why nikon d850 failed

Why Nikon D850 Failed To Connect With Indian Photographers?

Nikon launched its new D850 full frame dslr camera last evening in India. I was also present in the august gathering at Delhi. The senior officials from Nikon Inc. explained all the features in details. Mr. Dabboo Ratnani (Fashion Photographer) and Mr. Raghu Rai (Padam Awardee Photo-journalist) were invited as chief guests. They shared their feelings towards this magnificent camera. I wonder! Why no photographer from wildlife and sports photography were invited to have a discussion over Nikon D850? When Nikon India is targetting these photography sections also.

why nikon d850 failed

Nikon D850 Official Launching At Hyatt, Delhi.

Raghu Rai said out of joy “Nikon need not to manufacture anymore DSLR after D850…As it is a complete piece of machine now.” Truly, It is a fantastic product. The product launching videos were shown to the Indian photographers. No doubt, It was a great affair. I also tried my hands on D850 after the official launch. I believe, D850 would be a great tool which will enhance workflow of the photographers. It can help your imagination to execute it in a close reality.

Nikon called on the famous photographers around the world like Jerry Ghionis, Luke Austin, Marsel Van Oosten and Little Shao. They tested their hands on this new magical camera. The results and efforts shown by these renowned photographers were commendable in launching videos. But many photographers in the auditorium could not connect with these product launching videos and stills of D850.  Why so?

I leave aside the landscape, sports and wildlife photography. Street photography has been my area of interest for several years. Now, I shoot weddings majorly. The weddings in the West are a day affair. But it is a night affair in India. Major part of indian weddings take place during nights only. When I see the pictures shot by Jerry, It is a picture made in a well lit and controlled environment.

why nikon d850 failed

Copyright: Jerry Ghionis

why nikon d850 failed

Jerry Ghionis shooting on Nikon D850 in daylight.

Indian wedding photographers are not this much lucky every time. Indian weddings are a huge unorganized but a beautiful affair. The baarat (guests) which is ushered into the pandaal (venue), is lit by lamps and lights. This light is not enough to get correct exposure. ISO turns very handy and useful in such situations. Many times these lamps are carried on shoulders or dragged on trolly by daily wagers. The direction of light keep shifting from one point to another.

siddharthmalkania-SMP_1413

Lamps used in the Indian weddings.

Such lighting situations are a challenge for indian wedding photographers who work on ambient light. Born and brought up with the diversity of indian culture, how he/she can connect with a wedding portrait from the West? Such photo can barely give a pause to any indian wedding photographer. He only sees a nice backlight and round shaped bokeh. It gives a wow feeling. But does he/she get emotionally connected with it?

why nikon d850 failed

Nikon could have showcased the pictures from indian wedding industry. I wonder, why it did not? Just because, they wanted the same product launching globally? Well time has changed now! Sabyasachi has broken this stereotype showcasing. He started adding brown-skin beauty to its couture and collection. We all know, brides feel well-connected to his collections. It is all about valuing your target audience.

The Photo From Sabyasachi Heritage Bridal Collection. Such photos are well connected with Indian Wedding photographers.

The Photo From Sabyasachi Heritage Bridal Collection.

Everyone is spellbound by the beauty of Japan. It is a must-visit country before you die. When I was in tokyo, I used to see pictures of Cherry Blossom Season or Shibuya Crossing or Shinjuku Shrine or Fuji san every where in camera stores. I saw more pictures of Tokyo Tower than Eiffel Tower in stores there. Though, both the towers are identically same. Why?

 

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower: An official broadcast tower of Japan.

 

cherry blossom in tokyo

Cherry Blossom Season In Japan

Natives from Japan gets connected with the photos from their land. These places and events showcase their culture. People have memories related to them. Such beautiful memories connect emotionally with photographers more faster. This feeling gives a push to photographers.

For instance, I see Shibuya as an organized crossing with a puzzled look just in a second when walking signal turns green. This organized and puzzled look is a part of my memory from this place. The person who has never been there, can not get connected with the picture of shibuya crossing. He/she only sees a zebra crossing.

shibuya crossing

Shibuya Crossing: One of the most famous crossings in the world.

Similarly, We have such beautiful chaos in many places of India. You go to the small alleys of Old Delhi. All such streets are unorganized but beautiful in its own way. It has the same feeling but it is raw. It is a complete chaos. But, You do not see people mishandling there. Rickshaws are the only lifeline of this place.

rickshaw puller

Life has been running peacefully like this for ages there. Mr. Raghu Rai has also captured Old Delhi beautifully several times. Being a street photographer, I miss such shots at the product launching of Nikon. When you have specially come up with a new technology of silent shutter and the target is indian audience.

Nikon gave away the print as their iconic picture to all the Indian photographers. What if, there have been a picture of Indian women draped in the different color of sari? Instead of these professional models photographed by Jerry!

why nikon d850 failed

Nikon gave away this picture as token of icon to all the photographers.

An indian photographer could have been better connected emotionally with a shot from Indian culture. The iconic shot is beyond comparison. But it lacks emotions for indian photographers. Being a portrait photographer from India, I see only colors in this shot. Because colors are an integral part of Indian culture. And, Period…

I use all the photography gadgets made by Nikon. I am very well convinced and happy with their wide range of lenses. Their products have supported my growth in wedding photography. Economic Times claimed in 2014…

“Wedding photography has been growing in tandem with the wedding industry as a whole whose size is estimated at $25-30 billion and which is growing at 20-25 per cent annually.”

When $30 billion is spent on Indian weddings in a year, the camera manufactures should mull over few Questions. Are the dreams of photography still knitted in the West and sold to the photographers in the East? Do we still look up at the West to use and learn different aspects of wedding photography?

Culturally, India is very different from every country in the world. Nikon marketing strategists should not brush this factor aside. Camera manufacturers need to realize that the launching of camera is not similar to the launching of a mobile device or MacBook?

Buyers’ emotions play an important role in the behavioral science of Indian market. Camera is a medium which supports the photographer to showcase their emotions. It has been different from all other gadgets when it comes to portray feelings through it. Was there not a single Indian wedding photographer who could have tested Nikon D850 prior to its launching? Does camera manufacturers underrate Indian photography market?

Well, Sony has understood indian wedding industry. It has made a mark in the field of compact DSLR with in a short span of time. This is one of other reasons why its alpha series fitted in the indian wedding market in no time. Nokia mobile was a part of every indian family. Who knew that it would be in case studies only one day. I hope, Nikon marketing strategists will look into these factors in future.


Post has been solely written with no endorsements from any camera manufacturers. I have always been Nikonian for last 10 years. Thanks Nikon for giving away nice coffee mug. I loved it. This post is a reaction out of my love towards it. 

Siddharth Malkania

Siddharth Malkania is a journalism graduate from Indian Institute of Mass Communication. Having worked as a photojournalist for two years, he traveled to Tokyo and brushed up his skills of photography there. Currently, He is a professional wedding photographer based in New Delhi, India.

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