I’d like to announce that I’m officially abandoning Nikon cameras. Done. I wont be buying another Nikon. “Why is that?”, you may ask. Well let me tell you why. I just inventoried all the digital Nikon equipment that I have bought over the years and each generation of equipment is incompatible with the generation before it. Sure I knew that when I bought it but looking back over it all makes me a little annoyed because much of it didn’t have to be that way. I feel taken advantage of.

I was into digital photography fairly early. In 1999 I bought my first digital camera (not counting the Gameboy camera). It was a 2.1 megapixel Nikon Coolpix 950. I think it cost me about a thousand dollars. That is a considerable amount of money for a camera. Especially one that is considered useless just ten years later.

I don’t regret getting into digital photography early. I’ve enjoyed it a lot and like being a pioneer when it comes to using new tools and equipment to make art. What is annoying me now is how Nikon treated the pioneers such as myself. We weren’t the professionals who mostly waited on the sidelines until Nikon came out with cameras that could use their already purchased and expensive lenses, We were the so called “Pro-sumers” who liked professional and or cutting edge equipment but didn’t make our livings using them.

After I bought that first digital camera I bought add ons for it too. I wanted and external flash but the Coolpix 950 had no hot shoe mount. Instead I spent about hundred dollars on a special Nikon flash bracket that had a hot shoe on it and attached to the camera via a special cable. Plus I bought a Nikon Speedlight flash unit. At least that could be used with other model cameras.

The next camera I bought was in 2002, It was the Nikon Coolpix 5000. I spent about nine hundred dollars for that one. It was a 5 megapixel camera and it had a hot shoe so it didn’t need the bracket for the external flash. The following year I dropped another two hundred dollars on a teleconverter lens and adaptor for it.

In 2005 I bought an eight megapixel Nikon Coolpix 8800. Once again I dropped about nine hundred dollars on it. It has a hot shoe and I can still use the same flash but the teleconverter lens and the flash bracket are useless. It really doesn’t need the lens since it has a much bigger built in lens than the 5000 but it would be nice to have the option. It’s the bracket I’ve really wanted to use though. It would be nice to get my flash a little off camera and change my lighting but the 8800 lacks the special cable plug that the earlier 950 had. Why? I don’t know.

What’s been consistent with these Coolpix cameras has been the swivel LCD. That is a feature I don’t want to do without and which not a lot of cameras have. When I was checking out the latest “Pro-sumer” Coolpix model I was disappointed to find that they’ve nearly abandoned the swivel LCD. It still moves up and down but not side to side. Plus they’ve taken the hot shoe off again. Over all the pro-sumer Coolpix models are a thing of the past and now they are consumer models. The cheaper SLR models are the new pro-sumer ones and I’m not interested in them. No swivel LCD. At least they have a live view LCD now.

So in looking back over my equipment as I look for a new camera to possibly buy I came to the conclusion that Nikon made me abandon a lot of old equipment. That is, to an extent, understandable. It was the beginning of the digital age of photography. But now I look and see that they have also abandoned me. Digital has caught up and they’re back to selling to their pro buyers. Once again understandable. But I’ve never been a huge fan of their pro line. And I refuse to ever look through a viewfinder again. I like shooting from the hip. So I’m out. I’ll be looking for something that better suits me.