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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Matthew Saville's picture

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 - http://imagingambassadors.sony.net/ambassadors/
50 Men
8 Women
14% Women, 86% Men

Canon - http://learn.usa.canon.com/dlc/contributors/explorers.spr
32 Men
8 Women
20% Women, 80% Men

Nikon - http://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/nikon-ambassadors/index.page
17 Men
7 Women
29% Women, 71% Men

Olympus - http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/visionaries
10 Men
2 Women
20% Women, 80% Men

Kari Bedford's picture

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

Kari Bedford's picture

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.

Kari Bedford's picture

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.

Anonymous's picture

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

Kari Bedford's picture

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.

Katrina Hannemann's picture

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.

jonas y's picture

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.

Kari Bedford's picture

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?

jonas y's picture

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 Fstoppers.com common section and count the male and female commons: https://fstoppers.com/gear/nikon-announces-d850-yes-its-amazing-camera-1...

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?

Christina DeClerk's picture

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...

There are some cultural differences which are not sign of non-respect. Men (pretend) kissing men in France. Men don't touch stranger women on East. Just some examples.

Anonymous's picture

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

jonas y's picture

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!

Strangely, not by Alex Cooke...

Otherwise, nice manipulative article. I feel offended and you have to appologize in separate article.

Fritz Asuro's picture

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.

Oluwaseun Asade's picture

Damn shame on proper representation LOL

So, going forward, all photos of any marketing materials must contains equal number of black, white, Hispanic, Asians, native Indians, 33.3 % male, 33.3% female, and 33.3% transgender. 50% must be straight, and 50% must be gay and lesbian.

Since my first photography class just 1 year shy of 50 years ago, I have given zero f's about how many men put themselves on posters and at the front of seminars since it has never stopped me from having an entire professional career as a photographer. However, it appears that *some* read: *some* men in the industry find it acceptable to exclude 50% of the industry's professional because _______________________ (fill in the blank) - 50% according to Bureau of Labor statistics (quoted in Fortune). I am CERTAIN that there are tons of men who are infuriated by this...but, keep mind, Nikon has been doing this for years. One of these days, calling them out on it is going to make a difference. For now...

I have handled my D4, with 70-200 attached, in various conditions and circumstances, just fine. I see no data suggesting the D850 would pose an additional challenge. You're stepping on some thin ice, Nikon marketing (or is there a difference between our legal tender?).

Anonymous's picture

What to expect from Japanese? Usualy mens enter first the elevator then women if some place left...

I was just looking through the 'editors picks' here at fstoppers: https://fstoppers.com/editors-picks/photos

I had to go through a couple of pages before I found the first one from a woman photographer.

Of course a lot of those selected shots are of models more scantily clad than the one that got Fuji into trouble when they used Wayne Johns to promote their GFX.

Obviously the editors here are a bunch of sexist pigs, intentionally excluding women to make fstoppers men only. What other explanation could there be?

Katrina Hannemann's picture

yep, noticed that too. sexualized women photographed by men. welcome to the message constantly shoved in the faces of women.

May we see the message you want to deliver on this website?

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