Even though we ARE Nikon lovers,we are NOT affiliated with Nikon Corp. in any way.

English German French

Sign up Login
Home Forums Articles Galleries Recent Photos Contest Help Search News Workshops Shop Upgrade Membership Recommended
members
All members Wiki Contests Vouchers Apps Newsletter THE NIKONIAN™ Magazines Podcasts Fundraising

Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals

Jonathan

Nashville, US
388 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author
Jonathan Registered since 10th Feb 2003
Fri 06-Jun-03 02:35 AM

The summer 2003 issue of Photographer\'s Forum has an interview with Richard LoPinto, Vice President for SLRs at Nikon, talking specifically about digital cameras.

On future offerings and full-frame: Full frame DSLRs (e.g., EOS-1Ds) cost about twice what the D1x does. He acknowledges that there is real appeal in having "35mm lenses of the wide-angle type that achieve a wider angle of view than what we refer to as the DX format sensor," but at the same time, "higher resolution and a wider field of view ... aren't the only features that make them work well." Specifically, he feels that most photographers would not want to spend double what a D1X costs to double their resolution and move to a full-frame sensor, especially given that it would have half the frame rate of the D1X in burst mode.

LoPinto gives a long song and dance about how you can interpolate the D1X image to yield 10 megapixels, but is less than convincing on that score. The bottom line, though, is that Nikon is committed to APS-sized sensors for the next generation or two of cameras. The reason seems to be good old market economics. Not enough people would buy a $7500 camera that could only take 1.5 fps to give Nikon a good return on the investment of designing the camera and starting a production line. He thinks that photographers would rather buy a DX lens (he doesn't give a price, but what I guess is something in the $1500 range for the 12-24) to satisfy their wide-angle needs than to spend $7500 or so for a Nikon-quality full-frame DSLR.

What he says makes sense. In the long term, good sensors will become cheaper and faster, so full-frame will become standard, but for the near-term the market seems to like the $1500-2000 prosumer and $4000 professional price point.

This got me thinking and I think he's right. Looking back at the history of DSLRs, I found that in 1991, Kodak released the DCS-100: the first DSLR that could be used untethered. A modified F3, the full system weighed 55 pounds (most of it in the backpack that held the electronics and hard drive), sold for $30,000, and had a 1.3 megapixel CCD.

By 1999, you could buy a D1 for about $6000, with about 2.8 megapixels, and now you can get the D1x, with 5.3 megapixels for $4000. This rate of innovation and the consequent fear of obsolescence is another reason why very few people will spend $8000 or so on a digital camera. If the camera must be amortized over a five-year lifespan, that comes to $1600 per year on bodies. Glass holds its value much better, so a sensible photographer would buy a more modest DSLR and spend the difference on glass, knowing that in four or five years he can buy the dream body for a much lower price and will have some very nice lenses for plugging up that big hole in the front.

Not to take pictures of one's children, particularly when they are small, is a sign of parental indifference --- Susan Sontag

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Subject
ID
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
1
Reply message RE: Lens Compatibility
20
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
2
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
3
Reply message The bottom line is...
4
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
5
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
6
Reply message CCD size nomenclature is bizarre...
7
     Reply message RE: CCD size nomenclature is bizarre...
9
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
8
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
10
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
12
     Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
13
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
11
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
14
     Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
21
Reply message Reality vs Perception
15
Reply message RE: Reality vs Perception
16
     Reply message RE: Reality vs Perception
17
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
18
Reply message RE: Nikon VP on future of Nikon digitals
19

G