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Nikon or Adobe: Friends or Foes?

Posted by mule_patterson, 10 April 2006 · 897 views

Going Nikon Digital in 2006
Now that we are all accustomed to replacing very expensive camera gear in a one or two year intervals, we deserve to know where digital photography is going, don't we? So let's muse on where it is headed...

A convergence in primary technologies always occurs when they mature and conflict with each other for cost or compatibility. We're seeing some interesting developments that will dictate the direction of our photo interests from hardware and software sources - for our concerns that would be Nikon and Adobe. Neither rule their markets due to a lack of, well... hardware or software. Adobe doesn't make cameras and Nikon doesn't make much software. Other camera makers are dropping like flies in the marketplace sun and forcing a convergence on the survivors. For Nikon users, we can ask...

Will PS CS overshadow Nikon's Capture to its extinction through plug-ins and - worse yet - new formats that all camera makers will be obligated to recognize? That's their power base - covering the whole spectrum of brands with superb image editing and manipulation tools whilst developing tool sets that no one else has. That IS Photoshop.

Will Nikon succeed in maintaining a proprietary postprocessing environment that exceeds PS CS capability? Do they risk isolating market share by remaining so?

My muse is this: PS CS will dominate postprocessing for obvious reasons - it's good software and anyone can use it with any camera brand. Nikon will drive premier digital photographic technology in hardware and influence the definition of photography with sensor and flash breakthroughs. Is that it? Hardly. Somewhere along the line these forces will converge and postprocessing will move in-camera (ie., D2x) and supersede standard PS CS protocol. This is normal - and desirable - for us to see real advances.

But let's keep the buzz going here and give Nikon something to think about. What do you do with your Nikon? Are you an amateur or a pro? Tell Nikon what you want and why you'll use it. Here's my list:

- In-camera flash interface.

- Conventionally labeled image sizes and image format choices for finished images that can be emailed sans postprocessing to editors and marketers.

- Better viewfinders in all Nikons - like they used to be in the 1970's (100% of frame size!)

- Bigger buffers for amateur cameras (D70s) - three NEF's before
a write hesitation doesn't do it. Ditto for semipro cameras (D200).

- More intuitive - and accurate - AF interfaces to reduce focus errors and operation during action shooting sessions.

- Depth of field indicator masks (ala the blinking blown highlights feature) to preview in and out of focus areas for portraiture and product work.

- One-button white balance setting (like the OLD Canon D1s) for rapidly changing light conditions - indoor to outdoor, sun to shade, etc.

The next few years are going to be truly creative for Nikon as they incorporate postprocessing features into their cameras - either dynamically or as CSM options. D Lighting is being added to their consumer point-and-shoots, so it's just a matter of time before we see these improvements on the menus of our next, new Nikon DSLR!

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