Pro DX is Dead

Started Nov 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,314
Re: Pro DX is Dead

Patco wrote:

There can be more than one level below "pro". DX has three series below the "pro" level in the D3x00, D5x00 and D7x00, so Nikon could conceivably add two more levels below the D800, ie. the D400 & D500.

It's not quite that simple though because a camera needs a balance of capabilities in order to make sense in the marketplace.

The D3200 is $500 less than the D7000 in list price.  The sensors costs basically the same between the two cameras so the D3200 gets to that lower price by cutting costs in lots of other ways.  They remove the focus motor, they go to a pentamirror, they use a cheaper AF sensor and metering sensor, they go to a cheaper mirror drive and get less fps, they remove buffer memory.  With the lower fps, they can perhaps use a cheaper version of EXPEED that doesn't have to go as fast or a slower clock rate that might be cheaper.  They remove some external controls.  They use more plastic in the body.

So, if you wanted to take a D600 and do the same cost reduction to it, you could perhaps remove enough cost to reduce the list price by the same $500 from $2099 to $1599.

So, would such a D500 FX camera at $1599 with such crippled features make sense?  I don't really think so.  First of all, it's just not that inexpensive.  Add to that $1599 the cost of a couple FX lenses and the whole kit is perhaps $2500.  Who wants to buy such a dumbed down camera when spending this much money?  It would have an awesome sensor and not enough of the rest of the camera around it to make it an overall product that makes sense.

Most buyers would get way better overall photography with the features of a D7000 or D5200 and a couple matching DX lenses and also spend a lot, lot less money.  That's why we have DX and why it still makes sense for a long time (until FX sensors get a ton cheaper than they are now).

So, I'd certainly expect the cost of the entry level FX camera to come down over time, but I don't see Nikon introducing a new FX camera below the D600 in this generation.

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