>> I guess my opinion is Nikon may not make a D400. They made the D7000 then a 7100 before the D400. ??
Actually, the order of release is the only tiny prayer we may have. The order was D3200, D5200, D7100. What comes next in the pattern?
Bottom up. We all thought that was strange, but Nikon seems to have a plan.
If you have a D600 now, then I think your best approach is to complete your FX glass as best possible. For general photography the new Nikons are great. They were built for your needs. And FX intrinsically delivers an extra stop of ISO performance so you might as well get what you paid for in the D600 sensor.
>> I did not mean to imply that shallow DOF was related to birding but rather focus accuracy. When I have less than an inch of DOF and I nail focus > 50% of the time I thought that was relevant.
I understood what you meant, but f/1.4 or f/2 exposes the tiniest flaws or incompatibilities between camera and lens. Birders probably don't need that precision although more precision is always better of course. I was just trying to stay on track as best possible .
>> I don't think I'm a blind fan boy, but I am impressed with my Nikon gear.
I was not suggesting you were a fan boy. I think you are honestly searching for some Ultimate Truths that are very difficult to nail down, simply because we are surrounded by fan boys, wherever we look. It makes it very difficult. And in performance such as AF accuracy, all we have to rely on is anecdotal information, and often (usually?) we do not know all the facts or where the they are really coming from.
Your friend's experience is interesting. However, for every Nikon DSLR ever made, you can find dozens of "focus problem" reports here in the archives. Some are user error, some are blatant equipment error, and some are random incompatibilities between specific lenses and bodies. In the latter case, a lens and body can both be within spec but if they both err in the same direction, near the limits of the spec, the sum total can be out of spec.
In may of these AF problem cases, we can go round and round with the shooter and in many cases we never get a clear picture of what happened.
What I'm saying is that your friend's experience is interesting but anecdotal, and it could just as easily happen to a Nikon shooter from time to time.
Systemic problems with a given body are another matter but my experience following these things is that it is very difficult for us end users to ascertain. So I just assume all these cameras, Nikon and Canon, basically work most of the time. And why I cautioned you on giving too much credence to anecdotal reports, especially one off reports. Even if you were there to see it unfold .
>> You have convinced me that Nikon has let you down and other pro DX shooters, if they don't upgrade.
I actually have problems in both directions. I would like a high density sensor for birding (and for the most part only birding), but I also seriously need FX at 8fps for a certain subject matter in order to keep doing what I am doing on that front.
When I bought into the D300 and D700 I could not fathom they were both basically ends of the respective lines. But here I am with no solution for either problem. And that makes it more expensive for me because I don't have the option of selling my D700, which might be worth something.
Yet no body produced since the D300/D700 lets me move forward without trying to quantify all the various steps backwards. So yes, it is quite disappointing and frustrating.
I only use the D300 for birding, and only for the additional sensor density. I do very well understand the problems of frame rate and bandwidth that accompanies the higher pixels. Some of that is more or less beyond the control of Nikon.
I don't for example, think a D400 with less than 24mpx could be successful, because the market for that camera is fractured between those wanting best sensor density possible and those wanting the best frame rate. It will have to do both, but I think it can. At some point.
I do fault Nikon for things like limiting the D800's DX frame rate and the tiny buffer of the D7100, which is just way to small for the frame rate they gave it. A 1 second buffer just doesn't cut it and that was surely a pure marketing decision, not a technological hurdle. It is more or less like pouring salt on the wound for those of us struggling with this apparent change in model lineup.