Most of you know about Nikon's recent overly complicated lens survey, which I reported on towards the end of last year. This week, Nikon has been asking some registered users of various products quick questions.
"When using your Nikon D800, do you shoot mostly Video or Still Photos?" The possible responses are: Only Video, Mostly Video + Some Stills, An even balance of Video & Stills, Mostly Stills + Some Video, Only Stills:
Or, if you registered a PC-E lens and have signified that you're an architectural photographer, the one-question email survey from Nikon NPS you might get goes like this: "The line now includes 24mm, 45mm and 85mm Perspective control lenses that have tilt and shift. We would like the opinion of Architectural photographers like yourself, as to the need for something wider than 24mm and in particular what focal length would be most valuable for that wide approach to shooting. Our competitors have introduced a 17mm perspective control lens but we are hearing feedback that 17mm might be too wide and too susceptible to flair from lighting in interior shots. I would like to solicit some advice on the subject. Would you please take a moment and drop me an email with your thoughts."
So what's with all these questions from Nikon all of the sudden?
I think a lot of it is normal long-term planning, though some is obviously trying to figure out whether to follow through on some previous plans. Basically, when a new pro generation comes out (the D4 in 2012, for example), Nikon's top engineering teams start a new process of trying to figure out what the next generation should be like and why (e.g. the D5 in 2016). According to my notes, there were a fair number of similar surveys in early 2008, six months after the D3 appeared, too (I guess we all answered them wrong, as I don't remember telling them to make one of the slots a new card type shared by no other camera ;~).
In other words, Nikon looks to customers every pro cycle to check for possible course corrections, or things that they didn't quite see themselves. I think all this surveying is not a sign of Nikon suddenly becoming interested in user perspective, but mostly their usual cycle of soliciting user feedback.
It does seem that there are more questions this time, and maybe more surveys, too.
Two things: (1) register your Nikon products. That's where Nikon is getting the people to survey. (2) if asked to fill out a survey, do so. It really is the best way to get your wants, needs, and comments looked at in the next long-term planning cycle