What do you believe the risk is that next gen "D700" wont have in body AF?
This might be a problem for those of us who uses a lot of AF-D lenses.
I've never seen this discussed.
Risk is zero.
DX body users have choice of non-AF motor body already, is it the time for FX body users to have an option of non-AF motor body too?
I don't think there's any "choices". AF motor has been stripped out of the D3000/D5000 due to lower manufacturing cost. It's not like you can add extra money on a D3000 and have an AF motor, nor D300 user can pay less for having a non-AF motor bod. Do people pick D3000 over the D300 mainly because they want a non-AF motor body rather than a lower price tag? I don't think so. Unless Nikon release a same model with and with AF motor, I wouldn't call it a choice.
Nikon only remove compatibility on their lenses (G lens).
They removed the AF motor in D3000/5000 to reduce cost; not a problem since most of those users only use the kit lenses that came with their cameras. It also forces the more serious users to buy the expensive D90 for lens compatibility.
It's a different story on pro-bodies, where they add compatibility, not remove it. That's why they added AI coupling ring to all pro and prosumer bodies since D200. I believe the AI ring will disappear before the AF motors.
Finally, why would people complain about carrying multiple focus motors? It's not like they weight anything. If you shoot primes, why'd you want to have an AF motor in each lens when you can have just one in the body. Don't forget 50 1.4 D has faster AF than 50 1.4G.
What Nikon needs to do is to add something like Pentax's Quick shift to the pro-body, so we can get full time manual focus on the AF and AF-D lenses.
D700 successor will definitely have motor.
New entry level FX (D400?) may not. If you believe the rumors about an entry level FX coming out at all (after all, they've just released a few more consumer-ish FX lenses).
No chance of that happening, not while the 10.5mm fisheye is still AF only. It is purpose designed for producing those 360 degree panoramas that estate agents love to use to sell houses.
The D300 outsells all the FX pro cameras put together. So there is really no chance of it being discontinued. Three years ago the top Nikon Camera was DX only. It will be a long time before the AF motor goes away in any of the Pro bodies and when it does, the D700 equivalent will probably lose the motor first since people who really need it can by the flagship body.
Scientific sales are not a big proportion of the overall Nikon line, but they are huge in the pro models. The D300 is used in speed camera traps round the world because it is one of the least expensive weather sealed bodies available (they also use the D3 series of course, but that adds to the price).
It is pretty clear that the AF motor will go away some day. But not for some time and certainly not until the whole of the lens lineup has been AFS for several years.
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