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Nikon D95, Coolpix P7000

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Some interesting information came in today - basically more details on the already existing rumors:

  • The Nikon D90 replacement will probably be called Nikon D95.
  • Magnesium body. Previous reports indicated that parts of the body will be aluminium. My guess here is that the body will be magnesium-alloy, just like the D300s.
  • 1080 HD video.
  • 6 fps (FYI: Nikon D90 does 4.5fps, the D300s - 7fps). The initial report was for 8fps. Let's just say it will be somewhere between 6-8fps.
  • 39 AF points.
  • Price: $1199 for body only.

No idea about a potential announcement date for the D95 (maybe also in August?).

Ok, now the rest of the rumors - Nikon Coolpix P7000 will be the new top-of-the-line point and shoot camera from Nikon, a.k.a. "the G11 killer" (I know, the Canon G12 will be coming in September). It will have a larger sensor (don't know how large) and 8fps continuous shooting(!).

Another tip came in for the 28-300mm full frame zoom lens (initially reported as 18-200 FX zoom).

The Nikon D3100 will be 14MP, the rest of the specs should be right.

The remaining items covered in the my previous "Recap" post seems to be correct.

This entry was posted in Nikon D7000, Nikon Lenses, Nikon P7000. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Zblorg

    Well, it looks like a great camera, I’ll order one the first day I can, but the price cuts into my lens money a little more than I had hoped. :) Now I suppose all I can do is hope they hurry up and get this camera to consumers fast.

  • http://sugarmountainphotography.com DKing

    I thought we would get a D90s with an additional card slot and upgraded video. Oh, right, that measly upgrade was reserved for the step-son D300. According to DXOmark even the current D90 has a better sensor than the D300s.

  • Akm
    • preston

      The only spec I can figure out is “24 megapixels”. Could someone provide a summary translation of the rest? Thanks.

      • BornOptimist

        No, I think it says 14.3 Mpx

    • Ronald

      Yes, this looks very nice if it’s true!

      Someone who can translate this please?

    • http://der-hochzeitsfotograf.info Jensen

      Qick & Dirty Translation: http://kwick.me/ah3z

  • Simon

    I think there will be a D300s replacement with DX sensor. The DX line needs a pro model for the people who need high mm. The D95 won’t be this model i think :)

  • asu misuh

    i hope all this rumors is true, coz iam thinking about selling my 40d n 17-40, for something new from nikon body + 24mm f/2.8

  • Political Machine

    d95 Please please have af fine tune! Then, i’ll be sticking to dx for awhile longer

  • Kontharo

    I think they will keep the current D3000, at a reduced price, to still be able to compete with the inexpensive Canon 1000D.

    Then the D3100 will be a replacement for the D5000.

    • Anonymous

      You could be right, but wouldn’t be called D3100

      maybe D6000 and for D90, D9000 :)

      • Ed

        Why not start over and use another letter?

  • Terence

    I do hope the “D95″ will be as good as what the rumor is now, then I definitely will be buying it, I don’t need a heavy body same as D300s in DX format.
    On the other hand, I am still looking forward to D700 replacement.

  • jbl

    I was initially waiting for a D700 replacement, but I guess Imma buy a D95 for now.. those specs will be a sweet upgrade from my D300 (AF excluded).. I need the video.

  • PHB

    @Peter

    What these announcements suggest to me are that Nikon are making MP a priority. So what does that mean for the previous expectation that the D4/D400 would have 18MP? I would think this suggests that a 24MP sensor is more likely for the D4 at the least, if not for both.

    The price difference between the D95 and D3100 strongly suggests that there will be at least one additional model.

    These announcements also make me suspect that there will be no D700s using the D3s sensor and that they would move straight to 18MP.

    So my 2011 lineup prediction is

    D4 24MP
    D400 / D800 18MP
    D95 16MP
    D5100 16MP
    D3100 14MP

    If there is a D700s model it is likely going to be a short run to use up surplus inventory of D3s sensors.

    I can also see a D400 at 24MP and a D4x comming out for boasting rights at 36 or 48MP.

    • SimonC

      I think they have no choice but to increase the MP, if anything to maintain the public perception that they haven’t fallen behind Canon. They have publically stated they will maintain a better balance between MP and IQ. A jump to to 24MP for D4/D400 is an admission otherwise.

      I strongly believe that 24MP is awfully much for a journalistic/sports camera that the D4 is aimed at. 16-18MP would be a much reasonable number. That would put a D4x between 32-36MP. (A D400 would likely match the same MP as the D4)

    • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

      I think you’re being too optimistic:

      D4: 18mp
      D700s: 12mp or D800: 18mp
      D400: 16mp
      D95: 16mp
      D5100: 16mp
      D3100: 14mp

      Nikon understands that simple megapixel count doesn’t necessarily buy you as much as people might think. Diffraction, noise, and a whole bunch of other gotchas begin to intrude. Moreover, I don’t think Nikon wants to lead the megapixel parade if they really think they can do their non-Bayer sensor any time in the foreseeable future. Under current design limitations, it would probably have to be 7mp. While that would produce a picture with resolution much like the 14-16mp cameras, it’s a tough sell going backwards in megapixel count, as Foveon has found (which is why Sigma will introduce a full frame camera soon–I don’t think they can up their count much at the current 1.7x size). The further you go up the megapixel chain, the harder it will be to sell non-Bayer.

      • QuiBobJinn

        Thom,

        9/10 I’d agree with you but we just witnessed an industry where this happened with CPU speeds once multiple cores were introduced. Of course this was a little easier to explain to consumers than than a non-Bayer sensor…

      • Bob Howland

        Why not:

        D4: 14mp with noise as good as the D3s
        D4x: 34mp
        D800: 18mp
        D400: 16mp
        D95: 16mp
        D5100: 16mp
        D3100: 14mp

        The target market for the D4 and D4x is likely to be sophisticated enough to realize that pixel count isn’t the only important factor. (I, for one, need greater DR much more than higher resolution. I don’t like using HDR merging in some of the situations where I’m forced to use it.) Also, the D800 can be positioned as the generalist camera between two specialist pro models.

  • http://www.Illking.com Jason

    Any word on manual control over video? Frame rates?

  • Charlie Martin

    The current price point mentions is in all likelly hood MSRP and the street price will probabelly around 900-1000 dollars.
    Charlie

  • Philippe

    I hope they are not going to call it a D95

    • PHB

      They may be looking for a way to reposition it as the little brother to the D300 rather than as the big brother to the D50. I would not be surprised if they then found a way to get it into the triple digits in future versions: D105, D115 and so on.

      • Denko

        Why not then call it a D295 or maybe better yet D310 because the specs seems to imply it is better than D300s.

        No I still don’t believe it will be called D95… there is a much better chance that Nikon releases D4, D400 because the non-pro market is still economically debased.

  • Bart

    Nikon should be smart and make a nice microphone for their D95 provided by a specialized microphone company like Shure or Sennheiser to tackle Canon’s audio quality.

    • The invisible Man

      Nikon can make (or get) good microphones, the issues is that you get all the noises from the camera (zooming, focusing, hands on the body).
      Also for a stereo effect to be good, you need the microphones to be distants, hard to do on a camera’s body.
      If they give a stero microphone input you can plug external microphones.

    • Jabs

      Hey Bart,
      All that Nikon has to do is make an Industry standard microphone jack available and let the external microphone choice be made by the camera user.
      You can also tune out the sound of the camera body components digitally within the camera, if Nikon chooses to do that.

  • Random987

    If the camera is announced in August, when can we expect it to arrive in the stores? I have a 90 return window for my current camera….

  • Armin

    D3100: CCD or CMOS?

    • James

      CMOS

  • GlobalGuy

    It would be NICE if when Nikon phases out a camera like the “D700″, if it puts that FX machinery to work in a “D90″ sized body. Something equal in price to a “D300s” would in no way harm Nikon’s efforts and would deliver what people want.

    FX1 (D4)
    FX2 (D3xs in a 700)
    FX3 (700 in a 90)

    The third-tier FX-line would price up with the first-tier DX (400) line
    DX1 (400) — priced similar to FX3
    DX2 (300s in a 90)
    DX1 (90 in a 60)
    DX0 (40-style)

    Push down, push down, the sensor technology, really working the efficiency of R&D. Meanwhile, feature-creep can come from the middle up and down, as Nikon currently does, leaving out features on the top end which are useless or weak and being selective on the consumer end to save cost. The D90/FX3 cameras, however, should always have the most modern feature sets.

    Nikon is truly missing a camera — the D90 sized FX. I don’t get why! It should be the MOST consumer features-rich FX camera with the oldest FX sensor at a D300 series price. No brainer!!

    • Jabs

      @Globalguy,
      Your wishes are like ‘suicide’ for Nikon, as you fail to realize that DSLR’s are a system of intertwined components that function as a unit at a certain price point and lots of the custom components are supplied by others.
      If I design a camera and then reuse the sensors, then I might not have anything to connect to it, as the components might not be in production anymore and thus even more expensive to make a complete camera.
      You make good points as to your personal wishes but alas, manufacturing does not work like that anymore.
      Cameras are NOT about component switching but more about manufacturing components or assembling them to work together at price points and in ways that make a particular camera feasible. Camera components have a design ‘shelf-life’ and thus when it is no longer feasible to use them in a circuit, they hurt performance now or are incompatible electrically or design-wise.
      Voltages, specs, speeds and such change PLUS sizes, so you cannot switch them from generation to generation as the cameras are designed as circuits and systems from the ground up. Within a generation, then you can ‘re-purpose’ or even reuse things but often it is more expensive to reuse old sensors in new cameras.
      PLUS, what would be the point for Nikon?
      They can give you a new generation camera specifically tailored or engineered to meet a price point or performance goal and then when these change and the components do not change, then inefficiencies or incompatibilities crop up ruining a good idea AND costing you more to stuff an old sensor into a new body.

      Reminds me of trying to fit a 45 nanometer computer processor into a 32 nanometer processor pipeline and then wondering why there is a mismatch of sizes, voltages and such. Different generations, sizes and often voltages! Equipment is manufactured on Production lines optimized for the CURRENT cameras and thus now, you would have to mix and match old plus new Production equipment to attain your results – leading to higher costs.
      Nikon would have to engineer a new D90 sized body with FX components based upon their design criteria.
      I also do NOT see a market for an FX body smaller than a D700, as the bigger FX lenses would overpower it when attached and thus ruining the handling. In FX, if you don’t like the size of the D700 with the motor drive, then TAKE off the motor drive for a smaller camera – LOL!
      Duh!
      Reminds me of a solution waiting for a PROBLEM and not the other more logical way for Nikon.

      • JohnT

        @Jabs, lots of good points, but I disagree about the market for a smaller-than-D700 FX body. There’s some interest in a basic FM/FE[2]-sized DSLR body for travel, hiking, etc. Whether that’s currently feasible is a separate question, but with a few of the smaller FF primes like the 50/1.8 it wouldn’t have to be overpowered by the lenses.

        • Jabs

          @JohnT,
          I see people asking for smaller cameras all the time but I doubt that Nikon will make one.
          I had an FA once and it was too small for me, so I always had the MD-15 motor drive on and that combination was still small to me. People have gotten lazy and complacent today as they complain about camera size and weight too much. GET a camera phone! My ideal sized camera then was an F3HP with a MD-4 motor drive and MN-2 Nicads. It felt comfortable in my hands and I could shoot with three of them at a time and still feel comfortable after hours of shooting. I tried the smaller bodies then like the N2002, N4004AF but they were fine only with a 35-70 F2.8 AF lens or smaller as there was nothing to grip.
          I also used Leicas once and sold it as they were horrible to load and horrible to use, so I don’t see a need for small sized DSLR’s but that is just my opinion. I also see smaller cameras as actually costing more and thus defeating the purpose plus more expensive to fix as everything is crammed in there.
          I think that people are spoiled and ask for too many minor things that have little bearing on photography, as they look at things from a smartphone standpoint – GET an Iphone4 – LOL!
          I like the D3 sized bodies as they are more comfortable to hold and smaller bodies remind me of using those silly miniature computer mice that disappear in your hands and make your hands hurt more than a regular mouse on laptops.
          Personal choice, I guess! I like the Sony NEX-5 but the ergonomics looks horrible, when you put on a lens, so perhaps something like that would suit you.
          When I use smaller bodies, it takes too much effort to use the controls and bring the camera up to my face or eye to shoot, as sometimes you poke yourself in the eye or nose, so no advantage to me in usability. A bigger camera gives me enough space in its’ body size and layout to shoot and adjust controls at the same time, while a smaller body forces me to move the camera away from my eye to adjust and then shoot wasting valuable time. SHOTS lost, then!
          I also find it easier to hold with one hand, a larger camera and easier to flip it for vertical shots while constantly looking in the viewfinder. I basically hate slow cameras – LOL!

  • The Man from Mandrem

    Frankly there’s so much history to the D90 and before it the N90, N90S (and then the F100) that I’m glad the naming kind of honors those cameras. Since it’s way more than an S, I am happier with the D95 than with a D8000.

    If it has a magnesium body and costs $1200 is it a fair bet it will support AF for D-type non-AFS lenses?

    The D90 is now so much cheaper that it look like tremendous value… very tempting, but a friend was astounded to hear of a $1200 magnesium body Nikon digital and strongly suggested it based on experience with his F4 and his >$2000 digital with a similar body.

    • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

      Well, yes and no. Technically, the current D90 derives from the line that started with the N8008. We did four digit numbers for a bit before Nikon tried the two digit numbers for the line (N90, N75), but then that gave way to three digit numbers (F100 and D100) before we went back to two digit numbers (N80). Overall, the whole thing reads like a twisty maze of numbered passages.

  • Carlos R B

    Admin, please, maybe im the only one interested…but how long to wait for the P7000? thanks a lot…

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      The Coolpix cameras (incl. the P7000) will be announced on August 17th, should be in stores a month later.

  • Rogger

    Maybe D100 MkII…? ;-)

  • Tahoe007

    I am curious, and hoping for your input. With all the latest rumors about the D95, should I return my d90? I just purchase it with 70-300mm VR for about $1100 from Amazon last week. I am a novice with SLR, and this will be my 1st camera. And hoping to move into the FX (D700s?) in a few years. Money wise is not the biggest concern, but it is about $500-600 more? (D90 = $600-$700 vs D95 = $1200, this is an estimate). Are the speculations of fps, AF, magnesium body, MPs really worth to wait and see? What would you do? Thank you for your input and responses.

    • Peter B

      I would wait till the end of next month to see whats up.

    • Serpiente

      D90 is good enough to get the hang of it.. The D95 wouldnt make your pictures better, it just makes it easier to make good pictures. Good knowledge of settings in different circumstances is more important. The D90 is perfect! You can keep the €600 for good glass (has more influence on pics than a new body) or for a FF in the future.

    • Lolly

      Some people think that the latest model camera will take better photos or somehow make them into better photographers. If you want to learn photography then train your eye to see a good shot rather than worrying if the camera will take a good photo.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

      If you have to ask, then there’s probably nothing the D95 will have that you will need. Like Serpiente & Lolly said, just go with what you have. Spend your money on good glass and training. Once you’ve upgraded your own abilities, you’ll be able to ascertain what body will fit you. For the time being, the D90 is more than enough, IMO.

    • Ed

      return it. why did you buy from Amazon, and for that price??

      • Tahoe007

        It was a pretty good deal. D90 + 70-300mm VR = $1100. Isn’t it?

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

          That seems like a good deal to me.

  • Q

    Tahoe007, enjoy your D90. If you are new to DSLRs, the D90 will keep you busy until the D95 is replaced. :) It is a great camera, it takes great pictures and you will never stop learning when using it.

  • fotosniper

    hey could the p7000 be the evil camera?

    • Up_Yours

      It could be, but for all I know, these damn camera makers are all evil.

  • enesunkie

    Ahhh, white background! This will be nice.

  • Bob

    By the specs, it almost seems like Nikon will be merging the “semi-pro” (D300) and enthusiast (D90) DX format camera into one DX camera–magnesium frame, 6 FPS, D700-like ISO performance. That could mean that all future pro-build cameras will be FX sensors (with built in crop/DX mode), and DX cameras will top out at the Dxx level. The last “pro” DX camera was the D2 series–the D300 is “pro/semi-pro”, and now the D95 supposedly incorporates many features from the D300. Maybe Nikon will release the D700X with 24MP and video, at which point the D300s might be caught in a consumer’s no man’s land. With future FX sensors in the 30+ MP range, getting DX cropping in the 14-16 MP range should be probable.

    My guess–FX for pro-build, no compromise cameras –D3/D700 and future iterations. DX will go enthusiast level (Dxx) and mirrorless/EVIL cameras, for price, size and convenience.

    • Jacobus

      but why would nikon drop the AF from 51 to 39? wouldn’t that be a step back if Nikon would really incorporate the D300 to a d90 replacement?

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

        Differentiate the lower market from the prosumer/higher end market. If they don’t cut some of the gadgets and whatnot from the lower cameras, it makes it that much harder to convince people to move up into the higher end.

    • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

      No. Nikon is doing the car company thing. Remember the original Toyota Corolla? It was a very small car. Ditto the Honda Civic. Each generation the cars grow almost one model size. Why? Because the person who bought the original Corolla/Civic/Whatever now is older, has a larger family, wants more prestige, but was happy with what they had. If the car company grows it each generation just right, they keep the buyer with them as it grows upwards. All they have to do is intro new things at the bottom (after the Corolla in the US came the Tercel).

      Well, cameras are the same. The camera buyer who got a D90 is more sophisticated a shooter now than they were when they bought the D90 (at least if they’re still in the market for a new camera). So you want to grow it upwards to keep them in the family. Ditto the D3100 (and eventually D5100). So guess what we’ll get underneath them all? Yep, the mirrorless camera.

      • THK

        I wish they were literally doing that, and not the opposite…

        (I mean size, not features: the D70 was just perfect sized for normal/large hands, but the grip on all Nikons shrinked since that. Even the D200/D300 has somewhat smaller vertical grip, and the D90 is just too small)

  • To Sir With Love

    If these D95 specs are true – I’m definitely getting one, it would be a nice lighter weight option to my D700 – I’m not so into the whole EVIL format.

  • Rosco

    Maybe a new D400 will be a D2x-like body? And the new D90 be similar to a norml D300? It would differentiate the lines… Probably not, but maybe! :-)

  • http://www.dafyddowen.com Daf

    For me that price tag is rather high for the Dxx range.

    • Richard

      Yes, there would be quite a gap between it and whatever is next down in the lineup.

  • John

    The D95 have this feature: wireless flash transmitter? Because the infra-red flash transmitter is bad option now…

    • LGO

      Learn how to use the Nikon CLS-AWL. It’s pretty good. Only those who do not know how to use it complain a lot about it. Those who know how to use work around the limitations. And guess what … it adds no charger, no weight, no bulk … and its even free!

      Re built-in wireless, its not going to happen. There are far too many different radio regulations all over the world. Nikon would spend years getting type approval for any new model they release … and another few years for any single and simple modification they may make to that.

      If you want RF on your Nikon that supports i-TTL, go Radio Popper.

      • BornOptimist

        The 2.4GHz ISM-band is the same world-wide. Our company use it in several products that is sold world-wide.
        Also keyboards and wireless mices use it (our comapany use the same chip as Logitech use in their wireless RF products).

        • LGO

          I understand about the 2.4GHz ISM band. I have been a user of 2.4GHz wireless LAN 3 years before the WiFi standard was even conceived and later adopted. If you think that the 2.4GHz band is universal, you may want to read the FCC and CE rules and regulations regarding this.

          In some countries in Asia, many of the 2.4GHz devices are illegal for not having complied with the laws/rules and regulations regarding type-approval and the registration of these devices. The authorities may ignore wireless mouse and keyboard but not big-ticket items like Nikon dSLR and flashes.

          Case in point. A major manufacturer had to rush the type-approval of a handheld wireless device after introducing a minor model variation when one of its major users was sent an infraction notice and fined by the radio regulatory agency in that country. Both manufacturer and user are are well-known global companies.

          Beyond the regulatory aspect, I am not sure whether I would trust a critical task on the 2.4GHz. This band is extremely crowded with various emitters all jockeying for their respective position. Despite the various algorithm and transmission mode being used, there will still be a question of reliability.

          Bottom line: A built-in RF system on a dSLR as well as on its matching flash system is much more complicated and complex than some people think it to be.

          • BornOptimist

            I have studied the FCC and CE regulation, and developed equipment with 2.4GHz radios for many years. All of them approved by certified bodies according to FCC and CE regulations.
            The short answer about FCC/CE regulations says license free ISM-devices must accept that they can be interrupted by licensed equipment, and can not transmit with power high enough to interrupt licensed equipment.
            The key thing is therfore how much power that is emitted, and duty-cycle. Our products stay below 1mW (0dBm).

          • BornOptimist

            BTW operationg a flash is NOT CRITICAL in any way. It’s certanly not “safer” with IR if that’s what you think.
            2.4GHz ISM should fit a task like camera-flash communication very well. It is not much info that needs to be transmitted, and to reduse risk of interference with other equipment trunking can be used. Also CRC and error correction are convenient to implement, and not very difficult. Most low end microcontrollers can handle this without too much effort.

            • LGO

              FCC and CE are just two – there are many more. The point is that type-approval and registration is not as simple as one might want to think. There are companies out there whose sole business is to handle the type-approval and registration of RF devices all over the world. This hints at the difficulties and complexities involved.

              You need to go to some countries where I have to where some emitters have been modified to use 3 all the way up to 22dB directional (not just omni) antennas. Trying to get through those with a 2.4GHz ISM device is like using a water hose to put out a forest fire. :)

              I agree that a Nikon CLS-AWL implemented on 2.4GHz would take very little bandwidth so you could actually design multiple-redundancy in it. I speak of it as critical in the sense that it has to work reliably all the time otherwise it would have no advantage over an IR unit. I have seen some photographers give up on their generic China-made 2.4GHz flash triggers for just the same reason.

              Going back to the original point, IR is not a bad flash option. Learn to use it and you may just get along well. What is the likelihood that Nikon will put RF flash controller in their dSLR and flash? I dare say not in the next 5 years at the very least.

            • John

              I like this fantastic discussion…

              I tell this feature because the “future” canon 60D have this option.

            • Dian

              2.4 radio triggers works fine when I am working alone but is unreliable when working with many other photographers also using 2.4 radio triggers. The problems begin when your remote flash is far and there are photographers with RF devices near you. This is not a problem with wireless keyboard and mouse because this is always beside the computer.

            • BornOptimist

              @Dian
              When you say far, how far are you talking about?
              My point is – if you compare IR and RF at the same distance under same shooting conditions, my prediction is that RF is FAR FAR more reliable than IR.
              @LGO
              If you talk about directional antennas with 22dB gain, ofcourse you get into trouble with regulations. That’s almost the same as a transmitter with omnidirectional antenna and 22dB higher output. You started mentioning FCC and CE, so that was what I addressed.

            • Dian

              The remote flash are anywhere from 20-40 feet away near the stage. As many as 30 photographers with radio triggers cover the events with flash in perches around the stage. I did not know how to use Nikon IR before so I bought radio triggers. But IR is working more reliably than the 2.4 triggers we used. SB900 works well at this range.

            • LGO

              The 2.4GHz is noisy and the interference there can cause reliability problems. In some countries, the bandwidth is not well regulated and reliable operation at 2.4GHz can be difficult. The Nikon CLS-AWL on the other hand is not perfect but at no extra cost, weight or bulk, will provide most users what they need for wireless flash control.

            • LGO

              @ Dian

              Better hope that not too many of your co-photographers are reading this! :)

  • Armin

    D3100: CMOS or CCD?

    • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

      CMOS.

      • Armin

        Thanks, Thom. Even if it’s not the answer i was looking for…

  • Digitalux

    Open for discussion…

    Don’t you think that the introduction of a new higher MP DX sensor on a “consumer” camera instead of an “expert” camera might mean a non-Sony based sensor ?
    Besides D90 being the current cash-cow, introduction of the new sensor on a big-seller like the “D95″ would bring the scale effect on the cost curve much quicker than having it introduced on a “D400″. With Sony as a suplier, it doesn’t matter much as they pay (probably) a fixed contracted price. With their own sensor then it would matter a lot and, possibly, that would explain 1.) why it is introduced on the “D95″ 2.) there might me a technology shift in low-light performance of the DX sensor leading to D700-like hi-iso quality.

    Just food for thought…

    • The Man from Mandrem

      Does Nikon have fabs for chip manufacture?
      Are they 300mm (best size for cost/die and most advanced manufacture technology available)?
      How do other sources of CCD, Image CMOS compare to Sony for low noise (Sharp, etc)?
      If you take the investment costs of R&D and then the cost of manufacture or contract manufacture, can Nikon get a better price for a CCD through it’s own capabilities vs. continued partnering with Sony or would a Nikon chip be a permutation on Sony’s?

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

        Take this for what it is: Opinion

        I don’t *think* they have chip manufacturing capabilities. They make steppers ( http://www.nikon.com/products/precision/society/index.htm ), the basis for other chip tech, but not the chips themselves. I have to wonder if this isn’t how the partnership with Sony came about in the first place.

        Nikon steppers -> Sony wafers -> Sony sensor -> Nikon sensor

        Just theorizing here because I don’t have any insider information to go on. I do live in the area where Nikon (and Canon) have plants. I just don’t have time to go snooping ;)

        This is what’s nearby:
        http://www.pref.tochigi.lg.jp/kogyo/english/03/index3.html
        Scroll down to the Precision Instrument Sector. Interesting that both Nikon & Canon are here in the same area ;) I’ve never seen the Nikon plant. Have seen a couple Canon places. One looked worn down and possibly abandoned, however.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

          Oh, just to be clear- I’m no chip expert, either, so I could have messed up the little Nikon->Sony->Nikon line as well. Hopefully someone who knows how that works will chime in.

      • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

        > Does Nikon have production fabs?
        No. Though because they make a lot of the equipment in the fabs they do have test fabs and access to clients with production fabs.

        > Are they 300mm?
        Sensor fabs tend to lag some of the other semiconductor fabs. That’s because they don’t need the latest and greatest new process machines. I’m not sure there are any sensor fabs using the largest dies yet. Beyond that, for the large sensors (DX, FX), the benefit of large wafers may not be quite the same. Physically, sensors are very large and a wafer defect will ruin a large sensor where they might only lose you one small semiconductor in other applications. Put another way, the yield goes down.

        > CCD versus CMOS.
        The future is CMOS. We’ve basically engineered past CMOS’s deficiencies now, so the benefits are tangible.

        > Pricing for Nikon on sensors
        I’d say that they probably are now better off doing FX sensors themselves but still buying DX sensors from Sony. That was one of the triggers for some of my articles in last week or two. I think Nikon may have made the “we’ll go it alone for FX” decision. That has implications on Sony. I don’t think that they can go it alone for full frame sensors–they don’t have enough volume without Nikon.

        • The Man from Mandrem

          Though because they make a lot of the equipment in the fabs they do have test fabs and access to clients with production fabs.

          Doesn’t actually help.

          Sensor fabs tend to lag some of the other semiconductor fabs. That’s because they don’t need the latest and greatest new process machines. I’m not sure there are any sensor fabs using the largest dies yet.

          When you consider how many applications exist for image device (including lucrative markets like medical applications) you may find that there is a strong motivation for 300mm for access to technology among the 1st Tier of manufacturers. The use of larger substrate size also signficantly brings down unit costs for identical die since you are processing more of them with less capital investment and the higher technology available further reduces manufacturing cost. I would bet that if you really looked into it you would find some manufacturers already using 300mm.

          Beyond that, for the large sensors (DX, FX), the benefit of large wafers may not be quite the same. Physically, sensors are very large and a wafer defect will ruin a large sensor where they might only lose you one small semiconductor in other applications. Put another way, the yield goes down.

          You misunderstand my question. The cost per unit for a technology leader is lower. Similar to the relationship between Sony and Sharp (and previously Sony and Samsung) in LCD and Apple and Samsung for ARM-based chips it is useful for technology leaders to bring in partners to share cost/bring in some side revenue. It brings down the risk associated with profitability vs. purely vertically integrated units within a big company. My question was really what is Nikon’s motivation for having the cost associated with manufacture when there are good options for sourcing available and they can probably bring their cost down significantly through sourcing vs. trying to do anything in house except where there are depreciated lines they can use (for low end applications).

          If you look at LCD one would assume that the defect issues for a 60″ substrate would be crippling but you expect these days to have no dead pixels. Similarly, image CMOS has structures very different to a conventional Logic device (where defectivity correlates strongly with yields). With Logic device, defects approaching your minimum feature size are usually where you worry about as yield killing defects. In the case of Image CMOS, the pixel size itself would seem to be much bigger than that (on the scale of closer to a micron) and if anything you would assume that a larger sensor with the same # of pixels could have relaxed dimensions including the pixels and isolation.

          How much of the cost of a camera is the sensor by the way? The DX and FX should both follow Moore’s law for cost shouldn’t they? That would tell you how the chip costs affect the profitability of DX and FX cameras as a function of time.

  • http://www.www.com Landscape Photo

    A D95 is not the one I’m looking for, even it will be 16mp. It’s still a DX. Gain from 16mp vs 12mp is doubtful with available lenses maybe except for any 50mm stopped down a little, and D700 noise value from such a squeezed sensor seems doubtful. The possible scenario is some sort of smart noise suppression by its processor, but it may not be a substitute for the real thing; as details will likely be washed out. Another factor is that it will be diffraction-limited earlier by half stop. D95 may best make low-budget filmers happy with its 1080p video.

    So the real question to be asked is whether Nikkon will follow (D700x + D700s) or the midway D900 route, and their release date. Let’s hope we may see at Photokina. Personally I’d prefer a non-video 24mp D700x & ignore any 12mp D700s, because I’m mainly on landscapes, while I’d be ok with a D900 if it’s min 18mp.

    • Ed

      is your skill so poor, you can’t take good Landscape pics with not only current but future cameras?

      • http://www.www.com Landscape Photo

        Poor skill? Ha Ha !

        I initially come from medium format film. I’ve been using a D300 for 3 years, & D700 is yet another 12mp. Therefore mostly using low-iso setting I don’t see much advantage. That’s the point. Priorities differ a lot regarding photographic genres. The pixel count that any advantage of FX starting to outbalance disadvantages (heavier lenses, new investment, etc) is +20mp for landscape photography.

        Understood?

        Nikon has answered the needs of either high-profit pro or entrance level, but has long ignored semi-pro class. D3x is too bulky & expensive; there must be a D700x asap.

        • LGO

          Get the Sony A900/A850 or the Canon 5D Mk II or even the rumored 5D Mk III/3D. These cameras have all the megapixel you need at an affordable price. Other than the Nikon D3X, Nikon is unlikely to release any 20mp+ full-frame body anytime soon.

          If you need more, like 1080p HD-Video, then Sony will be releasing 2 new full-frame models next year. This sensor will also likely find its way to the D3X when Nikon releases the D3Xs.

          • http://www.www.com Landscape Photo

            “Other than the Nikon D3X, Nikon is unlikely to release any 20mp+ full-frame body anytime soon.”

            How do you know? That’s complete nonsense in my book. Can’t you see how obvious the missing point is in Nikon’s product line. We’ll see at least a D900 shortly if not D700x. D3x is a niche product.

            • LGO

              @ Landscape Photo

              You said:

              “We’ll see at least a D900 shortly if not D700x. D3x is a niche product.”

              My reply to you would be your own words.

              “How do you know? That’s complete nonsense in my book.”

            • LGO

              I could perhaps use more of your words to emphasize the tenor of your post:

              “Ha Ha !”

              “Understood?”

            • LGO

              OK … that was enough fun. You get back what you put out there. We cannot have an intelligent discussion when you resort to such put-downs.

              I just got word yesterday about the new Sony FF sensor. Sony actually has 2. A 24mp or a 30+ (36?) mp sensor. Both sensor supports 1080p HD-video and has improved low-light performance over the sensor used in the D3X and A900/A850.

              It is possible that Nikon may use this new sensor in the D3Xs (24mp) or D4X (36mp) if Nikon decides to still work with Sony. To differentiate the D3Xs or D4X, Nikon could possibly release the current 24mp D3X sensor in a D700-type body. I suspect that this will not happen until next year.

    • Rob

      The D95 gets a metal body plus a few bells a whistles to differentiate it from the D3100. As far as picture quality goes 14MP or 16MP is neither here nor there as long as they perform comparably at high ISO…

  • Edgar

    So, no begunning…?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

      Perhaps already beganned, but not sure.

      • D40-owner

        I just hope it hasn’t “be gone”… :)

  • niels

    I think the specifications sounds too good to be true. Whether they’re worse or there won’t be D400.

  • http://www.www.com Landscape Photo

    Why D95 first but not D400? Will it be in the same shape of D90 or will it be like a D400 and to be called D95? Or something in between? D90-type body is too small to balance even mid-sized lens & it does not give a pro-like impression like D400 which may have weather sealing, focus-calibration, color-mode import, etc.

    Anyway, let’s forget all these DX, but wait for the D700x or D900. It’s yet too early for D700s. If Nikon chooses to introduce new tech with lower grade bodies for possibly marketing reasons, it means that D900 is due now before D4. D-single digit cameras are too bulky, D-two digit are too small, but D-3 digit are the optimum size for most lenses.

    • Anonymous

      The upcoming 28-300mm VR may be an indicator for an affordable FX (D800/D900) to be announced at Photokina.

      • Anonymous

        I meant affordable 20+ megapixel FX (like 5D II)

  • qhd

    what~

  • Ju Li

    I’ve heard the new Nikon D90-replacement (the name will be Nikon D90s) will have automatic vignette correction, much bigger viewfinder, 16 MB sensor and the best jpeg-output ever seen in a SLR to date. Also a new lens will be announced – the 16-105/ f. 4.0 all through. The 90s will put the 300s on the sideline also as construction concern, all metal-body, top grade weather-sealing and so on.

    • Anonymous

      Dream on mate :)

      A 16-105mm f/4 will be bigger than the current 16-85mm. The only plausible option is a 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 VR which will become a perfect match in body size and the target buyer. Plus, I doubt it will be weather sealed. But even it’s not officially called so, most bodies survive better than the photographer ;)

  • SZRimaging

    Any guess on D95 lens mount compatibility?

    Will it meter AI glass?
    Run AF-D lenses?

    I have a few AI primes, and with the increased awareness of video, I would think that AI primes would become an even larger concern.

  • Anonymous

    Comment #350 :)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/emmkayfive/ EmmKayFive

    I just tried the Sony Nex-3, and if continous AF is as smooth as on that, then that’s great.

    So technically that feature is already out there, only not with a mirror ;)

  • Jabs

    WOW!
    355 comments!
    Is this a record here?
    The D90 must be one popular camera and the upcoming replacement might have a lot to live up to.

    Off topic:
    Anyone shooting or have shot either the Leica M9 or S2 and what is your analysis of them say, compared to a D3X or even D3s?

  • Ni Kon Can

    From my reliable source at the Nikon Optical Test Headquarter International Nano Group (NOTHING) I’ve told that the D90s will be equipped with the new 10-11 mm/f. 8.0 lens, specially designed for sharp sunlight and out-of-focus scenes. The lens will not be sold separately, and will come with a gold hood.

  • http://www.davidegazzotti.com/ davide

    This is right: with such specs (and screw drive AF motor) the D95 will be the ultimate DX body, replacing both the D90 and the D300s (no D400 in sight for now).
    The obly options to upgrade will be in the FX arena. If the viewfinder is good enough and it cam meter with AI lenses, the we don’t need a D400 any more…

  • http://www.aquahabitat.com David Johnson

    Still no date on the D90 replacement?? Still no fix on the real name and number?
    Personally I think D95 sounds right. Everyone seems to believe that the body will be tougher and the video will be measurably better. Can’t believe we don’t have better intel on the sensor supplier and sizing. I also would predict that Nikon knows it must significantly boost JPEG file size as that is one of the real practical limitations for use

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