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No new pro DX bodies yet!

dx pro body

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Poll: No new pro DX bodies yet! (101 member(s) have cast votes)

Would you purchase a pro spec DX Nikon body now?

  1. Yes (27 votes [26.73%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.73%

  2. No (48 votes [47.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 47.52%

  3. Maybe (26 votes [25.74%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.74%

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#1 wildoat

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:13

Editor's Note: Tony started a good conversation here. I have added a poll and moved this to the Editor's forum. ~Dallas

It's probably not too helpful to speculate but, like many others
I suspect, I'm surprised Nikon has not yet offered a replacement pro(read fully specced) dx body.

Surely the D300s is up for replacement, the D7000 is being very highly discounted
virtually everywhere and whilst the D5200/D3200 are highly capable they are
far from what we traditionally call "Pro"

Some may think get a high res fx body but actually there isn't even that option
if one wants a full sized pro body offering fast frame rates etc and decent pixel count.

I am one of the photographers who thinks both formats are valid and have their own
advantages and I will just say I don't think mirrorless yet offers a comparable solution.

So come on Nikon there are still a lot of photographers who like dx or at least want
a highly specced dx body to compliment their full frame cameras.

Any thoughts welcome, oh and this is not intended to be a dx versus fx thread. :D

regards

tony

Edited by Dallas, 01 February 2013 - 09:24 .

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 Ron Scubadiver

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 13:33

Expect a 24 mp D7000 replacement with a few new features from the D600. I don't expect to see a true pro DX body again because the D600 occupies that price point. Considering the new modestly priced FX zooms Nikon is releasing, I think they are very serious about FX for amateurs.
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#3 yunfat

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 14:08

Nikon will never make another "pro" DX camera, it doesn't have the resources, and no resources have been devoted to pro DX lenses. Nikon hasn't released a gold ring DX lens for over 6 years!

I don't consider the D300 a pro camera, btw, because it doesn't have a round viewfinder, amongst other things.

IMO, the last pro DX camera came off the assembly lines with the D2Xs, whose prices are now rising steadily, as those of us with no need for FX begin to realize it is unlikely any vertically integrated FX camera will be able to duplicate its AF spread, forever.

Get one while you still can.

#4 Bart Willems

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 14:25

If you want to go "up" from the D7000 then there's the D600. Nikon introduced that but not a D300 replacement. I think that there's a very clear signal in that. We can discuss about the wisdom of that decision, but as Taran points out Nikon does not have unlimited resources.
In addition, Nikon seems to think that we need megapixels more than anything else. So, as a customer, would you rather have a 16MP DX camera that has a pro body, or a 25MP FX camera instead, It's rather obvious what Nikon thinks we want. Of course that's not really what we want, but then again, Nikon does not really do market research, it seems. They're the classical engineering company with a bunch of gearheads that say "oooh, I'm sure people are going to love this product."

See, everybody always complains about cameras with features "driven by marketing." The reality is, that good marketing can make a tremendous difference (as it is the marketeer's job to figure out what the company want. The problem isn't marketing. The problem is bad marketing. And Nikon's marketing is shit. Hence we get these weird product offerings that really make no sense. A wide array of FX cameras (a segment that still makes up only a very small portion of the market) and very poor choices in DX (where still a lot of money is to be made). The wisdom to opt for a D600 when you could sell a lot more D400's is beyond me, as is the decision to not offer a D700 replacement. Let's face it, the D300/D700 body offers the sweet spot of relatively high volume for a price that still offers a good margin. And Nikon has decided to abandon this money-making segment completely.
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#5 Larry

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 14:28

There will be a new model that will replace the D7000. But I also expect Nikon to introduce a camera that will compete against the widely-expected Canon 7D II. I expect this camera to be a 24mp DX sensor in a D800 body. But if Nikon was bolder, perhaps we will see a new mirrorless-EVF DX body as successor to the D300/D300s. 3Q-4Q will likely be the release date for this camera.

#6 Foveola

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 14:45

As primarily a bird photographer, I would really appreciate a new high end DX body. I shot with a D300 since its introduction, but have been doing mainly FX since the D700 and now the D4 came out. But, even with the 600VR, I need more reach, without loss of aperture from a TC, so could really utilize the 'D400' if it had good ISO performance and frame rate.

It surpasses my understanding why Nikon would abandon the still profitable DX market and chase after a much smaller pool of FX users.

As mentioned, probably our best hope is for Canon to finally introduce the 7DII, to get Nikon going.

Makes you wonder how good of a company they could be with a clue about marketing and supplying what people actually want.

Randy

#7 ilkka_nissila

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 15:24

I am one of the photographers who thinks both formats are valid and have their own
advantages and I will just say I don't think mirrorless yet offers a comparable solution.


I think the practical issue is that Nikon isn't designing new high-end DX lenses (only a handful of them exist, and it can be argued that they're outdated optically), so why should they make a camera for which there are few dedicated lenses that are of interest to the advanced user (unless the camera is just for tele for the most part)? Yes, FX lenses can be used but most of the image is left unrecorded so the argument can be made that better image quality could be obtained by using dedicated lenses optimized for the smaller format if Nikon went through the development effort, and the focal ranges of the lenses would be better suited to typical applications. If Nikon made a 50-135/2.8 for example, it could be smaller and lighter than the 70-200/2.8. If Nikon put a similar development effort into a successor of the 17-55/2.8 DX that they put into the 24-70 I am sure it would be sharper and have less flare and ghosting. And there are no DX wide angle primes. I believe if Nikon made one or two of them, e.g. basic reportage 20mm or 18mm f/2 or f/1.4, DX could be something that one can stay with, instead of something only to be considered as a stepping stone into FX. To me the lack of a proper high quality fast wide angle prime for typical documentary photos in low light equivalent to the 35mm prime on FX is a crucial omission which meant I would never stay with DX. The wide angle prime is important especially to realize the smaller and lighter potential of DX, and to make the camera less intimidating than when e.g. a 17-55 is used to for this kind of work.

Without the lenses, I have little interest in DX. I do think a D7000 is excellent for macro, but there is little that it can do that the D800 can't do now (possibly better LV implementation). A D5200 on the other hand, with its improved sensor and the adjustable screen is of interest to me even now, for macro work in the field in difficult spots, to avoid me having to strain my neck to see. However, I abhore the pentamirror viewfinder for regular work; in my opinion all DSLRs should be made with pentaprism viewfinders, against the D3xxx/D5xxx viewfinders, EVFs start to look quite attractive ... yet I also dislike those.

Now, if Nikon made a D7000/D300s successor, with the mode dial lock from the D600, the D800 AF system, 6-8fps with the 24MP sensor from the D5200, and a proper optical viewfinder, with or without the tilting LCD I could buy such a thing, but not until there is at least one reportage-style wide angle prime the size (and cost) of which is in line with the size of the format.

As the matters are right now, I am planning on solving the compact wide angle problem by purchasing a Fuji X100s. Now that's what a DX wide angle should ideally look like! Compact, small, and with great quality. Yes, I understand because of the mirror and with a sensor that has generic microlenses rather than optimized for a single lens, Nikon can't use a similar optical construction. I could accept something a bit bigger than the Fuji lens.

The Fuji also lets you select the focus point much more liberally than Nikon FX cameras do. When photographing people using a moderate wide angle I want more compositional freedom aided by a broad distribution of focus points. The D300s AF point layout is a reasonable approximation that could be inherited by a D400 and this would be useful.

So come on Nikon there are still a lot of photographers who like dx or at least want
a highly specced dx body to compliment their full frame cameras.


If Nikon were to make a few more pro-spec DX lenses I could agree that a D400 is a good idea. There doesn't have to be that many. 23/2 or 23/1.4, maybe an 16mm f/2. A new nano-coated 17-55/2.8, and a 55-135mm f/2.8 that is compact. With those 3-4 new lenses I could easily justify the purchase of a D400 to go with them, to use for travel, macro (the lenses that I use for close-ups range from covering FX through 6x7 to 4x5; I am fine with them not being dedicated to DX, though it seems the ones that only cover smaller formats are sharper as a rule). I was always very happy with the performance of the D7000 for close-ups, but in general photography, with fast lenses I was unhappy with the AF performance, so I ended up with FX only.

It surpasses my understanding why Nikon would abandon the still profitable DX market and chase after a much smaller pool of FX users.


I believe this is because the optical FX viewfinder is very attractive and one which is better in practical use than any OVF; it gives a sharp, bright, clear image that doesn't flicker and has no delay. I feel the DX viewfinder is too small to be really appealing and to give enough reward to the user for the increase in size of the camera and lenses compared to a mirrorless camera. Because of the long flange distance of the F mount, it is not easy to design high performance wide angles that are of reasonable size to the DX format (leading to my main gripe about DX), whereas such lenses with excellent performance and moderate cost (28/1.8 AF-S) can be designed, and exist, for FX. The F mount has been originally designed for the needs of 35mm film in mind and Nikon probably aims to return to having the system centered around FX sensors. Their lens development of recent years certainly suggest that. I think FX DSLRs can easily hold their market against mirrorless systems whereas in DX format and smaller, the mirrorless camera sales will increase faster than DX DSLRs. I think Nikon is preparing to introduce a DX mirrorless platform and gradually transfer DX users into that. FX may or may not follow, later, if the users really abandon the optical viewfinder, which I doubt will happen in the next decade or even two. I find even recent EVFs unappealing, especially in low light. I can't even time my shots using that kind of a finder, the subject expression will have changed by the time I get my shot. This is one of the reasons for my interest in Fuji X100s and also the X-Pro1 system platform; they have nice optical viewfinders and an overlaid EVF on request.

For long lens users, if Nikon abandons the high end DX camera completely, they could alleviate the issues that result by introducing intermediate aperture long glass along the lines of the Pentax 560/5.6; a 400/4 or 400/5.6, 600/5.6 and so on - with these lenses, the combination of an FX camera + lens would not be much larger than DX cameras with similar low light performance and reach, yet provide the larger viewfinder image (e.g. note the 800mm lens is only slightly longer than the 600/4, so it is not necessary for these to be as long as the focal length). Unfortunately Nikon seems to think someone who wants to shoot with a long lens will always want extreme performance and fast apertures a.l.a. 400/2.8, 600/4, 800/5.6, rather than compactness, lower weight yet still maintaining high quality. DX can help provide the compactness of course, into the future, if new bodies with good AF are introduced.

As an FX user I would like a 400/4 or 400/5.6 prime and maybe a 600/5.6 could also be manufactured, such as in the old days, but with AF-S and VR. I fully understand the appeal of the 400/2.8 et al. in professional sports photography where the background clutter and advertisements are to be avoided; comparing some of the best sports photography from the 1970s and today, the rendition of out of focus backgrounds has experienced a phenomenal improvement. However, those lenses are not useful to those who cannot afford them and/or carry them. The 200-400 exists as a slightly more moderate aperture lens but I find in my (rather brief) testing that the primes have nicer out of focus blur at long distances and while the zoom is attractive to use, the output from the 300/2.8 is much more appealing (to me). And it's not just the larger maximum aperture but the quality of the rendering.

What bothers me is that Nikon spends so much time updating the fast superteles (think how many versions of the 300/2.8 exist...) yet is seemingly unable to keep up with Canon's technological advances in this area. First it was AF-S, then IS, and now the newest Canon supertele primes are substantially lighter than the corresponding Nikkors. So instead of making moderate aperture teles, such as provided by Canon in e.g. the 400/5.6, 400/4 and so on, I suspect Nikon will go on a pursuit trying to make lighter fast supeteles. The intermediate level long lens user doesn't get much affection from Nikon these days. I don't understand why. In the manual focus era Nikon made a whole plethora of long lenses at all possible maximum apertures and these stayed in the lineup for many many years, until the great purge of 2005.

Ok, admittedly, an easy solution to the intermediate level tele problem is the use of a DX camera, a 300/2.8 with a 24MP DX sensor becomes a formidable lens in bright light. But for the increased sensor pixel density to pay actual dividends in the image quality, autofocus accuracy needs to really improve along with it, and it hasn't kept up. The D3200/D5200 level AF just isn't what I had in mind here. I got tons of out of focus pictures when I tried to use my 200/2 wide open with the D7000 - and a very small percentage of keepers (around 10%!). Much happier with D3X and D800 and the same lens.

Nikon does not really do market research, it seems. They're the classical engineering company with a bunch of gearheads that say "oooh, I'm sure people are going to love this product."


No doubt some products are made because lens designers want to make them, to make something unique, instead of something commonly needed and practical.

But they do market research also, and I believe it is precisely market research that led to the increase in emphasis on resolution and reduced fps as one of the prices to pay, in this generation of cameras. It was what everyone was craving for, at a time when the only way to get higher resolution than 12MP in a pro-grade camera was to buy the D3X. It is easy to overreact to customer complaints. I think the D800 would have been better as a 24MP camera, or a least more general purpose, but Nikon got so much slack for staying at 12MP so long that I guess they wanted to exceed the competition this time. And they did, in some ways. Canon also solved the complaints about AF and speed that 5D Mk II users had had. So both companies do respond to customer complaints.

Sorry for the long post.

Edited by ilkka_nissila, 31 January 2013 - 16:20 .


#8 PedroS

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 16:02

If everybody is complaining about how hard is to take good photos out of the D800, imagine from a 24mp DX body...
I miss such a camera in a pro body... Unfortunately the D2Xs can't deliver what I need, mainly because of its ISO incapacity.
I miss the reach of a good DX bodies, that none of the D300/s offered. The crop capability of the D800 almost matches it but compromising others areas, one very important being fps.
The answer could be good skills to get closer, but even then, a longer reach allows to have birds with a more natural behavior.
But now with great FX bodies, like the D4/D3s, D800/D600 and exceptional lenses like the big guns with or without TC, little excuse can be given to not have the necessary reach.
Of course with a 1.5x factor body, less money on lenses could be needed, or a not so close attitude need to be achieved.
If Nikon don't bring to us what's needed buy elsewhere... I didn't yet, thought...

Edited by PedroS, 31 January 2013 - 16:03 .

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#9 Foveola

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 16:54

The viewfinder issue is an interesting one with regards to DX vs FX. I often will switch during the same session from DX to FX bodies, and I can't honestly say the DX finder on the D300 is an issue for me. Again, I am a bird photographer, and a landscape guy might feel differently, I don't have any issues finding/framing or following birds in flight with the D300. (Except from the greater apparent magnification when using long glass)

Although I have a 600 which does help with the reach issue on an FX body, what a joy it would be to have a DX optimized tele that was lighter and more easily hand held for long periods of time.

Cheers

Randy

#10 bjornthun

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 17:29

DX lenses like a16/2 would come st a price probably comparable to the Olympus 12/2 for m43, and so forth for other theoretical DX lenses. There won't be a suitable price point for them now that Nikon is making the D600 and new lenses to go with it. A Panasonic 35-100/2.8 is in the same price range as the Nikon 70-200/4. A 50-135/2.8 probably wouldn't be cheaper. Following a DX route will only cannibalize sales of D600 and lenses for it. Micro 43 on the other hand is sufficiently different from FX to warrant its' existence.
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#11 Akira

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 19:42

FWIW, in a recently published interview in Japan done at CES, an executive of Canon says that the release of the successor of EOS 7D "will not be far into the future". He also says that it will not be just an upgrade of 7D, but will incorporate "a certain innovative technology".

I would suspect that the "innovative technology" he refers to is related to the video. The Canon's "pro-grade" 7D is also popular among the videographers, which should be the biggest difference from the Nikon's counterpart.
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#12 Foveola

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 20:02

Thanks Akira:

Perhaps that will put a fire under Nikon's tail!

Cheers

Randy

#13 Mexecutioner

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 20:19

If I remember correctly, the last pro DX body was discontinued at the end of 2007.

#14 wildoat

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 20:26

Thanks guys for sharing your thoughts, very considerable in ilkka's case, :D

Judging by the keen responses in a relatively short period I'd say there is considerable
interest/demand still in the dx format.
There have been so many interesting points made I won't bother trying
to respond, I'd just suggest that anyone interested reads the thread in it's entirety.
There are just a couple of points I'd like to pick up on.....

There may not be too many new dx lenses being produced but lets not forget
fx lenses usually work very convincingly on the smaller format with
the exception of perhaps extreme wide angle glass.
Many people have been complaining about the tight grouping of focus points on fx of course this
doesn't affect dx in the same way and it can be very helpful in the field.

Taran made the point about the D2x being the last dx pro body, I fear he may be right
which is a real shame, I've seen so many beautiful images made with that camera and it's later
D2x's incarnation I'd go as far to say that in good light for image quality alone they take some
real beating.
My ideal new pro dx would have 20mp or so, vertical grip, 8or 9 f.p.s, the latest af
and a reasonable sized buffer, trap focus and a few other goodies please.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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#15 wildoat

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 20:33

If I remember correctly, the last pro DX body was discontinued at the end of 2007.

If you are thinking d2Xs I agree, and it was only introduced in June 2006.

Nikon are proving very inconsistent with the amount of time they build certain cameras for
I honestly think they need to get more "in touch" with their customers.

of course you don't care, you jumped ship, lol
Hoping you're having fun on the other side :D

Tony
 

 

 

 

 

 

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#16 Mexecutioner

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 20:57

If you are thinking d2Xs I agree, and it was only introduced in June 2006.

Nikon are proving very inconsistent with the amount of time they build certain cameras for
I honestly think they need to get more "in touch" with their customers.

of course you don't care, you jumped ship, lol
Hoping you're having fun on the other side :D

Tony


It's been a good experience so far, no complaints yet.

It's obvious that regardless of the brand, they are more likely to look at how to increase their revenue by making cameras they think people will buy, instead of making cameras people need,and spend money marketing them.

I can't really blame them, if I was in charge of raising the profit for one of those companies, I'd probably do the same thing, that would be my job. Sadly things feel more unbalanced nowadays.

The days where these companies would build something just because they could, regardless of the cost, are a thing of the past, understandably so.

#17 wildoat

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 21:07

It's been a good experience so far, no complaints yet.

It's obvious that regardless of the brand, they are more likely to look at how to increase their revenue by making cameras they think people will buy, instead of making cameras people need,and spend money marketing them.

I can't really blame them, if I was in charge of raising the profit for one of those companies, I'd probably do the same thing, that would be my job. Sadly things feel more unbalanced nowadays.

The days where these companies would build something just because they could, regardless of the cost, are a thing of the past, understandably so.


Thanks! So there's no hope then :D
It is a real shame that modern companies in general think more about "new" customers than
they do about existing customers, many of whom incidentally as I know you are only too well aware
, often spend far more than a new customer who may only buy once!

This is illustrated by the countless cash back deals Nikon and others offer to purchasers
who buy from the lower end of their product range. rarely if ever do you ever see any concessions
for long term customers who in financial terms must make a difference to these companies!
Seems we are living in the cynical age :)
 

 

 

 

 

 

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#18 FrankF

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 00:54

I suspect, I'm surprised Nikon has not yet offered a replacement pro(read fully specced) dx body. Surely the D300s is up for replacement, ... tony


I do not see the point in calling a D300(s) a "pro body". It is a "semi pro" in my eyes.

The F6 and D4-style cameras are "pro body" in my conception, the last DX "pro body" was the D2Xs appearing in 2006.

The D300 was the first DX-downgrade to motivate and elevate pros to the FX world

The D7000 which runs circles around the D300-Series was the second downgrade to elevate enthusiasts to the FX world

I am not even sure if we will see a D7200 or if the D5200 is the third DX-downgrade to discourage hobbyists from using DX.

A real pro body DX would be a very nice thing, offering things like 14 fps @ 300 consecutive in sports

I would call it the "Red Bull Camera"

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#19 Akira

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:51

If one would require the faster frame rate from DX Nikon, the border between super 35 video/cinama camera with still capability and DX DSLR with video capability will more and more vague. Then the know-hows of video camera should play an important and even decisive role. Canon is apparently ahead of Nikon in this regard, sorry to say.

So far as cinema/video camera is concerned, the mechanical automatic aperture system of Nikon can be a tough hindrance. Although PC-E Nikkors and the new 800/5.6 incorporate electric aperture, it will take very long to change the whole Nikkor system.

Another advantage of Canon in the video/cinema world is the short flange back of EOS mount of 44mm which enable many existing MF lenses (Yashica/Contax and even Nikkors!) to mount on EOS bodies using simple mount adapters without worring about the infinity focus. The automatic aperture won't work in this situation, but this is much less of a disadvantage for video than for stills.

Edited by Akira, 01 February 2013 - 04:53 .

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#20 Akira

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:27

Here's an interview of the same Canon executive to which I was referring above posted on dpreview.com. He now mensions D70 which apparently is the follower of D60 and not 7D:
http://www.dpreview....ns-masaya-maeda

Somewhat contradictory to the interview above. However, given the new APS-C DSLR's even more improved video capability, D70 may make more sense because it will inherit D60's articulating LCD.
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