Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .

Started Apr 25, 2012 | Discussions
AF Tracker
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Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
Apr 25, 2012

His latest speculation:

D400 would be an FX entry level camera.

There would also be a "D8000" (in addition to a D7000 replacement) that has an integrated grip.

This is more feasible to me than simply replacing the D300s with an entry level FX camera.

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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to AF Tracker, Apr 25, 2012

Thom writes some interesting articles but he's often off the mark.

An integrated grip might work for some models ala the PJ/Sports shooter D4 type cameras

I don't think it's a good idea for a high level APS-C model to have an integrated grip, it's too bulky.

I also believe it's very obvious the D700 will get an updated model (with less mp) for wedding shooters and low light ones. You can call it entry level FF or FX if you want to!

Though I agree with his comments on lenses

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Weathered
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, Apr 25, 2012

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

Thom writes some interesting articles but he's often off the mark.

An integrated grip might work for some models ala the PJ/Sports shooter D4 type cameras

I don't think it's a good idea for a high level APS-C model to have an integrated grip, it's too bulky.

I also believe it's very obvious the D700 will get an updated model (with less mp) for wedding shooters and low light ones. You can call it entry level FF or FX if you want to!

Though I agree with his comments on lenses

I think you're right on the money on both accounts. I read his article the other day as well, and thought it would be odd for Nikon to not release an update to the D300 in the same size body.

That being said, if they release an update to the D700 that is 16-20MP and priced around $2K, I will be on the waiting list the minute it's announced.

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Antony John
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to AF Tracker, Apr 25, 2012

At some stage FX must migrate down to the masses.

Nikon have already fired a salvo with the 36 MP D800 so now's as good a time as any to bring out a 'relatively' affordable FX.

When LCD monitors first came out many thought they were not, and would not, be affordable. Same as FX.

I think Thom's 'in the loop' - subtle hints - so I wouldn't disregard his comments/thoughts.

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HSway
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to AF Tracker, Apr 25, 2012

Hi,

the bottom line is this for me:

Above the d7000 line is the top dx model no matter what’s called. I don’t see any need to change it; if Nikon does I will be surprised very much.

A line above is: D400 line is not an fx and why it should change is beyond me. There is a low budget fx line already and has its name. - D700 (d750?, 710 or some type -letter.)

Hynek

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herbymel
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to AF Tracker, Apr 25, 2012

AF Tracker wrote:

His latest speculation:

D400 would be an FX entry level camera.

There would also be a "D8000" (in addition to a D7000 replacement) that has an integrated grip.

And that's all it pretty much is...His latest speculation...nothing more than what we've been seeing here by so many other members. I like his articles, but you can't put too much weight into what one person says until it's been announced.
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Simon Garrett
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to Antony John, Apr 25, 2012

Antony John wrote:

At some stage FX must migrate down to the masses.

Why?

FX is important for the "serious photographer" market, if only because of the sentimental attachment to the 35mm paradigm.

I'm sure there is a market for cheaper FX bodies, but I doubt it's a mass market. I reckon the mass market is likely to consider that the disadvantages of extra cost, size and weight of FX outweigh the somewhat mixed advantages in image quality.

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ScottRH
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to Simon Garrett, Apr 25, 2012

+1
Well put. FX is just there due to 35MM lenses.

Simon Garrett wrote:

Antony John wrote:

At some stage FX must migrate down to the masses.

Why?

FX is important for the "serious photographer" market, if only because of the sentimental attachment to the 35mm paradigm.

I'm sure there is a market for cheaper FX bodies, but I doubt it's a mass market. I reckon the mass market is likely to consider that the disadvantages of extra cost, size and weight of FX outweigh the somewhat mixed advantages in image quality.

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Simon

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Simon Garrett
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to AF Tracker, Apr 25, 2012

AF Tracker wrote:

His latest speculation:

D400 would be an FX entry level camera.

There would also be a "D8000" (in addition to a D7000 replacement) that has an integrated grip.

This is more feasible to me than simply replacing the D300s with an entry level FX camera.

Nikon Rumours reckon the low(er) priced FX will be the D600. He also reckons there won't be a DX D400. But then confusingly he says:

I still believe that Nikon will release two more DSLR cameras in 2012.

and links this to his earlier story:

Nikon will announce three more DSLR cameras in 2012. I believe that the new cameras will all be DX models - my vote goes for Nikon D3100 [now launched], D7000 and D300s replacements.

Oh well, we'll find out soon enough.
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astwood1285
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I disagree
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, Apr 25, 2012

There probably is room for a D4DX with integrated grip if the D7100 is really good too. Mind you I've long been in favour of the D4DX type camera and know full well it's a minority view around here.
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AF Tracker
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But . . .
In reply to Antony John, Apr 25, 2012

Antony John wrote:

When LCD monitors first came out many thought they were not, and would not, be affordable. Same as FX.

I disagree. LCD monitors were being compared to a different technology (CRT). The price of an FX sensor is being compared to the price of a DX sensor, which is the same technology. And, the price of an FX sensor will ALWAYS be more than the price of a DX sensor.

And, given that the cost of a sensor is heavily reliant upon its real estate, the cost of an FX sensor will continue to be significant more than a DX sized one.

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Antony John
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to Simon Garrett, Apr 26, 2012

Simon Garrett wrote:

Antony John wrote:

At some stage FX must migrate down to the masses.

Why?

FX is important for the "serious photographer" market, if only because of the sentimental attachment to the 35mm paradigm.

FX is also important to those wanting to go wide and not all 'serious photographers' want to splash out big money on an camera body. If you mean 'professional photographers' then that's a different story.

I'm sure there is a market for cheaper FX bodies, but I doubt it's a mass market. I reckon the mass market is likely to consider that the disadvantages of extra cost, size and weight of FX outweigh the somewhat mixed advantages in image quality.

The other reason for going FF is lens availability (assuming the cheaper FX would still retain a lens drive). It might also be assumed that the 'low end' FX would also have lower mass too.
One could also add that some would like to own both DX and FX bodies.

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Antony John
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Re: But . . .
In reply to AF Tracker, Apr 26, 2012

AF Tracker wrote:

Antony John wrote:

When LCD monitors first came out many thought they were not, and would not, be affordable. Same as FX.

I disagree. LCD monitors were being compared to a different technology (CRT). The price of an FX sensor is being compared to the price of a DX sensor, which is the same technology. And, the price of an FX sensor will ALWAYS be more than the price of a DX sensor.

And, given that the cost of a sensor is heavily reliant upon its real estate, the cost of an FX sensor will continue to be significant more than a DX sized one.

The anology was meant to be one of economies of scale. The greater the volumes, the lower the price. I'm not arguing that FX sensors cost more, they do, but if one orders 1,000 sensors a month the price will be higher than 10,000 sensors a month.
It's certainly possible to produce an FX camera at

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eddyshoots
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to ScottRH, Apr 26, 2012

Balderdash....

Almost universally, the larger the sensor the better the image. This has been true since film. The only reason we have DX is that camera manufacturers couldn't initially cost justify putting FX sensors in their cameras. That has changed a little but it is still cost prohibitive....to expensive to go into every camera. It's not because the DX sensor size is some sort of magical format that makes everything work better.

You see a lot of DX or nothin' type posts on this board when there is any suggestion that Nikon might be abandoning a DX D300 for a FX D400 (they won't). It seems to me that this whole DX FX debate is beginning to sound a lot like the Nikon Canon debates of old. People just flailing about..."my brand/format is best!". The 4/3s format is too small....FX is too big....DX is just right. You all sound like a bunch of Goldilocks. Like being a fan boy, I think that much of the loudest complaints are just people trying to self-justify whatever they happen to have in their camera bags.

ScottRH wrote:

+1
Well put. FX is just there due to 35MM lenses.

Perhaps DX is just there as a stop gap until Nikon can make all FX cameras.

Simon Garrett wrote:

Why?

FX is important for the "serious photographer" market, if only because of the sentimental attachment to the 35mm paradigm.

I'm sure there is a market for cheaper FX bodies, but I doubt it's a mass market. I reckon the mass market is likely to consider that the disadvantages of extra cost, size and weight of FX outweigh the somewhat mixed advantages in image quality.

FX was a standard for decades...in fact it was a compromise standard because 35mm film was so cheap. DX is just another compromise standard...it's been here for a decade only because big sensors where too expensive. DX lenses....what DX lenses? I see a bunch of consumer grade zooms with only a couple of professional caliber lenses among the bunch. The rest of the Nikon line-up is FX. Nikon has been telling everyone for years, since day one of digital, that DX is a temporary measure. A lot of folks weren't listening.

I don't think that DX is going away at the D300 level during this round of camera development...you/we are going to get a D400...I think. But, mark my words, if Nikon does manage to release a reasonably priced FX replacement for the D700 this summer as some are suggesting then there won't ever be a D500 DX camera. Too many enthusiasts will suddenly find that that "extra reach" or "lighter body" or "better depth of field" wasn't the real reason they stayed with DX but that they were just too cheap to buy full frame. With the price barrier removed they will be born again FX owners pretty darn quick. DX will be relegated to small sensor toy status...suitable for children and seniors only.

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AF Tracker
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Re: But . . .
In reply to Antony John, Apr 26, 2012

Antony John wrote:

AF Tracker wrote:

Antony John wrote:

When LCD monitors first came out many thought they were not, and would not, be affordable. Same as FX.

I disagree. LCD monitors were being compared to a different technology (CRT). The price of an FX sensor is being compared to the price of a DX sensor, which is the same technology. And, the price of an FX sensor will ALWAYS be more than the price of a DX sensor.

And, given that the cost of a sensor is heavily reliant upon its real estate, the cost of an FX sensor will continue to be significant more than a DX sized one.

The anology was meant to be one of economies of scale. The greater the volumes, the lower the price. I'm not arguing that FX sensors cost more, they do, but if one orders 1,000 sensors a month the price will be higher than 10,000 sensors a month.
It's certainly possible to produce an FX camera at

Antony,

I think I understand what you are saying; it's classic production economics. It costs 1x to make 1. It costs .95x each to make 100. It take .9x each to make 1000.

But this is not the economics of sensor production. To be more accurate about sensor costs, as I understand it, the price will be the same if 100,000 sq cm are ordered regardless of the sensor size.

It will be roughly the same price whether 116 FX sensors are bought, 313 DX sensors are bought, or about 440 4/3rds sensors - all roughly equating to the 100,000 sq cm. And, it makes only a small difference whether the 116 FX sensors are the 12mp D700 sensor, or the 36mp D800 sensor.

In the end, until the economics of sensor production radically change, a DX sensor will always be in the range of about 40% of the cost of an FX sensor.

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The Big One
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to Antony John, Apr 26, 2012

Antony John wrote:

FX is also important to those wanting to go wide and not all 'serious photographers' want to splash out big money on an camera body. If you mean 'professional photographers' then that's a different story.

I don't get why this is still being repeated... there are DX wide angles that go just as wide as FX wide angles.

Sure the image quality on a D800 + 14-24 is going to be higher than a D5100 + Sigma 8-16, but it also costs many thousands more. That is a compromise that I as a non-pro cannot make.
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The Big One
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to eddyshoots, Apr 26, 2012

eddyshoots wrote:

You see a lot of DX or nothin' type posts on this board when there is any suggestion that Nikon might be abandoning a DX D300 for a FX D400 (they won't). It seems to me that this whole DX FX debate is beginning to sound a lot like the Nikon Canon debates of old. People just flailing about..."my brand/format is best!". The 4/3s format is too small....FX is too big....DX is just right. You all sound like a bunch of Goldilocks. Like being a fan boy, I think that much of the loudest complaints are just people trying to self-justify whatever they happen to have in their camera bags.

When you factor in all aspects of the different formats, then yes, DX is just right for many people. One major aspect is cost. If Nikon makes a FX camera for the same price as the 3100, then I agree: FX will be better for just about everyone. However that will not happen for the forseeable future, if ever; people are excited right now that there may be an FX camera body for $1800 . I, and many others whom I associate with who are interested in photography, cannot justify that expense. It took me over 5 years to build up a kit which is currently around $3000 total, and that is with 6 lenses (5 of which are of a reasonably high quality). Doing the same thing with FX would be far more money.

Not everyone has unlimited budgets for gear, and cost is a major consideration when deciding on what to buy.
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On the other hand, I shoot with DX bodies...
In reply to The Big One, Apr 26, 2012

My kit's depreciated value is approximately $35,000. I don't think that's unusual for wildlife photographers.
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n057
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Re: Thom's latest: D400 would be FX but . . .
In reply to eddyshoots, Apr 26, 2012

eddyshoots wrote:

Balderdash....

Almost universally, the larger the sensor the better the image. This has been true since film. The only reason we have DX is that camera manufacturers couldn't initially cost justify putting FX sensors in their cameras. That has changed a little but it is still cost prohibitive....to expensive to go into every camera. It's not because the DX sensor size is some sort of magical format that makes everything work better.

DX rules, OK

FX was a standard for decades...in fact it was a compromise standard because 35mm film was so cheap. DX is just another compromise standard...it's been here for a decade only because big sensors where too expensive. DX lenses....what DX lenses? I see a bunch of consumer grade zooms with only a couple of professional caliber lenses among the bunch. The rest of the Nikon line-up is FX. Nikon has been telling everyone for years, since day one of digital, that DX is a temporary measure. A lot of folks weren't listening.

Nikon also published a white paper to explain why FX was not needed, remember?

I don't think that DX is going away at the D300 level during this round of camera development...you/we are going to get a D400...I think. But, mark my words, if Nikon does manage to release a reasonably priced FX replacement for the D700 this summer as some are suggesting then there won't ever be a D500 DX camera. Too many enthusiasts will suddenly find that that "extra reach" or "lighter body" or "better depth of field" wasn't the real reason they stayed with DX but that they were just too cheap to buy full frame. With the price barrier removed they will be born again FX owners pretty darn quick. DX will be relegated to small sensor toy status...suitable for children and seniors only.

Yawn.

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Antony John
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Re: But . . .
In reply to AF Tracker, Apr 26, 2012

AF Tracker wrote:

Antony,

I think I understand what you are saying; it's classic production economics. It costs 1x to make 1. It costs .95x each to make 100. It take .9x each to make 1000.

But this is not the economics of sensor production. To be more accurate about sensor costs, as I understand it, the price will be the same if 100,000 sq cm are ordered regardless of the sensor size.

It will be roughly the same price whether 116 FX sensors are bought, 313 DX sensors are bought, or about 440 4/3rds sensors - all roughly equating to the 100,000 sq cm. And, it makes only a small difference whether the 116 FX sensors are the 12mp D700 sensor, or the 36mp D800 sensor.

In the end, until the economics of sensor production radically change, a DX sensor will always be in the range of about 40% of the cost of an FX sensor.

Thank you for pointing that out. Appreciated that you have taken the time to explain in a rational, detailed response.

The sensor is but one component though and production economics still play a major part in other areas - moulds for example are very expensive.
Any idea what the sensor relates to as a % of the total camera parts?

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