In a social world, Nikon asks, do you ‘like’ or ‘love’ your photos

If you like something on social media, are you doing it with thought or is it habit? That’s the question Nikon is posing in a big national advertising campaign (you’ve probably already seen it on TV) that asks viewers if they merely like something, or love it? The “Show Your Love Some Love” campaign is not just about selling Nikon cameras (although it’s mainly about that), but also a social commentary on how people today shoot photos (i.e., with their phones and sharing on social media), and how we can do better when photographing things we are really passionate about.

“While nearly everyone carries an image-capturing device, our ‘loves’ deserve to be captured with a quality that reflects that love; they deserve to be captured with a Nikon camera,” the company writes in a release.

Cramer-Krasselt, the agency spearheading the campaign, conducted research and found “found that while people appreciate the convenience of capturing moments on mobile devices, there is a strong desire to go ‘all in’ on their hobbies and things they love. However, many do not document their passions with the same care they bring to actually doing, creating, or participating in them. Quality photography can help us distinguish between ‘any other image’ and the moments that should be captured in a quality equal to the emotion and importance of one’s passions.”

Because so many people now communicate through images, whether it’s Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc., simply liking something is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction that doesn’t actually connote real feelings. According to Lisa Baxt, Nikon’s associate general manger of Communications, “’likes’ have become a form of social currency.” The first TV ad, “World of Likes,” shows a man living in a world where people nonchalantly apply “like” stickers on anything. The narrator asks, “Who doesn’t like to ‘like,’ but what about ‘loves’?” The scene then transitions to pets, family, holidays, and crafts, and all photographed with Nikon cameras.

Translation: Smartphone photos of the everyday are fine, but they are disposable. For the things you love and want to remember or share, you should use a “real” camera for the best image quality.

We agree that everybody should exercise a bit more thought when shooting photos, and that you could get greater image quality from a DSLR or equivalent. But if we understand the ad messaging correctly, the notion that people don’t “love” what they shoot with smartphones, or that smartphones are able to properly capture what they love, is marketing spin. Yes, more people are taking photos than ever, and while there’s a lot of noise in what’s being posted to social media, there are a lot of gems too. Scroll through Instagram or Flickr and you’ll easily find some terrific photos shot with iPhones and the like. Heck, Apple even has a whole ad campaign that’s all about amazing photography you can shoot with an iPhone.

And, great image resolution isn’t a requirement for great photography. For many people, photos are personal. A smartphone shot won’t not look as good as a DSLR’s, but if the captured moment means something special to the user, does it matter what was used to shoot it?

Like many camera companies, Nikon is looking for its voice in this changing photography landscape. The company has stopped trying to fight smartphones, but finding a way to coexist. At the 2016 International CES show, company executives acknowledged this: As photography and better cameras become increasingly more important for new smartphones, new cameras from companies like Nikon need to become more mobile and social, hence its new SnapBridge wireless connectivity that easily pairs new Nikon cameras with mobile devices. As for the ad campaign, we agree with some of the statements: a camera like a DSLR offers greater flexibility in capturing amazing photos. But to suggest that mobile photographers don’t love what they shoot or that smartphones aren’t capable of great photography, is a bit of stretch.

The campaign will run on TV, in cinemas, via digital media, and in print. Nikon is encouraging people to tag #NikonLove in photo posts of things they love, which will be shared in an online gallery. Which is sort of ironic, since tagging and sharing usually happens with mobile devices.

Photography

Nikon A1000, B600 pack big zooms into compact, budget-friendly cameras

The new Nikon Coolpix A1000 packs in a 35x zoom lens, 4K video, and an optical viewfinder, while Nikon's B600 brings a 60x zoom lens to the table. The cameras are modest updates to Nikon's budget-friendly zoom models.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Movies & TV

Curious about 'Spider-Man: Far From Home'? Here's everything we know so far

Despite some mystery surrounding Spider-Man's future after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters in July 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Photography

What to look for and what to avoid when buying a camera

Looking to buy a new camera? Our comprehensive camera guide for 2016 has answers to any camera or photography questions you might ask, whether in regards to pricing, image quality, or weatherproofing.
Photography

Going somewhere? Capture more than your phone can with the best travel cams

Hitting the road or doing some globetrotting this year? Bring along the right camera to capture those once-in-a-lifetime vacation memories. Here's a list of some of our current favorites.
Photography

From 4K powerhouses to tiny action cams, here are the best video cameras

Although not as popular as they once were, dedicated video cameras still have their benefits. From travel vlogging to home movies to recording your kid's little league game, here are the best video cameras you can buy right now.
Photography

Authentic, holistic, retro photography is in: Here are 2019’s predicted trends

What types of imagery are we most drawn to? According to recent stock photography data from Adobe, StoryBlocks, and Shutterstock, authentic, holistic, and humanitarian content will be in high demand in 2019.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

This A.I.-powered camera follows the action to produce epic selfie videos

Want to capture more epic action selfies? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action. Using a handful of different modes, the camera works to keep the action in the frame.
Photography

Sony crams its best camera tech into the new $900 A6400

Love Sony's autofocus, but can't stomach the full-frame price? The Sony A6400 mirrorless camera uses some of the same autofocus technology and the processor of the A9 in a compact, more affordable crop-sensor camera.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…
Photography

GoPro bumps resolution on Fusion 360 cam to 5.6K with new firmware

Currently available in public beta, Fusion firmware version 2.0 offers a new 5.8K mode that results in 5.6K output when the 360 camera's two hemispheres are stitched together. It also adds support for 24 fps video and RAW time-lapse…
Photography

With 5-stop optical stabilization, Fujifilm GF 100-200mm is ready for adventure

Fujifilm revealed a new lens designed to deliver on the GFX system's promise of adventure-ready medium-format photography. The GF 100-200mm F5.6 R is a weather resistant, relatively lightweight, 2x telephoto with impressive stabilization.