D3 on June 26th???

Started Jun 13, 2007 | Discussions thread
Thom Hogan
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Re: Prediction
In reply to Tony Rundle, Jun 25, 2007

Tony Rundle wrote:

(c) We don't know when the announcements will be.

With virtually all of Nikon's pro announcements, there has usually been about a two or three-week early warning due to the press event announcements that go out (kind of difficult to have a major roll-out without inviting the press, and you don't do that at the last moment if you want 100% attendance of the key influencers). There's also a longer lead early warning when Nikon Japan does the initial roll-out (in Japan) to the subsidiaries. It appears that the latter has occurred, which is fueling a lot of the speculation, but the former hasn't, which means it would surprise me if there is an announcement planned in the next couple of weeks, though we're probably now in the period where each subsidiary is working feverishly on getting roll-out and marketing programs ready. As Jerry Pournelle used to write: Real Soon Now.

People with long memories will remember my hinting at the release date by pointing people to the sporting event calendar. If I were a betting man, I'd bet that the first public appearance of the new Nikon pro body would be at the world track and field championships in Osaka, Japan in August (Aug 25-Sept 2). I tried to hint at that back earlier this spring, but I guess I was being too cryptic.

You have to think like the Japanese to understand why the track meet is an important deadline. For Nikon, to have Canon dominating a major world event in their own backyard with the 1DIII would be a tremendous loss of prestige. Japanese press Nikon users would not be happy if they still were shooting with D2 series bodies at that event and a new pro camera were available, oh, say a month or two after that. My guess is that Nikon will once again do what they've done at a few previous launch events: have a large quantity of the new equipment available to NPS shooters covering the event. Of course, if they do that, the cat is out of the bag, so Aug 25 becomes the last possible date to officially announce the camera under this scenario. More likely, it would be announced prior to the event, though.

There is, of course, risk in a scenario of announce and launch at Osaka. Basically, the camera has to work (consider what would have happened if Canon had waited for this event to launch the 1DIII, handed out the new camera to hundreds of pro photographers and the AF problem that Rob Galbraith reports surfaced at the event). Personally, I wouldn't be averse to such risk on such a major launch, but it might have impacted the release schedule some--I would have picked an event where I knew I could get plenty of testing in before handing over cameras.

Another scenario is that Nikon is waiting to launch the camera while I'm out of Internet coverage this summer in Africa ; ).

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Thom Hogan
editor, Nikon DSLR Report

author, Complete Guides: D40/D40x, D50, D70s, D80, D100, D200, D1 series, D2 series
http://www.bythom.com

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