Nikon Rumors says the Sendai plant has capacity to produce 5,000 D4 a month and 30,000 D800 a month. Personally I don't think either of those numbers will come anywhere close to meeting demand, but another really big variable is how much pre-announce manufacturing was Nikon able to do? Let's hope there was a mountain of each ready to go once the final firmware is flashed in
Since both bodies are priced very well, to me that would argue there will not be a big lengthy shortage. Certainly it is hard to imagine Sendai has been busy producing many D3S, D3X, F6, or D700 right up to January. If that were the case, one would expect a plethora of these kicking around and in North America anyways, that is certainly not the case. Exciting times!
Yes you are right. Details have been fuzzy on Sendai, other than a back hand recent reference from Thom I have never heard much detail other than the Tsunami did not inundate the plant, so i was always left guessing how much physical damage the earthquake caused. Whereas the graphic 9 feet of water inundating Nikon Thailand was very easy to understand the impact. Heck of a year!
Thom Hogan made an interesting comment that the plants were completely reconfigured with more modern equipment, not just repaired, meaning that production precision and volume could be increased. The initial enthusiasm for the D800 feels like the D7000 debut when sales were outstripping supply for months. They must have a strong idea of how much demand there will be for the D800 so probably planned for unequaled demand. First month sales will likely be the highest for any full frame camera by any brand. They probably figured they were well prepared for the D7000 with large shipments to big box stores in advance, plus the normal Nikon retailers. But even that preparation of months of stockpiling product ran out quickly. The D7000 and D800 will likely be the biggest sellers of any cameras above entry level so I hope they have beefed up capacity to match demand for their hit new camera. Stan St Petersburg Russia