No One’s Slamming the Nikon Blogger “Loan” Program

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Sun, Apr 29 - 9:18 pm EDT | 11 years ago by
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After all the fur that was flying over the Microsoft laptop giveaway, it’s interesting to see the lack of accusations over Nikon’s program to give 50 bloggers the use of their top prosumer digital SLR, the D80.

Nikon D80 - the blogger loan programIt looks and feels like a giveaway, but it isn’t really. The bloggers get to use the camera, show off their pictures, write good or bad opinions, and either send it back, extend the loan, or buy it at a steep discount.

After their excellent program showcasing what some top Flickr photographers could do with a Nikon D80, the camera company is extending their effort to appear to be the camera the cool people use.

Smart move. I’ve certainly seen more Canons in the hands of the digerati, but there’s no reason Nikon can’t lay claim to having the coolest camera. Nikon, after all, spent decades as the preferred camera of professional photographers, despite a strong challenge by Canon.

Lesson learned? No matter how tempting it is to send a free expensive toy to influential bloggers and others, experience and common sense points to something more along the lines of what Nikon has done – a loaner, with options.

Nikon D80 - digital SLR part of blogger programNo matter that the cost of the camera is less than the value some professional journalists and others get from press junkets. The exchange of an identifiable, expensive, highly-valued gadget like the camera, or Microsoft’s laptops, calls for caution on the part of the company (and its agency).

Should bloggers feel guilty if they end up paying the discounted price and keeping a valuable camera? Not in my book. I don’t really expect them to write negative things about the camera. What’s not to like about a top digital SLR from a top brand? There are too many settings? That’s not a negative. It’s too big to treat as a pocket camera? That’s not a valid criticism. It makes my pictures look too good? That’s the more likely critique.

If I had to choose between reading a banner ad pitching a camera, or reading about someone trying it out, I’d go for the write-up any day.

Some of the bloggers trying out a Nikon: BL Ochman, Joseph Jaffe, Jason Clarke, and Mack Collier.

Blogger relations provided by MWW Group (see a Q&A with MWW’s Tom Biro).

Previous posts:

Microsoft/Edelman/Vista/Freebie-Gate According to Andy Lark

PR Advice from another b5 Blogger

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  • kpaul mallasch

    Thanks for the link. I’m happy with the program (and the camera) so far. I think they’re doing a good job handling it.


  • David Binkowski

    And no one should be slamming it – Tom and MWW offered a reasonable policy for participating.

  • Dave Traynor

    I seem to remember you used to carry a couple of big Nikons around your neck all the time, before you switched over to that little Panasonic digital…did Nikon offer you a chance to check it out? If you do hear from them…well…my Coolpix 5000 is in for repairs (hopefully) but in the meantime, I could use a camera.

  • B.L. Ochman

    I’ve been posting my photos, and tonight I posted some that compare my compact Canon A85 with the great big Nikon D80.

    You simply can’t take the same shots with both cameras, but it’s nice to have both. i wouldn’t want to take the Nikon to the beach for example and get sand in it. but i wouldn’t be so worried about the Canon. It’s a tough little camera and it’s made some beautiful photos for me in the years I’ve had it.

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  • Dion Roy – AMP3pr

    I dont see why there would be an issue. Its no different than any other product placement in my eyes.

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