Mission Statement

One thing I wish all companies—and especially Web sites—would do a better job of is provide a clear and complete statement of why they're in business, and what it is they hope to achieve. I can't fault others if I don't do what I ask, so here goes...

I'm in a unique position. Prior to 2001, I was supporting Nikon cameras on the Internet mostly as a hobby. My primary career up to that point was two-fold: serial Silicon Valley startups interspersed with running editorial at national publications. When I left my lead editorial position at Rodale in 2001, my original thought was to get involved with another startup. As it turned out, my hobby business of supporting Nikon products took off with the D1 era cameras that had just been launched, as I had the only books on the D1, D1h, D1x, and D100; people needed more information than Nikon had provided, and I had it. 

The first decade of DSLR provided enough photographic, instruction, and publishing work for me to get me through to retirement age (and beyond). At this point, however, I'm mostly back to treating byThom Press as a hobby business. I don't really need to run the Web sites as a traditional business to accumulate as much income as possible, and haven't for several years. Thus, you see me doing things differently than that of some of the other bloggers and niche Web site vendors. I simply don't prioritize monetization over content. 

Thus, the goal of this Z System User site is pretty simple: provide useful, timely, and complete information about Nikon's Z cameras, lenses, and accessories, as best I can ("I'm sorry captain, but I'm a writer, not a magician."). To support that endeavor, I write books about the Z cameras, which I sell, though I try to keep the promotion of same to a bare minimum. I use Amazon and B&H links in a few places because they serve two purposes: provide you direct access to the product I'm writing about, and provide me a bit of money in doing so. All such links are clearly identified either in-line or at the bottom of the page on which they appear.

Two questions probably come to mind: 

   (1) why Nikon Z?

   (2) am I biased towards Nikon?

I cover Nikon Z in detail because that's what I'm using most these days. Other than sports, where I still use DSLRs, most of my photographic work is now being done with Z system cameras. I use these cameras constantly, and I always study the tools I use in depth to make sure that I'm getting everything from them that I can. I long ago learned to share knowledge I acquire, which is what I do on this site.

I sample enough other competitive products with regularity—these days mostly Canon and Sony—that I believe I have a pretty clear view of how the Z system fits into the greater mirrorless camera universe ("Emotions are alien to me. I'm a scientist."). Anyone who's followed my coverage and support of Nikon products on the Internet for the last 25 years—yes, it's been that long—knows that I call a spade a spade. I've criticized Nikon clearly and consistently for that entire stretch, pointing out all the things I believe that they're getting wrong or not doing. That has in a few cases prompted Nikon to respond and make a change. 

Put another way, I have no interest in just praising Nikon, and don't believe I'm biased towards Nikon. Indeed, just the opposite: I believe the goal should always be "best possible" and thus will continue to point out where I believe Nikon fails to achieve that. 

Therefore, if I don't provide useful, timely, and complete information about Nikon's Z system, let me know where I've failed, and I'll see what I can do to improve that. 

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