Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

Started Nov 6, 2010 | Discussions
Tony Beach
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Re: What about the D7000?
In reply to Dan, Nov 14, 2010

Dan wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

They introduced the D300, then they used its sensor in the D90, and everyone with a D90 could say that it performed like a D300.

Cameras are not just about sensors.

I know, but if you only look at the pictures,

That's for the audience, for the photographer the features and capabilities of the camera can be important.

Nikon will not come out with a new state of the art AF system in a "D400" before they have introduced one just as good in their flagship models.

I really hope the D400 has a much quick AF acquisition time than the D300.

That's my expectation.

[Snip.]

But the AF system in the D300 doesn't seem to be the same as the one in the D3. I've read that the D300 has an AF acquisition lag that the D3 doesn't have.

I've read that as well, and I've read similar about the D700 (as in the D700 is faster than the D300 but slower than the D3/D3s). Still, I wouldn't expect Nikon to leapfrog the D3s performance in any substantial way with a "D400" without also upgrading the D3s to a "D4" [that's the point in my post below that you replied to].

You won't buy a D3 if you want a DX camera in a bigger body though, you can only buy a D2x or a D3x and use it in DX mode, and that's the point of making a "D400" a bigger bodied camera.

Which DX photographers need a vertical grip?

Which FX photographers need a vertical grip?

Do bird photographers need it?

Does anybody? In fact there have been a few who have asked for it.

The D100/200/300 series has always been small.

Not small enough for some; many who shoot FX would appreciate an FX DSLR as small as (or even smaller than) the D7000. Therein lies your answer, if you like really small, get a D7000.

Going big would not make sense because it would alienate so many D200/D300(s) shooters. If there is a high enough demand for a built-in vertical grip, it would make more sense to make another D2x type of a body,

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. That's the point, a "D400" could be a return to the D2x type of body. It's just speculation anyway, so no point in dwelling on it too much -- Nikon has almost certainly already decided which body they will use, as well as which sensor, in a "D400."

A D7000 is essentially a D90 (at least that's how I feel about it right now, not having tried it yet), so I'm not so sure. I would only consider the D7000 if its AF system is quicker than the one in the D300. I went through a lot of bodies before I found one that suited me.

From what I'm reading, the D7000 AF is comparable to the D300/D300s. That's not unlike what happened with the D90 BTW, where that camera used the same AF system that had been used in the D200 as the D300 inherited the newer AF technology shared with the D3.

I am not going to shoot RAW.

Your loss. If you are happy with the JPEG output then great, but if you aren't, then consider RAW instead of running out to buy the next generation of camera because better processing of your files is tantamount to a sensor upgrade.

Isn't that [software] what they improved on the D3s?

No, they improved the sensor and increased the buffer size.

So they chose not to improve the sensor for the D300. I guess they're making D200/300 shooters wait a little longer for the D400. What was the point of the D300s? To get the D200 shooters? I wonder if it was worth producing.

The D300s added video and a second memory card slot, along with a couple of UI tweaks. Most of us in this forum said when it came out that it wasn't worth upgrading from a D300 for, or a D200 for that matter if you have been happy with the D200. I believe Nikon came out with the D300s so that they could continue selling the camera to those that objected to the lack of video, which is a feature the camera companies are currently fixated on and believe they need to offer with every DSLR.

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Dan
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Re: What about the D7000?
In reply to Tony Beach, Nov 14, 2010

Tony Beach wrote:

Cameras are not just about sensors.

I know, but if you only look at the pictures,

That's for the audience, for the photographer the features and capabilities of the camera can be important.

I wonder if I would have gone with a D90 if it had come out before the D300. I had a D200 and the Fuji S5, but the D300's high ISO performance really impressed me, and I was having issues with the AF of the D200/S5s. Now that I've used the D300, I can't imagine "downgrading" to a D7000.

Which DX photographers need a vertical grip?

Which FX photographers need a vertical grip?

Those that take pictures of people. I think there are many more photographers that take pictures of people than there are that take pictures of birds.

Do bird photographers need it?

Does anybody? In fact there have been a few who have asked for it.

I guess sports photographers could benefit from this too.

The D100/200/300 series has always been small.

Not small enough for some; many who shoot FX would appreciate an FX DSLR as small as (or even smaller than) the D7000. Therein lies your answer, if you like really small, get a D7000.

I've always had big cameras, so I guess I'd be ok either way (now that I've thought about it a little more). But at one wedding I shot, I held my camera so long that a nerve got pinched too long, making my hand feel numb. I was told to take Advil for a while so that it could heal. This was back when I was using the S5 if I recall correctly.

a "D400" could be a return to the D2x type of body. It's just speculation anyway, so no point in dwelling on it too much

I wonder why they don't just make a D3 that has either an FX or a DX sensor, two models. Like a car with two different engine options.

I am not going to shoot RAW.

Your loss. If you are happy with the JPEG output then great, but if you aren't, then consider RAW instead of running out to buy the next generation of camera because better processing of your files is tantamount to a sensor upgrade.

I don't even have enough time to go through all the pictures I take, let alone edit them. I don't want another step in my flow. I know of the benefits of RAW, but I choose not to shoot RAW. With the way cameras have been handling high-ISO shots lately, I don't think I need to shoot RAW for noise reduction. I also haven't had dynamic range issues. I can see it helping in the white balance department, but I'm ok right now.

I might start shooting RAW if there was some standardized image format where it would be no different than shooting JPG. I'd shoot RAW and my computer would automatically know alll my settings (WB, sharpness, contrast, etc.) so that I didn't have to do anything more to the pictures.

I believe Nikon came out with the D300s so that they could continue selling the camera to those that objected to the lack of video, which is a feature the camera companies are currently fixated on and believe they need to offer with every DSLR.

I'd love video on my DSLR. The camera would be a lot more appealing if it could capture at 30 fps and have stereo mics. I think the D400 will have good video specs, so I'm really looking forward to it.

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Simon Garrett
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Re: What about the D7000?
In reply to Dan, Nov 14, 2010

Which DX photographers need a vertical grip?

Which FX photographers need a vertical grip?

Those that take pictures of people. I think there are many more photographers that take pictures of people than there are that take pictures of birds.

Do bird photographers need it?

Does anybody? In fact there have been a few who have asked for it.

I guess sports photographers could benefit from this too.

Yes, and all those photographers can benefit from a tripod, so shall we have that built in too?

The whole point of the D300 (and D700) are that they are pro cameras (or at least semi-pro) but much lighter.

I think it would be a serious mistake to load the camera with extra weight not needed by most photographers most of the time. And I'm prepared to bet good money that most potential users of the D300 don't want a grip, or at least don't want it most of the time.
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Tony Beach
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Re: What about the D7000?
In reply to Dan, Nov 15, 2010

Dan wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

a "D400" could be a return to the D2x type of body. It's just speculation anyway, so no point in dwelling on it too much

I wonder why they don't just make a D3 that has either an FX or a DX sensor, two models. Like a car with two different engine options.

Probably too small a production run to make having both a "D400" and D4dx" in the line-up; they would in one sense be in direct competition with each other.

I am not going to shoot RAW.

Your loss. If you are happy with the JPEG output then great, but if you aren't, then consider RAW instead of running out to buy the next generation of camera because better processing of your files is tantamount to a sensor upgrade.

I might start shooting RAW if there was some standardized image format where it would be no different than shooting JPG. I'd shoot RAW and my computer would automatically know alll my settings (WB, sharpness, contrast, etc.) so that I didn't have to do anything more to the pictures.

Batch processing can accomplish that pretty well -- with NX you should get everything the same without ever really touching the files, and retain the latitude of RAW if you want to go back and work on the files some more. However, the real value of RAW is the ability to expose in a fundamentally different way and retain complete control over the file (e.g., ETTR), and that's where you start to see what your camera is really capable of compared to what it is delivering. Still, even without ETTR, you can pull more detail out of a RAW file than the camera's ASIC delivers, it's often marginal though and for many not worth the effort (but then the same can be said for constantly upgrading cameras).

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Tony Beach
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Re: What about the D7000?
In reply to Simon Garrett, Nov 15, 2010

Simon Garrett wrote:

Which DX photographers need a vertical grip?

Which FX photographers need a vertical grip?

Those that take pictures of people. I think there are many more photographers that take pictures of people than there are that take pictures of birds.

Do bird photographers need it?

Does anybody? In fact there have been a few who have asked for it.

I guess sports photographers could benefit from this too.

Yes, and all those photographers can benefit from a tripod, so shall we have that built in too?

That's a specious argument.

The whole point of the D300 (and D700) are that they are pro cameras (or at least semi-pro) but much lighter.

They could be lighter. Where's the lighter version of the D3x or D3s? Nikon doesn't seem to have a problem reserving their best sensors and features in their largest bodies, and the D300 and D700 are no exception to that.

I think it would be a serious mistake to load the camera with extra weight not needed by most photographers most of the time. And I'm prepared to bet good money that most potential users of the D300 don't want a grip, or at least don't want it most of the time.

As I've said numerous times, there is the D7000 option, and something like that would be most welcome by many FX users too. How many D300 users would simply opt for a D7000 if it had all the capabilities of their D300/D300s? If the answer is that a significant portion would, then that makes a "D400" with just a couple of small benefits and no integrated grip possibly as much or more of a niche product than one with an integrated grip. The other half of the coin is how many of those who like the bigger bodies and shoot with the D3x, D3, D3s, and D2x would welcome a "D400" with an integrated body and be willing to pay a premium for it? It could be that even if an integrated grip sells less than a non-integrated grip, if the profit margin is higher for the former then Nikon might be further ahead to make a "D400" with an integrated grip.

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Simon Garrett
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Re: What about the D7000?
In reply to Tony Beach, Nov 15, 2010

Tony Beach wrote:

Yes, and all those photographers can benefit from a tripod, so shall we have that built in too?

That's a specious argument.

And that's a subjective argument!

As I've said numerous times, there is the D7000 option...

It's a very different camera.

How many D300 users would simply opt for a D7000 if it had all the capabilities of their D300/D300s?

Well, yes, but that would make it a D300 (or perhaps a D400).

It's a matter of opinion (as none of us have facts to hand, I'm sure) but I'll bet that the D300 replacement won't have a built-in grip, unless it can be done without extra size and weight (unless a very marginal increase), which would mean no extra batteries for example.
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Tony Beach
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Re: What about the D7000?
In reply to Simon Garrett, Nov 15, 2010

Simon Garrett wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

Yes, and all those photographers can benefit from a tripod, so shall we have that built in too?

That's a specious argument.

And that's a subjective argument!

There are cameras with vertical grips, there are none I know of with built in tripods.

As I've said numerous times, there is the D7000 option...

It's a very different camera.

It's a matter of how many will seriously feel left out if they don't have an option between a smaller body and a larger body.

How many D300 users would simply opt for a D7000 if it had all the capabilities of their D300/D300s?

Well, yes, but that would make it a D300 (or perhaps a D400).

It's a matter of opinion (as none of us have facts to hand, I'm sure) but I'll bet that the D300 replacement won't have a built-in grip,

At this point, it's all just speculation.

unless it can be done without extra size and weight (unless a very marginal increase),

One thing is for sure, a an integrated vertical grip is smaller and lighter than an optional one is.

which would mean no extra batteries for example.

Having more battery power would be one of the reasons for an integrated grip. The smaller body simply doesn't have enough room for the larger batteries used in the D2 and D3 series bodies.

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Dan
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ETTR
In reply to Tony Beach, Nov 16, 2010

Tony Beach wrote:

I might start shooting RAW if there was some standardized image format where it would be no different than shooting JPG. I'd shoot RAW and my computer would automatically know alll my settings (WB, sharpness, contrast, etc.) so that I didn't have to do anything more to the pictures.

Batch processing can accomplish that pretty well -- with NX you should get everything the same without ever really touching the files, and retain the latitude of RAW if you want to go back and work on the files some more.

I guess they're trying to make it simpler, but it's still an extra step I'm not ready to live with. I want Windows to recognize the RAW file as if it were a JPG.

However, the real value of RAW is the ability to expose in a fundamentally different way and retain complete control over the file (e.g., ETTR), and that's where you start to see what your camera is really capable of compared to what it is delivering.

I had to search Yahoo to decipher the acronym. It sounds a lot like pulling/pushing. This is what I read about ETTR.

http://www.rags-int-inc.com/PhotoTechStuff/ETTR/

Still, even without ETTR, you can pull more detail out of a RAW file than the camera's ASIC delivers, it's often marginal though and for many not worth the effort (but then the same can be said for constantly upgrading cameras).

I don't mind upgrading cameras once in a while. I'm a gadget freak, so I love any new useful technology that gets introduced.

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win39
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Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...
In reply to Dave Courtenay, Nov 17, 2010

Interesting that this changes the order. The D90 improved slightly on the D300 even with the same sensor. In this case the D400 image quality may improve on the D7000 even with the same sensor.

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Dan
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Re: Why do we need a D4?
In reply to Tony Beach, Nov 18, 2010

Tony Beach wrote:

The pace of major updates for Nikon is every 4 years now, and late next year it will be 4 years since the D3 and D300 were announced.

The time gap between the D200 and the D300 was pretty short, so it would seem that they only introduce new models when there is a need.

And what other products have had a 4 year gap?

The D7000 appears to be an improvement in that regard, as well as simultaneously offering more resolution. What's not to like about that?

It would be like going from a Camry to a Corolla or a 5-series to a 3-series. Even if the specs are better on paper, it's a different class. It's like telling a D3 shooter to use a D700 or an Elan user to shoot with a Rebel.

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Dan
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How did the D90 improve on the D300?
In reply to win39, Nov 18, 2010

win39 wrote:

The D90 improved slightly on the D300 even with the same sensor.

How so?

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rhpetersen
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'possibly', NOT 'probably'
In reply to tyb, Nov 18, 2010

. . . and I'm guessing it will be without . . .

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Tony Beach
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Re: Why do we need a D4?
In reply to Dan, Nov 18, 2010

Dan wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

The pace of major updates for Nikon is every 4 years now, and late next year it will be 4 years since the D3 and D300 were announced.

The time gap between the D200 and the D300 was pretty short, so it would seem that they only introduce new models when there is a need.

New models do not necessarily equate to what I would call major upgrades. I would consider major upgrades to be significant improvements in resolution, ISO performance, AF, and significant features.

And what other products have had a 4 year gap?

Looking at what I consider major upgrades, it turns out the gaps are closer to 3 years.

CAM1300 in 2001
CAM2000 in 2004
CAM3500 in 2007

5-6 MP in 2001-2
10-12 MP in 2004-5
FX & 24 MP in 2007-8

Applying those major upgrades to individual lines (e.g., D70-D80-D90) is more complex as they trickle into the cameras soon after they become available and some of the camera lines are updated more frequently than others. The flagship line that we were discussing when you asked what was wrong with the D3s or D3x don't get updated until they can usher in major upgrades to their sensors and AF systems.

The D7000 appears to be an improvement in that regard [high ISO performance], as well as simultaneously offering more resolution. What's not to like about that?

It would be like going from a Camry to a Corolla or a 5-series to a 3-series. Even if the specs are better on paper, it's a different class. It's like telling a D3 shooter to use a D700 or an Elan user to shoot with a Rebel.

You said the reason you bought the D300 was for its higher ISO performance, and that the only reason you would upgrade is for a better sensor and mainly for its high ISO performance. When Nikon offers that sensor or a better one in a "D400" along with an improved AF system, I'm sure you'll be pleased.

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