Let’s talk about that Nikon social media meltdown

Hokay, so, Nikon posted this message on their Facebook wall social media thing and, well, even talking about it is giving it more play than it deserves and this is basically just gossip at this point but… well… seriously, they wrote this:

I mean, what? What?!

Reaction was swift, and justice was served in the only way that thousands of wronged Internet users can provide: a torrential flood of outraged and sarcastic comments.

For those who don’t know the correct way to think about photographic equipment comes by way of an Ansel Adams quote:

The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.

The ever respectable Ken Rockwell expanded and expounded on this idea, too.

So it’s mystifying what must have happened inside Nikon for them to post that. I’m still waiting to learn that today was Japanese April Fools’ day and it was all a joke gone wrong.

This is a good a time as any to say that I haven’t used my Nikon in months. A few months ago I picked up a Casio point and shoot, and I’ve had a lot more fun with it, and taken a lot of rewarding photos.

It’s a lot more limited than the Nikon because you can’t really control the lens or shutter without digging into a pile of menus, but 90% of the time it auto-adjusts itself to produce exactly what I would have settled on with an all-manual camera. This frees me to think about the layout and content of a photo, which is a lot more interesting.

Thing is, there is no such thing as a professional camera brand any more. There are very fancy cameras, yes, that require a significant amount of training and skill to use at their fullest. And I know people who I consider professional photographers not only because they make money, but because they can do things with a fancy camera that are way beyond my technical skill. But, both Canon and Nikon are firmly planted in the “pro-sumer” market.

That’s a horrible term, by the way, “pro-sumer”. I actually think amateur is a better product class. To my mind amateur means, “contains the features you need to have fun and take the photos you want.” Pro-sumer means “we put a lot of fancy shit in your camera to distract you from actually taking photos. Please buy more accessories.”

It occurs to me I have talked about this already. But it doesn’t hurt to repeat it: tools are fun, and good tools are worth using, but it’s what you make that matters. It’s sad when a company can’t even pretend that that’s the case.