Status of Crowd Sourcing

We have three different crowd sourcing efforts going on for the D500 at the moment:

Keep the data flowing. We’re starting to see some interesting and useful clarification as the data expands:

  1. Live View autofocus seems to be the only likely problem you might encounter with a few lenses. No regular autofocus operations seem to be failing.
  2. With cards, most of the reported XQD failures are turning out to be instances where an SD card was also mounted. The vast majority of the failures are Lexar 1000x and 2000x cards, though there are a couple of reports of SanDisk failures. And this seems to be a UHS-II problem only.
  3. No third party batteries have been reported to work in camera. But lo and behold: some third party batteries seem to work in the MB-D17. That’s surprising. 

But all this just raises a simple question: what, if anything, is Nikon actually testing before releasing a camera into the wild? It didn’t take very many users to be able to identify all three of these issues. Nikon themselves should have been able to get the data I’m now seeing with a solid week or two of real world load testing. 

While cameras that don’t quite work right aren’t going to cause any injuries or deaths, Nikon’s reputation is once again taking a hit. How many hits does Nikon believe they can absorb? The answer appears to be: infinite. I’m here to tell them that this is not the case. The “what’s going on” and “should I switch” emails are piling up. 

The issue here is “ecosystem.” An interchangeable lens camera is an ecosystem. It lives in a world of lenses, flashes, remotes, cards, batteries, software, and other accessories. It simply isn’t rational to believe that you can just ignore anything made by someone else in your ecosystem and pretend that there’s no issue. And frankly, Nikon botched it with their own products on the D500 release: the WR-10 and the missing iOS SnapBridge app. 

Someone at Nikon needs to receive the message that the ecosystem is not healthy at the moment, and ignoring that just means that customers look for healthier ecosystems. I don’t know how many times I’ve written this, but it bears repeating: Nikon is struggling with reduced sales in the Imaging group. Some of that is self-inflicted. 

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