Nikon's NX Field System

Nikon has partly announced something they call the NX Field System. Why do I say "partly announced"? Because there are costs and back-to-Nikon firmware updates involved that haven't been disclosed yet. Nor is it clear that the system is truly available today, even though the NX Field System user manual is publicly available. (Update: Nikon now says it will be available starting June 17th for the D5 and D6.)

But D5 and D6 users should soon be able to use this new triggering and remote software system.

Let's start with triggering: the NX Field System connects up to 11 cameras via either Ethernet (LAN) or Wi-Fi (WT-5 or WT-6 only). Ethernet is preferred (and that's repeated several times in the manual, which means that Nikon really means it ;~). You can trigger multiple cameras via either a Master camera or via a mobile device (iPhone or iPad only at present). 

Moving on, we also have automatic uploading (via FTP) to servers, synchronization of camera clocks, setting adjustments for remote cameras, previewing of remote cameras, reviewing images stored on remote cameras, and defining groups of cameras, with more capabilities likely in the future.

Nikon seems to be initially promoting the NX Field System through NPS (Nikon Professional Services), and that's likely due to the complexity of setup. If you haven't configured an FTP server or wired networks before, you may need some handholding to get through all the possible complexities. Things like NAT Traversal add additional layers of complexity that might limit what you can do, too.

While Nikon demonstrated NX Field System with several sports examples (both indoor and outdoor), it obviously is a system that could be used for events, weddings, and more. That said, if you don't have real venue access—e.g. the ability to set up and wire LAN connections to your cameras—you might find that NX Field System isn't the right solution for you in the short term. 

Commentary: can't say that the roll-out of NX Field System has been exactly confidence building. It seems like the cart is before the horse here, as details slowly leak out for something that was already announced. I suspect this is another of those things that was being readied for the Tokyo Olympics that Nikon felt they had to announce before people discovered it was available to use there. 

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