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Nikon FF (and DX) Mirrorless rumours/ announcements (1 Viewer)

ericbowles

Well-known member
How does the new Eye-AF compare for ease / speed of use, and accuracy compared to the methods folks started out shooting Nikon Z Mirrorless (such as Eric mentioned above for static birds). What about BIF ?
Judging by size of the "eye detect" focus square I wonder whether this feature has any relevance for bird photographers at the less than ideal distances most of our subjects usually are ...... ?

I have to say that looking at this very interesting YouTube "test" I'm a bit disappointed (and surprised) that Nikon isn't further ahead of the curve in Mirrorless AF given their vast experience at Pro photography ..... Sony seems well ahead in Eye-AF .....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxqa_f6LsQI



I just got back from a week at Cape May with more than 4500 bird photos using the Nikon Z6 and the new firmware update. AF is excellent for birds in flight as well as perched subjects. I'd put it equal or better than the D850.

My primary AF mode for birds in flight are the Wide modes - Small as a first choice and Large if needed. Prior to the firmware update, the camera did not use closest subject priority in those modes as it should. After the update I did not have a single frame where the camera picked up the background over the foreground. This was especially useful for flocks but it is why I use the Wide modes for BIF.

It's always a challenge to track a fast subject. I have never used the Auto tracking modes like 3D. But Wide modes are very effective and I could not blame the camera for any issues I had in following small, fast subjects. Focus stayed on subjects and quickly returned if I lost focus temporarily.

I did use Dynamic AF some fo the time - mainly when I had a foreground obstruction and wanted to be more precise than Wide modes would allow. Dynamic did the job as expected, but is harder to use for rapid movement. It's better for slow movement - a subject walking or hopping thorugh a thicket or something similar.

None of this involves Eye tracking. That's a different function and not something I would use for bird photography.
 

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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
I just got back from a week at Cape May with more than 4500 bird photos using the Nikon Z6 and the new firmware update. AF is excellent for birds in flight as well as perched subjects. I'd put it equal or better than the D850.

My primary AF mode for birds in flight are the Wide modes - Small as a first choice and Large if needed. Prior to the firmware update, the camera did not use closest subject priority in those modes as it should. After the update I did not have a single frame where the camera picked up the background over the foreground. This was especially useful for flocks but it is why I use the Wide modes for BIF.

It's always a challenge to track a fast subject. I have never used the Auto tracking modes like 3D. But Wide modes are very effective and I could not blame the camera for any issues I had in following small, fast subjects. Focus stayed on subjects and quickly returned if I lost focus temporarily.

I did use Dynamic AF some fo the time - mainly when I had a foreground obstruction and wanted to be more precise than Wide modes would allow. Dynamic did the job as expected, but is harder to use for rapid movement. It's better for slow movement - a subject walking or hopping thorugh a thicket or something similar.

None of this involves Eye tracking. That's a different function and not something I would use for bird photography.
Thanks for the feedback Eric - 4500 shots is a pretty good sample size ! :t:
Nice photos - what lens did you use to take those ?
Would you say that the updated Z6 is now up to the D500 levels of AF ? (my understanding is that the D500 pretty much equals the D5, and both are slightly ahead of the D850). Thanks.





Chosun :gh:
 

ericbowles

Well-known member
Thanks for the feedback Eric - 4500 shots is a pretty good sample size ! :t:
Nice photos - what lens did you use to take those ?
Would you say that the updated Z6 is now up to the D500 levels of AF ? (my understanding is that the D500 pretty much equals the D5, and both are slightly ahead of the D850). Thanks.

Chosun :gh:

For the type of photography I was doing, it's clearly in the range of the D500 or D850. I'm not sure the difference between the two is material. I have both and I would not consider the Z6 to be at a disadvantage for BIF compared to any camera.

My first testing of the Z6 firmware was at Longwood Gardens in their meadow. I was using a 70-200 lens because it was with me and the intent was not bird photography. I was able to photograph swallows in flight. That's tough in the best of circumstances. Obviously this is heavily cropped - but swallows are almost impossible to get in the frame.
 

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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Birding With The Nikon Z6 + Nikkor 500 F/4 (Fast Birds In Flight With AF Tracking)

Interesting that the using this method*, the author put the hit rate right up there with any DSLR, but mentioned the AF via the FTZ adapter felt only about 2/3rds as fast as on a DSLR .....
* "auto AF and it just worked ... The trick I used was using the memory recall function of the lens set around 10m, if the AF got lost on the background I could get back almost instantly and try again, the lens would go again and find the first interesting thing to focus on."


Also, that he felt that on the fast moving subjects, that the OVF of a DSLR was better compared to the "superfast slideshow" EVF - though the dof was much preferred.

https://nikonrumors.com/2019/06/15/...4-fast-birds-in-flight-with-af-tracking.aspx/




Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Z1 ? ...... Z8? ..... Z (D5eq) ?

It seems that rumour news of a high resolution (60MP+) Z8 has dried up a bit. This was meant to be the next cab off the rank. However the Canon equivalent also seems on the back burner so perhaps there is a common development issue ?

Perhaps it is sales data with Nikon market share taking more of a hit than other brands (strange when it's cameras are as good as anything). Along with the unspecified APS-C Mirrorless range rumours (not posted here because the time frames were too wishy washy), comes a rumour that the next Mirrorless product launched (in 2019?) will be an 'entry level' (~$900~$1700) FF https://nikonrumors.com/2019/06/13/...-mirrorless-camera-priced-at-around-900.aspx/

Also, an interview suggesting that 'one day' Nikon will tackle a D5 equivalent 'Pro' Mirrorless .... the unsaid inference being that they want to knock the Sony a9 (or A9II by then) off it's perch. Don't expect such a Nikon beast this side of the Olympics - they're going into that with the DSLR D6 as the flagship. Perhaps for the next one .... 2024. https://nikonrumors.com/2019/06/17/...s-camera-equivalent-to-the-d5-is-coming.aspx/

What I find interesting with Sony's new leading future AF-proofed GM 600 f4 is whether Sony will now also release an a9II in time for the 2020 Olympics or just get through with the a9I.5 ...... ?





Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Interesting DSLR lifetime sales quantities breakdown .....

Well this is all rather interesting .... ! :cat:

https://nikonrumors.com/2019/06/26/nikon-dslr-camera-sales-figures-estimations.aspx/

Something near ~30M DX, and about ~10% of that again in FX, and so far just a smidge over ~1% of that again in the new Z mount.

The interesting thing is that the bulk of the sales were quite long ago. When you look at things like the 5xxx and 7xxx series, the numbers for the later offerings have dropped off quite sharply.

eg. 1.54M D7000, 841K D7100, 401K D7200, 71K D7500 .....
or, 588K D300, 311K D300S, 110K D500

and in FX, 614K D610, 457K D750
or, 346K D800 + 76K D800E, 257K D810 + 2K D810A, 74K D850
or, 74K D4 + 28K D4S, 23K D5 ......

This suggests to me that many people are using older cameras that are "good enough" and are waiting for a compelling reason to upgrade.

There seems to be room for a D7500S, a D500S, a D6, and a D760 among others ......

I don't know that the Mirrorless Z system so far has offered a compelling proposition in weight/ size savings and/or performance gains for folks to justify upgrading. There is the possibility of some more nice Mirrorless lenses coming, but jeez, Nikon had better get cracking ....



Chosun :gh:
 
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marcsantacurz

Well-known member
Nikon Rumors says the consumer models (d3500, d5600) along with the favorite d500 will not get a DSLR replacement, they will go mirrorless. The d7500, d750, d850, and d5 will all get a DSLR update. Probably because they are essentially ready-to-go.

I take this to mean that if the d500 is not getting a dslr upgrade, Nikon thinks they have sports focus and tracking up to snuff for those future mirrorless systems.

Marc
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Nikon Rumors says the consumer models (d3500, d5600) along with the favorite d500 will not get a DSLR replacement, they will go mirrorless. The d7500, d750, d850, and d5 will all get a DSLR update. Probably because they are essentially ready-to-go.

I take this to mean that if the d500 is not getting a dslr upgrade, Nikon thinks they have sports focus and tracking up to snuff for those future mirrorless systems.

Marc
I wonder how accurate this rumour is ..... ? :cat:

From the figures I posted above, I think it's a reasonable hypothesis that what people have is 'good enough' for their uses, or they don't see a compelling lift in performance to justify the upgrade expenditure.

The D500 is perhaps the best APS-C camera ever produced by a margin too. With only 110K sales, people must be holding off for some reason or another. Compare that to the amount of D300S sold, and the D7200 which were the last several hundred thousand unit cameras. For me it's the D7200's awesome low ISO DR and higher 24MP resolution (I'm also kicking myself a bit that I didn't jump on a 2000 Ozzie dollar D500 before the specials ran out and our dollar tanked).

There is definitely market room for a D500 upgrade (the D500S) - high DR 24MP stacked BSI sensor, 2 fastest spec card slots, perhaps 12fps, full cross sensors, eye-AF, machine learning /AI, faster processing, 4K 60p video, zebra stripes etc in the same body would go a long way to smashing the competition further. Especially with a matching PF 600 f5.6 .....

I would be a little surprised if a little brother D500S didn't follow the D6. If you don't build it, they won't come ! :eek!:

A Z500 would theoretically offer benefits in lens communication and AF speed /accuracy, though I don't know that Nikon is competitive with Sony in the Mirrorless AF stakes in the short term .... ? :brains: :cat: It's definitely the future - but can Nikon get there in the next year .... I think probably not.

A D6 / D500S DSLR Pro pair would be a much safer bet allowing clear air to properly develop killer Mirrorless equivalents at leisure. :t:

I could also quite easily see a Z7600 offering a hi resolution (say 32MP or so) APS-C mid-range (prosumer) proper D7500 type offering - a great volume / value / profit nexus. :t:

The D850 is also a bit of a weird one - that seems the perfect candidate for the mirrorless treatment ..... ? Though I could understand a hi-res DSLR that perhaps became a little more landscape focused and specialized - no star eating ! :)

It will be interesting to see how it plays out. For all the p**p**ing I actually think Nikon has a reasonable DX lens range. What I don't like is the two slow speed kit lens approach - when your off in far away lands I prefer just the one set and forget super zoom offering 24-300 eq at f3.5 - f5.6 at the slowest. I much prefer not to expose the sensor to all sorts of fluff on the road.




Chosun :gh:
 

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
The Z7 is very close to a d850 mirrorless. Lloyd Chambers now recommends the Z7 over the d850 for new kits. I think for everything except action, the Z7 is up there with the d850. What it lacks is a grip, pro connectors for shutter release (it uses the flimsy usb release). And if you use older lenses, the d850 is better.

For the d500/d5 DSLR replacements, I wonder if they will go the route they did with the f6. The f5 was the last pro-build film camera. Nikon saw all the pros going digital. The f6 was a much more refined camera for the high-end consumer. I mean, they still sell those for $2500! Personally, I use the the N90 to M6ttl.

I do wonder what Nikon will do for a DX mirrorless lens. Will it still be a Z mount? I assume so. But will they make DX Z while trying to catch up on full frame. Or will they do a DX mirrorless with F mount for the existing DX lens lineup?

Marc
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
We can lock in a DSLR D6. That should be announced at the end of the year, or first thing next year (though I think that's a bit late) , that leaves precious little time for the Pro's to familiarize themselves and mentally tick off the confidence box ready for the Olympics.

I think those total numbers figures per model in my couple above post are quite revealing. There must be a lot of Pro's still happily earning a living from their D4 that didn't feel the need (or could justify the cost benefit analysis) for a D5 upgrade. Will the D6 capture these folks? Maybe. I still think there are possible goodies that the D6 'could have' that it won't get at the initial release. I'm expecting evolution rather than revolution. They may save those goodies for ~3 odd years down the track for a mid-life and last hurrah D6S upgrade.

I suppose we will soon (in the next year or so) see whether the 'little brother' DSLR D500S (or whatever they call it) also follows on from the D6, just like the D5/D500 duo did. It will be interesting :cat:

I think this buys Nikon quite a bit of time to carefully and successfully design the Pro Mirrorless FF and DX offerings. Remember - no-one as of yet has come out with a Pro Mirrorless form factor ergonomics and size wise (Panasonic may argue that they jumped straight to it with their S1/S1R). Getting this and the UI right is going to be critical - look at all the flak the Sony a9 cops and the non-pro Canon R did too for its weird operating departure.

Also, Nikon needs the next generation lightweight long super telephotos in native Z mount - otherwise really what's the point? Adapted lens seem to work well for Nikon but they don't take full advantage of all of the benefits the Z mount offers in terms of better AF motor control and accuracy.

Also what's becoming another bit of a peeve for me, is that we are seeing some nice lens design advances and innovations and performance pickups at the Mirrorless wide end, but ..... Everything from say the 70-200 (Canon excepted) and longer seems to be merely just sticking a tube and built-in Mirrorless mount onto the end of existing lens designs. There are no inherent length or weight reduction benefits being offered. This is budget stuff - even for the supposedly 'Pro' glass. This is not really going to convert the Smartphone hordes to the field of dreams (excellent PF and DO lenses notwithstanding - assuming they also get some nice native Mirrorless mount versions).


I do wonder what Nikon will do for a DX mirrorless lens. Will it still be a Z mount? I assume so. But will they make DX Z while trying to catch up on full frame. Or will they do a DX mirrorless with F mount for the existing DX lens lineup?

Marc

Well DX Mirrorless for Nikon (and to a lesser extent Canon) is the biggie isn't it ! :cat: What to do, what to do, what to do ...... ??

People go DX for 2, possibly 3 reasons:-
1. Reach.
No substitute, Nikon will need the Z mount to offer native compatibility with the long FF super telephotos. Any such future 'Mirrorless D500' would need to be Z mount.
A very nice system could be made with some nicely purpose designed DX Mirrorless Z lenses, such as a version of the excellent 16-80 f2.8-f4, and offering some 'S line' DX very fast (I'm thinking f1.4) wide primes - say a 16mm and a 24mm. Longer than that just use the excellent FF Z glass. There's the FF f4 14-30mm which would give eq 21-45mm, and they would only need a DX dedicated fast ultra wide zoom of say f2.8 (f2?) 8-20, or 8-24, or even 8-28, giving from eq 12mm up.

2. Light weight /smaller size.
This is where the Canon EOS-M is winning. It allows the design of compact, lightweight, well performing systems. Even though there is no real compatibility with the full frame R, I still think it is not the drawback many make it out to be at the entry-consumer level.
Sony trumpets their single mount solution - but is it just an all round compromise ? Sales of EOS-M say Canon has got it right.
The big question is does Nikon follow suit ?? or forge it's own unique path?
* Does it merely make the entry/consumer level DX Mirror less with a built-in F mount allowing instantaneous kits up and running? but without fully capitalizing on the size reduction (mirror box elimination) benefits .....?
** Does it use the large Z mount and cop a slight size and weight penalty, but offering excellent wide angle design possibilities, and complete compatibility and migration between DX and FF. There's a pretty good case for this I think.
*** Or does Nikon do something completely out of the box with a completely new DX Mirrorless mount - though a very very clever one (ie slightly smaller throat diameter AND slightly shorter FFL [if this is possible] - this would allow Z mount FF lenses to be adapted via an ultrathin fully functional adapter plate - Techart style).

I actually think this strategy has some legs that could offer the best of all possible worlds and cover entry/consumer/prosumer levels. It could be a real winner. DX customers using fully functional FF Z glass via full benefit Mirrorless adapter, could use that glass natively on any future FF Z body. Nikon could do a lot of busine$$$$$$.

The only real drawback would be the amount of time to fully flesh out the lens range, though Nikon could get up and running immediately with a range of no drawback adapters (as the FTZ seems to be - mostly positive press there). Bundling these essential adapters free or via promotion would also be critical.

If I'm Nikon CEO this is the sort of move I think I would make. It would allow third party lens designers to natively supply with very minor modification to existing designs. It could also offer unmatched competitive advantages. Will they do it - who knows? :)

3. Cost.
The third reason people go DX is cost. Pure and simple. It's why the D3xxx and D5xxx have been such winners. Such Cost advantages could be retained no matter which DX design option Nikon goes with. Profitability should increase too given the lower Mirrorless Bill of Materials cost base.

The question ultimately becomes - which field of dreams does Nikon build so that the most paying fans come? I hope they go the 'clever' solution ...... that would shake the industry a bit - all the advantages of Canon's EOS-M yet at the same time all the 'effective' compatibility and format mobility of the Sony FE. Win-win. :t:

Interesting times ! :cat:




Chosun :gh:
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Lol !

Some folks on the interwebs seem to be taking news of Nikon not renewing their best DSLR APS-C camera the D500 very hard ...... as it's very hard to understand at this stage. I hope those rumours are wrong - or Nikon makes a Slayer Mirrorless version in the blink of an eye with a full set of native light weight super telephotos (does not seem likely).

This is just too funny not to post: Reggie Cofera (day ago)

"Dear Nikon,

When I die will you please send 6 of your top executives to my funeral to lower my casket? That way I can rest peacefully knowing it will be the last time you will ever let me down."


:-O:-O:-O:-O




Chosun :gh:
 

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
On the no DSLR d500 successor. It could be Nikon looks at it like this: there will be no dslr competition for the d500, even it it ages another few years. Canon's not doing it, unless the 90d turns out much better than some fear. Sony's mirrorless. So the d500 will stay tops DX even if they do nothing.

For the DX mirrorless, I think doing them with a F mount makes the most sense, at least in the beginning. I'm sure Nikon could find a way to auto-negotiate the F-mount communications to make it go faster, if they really needed to, but for the majority of DX shooters (price & weight folks), it won't matter.

Whatever they do, Nikon need to give certainty that it's a good investment. There's too many choices and people know that some will die out or be dead ends and hesitate. Personally, I have the 24-70 f/4 S with the Z7, as I didn't have that zoom range on F mount. But I'm not buying any more Z lenses until I know Nikon can make sports and action work better.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
On the no DSLR d500 successor. It could be Nikon looks at it like this: there will be no dslr competition for the d500, even it it ages another few years. Canon's not doing it, unless the 90d turns out much better than some fear. Sony's mirrorless. So the d500 will stay tops DX even if they do nothing.

For the DX mirrorless, I think doing them with a F mount makes the most sense, at least in the beginning. I'm sure Nikon could find a way to auto-negotiate the F-mount communications to make it go faster, if they really needed to, but for the majority of DX shooters (price & weight folks), it won't matter.

Whatever they do, Nikon need to give certainty that it's a good investment. There's too many choices and people know that some will die out or be dead ends and hesitate. Personally, I have the 24-70 f/4 S with the Z7, as I didn't have that zoom range on F mount. But I'm not buying any more Z lenses until I know Nikon can make sports and action work better.
Yes Marc - that's an excellent point on the D500. It's top of the pops and has no DSLR competitor anywhere near, or even Mirrorless competition at the moment (arguably). So I could see Nikon just being quite lazy and blaise' about the whole thing and resting on their laurels.

With the rumoured changes to the D6 though (stacked BSI sensor? , new dual processors and better AF, IBIS, 4K60p video, with dual CFe card slots, etc) such a 'twinning' as happened with the D5/D500 release, could see an upgraded D500 (call it D500S or whatever) untouchable for many many years by anything. Arguably it would never need much further significant development, and a minor mid-life upgrade (maybe a hybrid OVF?, etc) could buy half a dozen years life in total - the last DSLR hurrah.

Importantly, this would give Nikon at least a clear 3 years from now to nail the development and performance down of the succeeding Mirrorless D500. I've already said that the Z mount chooses itself for a Pro DX model like that - it needs native access to the next generation light weight super telephotos.

Really, unless a Mirrorless version outperforms an upgraded DSLR like that, then what's the point? - it's just trends and fashion at this stage. I think Nikon will need every one of those 3 years to get high speed Pro level Mirrorless focus, and EVF performance etc up to snuff based on the development pace we have seen so far.

I will come back to the other DX Mirrorless points you raised later (I always thought that was the most interesting and uncertain part right when I started this thread - but most folks have been too gun shy to comment on that aspect ..... even Nikon ! :)

For now though it's hi-ho hi-ho, it's off to work I go ..... :)




Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Nikon needs to beat Sony A7R IV to stay in the camera business, IMO.
I think it's 'possible', but Nikon is going to have to upgrade the processing with a new capable generation and improve the algorithms/AI if they are to jump the Sony AF bar.

They should be able to capitalize on their ergonomics, UI, fast card and nice Z lenses so far (if rather limited range) strengths.

One of the biggest issues for Nikon will be that Sony is likely to keep the 61MP BSI sensor and 5.76M dot EVF to themselves for about a year ........ this will allow the a7R IV to establish itself nicely in the market and maybe even win a few converts. :cat:

The other thing Nikon will have to do is seriously pull its finger out with some fast lightweight native Z mount supertelephotos ...... Sony has a market ready lead here now with the lightweight 100-400 f5.6 GM, the 400 f2.8 GM, 600 f4 GM, and 200-600 f5.6 - f6.3 G. Nikon is looking decidedly a generation or two behind now .....

Sony has left the video door open slightly (probably for the potential a7S III , though tackling that is probably a job for the Z6) so that's another opportunity for Nikon.

With Nikon's efforts focused on the flagship D6 (and D500S too? rather required now that this new a7R IV does everything the D500 can do and maybe a bit more), it will be at least 12 months before we could expect a 'Z8'

I'm more comfortable waiting now with a few possible options - the Sony a7R IV shows that they are fair dinkum as a company. Nikon, and especially Canon are on notice.

Neither of the big 3 seems to comprehend actual usability and ease of work flow, but Sony and Canon (EF) have some very nice glass that does things that smartphones just can't do, so at least part of their market is safe, though I note that Canon has taken another big hit ...... a perceived lack of innovation will do that. At least Sony is keeping up the development pace and not (really) hobbling its products with artificial marketing niche protectionism (the worst of American smoke and mirrors management [and political leadership too for however long that will last] ).






Chosun :gh:
 
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etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
It would be helpful to have a map of the corporate relationships in Japan, probably built around the banking networks involved.
Unfortunately, business in Japan is still very determined by these relationships, even though logic would suggest that Nikon should cozy up to TSMC or Samsung to fill the obvious gaps in their technology palette.
Similarly, it boggles the mind that Canon, which really should know better, still has no world class semiconductor partner. Does METI have no clue?
Photography is obviously melding increasingly with digital processing and software. Why is the entire Japanese industry, with the possible exception of Sony, in denial of the obvious?
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
There are several Japanese corporations with photo/video portfolio you did not mention. These are not at this time the world leaders in volume, but are they exceptions to your complaint?

Niels
 

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
Super high MP is not necessarily a desirable thing. You will see edge blurring from minor shakes unless you have good posture, high shutter speed, or good IBIS. No one really needs more than 24-ish MP unless you want really big enlargements or a lot of cropping. With the d850 (45MP), shot at 1/2500 or faster, I can get 4x-6x crops and still shoot at ISO 2000 - 6400. I'm not sure if a 61MP sensor will be that much better. It's a sqrt() relationship between MP and crop. a 4x crop on 45MP is 2.8MP, on 61MP it is 3.8MP. I don't think that's much difference.

We'll need to see how the AF and dynamic range come out.

Personally, I'm not rushing to order the A7rIV. I'll wait to see what all the Sony announcements are, and what Nikon might offer up in the next 3-4 months. I think the A4rIV is more for landscape & portrait, we'll see what their sports-oriented announcements are.

Marc
 

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