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Just released Nikon D2X

dirk

CI-Founder
Nikon announced today the D2X with 12.4 MP, 5fps. If you switch to a lower resolution, you can shoot even with 8fps!

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prices not yet available
 
I

innocent

Yes indeed prices for the d2x is still not available and date of release not confirmed. Nikon says sometime in Jan 2005. My patient is running out.
Does anyone have a better info about this D2x which Canon has already dwarfed with the 1DsMkII. If I were the end user of my photos even a D70 will do but the agencies are getting more picky.
By the way Larry, I should have listened to you with regards to the D2H, that was money down the drain in my case- black frames, high noise level at ISO 800 and over, consistent underexposure, over saturation of colour and the low pixel count doesn't help aswell for nature and architecture photography.
Has anyone in this forum laid his hands on the D2x? Opinion is sought please
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
I try to keep my ear close to the ground, and I have heard no movement of D2X cameras yet. I don't think even reviewers have their hands on production models so far. Certainly no reports of any store having any hint of when they will ship in quantity. There is speculation that they may ship as soon as March, but that could be nothing more than a wild guess.

As you have discovered, resolution is not everything. If Nikon does it well, the D2X may be a decent competitor to Canon's flagship. It may well be priced considerably less, so may actually be more value for the money. Unfortunately for landscape and architecture, Nikon has settled upon the DX sensor, making superwides a problem. My 28mm PC-Nikkor architectural shift-lens becomes a totally useless 42mm lens in effect. I will stick with Coolpix models for the old 19mm and the new 18mm equivalent lenses for this reason, if nothing else.

I expect that most digital cameras are set up at the factory to have colours on the bright side, and expose to protect highlights. Sony is notorious for this - believing that when a shopper sees the hot colours in the Sony monitor compared to the more natural colours in the others, they will be tempted to the Sony.

Underexposure is your friend as much with digital cameras as it is with Kodachrome. Both are unforgiving of over-exposure. Once you blow a highlight - it is gone forever. No amount of Photoshop skill can bring it back. However, much detail can be recovered from the shadow end, specially with RAW exposures.

I still have not traded my CP5000, and there are menu items where I can tailor both my exposure and my colour to taste. Certainly any professional level camera such as the D2H would have similar settings. I have biased my camera to protect my highlights except when I am bracketing to encompass a contrast range beyond photographic capabilities. I then combine the shots in Photoshop to gain the highlights from the darker shots and the shadow detail from the otherwise washed out shots. It is a technique that works incredibly well.
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I have also found that I much prefer sharpening in Photoshop to any sharpening I have seen from any camera or scanner for that matter. I have chosen to mute my colours when shooting, and use saturation in processing to nail them to exactly what I want. Thus my average image as it comes from the camera is dark, soft with dull colours. Given this image, I can produce the highest quality possible.

Since I live with wide angles, neither the D2H or D2X will do what I need. I will move to the CP8400 as soon as the accessories I want are available locally. Yes, it is a compact digital, but serves my needs far better than a dSLR. I am not willing to compromise my images just to get to use my legacy glass again.

larry!
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ICQ 76620504
 
I

innocent

Thanks Larry for your prompt response. Yes there are settings in the D2h, but I thought that the whole idea of using "a near zero shutter lag pro auto camera" is to save you the trouble of shooting, more or less in manual mode most of the time if you want to get the exposure and colour setting right.

I was begining to wonder if dslr is for me particulary for landscape work till I saw some shots made with 1DsMII where the sky apeared like it should be not muted as with the D2h. But for the cost and time of processing slides or even negatives, my choice would have been obvious- shoot with film and slides only for everything.

My Agency demands that images be exmined at 100% min for any spec of dust or scratch and it should be very sharp, even for portraits. I was just wondering whether the QCs ever knew about softning filters for nature and portraiture. Pls take a look at my shots : http:
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, some or all of these shots are probably not good for the agency, in that they are either not sharp or have some dust or scratches. The images were shot with slide film or negative. Let me have your views.
As I strive to improve on my photography, if I should be concentrating on sharpness rather than composition and representation of the world around me, my interest in photography will be short lived. Pls advise. I am on my way to acquire the d70 for this agency as the camera is in their recommended list, and I will do exactly as they instruct and hope for the best. I deserve to sell some images to compensate for my expensive gears!!
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
Sir Arthur C. Clark is frequently quoted saying "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Literature from old myths and fairye tales, through Disney's "Fantasia" to modern works of fantasy have the theme of the naive person who gets their hands upon magic without fully understanding the consequences. The result is inevitably some level of disaster. So it is when one acquires an advanced contemporary camera. To work miracles, this magic must be both deeply understood and carefully controlled.

When one is shooting with a large format view camera and using a hand-held meter, there is little magic and one must thoroughly think through what the goal of the image is and the all steps necessary to achieve it. Nothing is left to chance, and if no step is forgotton in the complexity of using one of these devices, the result will exactly match the shooter's previsualization. Composition, focus, depth of field, subject movement and every other aspect of image creation is consciously pondered and applied. It may cost upwards of $20US every time you trip the shutter. A lag of minutes - not split seconds.

All auto-focus can do is seek contrasty edges in a mass of blur. If the subject is a soft furry woodland creature, it will lock onto a tree where there is a strong contrasty line with the background.

Auto exposure tries for an average of the light coming through the lens. Automated cameras frustrate owners of black dogs, photographed in normal sunlit surroundings. When the light is averaged, there is zero detail in the dog's fur. A singer spot-lit in a nightclub against a black background will be transparent white, as the camera tries to boost the exposure to an average grey. See "Raven"
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Owners of HP point-and-shoots complain that the auto white balance is so powerful that it is impossible to shoot a sunset. All the colour is corrected to normal daylight colour values.

The problem with automation is that there is no way for the camera to tap into the processes going on the the right hemisphere of the shooter's brain. If the shooter believes that magic has intelligence, disaster will soon follow. If one understands the nature of the automated magic, one can forestall disaster and use the immense image creation power it puts in one's hands. However, one must be even more cognizant of the circumstances than the view camera shooter. If you understand what the camera is trying to do, you will know when to over-ride it.

I live by the histogram. Unless I am shooting a flatly lit normal scene with no extra bright or extra dark details, I shot a test shot and immediately hit review and view my histogram - then use exposure compensation to nail my exposure. My next camera will have a real-time live histogram on the view screen whenever I need it, so the test shot will not be necessary. It also tells me when to bracket and combine. See
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When I find myself in a situation where there is no way on earth that the camera can find a proper white balance, I shoot on RAW and use a similar technique to the above to individually deal with areas of the picture in terms of colour balance and contrast. This may involve opening and re-opening the image file three or four times, using layers and masks to achieve a final corrected image. For a shot done in an environment lit almost exclusively by dark neon, but with fine skin tones in spite of the lighting see "Sharing an Image"
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I am also keenly aware of my depth of field, and know that with the focal lengths I deal with for the most part, I can allow the camera time enough to focus "close enough". Depth of field will be sufficient to produce a sharp shot. See "From Pansy to Infinity"
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This is really very important when doing "decisive moment" shooting. I am aware of the content of the picture as well and use area focus and exposure linked to pick the spot where I want the camera to both focus and read for proper exposure. This has allowed me to do series of identically exposed images that are both sharp and involve split second timing in order to assemble images embedding a time element and developing story line into a singe picture. See
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By viewing the images and studying text in the above ex&les, you will see that in all cases I took control of the magic and made it work with consistently positive results. I learned this through constant practice and testing. None of it is innate or intuitive. None of these shots were with a state-of-the-art dSLR, but with high-end prosumer Coolpix cameras the CP990 and CP5000, both of which are remarkably capable devices.

Learning to use an automated camera is no less demanding than learning to use a totally manual large-format view camera. In many ways, the learning curve is more formidable. There is no camera out there with intelligent magic that can grasp what the photographer is seeking. Putting one's faith in the systems embodied in these devices is certan disaster.

It is the photographer - not the the camera - who creates the image.

larry!
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ICQ 76620504
 
I

innocent

There's little doubt that experience combined with mastering the instrument you work with produces great results in any field of endeavour. Larry, some of those shots from your site are unbelievably outstanding for the coolPix cameras. The sky is so well defined.

The art of photography as I understand it to be requires great skill - techinical and artistic but that is not to say that the instrument you employ to acieve great results does not matter because IMHO it does to a great extent. A lens that is hunted with all sorts of optical distortions remains so even in the hands of A Bailey, so does a dslr sensor that is flawed ab-initio will not create any better result than its level of performance. With a film camera, you have the choice of changing the films untill you find the one that suits your requirement but with digital camera you are stuck with sensor that came with it (and the lens for the compact range).

While photoshop and other similar softwares are abound, I just don't like the idea of altering or over manipulating my images. I try to represent the world the way I percieve it at the point in time- a realist or purist, the old Rubens and Rainbrandt school if you wish. To this end I try to use the most optimum tools that are available- high quality lens and camera body. When I used to paint or draw, I never compromised with my pens and or brushes or the pigments themselves. The tools of the trade must be of the highest quality you can afford.
The unfortunate thing about photography as it seems to be practiced currently is that the many entrants never had any grounding or appreciation for arts, and so they seem to be limited to technical aspects of photography. Rarely if ever, do you commonly find any discussion forum where the art of photography is a main issue. All what you read ( and I do read them with interest, sometimes with amusement other times with amazement) is about what gear, image doctoring and so forth. I am looking forward to the day when an opponent is going to present photographic evidence in Court, on that day I will redicule such evidence to the point that future photographic evidences will be admitted with a pinch of salt till the law in this area is changed, then we can thank our layering, masking, etc Doctors for that.

Oh BTW I have changed my mind about the D70, it just didn't feel right in my hands. I have no doubt that it might be a very capable camera but I don't do half measure. I will be posting more photos to my website so everyone is welcome to visit and please comment on the images ( constructive comments only !!!)
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. Have a pleasant weekend everyone.
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
> Posted by Innocent (Innocent) on Sunday, December 12, 2004 - 12:14 am:

> its level of performance. With a film camera, you have the choice of > changing the films untill you find the one that suits your requirement > but with digital camera you are stuck with sensor that came with it > (and the lens for the compact range). > Exactly. Which is why only minutes back ago I ordered a new Nikon CP8400. It takes the basics that made the CP5000 ideal for my work and extended and refined them. Realize there is no perfect camera. Every camera - just as every image - is a series of compromises.

The key is to define one's photographic goals and match the hardware to them. Until the CP8400 came on the market, there was no camera AT ANY PRICE that had the unique combination of features of the CP5k. I would not trade it for a D2X or a 1Ds, since neither of these cameras meet my needs. The definition of needs MUST preced the acquisition.

I have perhaps a dozen film cameras that were used over the years of my career. None were bought at random and each was bought after extensive research to solve a clearly definable photographic problem. In each case they gave me a specific edge. My WideLuxe panoramic camera was paid for on its first assignment, as was my PC-Nikkor shift-lens, 600mm solid cat made by Perkin-Elmer the makers of the Hubble Space Telescope and so on. Editors and art directors were particularly fond of using WideLuxe shots as double page spreads.
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> While photoshop and other similar softwares are abound, I just don't > like the idea of altering or over manipulating my images. > represent the world the way I percieve it at the point in time- a > realist or purist, the old Rubens and Rainbrandt school if you wish.

Corrupt thinking.

In 1826 Joseph Nicéphore Niépce after five years of experimentation finally found a method for fixing a photographic image so it would not immediately fade. Though experimentation had gone on for decades before, this was the key discovery that made the medium viable. Nearly a decade later in 1835, William Henry Fox Talbot succeeded in creating a paper negative and making a positive print in a way similar to the way it is done with film today. Over the next century and a quarter, for EVERY image shot on film, the darkroom was where the life was breathed into the print. It is in this interpretive stage that an exposure becomes a Photograph.

I assume by your above statement that were you shooting film, you would be running around showing your unprocessed negatives, hoping to convince people you are a "purist". Nothing could be further from the truth.

As you may or may not know, the great photographer and teacher Ansel Adams very nearly became a concert pianist instead of a photographer. Using a musical metaphor he said "The exposure is the score, but the print is the performance." With the web, we have a medium that Ansel was unable to experience, but whether the image is presented in analogue or digital form, the need for a finished image is equally important.

It is on location where one gathers the best raw materials, but it is in processing where the art is created. During processing you have the leisure to contemplate what it was that moved you to capture the image, and it is at this time that you infuse your image with the beauty and emotion that inspired you. Ideas are captured with the camera, but the art is in the processing of these ideas.

An unprocessed image is simply raw materials - no different from the fresh eggs, best flour and other quality ingredients that will become an epicure's banquet. As a great chef blends these materials, seasons and cooks to perfection, so does the photographer in the darkroom. I would no more share an unprocessed image than I would feed an honoured guest raw eggs and flour. On the shoot, one tries to get a starting image that will not require major corrections, only interpretation. Rotten ingredients will not make for happy diners - except in Victorian England where the "goose hangs high".

Showing an unprocessed image is to show contempt for your viewers. It certainly means that you are no photographer. It is as if Rubens and Rembrant flaunted tubes of oil colour and raw canvas and called themselves artists. No, you are not a purist - you are a slacker that does half a job and makes excuses. You seek cameras, hoping there will be a magic one to overcome your lack of ambition and skill. No wonder you are having problems with your agency. Just as Rubens and Rembrant worked in their studios realizing their visions at the easel, so does the photographer in the darkroom - no matter whether it is a fume-room or Photoshop.

> To this end I try to use the most optimum tools that are available- > high quality lens and camera body. When I used to paint or draw, I > never compromised with my pens and or brushes or the pigments > themselves. The tools of the trade must be of the highest quality you > can afford.

And the artist must have the skills to use them. The greatest bowed-string instruments ever made, came from early 18th century Cremona. However, handing a Stradivarius to a first year fiddle student would accomplish nothing. It takes someone of the stature of an Itzak Perlman to reveal the secrets of these instruments. A Stradivarius does not make music, but a great fiddle player does - and only after many years of study and constant practice. On the other hand Itzak could take a cheap student fiddle and move the souls of marble statues. Great tools ONLY give the edge to great artists.

> The unfortunate thing about photography as it seems to be practiced > currently is that the many entrants never had any grounding or > appreciation for arts, and so they seem to be limited to technical > aspects of photography. Rarely if ever, do you commonly find any > discussion forum where the art of photography is a main issue.

This is primarily a camera-hardware forum. I have inherited a venerable forum going back to FidoNet days where photographers on many levels hang out with their own kind. It really is not so much about photography as it is about life from a photographer's perspective. Nothing is off-topic and sometimes it seems the subject wanders quite distant from photography specifically, but on closer examination it is photography. For a photographer, life and photography are one and the same.

We do a lot of visual communication as well. Photos may be attached to messages and there is a files area where we share our - generally - personal work. The group is exceedingly collegial, and unique on the Internet. While the earliest members may go back a decade and a half, new members are warmly welcomed.
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> I am looking forward to the day when an > opponent is going to present photographic evidence in Court, on that > day I will redicule such evidence to the point that future > photographic evidences will be admitted with a pinch of salt till the > law in this area is changed, then we can thank our layering, masking, > etc Doctors for that.

Again corrupt thinking.

Darkroom magic was not invented by Adobe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did "sprit photography" double printing all manner of etherial critters into his prints. As early as 1857 Oscar Gustave Rejlander, a Swedish painter/photographer living in England exhibited an allegorical image emulating a painting and made up of no less than 30 separate exposures combined into a single print - "The Morality Lesson". Julia Margaret Cameron following in the style of the Pre-Raphaelites created highly romantic fictions on the urging of her neighbor Alfred Lord Tennison.

The publisher of a newspaper I shot for was in a feud with the mayor of the city, and declared he did not exist - as far as his paper was concerned. We always photographed him on the edge of the picture so he could be cut out. Many of my pictures have similarly been cropped by editors in ways that have completely changed the meaning of the shot. I have had a number of montages assigned to illustrate a feature where all the masking was done with a regular enlarger in the darkroom. Some quite striking. There is little that I can do in Photoshop that I can not do as well in the fume-room. Photographs may not lie, but shooters have been doing so for many years.

If you think that photo manipulation began with Photoshop, you are at least a century and a half out of touch with reality.

> Oh BTW I have changed my mind about the D70, it just didn't feel right > in my hands. I have no doubt that it might be a very capable camera > but I don't do half measure.

Again, hoping for a camera to save you. Forget about the ultimate camera until you have the shooting and processing skills to be able to use it fully. To do otherwise is simply to squander money for no purpose. Take the time to master the fundamentals of shooting and processing. You don't need a state of the art camera to do this until you gain state of the art skills.

Looking at your work, I see a promising eye, but a lack of depth and fluency in the medium. There is a bit of a one-hour lab blandness in your presentations. This is not the camera's fault - it is a lack of follow through and understanding. Your images are working against you. You need to move beyond the snapshot - and that will only come from practice - not a new camera.

And, yes - learn Photoshop fluently. Your images desperately need it.

larry!
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ICQ 76620504
 
I

innocent

<<And, yes - learn Photoshop fluently. Your images desperately need it. .>>

Yes I am in the process. I should have thought that a photographer's objective is to correctly capture the reality with his camera and without resorting to over-manipulation of images in the darkroom or using a software. You will agree that if an object is correctly framed, distractions eliminated, exposure set correctly when shooting, using very fine optics, hours of work in the darkroom or in photoshop will be minimsed (except of course, for those whose objective is to misrepresent the reality-( " Corrupt photgraphers"!!).

Any additional knowledge or perfection of it will not hurt and that includes software manipulation of images. However if the manipulation is such that it alters the character of the image as it was being photographed then, I wonder whether it can be justified because images had been historically or otherwise doctored in the darkroom and or in-camera.

I am afraid, most of your analogies too many to mention, are way out of context . Processing a film in the lab for an ex&le, in my view is not the same as doctoring an image in-camera or in any software. You certainly do know what a processed film is. Take a well exposed slide for an ex&le (see attached image), viewed through a projector and not multi-layered in camera, such is my acceptable level of image manipulation.

You may call it anything other than realism or purism, but my principle cannot be swayed. I will not even airbrush a portrait shot to make it more pleasing to some. A Adams as you quoted talked about exposure and the technique of printing images, this in my view is far from altering the character of the image or putting it another way misrepresentation of reality. I would have tought that Adam will burn and dodge images, push proces as required in the darkroom, set his exposure such that the reality is represented through the medium of photography and no more. He may also use pencil to remove scratches which were not in scene in the first place but not embedding the head of G Bush on Tower bridge (taking it to the extreme) in his darkroom or the like.

My ex&le:


On the whole, Larry, I think I am going to learn a lot, not only about photography from you by the look of it. I will certainly take some of your advises into consideration, particularly about improving my photography techniques in parallel with my tuition from NYIP.
 
I am thankful that not all photographers feel and think the way you do. I find pleasure and get enjoyment from a “historically or otherwise doctored in the darkroom and or in-camera†photograph. If that were the case then we would not have painters, sculptors and other artists as such. If your purpose is to exactly capture the moment and will not settle for less then that is your right and should be your goal. A great picture is to be cherished, but if we can gain pleasure from the not so great, we should be able to do that too. And not dismiss it as yesterday’s garbage.

However, others like myself enjoy all the creativity that photographs can bring. We live in a country where we have the right to disagree and I respect your opinion. I just have a different one.
 

f8lee

Active Member
> Innocent wrote: > Yes I am in the process. I should have thought that a photographer's objective is to correctly capture the reality with his camera and without resorting to over-manipulation of images in the darkroom or using a software. >

I will venture to interject here, if only to point out that your definition of a photographer's objective is rather limited. I would say that one's objective is to get onto a viewable medium that picture that was already in the photographer's "mind's eye". That is, the best photos (certainly the art-iest) are those which the creator had envisioned some time before (sometimes long before) committing the image to film/chip/paper/screen. The craft of photography is the knowing of how to get it from inside your head to a point where others can view and, hopefully, enjoy it. Which lens to use, what lighting, filters, etc. etc. ad nauseam, all serve only as means of putting that image, that combination of line and color, shade and hue, etc. in a format that outsiders can see.

So, to the point of "how much manipulation is acceptable" - the answer is, as much as one needs - and that's partly because there is no way for you NOT to manipulate the image. You view a scene (in London, say) and decide that this looks nice. You then select a lens (wide angle? Ultra wide? Telephoto?) which right off the bat will have a different perspective than your mammalian eye/brain/sight machine. Should you opt for a polarized filter, you will have changed that view yet further. If you use a slow shutter speed, perhaps to cause the ripples on the Thames to blur together into a soft reflective pool, then you have again done some manipulation.

Of course, you do all of those things with some image in mind, something that you would like others to see (perhaps to appreciate the view as you do, perhaps to impress them, whatever). Ansel's dodging and burning were merely more tools to counteract some of the limitations of the medium, no? After all, the human seeing machine has a far greater dynamic range (for a variety of reasons not important here) that does film/paper or CCD chip - so no matter what you do if you really want to recreate what it is you saw you will have to "manipulate" the system. I believe it was Larry's website where he explains how to use two copies of the same shot - one exposed for the highlights and the other for the shadow details - and layer one on the other to get the best of both. Is this a manipulation? Certainly. Is it necessary if you want a representation that is accurate to what your eyes would see in the same place at the same time? Absolutely.

So, Innocent, I think you need to recognize that no matter what you do, you are doing some manipulation. And given the inherent limitations of any mechanical image-capturing system, you will need to do some amount of changes/fixes to bring the final result into alignment with what you had originally envisioned.

BobF
 

tom_rains

Active Member
> Guys, what do all these messages have to do with the D2x? I am looking in earnest for info on this camera, after having used the D70 for some time now. I wish that you would stick to the subject matter and go to another topic to continue non-D2x discussions.

Thanks >
 

jim_c

Member
No kidding Tom
Enough of the long winded sermons. Photography might be a calling but it's not a religion. I went into photography for it's artistic outlet too but while reading some of these posts I actually heard angels singing. By the way I use a D2h and think it's great because it does everything I need it to. I can wait for the D2x.

Jim C
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
My bad. I am so bloody contrite. After a life in photography, I had assumed that cameras had some vague association with photography. A friend just messaged me that there is a UseNet group for you guys to log onto~

alt.fetish.cameras.autoertocism.jerk.click.jerk.click

Sorry for the intrusion about photography - back to hardware worship.
 

jim_c

Member
A friend emailed me a site for you to go to also

alt.babble.pontificate.talk.babble.jerkit.talksomemore.andjerkitagain

But that doesn't leave any time to click.
 
I

innocent

Some good news. For some of you guys who are considering an upgrade, the D2H is now under $2000 ($1850, see A&M Photoworld).

On the D2X. I am hoping that the D2X will be my ideal camera not because it has more pixel count, but primarily it will have a more efficient CMOS sensor as advertised. I will be expecting such sensors to have a min of 3X latitude of any existing dslr otherwise I may only subscribe to it for the sake of fellowship. What do guys think?
 
J

Jward

Innocent,
The D2H has not dropped in price. This place also sells the D2X for $9999.00....Need I say more.......
John
 

jim_c

Member
That's a $1400. price drop. That does make it more desirable with the price of the D2x being at least $5000. or more. The D2h does have the LBCast sensor that is a new type developed by Nikon which does help with enlarging prints. It's hard not to just think of the numbers when your talking about pixels. Are those low prices on the D2h grey market. I was fooled into thinking I could ge the D2h for $2400. when it came out. The salesman on the phone said "what do you think we give them away. sure it's grey".
 

jim_c

Member
That's Henry Posner from B&H. He is on a few photography lists and is a good person to contact if you have any problems with B&H service. I decided to go with the grey market Nikon 85 1.4 lens because I saved significant money and it's a prime lens. I figured it didn't have too many moving parts and would be less likly to break or need repairs. When I buy zoom lenses I always buy USA. It's not a very scientific plan but I guess I have been intimidated by the Nikon scare tactics about only buying USA warrantied products. In the past it was put out there that if it was grey nobody including Nikon would fix it. You don't know what to believe. There are stories from different lists that give conflicting info on peoples experiences on what will happen if you buy grey and it breaks. You should be able to get a Mack Camera warranty that will cover anything you buy. I have a USA camera body that's covered by Nikon but did get the Mack coverage too.
JC
 
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