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?

Jason Vinson's picture

Jason Vinson is a wedding and portrait photographer for Vinson Images based out of Bentonville, Arkansas. Ranked one of the Top 100 Wedding photographers in the World, he has a passion for educating and sharing his craft.

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Reads like clickbait to me especially as the group is focused on Asia, the Middle East and Africa - call me crazy however I suspect the pool of active professional female photographers is very low in those areas of the world - be careful not to apply the morals and social norms of one society to others. I'd say this is newsworthy in the US or Europe but the cold hard fact is that the context is different. The world isn't comprised of one homogenous group.

Overall, there are a number of Nikon ambassadors for other regions out there out there that are women and there are many representing the launch on panel discussions. I'm not sure this is a worthwhile story at this point. If it is, then why not look, for example, at the predominance of male photographers/female subjects on Fstoppers. Now that's possibly something closer to home to look into!

"Those areas of the world" represent TWO SEPARATE CONTINENTS. How can you be serious? We aren't talking about Saudi Arabia. If you honestly think that the "cultures" of two ENTIRE continents = completely homogenous, you are incredibly ignorant.

How many Pro Nikon photographers from Nigeria do you know? How many are men and how many are women? Now compare that with the sheer number of Pro Nikon users from the UK, a country with 2/3 the population. What I think you are missing is that in many ways I am talking about Saudi Arabia. It is far from the only country that suppresses women. Having lived on four continents, 17 countries this is still endemic. I suspect that even in comparatively modern Japan, women are far from being represented equally in society. In my opinion this has a big impact on jobs such as photographers in terms of opportunities to be at the top of the field. To be clear, I'd much rather have as many Pro female photographers out there as possible as it's enriching to see things from different viewpoints. I just think this is less likely in most parts of the world outside the US/EU. Ok here's a bit of quick primary research. I just googled 'national geographic photographers' and at the top of the list of returns google lists 18 photographers. 15 men, 3 women. Shocking to see only three and while the list is obviously not exhaustive, this is an organisation which exists in a comparatively egalitarian environment. I'd say that in other regions, proportionally there are even fewer women in the field.

4 of the photographers are from Australia - are there no opportunities culturally for female photographers there?

As a proportion of Asia/Africa pro photographers? I'd have to check to see how many Nikon shooting female AP/NG photographers exist. Again, industrywide I'm just not seeing a huge surge of renowned female photographers shooting Nikon. Wish it were different and women like Ami Vitale are huge inspirations.

Maybe the tectonic shift away from NG/AP photo work to more lifestyle photography meant that Nikon missed a trick and isn't looking in the right places for their ambassadors.

So if they are from Asia and Middle east women don't deserve gender equality? Wow....

This has nothing to do with what people deserve. The fact is that you simply don't know what the overall pool of Nikon pro photographers looks like. Given the gender mix of Nikon ambassadors Inc other regions, it's a bit of a stretch to make a blanket statement about Nikon. Again, I'd prefer for there to be a good balance of photographers genderwise. My primary point is that the article doesn't even bother to mention the context of the region and one therefore assumes Nikon is only selecting photographers from a global pool.

As a proportion of the number of travelling pro photographers in Japan that are male it would make for an interesting statistic. Not sure Japan is the most egalitarian place in terms of equal opportunities...

quick leaps to judgement is much more fun though :).

ughhh these political posts are getting tiresome. please learn the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.


So, your premise is that women are inherently less qualified to evaluate a professional camera in a context like this (inequality of outcome)?

no, apparently just not able to call people out on their shit.

PS when a white male sighs all alone with his computer, does it make a sound?

Awwww. James has a sad. He has to read about sexism! Imagine how he would react if he actually had to live with it.

LOL!!! Okay.

I'm just wondering what planet you live on.

"ughhh these political posts are getting tiresome. please learn the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome."

Amen! I whole heartedly agree!! There's no winning this argument though...even if the qualified pool was selected based on portfolio and resume, with no mention of who/sex of the photographer...if it wasn't 50% women, it would be sexist...And yes, I've worked in male dominated fields prior to photography, I was harassed and saw both men and women held back because of their sex/race with promotions. What I saw, (though I know it's not the all cases, but it did affect my personal feeling on the matter) was the persons who were least qualified for the positions, were the ones that filed a complaint when they didn't get the job, claiming either racism or sexism. The sad thing is, it leads to skepticism on the valid claims. This article is not a valid claim, there is not facts on what criteria was used to chose the team.

Quick, call the United Colours of Benetton ad execs!

Wow. SJW's are out of hand. I came here to learn about photography, instead I get armchair justice warriors looking for things to complain about. Kinda sexist in itself, seeing as how many of us wouldn't have trouble if it was 20 women, so he's just assuming women will care.
That's great. Get inside the mind of a woman. See how that works for you. Virtue signalling leftie social justice warriors. Ugh.

Nope. Women don't care at all.

Women do care. I didn't come up with this article on my own. It was brought to my attention by the countless posts and comments about this very subject in my Facebook feed and the comments on the Instagram posts linked here in the write-up.

thank you so much for writing it and bringing more attention to this issue. Sorry it draws out the bro trolls. There is also a complete lack of interest in including more women speakers (that aren't a part of a husband/wife team) and speakers of color in this industry which has fostered and encouraged a disgusting level of misogynistic male photographers. we are SICK. OF. IT.

The issue here is that you (and everyone else) are complaining about an ad campaign in Asia, as if it has bearing or relevance here. It's as if you're being deliberately obtuse, just to have something to complain about.

Nikon is an international brand - this press release is in English and includes several photographers from Australia. They have not done a similar test (as far as I can tell - I've looked around) targeted at the US or Europe. The closest is that they have 4 global ambassadors (one of whom is a woman) talking about the D850. This big roll out test is clearly trying to show the versatility of the camera for a variety of genres.

I like how you start off by saying you don't want to bring politics into photography, but then continue to spew partisan nonsense. I'm not sure what is so difficult about debating the claims instead of resorting immediately to hyperbole and insults.

I haven't been to a ton of photo conferences, but I have seen a good balance of genders in terms of presenters in my limited experience, so I can't say that I would agree that conferences are completely male dominated. At the very least it strikes me as odd or maybe tone deaf to not include even a single woman. Not saying you need to be up in arms about it, but that doesn't seem the slightest bit off to you?

I would challenge you to show me a single example of a similar professional conference that has a majority women. I have not seen it happen, and that is the problem. This single example, while not ideal from a marketing or representation perspective (perhaps Nikon would benefit from the feedback of a wider swath of their users) could be considered a statistical anomaly. However, taken as a whole (the ratio of women to men for Nikons US ambassadors is less than 1/3, for example), then there isn't a different logical conclusion than to say that either women are less able than men at professional photography (in which case we will just disagree) OR that there is an inherent bias in the opportunities for women to get a place at this level of photography.


yes, but that is a conference specifically for women. I'm talking about a similar professional conference or testing arena.

isn't it so sad that that doesn't exist? women have to start and run their own kickass conference to ensure they are properly represented in the industry?

Lol!! I can't imagine why that is, Bob. If you felt like your life was in danger because half of the human race was more likely to rape or kill you, you might want to avoid them too. Women! So sexist!

That's sad if you feeling about the male race is they are out to kill or rape you...

Bob and Lisa are perfect examples of subversive misogynists and gaslighters. You see, if a woman gets sexually assaulted, they are the first people to tell you that you should have taken basic precautions and that non-directly it is somehow your fault. You should have known better, you should not have put yourself in a dangerous situation, you should have not gotten so drunk so you didn't have control of yourself. Classic victim-blaming. And then, they're the kind of people to turn around and say well not all men are rapists!
Taking basic precautions and having logical fears about men--the most violent demographic in the world, statistically( be triggered all you want, its a fact), let alone sexist, makes you "over reacting".
But once you get assaulted or harassed surely there is something you could have done to improve your situation?

You can't win with people who have no logic nor common sense. You are both knee deep in rape culture and I would laugh heartily at your ignorance if it wasn't so sad and scary.

well at least they didn't take the group shot with an iPhone.

The snarky backlash in this comment thread is further evidence that this problem is deeply embedded in our culture, and that many men feel threatened by shifting demographics in the workplace. What's disappointing is that despite their reputation for being artistically inclined and inquisitive people, it would seem that photographers are not blessed with any greater sensitivity or self-awareness with respect to these issues than the layperson.

Speak for yourself.

Oh shut the fuck up. You are a classic white male broflake; even bringing up sexism triggers you. Women calling out the biases against them in the industry isn't them being reversed sexist you complete and utter fuck. Could you be more triggered by reality? When do you think pointing out the oppression of other somehow oppresses you, then you need to reevaluate your own privilege.

Hey Bob! Is there anything that demonstrates sexism toward women that is safe from dudes like you? There are no women represented in this camera gear test...and you are making this about you. Classic.

Why didn't they? Why didnt they choose a few women to test it out? I'm reading a bunch of comments saying this is bs and nonsense, but it's a legit question. Being on the marketing team is not the same as being part of these chosen few and the deflection is insulting. Is it coincidence the majorty of this comes from men? Why would you not want to see some variation of photographers? Might even learn about one you weren't previously aware of. I hope, as a user, Nikon has an answer.

I think an article on white male fragility may be called for. In an industry that already struggles with ego and lack of ability to take critique without it being taken as a personal attack, it is time to start a real dialogue about how toxic this industry is and exclusionary to women and people of color.

ALL of the big businesses that sell to photographers needs to get a Chief Diversity Officer on board to combat this. Bonus, it will increase sales and has great PR optics. win/win

HONESTLY! I mean -- what exactly is the threat to men when another man points out inequality? Why do these dudes get more bent out of shape by an ARTICLE about sexism than sexism itself? How can anyone look at a group of 32 male photographers and not see that it's a wee bit off-balance? It boggles the mind. And it's CERTAINLY not unique to Nikon. Google "100 best new photographers" and notice how hard it is to find women included....unless it's a list of "women photographers." Sidenote: you never see an article like "100 best male photographer today." Why? BECAUSE IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING. And that's irritating. The industry has been changing for the 18 years I've been a photographer. There are SO many women in photography now. Why is this so hard to understand??

Yes there are many, many women in photography now 'in the US'. In all my photo courses and seminars I was in the minority. None of this is relevant though as it has nothing to do with Nikon or Canon selecting their representatives in another region which is in most ways still extremely backwards when it comes to gender equality. You just can't apply the same expectations and ridicule a company for what is likely a reflection of the industry rather than as a result of their selection process. I'd say a more valid question is why are there likely so few pro female photographers using Nikon to choose from? Nikon seems to do better than other manufacturers in the US/EU so a) Nikon marketing managers are particularly sexist in Asia or b) there just aren't that many.

As a corrollary, when I hired staff for my team in NY/Chicago I always had a decent number of female applicants and overall the better candidates tended to be women. When I moved to London, I got virtually no applications from women for similar roles at the same company. In checking across the industry this was actually normal. I ended up hiring all men in the end. Was I biased? Not at all, yet had I needed to create a PowerPoint sheet of all the hires, in the context of this Nikon brouhaha I would likely be labelled sexist, which was not been the case. A shame yes, but I'm not in a position to change this pattern and in this case neither is Nikon.

Yes. Women who earn less than men, in the same job, are totally ruining men's financial gain. Yes. Women who are more likely not to get a photo assignment over a man, is totally ruining a man's ability to get assignments. </sarcasm>

I want to live in Bob's world -- where men are the oppressed minority. Just for a day.

The difference between you and me, Bob, is that I can recognize where the system favors women -- in a small handful of areas --
yes. Not in any MEANINGFUL ways, mind you. Most of what you listed is actually ROOTED in sexist bias (ie: that men can't be caregivers because it's not manly to raise your own children). You can't see that though -- because you aren't willing to recognize how many ways women get fucked. I can see how men get fucked. But I wouldn't hijack a post about men getting fucked to complain about how women have it worse.

You, Bob, are just an asshole.

And please. Dangerous jobs? I don't see men lining up to wipe asses in daycares either. There are some jobs that are just crappy jobs. Deal with it.

And I am addressing low-paying, low-value jobs that no one wants. Some jobs are gendered -- yes. Men are physically more capable of jobs that involve strength. This isn't rocket science.

No one holds a gun to a man's head and says "Here. Cut down these trees." And those jobs are pretty well compensated -- so your argument is invalid. If I was physically capable of felling trees for $20/hr, I would do so too.

Come talk to me about "danger" when it is inherently more likely that your female partner will murder you. Look up human trafficking statistics. Or FGM statistics. Or the likelihood that a woman will be raped and die of AIDS in African countries. Or domestic violence statistics in the United States. Or just read this thread where you insist that men have it worse because you are an asshole.

Oh my god. Reverse racism. You are hilarious. White people have it so bad. LOL!!!!!!! When was the last time you were pulled over for driving while white? Or followed in a store for merely SHOPPING? How many people of color do you actually talk to and have dinner with on a regular basis? Better yet, how many people of color do you LISTEN to on a regular basis? In your home? Yeah. I thought so.

You're a victim without any evidence to support your case. Gross.

I am HAPPY to address your complaints one by one. Hold my beer.

Where men are still expected to assume the burden of pursuit and rejection?

This is an assumption and a complaint that is most likely based on your personal experience. Not a "fact." If you want to take a look at cultural norms surrounding mating rites, that's a more complex conversation and I can almost guarantee we will arrive at the conclusion that dating expectations are fucked for both sexes. The flipside of this argument is that women are expected to be passive, sexually "innocent" objects of permanent desire. Who are then expected to turn into pornstars in the bedroom.

Where men are still expected to foot the bill for dates and trips.

Again. You're complaining about cultural norms and traditions that take time to change. Women have only been allowed to have credit cards without their husband's permission since the 1970s. Want dating equality? Fight to end the wage gap.

Where men are expected to give at least flowers on Valentine's Day and men get nothing?

LOL! Men get "nothing." Let's look at who does most of the housework YEAR ROUND. And women are expected to have sex in exchange for said flowers.

And again -- you are still complaining about outdated cultural norms that are still *changing*.
Cry me a river.

Where women in America initiate 70-80% of all divorces?

This tells me that men know they have it pretty damn good -- and women are fed up.

Where women disgustingly use sex as a tool to control and manipulate men?

Where men are statistically WAY more likely to rape a woman?

Where men are automatically accused of being controlling for simply exercising the protective instinct that most male mammals have towards the female of their species?

How you are going to "prove" this with your fancy "logic" and "facts," I don't know. But okay. When a woman is "protective," she's psycho. When a man is "protective," he's...."protective."

Where divorced men are expected to support their ex-wives for even decades after the divorce?

Where women are expected to give up their education, their careers, their social lives to make sure a man can advance in his education, his career? You don't seem to recognize quid pro quo. I'm pretty sure in your world, a man works 60 hours a week while the mother of his children gets manicures and runs away with his money and the pool boy. How old are you?

Where women have the advantage when it comes to custody or even visitation rights regarding their children?

I agree with you wholeheartedly on this point. Women have this *one* advantage -- and again, it's based in sexist logic -- that women are the only primary caregivers when raising children. It also has a lot to do with stability and who has spent the most time with the child. And yes. It's bullshit. But it's changing.

And hey -- a man in Michigan who raped a teenager was just awarded parental rights to the child he forced into the world....soooooooo. Yeah. Cry me a river.

Where men are are judged more harshly in courts and in sentencing?

Where men are more likely to commit HEINOUS violent crimes, in general? Maybe you missed Vegas, Columbine, Oklahoma City, THE WORLD....?

Where women think it's still OK to strike a man while a man should submit to that?

You cannot prove this. I call bullshit. No one of any worth thinks it's okay to hit another person -- period.

Where men are typically suspected of ulterior motives for simply being friendly and courteous?

Where 1 in 4 women has been the victim of assault and almost ALL women have been subject to unwanted attention. Try riding a bus in drag some time. If women have their guard up, that's not a female problem. That's a male problem.

Where women want equal rights when it comes to jobs but rarely volunteer to do the dangerous ones?

LOL. Yeah. Okay. Women are paid less for doing the same exact work as men because we won't do the dangerous jobs. Logic fail.

Where men are wrongly accused of being misogynist (who came up with that word?) when they equally chastise or even insult women in the same way they would insult other men?

In your world, gender based harassment and violence is not real. Misogyny is not real (that guy who murdered a bunch of women in California must have just been having a hard day.) Soooooo. Yeah. Again. You won't look at the statistics of violence against women or gender based crime, so this is a moot point.

Where men are expected to be able to read minds?

Again. Cry me a river. Women are expected to do the emotional work of men day in and day out. Listening, validating men's feelings, praising men for every little thing (ie: "babysitting the kids" instead of simply "parenting"), empathizing, cheerleading, ego stroking, hand holding, and initiating any kind of therapy or counseling. No wonder we throw our hands up in disgust and initiate divorce. Men can't seem to take responsibility for their own emotional workload in relationships. general.

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