Ignore the crowd behind the curtain

I got into photography over the last year quite a bit. I'd been a bit dissatisfied with my old Olympus SLR (it was cool when it came out, but seven years is an Ice Age to a digital camera), so when I tried my dad's Nikon after my daughter was born, I was hooked.

After doing some research, I got my own Nikon (being able to borrow nice lenses is not to be overlooked), ending up with a D90. I've been very happy with it; an FX sensor would be very nice, as would a few extra frames per second for sports, but those are both minor things.

Anyway, that's gotten me reading some photography blogs. (I suppose it's not a coincidence that they're all primarily Nikon shooters. :)

Anyway, the latter of those just did an interesting write-up looking at what Nikon should be doing, moving forward (I can't do a direct link; it isn't set up for it, but search for 'Inverted Razor Blades'). He talked about the old Gillette give away razor/sell blades business model, and how that can work well in different markets. He then went on to talk about how you leverage free stuff to sell expensive (or, at least, high-profit-margin) items, and how Apple's done that with the iPod/iPhone.

He's not quite right on all his facts (Apple does make a tiny profit on each paid music download, and a significant one on all app downloads), but it does raise some very interesting thoughts. His idea is for Nikon to document their internal software interfaces, and allow other people to write apps for their cameras.

While this could lead to problems (poorly written apps could cause problems), it could also lead to some really nice possibilities. Imagine, if you will, in-camera panoramas or HDR. Ok, you'd really want a better LCD on the back, but still. And imagine if someone else could write the high-ISO and give you the equivalent of an extra stop. Ok, that last one would be especially dangerous, but add in a way to back out stuff like that painlessly, and there's a lot of potential there.

There'd be a lot of implementation details that would be very important, especially the checkpointing and restoring, but the potential there is pretty amazing.

Go for it, Nikon!

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