>I've been reading and thinking about the replies in this and >other various upgrade threads. Unfortunately it's given me a >panic attack . > >The basis of the attack is "where is this all >going", "what am I going to do when my D700 wears >out", "should I buy another D700 now", "is >there a plateau and when is enough, enough", "What >me worry?". > >Anyway, this is likely totally unintelligible by now. My >crystal ball is broken.
I think the biggest problem caused by speculation is that it feeds corporate product marketing strategies. The more we speculate, the more we build pressure on ourselves to consider yet another purchase.
At the recent 2011 Landscape Photographer of the Year exhibition in London, 10 of the Canon shooters won with entries made using 4 year old (and older) Canon DSLR bodies. Of the Nikon shooter who won, 15 of them used 3 year old (and older) DSLR camera bodies.
The same thing is true, more or less, about the 2011 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and the 2011 Enviromental Photographer of the Year competition. We all need to give our heads a shake. It's the photographer, not the gear.
One of the main reasons that non-pros (photographers who don't earn their living from photography), buy the latest new gear is to help goose/juice up/re-motivate themselves to get out and shoot. It's a rather expensive motivator I'd say.
If there are people out there who already own a D300/D300s, D700 or D3 and are complaining that they can't make good photos or that their photos lack something, then they're people who have poor eyes or who haven't educated themselves about exposure or who are struggling with certain photographic concepts and need photography lessons or photography club membership, or who may love photography but simply can't see composition and framing. Replacing their existing gear with shiny new stuff or the latest new thing won't change any of that.
The greatest and most computationally intelligent autofocus and autoscene sensing and auto white balance modes can never improve a lousy composition of a boring or inconsequential subject in unremarkable light.
Poor manual or semi-manual exposure choices, poor lighting, the wrong lens filter, glare that could be prevented with a lens hood, shooting field sports at a shutter speed of 1/50s, shooting portaits at f/22 and a vast array of other nonsense doesn't change (or improve) just because someone spends $5000 on a D3 (or D400 or D800 or D4, or whatever).
Knowledge about the craft of photography, education about applying that knowledge, practice and critique are the things that help improve our photography. Any would-be photographer (at any level, from beginner to wanna-be pro), who doesn't get that, I think, usually struggles almost endlessly with photography or otherwise remains unsatisfied with photography.
So I feel that unless some serious photographer has a very well defined and specific technical requirement which can only be met by some in-built feature in a new camera body, and if the photographer already has a D300 or something newer, that the latest new body release at this point in the state of camera body development is a pure and irredeemable waste of money.
That the camera makers have dug themselves into a deep hole by subscribing to a pervasive financial model which requires constant new product releases to drive ever-increasing revenue streams is not my problem.