Thom Hogan's assessment of a D400

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
jfriend00
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Re: Will you buy if Nikon went crazy high ISO & not MP?
In reply to Adrian Van, Apr 24, 2013

Adrian Van wrote:

Mjfriend00 wrote:

whoosh1 wrote:

So let's assume the D400 comes with say 12 MP but say up to 51200 ISO and very fast FPS (may be more likely 25600) - would there be more demand for it than for another D7100 like camera? I don't think Nikon will go that direction - but just think of the possibilities for wildlife or sports (both areas users may want pro DX camera) - you could get away with a reduced need for a fast telephoto like a 200-400 VR and make do with an 80-400 AF-S. Of course the other part of the pro DX market - the "crop away to glory" market will be not satisfied.

Are you working under some assumption that a 12MP sensor would have less noise than a 24MP sensor when the output of the two is viewed at the same size?  That doesn't seem to be true these days with Nikon's full coverage microlenses and other pixel tech.

A 12MP sensor would obviously have the ability to process more fps (but the mirror would have to be able to keep up - if there is a mirror).

I'd be extremely surprised if Nikon ever made another dSLR that was 12MP.  They seem to be showing that everything is at least 16MP and, except for the D4, everything else is at least 24MP.

FYI, aperture on a lens isn't only for keeping the ISO down.  In my soccer shooting, I always shoot my 200-400 wide open at f/4 to help with subject isolation vs. the background.

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Maybe a D400 needs to be Pro body with either fast phase on sensor (with mirror up) with live view, or contrast detect with EVF to be extremely fast fps like some mirrorless (such as fast Sony NEX 16mp cameras at 10fps) and be totally compatiable with current lens lines. Eventually the Nikon DSLR line will go mirrorless according to Thom Hogan predictions a few months ago just maybe not this year.

MP will likely be 16 Mp to 24MP (maybe 20Mp to compete with Canon's 18MP as compromise and faster speed than 24MP).

Most people will likely think it will end up 24MP like all the current line up with crop FPS mode like D7100 (including Thom in his predictions from new year). Would that be enough to buy D400 over the D7100 with more rugged pro body? How many can Nikon expect to sell, could be deciding factor to make one.

Has anyone ever done fast phase focus on sensor that tracks focus while shooting a sequence.  Nikon 1 can't do that.  That seems to be a limitation and a sports/action camera must track during the sequence.  I'm sure Nikon is working on this, but I'm not expecting mirrorless to show up at the top-end of the DX line first where the bar is highest for AF.  It seems more likely to show up in the low/middle end of the line first.

There are plenty of ways that a D400 would/could be differentiated from a D7100, particularly for the action photographer:

  • 8fps
  • Buffer for 20-30 14-bit RAW files
  • Shorter mirror blackout time (gives you better AF when shooting at max fps)
  • D800 AF that both has more advanced algorithm than D7100, but also works to f/8
  • More AF CPU horsepower than the D7100 (like the D3 AF is more powerful than the D700 AF)
  • Compatibility with 10-pin pro accessories
  • Dedicated AF-ON and AE-L buttons (so you can use AF-ON full time and still have AE-L)
  • Larger body style
  • Viewfinder shutter
This camera would be an excellent companion to the D800 because it would look and feel and operate the same, except it would shoot fast.  Also a logical upgrade to any current DX body owner who wants both modern sensor and shoot fast.  If Nikon executes and prices it around $1500, they could sell a lot and it could be another one of those cameras that lasts in the marketplace as a great camera for 5+ years (like the D300 did).
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