What You Said, What I Decided

The results are in, and in, and in, and in, and…

I know that when I ask for feedback as I did at the end of the year, I’ll get a lot of it. Thanks to all of you who responded, which was deep into triple figures. My initial analysis of your answers and my response is as follows:

  • Should I write a Z30 book? The ones who said yes—the majority said they’re not interested in that camera, something I’m going to have to correct ;~)—mostly centered on a configuration guide, ala my Zfc and Sony books. Most of the ones that wanted a complete guide wanted it for video. Let’s just say I’ll deal with video differently, probably sometime in 2023. My conclusion: Write a Z30 configuration and use guide, but don’t prioritize it over other projects.
  • Can I delay the Z9 book update a bit? This weighted fairly strongly towards waiting until CP+ to lock down the next update. In some ways, that might almost be a fait accompli, because I’d have to shift something out of Jan/Feb to do it sooner. Look for version 3.0 of the Complete Z9 Guide in March. If I can finish it before then and don’t sniff another feature update pending, maybe sooner. But this has gotten me to think more seriously about how I do book updates to match firmware updates. The suggestions tended towards (1) write a supplement; (2) only on major number update (1.x to 2.x to 3.x, etc., but not 2.1x to 2.2x, and so on); and (3) any time features are added. So, some background: I won’t do #1 because I know that it doesn’t work. The problem is that the supplement often ends up seeming to contradict something I wrote in the original, and then I get lots of “but you said…” questions. Then there’s the supplement gets lost from the book, and triggers more download requests. Or people forget to download the supplemental file (happens about 30% of the time with the current Z9 book, so the current supplement will go into the next full iteration). So, Thom’s Rule: no more supplements. #3 is tough, because Nikon is randomly doing that, even with point versions. I thought I had caught up with all the features of the original Z6/Z7 book with version 3. Nope, firmware 3.5 just added a feature again. I’m leaning towards #2 with perhaps article supplements on this site for anything I deem important (for example, the Quick/Full Format option that just appeared). Two of you suggested monthly updates, only one in jest?!?!!? My conclusion: I’m working on the 3.0 version of the book this month. As that wraps up I’m going to pay a lot of attention to the backchannel info I’m receiving. If I believe another significant firmware update might be launched around CP+, I’ll wait. If not, I’ll update it when I finish.
  • What type of article is missing on zystemuser.com? Most of you said I was doing a fine job and had no suggestions. My conclusion: A very select few of you came up with some excellent suggestions, which will now go into my buffer. When you can ingest them I have no idea. I was looking at the pending reviews/articles already in the queue this last week and found over 50 that still need editing work.
  • How many (and which) manual focus lenses should I review?  The most popular response was “none.” Trailing that response was “only lenses from reputable vendors that fill a clear gap in the lineup.” A few responses had specific lists, and even if I put those few lists together I couldn’t possibly write all those reviews. Thus, other than anything already in progress, I think I’m going to look hard at what would make a manual focus lens unique and make it jump over a high bar to have me actually review it. My conclusion: The response tends to point towards speciality lenses: fisheye, macro, tilt, shift, etc. Also, I’m contemplating putting these lens “reviews” into an evergreen, updated article I’ll call something like “quick lens hits.” There was one suggestion that came in this manual focus question answers that will make for an interesting article, so thanks for that.
  • How often do I need to update camera reviews to account for firmware updates? Should I? I was surprised that most of you were completely blasé about this. To the point that most didn’t even answer. My conclusion: Doesn’t seem like this should be any kind of priority for me, but I did like the “once a year” idea. 
  • Should I put the original Z6 and Z7 into Archive folders? You folks are ruthless: you don’t care if I change reviews of old cameras to reflect new firmware, but you want those older cameras moved off the “current” list ASAP. This puts you readers in defiance of Nikon’s actual sales. Nikon likes the Z6 and Z7 to look more like current cameras that are just discounted from similar ones labeled with a II. More sales of the original models close out parts commitments, spread the R&D costs over more units, and give Nikon “in between” pricing for their large gaps (let’s dealers push up or down on a customer to make the sale). You, dear reader, apparently have already moved on. You’re waiting for the Z8 II, Zf, and Z1, and are more concerned about those. Someone even suggested I put rumored cameras in the “current” database. Yeah, right. My conclusion: I’ll get an Older Camera section readied for when I decide to move things.
  • How high can a Z9 jump? How big of a spring do you have?
  • How far away can a Z9 focus? How far can your catapult throw it?

Again, thank you for responding. You’ve given me a lot to think about. My final answer might be different than what I propose above, or I might just get lazy and say “I’m done with this process.” ;~)

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