Nikon increase production capacity for D3 & D300

Started Dec 24, 2007 | Discussions
optical_illusion Senior Member • Posts: 1,029
Nikon increase production capacity for D3 & D300

http://it.nikkei.co.jp/pc/news/index.aspx?n=NN001Y501%2019122007 (Japanese)

According to the news article (published on Dec. 20th by Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun), Nikon is going to increase monthly production capacity for D D3 and D300. Monthly production of D3 increases to 10,000 units (currently 8,000), and that of D300 to 70,000 units (currently 60,000).

John W Peterson Senior Member • Posts: 2,737
Demand for D3...

does appear absolutely to be through the roof - at least by comparison with the modest supply of cameras available so far.

I am a little bit surprised by this. I would have thought that many would hold back and wait for the "high res" (i.e. 22+MP) version of the FX camera. Perhaps what we are seeing is related a little bit to the issues with the AF on the 1DIII, though most of the folks that I know who are looking for a D3 are historically nikon users rather then crossovers from other camera lines.

The D300 seems to have been the official "Black Friday" camera locally. Nikon had large supplies delivered to local stores just in time for the shopping rush, the day after turkey day. Still, as of 2 days ago, people were scrambling to find one.

rgmoore Senior Member • Posts: 2,340
Re: Demand for D3...

John W Peterson wrote:

I am a little bit surprised by this. I would have thought that many
would hold back and wait for the "high res" (i.e. 22+MP) version of
the FX camera.

I'm not terribly surprised. The D3/1D3 class camera is aimed at a different market from the D3X/1Ds3 class. Some photographers, especially news and sports types, care more about the high ISO and high frame rate of the D3/1D3 class than about the extra pixels of the D3X/1Ds3 class. Years of sales figures suggest that there are more users in the first group than in the second.
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Tom Rowland Veteran Member • Posts: 5,891
Re: Demand for D3...

John W Peterson wrote:

does appear absolutely to be through the roof - at least by
comparison with the modest supply of cameras available so far.

No doubt about this.

I am a little bit surprised by this. I would have thought that many
would hold back and wait for the "high res" (i.e. 22+MP) version of
the FX camera. Perhaps what we are seeing is related a little bit to
the issues with the AF on the 1DIII, though most of the folks that I
know who are looking for a D3 are historically nikon users rather
then crossovers from other camera lines.

Thom Hogan seems to think the "high res" body will be out before the Olympics, but his site claims there is no firm choice of a sensor. He says at least 20mm, but mentions an 18mp was also tested, but probably rejected.

The D300 seems to have been the official "Black Friday" camera
locally. Nikon had large supplies delivered to local stores just in
time for the shopping rush, the day after turkey day. Still, as of 2
days ago, people were scrambling to find one.

I always thought most folks bought stuff like that online as opposed from a local brick store.

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OP optical_illusion Senior Member • Posts: 1,029
Re: Demand for D3...

John W Peterson wrote:

does appear absolutely to be through the roof - at least by
comparison with the modest supply of cameras available so far.

Yes, it seems so. The article says Nikon decided to increase the production capacity since they did not want to lose the good opportunity to enhance their brand image (brand value).

most of the folks that I
know who are looking for a D3 are historically nikon users rather
then crossovers from other camera lines.

Yes, it seems those old or longtime Nikon users had waited for this kind of FF DSLR for ages, and now they are going to get one. (Besides, the large image in the OVF would be easy to their old eyes.)

The D300 seems to have been the official "Black Friday" camera
locally. Nikon had large supplies delivered to local stores just in
time for the shopping rush, the day after turkey day. Still, as of 2
days ago, people were scrambling to find one.

According to the latest BCN ranking (DSLR sales ranking in Japan), D3 is ranked as 16th. It's kind of amazing. (Canon 40D lens kit is No. 20th.) Here's transition of D3 sales share in Japan (from Oct. 15 to Dec. 18.).

You can see it has been sold well despite the high price. (The release date was Nov. 30th in Japan.)

thw Veteran Member • Posts: 8,089
Re: Demand for D3...

According to the latest BCN ranking (DSLR sales ranking in Japan), D3
is ranked as 16th. It's kind of amazing. (Canon 40D lens kit is No.
20th.)

Not sure where you got your garbage about the Canon 40D sales info from. According to BCN ( http://bcnranking.jp/category/subcategory_0008.html ), even within the limited period from Dec 17-23, sales of Canon 40D is ranked 4th and 9th (different lens combo etc) while the Nikon D3 is ranked 16th. This is of course unsurprising, given the price of the D3 and 40D.

If you so DESPERATELY want to use an example to illustrate how amazingly well the D3 is selling, consider the Sony A100 which is ranked 20th (highest rank regardless of lens combo) despite its significantly lower price.

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LeRentier
LeRentier Forum Pro • Posts: 13,622
Re: Demand for D3...

It is very tempting to think Nikon is expanding its customer base via a number of 'refugees' from Canon, in addition to those who upgrade within the same brand.

digital_ray_of_light Veteran Member • Posts: 5,068
The D300 numbers are very impressive

optical_illusion wrote:

http://it.nikkei.co.jp/pc/news/index.aspx?n=NN001Y501%2019122007
(Japanese)
According to the news article (published on Dec. 20th by Nikkei
Sangyo Shimbun), Nikon is going to increase monthly production
capacity for D D3 and D300. Monthly production of D3 increases to
10,000 units (currently 8,000), and that of D300 to 70,000 units
(currently 60,000).

Interesting stuff! The number of D300 per month is quite amazing considering that this is a $1800+ camera. A number of general purpose P&S cameras are produced at a lower clip than the D300.

I think another indicator of the D3 mania is that at times it goes for 30% above list price. This is unheard of in today's age of almost instant discounting of new products.

As far as the 1Ds MkIII and a D3x (FX), I think those cameras are starting to be treated like "medium format". The most buzz seems to cap off at the 1D Mk III and D3 level. Perhaps it's price barrier of over/under $5000 that does this?

Nikon is probably two cameras short of applying full court press on Canon, but of course Canon is not going to stand still, they will release new stuff as well to make things even more exciting (we can hope).

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Progress Lover Senior Member • Posts: 1,620
Re: The D300 numbers are very impressive

Congrats Nikon. Nice job. Deserve the benefit. Keep it up.

I think Canon deserve a lot of the credit for Nikon's success. They have virtually stood still for nearly four years with actual steps backwards in at least one important area (1DIII AF) and token gestures rather than effective good value solutions in others (40D joke 'sealing', dust-shakers, AF no longer functioning with f5.6 lenses + 1.4x TCs with taped pins etc price, age and low end features of 5D...).

There has been negligable improvement in S/N ratio, price/performance, res, DR etc in a long time.

Nikon just made a relative quantum leap (albeit from a trailing position) and I think that's why people are jumping on their products.

When the 20D came out for Canon and the 5D, they (at the time) redefined a segment and/or created a segment. People jumped on these MAJOR ADVANCES. And I think that's the key. Canon's decision to start tweaking and stop revolutionising has failed to impress. V little progress in the key features and really imho a very cynical approach of sitting on the lead created by the revolutionary products.

A lot of users seem to think that small upgrades aren't worth paying a lot of money for. However a major leap might get some attention. Canon stopped making any major leaps. Nikon just made some...

Very predictably, Canon's slow progress gave the rest a great opportunity which some have taken much better than others. Nikon really seem to have grabbed it with both hands and Canon may well find that they don't get another chance to retake the lead in any real style for a long time to come. Esp now Nikon seem to have also effectively addressed the long lens side of the argument too.

Nikon seem increasingly good value and Canon are understandably increasingly seen as poor value by enthusiasts.

The 3D is still AWOL. The 5D is ancient and overpriced for a consumer body (although still a capable machine in terms of IQ alone). Nikon have realised that IQ alone does not a great camera make.

The lowest end cams might make a lot of money, but they do little for reputation as they are of little interest to serious users. So, Canon wills struggle to solve their serious mid-range problems with an update to the Drebel in Jan. The 5DII (hopefully "3D") will be a very important camera but the reception could go either way. If it can't equal every aspect of the D300 price/performance package then Canon are in serious trouble for quite a while to come.

If it can firmly exceed the D300 in every way then it will sell very well and solve half Canon's problems. But, I think Canon have painted themselves into a corner with their attempts to avoid cannibalising sales of other lines. After all, if the 5D exceeded the D300 in every way, who would buy a 1DIII?! So, what can Canon do? Canon can't!

When the D3x comes along, there will be no segment in which Nikon don't have more attractive options from a price/performance POV and that's the most important POV for most people. No more than Canon deserves in the short-term imho. Hopefully they'll learn from this and start letting a few of the features they restrict to the high-end machines trickle into cams are prices people are prepared to pay.

Continuing to hold basic features like speed, decent AF, effective seals, and AF microadjustment for a $4k+ ransom won't win Canon many friends imho.

digital_ray_of_light wrote:

optical_illusion wrote:

http://it.nikkei.co.jp/pc/news/index.aspx?n=NN001Y501%2019122007
(Japanese)
According to the news article (published on Dec. 20th by Nikkei
Sangyo Shimbun), Nikon is going to increase monthly production
capacity for D D3 and D300. Monthly production of D3 increases to
10,000 units (currently 8,000), and that of D300 to 70,000 units
(currently 60,000).

Interesting stuff! The number of D300 per month is quite amazing
considering that this is a $1800+ camera. A number of general purpose
P&S cameras are produced at a lower clip than the D300.

I think another indicator of the D3 mania is that at times it goes
for 30% above list price. This is unheard of in today's age of almost
instant discounting of new products.

As far as the 1Ds MkIII and a D3x (FX), I think those cameras are
starting to be treated like "medium format". The most buzz seems to
cap off at the 1D Mk III and D3 level. Perhaps it's price barrier of
over/under $5000 that does this?

Nikon is probably two cameras short of applying full court press on
Canon, but of course Canon is not going to stand still, they will
release new stuff as well to make things even more exciting (we can
hope).

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If we do it right the first time around, how will we sell the upgrade?!
Keep photography wild.

Where is that Sony 'flagship' anyway? And more importantly, will it come in pink?! Lol.

Royson58 Regular Member • Posts: 351
Nikon supplied better than we thought they would

I was surprised by the numbers we received on the D300 bodies and kits...we stayed stocked throughout December (barely). A pleasant turnaround from our experience with the D200.

Oddly enough, the D80 was hard to get (although demand was easily down from last year).

Still, our top seller was the Canon 40D. The XTi did OK in December, but has been lagging in recent months.

Royson58 Regular Member • Posts: 351
I don't think it's that obvious

Nikon has a very attractive lineup right now, but Canon is far from dead. We have done very well with the D300 (and Nikon has done far better than expected at keeping us supplied), yet the 40D is still our top seller, and has been for several months now. Part of this is surely price, but this also is why we sell more 580EX II than SB-800s, even though they are more expensive.

Also remember that Powershots & Coolpixs are part of the camera lineups as well...and Canon easily dominates that area. We couldn't keep G9s in stock.

While I think it will be a long while for Sony to be a big player in the upper price range, I do think the first half of 2008 will make them a more serious player in the sub-$1000 cameras.

Anastigmat Forum Pro • Posts: 12,680
Re: Demand for D3...

John W Peterson wrote:

does appear absolutely to be through the roof - at least by
comparison with the modest supply of cameras available so far.

Probably due to pent-up demand for a Nikon full frame. Many who could no wait bought Canon full frames. those who waited needed to wait no longer.

I am a little bit surprised by this. I would have thought that many
would hold back and wait for the "high res" (i.e. 22+MP) version of
the FX camera.

certainly there are those who will wait for the high res. full frame, and there are also some who will wait for the affordable full frame. But for a lot of Nikon fans who can wait no longer and who can afford the d3, the waiting is over.

Perhaps what we are seeing is related a little bit to
the issues with the AF on the 1DIII, though most of the folks that I
know who are looking for a D3 are historically nikon users rather
then crossovers from other camera lines.

The D3 is a more attractive camera than the 1DIII, being the same price and nearly the same fps, and full frame vs. 1.3x crop for the 1D. I expect the D3 will capture many who were contemplating the switch to Canon, but I doubt that there are many who would switch from Canon to Nikon because of the D3. After all, a 12mp full frame Canon is available, and much cheaper than the Nikon, although also much slower in frame rate. But those who do not need the fast frame rate can save almost $3,000 by buying the 5D. Of course, the 5D replacement is raising hopes that it will beat the D3 in resolution and it will be similar to the D300 in price.

The D300 seems to have been the official "Black Friday" camera
locally. Nikon had large supplies delivered to local stores just in
time for the shopping rush, the day after turkey day. Still, as of 2
days ago, people were scrambling to find one.

No doubt this camera is popular, and the Nikon name on it helps, but the D300 is going to face stiff competition from the 5D MKII. How about a full frame 14mp, 5fps Canon 5D MKII with weather seals for $2,000? Nikon may have to reduce the number of D3 and D300 produced per month.

Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,335
Some more likely scenarios...

First, a preface: I own a D3.

Anastigmat wrote:

John W Peterson wrote:

does appear absolutely to be through the roof - at least by
comparison with the modest supply of cameras available so far.

Probably due to pent-up demand for a Nikon full frame. Many who
could no wait bought Canon full frames. those who waited needed to
wait no longer.

Then that would have relieved this "pent-up" demand...

I am a little bit surprised by this. I would have thought that many
would hold back and wait for the "high res" (i.e. 22+MP) version of
the FX camera.

certainly there are those who will wait for the high res. full frame,
and there are also some who will wait for the affordable full frame.
But for a lot of Nikon fans who can wait no longer and who can afford
the d3, the waiting is over.

Yup. It may also show Canon that the market for the "high res. full frame" isn't what they thought it would be.

Perhaps what we are seeing is related a little bit to
the issues with the AF on the 1DIII, though most of the folks that I
know who are looking for a D3 are historically nikon users rather
then crossovers from other camera lines.

The D3 is a more attractive camera than the 1DIII, being the same
price and nearly the same fps, and full frame vs. 1.3x crop for the
1D.

Actually, it's more attractive because of the better low light ability. The fact that the auto focus actually works right doesn't hurt, either.

I expect the D3 will capture many who were contemplating the
switch to Canon, but I doubt that there are many who would switch
from Canon to Nikon because of the D3.

No. But there are people switching from Canon to Nikon because of the 1D III.

After all, a 12mp full frame
Canon is available, and much cheaper than the Nikon, although also
much slower in frame rate.

Oh, it's not just the frame rate. 5D has the body of an Elan 7, and it's slower in everything (AF, mirror blackout, processing) not just frame rate.

But those who do not need the fast frame
rate can save almost $3,000 by buying the 5D. Of course, the 5D
replacement is raising hopes that it will beat the D3 in resolution
and it will be similar to the D300 in price.

You're making one heck of an assumption, there. More in a minute...

The D300 seems to have been the official "Black Friday" camera
locally. Nikon had large supplies delivered to local stores just in
time for the shopping rush, the day after turkey day. Still, as of 2
days ago, people were scrambling to find one.

No doubt this camera is popular, and the Nikon name on it helps, but
the D300 is going to face stiff competition from the 5D MKII. How
about a full frame 14mp, 5fps Canon 5D MKII with weather seals for
$2,000?

How about Canon drops the whole 5D class.

After all, it never met initial sales expectations, there's still a ton of them in the pipeline, so many rebates and incentives, and still dealers almost beg you to take them off their hands.

If Canon does continue the 5D class, it's not going to launch at $2000. That was a side effect of the 5D's dismal sales performance. Canon isn't going to plan on failure. And they have a well documented track record of jacking the price of new models back up to what they introduced the last one at.

Nikon may have to reduce the number of D3 and D300 produced
per month.

Probably not.

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zygh
zygh Senior Member • Posts: 1,798
Re: Demand for D3...

Anastigmat wrote:

No doubt this camera is popular, and the Nikon name on it helps, but
the D300 is going to face stiff competition from the 5D MKII. How
about a full frame 14mp, 5fps Canon 5D MKII with weather seals for
$2,000? Nikon may have to reduce the number of D3 and D300 produced
per month.

how about real camera vs. fantasy camera? guess what, fantasy camera wins! do you get a h@rd 0n every time you say 'i can. canon' or is it just the fact that pentax leaves you somewhat unsatisfied that you have to look for stimulus elsewhere? you can. pentax :))))))))))))))))))))))) silly tw@t, fanboiiis

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rgmoore Senior Member • Posts: 2,340
Re: Demand for D3...

Anastigmat wrote:

The D3 is a more attractive camera than the 1DIII, being the same
price and nearly the same fps, and full frame vs. 1.3x crop for the
1D. I expect the D3 will capture many who were contemplating the
switch to Canon, but I doubt that there are many who would switch
from Canon to Nikon because of the D3.

They might not switch because of the D3, but they might switch because of the combination of the D3 and some of the lenses that exist in Nikon's lineup but not Canon's. After years of Canon dominating the sports market because of Nikon's lack of long stabilized lenses, the situation has turned. Nikon now has more exciting sports lenses, with the 200/2 VR and 200-400/4 VR having no serious Canon competitors. And the 14-24/2.8 has to look very attractive to Canonites who have been frustrated with the quality of Canon's wide angle offerings.

I don't mean to suggest that Nikon's lens selection is superior to Canon's in every way. There are still plenty of Canon lenses that are attractive enough that they might convince Nikonians to switch the other way. But the situation seems to have shifted considerably from a couple of years ago, when Nikon had hardly any advantages and Canon had many.
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littleroot
littleroot Senior Member • Posts: 1,419
I disagree

For me the D3 proves Nikon finally decided IQ was most important.

littleroot
littleroot Senior Member • Posts: 1,419
Re: Nikon supplied better than we thought they would

I heard the same from a local store. They were very worried about Nikon's usual slow delivery but even for the D3's they said they've had more than they thought they would so close to the release date. Not sure they are ready to say they are seeing the same delivery numbers as the 1D Mark III, which was also very hard to find for the first three months, but pretty close.

Rriley
Rriley Forum Pro • Posts: 21,846
Re: Some more likely scenarios...

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

No. But there are people switching from Canon to Nikon because of the
1D III.

Oh, it's not just the frame rate. 5D has the body of an Elan 7, and
it's slower in everything (AF, mirror blackout, processing) not just
frame rate.

No doubt this camera is popular, and the Nikon name on it helps, but
the D300 is going to face stiff competition from the 5D MKII. How
about a full frame 14mp, 5fps Canon 5D MKII with weather seals for
$2,000?

How about Canon drops the whole 5D class.

After all, it never met initial sales expectations, there's still a
ton of them in the pipeline, so many rebates and incentives, and
still dealers almost beg you to take them off their hands.

yes for the sales picture this is quite true, and unfortunate too. It has been a great camera for its day, but it seems those days are over

If Canon does continue the 5D class, it's not going to launch at
$2000. That was a side effect of the 5D's dismal sales performance.
Canon isn't going to plan on failure. And they have a well documented
track record of jacking the price of new models back up to what they
introduced the last one at.

yes its a fascinating conundrum for Canon as this writer points out and i have edited:

Progress Lover wrote:

I think Canon deserve a lot of the credit for Nikon's success.
There has been negligable improvement in S/N ratio,
price/performance, res, DR etc in a long time.

The 3D is still AWOL. The 5D is ancient and overpriced for a consumer
body (although still a capable machine in terms of IQ alone). Nikon
have realised that IQ alone does not a great camera make.

The lowest end cams might make a lot of money, but they do little for
reputation as they are of little interest to serious users. So, Canon
wills struggle to solve their serious mid-range problems with an
update to the Drebel in Jan. The 5DII (hopefully "3D") will be a very
important camera but the reception could go either way. If it can't
equal every aspect of the D300 price/performance package then Canon
are in serious trouble for quite a while to come.
If it can firmly exceed the D300 in every way then it will sell very
well and solve half Canon's problems. But, I think Canon have painted
themselves into a corner with their attempts to avoid cannibalising
sales of other lines. After all, if the 5D exceeded the D300 in every
way, who would buy a 1DIII?! So, what can Canon do? Canon can't!

Just what will they do to balance the situation, will they kill 5D ?

I really dont think so, in fact i hope they dont (not that its any good to me) But it seems that 40D has set the frame for the 400D/XTi upgrade (probably not a lot) and the new 5D will have to maintain position between the seemingly ailing 1DMkIII and the pace that Nikon represent.

As you say i think a lot of users have cut to D3 because of 1DMkIII issues where they can also make a better frame rate and higher iso performance on a larger sensor, but IF this is mostly made of the pro segment that wont last forever, and the spike will quickly lose heat should Canon resolve it.

But as to 5D, what will happen there is anyones guess, it wont have either frame rate or higher res, so just where is there to go if not for price alone, where the multi pass fab of FF135 sensors is still comparatively very expensive so cancel the sub $2k wish. My best guess they will focus on portrait and landscape users, but i bet they wish they had the Nikon 14-24 for the latter.

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BJL Veteran Member • Posts: 9,341
D300 results even more impressive than D3

optical_illusion wrote:

http://it.nikkei.co.jp/pc/news/index.aspx?n=NN001Y501%2019122007 (Japanese)

According to the news article (published on Dec. 20th by Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun), Nikon is going to increase monthly production capacity for D D3 and D300. Monthly production of D3 increases to 10,000 units (currently 8,000), and that of D300 to 70,000 units (currently 60,000).

It is interesting to compare this to what Nikon planned last August as reported by Rob Galbraith:
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-8744-9113

The plan was 60,000/mo of the D300 and 12,000/mo of the D3 (up from an inital 8,000/mo) by September 2007.

So the D300 production level has been raised from 60,000 to 70,000, but the D3 is only going up to 10,000 now rather than reaching 12,000 by last September.

So either there is some trouble increasing D3 production volume as fast as planned, or the market for the D3, while good, is not reaching that 12,000/mo figure. Or, since the same factory makes both, the need for extra D300 production capacity is taking some capacity away from the D3.

Still, 10,000/mo seems more than Canon ever planned or achieved for the 5D, and more than 1D and 1Ds production levels combined.

And the D300 seems to be outselling (in retail revenues as well as unit sales) all digital cameras in all larger formats from all makers, from the M8 and 1DMkIII through 5D, D3 and 1DsMkIII onto medium format. Not bad for the "doomed" APS-C format!

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Bigger pixels are useless if they mean I need longer, slower telephoto lenses to get the same resolution with the same weight and cost.

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rgmoore Senior Member • Posts: 2,340
Re: D300 results even more impressive than D3

BJL wrote:

So either there is some trouble increasing D3 production volume as
fast as planned, or the market for the D3, while good, is not
reaching that 12,000/mo figure. Or, since the same factory makes
both, the need for extra D300 production capacity is taking some
capacity away from the D3.

I don't think that's right. AFAIK, the D3 is made in Japan, while the D300 is made in the same Thailand plant that makes the D40(x) and D80. So their failing to produce as many D3s as planned can't be laid at the foot of the D300, unless it's because the D300 is stealing demand from the D3.
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As with all creative work, the craft must be adequate for the demands of expression. I am disturbed when I find craft relegated to inferior consideration; I believe that the euphoric involvement with subject or self is not sufficient to justify the making and display of photographic images. --Ansel Adams

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