Imagine that the third party wheels you bought for your car can no longer carry it. Or the $500 third party graphical card you got for your computer suddenly stops working with Intel processors.
This is a rough analog for what Nikon has recently done when changing their mount on the Nikon DF and D5300 cameras. And Thom Hogan is calling Nikon out as that kid on the playground who does not want to share his toys.
First, The Back Story
Sigma recently release two service advisories (here and here) for the D5300, and the Df, explaining that Live View Auto Focus functions will not work well on those cameras with Sigma lenses. The reason being changed that Nikon made to their mount and auto-focus communications mechanism.
If you own a newer lens with a Sigma USB Dock, you can download and install a fixing firmware alone, some lenses can be sent to Sigma for repair and some older Sigma lenses will never work with the Nikon Df or D5300.
Thom’s Vision on The Ecosystem and Playing Nice
Thom has a strong view on how a camera ecosystem should look like and Nikon is breaking it all over the place.
“This is why I talk about DSLRs (and mirrorless cameras) as being ecosystems. You’re only as good as your ecosystem. If parts of the ecosystem are weak or start to die, everything is compromised. Nikon’s unwillingness to license Sigma could cause Nikon a loss of future camera sales. A good ecosystem is greater than the sum of its parts. A bad one is worse than the sum of its parts. Nikon’s is bad at present. m4/3′s is good at present. Those things can and do change with time, so it’s high time Nikon addressed this….
…This means that Nikon cameras are a “closed” system. If someone else gets something to work with the Nikon gear, great, but there’s no guarantee it will continue to work if Nikon changes something, exactly the situation that Sigma has found itself in.”#
This view gets even stronger as you see how extendable Canon is with the recent Magic Lanterns hacks. strengthening and enriching Canon’s community.
Illustration based on photo CCed by Jim.