I agree - I would not expect to see the D800 have a lower price because of anything Sony or Canon releases. But we have seen some price reduction and promotional discounts on the D800. It's been out for 18 months and is at that stage when the price starts to drop a little.
There are a lot of differences between Sony's new release and the D800. Just the sensor and mirrorless design fail to tell the whole story. But it is an interesting development and part of a trend to mirrorless.
We might get a D800s or D810 in a few month, as Nikon has often (but not always) updates the pro models every 2 years or so. At that point, you would see a price drop for any remaining D800/E bodies in stock, and of course on the used market as well.
It will take a long time -- if ever -- for Sony to capture any but a small percentage of the market served by Canon and Nikon DSLRs. If nothing else, the investment most people using the D800/800e bodies have in lenses will be a powerful preventative. And real competition -- in terms of market penetration -- is what it would take. Nikon's mirrorless cameras on the other hand, have a new bar to reach for -- and may get cheaper.
I was just noticing the other day that the D4, D800/E, and D610 (anyways ) have not yet dropped a nickel here in Canada after 18 months, at least at the dealer I use to monitor this sort of thing. To some extent I take this to mean that rate of production of the Sendai plant in Japan (D4/D800) is somewhat closely matching demand.
Nikon seems to design their strategy on maintaining, as much as possible, body prices, especially in the FX side of the lineup. Although I see in the UK retail prices do drop dramatically over time and in the USA you seem to get the "buy together and save" options.
Off topic, BUT I would LOVE to see what fps a D800S with EXPEED4 could do! D4S, D800S, D620 all with EXPEED4 would be what I would do as Nikon CEO, and I'd do it for competitive reasons to stay ahead of Canon and that upstart Sony The above would certainly be a cost to Nikon, but they need to be nimble in today's hyper-competitive market. At least until Nikon's mirrorless lineup grows beyond the Nikon 1 line (which it surely will do).
I had the same hope that putting an EXPEED 4 into a D800 would increase fps making it more useful for action photography. In an email exchange with Tom Hogan, he said this is very unlikely since the limitation is in how fast the sensor can output the data, and that he believed the current EXPEED 3 already exceeds that sensor limitation. If that's correct a faster D800 will require a new sensor as well as a faster processor.
Thanks Marty. I was worried that might be the case. The Sony-based sensors have tended to be a little speed-limited over the years (e.g. D300 and D3X 14-bit limitations). Well that'll delay Nikon's ability to quickly pump a faster fps D800 successor out then.
It's interesting that Aptina sensors are so marvellously quick (Nikon 1 series). They have a great niche established. Quick sensors and good noise control. Scale me up one of those in a DX mirrorless Nikon 2 and I'd jump on it!