A couple of months ago, I ordered a Nikon D800 from B&H. At that time, I didn't realize that there were people who had pre-ordered this camera as early as last February, and still hadn't received their stuff. After discovering that there were a couple of design flaws in the unit, I decided to cancel the order and, wait until the D800 was readily available without the defects. ($3000 for a camera which will possibly be broken right out of the box? Come on Nikon, you can do better than that).
Since I had just sold my old D80 camera, I needed something to play with in the meantime. I decided to go with the Olympus OM-D EM5. I figured that it would be a good backup camera, and great for taking on trips when I didn't feel like lugging around a DSLR and a bunch of lenses. It too was backordered, but B&H had an expected ship date of July 27th (about a week away). The 27th came and went, and the expected ship date also went (expected ship date no longer specified). After doing a little digging, I found that a lot of new equipment is in the same boat... Backordered, with no expected ship dates. In the computer business, we used to call this vaporware (maybe we'll see it, maybe we won't).
Having mentioned B&H, I realize that this isn't their fault, and that all retailers are having the same problem. Ultimately, I believe that the fault lies with both the equipment manufacturers, who prematurely hype new gear that they cannot deliver in a timely manner, and the media (like Pop Photo, and others) who, in an attempt to be the first kid on the block to test/review affected units, do us a disservice by reviewing what I assume are pre-production units. I'll probably wait until the end of August to see if Olympus gets its act together, at which point I'll be forced to also cancel that order, and go with a cheap point and shoot camera, since those don't seem to be affected by the current shortages.
Sorry about the rant. I'm just getting a little frustrated with all of these equipment delays/shortages.
Last edited by McBarker; 08-01-2012 at 04:48 PM.
Borrow money from pessimists - They don't expect to get it back.
"Design flaws"? Care to elaborate?
What you're calling vaporware isn't. Vaporware is the promise of a product that never makes it to market. There's a lot of hype around it but then it just disappears from the landscape. A backorder situation on an actual, in production product isn't vaporware.
I won't comment on the advisability of buying into to entirely separate systems when it seems all you're looking for is something to 'play' with. I won't comment on the advisability of spending $3000 on something you apparently just want to 'play' with.
I agree that production delays are frustrating, but I'd like to clarify that we only test full production models of cameras and lenses. We will sometimes post impressions and even sample images (when the imaging has been declared final by the companies) from pre-production models, but lab tests are done on cameras that could've come off the shelf.
I suppose that "play with" was a poor choice of words. I'm a serious amateur photographer, not a professional, so I consider what I do as "playing" with my equipment. I do a lot of travelling, sometimes overseas, and these days, I'm hesitant about flying with expensive equipment. I'd rather lose about $1500 worth of "play" equipment, than almost $10,000 of serious gear, which is a very real possibility when travelling overseas these days. I feel that the Olympus four thirds system is a good compromise, and would be less likely to catch the eye of a less than honest customs official. Besides, I'm becoming less impressed with Nikon as time passes, and am researching alternatives. There are several players in the DSLR field who are making a lot of waves, and given another couple of years, may actually leave Canon and Nikon eating their dust.
As far as buying the D800 to "play" with (when its issues are resolved), well that's a personal hobby choice. Some people buy expensive cars, others buy what I would call ridiculously expensive bottles of wine, but if that's what makes them happy, and they can afford it, well good for them. I work hard for my money, and I don't mind buying an occasional big ticket item to "play" with. I feel I've earned it, and I've enjoyed practicing photography for several decades now. I appreciate your concern, but I'm not a total beginner, and who knows... maybe in retirement, I'll give selling my work a shot.
Borrow money from pessimists - They don't expect to get it back.
The people, who are fortunate to get a Nikon D800 without a focusing problem, seem to be very happy with the results they are getting. I don't think the problem is a design flaw but a quality control problem. More emphasis on quality and less on quantity might go a long way in resolving this issue.
John in NH
I haven't really heard about the issues because (a) I'm not in the market for either camera now, nor in the foreseeable future, so don't much care and (b) don't, unlike many others, spend inordinate amounts of time scouring the internet for such things.
That said, the 'green cast' of the LCD has been addressed by Nikon. Owners are used to a different 'look' on the LCD and pitched a hissy fit when the new camera looked different. If you're relying on the LCD to seriously gauge exposure or colour, you're relying on the wrong thing anyway.
The focus and viewfinder issues appear to be limited to a small range of serial numbers. Condemning an entire model because of problems with a small sub-sample is a gross exaggeration. The same goes for the 'lock up' issue which, truth be told, does not require the removal of the battery to correct. There are parts of the information display on the LCD that can be turned off to rectify the issue. See previous paragraph for thoughts on using the LCD to seriously judge an exposure.
I also agree with Sandyman that these are not 'design' flaws but manufacturing defects. Canon's infamous 5D mirror falling off was a design flaw. Some of Canon's AF issues were design flaws. There is a difference. Just as backorder conditions aren't vaporware.
Unfortunately Nikon's quality control has been a disgrace in recent years. My experience in having to buy three separate copies of the D7000 before getting one without problems is only one example. Part of the problem I think has to do with the never ending pursuit of more, and more useless features, adding to the complexity of the cameras. The D800 appears to have similar issues with focus that some D7000's had, as well as some new ones. Given how many people are effected by these problems it wisest to wait a year before buying any new model, if you don't want to be a lab rat for Nikon.
"Outside of everything, there's no evidence of anything."
I've bought many a Nikon over the years and I've never had any problems whatsoever. Come to think of it, though, the models I've bought have usually been on the market for at least six months, so that's probably why I've been pleased.
Pith! Unlike the D700 I think Nikon moved production of the D800 to Thailand I think. I may be wrong here.