Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites

Started Jan 6, 2014 | Discussions
OceanFroggie Contributing Member • Posts: 637
Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites
1

"IF" a new high-end nikon DX body is announced (ie pitched between D7001 and D300s) - I Hope it's smaller & made of composites.

In every other field of technology products have become smaller, lighter and made of composite materials instead of metal. Phones, laptops, tablets have all got thinner, lighter and stronger. Modern composite plastics cut build costs yet improve build quality and durability. I don't understand the misconceived notion that a metal camera body is necessarily better. Metal is so yesteryear.

The whole advantage of DX is smaller, lighter, therefore more likely to be carried around more. Mobile devices have shown how good design could more efficiently be used even on semi pro DX bodies allowing as many physical controls on a D3x00 size body as on the D300s body. Personally the body I'd love too see is a D300x control layout on a D3200 sized body, light and compact with tilt LCD and genuinely live sensor exposure preview on live view (ie like smartphones). And modern software not stuck in the DSLR MSDOS like dark ages. I'll dream on . . .

Nikon D300 Nikon D300S Nikon D3200 Nikon D3X Nikon D700
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Robert Cohen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,690
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites

Lighter can be good.  Smaller isn't necessarily good.  IMHO.

For example, when it comes to cell phones, they got larger than the initial phones so the displays could be larger and more detailed.  For a camera, a certain size is desirable so that the back monitor and other screens can be more useful and so that the controls are easy to manipulate.  People's hands haven't gotten smaller.

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n057 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,843
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites
3

OceanFroggie wrote:

"IF" a new high-end nikon DX body is announced (ie pitched between D7001 and D300s) - I Hope it's smaller & made of composites.

In every other field of technology products have become smaller, lighter and made of composite materials instead of metal. Phones, laptops, tablets have all got thinner, lighter and stronger. Modern composite plastics cut build costs yet improve build quality and durability. I don't understand the misconceived notion that a metal camera body is necessarily better. Metal is so yesteryear.

Optics, for instance, have not gotten smaller.

The whole advantage of DX is smaller, lighter, therefore more likely to be carried around more. Mobile devices have shown how good design could more efficiently be used even on semi pro DX bodies allowing as many physical controls on a D3x00 size body as on the D300s body. Personally the body I'd love too see is a D300x control layout on a D3200 sized body, light and compact with tilt LCD and genuinely live sensor exposure preview on live view (ie like smartphones). And modern software not stuck in the DSLR MSDOS like dark ages. I'll dream on . . .

Try tracking a running, bouncing subject with a smartphone and hope to trip the shutter anywhere close to the exact fleeting moment that you see on the live view. One of the main reasons for failure is LCD response time. What you see is probably a couple milliseconds later than the actual action.

Even on video games, you want to get a display with the fastest response time, and that still lags compared to OVF.

JC
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OP OceanFroggie Contributing Member • Posts: 637
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites

I'm not advocating smartphone sized DSLRs nor mirrorless, just making the DSLR body form "slightly" more compact and lighter. Personally I'd like a D3200 sized D300s with the sensor from the D7100 but the speed, body ergonomics and controls of a D300s. Shoehorn the D300s into a d3200 body size without loosing controls. Still enough body form to grip and hold steady. VR has diminished the advantage of a heavier body for hand held stability.

n057 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,843
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites
3

OceanFroggie wrote:

I'm not advocating smartphone sized DSLRs nor mirrorless, just making the DSLR body form "slightly" more compact and lighter. Personally I'd like a D3200 sized D300s with the sensor from the D7100 but the speed, body ergonomics and controls of a D300s. Shoehorn the D300s into a d3200 body size without loosing controls. Still enough body form to grip and hold steady. VR has diminished the advantage of a heavier body for hand held stability.

Lighter would be nice, but smaller and keep all the controls? And I also prefer the CF card, I am not sure it can be kept with a smaller body. Look at the D5200 and D7100 , and compare to the D3200 . Then look at the additional controls in the D300 .

For another comparison, in FX (but it might show some trend) look at the Df compared to the D610 , from which it is derived, and they both have a composite/alloy construction.

I did try the D7000 when it first came out, and di not like many things, one of them because I have large hands (Ditto for the D5100)

Maybe some model will come out with all the features you wish, but I sure would prefer a good old metal bodied D300 replacement with all the current features, a modern sensor, a modern AF module and all the modern supporting electronics. 
JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

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Reivilos
Reivilos Regular Member • Posts: 396
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites

OceanFroggie wrote:

Personally I'd like a D3200 sized D300s with the sensor from the D7100 but the speed, body ergonomics and controls of a D300s. Shoehorn the D300s into a d3200 body size without loosing controls.

I use my left eye for the viewfinder, and I wear glasses. The thing I like with the D300 is that the AF-ON button is far enough from the viewfinder so that my right thumb doesn't poke into my right eye while focusing. That may not be possible with a D3200-style body - indeed, it's already not with a D7100 body. And that's not even taking into account the fact that you don't get separate AE lock and AF-ON buttons on the current "smaller" bodies unless you reassign (read: lose) one of the front Fn buttons.

So lighter bodies made of carbon - why not ? Smaller bodies - not for me, if they compromise the ergonomics.

Digressing a bit, I have held a Df body and it has an OK-for-me AF-ON button, and the front command dial (which is 'vertical') I found OK to operate, too. Despite being FX, it felt overall slimmer and lighter than my D300s. But locked ISO and EC dials are a nonsense ...

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eddyshoots Senior Member • Posts: 2,176
Lighter: sure, Smaller: no thank you
4

OceanFroggie wrote:

"IF" a new high-end nikon DX body is announced (ie pitched between D7001 and D300s) - I Hope it's smaller & made of composites.

In every other field of technology products have become smaller, lighter and made of composite materials instead of metal. Phones, laptops, tablets have all got thinner, lighter and stronger. Modern composite plastics cut build costs yet improve build quality and durability. I don't understand the misconceived notion that a metal camera body is necessarily better. Metal is so yesteryear.

The whole advantage of DX is smaller, lighter, therefore more likely to be carried around more. Mobile devices have shown how good design could more efficiently be used even on semi pro DX bodies allowing as many physical controls on a D3x00 size body as on the D300s body. Personally the body I'd love too see is a D300x control layout on a D3200 sized body, light and compact with tilt LCD and genuinely live sensor exposure preview on live view (ie like smartphones). And modern software not stuck in the DSLR MSDOS like dark ages. I'll dream on . . .

I'm happy with the size of the D300, fits the hand(s) well. I have average size hands, no Lana Kane here, and I find my old D40 too small. I one hand carry my cameras often. With the D40 the heel of my hand tends to start pressing the D-pad, especially with a larger lens attached. Too much stuff crammed into too little space. So, no thanks to a D3200 sized camera. My old D70s was a tolerable sized camera, I'd say that's about as small as I would want for my main camera.
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eddyshoots

jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,330
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites
1

OceanFroggie wrote:

"IF" a new high-end nikon DX body is announced (ie pitched between D7001 and D300s) - I Hope it's smaller & made of composites.

In every other field of technology products have become smaller, lighter and made of composite materials instead of metal. Phones, laptops, tablets have all got thinner, lighter and stronger. Modern composite plastics cut build costs yet improve build quality and durability. I don't understand the misconceived notion that a metal camera body is necessarily better. Metal is so yesteryear.

The whole advantage of DX is smaller, lighter, therefore more likely to be carried around more. Mobile devices have shown how good design could more efficiently be used even on semi pro DX bodies allowing as many physical controls on a D3x00 size body as on the D300s body. Personally the body I'd love too see is a D300x control layout on a D3200 sized body, light and compact with tilt LCD and genuinely live sensor exposure preview on live view (ie like smartphones). And modern software not stuck in the DSLR MSDOS like dark ages. I'll dream on . . .

I agree that Nikon should offer some very small/light APS-C cameras that can be paired with very good optics that are similarly compact.  I bought a Fuji X-E1 and 18-55 because Nikon simply didn't have anything that could match the size, weight and IQ combination.

But, when I'm shooting my D300 with long glass (70-200, 200-400 or 600), I'm not really interested in a particularly small body.  I agree with the other participants here who have put more emphasis on the ability to hold the body well when a large lens is attached and on accessibility and usability of controls.

So, if Nikon comes out with a new DX product above the D7200, I think Nikon needs to think very carefully about what set of users the camera is uniquely aimed at and make sure it excels for those users.  If it's the only speed camera in the DX lineup, it may be getting used a lot with longer lenses so perhaps it should be optimized first for that kind of use.  My preference would be for Nikon to consider doing something small, light and compact in the D3200-D5300 price/performance range first where it might be more central to the main uses of the camera.

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EmotoPhotos Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites
1

Yep - plastic/composite is great when at home taking photos of the family... When I am in Indonesia at 4.30am and I drop my D300 while clambering up a volcano then simply put Metal is a must... trust me.  Different horses for different courses.

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Rexgig0 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,087
Composite OK; smaller not so good.
2

I am comfortable enough with composite construction, but do not like a body to be too small. The D7000 is uncomfortably small for me. The D7100 tweaked the design of the gripping area to make it fit my hands better than the D7000, which is a step in the right (for me) direction, but I yearn for a D800-sized body, with a DX sensor, and a decent buffer, with pro controls as found on the D800. (My personal benchmark for excellent ergonomics is the Nikon F6, which is, basically, a D2-series upper body, without the integral vertical grip.)

Actually, a small body could be workable, for a wide range of hand sizes, if it had molded polymer grip over-lays, in the manner of Fourth-Generation Glock Pistols. (I do not want to drift off-topic into handguns; just offering a current example of polymer technology and hand-to-tool interface, on an instrument that has to withstand rough handling.)

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Holmes375
Holmes375 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,798
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites
2

OceanFroggie wrote:

"IF" a new high-end nikon DX body is announced (ie pitched between D7001 and D300s) - I Hope it's smaller & made of composites.

In every other field of technology products have become smaller, lighter and made of composite materials instead of metal. Phones, laptops, tablets have all got thinner, lighter and stronger. Modern composite plastics cut build costs yet improve build quality and durability. I don't understand the misconceived notion that a metal camera body is necessarily better. Metal is so yesteryear.

The whole advantage of DX is smaller, lighter, therefore more likely to be carried around more. Mobile devices have shown how good design could more efficiently be used even on semi pro DX bodies allowing as many physical controls on a D3x00 size body as on the D300s body. Personally the body I'd love too see is a D300x control layout on a D3200 sized body, light and compact with tilt LCD and genuinely live sensor exposure preview on live view (ie like smartphones). And modern software not stuck in the DSLR MSDOS like dark ages. I'll dream on . . .

Don't believe I can agree with much of this at all.

Phones, laptops, tablets are not high end DSLRs. They're gadgets and treated like such. I've seen one each D7000 & D7100 broken with the lens mount still attached to the front body panel. Similar impacts to a D300/D700 result in less severe damage. There is still a place for metals even if considered "so yesteryear" by the new crowd. The superiority of synthetic vs. metal is application specific.

"The whole advantage of DX is smaller, lighter...." is also an inaccurate sweeping generalization.  DX generally offers a higher pixel density, greater DOF, lower system expense, etc.

A D300 replacement needs to have a large motor and equivalent power source - a good sized battery.  Additionally, it needs to have the option of an high quality vertical grip for the many professional/serious enthusiasts doing sports and other action work where comfortable portrait orientation is often desirable.

The diminutive D3100 body will never afford the comfort and ergonomics of the larger body when using tele lenses of any substantial mass.  There's no room for things like a dedicated AF-On button without making things so small and crowded as to be an operational mess.  I wear a large size glove, my hands are not of unusual size.  The D3100 body size is not anything I would ever invest in as a primary camera for the aforementioned reasons.

Your reference to MS DOS dark ages is insulting and over dramatized.

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Nikonicon Contributing Member • Posts: 675
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites
1

Welcome

I need the heavier weight to counterbalance my anger from shaking that the camera isn't here.

Regards

Roger

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joeybob Contributing Member • Posts: 627
I prefer "Bullet-proof and heavy"

I am accustomed to shooting a variety of cameras. Some of which weigh more than 3 1/2 pounds with viewfinders larger than most rear LCD's of any DSLR. One of my cameras even has a roll-bar to protect it's lens. Weight in my opinion isn't that much of an issue when it comes to shooting with professional gear. I routinely lug heavy C-Stands, booms and portable studio strobes around on shoots and the cameras are usually only part of the process/overall weight.

Given a choice between shooting with my D60, D200, D300 (either gripped or un-gripped) or shooting with my D3s - I prefer shooting with my D3s.

I don't have "big hands" but holding and shooting that camera is much easier than shooting with any DX camera (at least the ones I've used). Long lenses balance on it much better. The larger viewfinder makes the DX VF's feel tiny in comparison and the ergonomics, well, everything is where it should be - it's perfect. Yes, adding a grip to either my D200 or D300 makes those cameras easier to hold in portrait orientation but I still prefer the feel of the D3s.

Last, I wouldn't want a camera made of composites for two reasons. My gear gets bumped around frequently. I don't necessarily abuse it but it's reassuring to know that in the event where it swings away from my body on a strap and bumps into something or if it takes a a tumble on a shoot chances are it's fine. Secondly and as mentioned above lenses balance much better on a camera with a little weight.

As far as what I'd like to see in a new "top end DX body" I'd be one that would prefer a full metal chassis with an integrated grip like the D2X. Bullet-proof and heavy cameras are fine with me.

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OP OceanFroggie Contributing Member • Posts: 637
Re: I prefer "Bullet-proof and heavy"

joeybob wrote:

I am accustomed to shooting a variety of cameras. Some of which weigh more than 3 1/2 pounds with viewfinders larger than most rear LCD's of any DSLR. One of my cameras even has a roll-bar to protect it's lens. Weight in my opinion isn't that much of an issue when it comes to shooting with professional gear. I routinely lug heavy C-Stands, booms and portable studio strobes around on shoots and the cameras are usually only part of the process/overall weight.

Given a choice between shooting with my D60, D200, D300 (either gripped or un-gripped) or shooting with my D3s - I prefer shooting with my D3s.

I don't have "big hands" but holding and shooting that camera is much easier than shooting with any DX camera (at least the ones I've used). Long lenses balance on it much better. The larger viewfinder makes the DX VF's feel tiny in comparison and the ergonomics, well, everything is where it should be - it's perfect. Yes, adding a grip to either my D200 or D300 makes those cameras easier to hold in portrait orientation but I still prefer the feel of the D3s.

Last, I wouldn't want a camera made of composites for two reasons. My gear gets bumped around frequently. I don't necessarily abuse it but it's reassuring to know that in the event where it swings away from my body on a strap and bumps into something or if it takes a a tumble on a shoot chances are it's fine. Secondly and as mentioned above lenses balance much better on a camera with a little weight.

As far as what I'd like to see in a new "top end DX body" I'd be one that would prefer a full metal chassis with an integrated grip like the D2X. Bullet-proof and heavy cameras are fine with me.

That makes total sense and is very understandable for a professional, but not necessarily for consumers. I assume most pros have migrated to or are plannimg to migrate to larger full frame bodies. DX size kit inc lenses are more consumer and travel friendly.

joeybob Contributing Member • Posts: 627
Re: I prefer "Bullet-proof and heavy"

OceanFroggie wrote:

That makes total sense and is very understandable for a professional, but not necessarily for consumers. I assume most pros have migrated to or are plannimg to migrate to larger full frame bodies. DX size kit inc lenses are more consumer and travel friendly.

And there is the rub...

This is the "Nikon Pro DX SLR D300, D200, D100 forum".

If memory serves me correct the "Nikon DX SLR D40 - D90, D3000-D7100 " forum was called/labeled something along the lines of :" Nikon DX SLR D40 - D90" Consumer forum" for a period of time @ roughly the time when the D7100 was released. For example and historic reference see:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50000318

The term "Pro" indicates something. Does it not? For example, I believe all three cameras in the title of this forum have a full magnesium alloy chassis. The cameras in the "Nikon DX SLR" forum either have no metal or a partial metal chassis. Other things differentiate the cameras as well such as weather sealing, ergonomics, etc.

So while I agree with your thoughts about "consumer friendly" equating to "smaller and travel friendly" I disagree with your assertion that [all] DX cameras follow along that train of thought.

Additionally, of all the professionals I know of, all 100% happen to be consumers as well and inversely, many folks that own "Pro" equipment are not necesarilly professionals ...

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hflavo
hflavo Contributing Member • Posts: 764
Re: Lighter: sure, Smaller: no thank you
1

+1 for that.  The size of the D300 (and other pro cameras) is what makes them so satisfying and efficient to shoot with for long stretches.

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Nikonfitsmebest
Nikonfitsmebest New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites
4

metal will never be "yesteryear", and why aren't pens microsized? because they are made to be used by hands, same as a camera. I don't want dslr cameras to ever get smaller than they are. A perfect fit for my hands is what is important.

Knute Regular Member • Posts: 484
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites

OceanFroggie wrote:

I'm not advocating smartphone sized DSLRs nor mirrorless, just making the DSLR body form "slightly" more compact and lighter. Personally I'd like a D3200 sized D300s with the sensor from the D7100 but the speed, body ergonomics and controls of a D300s. Shoehorn the D300s into a d3200 body size without loosing controls. Still enough body form to grip and hold steady. VR has diminished the advantage of a heavier body for hand held stability.

That would be awful even the D80 feels too small, much less an even smaller body. I don't need lighter and don't want a smaller pro DX camera. A D3200 size camera isn't big enough for a decent hand hold or all the controls on the D300, and lighter would change the balance with larger lenses.

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OP OceanFroggie Contributing Member • Posts: 637
Re: Hope any new top end DX body is smaller, lighter and made of composites

Ok I get it

I'd still like to have a consumer DX body with the control layout of the D300s. Was very tempted to buy a used D300s but decided to wait to see if and what new bodies may appear in next 9 months or so. The only firm conclusion I've come to for now is to stick with DX and avoid moving sideways to FX.

karl k Contributing Member • Posts: 817
Hope it fits and is user-intuitively engineered.

The weight is usually in the optics, because glass is heavy.

The future D400 should be a tech pacesetter for Nikon.

Keep it around 20mp and skip leave the movie features with Sony.

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