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The carrot is dangled....

Guest plesbit

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Went into WE today. Found myself playing with a Nikon D90 .

I want one. I want one very much but I can't decide what to do. :-|

Switching systems doesn't make sense in that I have already spent £900 this year on high quality lenses in my current system - one of which has barely been used and the other was used for three weeks and then broken! If you include the £100 it's costing to fix it then it goes up still further. On the other hand I, and others, are getting twitchy about the lack of any signs of life from Sony. The a900 came out but then banks imploded, Sony made their first loss in 15 years and laid off a load of staff (mind you so did Canon) and have been on radio silence ever since - no new lenses, no new bodies (even though the middle tier is massively overdue a shake up), not even any new firmware.... nothing, nadda. It isn't very encouraging.

What to do....

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The thing to do is to ask youself what the D90 will do that your Sony doesn't, or what lenses are available from Nikon that you can't get in a Sony fitting. If the list is more than a few lines long, then I'd say you had some justification (like me with my 50D upgrade). If there are only a couple of things you can think of for the list though, then maybe it's better to sit the craving out (not easy I know) :grin: .

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Tricky one Simon. As your head knows very well, the logical thing to do is to wait for a few months, see what Sony do to keep their huge investment in SLRs afloat, pay the £100 to repair the lens, and wait for international exchange rates to stabilise so that if you do decide to invest in Nikon you do it when Japanese equipment prices have come down when the Yen/GBP comparison doesn't mean sky high UK prices as now. The problem is, your heart may not say the same as your head ;)

I am not holier than though in this, having recently spent many thousands changing from Nikon to Canon. However, my thinking was that it was time to go high resolution full frame, and most of my pro Nikon lenses were DX format (smaller sensor); I had to invest in a lot of new lenses whichever marque I went with, and the 5DMk II made far more financial sense than the D3X. I have to say I would be less keen to jump ship in your position, and I would be inclined to await events. As we all know, the most important component in a photograph is the nut behind the camera ;) No photographic award was ever won or classic photograph ever made on the strength of the camera or lens, but always on the ability of the photographer.

Having said that, a nice new camera does feel good, doesn't it? :naughty:


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Wise words, of course - but not fun ones! And when you're in more or less continuous pain to some degree and unable to leave the house for most of the week, the thought of a bit of retail therapy and a new toy certainly appeals.

In answer to some of the questions - what I am really looking at doing is following what Mark has done and moving from the entry level tier up to the middle rather than switching systems but, not for the first time, there appears to be a cloud hanging over the future of the very system itself. My Minolta camera was excellent but for a while it, and the vast number lenses which could mount on it, looked set to become a relic. Then Sony, a company for which I have very little time, stepped in and took on the system (there are those that believe they are actually the reason Minolta quit) and there seemed to be life in the A mount again. A lot of people, including me, breathed a sigh of relief. But the uncertainty is starting to surface again and, at present there really isn't anything for me to step up to. The a700 is undoubtedly an extremely good camera but it lacks LiveView, something which is now a deal breaker for me (never thought I'd say that - and it rules out the D80 too) and it's been around for about 20 months now during which time the other manufacturers have not been idle. It has been assumed by A mount users that a new model, or perhaps even two new models, are on the way - but months pass and nothing appears. Nor have there been any new lenses, firmware updates or even press releases from Sony who have basically been silent since the banking crisis began. People are beginning to worry.

I did calculate the cost of switching - to replace my entire Sony investment in one hit with Nikon gear would cost £2.5k. A fair chunk of that could be raised by selling the Sony gear as A mount stuff sells like hotcakes on Ebay. If you include the money I already made from selling some Minolta lenses last week I could probably get around £1200-1500 from such sales (I've been watching what my gear is selling for on the used market for some time). That only leaves a shortfall of £1k or so and to buy the a700 replacement, should one suddenly emerge, would cost the best part of that anyway. I could reduce it further by not including certain items I would rarely use like the £219 flash and the £360 hyperzoom and limit myself to the body (D90) three lenses; one wide (16-85), one tele (70-300), one macro prime (60 micro).

And Susan's no use it's her that the credit cards need to kept away from. When I raised the subject she even said that as we had planned a 3 week trip to Canada / USA this summer and we now aren't going (because of my injuries) we've saved many thousands in holiday costs so what did a bit of splurging on camera equipment matter?

Rest assured there'll be no snap decisions. Firstly I'll be waiting until the broken Zeiss lens comes back (it went away on Monday) to see if it performs as it did before it got dropped and I'll wait a little longer to see if the beast stirs - someone on DP Review who claims to have a "source" says we'll see something by the end of April. I do hope so....

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Hi Simon :wave:wave:wave:wave

you & i know i am no expert at this but if there camera you have now for fill your needs then why sspash out on a new type of camera & lenses when the set you already have is more than sufficient.

the cash you have saved up you could treat Susan to something :wave:wave DUCK!!! :naughty::naughty:

Jonny ice sliceice sliceice sliceice sliceice slice

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And Susan's no use it's her that the credit cards need to kept away from. When I raised the subject she even said that as we had planned a 3 week trip to Canada / USA this summer and we now aren't going (because of my injuries) we've saved many thousands in holiday costs so what did a bit of splurging on camera equipment matter?

What a woman, you lucky chap! :grin:

The second hand resale value is certainly something to consider in the justification department. When I was looking to fund the 50D, I had only reckoned I would get a couple of hundred quid for my 350D. Infact I even quoted this to another member on here incase they were interested. In the event, I stuck the camera and a spare flash on ebay, with what I considered to be quite high "buy it now" prices, and most of it was snapped up within a couple of days. The total sale was more than half the cost of the new camera body, which amazed me somewhat!

The other arguement (which sides with heart not head) is that it can be a never ending waiting game. I'm afraid I cannot see Sony ever getting really stuck into the camera market again. Canon and Nikon are primarily imaging companies (cameras, copiers, printers etc) and I've never seen a Canon or Nikon TV or HiFi! However, Sony have their expertise and market chares elsewhere with consumer electonics, Laptops and so on. If this is true, there will be a point in time (might even be now) where second hand Sony/Minolta kit is raising a premium price, but this will fade as people migrate to the more mainstream manufacturers. I know this is a very simplistic viewpoint, but I think it's also something to consider (especially oif you need all the justification you can get :lol: )

Anyway, reading reams of paperwork and manuals will help take your mind of the pain, so call it medicinal therapy.

As for LiveView being a deal breaker, now I've got it I really don't know what to do with it, other than the couple of situations mentioned by Bruce and Jonzo. I'm sure I'll find it very useful in the future but at the moment still treat it as a gimmick.

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Something Bruce said made me think - Sony paid a lot of money for the A mount, its factories, many lens designs and a raft of patents. It doesn't make sense, even to a company as stupid as they are, to drop it after only two years.

In fact I disagree with you Mark on Sony's business. In the world of professional video imaging Sony are THE name and occupy a larger position at the top of the industry than either C or N do in the still market (you don't think they'd have exclusive contracts with Zeiss if they didn't have a large need for top quality glass) so it's always been something of an anomaly that they didn't play in the still market. Figures suggest that in the last two years the A mount has risen from about 2% of the market to 12-15% (depending on whose figures you believe) so already they are player number 3, albeit by some distance. If they have the inclination to stick out the recession and keep plugging away there is every chance they can eventually make it to a level playing field with the current two but it'll likely take at least a decade, maybe longer. So the question is, do they? I don't personally mind if they never made more than 5% of the market (Pentax never have) as long as they keep making the stuff. Trouble is I can't see Sony settling for such a small share - I think they'll either want to be one of the big boys or they won't want to play at all. And as you say, the stuff is flying on Ebay at the moment but should Sony drop the system it'll become worthless over night.

I'll sit tight for now and wait for the Zeiss lens to be returned before deciding what to do. I do like my equipment but I was really taken by the D90 and it will remain high on my list of possible purchases. I don't, after all, have to jump in one go, I could always run dual systems for a while and build up the Nikon side slowly over time.

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Just to add, I see this morning that the standard 18-70 kit lens has been discontinued and so has the longer 55-200 kit lens along with it. The only other kit level lens is the 75-300 and clearly that cannot exist by itself. Mock ups were shown at PMA last month of a new 18-55 kit lens and a new 55-200 as well but Sony clearly stated that these were concepts and not guaranteed to ever make it into production. Their official release has still not been announced but it is widely believed on the forums that the new lenses will coincide with a new body. Could this finally be the signs of life I've been hoping for?

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