Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
dkyl Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: Z9 (and Z8)

bobn2 wrote:

dkyl wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

dkyl wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

dkyl wrote:

and put it in the Z7iii.

To be clear, I don’t see an issue calling it a Z8 or Z7III.

But that is rather the issue. The whole reason people go on about the 'Z8' is because they have decided that the Z7 line has not enough of something to be respectable for them, The 'something' doesn't get well defined. If that was not an issue, they would just be speculating in what is in line for the Z7iii.

I disagree here. I don’t think it’s about the Z7 line not being respected enough. Imo it’s more that the Z6/7 was always intended as the compact FX body. So a non-compact FX body can exist that doesn’t need to have an integrated grip and costing upwards of $6k.

The larger spacing will be a welcomed choice by many imo.

So, what you want is a Z7 that's a bit bigger. That comes back to the product differentiation thing again. Is there room in the line for a little and large version of the same camera. I wouldn't think so. It's the same question as alway, are there enough extra sales in a variant with a bigger body to justify having both. I would think not myself. More likely that if Nikon wants a bigger body, they'd wrap it up with the retro chic and offer you a faux F3 based on the Z6 or Z7, in the hope that the retro thing produced enough extra for the double stocking and all that.

Doing retro at this price point just wouldn’t work imo. But a larger body isn’t limited to just a potential better fit for a customer with larger hands. Removing a size constraint surely allows designers more room to manoeuvre.

I didn't say anything about where the price point would be. There is a tacit assumption, I guess held by Nikon, that the more serious photographer is more interested in the capability of the camera, not retro styling. The retro styling exists to pick up a few more sales from those that like it.

Well FWIW I do think they should do a retro FX to pick up those extra customers.

Yes, I understand the extra sales argument. I’d argue there will be, but of course it’s not enough to just have more sales. You’d need more sales to cover development plus profit. But this might comes down to how they design the Z9 body. They’re doing it anyways for a low volume model so whether they can have some modularity in manufacturing to do a grip less version for very little extra development cost is up to their planning.

That won't work. The body of the D5 or D6 internally is completely different from the D850. It is much stronger and uses different materials and techniques. There isn't a simple way to make the design 'modular' in a manner which won't either detract from the structural integrity of the Z9 or make the 'Z8' just as expensive.

I won’t argue this point further since I don’t have the expertise in manufacturing to do so but I do wonder why gripped and ungripped Z9 can’t be made. Again I’m not talking about the internals of a D5/6 vs D850. I’m talking about a mirrorless body without a mirrorbox but sharing some aspects of the chassis construction.

It’s also not just additional sales for Nikon. I think you must factor in potential sales saved by not loosing it to a competitor.

There is no difference. Every additional sale is one not lost to a competitor.

Sony has an A9 and Canon has a R5. But of course this means you can upgrade the Z7’s price point but doing so might mean loosing volume due to price elasticity of demand so I think both the $3k and $4.5k price points are important enough to consider two differentiated products.

I think the A9 has essentially been replaced by the A1. Sony never actually kicks things out of its catalogue, but the A9 is obsolescent and I doubt it is still being built. The current Sony range is






The extra one is the A7S, which is a specifically purposed camera, not an extra level in the range.

What about a R5 then? I doubt the A9 series is being obsoleted altogether. The pricing of the A9 just seem far more within reach for a wider audience that it should stay within the system.

Yes, I agree re: the Z9 sensor cost. Which is why I think it would justify the expected $6.5k price even without a specialised mirror box.

The price it 'justifies' is whatever the market will pay for it. Nikon put a $2k premium on the D3X over the D3 even though it was a substantially cheaper camera to build. The price was determined entirely by what Canon was asking for their matching product, which tends to be the way that most Nikon prices are defined these days.

Sure. But in some ways an expensive bespoke sensor will ‘justify’ the price premium in the customer’s eyes.

I think the Z8 can still be attractive without the Z9 special sauce. I’d expect perhaps blackout free EVF even if AF looses out a little. If we’re talking about a potential 90MP quad Bayer Sony Semi stacked sensor it should be able to do both high resolution as well as 1/4 resolution faster speeds. It’d compete at the A9 II price point which in a similar way uses an AF system one notch down from the A1 but is still a good performer with blackout free EVF.

Whether it can be attractive depends on (i) what it actually is, (ii) what the other cameras in the range are, and (iii) what the competition is offering. If the Z7 model increases in resolution, speed and AF performance, as is to be expected, there won't be so many wanting to pay another $1500 for a little bit more of each. As Michael Dawson pointed out, your whole scenario is based on an idea that the present range will be frozen to make room for this 'Z8'. If that happens, Nikon will lose out big time, because the whole range will have become non-competitive in order to make way for this one low volume camera.

I didn’t say the Z7 would stand still. I just think an upgraded Z7III still leaves room between itself and the Z9 unless the Z7 was to increase in price point significantly. In which case it leaves a gap in its current price point spot which I think works very well as a duo with the Z6 as a working pro’s pair.

Whether or not you think it's a good thing, camera sales tend to be driven by spec sheets, and all these things that differentiate the fictional 'Z8' from a Z7 seem to be things that wouldn't show up on a spec sheet, and that is likely too insubstantial for a whole different model.

I was referring to the back. Perhaps an additional joystick so you can setup two (or three with the AF-On button included) AF modes simultaneously.

Perhaps the optical joystick that Canon have opted for.

As I said, those are things that don't show up on the spec sheets, and there is a lot more to designing a good UI than adding a few buttons.

Sure. Point being we don’t know what will change in the back and how it will affect user’s controls. I’ll wait for the reveal but something tells me the higher end customers care about more than just spec sheets.

The trickiness of course is defining the differentiation between a Z7III and Z8. If they can’t adequately define and differentiate the two, I’d say they’re better off making the Z8 and discontinuing the Z7 series. If they can, then the two can coexists. And between the Z7III with 8K and Z6III without, I don’t see the one without being seen as deficient as long as it’s priced correctly. And it’d still be in the volume/price sweet spot whereas the 8k models will likely be priced beyond where there’d be adequate volume.

They already made the decision to have a Z7. That's not to say they might not change, but they don't have space for both.

Well I disagree but let’s see.

Have a look here:


Nikon marketing clearly thinks that the Z7 is the mirrorless D850. The might change their mind, I suppose, but I can't see what advantage an extra model would bring them.

But that’s partially cos they’re still filling up their Z lineup and are also incentivised to convert their F-mount customers to Z-mount.

So, what you're saying is that they were trying to mislead their customers by claiming that this camera was something different than they had designed it to be? I don't think so. I think they intended it to be the mirrorless Z8 and that's why they said that is what it was.

Not at all, I don’t think they’re being misleading. It is just what Nikon can currently produce and as the performance bar moved upwards, it compares well with the D850 which is no longer a new model although still a great performer. So as the performance bar has moved, so will expectations of a Z8. If a Z7III can meet it, great. But I don’t think they can do it at the current $3k price point.

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