The post that I never thought I would write is here. After being a loyal customer of Nikon since 2002 when I purchased the D100 (their initial foray into digital SLRs), I am saying goodbye. I have bought almost every one of their DSLRs since then, including the D200, D300, D300s and D700 and, through it all, these cameras traveled the world with me. I have also loved and enjoyed the great Nikon lenses that went along with them.
You might ask why, after all of these years, have I decided to move away from Nikon? There are several reasons that led into this decision, but one of the most important ones is that I believe that Nikon has moved away from me. I am not a professional photographer. I consider myself a serious and passionate enthusiast. I bought the D700 back in 2008, and it is my favorite camera ever. Over the past several years, I have waited patiently for Nikon's introduction of it's replacement in vain. Sure, they have introduced cameras that didn't meet the specs of the D700 (the D600 and D610), and ones that exceeded the specs but were a different camera altogether (D800), but, in my opinion, I am still waiting. I have the distinct impression that a replacement is not in their plans - it has been 6 years and counting.
I am not one to come this decision lightly, as I have invested tons of money into Nikon's spectacular glass, but once I make a decision, I don't look back. One of the reasons I am posting this today is that I have just sold all of my Nikon glass except for the 28-300mm that I plan to keep along with my D700. Some of the best lenses that I had owned are gone, including the 20-70mm 2.8, the 80-200mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 16-35mm 4.0. I think that at the peak, I owned 12 Nikon lenses, and now I am down to one. Even if a D700 replacement comes out tomorrow, I am done. I may someday sell the D700 and my last lens, but right now there is too much sentimentality attached to it. The great news about selling the lenses is that they really held their value, proving how great their glass is.
So where am I going? A couple of years ago, I sold my D300s (which was my backup camera,) and bought the Sony NEX-7 and a couple of lenses. I liked what Sony was doing, and, more importantly, I loved how small and light it was. It became my everyday carry-around lens. Since I travel a great deal, it also helped packing for trips, as airplane storage is getting smaller and smaller, and lugging around a boatload of equipment was getting too heavy and tedious. Earlier this year, I bought the Sony A7 when it was introduced, and have shot a lot with it. I am extremely happy with it, but the downside is their lack of full frame lenses. They are slowly introducing their full frame lineup, so I am sure that I will get comfortable with the new lenses when they come out.
In the meantime, I wanted to try out another camera system in case the Sony doesn't work out. After doing a lot of reading and research, I came to the conclusion that the Fuji XT-1 system was worth a try. So, with the proceeds from my lens sales, I have turned around and bought it. The XT-1 has a pretty good lens portfolio, and I know that many photographers that I know rave about it. I haven't shot with it yet, but plan to do so shortly. In short, I am covering my bases here. I have two systems that I believe are and will be winners, and if one of them turns out to fall short for my type of photography, I can always sell it.
In summary, Nikon and I had a great run. I do think they have lost their way with the enthusiast market, but I can only come to that conclusion based on my own needs. Other enthusiasts may be totally happy with Nikon and have a long relationship with them going forward. For me, I can't wait to go on my next trip and not have my shoulder feel like it is ready to fall off. My next task is to inventory all of the accessories, my numerous Think Tank bags and start to list them for sale.