Weekly Nikon news flash #418

→ The Sony 256GB XQD G memory card is actually a new model - according to Amazon it was introduced on March 7, 2017. The card is currently $50 off at B&H. More info on the card can be found here.

Macphun released a custom preset collection for the Luminar photo editor - there are 8 completely free sets, plus 3 premium collections.

Tamron is rumored to announce a new 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens later this year.


→ The latest rebates from Tamron, Sigma and Nikon.

→ The TSA discovered this "Nikon gun" in a carry-on bag at LaGuardia airport (via PetaPixel).

→ Nikon subsidiary in the U.K., Mark Roberts Motion Control Limited received Queen's Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade. Nikon acquired Mark Roberts Motion Control in November 2016.

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    • animalsbybarry

      Even with the discount this XQD card is insanely overpriced

      • Like everything Sony… ok, just joking 🙂

        • animalsbybarry

          Now that there is a new generation of faster than ever SD cards I think XQD will prove to be unnecessary
          I am hoping the D820 has dual SD card slots or at least the option of getting a dual SD card version

          • Allen_Wentz

            Barry stop saying that falsehood. The D500 takes the fastest SD cards, and they cripple D500 performance when in the camera.

            Or just look at the numbers: XQD is 47% faster than the fastest SD.

            It would be really lame if Nikon was to listen to goofballs asking for TWO by-definition-slower cards in our D820 workflows.

            • Spy Black

              How many times are you going to beat this dead horse? The problem is the card bus speed, not the card. Nikon is to blame for it’s crippleware approach, not the SD technology.

            • Allen_Wentz

              Wrong. The SD _CARD_ IS SLOWER throughout our workflows. XQD is ~47% faster.

              Yes Nikon is to blame for including SD as one of the two card slots, and for the way the process works with in-camera firmware. But SD is flat slower even after our cameras are put away and we are backing up and otherwise moving our fat NEF files around.

              And it will be worse, hella worse, when we try to move large batches of 100 MB files from a D820 around. Wishing for lame SD is NUTS when XQD is 47% faster.

              1) IMO time spent waiting for files to move is totally wasted time, and in the last 20 years that has been a _lot_ of my time wasted.

              2) Slower file transfer rates raises the likelihood of file corruption, which at best is further wasted time. At worst is lost files, a very big deal.

              Folks literally _asking_ for slower speeds in both slots via lame SD on Nikon’s latest pro high-MP camera makes no sense to me. Nikon might listen and my personal workflow would be impeded.

            • animalsbybarry
            • Thom Hogan

              And that world’s fastest SD card is 33% slower than the XQD cards many of us are using today, and XQD has quite a bit of headroom to get faster.

              As to @spy_black:disqus’s insistence on bus speed being the determinant, yes, it is. At present Nikon is sourcing SD parts that are about half the speed of the XQD parts they’re using. And in both cases, neither is as fast as maximum speeds for the cards. Given Nikon’s incessant cost cutting, it would make more sense for them to buy state-of-the-art XQD parts than SD parts, and re-use those in as many products as possible. If they were to buy state-of-the-art SD parts and try to re-use them in consumer cameras, they’d be raising their costs in those cameras.

              Finally, those of us who use card readers can tell you that a state-of-the-art XQD reader and card will offload faster than a state-of-the-art SD reader and card. I would argue that in a pro camera—and the D810 followup should be a pro camera—you don’t want to target “good enough.”

            • Eric Bowles

              Good summary, Thom.

            • Spy Black

              Putting the card speed differences aside, the real problem here is Nikon deliberately crippling the product lines. From their perspective, if you want the absolute fastest dual slot camera, you need to buy the D5. You can have pretty close performance if you buy a D500 but, besides now having a crop frame (which isn’t necessarily an issue), you can’t have data redundancy at full recording speed, so you’re risking it when shooting time critical events with a single card (although modern cards are pretty reliable). So to Nikon, anything less than the D5 gets hampered in some way.

            • Thom Hogan

              Nikon isn’t the only one deliberately buying behind the curve in terms of tech. Personally, I think this is exacerbating some of the problems the camera companies have.

              Card slots aren’t the only place where we see slower speed parts. USB ports and Wi-Fi connections are also in play here (or in the case of the D3400, use of Bluetooth without Wi-Fi).

              These are all connectivity problems in a world that demands more connectivity.

            • Spy Black

              Sony certainly has confirmed that with the A9 by deliberately making the second card slot UHS-1.

            • Are they coming out with something higher end than A9? There seems to be no other reason for this crippling. Other than stupidity and arrogance that is!

            • Thom Hogan

              Right, and how much did that save them in their most expensive product?

            • Spy Black

              How much will it cost them? 😉

            • Spy Black

              You should get help…

            • animalsbybarry
            • Allen_Wentz

              Barry the point is the COMPARISON of XQD versus SD. Any possible way that you compare the two, XQD is at least ~50% faster.
              1) Real world, empirically tested in-camera: performance of XQD in D500 is substantially better than the very best SD card; tested in the same camera on the same images.
              2) Card-reader empirically tested workflow: performance of XQD is substantially better than the very best SD card.
              3) Specs: performance of XQD is substantially better than the very best SD card.

              We do not disagree that in D500 Nikon also limits both XQD and SD via card bus speeds like Spy Black repeatedly points out, but that otherwise valid point is over-ridden by
              A) the facts of empirical testing XQD versus SD and
              B) PP workflow speeds that are independent of Nikon.

            • animalsbybarry


              The point is that the new SD cards are faster than the fastest camera can use
              Therefore there is absolutely no reason to replace all my current cards with these much more expensive cards that willhaveabsolutely no performance advantage

              When and if my camera becomes fast enough that my current cards cannot keep up, then I will reconsider if there is any advantage to XQD

              Until then there is not

            • Allen_Wentz

              Barry whatever are you talking about??? Ask any other D500 owner if you somehow think I am making this up.
              1) The D500 performs better with XQD than with SD, period. It is an easy empirical test to perform. There is no room for argument here.
              2) Post-processing image uploads can be faster with faster cards, irrespective of camera.

              No one says you should replace your current slower cards; that comment makes no sense anyway because XQD will not fit in an SD slot. But IF you buy a D500 with its XQD + SD slots, any SD card usage including the fastest available SD WILL reduce performance.

              Peter rumors that the next D8xx will have XQD+SD slots like the D500 does. That obviously is not my preference because I prefer faster dual-XQD, but I will live with it as long as at least one card allows me to get the far superior XQD speeds into my workflow.

            • Allen, I could not agree more. I’m really disappointed that it is probably going to have the SD slot. Not only does it interfere with your workflow, but the SD card itself is just inferior in every way to the XQD card.

            • MB

              I absolutely agree, if they are going XQD they should go all the way because if they mix it with SD all the advantages of XQD will be gone if you are using both cards in RAID 1 configuration as I do ..,

            • MB

              In D500 XQD cards are actually about twice as fast as SD and:

              And very fast Lexar Professional 2933x 64GB XQD (best buy IMHO) can be currently purchased for less money than most fast SD cards …

              But the results could change with UHS-III SD that should support speeds comparable to XQD … and convenience of SD cards is much better IMHO …

            • Thom Hogan

              Please don’t compare future products to current products. We could just as easily write that future 1000MBs XQD cards will blow past any current SD card.

              Both standards have future definitions in place, both will get faster, both have upper limits that will require new definitions.

            • MB

              That was not my intention, I merely tried to say pretty much the same thing you do, we will see what future brings and should not discard any standard just because one currently has some advantage …

          • Proto

            Yes! I also want to stay with reliable sandisk (and not over priced XQD)

      • Andrew

        When you are not a manufacturer, it is easy to make statements like this. A few years ago I paid $500 for a 256 GB SSD drive to secure my computer data. 256 GB is a massive amount of storage. If you want to spend less for the speed, then get a lower capacity drive.

        • Allen_Wentz

          My first personal computer hard drive was 10 MB (yes, MB with an M) and cost circa US$1100. I do not recall what my first camera cards cost, but it was $hundreds for tiny amounts of storage prone to being flaky.

          Maybe that is why $150 for these superb 256 GB cards does not faze me.

          • fanboy fagz

            close to $300 for that 256gb card

          • Thom Hogan

            I can top you both. I had the original prototype hard drive for personal computers in my Vector Graphic computer.

            The point has been, and will continue to be, that you won’t ever have a storage system that stays still. As technology opens up new possibilities and performance, products take advantage of that, and if you want to stay even reasonably current, you eventually have to succumb.

            What we’re seeing in a lot of these types of complaints is the same thing we’ve been seeing overall in society (esp. in politics) lately: fatigue. But trying to stop the ride tends to eventually have grave consequences.

          • Ande Notos

            I’m not even a pro and 256GB wasn’t enough…

      • Allen_Wentz

        Interesting. I looked at it for $147 at B&H and thought it was a nice price. A year ago I paid $99 for 64 GB Lexar cards (same specified speeds) for my then-new D500 and I thought those were a bargain.

        440R/400W are very fast cards that do great things for performance and for workflow when paired with the right computer i/o and peripherals. I do not mind paying for that kind of performance *IF* the durability and reliability stay solid.

  • FountainHead

    When he came to pick up his Nikon ‘gun’ at the security office, Mohammed said he was really quite good at spraying-and-praying…

    • br0xibear

      That’s a pretty racist statement to make FountainHead.

      • FountainHead

        OK… “When Pope Francis picked up…”
        … “Whem the Monk picked up…”


  • Proto

    Clearing the old FX inventory for new D820 (or D900).

    • T.I.M

      D820 (D900 will be for the real D810 upgrade)

      • Proto

        D820 specs are already there… what do you expect in D900?

  • Andrew

    A write speed of 400 MB/s (Megabyte per second) is amazingly fast. It took SSD (Solid State Drive) which can take the place of the hard drive in a computer a while to reach that milestone. Fortunately we are not talking about 400 Mb/s (Megabit per second). For those who are not in the know, you get eight times more storage (or in this case data transfer per second) with 400 MB than 400 Mb. Consider each byte as storage for 1 character or 1 letter in the alphabet such as A, B, or C. So with 400 MB you will be able to store 400 million characters or letters. Of course these memory cards (though you can store textual data on them) are for images which reduces the count considerably as a single image can comprise of many bytes.

    The actual storage in the case of this Sony XQD memory card is 256 GB which translates to 256 billion letters of the alphabet. Just remember that a word like “Love” has 4 letters or characters: L-o-v-e.

    When counting in bytes, we start with byte (1 character), then kilobyte (1,000 characters), megabyte (1 million characters), gigabyte (1 billion characters), and 256 gigabytes (256 billion characters).

    • Eric Bowles

      It will be interesting to see the actual write speed of this card in a camera. Most cameras are limited by the bus speed or processor in addition to the card. There is no sense in building a camera faster than card capability. The D5/D500 could only write 280 MB/s to the Sony G XQD that had a benchmark speed of 400 MB/s. The Lexar 2933x was a little faster.

      • Allen_Wentz

        I think there is lots of sense in building a camera faster than immediate card capability. The goal of making whatever parts of a workflow faster that can be made faster results in minimizing performance bottlenecks as other parts of the workflow evolve.

        E.g. when Nikon started D500 design engineering fast XQD and UHS-II SD were not yet available. To Nikon’s credit they put XQD in as one of the D500 slots and at least made the slower SD slot UHS-II. Both the D500 itself and PP workflows today perform better because of it.

        But Nikon chose less than best-available slot hardware/firmware, so both XQD and SD slots perform less well than they otherwise could have. That IMO was unnecessary.

  • VanHoff

    LOL, a decadent company (Nikon) which doesn’t even offer DECENT video options on their cameras, made a desperate move to purchase an specialized video rigging company to do what?????

    • Eric Calabros

      To measure the distance between their product lineup and broadcast industry.

  • Politics_Nerd

    Anybody want to buy a $370 Nikon D500 battery grip? 😀

    • RC Jenkins

      It’s $449.95 on the Nikon USA’s website. Maybe you can sell it back to them.

      Also, $449.95!?!?!

      For an extra $50, you can get a package consisting of a D3400,18-55, 70-300, 16GB SD card, Lens cleaner, Travel camera bag, 2x Nikon School DVD’s.

      Meanwhile, Canon’s 7Dii grip is going for $200 new.

      Dear Nikon,

      Are you stupid?

      RC Jenkins

      ==UPDATE==: I got a response back from Nikon!

      “I AM.”


    • Allen_Wentz

      I will buy it if you throw in an RRS L-bracket with it.

  • Viktor

    Just had a thinking morning after weekend…. 😀

    One thing I have came around is that we already maybe know the exact MPs of that camera. Based on the rumor Peter came with 45-46 it is easy to guess the following:
    FX is 2,25x larger then DX, giving the D500 20.9MP effective we have:
    47.02MPs effective, which is out of scale Peter mentioned, however if Nikon is trying to save/share wherever possible, there is no other sensor Nikon can base it on…. same as D7500, just larger size…..
    Therefore we can easily guess that other parameters will be also according to this same (chip the same again….) 🙂
    I do not expect anything different in the summer 😉

    • Viktor

      The other thing I came to is the “surprise” Nikon is preparing….

      One possibility is the robust cover for D820 resulting in D5X…. would have a real logic…. Pro photographers are sometime calling for it and while having the D820 insides and D5 body it is technically quite easy to manufacture…. not much development, but one other product in the house 🙂

      Second possibility is the DML – digital mirrorless camera, which leads me into:
      Nikon has to develop new mount and new series of lenses anyway (keeping current mount would be possible, but…. not very probable Nikon wants to go that “not optimal” way as they want to produce high level and expensive…. as “stated” by Nikon 😀
      FF would not make much sense as the competition etc. … and mirrorless is mainly for those now using D8xx – landspace, portrait, architecture…. slow motion – so the result could be MF DML to compete with that new Fuji….
      I do not see many reasons Nikon going to FF DML now….

      • Maybe, but it would be a big surprise to make the new df like mirrorless. That would be the beginning of the new Nikon e century. However I personally not interested but I see the blood eyed comment fights, especially the ones with l lots of numbers:)) Maybe it’s not reasonable, but many photographer would buy that cool looking decent camera.

        • Viktor

          Yeah, that would be really a start of a new “Nikon Century”…. and if we have just discovered what their “I AM THE NEXT 100” or “I AM THE NEW NIKON CENTURY”, then they will not like us 😀

          ….big surprise? Yes, but that is why I think it is going to be this rumored “surprise”….

          I am also not sure about leaving current mount as of having the gear already, but one camera with a lens as I need at least 2 anyway…. why not 😉

      • The biggest asset Nikon has today is its current customers. Specifically, the ones that buy all the higher priced bodies and lenses. These customers have a huge investment in F mount. Launching a camera system that does not support it at this point in the market would be a huge error. The time to make that move was when Canon moved to a new mount. If Nikon did it today, a lot of people with sizable investment in F mount lenses would strongly consider switching to Sony, Canon or whatever.

        • Allan

          Agree. Nikon needs to hold on to their old customers.

          Nikon needs to attract new customers. I suspect cameras with new mounts will be directed (initially) at enthusiasts, and not pros.

          At this point in the technological race (types of cameras, types of mounts, sharing images, etc.), Nikon is either behind or perceived as being behind.

          • I’m just not sure why F mount really needs changing at all. The flange distance in the camera body is not the big issue. In fact, the increased flange distance of the current Nikon DSLR aids in the design of more easy to grip camera for most hands. I would argue to remove the mirror, pentaprism & add a EVF to the current design. This will free up a lot of space that will allow for some rethinking of where parts go. The result could be a smaller lighter body that is compatible with the entire family of lenses.

            • Allan

              And that’s why they invented engineers. 🙂

              It will be interesting to see what the Nikon engineers come up within the next two years.

            • Indeed, I started my career as an engineer. They make the world go around.

            • Allan

              “They make the world go around.”


              Sadly, engineers are underappreciated.

            • Allan

              No sitcoms or dramas about engineers on T.V.

            • Tom Taubert

              Hey, The Professor on Gilligan’s Island. He’s a Nikon Engineer always thwarted by Gilligan (the CEO). At least he has Ginger around …

            • I think he is referring to the Big Bang Theory. In this case most of the characters are physicists. The engineer on the show is often depicted as inferior to the physicists.

            • Allan

              I stand corrected.

            • Allan


            • Aldo

              That distance is light you are losing… like when using a teleconverter.

            • No, not really. While it is true that you are perhaps losing some light due to the photon interaction with the various atoms in the air volume in the space, it is absolutely negligible if even measurable in anyway.
              The losses in a teleconverter are caused by the air to glass and glass to air transitions and the thermal loss in the glass itself along with aberrations and artifacts introduced by the glass itself. All this is very minor in a well designed teleconverter.
              If you are referring to the F stop change, this is due to the increase in focal length divided maximum aperture, not loss of light.

            • Viktor

              Actually this is what I would want…. Be able to use current F mount lenses and have lighter body – no pentaprism no mirror and no need for finetuning 😉
              The equation/programm mentioned above is what I think they will make, not what I would buy 😀

            • So who do you think would buy the concept you outligned? I would argue it would be very few.

            • Viktor

              Will be less then D5 D8xx customers at the begining, but the number would be rising…. just a theory….. 😉

        • Viktor

          Well, not really…. if they go to this way (MF DML) they do not loose any of their current customers as it is already stated that the D820 will be…. that is a presumption to my theory 😉 Therefore who wants to go FX will surely have D8xx series, but the thing is the number of customers leaving toward GFX and to FF mirrorless (Sony)…. My equation ends always only at one end (even whether I personally want it or not….) and that if MF DML 😉
          Thought summary:
          – customers leave to mirrorless (Sony)
          – customers leave to GFX (Fuji, X1D)
          – there is no FF mirrorless Nikon now
          – the mount will therefore need to be introduced new anyway (understand, I do not like it too, but….)
          – D820 and following will be continuing anyway
          – no reasonable other reason to keep DML with FF size
          => the Nikon DML will be MF/GFX 😉

          • In your program Nikon looses all their customers in the high end that don’t want to buy MF from Nikon because they are already invested in MF.
            Without FF successor to the D820, then Nikon has no answer for the FF segment and the minute they offer something that requires the user to buy all new lenses to take advantage of it, those users will probably consider buying some other company’s more well developed sets of lenses given that Nikon will only have a few lenses in the new line.

            If you think MF is the answer, I can tell you it is not. They are big and slow. I shot on a Phase One and a Pentax a lot and they just are not what most people will ever want.

            • Viktor

              OK, but first I have never and nowhere said there woun’t be any D8xx successor as we already rumorously know it is going to be D820 and it is going to be in the summer…. 😉

              The DML GFX I am talking is a possible new product/series to answer those looking for mirrorless and leaving towards Sony, Fuji or Hassy…. 😉

            • If you read my response, I refer to the successor to the D820. Not the D810 successor.

              MF is not the answer for anyone leaving for Sony nor most of the people leaving for Fuji. MF is a small market that is getting smaller by improvements in FF sensors and processing. I have not shot with the GFX, but it has a total of three lenses available for it and based on its specs and the reviews I have read, it shoots slow, focuses slow and the accessories are twice the cost of the equivalent FF accessory. This type of product is targeted to a very specific use case that serves a very small number of shooters. It will never be big enough to be a savior for Nikon,

            • Viktor

              OK, I do not think it is important whether successor of current or successor of successor, the D8xx series will continue as well as DX continues and no cut made after FX became….
              Do not worry 😀

              Yes very small number of shooters….. really? Then why is GFX and X1D running order by order and the demand is much higher then was predicted? 😀 The small number is actually rising…. and that is called “the potencial”…. 😉

            • Just because they are selling more of GFX models than they expected means very little. While I agree that the GFX’s price point may have created some new demand in the MF category, I will be surprised that many of the buyers that are new to MF really know what they are getting when they buy it and I doubt it will be useful for most of what they want to use it for.

            • Viktor

              Actually your second paragraph is not opposing but another point into my equation….
              Yes current MF are big and heavy (slow is relative, eg, synctime is even faster….), therefore there might be potential to enter that segment with GFX/MF mirrorless camera, like Fuji did….

            • The GFX is big and heavy and slow when compared to any DSLR. I do not see it as useful for 99% of the use cases. Even if the market is suddenly 10x larger it is still smaller than the market for the Nikon D5 & Canon 1D.

          • purenupe1

            I disagree with every point you are trying to make. None of this resonates with me as a current nikon customer and user. Without the F mount I’m no longer tied to Nikon….wheras purchases would always begin with Nikon capatability…without it i would l be free to purchase based soley on the merits of the camera

            • Viktor

              Well even with current F mount you are not tied to Nikon…. Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, Sony with adapter 😀 You can be Nikon F mount user and not have a single thing from Nikon 😀

          • purenupe1

            I disagree with every point you are trying to make. None of this resonates with me as a current nikon customer and user. Without the F mount I’m no longer tied to Nikon….wheras purchases would always begin with Nikon capatability…without it i would l be free to purchase based soley on the merits of the camera

  • TwoStrayCats

    The TSA photograph of the pistol-grip camera rig: that would qualify as an assault camera in California.

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