Is the Nikon D850 for Men Only?

Is the Nikon D850 for Men Only?

The Nikon D850 is quite the beast of a camera. It holds a massive 45.7-megapixel full-frame sensor that can record 4k video and create 8k time-lapses. It can shoot at a blazing fast seven frames per second and has an enormous 51 image buffer when shooting 14-bit raw images. The focus speed is insanely fast, deadly accurate, and offers 153 focus points with 130% more frame coverage than the older Nikon D810. The only problem with such an amazing monster of a camera is that Nikon thinks it’s too much for women to handle.

I know what you are thinking. No way Nikon would ever make such a claim. It seems absurd that only men could handle the D850. I myself can think of a large number of women photographers that would be more than capable of producing spectacular images with any camera, let alone this camera. But when Nikon created a team of 32 professional photographers to be the faces of the Nikon D850, they didn't choose a single woman photographer.

When building a list of 32 photographers, you basically have to go out of your way to not include a single woman. The problem here though is not just with Nikon, but instead with the entire photo industry. Brand ambassadors are filled with mostly men and entire conferences are filled with only male speakers. It would seem that the majority of photographers are men or maybe it's just too hard to find a woman that's not busy cooking and cleaning. 

Or is it feasible that the D850 is in fact for men only and Nikon plans to release a pink and sparkly D850w for women to use?

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269 Comments

Katrina Hannemann's picture

focusing on semantics = minimizing the issue

Ben Deckert's picture

The article didn't seem to me like an over the top, overly sarcastic article written to make people understand a deeper issue. It read to me like the author truly wanted everyone to think that Nikon did not have any women pros involved with marketing the camera. So...I guess I missed the point. I normally don't comment like this on these types of things...but I guess I got roped in this time.

Katrina Hannemann's picture

you missed a LOT in this whole exchange.

Jason Vinson's picture

I made the statement in reference to the single event mentioned in this article and I tie that statement specifically to the 32 male photographers in the second paragraph. I know there are women ambassadors, although not enough. But the fact remains that Nikon had plenty of women photographers to choose from and failed to pick even one.

Your second issue with my pink sparkly camera comment is just funny! Lol

How do you know how many women are in the Middle East and Africa that are Ambassadors? Link please.

So just curious... are you also then Katrina against the all women events and all women conferences? I had this discussion the other day with someone how there couldn't be an all men's conference.
Nikon is wrong here, if nothing else it just looks moronic. They could have branded it as a Guys adventure through china testing the camera, then it would have had a reason why it was all guys. Bad optics all around.

Not only are you too stupid to realize why all women's conferences exist, you have discussions about it. Incredible.

Chris Rogers's picture

Why not? People ask for exact numbers in every other argument. Why not this one??

Lane Shurtleff's picture

Who in the photography market is keeping you from doing what you want to do to succeed? Just because no women are in the panel to hold your hand and soft talk you into following their lead instead thinking on your own doesn't solve anything.

Marketing is almost literarly holding the public's hand and telling them softly to buy your product. How much did Nikon pay for a marketing campaign that fails to do this for half the population, while over compensating for the other half?

How do you know if the women declined or not?
How do you know how big the pool of Asian women was to begin with.
What is Nikon's requirements for the panel? What if women just did not cut it?

How did Nikon do this is my question while most in this thread is is jumping to conclusions.

Nah, I don't buy it for a moment. 0/32 is not justifiable on a worldwide basis, the numbers simply don't add up.

I call bullshit apologetics.

Nikon has done better, I'm not calling bullshit on the organization as a whole (maybe I should, but I'm not right here.)

But this campaign is a fail, and it's pretty obvious it is with anyone with a lick of common sense.

Right. Because there can only ever ever ever ever ever be one reason for why something is the way it is.

But that one single reason can never ever be sexism because I'm Michael Aubrey and I find such an idea offensive

Look! I can play that game too!

R Dill's picture

The list of Nikon Ambassadors in the US is 24 people, 7 of whom are women. If you think that women on average are 1/3 as professional as men, then yes, it is a very representative list. If, however, you think that women are not less inherently qualified than men, then we have to accept that there is a bias happening somewhere in the system.

Katrina Hannemann's picture

and IF anyone has ever been to large photography events, it is pretty evident that women make up a majority of the attendants. Which is why this continued ignoring of an entire gender, let alone anyone who is not white, is so astounding and insulting.

well... too be fair you are wrong on the ethnicity part. It's actually a vary ethnically diverse group. And remember it's for the asian market they are in. It's just that it's all male

Lane Shurtleff's picture

Sorry, but no. I used to be a lecturer at major photo expos (PhotoWest, PhotoEast, etc) often to hundreds at a time. Most photographers I met during mine and many others are just learning the beginnings to professional photography business. Other were there to advance their techniques in new directions to compete in the local market. A brand ambassador to any of the photography companies needs to have a high track record of profession aptitude as well as being able to communicate the manufacturers vision and marketing ideas.

Lane Shurtleff's picture

Sorry, but no. I used to be a lecturer at major photo expos (PhotoWest, PhotoEast, etc) often to hundreds at a time. Most photographers I met during mine and many others are just learning the beginnings to professional photography business. Other were there to advance their techniques in new directions to compete in the local market. A brand ambassador to any of the photography companies needs to have a high track record of profession aptitude as well as being able to communicate the manufacturers vision and marketing ideas.

"it is pretty evident that women make up a majority of the attendants."

Not on the events I attended. Could you please be more specific? What events are attended by women and why are so few men to be seen on them? Special women events, may be?

Matthew Saville's picture

As someone who has met hundreds or even thousands of other photographers in real life, (and definitely thousands online) ...I think it is folly to argue that men and women have an exactly equal level of interest in the geeky (and let's just be honest, the measurebating) ...side of photography. Which is, generally speaking, what goes on at these "exciting new tech toy" type private events. (I've been to one before, and it was NOT Nikon, and it WAS largely dominated by men.)

Women are just as talented and as creative and as men, if not moreso. But men are generally more into geeky, numbers stuff. So what? Get over it.

Why can't we just accept that the sexes are biologically different? We do, after all, have different chromosomes. And different body parts.

That's not to say that Nikon shouldn't have had *at least* a few women in this specific group of D850 "professional faces"... It was definitely a little sexist of whoever made this decision, even if they did it unintentionally.

I'd go a little further on one point even if I agreed with everything else you say here--Nikon certainly *has* done better elsewhere, for example. The Ambassadors are closer to being representative, without a doubt.

But I'm not really willing to let a marketing department off for doing something "unintentionally". Not doing stupid crap "unintentionally" is literally their "one job", and ... well, do I even need to complete the meme?

Do we know that none were invited? Maybe they had to decline for other reasons?

Matthew, the physical differences in gender have nothing to do with what has happened here. This is a matter of complete and utter bias and ignorance on Nikon's part since women make up 50% of the people in the photography business. I've been around the photo world almost 50 years and I've heard and witnessed some of the most absurd attitudes and behaviors among men. What I've concluded is that women are a formidable threat and, for *some* men, a way to deal with that threat is exclusion on the level that Nikon did for this ad. What we have long-called "the good ol' boy network."

Matthew Saville's picture

Yes, Peggy, it does have at least a *little* to do with what happened here, maybe even a lot.

Let me ask you this: Do you think that this 50% women in the photography industry are 100% equally obsessed with geeking out about numbers and measurements and fanboy-ing?

I haven't been in the industry for 50 years, only 10-15, but today we're not talking about the sexism that surely did exist in yesteryear. We're talking about the last 5-10 years, tops.

And, simply put, I've lost count of how many men I've come across who go wild with fanboy measure-bating, and I've also lost count of how many women I've met who just roll their eyes and laugh at this male compulsion.

I'll grant this: maybe there's the SAME level of sexism in the photo industry as there is in the rest of the corporate world, and society in general.

If anything though, I suspect there's less sexism, at least in western society, when it comes to the real-world recognition of photographic talent, compared to the recognition of the accomplishments in the corporate world.

So, I'm not here to dispute the fact that 32/32 is a glaring error. As J Decker stated, the ONE job of a PR department is to make sure this kind of backlash doesn't happen. They dropped the ball. They might even be partly sexist, whether outright or just subconsciously. But, the operative word there is PARTLY.

Even if you yourself currently live in Japan and can speak to this specific, CURRENT environment of exclusion, ...you must still admit that there is a biological difference when it comes to which gender is more obsessed with gear. The two conditions are not mutually exclusive.

Elan Govan's picture

I keep hearing this "western world" stuff. Here is the thing. Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji are all Asian / Japanese products. Male centric may be, but they have done a very good job in promoting their talent in making state of the art cameras which we all love to buy. In some respect....our buying habits have contributed to this scenario.

Formula One and Le Mans is an European car manufacturers dominated sport. If the West is so much better in promoting gender equality, why are there very few women drivers? A hint of western male bias perhaps? Just fruits for thoughts.

If memory serves me right, commercial airlines pilots, army generals, rear admirals, jet fighter pilot, politicians, are all male dominated occupation...even in the west.

Matthew Saville's picture

We could of course talk forever about each of those occupations, and discuss where sexism may or may not exist in each of them. How many female executives does Nikon have?

In some cases, maybe women are equally *interested* in pursuing that line of work, but are being discriminated against.

However, maybe, just maybe, some lines of work, women just aren't INTERESTED in, as much as men.

If you're a woman and you want to be a famous photographer, or a fighter jet pilot, then go for it. I hope you achieve all your goals. But if you're a female pixel-peeping, test-chart drooling, camera brand-loving fanGIRL, ...then you're in a minority. And it's partly biological.

Elan Govan's picture

Only a matter of time we get to the biological bit. I think you will find it has already been discussed millions of time most recently at Google and the gentleman in question no longer work for them. So good luck with your theories....

Personally, I have a young daughter in University and she is doing very well without my male condescending view.

What can I say, it is the future for man to know when to shut up and listen.

Matthew Saville's picture

Why is it so condescending to say that men and women are not alike? That's all I'm saying. I'm not disputing that sexism exists. I'm entirely in favor of it being eliminated from society. But, let men be men, and let women be women.

Elan Govan's picture

Keep going Mathew. I think Amy would like to know more.....yes, tell us more.

Matthew Saville's picture

I've made my point clear enough.

BTW I suspect that the gene for trolling is also largely male-dominant. I bet that's one gene that women DON'T want to adopt! :-P