Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dear Mr Nikon

Finally got to have a play with one of your D7000's, and I must say, a very nice camera it is. Light, compact and sturdily made. Image quality looks mighty good to, right up to ISO 1600-3200.

I love that the dinky little IR remote can operate properly in mirror-up mode (first click raises mirror, second click fires shutter), and there is even an IR sensor on the back of the camera. Perfect for landscapers like me, and a lot less hassle than the 10-pin remote on your professional cameras! I stuck on a DK-21M magnifying eyepiece and even the viewfinder did not seem too 'claustrophobic', and the simple switch that takes you into Liveview is really cool.

However, nothing's perfect. Most shocking is that your PC-E lenses won't fit, and bizarrely, this is not because the control knobs foul the camera body, but it's actually the lens barrel itself that threatens to scratch the underside of the flash housing. I tried rotating the lens to all sorts of combinations before attempting to mount it... to no avail (apart from a little scratch on the flash housing).

So, here's my challenge to you: make a D7000m. It's a simple idea, a stripped-down version aimed fair and square at real enthusiasts, not just those that had megapixel-envy. Here's the recipe:
  1. Remove the flash (I'll never use it). Presumably there's a microswitch that tells the electronics that the flash is raised: hard-wire it or leave it open so the camera never thinks the flash is raised (cost: probably a net saving on parts).
  2. Make a new moulding to replace the one that surrounds the lens mount and forms the underside of the flash housing. You could make the front of the camera flush to the lens mount, or leave the vestiges of a pentaprism bulge if you must, just as long as the PC-E lenses work (cost: a fair bit for re-tooling, but it is only one part of the body moulding that has to be changed).
  3. Take out the AF systems and the motor - I don't need it - at the same time you can remove the AF/MF switch, and as it fits through the moulding you're replacing in 2., just blank it off in the new moulding (cost: net cost saving, subsidising the new tooling required for 2.).
  4. Replace the mode switch on the top left of the camera with one that has only 2 positions, 'A' and 'M'. The new switch can use exactly the same form factor as the current one, but will probably be cheaper (cost: another net saving on parts).
  5. Blank out all the now redundant menu options (AF, flash, anything to do with those awful 'scene' modes (cost: not much, probably just a few engineer days editing and testing a new firmware version).
Sell it about 10% below the D7000, but may be get a well-known photographer to endorse it and perhaps produce a 'signature' version and/or a limited production run. Make some dinky wide angle DX lenses and offer 20% off PC-E lenses when bought with the camera. Ok, may be I've gone a bit too whacky now.

Oh, and I'll have 2 please.

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