4 potential paths for Nikon pro bodies

Started Jul 2, 2008 | Discussions thread
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4 potential paths for Nikon pro bodies
Jul 2, 2008

I see 4 potential paths for Nikon pro bodies;

1) Copy the F5 to F6 evolution. The D3 becomes the F5, the last of the big body DSLRs. The D700's ability to provide so much in a low cost frame is very impressive. Follow the D700 with the rumored high mpix "D900" or "D4" and leave the > US$5K market to Canon. Working against this theory is the high price point ($5K-$8K) already established by Nikon and Canon for big, expensive, high margin pro DSLRs. Once a manufacturer knows that companies/people will* pay that much for a product, they won't want to walk away from it.

2) Repeat the D1 to D1x/h strategy with the D3. That means we'll see 2 new DSLRs based on the D3 frame, a higher mpix D3x and faster D3h. A variant of this would be the introduction of a high mpix D3x but no D3h making the D3 (or a refreshed "D3s") effectively the D3h. (BTW - I hate the way Nikon adds the "s" to model numbers. It looks so plural to my English reading eyes.)

3) Keep selling the D3 for another 12-18 months and then go right to a new big body D4 frame. To me this seems unlikely. Sales of the D3 will drop off in a few months as supply fills demand, and Nikon will be leaving a lot of easy money on the table. The cost to stick a high mpix sensor in the D3 frame is negligible (the "D3x"). One variant of this option, a refresh model "D3s" with minor tweaks like the D2x to D2xs. I'm also having trouble identifying what Nikon would so desperately need from a new "D4" body that they don't have in the D3 frame. A bigger LCD? The SB-900 intro leads me to believe we won't see Nikon building RF into a DSLR any time soon.

4) The combo approach: more than one of the above strategies used together. I think this is most likely, a D700 & D900 line -and- D3 & D3x line with release timed just like the D3/D700 release. The high mpix D3x hits the street 6 months before a high mpix D900. Like with the D3/D700 approach this strategy will use a D3x to capture the big budgets first, then the D900 follows to win over laggards and those with smaller wallets.

Tear these ideas apart or offer your own speculation. Regardless of which way this goes, its a great time to be a Nikon shooter.


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