Nikon Asks: Which FX Do You Want?

(news & commentary)

Briefly this weekend NikonUSA sent an email with a short survey to what was probably an nth-name selection of their registered user base. That survey got shared on a lot of sites and via email, and NikonUSA took it down fairly quickly, probably because once you no longer have clear nth-name from a population, you have no predictability to that population from the survey results. 

In other words, Nikon wanted to know something from its registered user base. It sent survey emails to a subset of that user base and would have been able to predict to the entire population if it hadn’t been for those folk that decided that this was a great time for everyone to tell Nikon what they thought and re-posted the survey.

Of course, Nikon brought that on themselves. The fact that there is exactly ZERO ways to tell Nikon anything these days, the minute that someone discovers any conduit that might get heard, the dissatisfied subset of the Nikon DSLR user base will pounce on it and broadcast it to others on the Web. And in so doing, they’ll end up invalidating actual useful information that Nikon might have obtained. If Nikon only had a place that users could actually post their comments, criticisms, wish lists, etc., this usurping of surveys probably wouldn’t take place. So, to those of you at Nikon reading this: it’s your own fault. If you want to do statistically valid surveying, you’re going to have to learn to listen to customers first. 

So what did Nikon want to learn?

  • What Nikon DSLR you currently own
  • What previous DSLR did you own
  • What format DSLR would you upgrade to in the next 12 months (DX or FX)
  • Which of the current Nikon DSLRs would you consider upgrading to
  • Why you’d choose that current model
  • Where you purchased your Nikon DSLR
  • What would get you to consider purchasing another DSLR
  • What types of photos you take
  • How often  you upgrade your DSLR
  • Why you wouldn’t consider upgrading from DX to FX
  • Your gender
  • Your age

Quite a few of you wrote to me citing that you felt that the survey was FX centric. It was the final camera question about why you wouldn’t consider upgrading from DX to FX that seemed to have captured most people’s attention, apparently. I didn’t quite get that same feeling, though I have a suspicion about what this survey was trying to get at. 

Nikon generally tends to do this type of survey just prior to launching something where they’re still trying to figure out how many of this product they will sell (and thus how many they need to produce, and how fast they have to produce them, which can shift introduction dates). The next launch window is typically August, so the timing of this survey supports trying to figure out launch quantities of something. What that something is, is of course the $64,000 question. 

Given the FX question towards the end, you might suspect that this possible new camera is FX. Moreover, you might suspect that Nikon thinks that it might appeal to current DX users. Hmmm. A high megapixel FX camera that might be near 24mp at DX crop? (The recently rumored D850/D900.)

Of course, the survey isn’t quite designed to give good answers, though perhaps Nikon, through experience, thinks that the answers tell them something useful. Which makes me want to partially replicate Nikon’s survey, with some slight twists. 

So if you’re up to it, here’s the byThom version of the Nikon DSLR survey for you to take: Thom’s Nikon DSLR Survey. Let’s see what Nikon DSLR you really want to update to.

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