Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Nikon D610 announced to resounding disappointment.

Well, last night Nikon officially announced the D610. There were a lot of speculations going around that the D610 was simply a "fix" for the much maligned sensor oil/dirt/dust/grease issue of the D600.

Personally, I had faith that Nikon was actually going to step up and fix some of the other major issues that made the D600 a relative disappointment. Namely the DX-sized AF module in the FX body. I was hoping that the D610 was going to be more than a fix for a faulty shutter.

Unfortunately Nikon has of late not been very forthcoming with their consumers. They have never formally admitted to having any major faults with the D600, but in less than a year after the initial release of the D600 a "replacement" arrives and there are NO major improvements spec-wise. Let's take a look at what Nikon has added to the D600...

  • 0.5 frames per second shooting increase. Instead of 5.5 fps you get 6 fps. Not much of a gain and since the buffer hasn't been upgraded this means you fill up the buffer more quickly resulting in slower performance overall. A marginal upgrade at best. 
  • 3 frames per second in "Quiet mode". The quiet mode isn't very quiet as it is. Now you can get 3 fps in a mode that is arguably only about 1/2 as quiet as normal. This is a non-feature made better. A pointless upgrade is not really an upgrade at all. 
  • Improved weather sealing. This is a nice addition, but not really a big deal. The D600 had pretty solid weather sealing as it was. An incremental upgrade, but not a game-changer. 
In my eyes this is not an upgrade suitable for a new model name. Maybe it's worth the name D600s, but a completely new model? No. This is basically the D600. Instead of stepping up and admitting there's a problem and fixing it they have elected to bury the whole thing by introducing a "new" camera with almost the exact same specs. 

As I said Nikon has never officially stated that there was an issue with the D600 shutter mechanism, but in releasing this camera they have all but admitted it, which has got to leave D600 with oil splatter problems feeling pretty upset about this. So let's take a look at what this means. 

In the eyes of the public the D600 is a flawed camera. The resale value of the camera has plummeted overnight. Nikon has placed a stigma on the D600 as unreliable. Anyone who wants to sell their camera is going to take a huge hit in the resale value. Even if someone has been perfectly happy with their D600 and it has never had a shutter splatter problem the resale value will be about 50% lower than it would have been with any other camera. Two years down the road when someone wants to upgrade from a D600 they will have to spend more on a new camera because they will get less from the resale. 

While this is great for people who buy used, it's bad for Nikon in the long run. Used camera buyers don't keep the company in business. The person who bought a new D600 is the one who supports the company. Nikon has now left their consumer holding the bag on the loss. 

This is a thoroughly disappointing move on Nikon's part and a real bad way to show respect to their loyal customer base. I could go on and offer insights on what I think Nikon could have done or should have done to make a better camera, but that will not change the fact that they didn't do those things. What they did was try to sweep the D600 problem under the rug at their customers expense. 

Very shameful Nikon. 

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