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Response from Nikon on their ****-take upgrade to D3.

 
 
Dave
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      08-13-2008, 07:16 AM
I sent the following to Nikon about the D3 Buffer Memory Expansion
option. Their response is below. I know there were a few spelling errors
in my original post, but I've copied exactly what I sent them, and their
response.




************** SENT TO NIKON *****************

Subject: Why are Nkin taking the **** over the D3 upgrade?

I'd just like to make that point that I feel Nikon are being very unfair
in charging for "D3 buffer memory expansion".

After paying this much for a camera, I think Nilon should have put the
extra RAM in before shipping it. Memory is not that expensive these days.

I gather in the US this is $499/ I've not seen a UK price from Nkon, but
I've seen in Amateur Photographer this is £352 pounds, which is about
45% more. This is really is taking the pee.

IMHO Nikon should offer this free. Doing it in order of serial number,
so those that bought the D3's first get upgraded first. I only bought my
D3 last week, so I would be almost last on the list, but I think Nilon
should do this free. Not take the mic out of people who have paid good
money for a camera.

So I have three questions.

1) Is there any good reason the D3 was not shipped with this.

2) Is there any good reason Nikon and charging so much for a couple of
GB of RAM in the USA?

3) Is there any good reason Nikon charge so much more in the UK than in
the US?

I can see how you will irritate a lot of processional photographers with
this.

Dave


****** Response from Nikon Europe Support. ******

Subject: Why are Nkin taking the **** over the D3 upgrade?

Dear David,

Thank you for contacting Nikon Support. The upgrade has not been
implemented in D3 cameras before because mainboards with extended buffer
was not yet available. However it will not be installed in new cameras
by default either - it will be an optional upgrade only.

The upgrade does not consist on just RAM unit replacement - actually the
buffer unit cannot be unsoldered and soldered back in the service centre
and therefore the whole mainboard has to be replaced. This also adds a
significant cost of labour to the cost of part alone.

You can find more details on D3 buffer expansion in the link below:

Title: D3 Buffer Memory Expansion Service
URL:
https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/...ted=1216726798

In regards to your third question, unfortunately I am not qualified to
comment on Nikon's financial strategy and economic environment.

If you require any further assistance, please update your incident and I
will be happy to help you.


Kind Regards,

Aleksander Nowak
Nikon UK Professional Support
www.europe-nikon.com/support
 
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Dave
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      08-13-2008, 01:23 PM
Rita Berkowitz wrote:
> Dave wrote:
>
>> I sent the following to Nikon about the D3 Buffer Memory Expansion
>> option. Their response is below. I know there were a few spelling
>> errors in my original post, but I've copied exactly what I sent them,
>> and their response.

>
> Thanks for taking the time to write Nikon on this. Since they are making
> this an optional upgrade ($500) to future manufactured D3s, I don't see it
> as a problem or kick in the ass to present D3 owners. It's kinda like
> buying a new car and selecting the options you need, want, and can afford.
> Sure, everyone wants a fully loaded whatever, but you gots to pay to play.
> Now if they can make upgradeable sensor packs that can be factory installed
> for $500 the rules will change and we will be the winners in the end. It
> sucks having to obsolete a camera every 18-months.
>
>
>
> Rita



If a new car comes with leather seats, satellite navigation, a turbo,
larger engine etc, then I can understand making these features optional
as extra cost to build the card would be significant.

In the case of a bit of memory in a D3, I can't see why Nikon just don't
put it there to start with. The main cost associated with this upgrade
is clearly the time it takes someone to take the camera apart and fit in
the new board. If the board was built with the memory in the first
place, the extra cost to manufacture the camera would be only $20 or so.

 
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Ken Hart1
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      08-13-2008, 04:24 PM

"Rita Berkowitz" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) m...
> Dave wrote:
>
>> I sent the following to Nikon about the D3 Buffer Memory Expansion
>> option. Their response is below. I know there were a few spelling
>> errors in my original post, but I've copied exactly what I sent them,
>> and their response.

>
> Thanks for taking the time to write Nikon on this. Since they are making
> this an optional upgrade ($500) to future manufactured D3s, I don't see it
> as a problem or kick in the ass to present D3 owners. It's kinda like
> buying a new car and selecting the options you need, want, and can afford.
> Sure, everyone wants a fully loaded whatever, but you gots to pay to play.
> Now if they can make upgradeable sensor packs that can be factory
> installed
> for $500 the rules will change and we will be the winners in the end. It
> sucks having to obsolete a camera every 18-months.
>
>
>


I've upgraded the sensor in my cameras many times over the years: every time
an improved film comes out, I upgrade the ":sensor". The cost each time has
only been a couple dollars. Pretty sweet for forty year old Canons!


 
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Dave
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      08-13-2008, 05:46 PM
SMS wrote:

> I think you're kidding about sending that e-mail to Nikon. It's so full
> of grammatical and spelling mistakes that it's guaranteed to be
> ineffective.


Rather stupidly I did not compose it in OpenOffice or an email client
first, but put it directly on their web site.
 
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ASAAR
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      08-13-2008, 06:19 PM
On Wed, 13 Aug 2008 11:03:27 -0700, Paul Furman wrote:

> Perfectly legitimate explanation for the upgrade cost but not for why
> they don't just include it in the new models and charge $50 more.
> Perhaps they've already got a bunch built and when those are used up
> they'll start with a D3x.


Possibly, but the new, higher density chips may be much more
expensive per GB. The high price may also be to discourage D3
owners from upgrading unless they really could use the extra buffer
memory. If all D3 owners want to upgrade, Nikon might have to hire
many extra technicians in order to be able to return the upgraded
cameras in a timely manner.

 
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John Smith
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      08-13-2008, 07:06 PM
I agree fully with Waddling Eagle.

Having worked in the high tech sector for 30 years, Nikon's response was a
reasoned and professional reply to a whiny, immature, profane and spelling
error-ridden childish tantrum by "Dave".

Get over it, Dave, and go buy Canon if you're so darned upset.

Besides, who really "needs" this memory upgrade? For heaven's sake, I can
already shoot 52 or so Large/Fine JPG's in a single burst. Who NEEDS more
than that? Only a very inexperienced shooter just blasting away and
"hoping" to get a good shot. I call it the "machine gun approach" to
photography. Certainly noting Atget, Adams, Steiglitz or Weston would have
ever done. Or needed to. Then again, "Dave" probably has never even heard
of these photographers... <s>





"C J Campbell" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:2008081307243175249-christophercampbell@hotmailcom...
> On 2008-08-13 00:16:47 -0700, Dave <(E-Mail Removed)> said:
>
>> I sent the following to Nikon about the D3 Buffer Memory Expansion
>> option. Their response is below. I know there were a few spelling errors
>> in my original post, but I've copied exactly what I sent them, and their
>> response.
>>
>> ************** SENT TO NIKON *****************
>>
>> Subject: Why are Nkin taking the **** over the D3 upgrade?
>>
>> I'd just like to make that point that I feel Nikon are being very unfair
>> in charging for "D3 buffer memory expansion".
>>
>> After paying this much for a camera, I think Nilon should have put the
>> extra RAM in before shipping it. Memory is not that expensive these days.
>>
>> I gather in the US this is $499/ I've not seen a UK price from Nkon, but
>> I've seen in Amateur Photographer this is £352 pounds, which is about 45%
>> more. This is really is taking the pee.
>>
>> IMHO Nikon should offer this free. Doing it in order of serial number, so
>> those that bought the D3's first get upgraded first. I only bought my D3
>> last week, so I would be almost last on the list, but I think Nilon
>> should do this free. Not take the mic out of people who have paid good
>> money for a camera.
>>
>> So I have three questions.
>>
>> 1) Is there any good reason the D3 was not shipped with this.
>>
>> 2) Is there any good reason Nikon and charging so much for a couple of GB
>> of RAM in the USA?
>>
>> 3) Is there any good reason Nikon charge so much more in the UK than in
>> the US?
>>
>> I can see how you will irritate a lot of processional photographers with
>> this.
>>
>> Dave
>>
>>
>> ****** Response from Nikon Europe Support. ******
>>
>> Subject: Why are Nkin taking the **** over the D3 upgrade?
>>
>> Dear David,
>>
>> Thank you for contacting Nikon Support. The upgrade has not been
>> implemented in D3 cameras before because mainboards with extended buffer
>> was not yet available. However it will not be installed in new cameras by
>> default either - it will be an optional upgrade only.
>>
>> The upgrade does not consist on just RAM unit replacement - actually the
>> buffer unit cannot be unsoldered and soldered back in the service centre
>> and therefore the whole mainboard has to be replaced. This also adds a
>> significant cost of labour to the cost of part alone.
>>
>> You can find more details on D3 buffer expansion in the link below:
>>
>> Title: D3 Buffer Memory Expansion Service
>> URL:
>> https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/...ted=1216726798

>
> In
>>
>> regards to your third question, unfortunately I am not qualified to
>> comment on Nikon's financial strategy and economic environment.
>>
>> If you require any further assistance, please update your incident and I
>> will be happy to help you.
>>
>>
>> Kind Regards,
>>
>> Aleksander Nowak
>> Nikon UK Professional Support
>> www.europe-nikon.com/support

>





> Gee. You wrote an incredibly rude and profane letter full of spelling and
> grammatical errors and got a polite and reasonable response. Good for
> Nikon.
>
> --
> Waddling Eagle
> World Famous Flight Instructor
>



 
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Dave
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      08-13-2008, 11:00 PM
ASAAR wrote:
> On Wed, 13 Aug 2008 11:03:27 -0700, Paul Furman wrote:
>
>> Perfectly legitimate explanation for the upgrade cost but not for why
>> they don't just include it in the new models and charge $50 more.
>> Perhaps they've already got a bunch built and when those are used up
>> they'll start with a D3x.

>
> Possibly, but the new, higher density chips may be much more
> expensive per GB. The high price may also be to discourage D3
> owners from upgrading unless they really could use the extra buffer
> memory. If all D3 owners want to upgrade, Nikon might have to hire
> many extra technicians in order to be able to return the upgraded
> cameras in a timely manner.
>

I don't believe the higher density chips are an issue. See below.



I read somewhere on rec.photo.digital there is extra 2 GB of memory, but
I suspect it is less than that.

Looking at

http://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/c...ted=1216726798

one sees the memory upgrade increases the number of images before the
buffer fills from 16 to 36 if you save images in the NEF 14-bit
uncompressed format. That is an extra 20 images. According to the D3
manual, the size of such images is 24.7 MB. So to hold an extra 20
images of 24.7 MB one would need an extra

20 * 24.7 = 494 MB.

I chose the uncompressed RAW file, since one knows the size will not
change, unlike a JPEG, or RAW lossless compressed file, where the size
would depend on the image content.

Picking the smaller 12-bit uncompressed, which has an image size of 18.8
MB, the upgrade will increase the number in the buffer from 17 to 38,
which is an extra 21 shots


21 * 18.8 = 394.8 MB.


Taking a 3rd example, of medium sized TIFF files, the upgrade increases
the buffer from 19 to 42 shots, which is an increase of 23. The sizes of
these are 20.7 MB.

23 * 20.7 = 476.1 MB.

I'm not sure why these figures differ quite as much, but I very much
doubt the extra memory needed is as much as 2 GB, as someone said here.
More like 512 MB.

There is no doubt some overhead in memory moving data around, but that
overhead would be included in the basic camera. I don't actually believe
any more overhead would be incurred.


The next thing I thought of is how fast does the memory need to be? The
largest amount of data one can save is the large TIFF file at 35.9 MB.
(You can save RAW and JPEG at the same time, but that is still smaller
than the single TIFF file). At a maximum frame rate of 9 frames per
second, that is

9 * 35.9 = 323.1 MB/s

Looking at

http://www.crucial.com/support/memory_speeds.aspx

one finds the *maximum* transfer rates of say PC-1600 ram is 1600 MB/s,
and for the DDR400 (PC-3200) it is 3200 MB/s. So whilst I accept those
are maximum figures, it suggests to me the memory is nothing too special
- just cheap PC memory would do.

So IF my calculations are correct (and of course I have no inside
knowledge), Nikon decided to not put 512 MB of cheap PC memory in the
camera, but rather make that an optional extra for which the camera
would need to be returned.

These sizes and speeds of memory have been available a long time, so I
don't think availability of chips would have been an issue myself.

As I say, I'm only making educated guesses here, but without detailed
technical information, that is the best one can do.
 
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D-Mac
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      08-14-2008, 04:16 AM
Toby wrote:
>> I've upgraded the sensor in my cameras many times over the years: every
>> time an improved film comes out, I upgrade the ":sensor". The cost each
>> time has only been a couple dollars. Pretty sweet for forty year old
>> Canons!

>
> When you factor in the cost of film, processing and eventual scanning,
> digital is way cheaper, not to mention all the other advantages over film,
> such as white balance, better high ISO performance, etc.
>
> If I shoot 7200 frames/year, for example, or the equivalent of 200 rolls of
> chromes--that would cost me over $3000 for film vs. a few dollars to charge
> my batteries in digital.
>
> Now which sensor looks cheaper in the long run?
>
> Toby
>
>
>


You might have missed something there Toby.
I used a Mamiya 6x7 and a Pentax 645 for maybe 20 years. The maintenance
cost was probably $500 tops. When I sold them, I got back what they cost
me plus some. I wish now I hadn't sold them but that's life, eh?

I've had six digital cameras in 5 years the upgrade / replacement costs
to keep up with the changing quality of images they produce has been
close to $20,000. And...

The bloody things have a shelf life at which point they will become
useless. All electronics are sunset stuff... Eventually they die.

So suppose it cost me $3k a year for film and processing (more like
$1900 but I'll work on your figures... I'd still be $5,000 in front if I
hadn't gone digital.
 
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Dave
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      08-14-2008, 06:17 AM
C J Campbell wrote:
> On 2008-08-13 00:16:47 -0700, Dave <(E-Mail Removed)> said:


> Gee. You wrote an incredibly rude and profane letter full of spelling
> and grammatical errors and got a polite and reasonable response. Good
> for Nikon.
>


I remember why that message was below a standard one would normally
expect when I write a letter/email - I had just come back from the pub
after a few drinks!

My spelling and grammar has never been one of my strongest points, but I
have at least got an O-level in English, so it should not have been as
bad as it was.
 
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Chris H
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      08-14-2008, 06:59 AM
In message <48a36798@212.67.96.135>, Dave <(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>ASAAR wrote:
>> On Wed, 13 Aug 2008 11:03:27 -0700, Paul Furman wrote:
>>
>>> Perfectly legitimate explanation for the upgrade cost but not for
>>>why they don't just include it in the new models and charge $50 more.
>>>Perhaps they've already got a bunch built and when those are used up
>>>they'll start with a D3x.

>> Possibly, but the new, higher density chips may be much more
>> expensive per GB. The high price may also be to discourage D3
>> owners from upgrading unless they really could use the extra buffer
>> memory. If all D3 owners want to upgrade, Nikon might have to hire
>> many extra technicians in order to be able to return the upgraded
>> cameras in a timely manner.
>>

>I don't believe the higher density chips are an issue. See below.
>These sizes and speeds of memory have been available a long time, so I
>don't think availability of chips would have been an issue myself.


It is... the memory used in PC-s is made up of multiple chips. Space is
not a problem. Also power is not a problem, neither is heat output.
The chips used in the Nikons will be a little different

You could of course try fitting the PC memory sticks into a camera...

>As I say, I'm only making educated guesses here, but without detailed
>technical information, that is the best one can do.


On the face of it it does look simple. I am an electronics engineer so I
have a little more background knowledge.

As I said the capacity of chips changes all the time ans does the power
consumption. This is why PC memory is built on to standard simms. The
cameras don't use simms
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