Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

Started Nov 6, 2010 | Discussions
jeminijoseph Veteran Member • Posts: 6,310
AF speed and lenses

Dan wrote:

Phil_L wrote:

Nikon is going to have to pull out all the stops on a "D400" to clearly differentiate it from the D7k which looks like a real winner.

Pull out all the stops? To me, the only real benefits of the D7000 are its higher megapixel sensor and its newer fancy low-noise high-ISO processing.

I sure hope the D400 has a faster AF acquisition time. That's my only real gripe about the D300.

I have a feeling that Nikon's AF-S engines are not as fast as Canon's USM. Even D3 is not as fast as may be 7D (initial acquisition). But in tracking of course D3 is much better. Anyhow I too wish if the initial acquisition is faster

Computers are fast these days. AF should be blazing fast by now. I used to have a D1x. That thing was fast!

I also hope it has a real 30 fps 1080 movie mode recorded in AVCHD.

Oh, and I really wish it will be quieter. The D300 is so freaking loud!

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Tony Beach Veteran Member • Posts: 9,942
Re: What about the D7000?

tyb wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

No, I think there's a reason Nikon updated the D300 to a D300s and upgraded the D3 to a D3s this last year, they wanted to hold their ground (even if only mostly in a symbolic way with the D300s) with those two models until they were ready for the full "D4/D400" upgrade. The D7000 does nothing to rain on that party, other than possibly drizzle a little on the sensor if Nikon uses the same one in the "D400," which is why I'm also thinking that the "D400" actually won't use the same sensor as the D7000.

3 DX sensors and a FX sensor in less then a year window

Who says? If the "D4" and "D400" are announced in August and don't hit the streets until September or later, then that will be over a year since the D3100 was announced and nearly a year after the D7000 has been available. It's not as if all four cameras were announced in one day.

D3100, D7000, D400 and D4 Hmm nikon is way to small a company to spin that many versions.

Announced in 2008: D3x, D90, D700, & D60
Announced in 2009: D3s, D300s, D3000, D5000

As for what sensors are used in each of those cameras, who cares? Sony cranks out sensors, and Nikon has their own proprietary sensors. Most consumers don't care if there is a different sensor in a D3100, D7000, and "D400;" photographers will choose the camera that suits their needs and Nikon has been very good at delivering those tools to them.

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eddyshoots Senior Member • Posts: 2,176
Re: Key advantage is reach

It seems that some are in the grip camp and some are in the no-grip camp. Nikon can't please both camps easily.

My gut tells me that Nikon might release parallel top end DX models. The D400 sharing the same body as the D800 just as we have now with the D300/D700. And a DX4 release at the same time as the D4. Other than sensor size it would share FPS, auto-focus system and body design.

Alternately, they could release it with a better attached grip. Perhaps something that uses an actual screwdriver to attach multiple screws for a rock solid attachment. Who says the grip has to be easy-on / easy-off? It's either on or off and you make that decision at home.

Holding my D300 right now I can't see them being able to design an integrated grip that is much smaller that the current accessory grip. Certainly not for people with my hand size (and I don't have big hands).

I'm leaning towards the D400 / DX4 release. It makes sense. The number of shared components will shave production costs. Plus the dual size for DX won't peeve off one or the other DX camps. Maybe it's time for Nikon to stop treating DX as the ugly step child in the family.

jeminijoseph wrote:

I know it's not really reach. It's a crop. But having 16MP after 1.5 crop is better than having 16mp at full frame for wildlife shooters.

I shoot only wildlife and I'd love to have integrated grip. But may be smaller size? Is that possible? Same shape as D4, but smaller, lighter and cheaper. Just a wish.

DezM wrote:

Agreed. I don't want nor need the integrated grip. That would be a mistake as many, including myself, may stay away from this predicted model.

Don't want a bigger camera.
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Dan Senior Member • Posts: 1,400
Re: What about the D7000?

Tony Beach wrote:

Wouldn't it have made more sense to come out with a D400 before the D7000?

No

But isn't that the way they've always done it?

They introduced the D300, then they used its sensor in the D90, and everyone with a D90 could say that it performed like a D300.

perhaps Nikon will throw in something brand new [insert a big deal feature here: I'm still thinking maybe built-in grip

That would not be good. I really hope they don't make the camera bigger. If I want a camera with a grip, I'd buy the D3.

No, I think there's a reason Nikon updated the D300 to a D300s and upgraded the D3 to a D3s this last year, they wanted to hold their ground (even if only mostly in a symbolic way with the D300s) with those two models until they were ready for the full "D4/D400" upgrade.

The D3s got a huge improvement in high ISO performance. The D300s didn't get any improvement. They also introduced the D3x.

The D7000 does nothing to rain on that party, other than possibly drizzle a little on the sensor if Nikon uses the same one in the "D400," which is why I'm also thinking that the "D400" actually won't use the same sensor as the D7000.

They can do amazing things with software. Isn't that what they improved on the D3s?

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JasonED Contributing Member • Posts: 945
Re: What about the D7000?

Dan wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

They can do amazing things with software. Isn't that what they improved on the D3s?

No. The D3S uses an entirely revised/updated/new sensor.
Some better software might be involved but the major gains are in hardware.

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Tony Beach Veteran Member • Posts: 9,942
Re: What about the D7000?

Dan wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

Wouldn't it have made more sense to come out with a D400 before the D7000?

No

But isn't that the way they've always done it?

Nikon has always said they put the most suitable sensor in each camera. Given the timing of the D7000, the sensors available to put in it, and where the competition is, it made perfect sense for Nikon to use that sensor in that camera.

They introduced the D300, then they used its sensor in the D90, and everyone with a D90 could say that it performed like a D300.

Cameras are not just about sensors. The D300 came out concurrent with the D3. Nikon will not come out with a new state of the art AF system in a "D400" before they have introduced one just as good in their flagship models.

perhaps Nikon will throw in something brand new [insert a big deal feature here: I'm still thinking maybe built-in grip

That would not be good. I really hope they don't make the camera bigger. If I want a camera with a grip, I'd buy the D3.

You won't buy a D3 if you want a DX camera in a bigger body though, you can only buy a D2x or a D3x and use it in DX mode, and that's the point of making a "D400" a bigger bodied camera. Likewise, if you want a smaller camera that has most of the same features that were previously only available in the D200 and above cameras, you can now get that with a D7000 -- so in that sense Nikon would have most of the bases covered.

No, I think there's a reason Nikon updated the D300 to a D300s and upgraded the D3 to a D3s this last year, they wanted to hold their ground (even if only mostly in a symbolic way with the D300s) with those two models until they were ready for the full "D4/D400" upgrade.

The D3s got a huge improvement in high ISO performance. The D300s didn't get any improvement. They also introduced the D3x.

One thing that didn't change in any of them was any substantive improvements to the AF system. Again, that's my point.

The D7000 does nothing to rain on that party, other than possibly drizzle a little on the sensor if Nikon uses the same one in the "D400," which is why I'm also thinking that the "D400" actually won't use the same sensor as the D7000.

They can do amazing things with software.

Within reason, but we can simply take the RAW files then and put them through a new RAW converter to get better results too.

Isn't that what they improved on the D3s?

No, they improved the sensor and increased the buffer size.

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Richard Briscoe Regular Member • Posts: 426
Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

Tony Beach wrote:

Vince P wrote:

... was thinking that if a new top end DX Af module were in the wings for the D300 replacement then it would have been cheaper for Nikon to use the existing module in the D7000 rather than a slightly dumbed down one to fall between the D90 (basically D200) and D300.

Nikon may have finished all their runs with the CAM3500DX. If so, then all the future bodies will likely use the D7000's new AF module, and the "D400" would use a new state of the art AF module. Not that this would mean anything in terms of when the "D400" will be announced, Nikon might have warehouses full of D300s cameras right now and demand was already tapering off for the D300s before the D7000 was announced.

I realize that Nikon have some inventory, but one has to question that Nikon have "warehouses full" of anything the way they have continuing shortages of product.

Richard Briscoe Regular Member • Posts: 426
Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

Phil_L wrote:

Nikon is going to have to pull out all the stops on a "D400" to clearly differentiate it from the D7k which looks like a real winner.

This includes features, ergonomics and performance.

An integrated grip is on the cards as well imo, but I wont be crying if it doesn't materialise.

The battery grip for the D300(s) is nice except for mounting on a tripod where the joint becomes a wobbly POS that lets the camera shimmy like a jelly in step with mirror slap.
--
Phil_L

Thom's description of the D400, while nice, certainly does not sound like something that is clearly distinguished from the D7000 except in (nice to have) details, if the sensor is essentially the same, it will be a disappointment.

Thom's predictions are, of course, based upon very limited information and a lot of speculation, but lack a perspective of what the market will be next year. Canon, for example, is not standing still. They are expected to have the 5D MK III out in the same time frame as the D800. Nikon must have some intel on what Canon are expected to do and I wonder if Nikon will be able to present something that can meet the challenge. Thom's predictions are not for anything startling or dramatic, at least until the D4 is released. Can it be that Nikon is continuing to struggle with the sensor design & production transition and simply does not have significant advances ready? Matters such as a grip or external controls or improved weather sealing may be nice, but the sensor is the reason for people to buy the camera.

I realize that Nikon have intentionally left some things out of the D7000 so they will be able to offer them in the D400 and such, but just how will their sensors compete with the new ones from other manufacturers?

gnohz
gnohz Regular Member • Posts: 324
Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

Features aside, I think it all boils down to how Nikon will compete with their sensors. After all, the sensors in the bodies matters the most (apart from software processing in camera) when it comes to raw image quality. Canon should be ready to introduce a much better camera with the 5dmiii and it'll be interesting to see how Nikon is going to counter that

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Tony Beach Veteran Member • Posts: 9,942
Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

Richard Briscoe wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

Nikon may have finished all their runs with the CAM3500DX. If so, then all the future bodies will likely use the D7000's new AF module, and the "D400" would use a new state of the art AF module. Not that this would mean anything in terms of when the "D400" will be announced, Nikon might have warehouses full of D300s cameras right now and demand was already tapering off for the D300s before the D7000 was announced.

I realize that Nikon have some inventory, but one has to question that Nikon have "warehouses full" of anything the way they have continuing shortages of product.

1.) I said Nikon " might have warehouses full of D300s cameras," I didn't say they did. The point may have been overstated, but the point remains that Nikon still has D300s cameras for sale right now. Hopefully (for Nikon's sake) they don't actually have warehouses full of them waiting to be sold.

2.) Where are these D300s shortages? I have yet to see the D300s out of stock at any of the major retailers here in the United States. You can buy one today at B&H, and at a discount too.

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Tony Beach Veteran Member • Posts: 9,942
Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

Richard Briscoe wrote:

Thom's description of the D400, while nice, certainly does not sound like something that is clearly distinguished from the D7000 except in (nice to have) details, if the sensor is essentially the same, it will be a disappointment.

For some that will be true, but no matter what, every new camera disappoints some.

Can it be that Nikon is continuing to struggle with the sensor design & production transition and simply does not have significant advances ready?

Does anybody? Nikon will almost certainly release a very nice pair of cameras in the "D4" and "D400" later next year, and they will have competent sensors (i.e., competitive with everyone else's) and many of us are expecting notable improvements in AF as well.

I realize that Nikon have intentionally left some things out of the D7000 so they will be able to offer them in the D400 and such, but just how will their sensors compete with the new ones from other manufacturers?

Nikon competes very well in that regard, just look at their D3s (proprietary) and their D3x (modified Sony) sensors, and expect more of the same.

[Snip.]

Matters such as a grip or external controls or improved weather sealing may be nice, but the sensor is the reason for people to buy the camera.

Sensors have been very good now for some time, and for some photographers the durability and features of the camera are more important.

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Richard Briscoe Regular Member • Posts: 426
Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

I would agree that "warehouses full" is probably an overstatement and I would also agree that there must be some level of inventory as the D300s is generally available. Even though the D400 is not expected any time soon, the D300s is late in its life cycle...it is still a good body though.

I suppose that we would both agree that Nikon is probably winding down the production of the D300s, if they have not already stopped production.

Nikon seems to have a lot of problems keeping product in stock in general, which makes me doubt that they have a great excess of anything in inventory. It is sometimes difficult to tell when Nikon are clearing a product out or simply bringing the price down to a more realistic one once the initial rush for a new product has abated.

Cheers

Richard Briscoe Regular Member • Posts: 426
Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

Tony Beach wrote:

Sensors have been very good now for some time, and for some photographers the durability and features of the camera are more important.

True, but people with a D300s, which has decent durability/features/etc, unless there is a significant improvement in the sensor. That is the point. If the sensor is the same as that of the D7000 and people have to wait a year for it to get into a "durable" body, that would indeed be disappointing. I, for one, certainly hope that the D400 sensor will be a different one from that of the D7000 and will be significantly better.

Tony Beach Veteran Member • Posts: 9,942
Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

Richard Briscoe wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

Sensors have been very good now for some time, and for some photographers the durability and features of the camera are more important.

True, but people with a D300s, which has decent durability/features/etc, unless there is a significant improvement in the sensor. That is the point. If the sensor is the same as that of the D7000 and people have to wait a year for it to get into a "durable" body, that would indeed be disappointing.

It would certainly be aggravating. The thing is that Nikon would presumably upgrade the D300s body in much the same way that they upgraded the D90 body when they came out with the D7000.

I, for one, certainly hope that the D400 sensor will be a different one from that of the D7000 and will be significantly better.

Better would be nice, but I wouldn't expect miracles. I actually expect more advancement on the AF front, as the D7000 sensor is a nice improvement over the older 12 MP sensor, but if the D7000 AF system is still a near match for a "D400" AF system then that would truly be a disappointment for all those waiting for D300s replacement.

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gnohz
gnohz Regular Member • Posts: 324
Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

I agree. Nikon will definitely have to introduce more differences to the D300s replacement or it'll just be the same as the D300 to D300s situation. I'm sure Nikon knows better than us so let's hope

Tony Beach wrote:

Richard Briscoe wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

I, for one, certainly hope that the D400 sensor will be a different one from that of the D7000 and will be significantly better.

Better would be nice, but I wouldn't expect miracles. I actually expect more advancement on the AF front, as the D7000 sensor is a nice improvement over the older 12 MP sensor, but if the D7000 AF system is still a near match for a "D400" AF system then that would truly be a disappointment for all those waiting for D300s replacement.

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Richard Briscoe Regular Member • Posts: 426
Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

Tony Beach wrote:

Richard Briscoe wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

Sensors have been very good now for some time, and for some photographers the durability and features of the camera are more important.

True, but people with a D300s, which has decent durability/features/etc, unless there is a significant improvement in the sensor. That is the point. If the sensor is the same as that of the D7000 and people have to wait a year for it to get into a "durable" body, that would indeed be disappointing.

It would certainly be aggravating. The thing is that Nikon would presumably upgrade the D300s body in much the same way that they upgraded the D90 body when they came out with the D7000.

I, for one, certainly hope that the D400 sensor will be a different one from that of the D7000 and will be significantly better.

Better would be nice, but I wouldn't expect miracles. I actually expect more advancement on the AF front, as the D7000 sensor is a nice improvement over the older 12 MP sensor, but if the D7000 AF system is still a near match for a "D400" AF system then that would truly be a disappointment for all those waiting for D300s replacement.

I don't recall bring up miracles, but, while on the subject, I have to say that the performance of the D3/D3s sensors at high ISOs is pretty close. I have examined a number of images captured at ISO 6,400 which, IMO, were virtually indistinguishable from those as lower ISOs. If Nikon can bring that sort of performance to the D400's sensor, that would qualify as a "significant improvement" in my book. The ability to shoot at higher ISOs gives one so much greater flexibility in so many situations that it is, quite simply, game changing.

The other thing is that the D300/D300s sensor has been viewed as a downgrade from the D200 sensor by a number of landscape shooters because they do not give the clean images (especially of blue sky) and color rendition without more time spent in PP. There is a balance in sensor performance which is necessary to please the greater number of people. The demands for high ISO/high frame rate performance of sports, wildlife and action photography are rather different than the needs of a landscape photographer whose exposures are measured in seconds rather than frames per second, as are the needs for 5 frame (or greater) auto-bracketing for HDR image capture and so on. Nikon's task is not an easy one.

Dan Senior Member • Posts: 1,400
Re: What about the D7000?

Tony Beach wrote:

They introduced the D300, then they used its sensor in the D90, and everyone with a D90 could say that it performed like a D300.

Cameras are not just about sensors.

I know, but if you only look at the pictures, those from the D300 and those from the D90, they look virtually the same. It's just like how the D3 and the D700 are similar.

Nikon will not come out with a new state of the art AF system in a "D400" before they have introduced one just as good in their flagship models.

But the AF system in the D300 doesn't seem to be the same as the one in the D3. I've read that the D300 has an AF aquisition lag that the D3 doesn't have. I really hope the D400 has a much quick AF aquisition time than the D300.

You won't buy a D3 if you want a DX camera in a bigger body though, you can only buy a D2x or a D3x and use it in DX mode, and that's the point of making a "D400" a bigger bodied camera.

Which DX photographers need a vertical grip? Do bird photographers need it? The D100/200/300 series has always been small. Going big would not make sense because it would alienate so many D200/D300(s) shooters. If there is a high enough demand for a built-in vertical grip, it would make more sense to make another D2x type of a body, but if they did that, I would certainly hope they wouldn't cripple the D400.

Likewise, if you want a smaller camera that has most of the same features that were previously only available in the D200 and above cameras, you can now get that with a D7000 -- so in that sense Nikon would have most of the bases covered.

A D7000 is essentially a D90 (at least that's how I feel about it right now, not having tried it yet), so I'm not so sure. I would only consider the D7000 if its AF system is quicker than the one in the D300. I went through a lot of bodies before I found one that suited me.

Within reason, but we can simply take the RAW files then and put them through a new RAW converter to get better results too.

I am not going to shoot RAW.

Isn't that what they improved on the D3s?

No, they improved the sensor and increased the buffer size.

So they chose not to improve the sensor for the D300. I guess they're making D200/300 shooters wait a little longer for the D400. What was the point of the D300s? To get the D200 shooters? I wonder if it was worth producing.

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Dan Senior Member • Posts: 1,400
Why do we need a D4?

Tony Beach wrote:

Nikon will almost certainly release a very nice pair of cameras in the "D4" and "D400" later next year

What is wrong with the D3s/x? What is all this talk about a D4? I'm just wondering what it is that people want that would require Nikon to come out with a D4, at least any time soon.

Sensors have been very good now for some time, and for some photographers the durability and features of the camera are more important.

The reason I bought the D300 is because of its high ISO performance. I will only upgrade if there are improvements in sensor performance, mainly high ISO performance.

The last great feature I can think of is their iTTL flash system, and that could use some improvement in reliability. I've had issues with using wireless on their SB-800s. I wonder if its improved on the SB-900, but too bad they cost so much. I'll probably never know. Maybe I should consider Quantum.

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Tony Beach Veteran Member • Posts: 9,942
Re: Thom's 2011 predictions are out and D400 is...

Richard Briscoe wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

Better would be nice, but I wouldn't expect miracles.

I don't recall bring up miracles, but, while on the subject, I have to say that the performance of the D3/D3s sensors at high ISOs is pretty close. I have examined a number of images captured at ISO 6,400 which, IMO, were virtually indistinguishable from those as lower ISOs. If Nikon can bring that sort of performance to the D400's sensor, that would qualify as a "significant improvement" in my book. The ability to shoot at higher ISOs gives one so much greater flexibility in so many situations that it is, quite simply, game changing.

I would say that if a "D400" were to match the D3s at high ISO, that would be something approaching a miracle at this time, so that's what I mean by not expecting a "miracle" and something more than a "significant improvement" in my book.

The other thing is that the D300/D300s sensor has been viewed as a downgrade from the D200 sensor by a number of landscape shooters because they do not give the clean images (especially of blue sky) and color rendition without more time spent in PP.

Well, I do a lot of landscape photography, and it took me couple of months to get a handle on the D300 sensor, and I would say that the D300 is not a downgrade from the D200 in that regard. In response to a claim that the D200 has more DR than the D300, I had prepared this recent reply: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1039&message=36808916 As for color profiling, that can be an issue with any camera, and the same knocks on the D300 apply to the D700 and other Picture Control cameras Nikon has released since the D300 came out -- but it's not a sensor issue: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1039&message=35652723

There is a balance in sensor performance which is necessary to please the greater number of people. The demands for high ISO/high frame rate performance of sports, wildlife and action photography are rather different than the needs of a landscape photographer whose exposures are measured in seconds rather than frames per second, as are the needs for 5 frame (or greater) auto-bracketing for HDR image capture and so on. Nikon's task is not an easy one.

At this point, I would recommend a D7000 as a competent landscape camera. If a "D400" uses the same sensor, then I would consider it to be both a competent landscape camera and presumably more suitable for action/sports than the D7000. Some of the high ISO cameras like the D3s are actually less suitable for landscape photography, but would be the first choice for action/sports.

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Tony Beach Veteran Member • Posts: 9,942
Re: Why do we need a D4?

Dan wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

Nikon will almost certainly release a very nice pair of cameras in the "D4" and "D400" later next year

What is wrong with the D3s/x?

Aside from the price of the D3x, nothing is really wrong with those cameras.

What is all this talk about a D4?

The pace of major updates for Nikon is every 4 years now, and late next year it will be 4 years since the D3 and D300 were announced.

I'm just wondering what it is that people want that would require Nikon to come out with a D4, at least any time soon.

In the digital age, a year is a long time.

Sensors have been very good now for some time, and for some photographers the durability and features of the camera are more important.

The reason I bought the D300 is because of its high ISO performance. I will only upgrade if there are improvements in sensor performance, mainly high ISO performance.

The D7000 appears to be an improvement in that regard, as well as simultaneously offering more resolution. What's not to like about that?

 Tony Beach's gear list:Tony Beach's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF Nikkor 105mm f/2D DC Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +3 more
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