Weekly Nikon news flash #422

PocketWizard released new firmware updates for their MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 product making them compatible with Nikon D5, D500, D7200, D5500 and SB-5000.

→ Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM OS Art lens pricing and availability expected to be announced next week (most likely on Monday).

Meyer Optik Görlitz launched a new Lydith 30mm f/3.5 lens that will also be available for Nikon F-mount.

→ New deals:

→ Nice Nikon D7500 vs D500 side by side comparison by Clubsnap.

→ Sony a9 vs. Nikon D5 real world comparison.

→ GoPro announced a new 360° camera called Fusion.

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  • Fly Moon

    Re: Sony a9 vs. Nikon D5 real world comparison

    Ti me it’s obvious that the photographer was setting everything for Sony to win. His tone even “shows” that. Why would you want to AutoFocus the waterfall if your subject is the girl?

    • John Mackay

      yea, edge to edge af coverage sucks, unless you are shooting the d500, then its good, but not in other cameras. Then it doesn’t matter and is just bias to bring it up.

    • Syco

      nikon shooter using the slowest 24-70 (focus motor wise) out atm

      sony to me looks to over expose the highlights in the sequence.

      not bad for a mirrorless but come back when its able to track at 400mm f2.8

    • Well, I am just trying to report different opinions. For practical use, based on this video, I don’t see any real advantages of the Sony a9 over the Nikon D5. Maybe the low light test at the end, but it needs to be more scientific for me to take it seriously.

      • John Mackay

        I was shooting birds in flight today, 20fps makes a big difference coming from the 10 of the d500. I do miss the 3d tracking though which is much better on Nikon. Silent shutter is great too, doesn’t disturb wildlife and when shooting my nephew it’s not like I am firing a machine gun in his face.

        • This is exactly my point, the a9 has some clear advantages, but it is not all together better than the D5 as some try to describe it.

          • John Mackay

            Agreed, D5 has some realy nice advantages, lenses, 3d tracking and durability being the most important. It annoys me though when people dismiss the advantages the a9 has though as if Nikon shouldn’t even bother to catch up in those areas.

            • MB

              Yeah, but it is also annoying when Sony people are talking about the size advantage and showing only a body (and always D5 instead of for example D750 that would be much better match) without a lens, and in reality I am yet to see any real size advantage of the camera system:

            • John Mackay

              The d750 is a great camera, but if you want a full frame sports camera the D5 is Nikons option. 12 fps to 20 is a big gap, 7(?) to 20 is barely comparable. If someone starts comparing the d5 to the a72 then you can call foul. If you are talking about best system cameras for weddings then it becomes a bit more fair again. With a belt clip the Sony size advantage matters, and that matters to me as is my favourite spot for a secondary camera. No compulsorily vertical grip means it can lie flat against my leg.

              Once you put on a big lens I agree, size difference doesn’t matter much (although the weight difference still does when carrying it in a bag), but if you are happy to shoot with slightly slower lenses then sony has higher quality (and price) options at least at 55mm and 85mm 1.8, and then you have a very powerful small and light camera with stabilised primes. The D5 doesn’t have that option, but that isn’t a factor if you never want to use that option. If I only used lenses like the 400 2.8 or 600f4 then I would prefer the D5 body size.

            • MB

              I wasn’t talking about the FPS (or any other useless feature because if you cant do AT 7fps you just cant do it) but about the size comparison, and there is no comparison between A9 (or D750 with similar body stile) to a camera like D5 with built in grip … if we even neglect the grip and double controls or the fact that D5 has 3 LCD displays for different functions … D5 can also make 6 times as much pictures as A9 with a single battery charge … even D750 can make almost 2 times as much and with a way smaller battery so no comparison here too …
              So Sony just sucks …. I was going to say way more power than DSLR but let us just leave it there … Sony sucks because it does not have optical viewfinder, so the sensor and processor on Sony must work at all times to be able to produce the image that can not much optical viewfinder even in the best light condition, and by doing so they are sucking the power and producing the heat … and that shows as a thermal noise after just a couple of minutes, and denies the point of 20 fps because after couple of seconds the Sony images start to suck too due to overheating … one advice to Sony here, there is not reason to put a high capacity battery in a camera that can not work for more than a couple of minutes without overheating, it will be even lighter so you can brag about that too …
              So I wasn’t talking about any of these but about unfair size comparison between A9 and D5 Sony fans tend to do … it would be as if you compare a John Deere tractor to a Tesla car … sure Tesla car is smaller and slicker but if you need to move a pile of wood I bet you would choose a tractor … that is if you are not stupid enough to break your expensive car trying … same is with D5 and A9, if you need a tool for all day shooting there is just no comparison …
              And it is funny that you mentioned Sony 85 and 55 1.8 lenses, yes they are way more expensive for comparable IQ, but they also way larger than Nikon 85 and 50 1.8 so if you put them on Sony A9 and compare this to D750 set (as you should because they are similar cameras except Nikon is much cheaper and with arguably better IQ) there would be no size (or weight) advantage for Sony … and that was my point …

          • bobgrant

            I got to try the a9 the other day. Are people just trolling about the Sony? First of all, even the owner admits it’s AF is an issue and he’s using it along side a D4s, but against the D5? No, the a9 AF cannot compete. The D5 is “there” when it comes to everything you want from a pro camera. I also do not like the handling at all of the a9 with a big lens on it. The D5 is old and the a9 is new, so the advantages of the a9 will be cut further by the even more capable D5 update and the D820. Sony is making cool gee-wiz cameras, but they’ll have to tick more boxes to win the game,

        • Eric Calabros

          Even 60fps is not enough if you don’t know the right moment.
          As I don’t shoot wildlife with 14mm lens, I’m sure they are far enough that don’t hear my shutter/mirror noise. My nephew, at the other hand, would be disappointed if not hear it, because he thinks that sound is an indication that my gear is a serious tool.

          • John Mackay

            My nephew is less than one year, and not disrupting him or him or his mum is straight up a good thing. If you think wildlife don’t care about shutter noise, I don’t think you know about shooting wildlife. Some birds are pretty jumpy, deer can bolt at the sound of a broken branch. I don’t know about you, but when I am shooting a sequence in flight I don’t shoot single shot and press the shutter 2 or 3 times a second for the best moments, I hold it down and see what I get. That is why the D5 has a buffer of 250 shots. You can pick a moment for the first frame, but not several best moments per second. Just very silly.

            • Just Me

              I don’t know. I’ve shot deer from 20 feet away with no reaction to shutter noise. That isn’t to say all wildlife react the same but YMMV. My aversion to mirrorless cameras is unrelated and not addressable.

            • Chris

              The thing with Sony is that they always pushed too far for certain purposes.

              To be honest, the more I look at these cameras today, the more I understand why Canon is the best selling brand for so many years.

              I will ditch my Df when that Canon mirrorless hits the market. It was planned to be replaced by Canikon mirrorless and I am not seeing Nikon’s plan…

            • John Mackay

              I am not quite sure what you mean, the a7s is just for video, and is incredibly popular. The a72 and the a7r2 are general purpose though. The a9 is for sports, but is better at general purpose than the 1dx2 and d5. If you mean size and battery life then that is fair i guess, but they had to set themselves apart, and battery life is a non issue with the a9 anyway.

            • Chris

              Well there is no bad cameras these days.

      • Fly Moon

        I really don’t mind the competition. It’s good for all consumers. But lots of those Sony bloggers seem (at least to me) biased and they test the way Sony’s camera win over any other camera (regardless if it’s Nikon, Canon or Fuji?

      • It would seem to me that the biggest advantage of the D5 over the a9 is the breadth and depth of lenses that are available, as well as all the little system “bits” that make your life as a photographer easier.

      • Johan Schmidt

        Yip, unless you’re shooting ping pong with a short lens, the majors (Nikon & Conon) with 400 2.8 will always be used by pros in major sports.

    • Keep in mind that the D5 was announced 1.5 years ago – already an old camera 🙂 A better comparison will be probably to compare the a9 with the D5s when it comes in January (if Nikon continue their same release schedule). Then the difference between releases will be only 6 months.

    • Chewbacca

      I use Nikon equipment. If you can’t admit that Sony has just produced a really good camera then you are in denial. If this was a Nikon I’m almost positive people would be praising it here. The damn camera looks fantastic regardless who made it or if it had a mirror or not. It’s an amazing looking tool.

    • koenshaku

      Well you compare a tamron to a native g master what do you expect?

  • That Nikon D3400 bundle is amazing value! I’d buy that as a second body and also make use of the 70-300mm on my D7100.

    • Yes, I agree. My teenage daughter has been asking me for a camera for a while…

      • Captain Megaton

        Having been there, I advise letting her have some input on whether she wants a dSLR or small mirrorless with a selphy screen like the GF7. I’m sure you are the expert but you gotta give them what they want if you want them to actually use it.

        • She actually asked for a DSLR, not sure where she got this from. I never talked to her about it.

          • Neopulse

            It’s not a bad kit given the price I have to admit. It’s great. Although I’d try to get a macro like the 40mm f/2.8G or the 85mm one.

          • Scott M.

            She’s smart now she can borrow your cool expensives lenses.

          • Kevin Pan

            I remember the day I started borrow my dad’s fm3A and his lenses…. he really did not want to hand them to me 😉

          • Eric Calabros

            Her dad has a website covering rumors about DSLRs 🙂

            • Not just “a” website, mind you…..

            • believe it or not kids are now more interested in video and blogging, they even no longer watch TV, it’s all YouTube…

    • Captain Megaton

      I’m torn. I mean, on one hand you are only saying that based on Nikon arbitrarily setting the MSRP at $900. The kit may only be “worth” $500 and was just criminally overpriced at launch.

      On the other hand, yes, it’s a tremendous amount of power and flexibility for half the price of a RX100 V. If the D3400 wasn’t such a wishy washy update to the D3300 I would be legitimately enthusiastic. Remember its only the non VR telezoom that’s included though.

      • Spy Black

        Yeah, that 70-300 isn’t really worth it, not only because it doesn’t have VR, but because optical IQ will be crap pretty much over the entire range, and especially from 200mm on up. The 55-200 VR is a much better lens, inasmuch as it too is weak at 200, but has much better IQ over the entire range, picks up where the 18-55 leaves off, and has VR to boot.

        • Neopulse

          There’s a VR and non-VR version of the lens.

          • Spy Black

            The non-VR is what’s included, and as I said, that’s not the only thing going against it. They’re just trying to dump stock of the old lens that nobody wants to buy, by throwing it into a kit package.

            • Andrew

              Every new lens becomes old once it is sold 😉 Plus zoom lens are best used with tripods, so non-VR is a none issue. Besides, Nikon is giving away a 70-300mm lens for free, why argue!

              Your statement about the optical quality of the 70-300mm is incorrect. Nikon’s optical excellence comes through in the performance of this lens. This lens has 365 reviews at BH Photo Video and gets a 4-1/2 stars out of 5.

              Reviews from people bought this lens: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/207359-USA/Nikon_1928_AF_Zoom_Nikkor_70_300mm.html

            • Spy Black

              It’s great to have you to kick around…

            • Andrew

              If this is how you treat people then I am sorry for your family.

            • HD10

              You can add Thom Hogan’s review to the list (though this is for the version with VR):


            • Captain Megaton

              “Reviews from people bought this lens: ”

              [Links to AF70-300G.]

              That’s … your idea of a joke right?

            • Andrew

              Thanks for the correction, greatly appreciated 😉

        • Scott M.

          I think there are about 12 versions of the 70-300mm

        • BVS

          The new 70-300 is actually quite sharp over the entire range. Much sharper than previous kit lenses. The problem is that it just needs a lot of light to be its best, and doesn’t have VR, which can be kind of a double whammy. The build quality is also very good for a kit lens, except for the plastic mount.

      • Andrew

        You are using some strong words here to describe Nikon’s offer. In business there are many reasons for a massive discount:

        (a) Production volume may lower price. (b) Give a free bonus to increase the perception of value and benefit to their customers. (c) Component/material cost may have reduced. (d) A loss leader where a company loses money from a sale in order to get lifetime customers. (e) A desire to increase market share to gain positive publicity on an excellent product. (f) Acquire more satisfied customers who will then bring in new customers at no cost in marketing.

        Nikon is doing a good thing to give us an excellent camera bundle at an amazing price. The zoom range of 70-300mm is amazing; and VR is definitely not needed if you are using a tripod which is recommended anyway for higher quality shots beyond the limits of VR.

        • Captain Megaton

          re. (a) through (f)

          The D3400 pricing is $649 single lens kit, $899 double lens kit, historically in line with previous models. Build quality and production costs are unlikely to be much different, though the 70-300 is probably cheaper to make than the 55-200 VR.

          Let’s just say Nikon puts a healthy margin on msrp, we all know they are quite comfortable selling at $499/$649 respectively. But $499 for the double zoom kit? That’s unusual. I’m reading that as no one wanted the non-VR telezoom, but even considering that its strange to see such steep discounting just 10 months after release.

          • Andrew

            You need to refine your reasoning ability. Making statements like “no one wants the non-VR telezoom is subjective” and a loose way of thinking which does not belong here. Try reasoning with facts, data, and reputable reference than subjective feelings.

            I provided a link above of hundreds of people rating the non-VR version of this wonderful zoom lens and giving it 4-1/2 stas which is an exceptionally high rating for any product. I would prefer shooting a non-VR telephoto zoom lens any day with a tripod giving you greater image quality (IQ) than a VR version without a tripod that gives you only 1 or 2 stops of vibration reduction.

            • Captain Megaton

              I didn’t suggest the lens was poor, I simply suggested unpopular. If it was in heavy demand, there would be no need for Nikon to discount so heavily.

              Look, I appreciate that a tripod is better than VR for getting sharp images at low shutter speeds, I also appreciate that the AFP 70-300DX VR has been quite warmly received but we both know that the target market for the D3400 barely manages to change lenses, let alone use a tripod. They want, and are better served by, the VR version.

              Thinking about it, I’d bet the discount signals that Nikon is going to discontinue the non VR version and ship the kit with the twin VR lenses in future.

            • Andrew

              You are still making assumptions for which you have no facts to backup. Don’t do it 😉

              1. You have no facts to backup your assertion of “unpopular”. A product that gets over 300 user reviews at 4-1/2 stars out of 5 stars is
              a well received product.

              2. You also said “if it was in heavy demand, there would be no need for Nikon to discount so heavily.” This is again pure speculation. Plus the word “discount” does not apply to this case. Nikon is “not discounting” the lens. Nikon is giving the lens as an incentive to buy the camera which makes sense because of the lens perceived value. It’s high user ratings also makes it attractive as a quality bonus item.

              3. Also there is a difference between selling the lens to existing customers as a separate item versus using the lens to create a bundle that attracts new customers. This bundle is a massive deal and it is good to know that Nikon is offering great value. This is what I call good customer service 😉 I would love to pickup the bundle to give as a gift. $497 is a pretty good price!

              Now in respect to your other point, I agree that it is likely that the target market for this camera barely changes lenses because of the added expense of buying an extra lens. Including a zoom lens as a bonus is a tremendous value to Nikon’s customers as as such Nikon deserves praise.

              The zoom lens will serve Nikon’s customers well in making them realize the usefulness of different lens options. And as many of them learn more about their new camera, the additional cost of a tripod is only a few dollars – $20 to $50. Most of the people that have bought this zoom lens without VR feel well served seeing from their user ratings – so it makes no business sense for Nikon to bundle the VR version that cost the price of the camera alone.

              We are now living in an age where many people have grown up around computers, smartphones, and all types of technologies. Millions of people are quite technologically savvy using their smartphone cameras. About 1.5 billion smartphones were sold in 2016. Putting a quality zoom lens into their hands with their camera purchase at no extra cost is a smart move by Nikon.

    • HD10

      Just note that the 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G included in the bundle does not have VR.

      • Andrew

        Nikon is selling this excellent 70-300mm lens because it is more affordable and performs very well. Many people who use zoom lens use a tripod which gives you better picture quality than using the VR feature hand-held.

        This lens is included in the bundle to show consumers the quality of Nikon’s zoom lens technology and give them greater value for their purchase. This should reflect positively on Nikon. As stated above, hundreds of user reviews at BH Photo Video rated this lens at 4-1/2 stars out of 5. This is a very high satisfaction rating!

        If the consumer wants to upgrade to something that costs hundreds or thousands more, that is their choice. This bundle is a great and inexpensive way to introduce consumers of DSLR cameras. For only $496.95 on a $896.95 bundle is an amazing deal!

        • Chris

          I bet most consumers (soccer moms) doen’t even know what a tripod is. 🙂

          • Andrew

            So these cameras are for moms only?

            • Chris

              That’s why I said “most”

        • Nikon should run awareness programs for this customer about carrying tripod with them to use this wonderful lens. Then they wouldn’t have to worry about people ditching Dslrs for smartphones.

          • Andrew

            This consumer knows that people do not carry 70-300mm zoom lens around as a regular affair. Instead Nikon includes the 18-55mm lens for their daily photographic needs. We get caught up with specs, argue pixels, bytes, and bits, and lose the main purpose of these tools.

            • This kind of consumer buys this combo because he is getting it cheap. You said it yourself. And then he gets disappointed because of the shaky pictures out of that wonderfully sharp tele lens. Oops, he didn’t know how much difference VR makes? Ok then. Let’s carry a tripod everywhere.

            • Andrew

              Your’re really missing the main point. To say that Nikon should not include the 70-300mm zoom lens if it does not include VR makes no sense. Or worst yet, to include a more costly lens to a package that is already valued at $900! You can take perfectly fine pictures without VR just like you can take blurry pictures with VR. Nikon has been in the camera business for 100 years and I am confident they know what they are doing.

              Next you talk about people carrying a tripod everywhere. That is only in your imagination and no one else. Most of the time, most people are going to use the smaller lens and leave their zoom lens at home.

              Then you make the assumption that people who are buying an SLR camera do not understand the concept of a zoom lens and tripods. Those people are most likely sticking with their smartphones.

              OK, in regards to the type of consumers that buy this package, it is reasonable that they are quite varied. One reasonable assumption is that the people who buy this package know what they are getting and want a quality SLR camera with outstanding image quality from a top brand company like Nikon.

              Spending $500 is not cheap, but getting a $900 bundle is an exceptional value that would get someone thinking twice about getting a point and shoot camera in comparison to this larger sensor camera that will give them much better all around image quality in all types of lighting conditions. Many of them may not quite understand things like sensor size, but the perception of quality and value will be evident. So overall, this is a fantastic offer that a lot of consumers will be happy about 😉

      • Ah, good spot. I forget that version even exists!

      • BVS

        The only reason I can fathom is that Canon also sells a similar kit with a non-VR lens, and at that price point a $50 difference (VR vs non-VR) could make or break sales.

        Still, you’d think it would’ve been cheaper to just make one lens instead of two.

    • BVS

      Just remember that you can’t disable VR on the 70-300 (or any of the AF-P lenses) on the D7100, if that’s important to you.

      Also, you can still get a gray market VR version for $200 via the link on the Deals page in this website. Personally, for such a low cost, I’d be willing to risk gray.

  • Viktor

    A9 vs D5 is like comparing FUTURE and the PAST 😀
    (I am not saying D5 is bad – no, I like is still, but it is just older technology 🙁 )

    Eventhough being Nikon gear user, Sony is doing well on the development with mirrorless…. I hope Nikon understands it before the ship goes away…..

    • I do acknowledge what Sony has done with the a9 and Nikon should be worried: https://nikonrumors.com/2017/04/19/the-day-the-sony-a9-was-announced.aspx/
      What I am saying is that everything is a trade off. One camera will be better for some and not for others. I do not agree that the A9 is overall a better camera than the D5, but the a9 does have some features that the D5 doesn’t have – this is just my opinion.
      Here is an example from Lloyd Chambers who is, or at least used to be a big Sony fan: https://diglloyd.com/blog/2017/20170611_1628-Sony70_200f2_8_GM_OSS-reviewed.html
      A few quotes:

      Sony has a lot of work to do before it can be considered a suitable ‘pro’ system.
      I am so disgusted with the results that I do not intend to pursue the Sony 70-200 any further. The two pages above show an ample amount of material that should give even diehard Sony fanboys pause.
      Yet the comparative results were striking: the Nikon 70-200 delivered imagery in line with the best prime lenses I have used, and the D810 nailed the focus reliably, every time. So impressive, so reliable, the Real Deal as to what any pro could wish for, whether with conventional autofocus or magnified Live View.

      • Viktor

        I agree with you that A9 does not have to be overall better camera and I am not a Sony fan…. the video is a bit affected by the shock “it works and it works quite well” 😀

        BUT that is what is the important message out of it….
        Year ago we were thinking mirrorless will not influence high speed cameras in pro segment, it is only for slow motion like landscapes and portraits”…. but now there is a sign or even a prove that even in this segment it is not black and white….
        I am not going for Sony and 70-200mm from Nikkor is really great as well as all the last lenses they came out recently with (105mm,19PC, surely it will be true even for the coming 28mm)…..

        STILL the main message from it is that the mirrorless technology is capable of fast motion capturing and that even Nikon/Canon should take this information seriously….

        • Yes, the a9 was a big step forward for mirrorless, but it took them a very long time to get there and they still have a lot of work to do.

          • Viktor

            Yes and it is the Sony case now, but what about Nikon if they would want to jump into the boat 😉 Still even more time for them to develop competing mirrorless camera product…..

    • Shutterbug

      What is futuristic about massive, uncompressed 14bit RAW files, an EVF that is horrible in very low light or high contrast situations, 12 FPS (14bit), and a 113 frame buffer (14 bit)? It has a laundry list of caveats to along with the amazing on-paper specs that accompanies every Sony camera ever released. AF is not on par with a D5/D500 either. Limited lens support, and zero options in the pro telephoto range above 200mm, which are exactly the types of lenses people would want to use with this camera. They have a long way to go still.

      • Viktor

        It is about technology, not parameters of the current products….
        DSLR (represented by D5 – a great camera nowadays)
        – how faster can the mirror move?
        – how better can the OVF be?
        – AF points field coverage – limited as well…. does not go to corners
        Mirrorless (represented now by A9)
        – the parameters have future, FPS, EVF, AF – these things can become better in the future, that is why I am talking about the FUTURE…. I am not going to go for A9 and I still hope I will not have to leave Nikon in the future. The thing is that the technology they are addicted to is reaching its limits while the other technology – mirrorless is just rising 😉

      • ToastyFlake

        “AF is not on par with a D5/D500 either.”
        Did you not watch the video?

  • Amir

    The endless battel between Sony A9 & Nikon D5 reminds me of the story of beautiful,sexy,and young indian woman(Sony),and an old wisdom guy called ‘Great chief of Tamahak'(Nikon).Some chose to be with the first,the others chose to be with the second.That mostly depends on which character is appealing enough to you guys:being sexy,or being humble wisdom!

  • …People still buy Pocket Wizards?

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