D400 discussion continuation

Started May 26, 2009 | Discussions thread
SNRatio
Regular MemberPosts: 339
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Re: May end up with fragments of a road map here
In reply to Thom Hogan, May 31, 2009

Thom Hogan wrote:

SNRatio wrote:

Which makes your initial question
all the more interesting: Should Nikon do a "D4DX", a "D400", or
both, next time?

That was my whole reason for continuing the discussion. I doubt Nikon
is locked into 2011 decisions yet, though they are well on their way
; ).

I see. To sum up: D300 is done now, D400 will probably have both a new sensor and a new AF system. We want these parts also in a bigger brother, which continues the D2X line. With faster electronics for handling the DX sensor readout, a high-speed crop mode and otherwise whatever non-FX-specific that goes into the D4. Did I miss out anything important?

Maybe the smartest would be to do the D400 first,
with a dual D4/D400 release, and somewhat later the pro DX body?

I say if you're going to do all three, do them simultaneously. By
2011, many of us are just going to be out shooting ; ). Nikon needs a
Big Bang, much like the D3/D300 was, to get our attention back.

They will surely get attention from us existing users with a new dual release only. But competition-wise, a triple release might be a very good move. Maybe even an urgent one, to match a new 1.3X crop offering from Canon.

Well, when we throw more raw processing power at a problem, it is
normally not just brute force..

If you have to use more processing power, by definition you're using
brute force. What you look for in designs is elegant simplicity
wherever possible. Nikon doesn't have that for contrast AF, in any
camera.

You are using a non-standard definition of "brute force" here. It usually means "low-algorithmic" approaches, in that all available information is not fully utilized. I would, for example, not call syntactic pattern recognition "brute force". But it can be very computationally intensive.

I just have a feeling that, for example, Bayesian methods might be of
some use - if they are not employed already.

They are.

And in this context, they will often use lots of processing power...

In terms of sensor prices, we could use
US$500 and 300.

You might. I see nothing that gets us to an FX sensor price of US$300
in the foreseeable future. Nothing. As I noted, my US$400 was even
optimistic.

I still wonder about the different parts costs here: chip, filters and off-chip circuitry.

As a check, the price difference of the sensor assembly between D300
and D700 should be $250-350 by these principles - not too far off, I
guess.

As I've tried to say several times but apparently wasn't heard, it
appears to me that Nikon is taking less margin on a D700 than they
normally would want to. There are many reasons why a company chooses
to do that, but with Canon also taking less margin on the 5D (now
5DII) and having a competitor that would be unmatched by Nikon if
Nikon used their usual pricing, one can see at least one reason why
they might have priced the D700 as they did. Most of Nikon's products
are priced with consistent (and relatively high) product margins. The
D700 isn't.

Using Norwegian net prices as of today, and a factor of 3.5 for the D300 and 3.0 for D700, I end up with a difference of about $330. I doubt the real difference is very, very much higher, because the D300 is also loaded with expensive components.

Alternatively, which I guess is more like Nikon's own take on this, the markup on the rest of the body is normal, while it is about halved on the sensor assembly. And if they do the same for the "D90FX", with a sensor assembly cost of $400, guess where we end up

Therefore, in addition to the business-as-usual D4/D400, I think we might very well see an enthusiast "D90FX" in the $1500-$2000 range launched at around the same time. With a "D4DX" as well, Nikon would then have two complete lines, and the need for a road map might be less urgent.

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