Did Nikon make an EPIC BLUNDER?

Started May 6, 2012 | Discussions
IcyVeins
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Did Nikon make an EPIC BLUNDER?
May 6, 2012

Nikon just launched a brand new DSLR, the 24 MP D3200, for a price of $699 with kit lens. This places it in a very awkward spot in the lineup, costing just as much as last year's more advanced D5100. The D5100 has a lower MP sensor, but the IQ will probably end up being about the same, and the D5100 has several advantages in functionality that over the D3200, not all of which appear on the specs list. In short, anyone who knows anything about photography should prefer a D5100. Which means, the D3200 is A HUGE F-ING WASTE OF A CAMERA! It is my conclusion that anyone who buys the D3200 is a) ignorant, b) a sucker, or c) really wanted a shiny red DSLR.

NIKON - if you're going to launch a new camera, you'd better make damn sure it's better than cameras priced equal to or lower. I would suggest looking at Canon for an example, but Canon hasn't launched any new sanely priced DSLRs in forever, so I'll use Sony as a good example. They launched the A57 for $799 in a kit, and it is virtually the same camera as the $999 A65 kit, except it shots 12 FPS instead of 10 FPS and has 16 MP instead of 24 MP (IQ might be better too since the sensor is new). So it's actually a better camera than the A65 but priced less. Nikon should have saved the new sensor for its high-end DX cameras and given the D3200 16 MP and priced it at $499, THAT would get people's attention.

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Re: Did Nikon make an EPIC BLUNDER? Possibly but
In reply to IcyVeins, May 6, 2012

Why would Nikon save the new sensor for the high end DX, it sIQ may (or likely is not), although very good, be as good as many want for that.

Many seemt o want high ISO low noise (D3s-like quality) in the new high end DX.

That 24MP may be high res, but may not match the expectation os some, unless the better processing engtine will counter that.

I suspect the high end DX will have a different sensor.

As for the 3200, the market at the low end is getting very competitive, with the new offerings from Miro 4/3.

Yes, the M4/3 bodies are more expensive than D3200, but the lenses cheaper. And while it lacks a lot of fast lenses, the lenses are more than adequate for beginners and there are a couple of fast primes.

At the beginners level, it is now not just Canon etc that is the competition, it is Olympus, Panasonic and Samsung.

Both Panasonic and Samsung, make their own sensors.

I would go as far as to say that the traditional makers (apart from Oly)are going to be in serious trouble at the low end DSLR market.

Yes, mirrorless EVF is not quite there, compared to OVF, but the entry level segment may not be very aware as to that, or care.

And that may be the only downside , aside from lens choice, for M4/3 to DSLR. Look at the latest IQ samples from the OM D M/43.

Things are changing in the entry level segment.

So, you are prorbably right. That pricing and offering does not say much. A nice camera, but so are all the others.

If the M4/3 guys come up with some nice quality f2.8 and f4 zooms, at decent prices, that will make the competition even hotter, current M4/3 fast primes are comparatively cheap.

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Peter Jonas
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Re: Did Nikon make an EPIC BLUNDER?
In reply to IcyVeins, May 6, 2012

IcyVeins wrote:

... Which means, the D3200 is A HUGE F-ING WASTE OF A CAMERA! It is my conclusion that anyone who buys the D3200 is a) ignorant, b) a sucker, or c) really wanted a shiny red DSLR.

I wonder why you take this so personally.

I think there will be enough people to buy the D3200 to make Nikon happy. And they won't worry too much if those cameras were bought for a), b) or c) reasons.

I hope getting all of that off your chest did make you feel better.

Take it easy and have a nice day.

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Cheers,

Peter Jonas

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Mako2011
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Worked before
In reply to IcyVeins, May 6, 2012

IcyVeins wrote:

Nikon just launched a brand new DSLR, the 24 MP D3200, for a price of $699 with kit lens. This places it in a very awkward spot in the lineup, costing just as much as last year's more advanced D5100. The D5100 has a lower MP sensor, but the IQ will probably end up being about the same, and the D5100 has several advantages in functionality that over the D3200, not all of which appear on the specs list. In short, anyone who knows anything about photography should prefer a D5100. Which means, the D3200 is A HUGE F-ING WASTE OF A CAMERA!

It worked very well for Nikon with the D5000/D3100 so I suspect it will work very well here also. It would appear that because one knows something about photography doesn't always correlate to good business.

It is my conclusion that anyone who buys the D3200 is a) ignorant, b) a sucker, or c) really wanted a shiny red DSLR.

That conclusion says far far more about you than anyone who buys a D3200

NIKON - if you're going to launch a new camera, you'd better make damn sure it's better than cameras priced equal to or lower......so I'll use Sony as a good example. They launched the A57 for $799 in a kit, and it is virtually the same camera as the $999 A65 kit, except it shots 12 FPS instead of 10 FPS and has 16 MP instead of 24 MP (IQ might be better too since the sensor is new). So it's actually a better camera than the A65 but priced less. Nikon should have saved the new sensor for its high-end DX cameras and given the D3200 16 MP and priced it at $499, THAT would get people's attention.

Apparently Sony is taking your advice.....and may be the reason the company looks poised to go the way of Kodak. We can only hope Nikon doesn't make the same mistake and adopt your business model

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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Did Nikon make an EPIC BLUNDER?
In reply to IcyVeins, May 6, 2012

Blunder as in what it offers apart from the sensor yes, it's a very simple camera and IMO not worth the £650 price tag not by a long shot.

In terms if ill informed buyers who think more pixels makes them a better photographer then I can assure you most people are suckers for that. So it will sell be in no doubts about that and sell well.

I can't blame people for that most simply don't know or understand that there is a lot more to any camera than just pixels. It's BS marketing at work and it's a real shame to see Nikon play the same crippled crapware card and just shove lots of pixels on there and ramp the price up. Sad thing is it will work. I would add this cut down simple stuff might have worked for the D40 as it really was "cheap" D3200 is far from cheap at it's release price

As for the D5200 I have no idea (nor does anyone) what the strategy is there. Personally I think the D5200 should be the next D90 with a real step up in terms of functionality and controls. I can't see how a 24mp a swivel screen and a few other minor bits is going to cut it for this model.

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fotolopithecus
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Re: Did Nikon make an EPIC BLUNDER?
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, May 6, 2012

Well here's a thought. If Sony were to go the way of the Dinosaur, what will Nikon do for sensors?

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jimr
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I Look Forward To Purchasing This "Epic Blunder" With Its Excellent Sensor At A Steal
In reply to IcyVeins, May 6, 2012

of a price......

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JoKing
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Re: Did Nikon make an EPIC BLUNDER?
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, May 6, 2012

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

I would add this cut down simple stuff might have worked for the D40 as it really was "cheap" D3200 is far from cheap at it's release price

That says more about rip-off Britain than anything else.

The D40 launched at $600 and the D3200 is $700 which, on balance, is a fair price considering we've since passed through a financial crisis, not to mention the flooding in Thailand which affected Nikon's factories.

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ZorSy
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Re: Did Nikon make an EPIC BLUNDER?
In reply to IcyVeins, May 6, 2012

On the opposite - they did a very cunningly smart move - photographers know "truth" about pixels and "more is not always better". Amateurs and consumers think the other way around "more is better". 24MP in low end body at low price point with big name on it - can't go wrong. How many people here asks 3200 or 7000? Even here where facts live!

Consumers would frown upon Nikon D3s (as some D5100 frown upon D700) based on MP count alone, it makes them feel good, value for money (apart from actually being one). It may take more convincing why higher models cost more and are better value (features) but nobody knows Nikon's roadmap for future models, in particular what D7000 successor is to bring. 3100 was the odd-ball itself with MP count somewhere between D90/300 and 5100/7000 so predicting what the 5200/7100 would bring pixel count wise is questionable (everyone THINKS should be more than 24MP, I reckon slightly different readout and tuned - MP the same).

3200 with its 24MP is confusing those thinking going MILC route for sure - and that is what Nikon has as the target. Though "upgraders" may feel a bit ripped off.... but in consumers world there is always "newer and better" than yesterday's model.

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Re:Other people make sensors.
In reply to fotolopithecus, May 6, 2012

Including Nikon designed sensors. Outsourcing manufacture is no bog deal.
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tbcass
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In reply to IcyVeins, May 6, 2012

IcyVeins wrote:

I'll use Sony as a good example. They launched the A57 for $799 in a kit, and it is virtually the same camera as the $999 A65 kit, except it shots 12 FPS instead of 10 FPS and has 16 MP instead of 24 MP (IQ might be better too since the sensor is new). So it's actually a better camera than the A65 but priced less.

I'll have to disagree with you here. The A65 has a significantly better viewfinder, GPS and better IQ at iso800 and below. The 12fps feature is only available at 8.4 mp. The viewfinder alone is worth the $200 difference. Compared to the A55 which it replaced it is a significant upgrade but it is a step down from the A65. The sensor in the A57 is not new but is the same 16mp sensor as the A55 (and D5200 and D7000) with a tweaked JPG engine.

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tbcass
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In reply to Mako2011, May 6, 2012

Mako2011 wrote:

Apparently Sony is taking your advice.....and may be the reason the company looks poised to go the way of Kodak. We can only hope Nikon doesn't make the same mistake and adopt your business model

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Actually that is because of a drop in sales in their TV-electronics divisions. Their camera division is is doing very well. A 1 year drop in stocks rarely means the company is going out of business BTW unless the company doesn't do anything to correct their problems.

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BillCarr
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Re: Did Nikon make an EPIC BLUNDER?
In reply to IcyVeins, May 6, 2012

IcyVeins wrote:

Nikon just launched a brand new DSLR, the 24 MP D3200, for a price of $699 with kit lens. This places it in a very awkward spot in the lineup

Sez yu.

NIKON - if you're going to launch a new camera, you'd better make damn sure it's better than cameras priced equal to or lower. I would suggest looking at Canon for an example, but Canon hasn't launched any new sanely priced DSLRs in forever, so I'll use Sony as a good example.

Excluding NEX, Sony has almost mo marketshare for its A-mount DSLRs. Canon/Nikon have more than 80% of the market so I think they'll be happy to ignore your funny advice.

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2005magnum
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In reply to IcyVeins, May 6, 2012

The average consumer desiring a DSLR for themselves or as a gift wanders into the local Best Buy. Now they have a choice of 3 entry level Nikon cameras, D3100, D3200 and D5100. Each camera presents something to consider, low price, more bells and whistles or more mpc (megapixels per camera). Most consumers figure that more is better. The others will opt for the less expensive option or want the D5100 because of the articulating LCD. Most of these folks may have viewed DPreview for the camera reviews and some general discussion but most could care less about the pixel peeping rants here in these forums.

Nikon has been designing, building and selling cameras for many years. I cannot recall the last time (I have been shooting since the 1950s) that Nikon made a major blunder in connection with their line of cameras (although they have a few mistakes regarding lenses).
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Tom W Williams
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Why I am considering a D3200
In reply to IcyVeins, May 6, 2012

I've had two low-end bodies so far, a D40 and a D3000, the latter after I broke the former. The D40 was great, and had enough D50 engineering left in it that it was considered a Nikon blunder in the user's favor.

When I bought the D3000, everyone with an opinion hated it. It's served me well for two years, despised as it is by all the feature snobs because it lacked two D40 strengths (low-light performance and 1/500 second flash sync). Of course, the feature snobs didn't care that it added picture control, vertical and horizontal viewfinder grids, 11 (versus 3) autofocus zones, and manual focus hinting. But all of those features were significant improvements, for me at least.

Since I'm already happy with the D3000, I saw no reason to rush an buy a D3100. Besides, Nikon hurt my feelings when they dropped the IR remote from the feature list.

So here comes the D3200, which adds another megapixel bump (useless -- unless you crop your pictures or photograph distant subjects), Expeed 3 processing upgrade, and a nearly inexhustible multi-shot buffer (Don't know how the latter compares with the 3100). Oh, and as an act of contrition, they restored the IR remote feature.

This seems to me to be a pretty nice upgrade, especially for us generation-skippers who crop pictures.
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Mako2011
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In reply to tbcass, May 6, 2012

tbcass wrote:

Actually that is because of a drop in sales in their TV-electronics divisions. Their camera division is is doing very well. A 1 year drop in stocks rarely means the company is going out of business BTW unless the company doesn't do anything to correct their problems.

I went back, based on what you said, and looked at their 5yr chart. It actually looks worse than the 1yr going from $50 to $15. Based on there declining market share in the camera division, I can see them selling off portions and perhaps simply keeping a sensor division and a smaller P & S line, in an effort to make the company a little leaner. In any case, a new photographer looking to select a system for the long haul, would be well served to stay away from Sony now. It would seem just good sense to steer towards the big two as the gap in actual IQ, regards modern SLR's, is so tiny.

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Danel
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Re: Did Nikon make an EPIC BLUNDER?
In reply to Peter Jonas, May 6, 2012

Peter Jonas wrote:

IcyVeins wrote:

... Which means, the D3200 is A HUGE F-ING WASTE OF A CAMERA! It is my conclusion that anyone who buys the D3200 is a) ignorant, b) a sucker, or c) really wanted a shiny red DSLR.

I wonder why you take this so personally.

I think there will be enough people to buy the D3200 to make Nikon happy. And they won't worry too much if those cameras were bought for a), b) or c) reasons.

I hope getting all of that off your chest did make you feel better.

Take it easy and have a nice day.

Very close to a perfect response to the OP. Nice job. I too am a bit surprised at the number of people who seem to be so upset that Nikon put a new high resolution sensor in a low end DSLR. They act like it is some sort of personal affront to them. LOL. I think the reason for it is simple: Nikon thinks it will make these cameras sell like crazy and they will pick up many new users. I think they are right and that it was a brilliant move. Before long the D7000 and the D5100 will get upgrades and then the line will all fit together nicely. In the mean time, we have this low end, light weight camera at a bargain price that will take superb low ISO images, and fairly competitive higher ISO ones too. That's hardly anything to get all worked up and negative about.

Another funny thing is that if Nikon had started out putting this exact same sensor into the D7000 replacement most people would have been quite happy about it. Then if it had later trickled down to the D5200 and then the D3200 few would have complained. However, Nikon switched things up a bit this time and some folks are all upset.

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GMack
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Re: Did Nikon make an EPIC BLUNDER?
In reply to IcyVeins, May 6, 2012

It will help to push their more expensive lenses, if people are serious about using that camera.

Same as those who bought the D7000 and found their "Gold-Ring" series of lenses (that cost $2,000+) far better than their cheaper stock DX lens lineup with better sharpness and faster and more accurate focusing. Suddenly, their D7000 becomes that much better and almost like a new camera.

Then they move on to a FX body and even more expensive glass and accessories. Good intro camera that leads to more sales overall so Nikon wins.

Mack

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Danel
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Re: Why I am considering a D3200
In reply to Tom W Williams, May 6, 2012

Tom W Williams wrote:

I've had two low-end bodies so far, a D40 and a D3000, the latter after I broke the former. The D40 was great, and had enough D50 engineering left in it that it was considered a Nikon blunder in the user's favor.

When I bought the D3000, everyone with an opinion hated it. It's served me well for two years, despised as it is by all the feature snobs because it lacked two D40 strengths (low-light performance and 1/500 second flash sync). Of course, the feature snobs didn't care that it added picture control, vertical and horizontal viewfinder grids, 11 (versus 3) autofocus zones, and manual focus hinting. But all of those features were significant improvements, for me at least.

Since I'm already happy with the D3000, I saw no reason to rush an buy a D3100. Besides, Nikon hurt my feelings when they dropped the IR remote from the feature list.

So here comes the D3200, which adds another megapixel bump (useless -- unless you crop your pictures or photograph distant subjects), Expeed 3 processing upgrade, and a nearly inexhustible multi-shot buffer (Don't know how the latter compares with the 3100). Oh, and as an act of contrition, they restored the IR remote feature.

This seems to me to be a pretty nice upgrade, especially for us generation-skippers who crop pictures.

Makes perfect sense to me. I just looked at the D3200 manual. It looks like a nicely featured low end DSLR to me. This camera isn't trying to replace the D7000 or the D90 so sure, it isn't going to have all the features of those cameras. Nikon, like most makers, uses features to distinguish between model levels. The idea, which should be obvious, is that if someone isn't happy with the feature set of the D3200 then one should look up the model line to find the camera that gives them what they want/need. The correct comparison to the D3200 is the D3100 or D3000 or the last couple generations of the bottom of the DSLR line Canon/Sony. Against those cameras, the D3200 appears to stack up well IMHO.

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jimr
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Re: Why I am considering a D3200...
In reply to Danel, May 6, 2012

Ditto...
Given the seemingly very good IQ of the new sensor ...

It's not the number of MPs but the performance ...IQ that is very promising...

Danel wrote:

Makes perfect sense to me. I just looked at the D3200 manual. It looks like a nicely > featured low end DSLR to me. This camera isn't trying to replace the D7000 or the > D90 so sure, it isn't going to have all the features of those cameras. Nikon, like most > makers, uses features to distinguish between model levels. The idea, which should > be obvious, is that if someone isn't happy with the feature set of the D3200 then > one should look up the model line to find the camera that gives them what they > want/need. The correct comparison to the D3200 is the D3100 or D3000 or the last > couple generations of the bottom of the DSLR line Canon/Sony. Against those > cameras, the D3200 appears to stack up well IMHO.

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