Sun 11-Mar-12 04:55 PM | edited Sun 11-Mar-12 05:04 PM by walkerr
Why did Nikon do this? Other than the fact that they could, here are a few reasons:
- It sent a shock wave through their primary competitor's camp, and it wasn't the first one. Personally, I think Canon's new cameras also look good, although many view the 1Dx and 5DMiii as being a bit over-priced compared with the D4 and D800. In other words, there's at least a preliminary success there for Nikon on those fronts, and the D800 is viewed by some Canon owners as being a generation beyond the 5DMiii. That may or may not be an accurate view, but it exists. Keep in mind that an important aspect in marketing is having a camera in the line-up that people can aspire to. Someone buying a D3100 or the Canon equivalent will often look at the top of the line and think "this system looks like one I can grow with or not". It was certainly one of things I considered when I got a Nikkormat FT2 at the age of fourteen (I wanted an F2 at some point, and I eventually got one, although it took about 16 years. )
- Many photographers value sharpness in their images and the ability to make larger prints. Recent printers and photographic software packages benefit from more pixels, even in moderately-sized prints.
- It performs better at higher ISO's than people think, especially if NR is applied at the full resolution and the image is then scaled down. I've done this with high ISO raw files, and they look fantastic. By high ISO, I mean ISO 12,800 raw files, which is about as high as I normally shoot with my D3s.
- This isn't the final Nikon FX camera that will ever be made, and we'll see other options over time. It'll be a great camera for many photographers, but someone who needs a super high frame per second rate (not me normally) might prefer a D4, a used D3s, or something else down the road.
- Computers get faster and faster, and many raw conversion programs will have no problem with D800 raw files, provided the computer isn't too old. Storage space will be higher, but it's one of the cheapest things out there and prices continue to drop while capacity increases.
My ultimate take on why they did this is "why not?". It certainly doesn't scare me or make me worry about whether or not it's too much camera. If I were viewing this through my fourteen year old eyes, my thoughts would be "yes, I made the right choice on camera systems". Right after that I'd be looking forward to using it.
On the other hand, if it's a choice between the D800 and a really great photo trip, I'd pick the trip every time. Great shooting opportunities that inspire creativity trump pixels every time.