Nikon failures

I’ve been a Nikon user for quite a few years now and I do not have any complaints about the quality of their equipment. Lately though, I’ve had more than one complaint about their service. It all started late last year when the D200 was announced. At first, I was exceptionally excited because I had been looking to upgrade my D100 and wasn’t really liking my options (less expensive D70, or more expensive D2x) — this was perfect timing for me. After nearly 3 years of service from my D100, I was going to be able to upgrade to the D200. Unfortunately, Nikon has done a fine job of squasing my excitement.

Nikon’s first mistake: Announce a highly anticipated new product, but not have enough quantity on hand. The initial ship date that I heard was that the D200 would be available early December 2005. So I waited and waited. When Christmas rolled around and I had heard of only a handful of D200 shipping, I got a little disappointed. When I finally got my D200 in April of 2006, I was totally shocked that they could take that long (5 months), and there is still a shortage of D200s.

Nikon’s second mistake: Have a limited stock of accessories for a product which is already difficult to get a hold of. Ok, great, I have my D200, but I can’t buy a second battery for it because they are backordered too. Even though the D100 had superb battery capacity, I always like to have a backup just in case and this is even more important because Nikon also dropped the ball in terms of battery consumption (see mistake #3 below).

Nikon’s third mistake: Take two steps forward and one giant stumble backwards. I am excited about nearly every new feature that the D200 has. It’s faster, smarter, and more customizable than my D100. But what the hell happened to the battery consumption? I can go weeks without having to charge my batteries in the D100, but I can’t even make it through an entire day with my one EN-EL3E battery (remember, I can’t get another one because nobody has them in stock — Mistake #2). Nikon claims that you can capture up to 1800 images on one battery charge with the D200, but during my first wedding with the D200, I got less than 700 — and I wasn’t even using the built-in flash!

So what do I do? I’ve got 4 Nikon lenses, a couple of Flashes, etc. Do I just suck it up and accept that Nikon can pull my strings like this? For now I’m going to have to because I just can’t afford the switch to Canon. But I can tell you this much, Nikon has bitten me once and I will be very shy about investing more money into their products unless they can prove that this won’t happen again. I love my Nikon equipment, but I’m not willing to put up with BS to use it.

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