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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Yes let's be sexist and racist in one comment all whilst complaining about sexism within the industry. It's comments like these which puts me off your arguments completely. But it's ok to be sexist and racist when it suits your cause, right Katrina?

One female ambassador? Come on..the whole thing is blatant sexism...great stuff Nikon..wake up..

After reading all the mysoginistic comments here, without doubt I can say: I hate the internet...

When will Nikon, Sony, Fuji, & Sony get with the program? What will it take for women to be recognized in this industry?

The portraits of the ambassadors are terrible. So many ambassadors for what?

REALLY Nikon????? I have been a Nikon user since 1981, I could have bought at least 2 more houses with the amount I have spent on Nikon gear and I KNOW MANY WOMEN that are the same as me. AWARD winning WOMEN Nikon users. Can SOMEONE at Nikon explain this to me?

Representation matters. Period. It is a disservice to everyone to not include equal representation. This was blatant exclusivity. And Nikon's reasoning was a slap in the face. It was their responsibility to get this right. I want to see all women, with a majority of women of color, in the next panel of creative professionals.

Yikes! Really goes to show how much farther things need to go in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

and all over the world...the comment section alone shows why so many need to take a gender equality class. Women face this level of ignorance and flat out condescending attitudes constantly. Hearing the thoughts of men who dismiss equality is almost to the point of boring if it wasn't so demeaning and tragic.

Katrina, your comments are the ones oozing with ignorance. You do realise that you are the one with a flat out condescending attitude right? You look at the world through the lens of what group you think people should belong to and then judge them for belonging to that group. I feel sorry for brainwashed people such as yourself who seem to think that gender equality classes are a good idea. The sad thing is that you think that because you are on a certain side that it entitles you to act a certain way but you are acting worse than the people that you oppose.

Well, what gender equality class does is make sure everyone is as dumb and angry as third wave feminists.

I met great female professional photographers with pro style cameras. And some of them I believe are better shooters than most who are on that board. However, pro photographers are not the mass of the market, enthusiasts are.

The point is, I get asked about gear questions a lot from my ethnic community. Most Asian girls I know, ruled out full-size DSLR as an option even when money is not a problem. They much prefer cameras like EOS6D and A7 series for size and weight reasons even when they demanding a full frame camera. These girls see a camera as a tool instead of the interesting object by itself. Meanwhile, men tend to get the bigger models, and they are much geekier and care more about specs. Therefore market D850 towards men in that market is more affection. This point can be proved by the overwhelming number of dudes who follows iRental's gear review on social media.

Lastly, if wasn't for this stupid article, I wouldn't even know about which gender shot what.

Of course, they know, they just don't want to compare women and Muslim in their victimology game. Therefore just ignore what is happening in that world completely.

As a personal hero of mine, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is being branded as an extremist by them, that is when I realized these people went too far.

Not at all, not sure how you came to that conclusion.

I typed "Yikes! Really goes to show how much further things need to go in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa."

You responded with "Really? You just noticed the female problem in the Middle East?"

I'm asking how you came to that conclusion and asking for you to clarify.

All social justice warriors should unite to tear this crap Nikon sexist company down. Then there will be nothing but Canon to dominate. That would be great for competition.

What a clickbait article.
Nikon Asia dose not represent the whole of nikon.

I see a mix of male and female photographers on the U.S website.

Yes, Asian countries are more male centric. We all knew that.

What did Nikon say when you phoned them up and asked them to explain the marketing campaign?

I am so pleased this is being discussed! I wrote 'An open letter to Nikon' earlier today:

I am yet to hear back from them.......

That was Nikon Asia.
DIXIE DIXON was one of the first to test the D850

I saw it when Lanny shared it and it was great!!

Okay, this looks bad. 32/32 is not a good number, somebody should have noticed. 32/32 is not an accurate representation of the people who are A) extremely talented Nikon shooters, and B) interested in playing with the D850.

However, I gotta say something about all these feminist battle cries of outrage about the photography industry as a whole:

As someone who has met hundreds or even thousands of other photographers in real life, (and definitely many 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 clubs and events. (I've been to a private "new camera" event before, and it was NOT a Nikon event, and it WAS largely dominated by men.)

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

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

I'm not saying that Nikon deserves zero backlash for this. They deserve some. But let's be careful to differentiate between feminism, and hopeless attempts at homogenizing the sexes.

yes, please lecture to all us emotional women what feminism is.

Lordy, all you boring victimized men. Keep at it, we are enjoying watching you die on this hill and exposing your ignorance.

HUH? I didn't even look to see where "feminist battle cries" were coming from. Now that I do, it seems pretty 50-50 from men and women. Am I wrong?

My whole point was, there's a biological difference between men and women that leads men to obsess over this type of stuff, and women to think it is, well, boring.

No victimization of men is being alleged. I'm just pointing out that maybe this 32/32 number happened only partly because of sexism, and ALSO partly because of an inherent difference between men and women that is not something that needs to be rectified.

(And don't mistake all this for me trying to imply, "just let men have their fun, honey, you wouldn't understand." That is NOT what I mean. In fact most men dream of meeting a woman who loves gear just as much as he does.)

You must be one miserable woman. Fix the world you will.

You missed a VERY important detail, Matthew. All photographers use CAMERAS to create photos. And the ladies, with our whimsical fairy creative hands, still need to use a freaking CAMERA to create our whimsical creative fairy photos that require absolutely no technical know-how because, you know, our vaginas do all of the thinking for us.

So regardless of your outdated, lopsided view of how technical (read: smart) men are, women still use the same goddamn tools men do. And should be included in the testing.

This is like saying that women needn't be included in the designing of a home because most construction workers are men. Has it never occurred to you that a woman's perspective on something might be essential for completely SEPARATE reasons? Let's assume your assertions are correct. That is, men are technical and women just have creative vaginas that make magical whimsy happen. Even if we take that into consideration, there are a MULTITUDE of reasons to include a variety of testers.

Hi Kari,

I tried to make it clear, but I guess I didn't:

I totally agree with you, that camera usage is just a means to an end, and in that regard women are just as as good as men if not better, when it comes to the final photographs produced.

However, here's the point you missed: I was merely pointing out that, factually, (not my opinion, just an observation of the industry) ...these types of camera "hype-up" groups / activities are largely focused on the geeky side of things, the measurebating.

I did NOT say this was a GOOD thing! In fact I wish this wasn't the case. A bunch of photographers sitting around trying to measure the ISO improvement of a new camera is a pretty crappy way to promote that camera.

In fact I'm downright sick of the boring, sometimes even awful "sample image galleries" that we see from some major publications these days. I know that either myself (or any of the innumerable female photographers I know) could easily produce far more compelling images, if given a chance. Because at the end of the day what matters isn't remembering the exact aperture and focal length of the expensive lens you just bought, what matters is the images you capture with that lens.

Having said that, my point stands: let's not pretend that the sexes have exactly equal interests in every single aspect of the world. Men and women have different toys, different interests, and that's fine. We as a society need to get past that fact, and yes, we need to get over our obsession with geeky and technical stuff when it comes to new cameras. A team of 16 men and 16 women would probably have done a LOT better job of promoting the D850 in a wider variety of photographic genres, absolutely.

BTW, your excessive self-deprecation using the terms "creative vaginas" and "magical whimsy" just makes you appear to be bitter about the issue. I don't mean that as a personal attack, just an observation on the vibe of what you wrote. I do understand that my reference to "feminist battle cries" was kinda disrespectful, though. Fair enough.

You know what's really sad? Nikon is actually the best when it comes to gender parity. If the author had bothered to look at the industry (which he references) he would see that Nikon has a higher percentage of women in its "ambassador" roles than any other brand. To me that tells me the author didn't do his research and/or just wanted to use the "D850" keyword to get clicks because it's the hot new thing. I hope readers can see past this cheap trick:
Sony -
50 Men
8 Women
14% Women, 86% Men

Canon -
32 Men
8 Women
20% Women, 80% Men

Nikon -
17 Men
7 Women
29% Women, 71% Men

Olympus -
10 Men
2 Women
20% Women, 80% Men

Oh, to be a man and think that 20% = parity. More like parody. 😏

Yes. All of the extremely wealthy single moms out there can surely attest to the considerable wealth they have amassed just by getting married. Because that's a thing. Rich single moms. Millions of them. Just living on Easy Street. And of course for those who actually do receive alimony, giving up their careers to focus on the kids and home was no big deal and absolutely WORTHLESS -- while hubby chased the secretary, I mean the good salary....

You don't value the contributions of women who stay home with children. It's worthless to you. You're a class act, Bob.

That kind of devaluing of women's contributions is why all women should go on strike everywhere.

You are having a separate conversation on a thread where sexist bias CLEARLY still hurts women and favors men. Period. Stop hijacking the thread.

When the wealthy divorcees of the world make up the majority of the 1%, come talk to me. Until then, take a good hard look at who controls the wealth and how little we value women on this planet. You can't though -- because your bias is stuck firmly in your eye.

Writing an article with such an assumption is silly. Was Nikon asked to comment ? Article should be based on facts not speculation.

The fact is....there are 32 men. And no women.

Fact is they were selected from photographers that worked in the Nikon offices in the 8 regions. Maybe there were no women photographers in those office that met the criteria.

maybe all the women were on their periods that day and just way too cranky to want to further their career with this publicity. and I bet Nikon only asked 32 men and they all just happened to say yes.

I expect the men crying that they are actually a minority and deserve our pity to be this dense, but it is a 1 2 punch to have women buy into this line of apologetics.

This simply means the marketing agency determined this particular camera in Asia market is mostly gonna bought by male photographers who work in physically demanding fields, that is all.

LOL!!! Yes. This camera is for all of the lumberjack photographers out there. So many. Good grief. Where do you guys come up with this shit?

If you want to have a discussion, the answer is "reality".

The reality is one who is 5'4 and weight around 100lb (typical Asian women size) is lesser likely to carry a 5lb lens/camera combo as a hobbyist, man or woman. And hobbyist is the largest part of the camera customers.

My experience regarding the Asian camera market:
"Most Asian girls I know, ruled out full-size DSLR as an option even when money is not a problem. They much prefer cameras like EOS6D and A7 series for size and weight reasons even when they demanding a full frame camera. These girls see a camera as a tool instead of the interesting object by itself. Meanwhile, men tend to get the bigger models, and they are much geekier and care more about specs. Therefore market D850 towards men in that market is more affection. This point can be proved by the overwhelming number of dudes who follows iRental's gear review on social media."

How do I have the sample size to mean anything? I am an Asian who grown up around Asians.

Also, I believe men paying way more attention to gear is cross culture, simply look at a D850 post on common section and count the male and female commons:

Overall GAS is stupid, and female photographers lesser prone to GAS is a good thing. Nonetheless, a business cash on GAS is smart business.

Here comes the question, why do you have to dig up some shit to be outraged about?

Could it be sexism that's worse in NikonMEA (Middle East and Africa)? I expereinced a guy - just today - from the Middle East who shook every guy in the room's hand but rejected my handshake. I would call the Middle Easterner's view on women very sexist. But could this group of photographers represent that specific region rather than Nikon as a whole? I doubt Nikon USA would exclude women, but who knows...

How about US haaa, grabing directly on p.....?

This simply means the marketing agency determined this particular camera in Asia market is mostly gonna bought by male photographers who work in physically demanding fields, and or their fans. That is all.

Oh, please. A) This is surely an Asian thing. In Asia, they use men to advertise makeup and perfume. B) I looked through the website, there are no Americans on there. I am sure there are many US Nikon Ambassadors (probably much more women than you're seeing on the site now). I wouldn't jump to conclusions so fast.

We are assuming since there are so many women photographers, they should have a 50% representation. But what we don't know, is how many are actually Nikon Pros? I am (and am a woman with the new D850 in my possession), but out of my other Nikon photographers friends (that I have talked about status...most recently last April at a workshop), the only other Nikon Pros were men. I have a lot of woman friends w/Nikons (though the majority are Canon), they just don't qualify for the Pro according to the points system. So out of the pool they have to select, what is the percentage of women photographers. It may very well be only 20%. I don't know and I'm sure most people here don't know. Do we know they didn't approach any woman photographers and invite them to participate? There are just a lot of assumptions when claiming sexism without the underlying facts. But that is the way of the world now, isn't it. At least the social media world. A lot of indignity based on comments!

Here we go again Fstoppers

OK, after reading the actual Nikon article on the 32 ambassadors, I saw Nikon chose 4 photographers from their Nikon offices in the 8 regions. So this was not a pool from the general population, maybe there aren't any women photographers in those offices? You can jump on equal rights, but there is a long history of suppression in the Middle East. Maybe women can't work there. Maybe men won't buy from a woman. Maybe women don't want to work there. But the ambassadors were selected from the Nikon offices.

This is quite simple. It is a marketing ploy. Tell someone you can't have it (espically women, and guys you know what I'm talking about) and they will do anything to get it. I feel Nikon has had a slump in female buyers and this is their way to boost female sales and sales in general. Very few women will stop using Nikon because of this and many will buy one just because.

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