D600 is Nikon fixing its product strategy - not a D700 replacement

Started Sep 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
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D600 is Nikon fixing its product strategy - not a D700 replacement
Sep 13, 2012

My take on the D600 is a little different. It is easy to jump to the conclusion that the D600 is the replacement for the D700 bit I think there is more to the strategy than rolling out a 24mp DSLR.

First off, from a competitive situation, the D600 is Nikon's attempt to deal a hammer blow against Canon similar to the impact of D300 on the professional DX market. I am not a Canon expert but it would appear to me that Nikon has taken a decisive step to stop the hemorrhaging in the full frame market. Since the introduction of the 5D, Canon has been building market share in FF, much of it at Nikon's expense. I know several pros (primarily weddings) who left Nikon when the original 5D came out. Then more jumped with the MKII and even more migrated when the MKIII was released. Clearly, the D600 can hold its own against the 5D MKII and whatever advantage the 5D MkIII may have is effectively neutralized by the $1,000 price advantage.

More problematic for Nikon was its own product strategy for its existing base. Again, just my opinion, but the D700 was Nikon's attempt to counter the competitive threat of the original 5D but, in doing so, created its own marketing problems ...the D700 was too good. Slap a MB-D10 grip on a D700 and there is not a lot of incentive to pony up another $2000 for a D3 except for the most demanding professional. I wonder how many pros bought a D700 as the primary or backup instead of a D3? I bet Nikon has thought about that a lot over the last 4 years and is not going to make that mistake again.

The D800 is a different animal, looks like the best FX studio / landscape camera available (assuming the focus issue is resolved). Will it compete with a D4...not really. If anything, the pro will likely buy both a D4 and D800 when a client demands highest resolution. They are different tools for different applications.

Looking at the D600 specs, features and build, it is expressly for the "serious" Nikon enthusiast wanting FF. It is basically a blown out D7000 with an FX sensor. The D600 is not a pro body. It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact the D600 will have on the D800 sales.

With the D600, Nikon has effectively "fixed" it FF market strategy. It will be interesting to see how Canon responds...expect to see price cuts in the MKIII.

There is also the unanswered question of a D300/D300s replacement. I think this is Nikon's most problematic product niche. I personally think the high end DX market is going to be squeezed out between the D7000 and D600, similar to what happened to the prosumer market when entry DLSR's came out.

To end this rambling, I don't think there is going to be a true D700 replacement. The D700 was / is a lightly stripped down pro body. If video is unimportant, the D700 is still an impressive workhorse. Constant refrain that I hear now is pros picking up used D700's on the cheap. In fact, I bet Nikon would love to see the D700 die so they could sell more D4's!

Canon EOS 5D Nikon D3 Nikon D300 Nikon D4 Nikon D600 Nikon D700 Nikon D7000 Nikon D800
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