Prediction: D90 replacement to lack AF motor?

Started Dec 20, 2009 | Discussions thread
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RobertKM Forum Member • Posts: 87
Prediction: D90 replacement to lack AF motor?

I have no insider information. These are just some elaborate and wild predictions. Yes, I know that I could be wrong. It's really part of my foolish attempt to anticipate Nikon strategic thinking for their entire DSLR line:

Since the D90 IQ already exceeds the D300s (according to DxO), the D90 successor cannot have any substantial IQ advantages over the D90 until after the D300s successor is introduced. I would put the earliest introduction date for a D300s successor as the summer of 2010. But I think the latest introduction date for a D90 successor is the fall of 2010.

So I predict that a D300s successor will be introduced in the summer or fall of 2010. It will be a major upgrade, with improvements in resolution, low-light capability, and video. It will probably make a big leapfrog over the Canon 7D.

I predict that a D90 successor will be introduced in the summer or fall of 2010 as well. Initially, I thought that it would be a minor tweak in order to differentiate it from the D300s successor. It could be a D90s, with improvements in Live View, AF and video, bringing them up to current D300s levels.

But here's a wild guess. Nikon will introduce a single body that replaces both the D5000 and the D90 in 2010, at the same time or right after the introduction of the D300s successor. This will at least match the D90's IQ. It might even come close to the D300s successor's IQ.

But it will lack an in-body AF motor.

Thus, in order to get an in-body AF motor, one will be forced to buy at least a D300-class body. This gives Nikon a really nice differentiation between the two, even if the IQ and AF performance are identical. Nikon has a complete range of AF-S G DX zooms. The non-AF-S lenses that a DX shooter uses are either off-brand or primes. Most people no longer shoot primes, and Nikon would enjoy being able to put some off-brand lenses at a serious disadvantage. So it makes sense.

If the above prediction comes true, both the D3000 and the D5000 could be replaced with major upgrades in 2010. But if the D90 is replaced normally, and because the D5000 cannot outperform the D90 and the D3000 cannot outperform the D5000, there won't be any major upgrades to the D3000 or the D5000 until 2011. Regardless, the D3000 won't get Live View or video until after the D5000 is updated. These cameras will never get an in-body AF motor.

As for the D4, that's going to come in the summer or fall of 2011.

Nikon might introduce a mirror-less system camera with a DX-sized sensor and D90-level IQ. It will cost more than a D90. It might even cost more than a D300s. It won't replace any current DSLR, but will be the first of a brand new line of cameras, available alongside the DSLR line. Also, it won't be introduced until after the D90 successor comes along. So the earliest date is the fall of 2010 or the winter of 2011. The latest date will be the summer of 2011.

In summation:

2010 summer-fall:
– D300s successor. Major upgrade. $2000.
– Possibility A: D90 successor. Minor upgrade. $1000.
– Possibility B: D5000/D90 successor. Major revamp without AF motor. $1000.

– 2010 fall - 2011 winter:
– Nikon mirror-less system camera. $2000.

2010-2011:
– D700 successor. D700s if 2010. D700X or D800 if 2011, after the D4 comes out.

2011 winter-summer:
– D3000 successor.
– D5000 successor if the D90 is replaced normally with an AF motor.

2011 summer-fall:
– D4. Major upgrade.

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