Nikon D800h press camera coming next year?
7 months ago
Ever since the D800 came out there has been a lively discussion here and in other fora about whether the D800 was the true replacement for the D700 or if there was another one coming, the preferred choice being a D4 sensor wrapped in a D800:s body (the D800h). But since the D600 showed up, things has more or less settled. Most people now believe that this is it for some time to come. Nikon has already cranked out four (sic!) FX bodies in one year, and it is time for the company to turn to different matters.
I myself have concurred with this view. However, having recently read an article in the Swedish magazine Proffsfoto made me thinking. The magazine compared the 5Dmk III and the D800 and concluded that the 5D is currently the best press camera around. It also claimed that times are changing in newsrooms. Today most press organizations don't equip their journalists with a D4/1DX. These bodies are truly only needed for sports photography. For general journalism they are overkill, so newsrooms keep a couple of them for specific assignments, while photographers get a smaller body for their general purpose photography. If this is true, then Nikon is in trouble. The press corps have always been important to their company image. Granted they lost the battle over sports journalism to Canon two decades ago, but they were able to hang on to the general journalists fairly well even during the dark period.
In the previous generation Nikon had the glorious couple of the D3/D700 to cater to every journalistic need. Now they don't have anything similar. The D800 is really the successor of the D3X, meant to compete with MF bodies for landscape/studio photography. It's huge files makes it less fit for journalism. The question is if Nikon feels that the (consumer graded) D600 is able to compete with the 5DmkIII for general journalism. If not, maybe a D800h is in the pipeline, possibly to hit the market come spring next year.