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Twin Cities photographer slams Nikon for its men-only camera launch

Nikon selected 32 photographers to test its new camera – none of them were women.

A Twin Cities photographer has called out camera giant Nikon for failing to select a single woman to test its new camera ahead of its launch.

The company has come under criticism since it was revealed that the 32 photographers selected by its Asian division to test the new D850 camera were all men.

Among those having their say is Minneapolis-based professional photographer Becca Dilley, who wrote this blog post highlighting that despite preconceptions about the photography industry, it's anything but male dominated.

"I can’t help but look at the data and see that I, as a photographer, am not respected or valued," she writes.

"In over 10 years of being a professional shooter, I’ve purchased a dozen cameras, more lenses and accessories, and run a business based on my Nikon equipment. I’m a member of their Nikon Professional Services (NPS)."

Citing studies that show 47.7 percent of photographers are women, as are 51 percent of DSLR camera owners, Dilley says Nikon's representation of women doesn't reflect these figures.

She highlights its ambassador program – whereby Nikon invites the "top visual storytellers of this era" to represent the company – as being disproportionately populated by male photographers.

She also notes that of the 27 people Nikon USA's Instagram account follows, less than a quarter are women.

Nikon says it's an 'isolated incident.'

Responding to the furor, as reported by the Independent, Nikon said it had invited female photographers to the testing but they were "unable to attend," and acknowledged that "we had not put enough of a focus on this area."

In a further statement to the Independent, Nikon said it "champions" female photographers globally and looks to "praise and elevate unique female talent whenever and wherever possible."

It brushed off the Asian division controversy as "an isolated occasion due to circumstance and not design."

But Dilley, who has been a professional photographer since 2006, isn't interested in excuses, writing: "What I want is for Nikon to follow more women on their Instagram.

"I want Nikon to support women in their ambassador program here in the US, U.K., and Europe where it is SO EASY TO DO SO and then start raising the bar in their Middle East and Africa spaces (where there are no women represented)," she says.

"I want the term “photographer” to mean 'photographer of any gender'," she adds. "I want an apology and then I want to see action."

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