D700 vs D3 price, a different take...

Started Jul 5, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,130
D700 vs D3 price, a different take...

I wrote this as a reply to a troll post. But I think it deserves a thread of it's own.

There are currently several active threads, with titles like "What is Nikon thinking, a $3,000 D3?" or "nikon d3 overpriced".

First, let's take care of the issue of whether or not the D3 is "overpriced".

Let's look at a camera that costs about the same to produce, the Canon 1Ds III. How can the 12 megapixel D3 cost the same as the 21 megapixel 1Ds III to produce? Simple: the sensor chips are priced basically by area. It doesn't matter if you slice a 24x36mm chip into 12 megapixels or 21 megapixels, as long as the technology is equal, it costs pretty much the same.

So, with equal sensors and a slightly superior body that Canon 1Ds III (D3 has more processing power, better AF, virtual horizon, higher resolution LCD, GPS connector, etc) it costs $3000 less. OK, either the D3 isn't overpriced, or it is overpriced, and 1Ds III is over-overpriced.

Personally, my take is that the D3 is definitely not overpriced.

Which brings us to the issue of the $1800 price difference between D3 and D700. Yes, $1800: the D3 has recently been reduced to $4800, even at legitimate places like B&H.

When you figure that part of the difference between a D700 and a D3 is the D700 is missing the weight of the D3 vertical grip (and it's associated controls), and the high capacity D3 battery, that accounts for...

$240 MB-D10 pack
$110 EL-EL4a battery
$35 BL-3 Battery Chamber Cover
$240 MH-22 quick charger

And we'll subtract the original D700 battery and charger

-$40 EN-EL3e battery
-$47 MH-18a quick charger

$538 difference for the power system that can take a couple of thousand pictures on a charge and drive the camera at speeds up to 11 frames/second.

That leaves a difference of $1262 between D3 and D700. And that $1262 gets you...

1) 100% frame coverage viewfinder vs. 95%

2) 300,000 operation rated shutter vs. instead of 150,000

3) manual focus support including "too near" and "too far" indicators in the viewfinder, instead of just the "in focus" dot

4) 9 frames/sec (10 if you can do without focus tracking, 11 in DX mode) vs. 8 fps

5) dual card slots, which means the camera can safely back up every shot you take, security for the working pro

And, oddly enough, items 1-4 (100% finder, higher rated shutter, focus indicators, and continuous shooting speed) were also pretty much the differences between the "flagship" F5 and the (still impressive) F100, back in the twilight of the film days.

Of course, D700 does have a spiffy pop-up flash...

A particularly off the wall wizfaq

-- hide signature --

Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008.

Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed.

Ciao! Joseph


 Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list:Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D90 Nikon D2X Nikon D3 Nikon D100 +43 more
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