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Could this be the reason we don't have a D400?

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10537 posts

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"RE: Could this be the reason we don't have a D400?"

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Sat 16-Feb-13 04:19 PM

Maybe

But all of the camera companies are in the same boat. Those that rely on the Compact or Point and Shoot models are really hurting - Q4 of 2012 had volume declines of 20% or more for most companies against planned volume. Nikon actually fared better than Canon - and much better than Sony. And of that group, Canon lacks a mirrorless position (at least they lack one that is working).

Certainly all of these companies have missed 4th quarter forecasts. But Nikon is profitable and profitable in their camera line. They have done some discounting, but they have also pleased a lot of opportunistic buyers.

Historically they have frequently followed December sales with February deals that were not quite as good. It's a slow time of year for sales, and if they can encourage bundles of products it generates some much needed volume. This strategy was used the last two years.

I agree that the lack of a D400 is a problem. I don't think they are trying to force anyone into FX - just choosing their priorities. Can you imagine the noise if they released a D400? I'd rather they not release anything than to release something that merely matches Canon or is a minor advance. The D300 and D300S are still good cameras. The D7000 is an update but not from the D300s. A D7200 might be an upgrade, but a robust DX body with robust build, fast frame rate and reasonable file size would be well received.

I doubt the average consumer really understands that more pixels is not always better. Even the photo magazines and Consumer Reports use the number of pixels as a criteria for ranking cameras. It's easier to just go along than to convince people that fewer pixels are okay. So the D3200 and D5200 just make the issue a non-issue.

There is a practical problem with huge DX files. To date, DX pixels are the same size as FX pixels - just on a smaller sensor which creates a crop factor. Take the V2 pixel on a DX sized sensor and you'll get a 45 MP camera with reasonably good noise characteristics.

But the bigger the file the slower the frame rate. If you want a fast frame rate, you need to compromise file size. And if you want the best noise characteristics with reasonable sharpness, you will want fewer large pixels rather than many small ones.

Personally, I'd like to see something a bit more dramatic. How about a mirrorless successor with a really fast frame rate? How about a CX crop mode on the DX cameras? How about an electronic viewfinder with a zoom mode for precise focus? How about a long lens to replace the 80-400 with a compact 100-500 or something similar? How about an app based menu system with WiFi built into the camera? The good thing about Nikon's position in all of these technologies is they are existing technologies that can provide significant enhancements.

Eric Bowles
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