Nikon Marketing's Accurate Wording

Anyone else picking up on this? NPS reps are going around giving free "Nikon Z9: Making Sense of Menus" presentations.

Uh, shouldn't menus make sense to start with? Why should we need help making sense of them? 

As I point out in my book on the camera, if you were to set every function and customization for all banks in a Z9, you'd set 700 things. When you're done, you can save all that work to one awkwardly named file. Be careful not to format the card, as you'll lose that file. Oh, and you can't instantly recall all those settings you made in a new bank configuration. Sure, you can recall one bank via button, but there are two un-connected bank systems, so you can't recall all the PHOTO SHOOTING and CUSTOM SETTING choices simultaneously with a button. 

So, yes, someone from Nikon needs to explain how to make sense of Z9 menus. Unfortunately, that won't happen in those talks. You'll simply learn what the various menu items do, and you'll still have to make sense of it, because the combinations and permutations are beyond computation and many of those can't even be reached simultaneously. Unless, of course, you load settings from a file. Which can only have one name. Which means you can only have one such file on a card. And which you can't do with a simple button press.

I'm beyond bemused by all the folk who've complained that I didn't give the Z9 a "highly recommended" rating. You can't give a tool the highest possible rating when the tool can't be made full sense of or made to instantly perform the way you need it to on demand. And look: Nikon knows that, because otherwise why would they name their lectures "Making Sense of Menus"? 

As if that weren't enough, the text for the talks includes the words "...guides you through some of the cool 'hidden' menu options and settings." Hidden? Why would something need to be hidden on a flagship camera? Oh, right, because you can't make sense of it. 

UX (user experience) isn't easy. I've got a friend who wrote a seminal book on the topic of how to simplify UX for customer understanding without removing function. Such improvement doesn't come without deep thought and total commitment. 

I've recently praised Sony, for instance, on their improving the "setability" of their cameras. Named settings files (and plenty of them), Instant recall of camera configurations (and several of them). A truly hierarchical and organized menu system (though coming from an earlier Sony menu you have to relearn things). Sony went from the worst configurable platform to best (though it took them a decade to fully achieve that, and not all their cameras feature it yet). 

Nikon has gone from best to worst at the same thing. That doesn't make the Z9 a bad camera, it makes it an awkward camera for certain things. I will continue to complain about this until such time as it gets fixed. Thank you Nikon for letting me configure 700 things. Shame on you Nikon for not helping me once I have. 

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