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Canon pro photographer who is switching to Nikon was told no D700 replacement in 2010

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This is the email I received from a professional Canon photographer who is currently looking to switch to Nikon - I slightly edited the text to keep the privacy of everyone involved:

I'm working for GQ, Men's Health, Stern, Geo etc. and since these switches aren't cheap and easy (there's quite some equipment involved in my case) I had some serious talks with Nikon reps. First, at my local shop I was given a very clear answer from a Nikon rep: no full frame body in 2010. This was definitely confirmed by Nikon *** (name of country). He also spoke of the 85 f/1.4 lens.

Yesterday I had a long talk with another Nikon NPS rep about my switch to Nikon. I was told that pro level full frame body (a.k.a. d700) is definite, however not in this fiscal year. New model is to be expected after March 2011, probably with a split up of the line in s and x. That's all a bit vague but I trust him (he advised me to invest in a smaller number of bodies now (no/few backups) and to use the D700 bodies as backups as soon as the new stuff is out next year).

Regarding lenses: when putting together the list of lenses to be acquired with both 35 and 85 primes on it he said "there will be a 85 f/1.4 this year, wait for that but there won't be a new 35 in the current lens refresh, go with the 35 /2. There will be a new 35 over the next few years but not now."

I trust both sources and in particular the NPS rep who was very specific. I guess the only chance for a new full frame body this year is if Nikon Japan sent that info to the rest of the world on purpose and them surprised everyone.

I can confirm that the email was legit and it was really sent to me from that pro photographer.

The March 2011 time frame for a possible D700 replacement came up at least in two more tips from different sources.

Many Nikon authorized dealerships (mainly in Europe) are making D700 orders based on similar information from Nikon reps and if this turns out not to be true and Nikon does announce a D700 replacement in 2010, there will be a lot of unhappy dealers.

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  • Bob Rob

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
    Nice try NR. Of course Nikon will bring something new in the D700 Class very soon this year.
    It’s logical. Canon steals the sales, the shareholders demand more profits,
    it’s about time for something new as soon as possible.
    Obwiously the anticipation for a d700 successor is to big already and keeps buyers away from buying. That’s why Nikon tries to stage this campaign.
    I don’t believe. This is the begunning of the begunning
    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha….

  • grumps

    Thing that gets me, is why switch then? I’ve been shooting a few systems and YES Nikon is my main dig, but nothing wrong with the Canon counterpart. It feels to me the effects of “the grass is always greener on the other side.”

    Now I use the 35mm f/2 a lot only simply because it’s the only choice for me, but definitely due for an update, since IQ is only so so!

  • FakeKenRockwell

    OMLG, no D700X! @#$! it is all Nikon’s fault that I am going to have to shoot crappy photos with my D3xyz! I mean, I really really mean it when I say I am going to switch to Canon tomorrow if I don’t get a 1080p, a 33 gigapixel sensor in a D40 body. I swear, i’ll sell all my gear, you watch me. You’ll be sorry, Nikon. How dare you keep me waiting!

  • http://www.yumaweddingphotography.com Vince

    I like Joe J’s thinking I also believe there will be something this year. I am also waiting patiently. I have lots invested in Nikon gear already (lenses, SB 800′s ect), although I am still using a D200 and D70s as a back-up. I am a wedding photographer and I don’t have problems with picking up clients even with 5-7 year old technology. We shoot a lot and when people are paying us $3200+ for a wedding I consider myself a professional no matter what gear is being used.

  • Scott

    I think its important to distinguish between a replacement as opposed to a “refresh”.

    I reckon we’ll see the D700 refresh, the D700s (D700 with video), but no replacement product ie. D800, D900 (18-24MP, 1080 video, …). until early next year.

    Just my guess ;)

  • Fredbare

    Trying to look at this logically Nikon’s thoughts should (or may) be they need:
    1) High End FX (D3, S, X)
    2) Mid Range FX (D700)
    3) Low end FX (???)
    4) High end DX (D300)
    5) Mid Range DX (D90)
    6) Low End DX (D3000/5000)

    Notice the low end FX is missing, D90 very overdue for a replacement, D3000 not exactly taking the market by storm.
    So I would expect replacements for the above 3 sooner rather than later.
    The world is still in economic recovery mode. Not a lot of bucks around therefore ‘value for money’ is what people are looking for and this will dictate what Nikon will be targeting.
    Let’s face it, what’s wrong with the D3/D3S/D3X and D700 other than video (in its’ infancy anyway)?
    As one expects the D3R before the D700R, D300R before the D90R (as technology should trickle down, not up) then the list becomes:
    New lower cost FX body, replacement for D3000.
    My tuppence (2c) worth.
    Nikon have to look at what the majority wants, what they can sell in volume, and not individual’s ‘Christmas lists’

    • thefunk

      Stick one in the eye to all those pixel winkers and techno freaks.

      This kind of agree with what I said earlier, and dissapointingly that puts the d90 right down on the list.

      I am upgrading from my FM2.

      • Fredbare

        I guess one has to be realistic and look at what makes profits, not what makes wet dreams.
        Thinking about it a bit more, a low cost FX with DX crop mode makes a lot of sense as it would bring the DX users (those that have invested in a lot of DX glass) right up into a brand new ‘FX system’.
        Lastly, I guess that ‘tooling up’ from one sensor to another is not insignificant IRO cost. This would add to the ‘economy in volumes’ if they produced more FX sensors and not only makes a ‘cheap’ FX more possible but also reduces the cost of those cameras using the existing FX sensors – like the D700/D3. They may have large stocks of these sensors they need to ‘use-up’ before they can introduce a newer sensor for D3/D700 anyway.
        So my expectation is for the low cost FX using the D700 sensor ‘as-is’ in July. The next generations of D700R will have a new, higher pixel count, sensor following on from the D4 some time after the later is announced.

    • Dogbreath

      1) High End FX = D3x
      2) Medium End FX = D3s
      3) Low End FX = D700

      4) High End DX = D300s
      5) Medium End DX = D90
      6) Low End DX = D5000

      7) Get-Them-In-The-Door DX = D3000

      I don’t see the hole.

      • Fredbare

        Affordabe FX. Also ‘keeps up with the Jonses’.
        A definate hole.

        • Fredbare

          I should also add a camera that can be carried around all day (light body) without resort to a 4X4.

  • Sash

    Another good confirmation of my decision to buy D700 back in march. :) And being happy for more than 3 months already. “Other side” still waiting for replacement. Is it worth it ? I earned already for another D700 with my 3 month work. So now I can easy wait for next year. :)

  • SNRatio

    Is this that difficult, really?

    Nikon is about to launch an enthusiast DX/FF combo, think of it as addressing the 7D/5DII “issue”. Plus the “problem” that D300/D700 are, really, more “pro” than “entusiast”. With the introduction of video, ergonomics priorities must be set, and they will clearly differ between enthusiasts and “real” pros.

    This model will provide most of what people think are missing in the D700. What it does _not_ provide, is D3s extreme properties. And Nikon’s simple answer to that is: If you want D3s properties now, go buy a D3s.

    What it seems the Nikon reps have not talked about, is the D3Xs, which is anticipated. But that may turn out to be only a minor upgrade, like the D2X -> D2Xs, so it’s not really so relevant for the Canon switcher. And they may also deem it unneccessary for now.

    Interesting is also the talk about possible s/x lines. I think this may indicate that Nikon thinks about continuing the D700 type of pro bodies, which then will come in low-res and high-res versions. And, probably, with the upcoming enthusiast release placed between them.

    As for the lenses, I think (maybe wishfully) that postponing of the 35/1.4 means that the 135/2 AF-S VR has moved up the priority list. Makes a lot of sense, if you think about it.

    • http://matthewsaville.com/blog Matthew Saville

      Nikon doesn’t compete directly against the Canon lineup for a reason. It is FAR better to offer a slightly different product, and target a specific market directly, than to offer a nearly identical product and let people simply price shop.

      Nikon will probably ALWAYS maintain their dedication to the semi-professional handle and performance and reliability that we see in the D300 and D700 cameras. They will probably NEVER dumb down the performance to compete directly with the 50D quality, nor the 5D quality. If you want a camera that saves a little weight and price by sacrificing a little ruggedness and performance, the Canon lineups might be the only options for quite a few more generations…

      =Matt=

      • nobody

        Which Canon 5DII performance would a D90 successor with a 21MP FX sensor and full HD video sacrifice?

        • Fredbare

          Put 4 wheels on it and you can steer by the manual focussing ring too :-)

    • Fredbare

      Not to mention that at the ‘flick of a switch’ the 35mm FX on DX becomes 50mm, the 300 mm becomes 450 mm etc.
      Less glass, ‘one size fits two’. A marketing dream.

      • Dogbreath

        It’s a CROP not a ZOOM.

        • Fredbare

          In reality the same thing. Yes the MP change but to all intents the same as a zoom.

          • Dogbreath

            It only acts like a zoom when DX has (as it does today) more pixels-per-degree than FX.

            When you put a FX sensor in crop (DX) mode you aren’t increasing the pixel-per-degree density and it IS a crop, not a zoom.

  • Carlos

    I’ve heard Canon is replaceing its 5D2 in 2.5 years after release instead of the normal 3 years cycle making the 5D3 announcement in March 2011. The hybrid camera from Canon this September is a whole new kettle of fish.

  • Click

    I am certain we will see a Canon 1DsIV and 5DIII before we get a D4 and D/800…

  • http://matthewsaville.com/blog Matthew Saville

    Since when have Nikon reps been this informed? I don’t buy it for a minute. If this kind of information was so freely handed out to a random “pro”, let alone a CANON shooter, …we’d have known this kind of information a LONG time ago. I mean, unless it’s freaking James Nachtwey who’s switching, a rep is just not gonna dish out that much info, even if they had it which I doubt.

    BS.

    =Matt=

    • nobody

      There are few James Nachtweys and lots of “random pros”. So “random pros” buy much more cameras from Nikon than James Nachtwey.

      Being a “random pro”, I can tell you that I got exactly that information from a Nikon NPS person on a Nikon NPS event a few months ago: no D700 upgrade in 2010.

      Make of that what you will. On December 31st, 2010, we will both know how to evaluate such Nikon reps’ infos :)

      • nobody

        On second thought: Would you provide such information to your customers that is proven wrong within months, if you want to keep these customers for years to come? I would not.

        Nikon would be in deep trouble with a lot of pro customers if these informations would be proven wrong.

  • Marc Ruby

    This story rings false to me. Although that doesn’t mean there will be a new D700 this year. But this sounds more like Canon sowing some fear, uncertainty, and doubt where it can. I’ve been wanting to shift to full frame for a while and if there’s not D700x announce soon then my new Nikon is likely to say Leica on it. I suppose I could switch everything to Canon too, but the one thing I know is that if Nikon doesn’t want to update the D700, they just aren’t responsive enough for me.

    I doubt if losing one customer would affect Nikon, but it would make me feel better.

  • GeezaPeek

    “Yesterday I had a long talk with another Nikon NPS rep about my switch to Nikon. I was told that pro level full frame body (a.k.a. d700) is definite, however not in this fiscal year. New model is to be expected after March 2011″
    Why would a Canon Pro photographer shooting for this type of publication be so interested in a D700 replacement?
    Makes no sense to me. Sounds like a bit of a red herring.
    Is the D700 considered to be a “Pro Level full frame body”?
    Surely a photographer in this field would be looking towards a D3x, or a D3s at the very least?
    I don’t think this has any relevance to D700 update.

    • nobody

      “Is the D700 considered to be a “Pro Level full frame body”?”

      According to Nikon NPS: yes! According to me: also yes :-)

      “Surely a photographer in this field would be looking towards a D3x, or a D3s at the very least?”

      There are photographers who prefer a less big and heavy camera. And the D700 does 95% of what a D3 can do.

      • GeezaPeek

        “There are photographers who prefer a less big and heavy camera. And the D700 does 95% of what a D3 can do”.
        In this respect, I agree with you totally.
        However, bearing in mind his line of work, would this photographer not prefer a battery grip attatched to that D700 upgrade?
        Therefore, he would not have a “less big and heavy camera”.

        • nobody

          Right, a D700 + grip is even a bit bigger and heavier than a D3, AFAIK. But do you really need the grip? I for one use it for sports only, to increase the frame rate, preferably on a monopod. Otherwise I use it without grip.

          But I know colleagues who actually prefer a bigger and heavier camera. I don’t. To each his own, isn’t it? I think it’s perfectly possible that a magazine photographer prefers a D700 type camera without a grip.

  • JohnM

    Why on earth would a pro consider changing from Canon to Nikon? It doesn’t matter how good the cameras are if the lenses are perpetually out of stock. :P

    • http://www.jimprisching.com JP

      A lot of Pros have switched to Nikon from Canon. Most pros twenty years ago only shot Nikon, Canon was not in the game until the EOS autofocus. I recently switched back to Nikon, Why?. The Nikon zooms are sharp, Canon’s wides on full frame bodies are a joke. The Nikon AF works, and they are full frame, what most Pros actually want. The Crop factor is only good for Sports Photography, but as Canon starts seeing the erosion to Nikon, they will have to cave and offer a full frame body with high FPS for the same price as the Mark IV, not thousands more. In my opinion, having shot the Mark IV and the D3S, the D3s is the clear winner and yes the Nikon strobe works, Canon could never figure their strobe system out.

      • John M

        But the point is, as good as Nikon is, what’s the point of switching? So you can enjoy the thrill of waiting 4+ months for your lens to arrive?

        • http://www.jimprisching.com JP

          Yea, I hear ya, but when I was shooting Canon I waited 3 months for a 24 1.4. From what I have been told by some is that when the recession hit, they slowed down production on the pro side, and have not yet caught up to demand. The Canon 200 mm f2 is another example of a lens you could not get and the Mark IV is just trickling in. The Point in switching is that you would want a camera that you feel is better than what you currently are using.

          • http://www.stark-arts.com Stark-Arts

            The 24 1.4 was a bit slow to hit but the 200 f/2 has not been out of stock and the 1d4 has not been hard to come by either….

  • Fredbare

    Nikon Marketing
    I work in the Gulf (no the other one to the East).
    One can buy a Cannon SLR at Carre Four plus many electronics outlets – not so Nikon (only P&S).
    If you’re ever in Dubai Airport look at what they have on the shelves at Duty Free – a large range of Cannon but little Nikon (The Nikon prices are higher than Europe BTW, not sure how Cannon fits in but guess they must be cheaper).
    At least in the ME Cannon is #1 simply because they have more stockists and hence more visibility.
    How do they compare in the ROW (US/Canada Europe etc)?

  • Sean

    Well Ron….looks like we were both right! hahaha

  • Cash

    D700 sucks, I know it, they know it and you as well. No replacement? No problems, no cash for Nikon. ;)

  • gorgonzola

    hmmmmmmm not such good news…..

  • Gordon F

    Nikon would never deny or admit anything about any product. They don’t care that a “pro” photographer that shoots Canon asked about new products. Nikon, like any other technology company that is at a fierce competition keeps its new products well under wraps. Besides, there are millions of “pro” photographers in the world. It doesn’t matter whether the president of the USA had asked it or a local amateur. New products aren’t discussed until their official release. Why would anyone think this silly rumor would be true?

    • nobody

      It’s a silly rumour that there will be no D700 successor in 2010? Well, may be. Or not.

      Either this is a silly rumour, or you’re the silly one. We’ll know by the end of the year.

  • Cazzaln

    Ok, i could wait no longer, don’t fancy going over to the dark side and changing all my kit, and so decided, to hell with an update/replacement, I want the 700 and i want it now! Then I also see a great deal with the grip for free if purchased before June 30th, so i’m doing it – today! Off i trot to all my usual haunts in London, and can i get hold of a D700 anywhere – NO! Gutted does not describe it, none of the big retailers will take an order, and several have started selling off the display ones (personally i wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole). So now, i have no idea if or when a replacement will come, and i can’t get my much drooled over D700. What is a girl to do. And i’d been so patient. :o(

    I can only guess that this is the last push to get rid of all the stock before something (anything!!) is released. But now i don’t care, I just want my 700.

    Nikon are beginning to pee me off.

  • ArtTwisted

    The new 35 1.4 would be needed before the 85, but tis the way it goes at Nikon.

  • http://www.dafyddowen.com Daf

    If nothing else – all these Rep/NPS heavy rumours will eventually confirm or reject the fact that they can be trusted on hints + rumours.

  • Marc Ruby

    I’m finally beginning to realise that the last thing I want is a higher resolution D700. As it is, it’s a very fine, very FAST, camera. If the up the resolution it will become a very fine, very SLOW, camera. IF I want high resolution I can go for a D3x (yes, I know it costs too much). But if I need speed, the D700 is perfect. IF Nikon ruings the D700 I’ll be switching to Canon, not because I want to, but because I have no choice.

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