What Does Nikon’s Entry into Mirrorless Mean for the Industry?

While there have been countless videos released reviewing Nikon’s latest release of the Z6 and Z7, there hasn’t been much of a discussion around what this means for the industry as a whole. Ultimately, is the release of the new bodies enough to keep Nikon’s base from defecting to other systems, or is there now a discussion among Nikon strategists on how to capture market share back from other manufacturers, mainly Sony?

Brought to you by Three Blind Men and an Elephant Productions, Hugh Brownstone discusses the merits of what Nikon’s entry into the mirrorless market means for the industry as a whole, while also bringing to light an interesting discussion on why sticking with Nikon is the best bet for photographers and videographers alike who have patiently awaited the new cameras. I agree with much of Brownstone’s logic when discussing what Nikon has produced and am also interested in getting my hands on the new cameras to perform my own testing. 

But that being said, is GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) to blame for the growing excitement around the new camera bodies, or is there a real need for users to transition to the new Z6 or Z7 bodies? While it’s no secret Nikon wants to directly compete with Sony’s current offerings of the a7 III and a7R III, have they succeeded in actually producing a true competitor? Only time will tell, but I do believe it will take several years of Nikon playing catchup before they can truly compete in the mirrorless market. Make sure to watch the thought-provoking video and give us your thoughts on what Nikon’s entry into the mirrorless market means for everyone.

Check out more of Brownstone’s work here.

Trey Amick's picture

Trey Amick is a full-time photographer based in Northern VA. Trey found photography as an outlet to the work-life he wanted out of, and after several years made the jump. Trey focuses on landscapes for personal projects but can be found working on commercial projects and weddings as well. Trey also enjoys bladesmithing.

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Seriously friends, who has 1/4 hour to wait for that 2 minutes of valuable info. I don't...

Good listen, and I agree, it would have been nice for them to bring something new to the table instead of just trying to catch up. Still looks like nice cameras for some.

I always figured that the real lead story here would be the new lens mount and what they could do with that and this would be buried by the story of the new camera.

I think that existing Nikon shooters who've either had no prior mirrorless experience, or a bad one with early Sonys, would find the Z series very tempting. Exceptions made for the (IMO) stupid price.

The beauty is that you have a mirrorless that "feels" like any other high-end Nikon. That seamless transition is very valuable for some. It could be the one thing that tips the scales for them.

For others, the price vs capabilities makes the Z series seem uncompetitive...

It means we get to see all the photo sites post 100 articles whining about how it isn't exactly what they wanted.

For the blog industry it means a lot of pointless click-bait stories on places like this and petapixel.

I love my Nikon D850- certainly the Z7 offers nothing to me (and 1 card slot- not smart!) - but round 2 will be much more interesting. With the huge installed base of Nikon shooters and lenses if I were Sony I would be VERY worried right now (and Canon following suit soon I am sure)...

I was hoping the 2.8 zooms would be out by year end, but it looks like at least another year. A lot is going to hinge on how the F mount lenses perform in the real world on these bodies. With only 3 native lenses, they better work really well from a speed & IQ standpoint.

Who uses XQD cardsm can say something about this article? https://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/the-card-failure-issue.html

I don't use XQD but have two things to say about the article:
1) The article was waaaay too long for the content.
2) The cards don't have "millions of cycles" of endurance. I'd be surprised if a card could handle 10,000 full capacity writes. Another reason to keep track of how old your cards are and ditch them after a thousand cycles or so - Personally I kill my cards after ~5 years, but I don't do that much shooting.

But then again, I'm just nitpicking. I agree with the general concept that card failure is a very low probability and that each individual needs to consider if the cost of failure outweighs the risk of failure.

Personally, I was happy to spend $10,000 travelling Asia for a month with single card slots and not reusing SD cards. Could I simply reshoot if a card failed? Hell no, but the risk of failure was sufficiently low to allow it.

I just realised that I've been using the same USB stick for work for 8 years. It will have undergone hundreds of thousands, if not millions of read write cycles without a single failure.

Perhaps, but I'd be surprised. You've got to consider the provisioning done by the manufacturer - They may have sold an 8GB stick, but included 9GB space with the extra being used for wear levelling behind the scenes.

Also, it's very hard to keep track of how many cycles and flash based memory device has done.

With SSDs there's a lot of data to asses endurance, not so with memory cards and sticks.

Check out this article for a fright: https://goughlui.com/2017/05/30/experiment-8gb-usb-flash-drive-endurance... - "Under the same conditions, the first drive to fail was the Sandisk Cruzer Facet, at 632 cycles written. This aligns with the rough expectation that planar TLC NAND may only achieve anywhere from 300-1000 cycles"

I can't quite believe you have just tried to argue against my assertion - welcome to the internet.

I have done approximately 800 end to end investigations, with an average of 5 transcribed statements per investigation. I hit control S upon the completion of every single paragraph, and often upon the completion of sentences (the action is quite habitual), and I am saving to the USB.

So, you can argue the point all you want.

Nonetheless, after 8 years of heavy use, it's probably time to retire it. I really can't afford to be losing statements.

William, I think that you and Jon are talking about two different things. You are talking about saves made to the USB stick in general, while Jon is talking about saving data to the same memory cell again and again - typically when you reformat or delete and overwrite a memory card or USB stick.

Saving to a Word document usually add your data to end of the existing file, even if you delete something, so you are not necessarily deleting and rewriting to the same memory cell in your USB stick.

Some vendors add additional storage on your USB stick that will be put into use if there are cells that are found to be failing, and I think that is what Jon talks about.

That makes sense, I'm still amused that he tried to argue. No matter.

As an aside, last night I completed a full format, and tested the USB, and there were no errors.

Hi William - I wasn't attempting to argue, rather I was attempting to inform.

I spent 20 years in IT and am an embedded system design engineer by trade. It's as the design engineer that I've needed to look into the technologies in greater depth than I'd like, so that I design products that last.

As Anders said, we seem to be discussing two different things: Full cycles vs incremental cycles that usually aren't written to the drive until you attempt to eject it (buffered writes, for speed and saving the wear on the drive).

The internet - Great for bringing people together and facilitating misunderstanding 😉

Thanks for sharing that, Tomash.