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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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#21 Larry

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:43

iKKa makes a good point that Nikon needs to make dedicated lenses for the Nikon DX cameras if the DX format is to prosper. The current lack of good dedicated lenses has understandably resulted in DX users shifting either to FX (a positive for Nikon) or more worriedly for Nikon, to the m4/3 system. Nikon is making DX less attractive to its users by its inattention to making DX lens and thereby creating an opening for current Nikon users to migrate to the m4/3 system.

The m4/3 system got a significant boost when both Panasonic and Olympus adopted the Sony m4/3 sensor. With this move, Olympus and Panasonic finally has a sensor that can compete with the APS-C sized sensor mirrorless and dSLR cameras. The advantage of a smaller m4/3 sensor is best appreciated not just in a smaller and lighter camera body, but even more, in the smaller and lighter lenses. Nothing illustrates this better than comparing the length, width and weight of the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 versus the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8.

The lack of dedicated DX lenses has essentially forced DX users to use FX lenses. While this may be a gain for Nikon, this has several drawbacks that has become apparent and clearer only now. The higher resolution and the resulting even tighter pixel density for the DX sensors means that even lenses that performs well on FX bodies will no longer fare as well with the new DX bodies. DX-specific lenses designed to work with higher pixel density will perform better than FX lenses designed to work sensors with lower pixel density. To appreciate this point, the current 24mp DX sensor in the D3200 and D5200 translate to a 54mp sensor in FX equivalent in terms of pixel density. Many of today's lenses will no longer work as well if Nikon releases a 54mp FX sensor body. Yet such is in fact already the situation now with 24mp DX cameras.

While not directly on tangent, one only needs to look at how the DX and FX lenses fare when mounted on the even smaller sensored Nikon V-1. The Nikon V1 is 10mp and has a 2.7 crop factor. This translates roughly to 73mp in FX equivalent. Photozone.de has reviewed two FX (28mm f/1.8G and 50mm f/1.8G) lenses and one DX lens (40mm f/2.8 macro) adapted for the Nikon V-1 via an FT-1. Looking at the results, one can already see the limitations of these FX and DX lenses when used on a camera with such high pixel density. Although still untested, I expect that a good number of FX lenses that used to work well with 12mp DX will be hard pressed when used with the 24mp DX bodies.

A dedicated DX lens will be smaller and lighter than an FX lens with a similar FOV. By limiting the choice of DX-specific lenses to a very few, Nikon is forcing its users to use FX lenses with its DX cameras. But FX means bigger and heavier and also more expensive. While this strategy may have worked when DX users did not have any serious alternative, that is no longer the situation now because of the m4/3 system. By sticking to its old strategy of making DX a poor cousin rather than a credible contender with its own merit, Nikon presents its DX users who want a lighter and/or less costly setup no alternative but to shift to the m4/3 systems that offers a plethora of small light lenses to use with a seriously capable camera body.

Previous to the E-M5 and GH3, I have not looked at the m4/3 system as a serious alternative for stills and have used the m4/3 GH2 primarily for video. But with the introduction of a GH3 that is also now a serious stills as well as video camera, the m4/3 system with its many prime lens choices plus its 12-25-100mm f/2.8 zoom lenses now offers a very good alternative to a DX system.

The DX system could have battled the m4/3 system specially if Nikon introduces very capable mirrorless DX cameras with smaller and lighter dedicated DX lenses. Instead, Nikon has chosen to continue neglecting the DX system. Nikon's neglect of the DX sector will come back to haunt it in the future unless it reverses course.

The D7000 is my sole DX camera. I likely will no longer get a new DX camera unless Nikon introduces extensive improvement in its new DX camera and support these with new DX-specific lenses. An increase from 16mp to 24mp in the D7000-successor will not make me upgrade my D7000.

Edited by Larry, 01 February 2013 - 16:03 .


#22 Akira

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:36

I voted for "maybe". I may look at one on condition that it offers a solid AF without any issues of D800 and D7000. With my declining eyes, I'm no more confident to focus precisely on the screen of OVF of a DX camera manually. If the AF is questionable and MF on the LCD is mandatory, there is no reson for the D"SLR" with OVF and mirror.
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#23 vivionm

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:36

My Fuji X Pro 1 (APS-C sensor) removes any need to buy a DX DSLR. So no.

#24 Jan Anne

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:48

For wildlife or birds a full spec (pro or semi pro) DX camera is still a valuable companion to the FX camera.

Where the D300(s) still kicks butt is with the 12 DX MP's @ 8fps with a big RAW buffer, big battery and 51 focus points that are spread out over the whole frame, no other Nikon can do that...... The D2Xs was close but was bitchslapped in the ISO department.

Back in 2009 on the NG Safari it was the D300 with grip that was my main camera on the 200-400/4 and the D700 was the sidekick on the 70-200/2.8 with the latter only being used for the short stuff or when the light levels went down.

The D800 has great potential to do both FX and DX in one body if only the framerate was a bit higher than 5 fps on DX, maybe the D4X will correct this.

That said a FX camera in DX mode will never beat a dedicated DX camera viewfinder wise.

Edited by Jan Anne, 01 February 2013 - 18:19 .

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#25 PedroS

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:58

For wildlife or birds a full spec (pro or semi pro) DX camera is still a valuable companion to the FX camera.

The D800 has great potential to do both FX and DX in one body if only the framerate was a bit higher than 5 fps on DX, maybe the D4X will correct this.

That said a FX camera in DX mode will never beat a dedicated DX camera viewfinder wise.


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#26 retief

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 15:55

Last spring I would have voted "Yes, the sooner the better", now I am at a "maybe". When the D800 showed up my big concern was the FPS, or lack thereof. What I, and many others, have found is that given the better AF of the D800, we are seeing more consistently in-focus shots than we had on our D300's. In my case I see a huge difference in initial acquisition. That, along with the ability to shoot at higher ISO's, convinced me to make the purchase. At 16mp in DX mode, the FPS rate drop is not so bad. For me the AF point layout is not a problem, as I don't move my AF point around in general anyway, but I can see how this can be an issue for some.

Then along comes the D600, with "only" 39 AF points. In side-by-side comparisons, very subjective testing of course, I have found that even with the fewer points the AF still beats that of my D300, again most noticeably in initial acquisition.

The ability to pull so much detail from both of these cameras still amazes me.

I was one who was always in the "reach is king" camp for DX, my main lenses are my 400mm f2.8 and the 200-400 f4, often used with Nikon TC's. I am finding that the quality on the D800 and the D600 is quite surprisingly good even with the TC-20E III, and having the ability to even use this lens with the TC-20 on both the cameras is a real bonus.

If by some miracle a D400 shows up with 16MP or greater, the same AF and ISO performance as the D800 and gets back to 8fps I will most definitely give it a very long and hard look. Then again, I predicated we would see that no later than last August, so obviously my track record sucks.
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#27 Larry

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 16:36

I forgot to mention that to add to the woes of the DX system, the Sony NEX (with the m4/3 system to follow) can make use of the Speed Booster from Metabones and get a lens adapter that makes a lens wider and one-stop faster.

For video, this wider and one-stop faster would have been more than enough to convince me to buy either an NEX or m4/3 system. But I already use the NEX and the m4/3 system will thus be able to take advantage of the SB when a Nikkor version becomes available. This added capability and flexibility makes it harder to hold on to the DX system unless Nikon makes substantial improvements.

So my reply to the poll is "Maybe".

#28 DaveO

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 17:07

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


I think the D300s is still being made and can be bought for around $ 1699.
Nikon not updating their DX lenses is not really important, as the FX lenses work perfectly well on the DX bodies. Also, with DX you are using the sweet spot of the FX lens and cropping out the outer portions. You just have to pay a little more for the FX lenses. There are also 3rd party lenses that would be happy to take your money.

#29 Andrea B.

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 18:24

I've always kept a DX body around in order to have a smaller dSLR kit.
Smaller body, smaller lenses. (Added: lighter weight is the key here.)
So I voted "yes".

Reading through this thread, I've been trying to think what are the "pro" features
required in a pro DX body?
Looking at D300/S and D7000, I'm thinking that the list should include:
  • Mag alloy body with environmental sealing.
    Both D300/S and D7K had that.
  • 6-8 raw frames-per-second with a large buffer.
    Neither the D300/S nor D7K were all that great for raw frames.
    Although the D300/S was quite nice for fps and large buffer if shooting jpeg.
  • 51 AF points spread out nicely.
    This is where the D7K was disapppointing. I hate 39 AF points !
  • 100% viewfinder.
  • As good high ISO capability as in the D4/D800/D600.
What else makes up the designation of "pro" for a DX body??
Or "semi-pro" if we want to split that hair. "-)

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#30 Jan Anne

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 18:39

What else makes up the designation of "pro" for a DX body??
Or "semi-pro" if we want to split that hair. "-)

In the NL the split between a pro and a consumer DSLR is very simple, if it has a 10 pin connector it's considered pro.

Pro models:
http://www.nikon.nl/...unQuery=l3&ID=0

Consumer models:
http://www.nikon.nl/...unQuery=l3&ID=0

Guess which they consider the last pro DX camera...

Edited by Jan Anne, 01 February 2013 - 18:48 .

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#31 Ron Scubadiver

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 19:15

Aside from the theory that Nikon has filled the pro DX price point with the D600, I also believe demand for a pro DX body is limited. It is the birders who really want this thing which combines high pixel density with state of the art AF. There are are more than a few birders around, but not enough to justify a distinct body.

Edited by Ron Scubadiver, 01 February 2013 - 19:15 .

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#32 Jan Anne

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 19:22

I agree Ron, seeing things from a mass market perspective advanced users with specific needs are often overlooked....
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#33 wildoat

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 19:24

Aside from the theory that Nikon has filled the pro DX price point with the D600, I also believe demand for a pro DX body is limited. It is the birders who really want this thing which combines high pixel density with state of the art AF. There are are more than a few birders around, but not enough to justify a distinct body.

Fair point Ron, but it's not only birders who often require more reach, anyone
who shoots any type of wildlife and for certain types of sports and probably a whole raft
of other applications actually, I think you'd be surprised how many people photograph
those type of things. At the end of the day it would be helpful to have the choice!

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#34 Andrea B.

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 19:24

ah yes, the 10-pin connector ! Not sure that's a deal breaker.
But the 1/200" sync-speed is kind of lame.

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#35 Jan Anne

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 19:34

ah yes, the 10-pin connector ! Not sure that's a deal breaker.

Try ordering a programmable Nikon remote for the consumer models :nono:

And when trying to use third party remotes in portrait mode, you need to unlock the L-Plate to make space to connect it to the side ports.....

Is it a deal breaker, no, but it is a big PITA.
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#36 Millirehm

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 21:24

I definitely need a DX body, but I voted for Maybe because It depends on what type of model, and on budget. Should be pro or semi-pro. Should have fast and accurate AF and high fps, and broad bus (not like 14 bit mode slowing the D300 down, whereas this did not affect the D700).
Tested D7000. AF was feeling fast great, but unfortunately not accurate enough.
I'd like to have a D310 sharing the same type of Battery pack as a D710, just to upgrade the current setup. And CF card reader would be also fine.
The current CX type camera s are by no way a replacement for that.

Yes mass market: Not sure whether Nikon did a good calculation and categorization with throwing D4, D800 and D600 on the market
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#37 Millirehm

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:04

Better Teleconverters are always welcome (though another cost factor)
BTW my impression and experience is that I still get better results when using a supertele with DX body without converter than FX body plus lens plus converter (better to take FX and lens and approach or sometimes even crop). The appearance of TC20EIII with asperic lens element did not change that impression
Wolfgang

#38 helioer

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:14

I voted no. My last DX body was D200 and it has been FX ever since that. These days I need bigger viewfinder image. Maybe an age issue or the fact that i've been wearing bifocals for 10 years already. I still use the D200 more or less as a P&S for traveling light weight.

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#39 Colin-M

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:40

So my take on this is:
  • I've never used an FX camera (unless you count film, way back) so maybe don't know what I'm missing
  • I would love a new DX body if it could give me at least some of the the quality and high ISO capabaility that the higher spec models offer.
  • I tend to use longer focal lengths and less wideangle for the subjects i'm interested in
  • I've got so used to the DX's 1.5x factor I'm able to use with my 300mm, that having to buy a longer lens just to get the same reach with an FX camera is a disincentive to moving up to full frame.

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#40 JPMi

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:52

Nikon Rumors is expecting a replacement for the D7000 before april:
http://nikonrumors.c...placement.aspx/

I'm still using a D300S as my main camera, but I'm not sure that this will be the camera that replaces it.

Edited by JPMi, 02 February 2013 - 11:53 .

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