dark place to hold film. My FE2 and F90 took images just as good as the F4 or F5. Digital changed all that because the film component was un-detachable from the camera. Sensors have now caught up with film and exceeded its performance and once again images out of each camera are pretty much all the same, the performance of the cameras above just confirm that.
    For those of you who keeping asking about the D400 and D700 replacement – please switch to Canon, Sony or anyone else really.

    • genowordprocessor

      Your poor analogy indicates that you don’t know much about cameras. Some other unspecified analogy, to which I am privy and you are not, is superior, owing to my extensive training.

      • genotypewriter

        I think you are trying to be me, but you still seem to require a little more of that “extensive training” to get close.

        • reductron

          My top secret dossier is missing. which of you was it?

  • AM I Am

    It’s weird that we are 10 days into the World Cup and there has been any article or rumor with pics taken with the new 400mm f/2.8.
    Has anybody spotted one in the wild? Does anybody know of any pictures?

    • Malik Tintilinich

      Nobody has seen it in the wild yet.

      Rumor has it, there were some oil spots discovered by the early adopters.

      A brand new 410mm f/2.8 is being shipped as an upgrade.

      • clarisse

        Hahaha…funniest post here in a while.


      • reductron

        Boiling, as usual, will remedy the situation. (And do not fog lens with own breath)

      • reductron

        Boiling, as usual, will remedy the situation. (And do not fog lens with own breath)

      • AM I Am

        The thing is that the 400mm will start shipping until August, but I would imagine the WC would be the perfect event to clean all bugs out and avoid rebranding the same thing as 410mm. 😉

    • nikon lenses rjoke3rdprtbetter
      • HF

        It’s with 2x extenders, or am I wrong? Looking at f4 and for 500mm native focal length the Nikon is really good.

      • nwcs

        What we don’t know is which version of TC 2.0 they used for the test. That can make a world of difference.

      • BobTB

        The Nikon 500mm is clearly better than the Canon 500mm there appears to be an issue with the extender on the test you linked / I assume you deliberately avoided the native lens test because it made the Canon look poorer. It could have been worse, for Canon! they could have tested it on a current gen Nikon camera with a new sensor

        • nikon lenses rjoke3rdprtbetter

          I didn’t deliberately avoid the normal test. I was pointing out that canon is better, because it retains sharpness up to TC 2x. Look up forums anywhere, no-one is using their expensive nikon lenses with TC2x wide open, not even the 70-200 owners. You can’t get anything with the 80-400 either. I think you can only so much blame the TCs (btw, test claims to use version 3 of the nikon TC), but I’ve witnessed ppl favor sigma lenses over Nikon lenses on dprevies. Some of sigmas like 100-300 f4, 120-300 f2.8, 400 f5.6 telemacro, 300 f4 telemacro.. these are all lenses of caliper / sharpness that can withstand atleast 1.4x or 1.7x, and they are some lenses that nikon simply cannot beat at under 2700 dollar price point. This really fuels my belief that what we’re witnessing in those tests is infact the truth about the state of the nikon’s tele lenses; they charge 8k for lenses that perform very very poorly with TC, which should indicate it isn’t as sharp lens as canon (like it mentions, they’re using ver 3 of extender). http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=653&Camera=614&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=745&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0 test without TCs shows Canon having better sharpness in those straight lines.

    • Check this link – I shared it on Facebook few days ago:

      • Zinchuk

        Nice to see what it looks like but one thing struck me: the new monopod handle STILL does NOT have Arca Swiss mount. Are there any high end tripod heads now that do NOT have the Arca Swiss system? It’s as common as the 1/4 inch tripod screw, which I would be pretty reluctant to trust with such a large lens and camera. How hard would it be for them to include this? Not hard at all. Now one has to get a replacement foot from Really Right Stuff (which should be called “Really Right Stuff The Camera Makers Forgot or Neglected.” Using a plate on it just seems wrong. It should be integrated.

    • Check this link – I shared it on Facebook few days ago:

  • Spy Black

    Is Joe McNally wearing a rug?

    What is a Nikon D800 HD?

    That certainly wasn’t a tungsten filter he put on those flashes, but I get it.

    Do you really need to fire off your flash on the body to remote control Nikon speedlights? That’s kinda crude.

    • Joe

      That’s just one way to do it. These videos aren’t designed for advanced shooters. And, of course, nobody could teach you anything. 🙂

      • Spy Black

        I wasn’t criticizing the tutorial.

    • JcPhotoMedia

      so you think it’s less crude for Canon to force you into a 350 dollar radio to put in hot shoe and then charge you extra for every flash? I welcome when Nikon puts radio in the flashes but the CLS system is amazing and has led the way in wireless flash for years…

      • Spy Black

        No, it’s crude because it can bleed into your lighting setup. Much better is simply using any number of third-party radio triggers. I don’t care what Canon does.

        • Joe

          Actually, you can set the internal flashes contribution to the exposure or set it to not contribute at all. It pre-flashes instructions to the external speedlight(s) before the shutter opens.
          Sorry I misunderstood your intentions.

          • Spy Black

            Hmm, I’m sure it’s rather quick, but you could still lose a decisive moment like that.

    • CLS Master

      Crude? Not really, unless easy and efficient is crude.

  • Spy Black

    How do my D600 and D5100 cameras wind up with better dynamic range than the Sony A7s, D4s and Df? The D600 blows them all away. I don’t get it.

    • george

      I wouldn’t call a 0.5Ev difference “blowing away”.
      All of these cameras utilize a 14-bit A/D converter, so it’s already surprising enough that all of them reached the theoretical maximum (withn statistical variation) that such a converter can achieve, which is 14Ev DR.

      Since all of the sensors are similar in construction, I’d attribute the small differences in the addition of the translucent mirror in the case of the Sony and the smaller sensor of the D5100.
      If all three sensors were ideal (able to detect all photons), the Sony would be at a small disadvantage because of the smaller number of photons reaching the sensor due to the mirror, and the D5100 due to its smaller area.

      • Spy Black

        “I wouldn’t call a 0.5Ev difference “blowing away”.”

        Hello? Um, 14.2 versus 13.2?

  • PGi

    At dxo crap yeah, but in real usable tests like the one dpr just posted over there, the a7s is not at all better than the d4s of the df , arguably even worse.

    • Eno

      Of Course now “dxo crap”, when Nikon cameras got the best score it was the best, now it is “crap”. Get a life Sony A7s is the new king of low light and also the king of DR in low light.

      • Dee Eff

        Still, 12mp?? in 2014??

  • Me

    What on Earth is this emphasis upon top ISO performance? I’ve spent a fair amount of time in gloomy auditoria but am usually far, far below the top ISO even then. What matters more for high ISO shooters is the flattening of the dynamic range as the ISO creeps up. I’d imagine that even people who spend all day at the the top of the ISO dial are few and far between.

    Then why the emphasis? Because people want to have a single unambiguous winner. Well, photography is not like that. For example the D800 has a wider range of DR at the base ISOs than its sister cameras. Why? Because for the D4, the object is to spend life further up the ISO range so the DR curve flattens less as the ISO increases than the D800.

    Sorry, the emphasis upon top ISO performance without taking in other factors is nonsense.

    • Spy Black

      You have to remember that high ISO is a relatively new phenomenon in cameras. It wasn’t that long ago that you’d be happy to pull off something usable at ISO 3200.

      Also, high ISO today is like the megapixel wars that have been waging on for some time, it’s a sales pitch, but it ultimately can be a useful specification under the right conditions. Recently I had to shoot a band in a bar so dimly lit my D600 was set to Hi 2(!) with an f/2.8 optic. Fortunately the final images were web res so nobody really saw how nasty things were. I could have easily made use of a Df, D4s, or A7s in these conditions.

      • Df sucks

        Df sucks tho. No AF. It’s MF only.

        • LongTom

          It sucks a bit, but it is only for having AF. Unfortunately ‘MF only’ is not true.

        • Before you give yourself a name, try reading about cameras. Df IS AF.

          • Daniel Holzer

            DF Sucks must either be a troll or making some ironic comment (like D800 left AF point issues). Because no one who is serious and in their right mind would suggest that a modern camera does not have AF.

            • Df sucks

              Yea it has AF, but it’s not comparable to D800 AF (which is also bad) or to 5d3 AF. Why are ppl defending a camera with AF probably similiar to that of D7000? You guys like focus hunting in low light do you? My D800 focus hunts in woods with ISO 100 when trying to focus on plant leaves. It just doesn’t snap, something I’d expect from a nikon camera from this price point.

      • george

        You could more easily have used a f/1.4 lens and keep your D600. That’s what these were designed for you know.

        • Spy Black

          I did have a 50 f/1.4 as well. I still had to be at Hi 2. It was also very difficult to focus when you’re in a very dim environment. I also needed to go wide and tele as well so I relied primarily on a zoom with a maximum aperture of f/2.8.

          • Groosome

            Tell the management to turn up the lights 🙂

        • I guess

          An f/1.4 lens would help his focusing, although not that much with the D600 (I have one), but he’d still have to shoot at an aperture, appropriate for the scene.

      • Me

        Anything above the standard ISOs is effectively post processing. You’d have been better off shooting at 6400 – the last real ISO the D600 produces — and then pushing the image in post yourself.

        • Spy Black

          This was a quick ‘n dirty shoot, I wasn’t going to spend time on it. Hi 2 did the job.

      • Moronerator

        Not exactly.. In the MP wars you have manufacturers (and rumor/review sites) selling consumers on something that has limited use/benefit or need for the majority of photographers. Akin to buying x-car over y-car because x-car has a 12speed transmission and can get up to 200mph, even though 95% of all roads in the world do not provide an opportunity nor need to drive that fast.
        ISO improvements on the other hand benefit just about every aspect of photography because each advance in ISO performance at the high end improves base ISO performance – and increases what is even considered ‘base’ ISO. Especially when some cameras for the sake of marketable features like high MP produce noise as low as 400 ISO. Oh, the counterpoint for my analogy above.. Increasing ISO performance and useable range is like improving gas mileage with no detrimental impact on your cars performance.

        • Spy Black

          I actually made that point, with different words. As I said, I could have easily made use of any of the cameras I pointed out. However there is now undeniably an ISO wars going on. It a good thing tho.

    • Michiel953

      If you would be using a very light and compact camera like the A7, with the inevitable inability to make sharp images at slow shutterspeeds, you’d appreciate the ultra high ISO performance. If, on the other hand, you’d be using a camera with better mass and ergonomics, you’d think different.

    • mikeswitz

      Me, Actually this is all advertising fodder and has virtually no relevance to working photographers (amateurs for that matter). It’s for guys like greger.pung who can write, “Soooonyyy! Yeah!!! We’re the best!!!!” and feel great about their latest toy.

    • Zesty

      This camera crap is getting more and more like toothbrushes. There is only so many things a company can try to spin to it’s customers before they realize….It’s just a toothbrush. For instance, The different colored bristles that supposedly massage the gums at a different angle etc. One can also look at razor blade manufacturers. How many frickin’ blades does one need on a razor. I saw one with four. Jesus H christ. Four razors on a razor. I suppose Camera companies need to lure people to their product somehow and it appears it is high ISO scrores. We are all being rooked.

    • Moronerator

      Because it is directly relative to the ISO performance of every lower sensitivity…
      If camera xxx is designed and executed to get 3200 ISO performance at 12,800 it will effect the entire ISO performance curve.. it is not as if 12,800 improves while 6400 and 3200 stay the same.

  • chlamchowder

    Good job to Sony for making a good low light sensor. But I bet it still can’t compete with any modern full frame cameras when it comes to holding focus on a moving subject, which limits how useful those high ISOs are. One of the biggest uses of high ISOs is to freeze fast moving subjects in low light.

  • greger.pung

    Soooonyyy! Yeah!!! We’re the best!!!!

  • whisky

    raw batter to cooked fudge comparison. according to DxO, Sony processes some of the raw data to remove noise. not sure how DxO scores RAW output to fudge.

  • D400Dream
  • Photobug

    Thank you Peter for deleting that terrible message. Personal insults do not belong here.

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