What happened to this forum?

Started Apr 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
WD Contributing Member • Posts: 520
Re: There is no longer a competitive "do it all" pro DX camera

PatMann wrote:

The D300 and D300s users have begun to splinter off as their camera has become less optimal for various specializations in relation to the competition from full frame and mirrorless.

I bought my D300s about a year and a half ago to replace my declining D200 since it was still, for me, the best affordable one-camera option for a wide variety of photographic applications. The reason the D300s was that camera is that I shoot wildlife as well as other things, and DX is still the budget wildlife shooter's home - there is no $6,000-10,000 lens in my future.

IF Nikon had delivered some fast wide DX primes and a short tele f/2.8 DX zoom, DX could have kept up a bit more in the low light arena with one more stop of lens performance, instead of losing ground to the D600 for those who want to shoot events, night, low-light performance, etc., but don't need the durability of a weatherproof camera and the fast processor/shutter/mirror package and big buffer for action with RAW.

IF Nikon had delivered a D300x about a year ago with a 24mp sensor, and maybe a DX ultrawide prime and a DX PC lens, DX could have kept up in the resolution arena for those who want to shoot landscapes, architecture, etc. with near-medium-format resolution for big prints.

Now those shooters with serious needs for resolution or low light, where the D300 is no longer competitive, have supplemented or are planning to supplement their D300 or D300s with a D600 or a D800 or some other solution. Fewer than before will go back to a DX camera as their one and only when the D400 comes out. By not supporting DX as a complete system, Nikon has splintered their users into separate camps who have gone their separate ways, and splintered the market for a jack-of-all trades DX pro camera. The D400 will not have the success that the D300 line did, unless it's a real tech triumph that brings this format back to the front again.

Things that might make this happen, bringing back a true do-everything-well Swiss Army Knife of a DX top-of-the-line camera:

1. Finish out the DX lens line with at least 2-3 of these at intro with a roadmap for the rest: 24 mm f/1.4, 16mm or 18mm f/2, 14mm f/2.8, 9mm or 10mm f/3.5, 10-18mm f/2.8, 16mm PC-E, 16-55 f/2.8, 50-135 f/2.8. The lenses must be there this time to keep people in this format. We really expected them to follow the D300, but were abandoned here.

2. 24 mp sensor with good dynamic range for the landscapers and architecture/interior shooters.

3. 4k video with two or three key video lenses.

4. Wireless and GPS with no dongles or barnacles.

5. A true pro finder with screw-on accessories and readily replaceable screens for manual focus.

6. Electronic shutter with very high frame rate and flash syc at high speeds.

7. UHF radio flash commander.

8. On-sensor phase detect autofocus.

9. Price competitive with D800.

This could also be a plan for a top-of-the-line camera to introduce a new mirrorless range with its own lens set and F mount adapter. I'm a customer for either.

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The last two lines are most prescient.

Why invest the resources to produce APS-C lenses you describe for a camera design in decline, the "pro" style DX dSLR.  Most DX cameras are sold to amateurs, not to be degrading, who will not want, use, or purchase these lenses.  The trend today is to FF by those who need/want these features.

But Nikon could produce a DX mirrorless system complete with these lenses at a lower price point with more compact size and steal the mlc market from Oly, Pana, Sony and Canon.  The momentum could rival or exceed that of the D70 and early Rebel.  Like you said, you'd be a customer.  So would I and so would a huge number of others!

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