Tony Northrup : YouTubes Weather Man
Some people like to predict the weather, often they get it wrong or exaggerate what’s to come. Obviously that is to drum up a level of doom or over excitedness (is that a word ?) that could help sponsors out one way or another as you’re glued to the TV watching your favorite weather person.
Step up Tony Northrup, who if you didn’t know is YouTubes weather man, he looks like one and talks like one. The content is slightly different, the context is the same.
Again Tony predicted a heavy wind from the east and it will decimate everything in front of it. Clearly that’s not referring to Panasonic’s Lumix FF S series and trash talking Nikon in the process, and it’s these points that I’d like to separate the fact from the fiction.
So why do I care ? Well firstly I love cheer for the little guy and while Nikon can’t really be called the “little guy” as such they are currently the #2 camera brand in the world. For now at least. Since we are starting here let’s talk Nikon.
The Case For Nikon
Nikon have got plenty to consider, unlike Sony their DSLR market has been as healthy as it can be in a shrinking market and timing for their Mirrorless cameras needed to be well planned and timely. Not to piss off the loyal Nikon fanbase and give them time to jump to the right system. The Z6/Z7 were near perfect cameras after a few firmware updates for the semi-pro, clearly a few features missing but at a first stab it was brilliant.
Now Nikon has shifted a few units and their sluggish lens release roadmap is starting to gain some mileage, I think the release of Z6II / Z7II and a rumored pro D8xx mirrorless will start to bring these legacy and new customers over. Nikon have timed this much better than Canon and with better products that don’t try and catch on fire. The only issue with Nikons Z mount is the lack of third party support which is a worry.
The Case For Lumix
Now let’s talk about Lumix, a brand I jumped to after flogging all my Sony A-Mount kit. Now let’s look at that sentence, I sold all my A-Mount kit and didn’t buy an E-Mount, so is the jump from DSLR to Mirrorless in the same brand going to be guaranteed? Well no, and while I didn’t make that statement about Nikon just now I think Lumix will be the upgrade MTF and Fuji owners will look to and for a few reasons which I’ll get onto.
But let’s mention the elephant in the room which our Weather Man was keen to jump up and down on and that’s the lack of PDAF in Lumix FF.
Is DFD as fast as PDAF? Maybe not, is it unusable? That’s crazy talk. With each tweak DFD is improving and put into context it’s not “Pentax bad” which have had 20+ years to fix their autofocus system and are still trying to work it out. New firmware releases have helped tweak and build on the DFD system, especially since the release of the S5.
The Lumix S1R, S1 was the first attempt at a FF Mirrorless cameras by Panasonic, just like Nikon with the Z6/7. Compared to how Sony had their autofocus in the original A7 the difference is night and day, a point Tony misses completely. Tracking is great on both systems, and wildlife shooting with the Lumix S1R is every bit as good as it is with the Nikon Z6 and my previous Sony A99II. Yes I have both the Z6 and the S1R so I’m coming from personal experience not 5 mins with a pre-build. .
Mirrorless Battles and Wins
Improvements to the Lumix S system will yield amazing results in their next gen. The build quality of the Panasonic made system is may be the best I’ve seen of any Mirrorless and as I shoot outside 99% of the time build quality is super important to me. Lumix first gen is nothing short of stellar and I see absolutely no reason why they would not follow that up with smaller improvements. With some small evolution rather then revolution the entire platform seems a solid choice for working pros and firmware updates are proving to be just that.
Nikon have made a superb all round package and is a second card slot away from being a perfect travel companion. Something that’s going to be fixed in all their pro level bodies. Not to mention their new Z6II and Z7II both have dual slots. Throw in fast AF, great low light performance and a button layout that just works, I’m sure the future of Nikon mirrorless will do just fine.
As photographers we need these companies to succeed, why ? To push innovation, push the market leaders to do more and those chasing to produce better.
If you want to listen to the Weather Man, great but when you get your umbrella when you need speedos, don’t come crying to me.
EDIT B: This is an additional point I want to make, mostly about responsibility. We all have opinions and some have voices stronger and louder than others. To say that one company will fail or stop producing products, we need to consider what happens to those influenced by such garbage.
People lose jobs, people lose homes and the wider impact is not to be under estimated just with comments made to create a few mouse clicks.
All modern camera perform so well, the differences are small so buy whatever suits your preference. Read reviews fine but following an opinion on the demise of an entire business or their ability to make great imaging products is frankly irresponsible, especially now.