Thom Hogan's assessment of a D400

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
olliess Senior Member • Posts: 1,349
Re: Thom Hogan's assessment of a D400

redhed17 wrote:

I hope Tom is right and there will be something announced in the Summer, but I can't help thinking there is less and less for them to do to it to make it stand out at the top of the DX tree. The D300 (and D3 and D700 from about the same time) was such a revolutionary camera that Nikon would find it hard to make the same impact.

Thom Hogan seems to hope for a return of the D3/D300 glory days, when you could get much of the functionality and image quality of the D3, but with the DX sensor and body for a little more than 1/3 the price. Clearly for many advanced amateurs and pros, DX was the smart choice.

I think the DX argument lost a lot of weight a long time ago with the release of the D700, where you basically got last year's FX sensor in the (then-)current "pro DX" body style for $3000 vs. $1800. That isn't so expensive when you consider the wide-angle and low-light advantages of the full frame sensor (virtual upgrade of your pro f/4 mid zoom to a f/2.8 wide zoom!). Other examples abound (imagine buying everyone's current favorite 35 mm/1.4 lens and putting it on a DX body to get the equivalent of... a 50/2.0).

As sensors continue to develop each year, the gap only gets smaller. I'd suggest that the D600 is priced at $800 above the D7100 due to marketing, not because the parts cost is anywhere near that. I was one of the people waiting for many years for the D300/300s replacement, but I'm thinking that perhaps that ship has already sailed. And the longer we go without a D400, the sense it seems to make. When the FX sensor is a small enough fraction of the total cost, then why skimp when you're paying for the other pro parts (construction, shutter mechanism, pentaprism, buffer, etc.) anyway?

What might make more sense, as others have already suggested, would be to introduce a new camera above the D600, maybe a "D800h" using "last year's" 24 MP sensor. A bold combination might be to release such a camera while moving the D600 or its successor downmarket, into the heart of the prosumer DX price bracket.

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