When I said that sports was a market for the D400 I was not thinking about Pro sports. I think you are in agreement that that last stop of high ISO performance that goes with FX is critical for a pro sports shooter and the high end Pros - the ones that Nikon appears to be primarily marketing the D4 to, on the NFL sidelines and Olympics - can afford the 600/4 if needed, or the 400/2.8, to make the whole thing click together. Plus the subject isolation that is so important in a stadium shot with a crowd background that distinguishes a truly high end sports shot worthy of an SI cover.
What I was thinking about, in terms of sports, is what I think Nikon's primary market would be in the D400 world - the very serious amateur or less well heeled Pro sports shooter (maybe shooting for a small rag or web site on a budget) where the D400 price level, plus a 300/4 instead of the big glass is the max funding level. Anyone that can afford a D4 and 600/4 is already there and rightfully not thinking about DX.
For subjects that don't require huge investments in long fast glass (no reach problems) I have trouble figuring out why someone would spend $2K on a high end DX body when FX is available at about the same price, with about the same sensor density, with certain inherent advantages of FX, and then it all comes down to another $1000 for glass, at most. Or maybe the travel small and light shooter, but somehow those people managed in the 35mm film days and I think they will manage in the future. Especially when Nikon comes out with a couple of new low cost, lightweight mid-range FX zooms in conjunction with the D600 (my prediction and eventually inevitable).
Just to say that high end DX will be an ever narrowing niche...
>> Again, I say the D4 is pixel poor because it didn't go quite far enough. It didn't even go far enough to mimic where Canon was 3 years ago.
Yes, yes yes!!!! That is exactly why I believe Nikon was bandwidth limited on the D4. Othrewise they surely would have matched Canon or gone to 20mpx just to get 2mpx on the right side of that critical competitive number.
Even if the 2mpx is essentially meaningless in real life (and I think it is), there are huge psychological issues at work, especially with those like you that have shot both brands and in many cases can afford to flip back and forth and in many cases MUST flip back and forth to be fully competitive with picky editors or other customers who care about such things. >> ...Nikon, has moved far enough along since the spec for the D4 was locked for the D400 to give us 8fps and 24MP
Here I may still disagree. The D4 was only announced a couple of months ago. If a D400 were announceed today, its design would have been locked just acouple months at most after the D4, and maybe at the same time (or even a bit later) since within that short of a time frame marketing issues may have a fairly significant control of the back end length of the design cycle.
Now, if a D400 were announced 6 months from now, that is still less than a year. Look how long Nikon had between the D2x, which could not properly handle 12 mpx at the sports frame rate, and the D3. It took years to get there.
And this is all in the context of all the threads here "demanding" a D400 NOW, or last year, not maybe sometime next year. The D300 owners feel abandoned and many have said exactly that here because they do not have their replacement NOW. Yet they are also demanding (collectively for sure and in too many cases, individually) both the resolution of the now lowest end 24 mpx entry model (reasonable I think), and also the 8fps they have now (not necessarily a reasonable "demand, in my opinion).
One way to look at this is that the D3200 has too much resolution- it is really a "studio camera", in the classic digital era sense of high resolution, low frame rate. And that really changed the attitudes of D300 owners. Before the D3200 the general thinking here was 16mpx with good low noise performance to meet or beat the D7000 would be great, and hey, I can wish for 20mpx too . But now the bar went even higher and that backed Nikon into a corner...
I suspect that Nikon does not mind being backed into that corner. With every set of complex decisions something has to give. They are taking over the lowest end, highest volume market, and the D800 is a killer. That corner they are backed into is a bunch of wildlife shooters that for some reason insist on spending serious money for bodies, even bigger ultra-serious money for the highest end glass, but just won't accept FX yet even if it is basically the DX camera they want within an FX frame.
In the grand scheme of things, I think that was a good business decision. And even if it doesn't work exactly in my favor, I'm with Nikon for the long haul and over hte long haul I think what is good for Nikon's treasury is good for me because those D3200's and D800's will fund future development that will benefit me, and generally keep the company prosperous and successful.
>>We had this discussion before. You've raised the point that >>both Canon and Sony have beat Nikon in bandwidth. That is >>true.
> The question is why.
I would love to know why too (for curiosity sake) but in practical terms it doesn't matter. You have just well explained why Nikon fell short with the D4 so all I need to know is that bandwidth is almost surely a major stumbling block (in the absolute here and now) for a camera that will see an ever sharply shrinking future market- at least over the longer haul and to a great extent over the short haul the day a D600 is announced.
Even in the here and now the D800 is quietly chipping away at that market and the camera wasn't even designed to do that. If the D800 were intended to do that it would (and surely could) shoot 8fps in DX mode.