New Nikon DSLRs Ahead?

Started Jul 1, 2008 | Discussions thread
Thom Hogan
Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,660
Re: 2 Comments

HAE wrote:

I think you also mentioned a prototype of
that pixel count

I heard about 12, 14, 16, 18, and 24mp FX prototypes. However, note that Nikon claims that they are open to any sensor and pick the "best one" for their performance goals for each new camera. I can identify the 12, 14, 16, and 24mp sensors that were probably tested (Nikon, Kodak, Sony, and one other maker I'll leave unnamed), though I never did get a strong read on the 18mp one. It's possible Nikon was hedging their bets. But it's clear that their own 12mp sensor turned out to be a real winner, and thus it's not a big surprise that they're going to try to run with it.

A D900 with 24 MP will lead to "Nikon does
not have a high res flaship" moans

Really? Why? Consider a 24mp FX sensor in the D700 body at the D700 price. There's nothing really wrong with the D700 body from a pro standpoint (though 100% viewfinder would have been nice). If Nikon uses the Sony 24mp sensor as expected, they have to compete with the A900, which is likely to be at that lower price point. And that 24mp sensor is not particularly fast (no 8 fps, though perhaps if Nikon does their high-speed DX crop thing with it they might get close at 12-bit). The question is this: do we REALLY need a 24mp sensor in the D3 body? What does that gain? Okay, I just thought of one thing: those two card slots come in handy with more pixels. But is that enough?

Consider that Canon comes out with a 5DII that's, say, 16mp. If Nikon has two US$2995 cameras at 12mp and 24mp they've effectively bracketed the 5DII. The 12mp camera provides better high ISO performance, the 24mp camera provides more pixels.

and after the blast of strong
offerings, I do not think they will want that,

Really? In the course of one year:

  • 12mp D300 -- top DX body out there

  • 12mp D3 -- top speed performer out there

  • 12mp D700 -- minor compromises but D3 performance at lower price

  • 24mp D900 -- top high resolution body out there

That's not strong? (I'm making an assumption that, as before, Nikon does better with the Sony sensor than Sony does, which I think is a safe bet.)

-The low end: Nikon has a problem with the available sensors.

Yep. Here's the question of the day: has Nikon's sensor capabilities progressed enough so that they could produce a DX sensor in the 10-14mp range that is competitive with Sony? If so, watch out.

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Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)

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