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Another Nikon D4/D800 rumor from Facebook

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Bryan Peterson posted this on his Facebook page, claiming to be from a reliable French "inside" friend:

"Two new Nikon's-The D800, at 20MP, full frame, retail price of $2495.00 and Nikon DX-4, full frame at 19-20MP with a retail price of $5,000.00 and both will be announced by late September 2011!"

I am not sure what to think about this rumors - 19-20MP is a rather unusual size for a full frame sensor and the $5000 price tag of the D4 (I assume the DX-4 was a typo) means that it will be cheaper than the D3s (currently priced at $5200). I expect the new full frame DSLRs from Nikon to have a higher price tag than their predecessors.

Bryan Peterson has several published photography books.

This entry was posted in Nikon D4, Nikon D800. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Landscape Photo

    Imo, a 24mp DX D400 (as rumored to share Sony’s new sensor) is an overkill before a high-res moderate-sized DX like D800.

    Before or after any FX version, anyway 24mp for DX is too much due to several reasons:
    * The sensor will outresolve most DX zooms at the corners, while even the central DX area may even suffer to some extend.
    * Some FX primes or zooms are designed to show its full potential on FX area, they may not be so brilliant on their 24mp-demanding DX crop even we know it’s at the center.
    * The camera will be limited to a bunch of best FX primes (eg. 50mm f/1.4 or 85mm f/1.8, stopped to about f/4, to get the full potential of 24mp.
    * Effects of diffraction will be seen earlier even at f/5.6
    * Photos will be more prone to AF errors compared with an FX body with same pixel count and same lens, due to mechanical reasons

    Otherwise, the results will be equivalent to a 24mp image upressed from a 16mp DX. The constraints above overrides the practicality of DX format. Any photographer who is happy to accept these restrictions would rather use an FX (reserving some exceptions, like some wildlife professionals)

    Therefore, a 16-18 DX D400 together with a 20-24mp FX D800 would be the best combination. Later on, we may eventually see a 24mp DX D500 (last stop for DX format likely)

    • B.O.

      you’ve just described the literary ultimate DX camera – sound like the perfect camera for the professional photographers!

    • Carl

      @ Landscape photo
      I basically share your concerns! I also think, that a 24mp DX body doesn’t make much sense given the present lens program and autofocus precision, since that would equate a pixel density of 48 mp on FF (DX has half of the area of a FF sensor, right?)
      I think, there are enough fields left for a D400 to become a real pro (or semi pro, if you will) step up compared to the D7k, like fastness of autofocus, continuous speed, and cleaner ISO (luminance noise). I’d be satisfied with 18 mp.

      Concerning the D4 and D800 the message is kind of strange, since it would mean these cameras would both stay below the D3x performance. That would only make sense if they both would be a speed version as a D4s or a D8oos for an x-version still following up. Given the speed of Nikon’s camera body renewals there would be much reasons to look for good offers for a D3x!

      I personally hope, that Nikon doesn’t drop the DX too soon, since the advantage for fast telephoto is too large to be overlooked. A fast 400 becomes a fast 600 for no surcharge and if the images would become still a bit cleaner in the new body(compared to the D7k), agencies would be ready to drop their ISO 400 limit for DX.

      I really wonder about the D800. The D3x sensor plus the features Nikon offers in the latest models would be fine to me. But exactly that seems to be the problem: apparently Nikon don’t get this sensor for the D800 for some reason.

      • Landscape Photo

        I agree with you except for the pixel density of 24mp DX would equate 48mp. In fact it will be (1.5^2)x24 = 54mp . That’s a lot !

        • Jabs

          @Landscape Photo.
          I read a lot on various web sites about the pixel density of say DX vs FX and sometimes it appears to me that maybe we are factoring things wrong or maybe it is me.
          24 megapixels in DX = what?
          24 megapixels in FX = what?
          If the crop factor is 1.5, then is it a ratio as in lens ratio or sensor ratio to now determine megapixel equivalence between the two formats? People often say that DX stresses the lens more than FX, but I need to see proof of that. Can you please explain that to me.

      • Richard

        Unless, unknown to us, Nikon have inked a suicide pact there will be DX cameras for a very long time to come. The simple fact of the matter is that the cost of the sensor of an FX body is roughly ten times that of an DX sensor and is the major consideration in the pricing of the body. On top of that, there is a substantial “installed user base” (i.e. customers who already own) of DX lenses. Should Nikon abandon that market segment, Canon and the rest would welcome the all the former Nikon users with open arms. Alternatively, it would speed the movement to the mirrorless offerings of people other than Nikon. It simply would make no sense at all to abandon DX.

  • jk

    Price is not an indicator of the authenticity of the rumour.

    I bought my D3 for $4999 approx one year after its release and I purchased my D3s for $4999 as well. However, some retailers were still selling it for $5600. There was a crossover where both the D3 and D3s were priced the same (choice is a no brainer then). I would not be surprised if the new “D4″ was the same price or cheaper. Remember there is retail price and then with a little shopping around there is the price (even at reputable retailers).

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      Amen @jk.

      I’ve responded to you, but for the sake of the drive-byers here, I’ve posted it on my blog:

      Thinking About Nikon’s Next Move

      There’s even a graphic…. :)

      • Richard

        Ron,

        Some pros jump on new tools the instant they become available. Those are the people who bought the D3X first. There was substantial resistance to the $8k price tag however. I do not believe Nikon were overly concerned about sales volume of this product simply because they could not make very many of them anyway…. Nikon have been constrained by the available quantity of FX sensors Sony have been capable of producing. Though I can not quote numbers, Sony are reported to have abysmal yields of their FX sensor production and of the D3X sensor in particular. Let’s face it, process control improvement is critical to this segment. The costs associated with a FX sensor would plummet if the production yields were increased. That in turn would offer the opportunity to increase the production and sale of FX sensor bodies. The demand is there in the enthusiast market, just not at current price points.

        The argument which Sony and Nikon continue to make is that there is not sufficient demand for FX sensors to warrant the costs of retooling production equipment to produce FX sensors without the “stitching” process. It is a chicken and egg argument. Canon have used the 1.3x crop sensor for their pro bodies because it was the largest size sensor which could be produced on their equipment without stitching. (It also is a nice boost for wildlife photogs. E.G. look at a 500mm f4 with a 1.4x converter on a 1.3x crop body.)

        Nikon are apparently content to “not rock the boat” because the current approach has worked for them over a long period of time, but “the times, they are a changing.”

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

        Ron, regarding people being up in arms about the D3x price at launch. I think a lot of it had to do with Canon. The 5D mkII came out with 21.1mp and was cheaper than the D700. The D3x had 24.5mp AND cost $8000? I think that’s the part where people started chomping at the bit. Had the mkII not been on the market, I think the backlash wouldn’t have been nearly so vehement.

        • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

          And yet the highest MP body at the time was (and arguably still is) the clear winner when it comes to quality. Apple may have been charging a LOT more for the body, but as others have pointed out, such a high pixel count on that large of a sensor means a lot of chips get thrown away due to lack of quality. Nikon may have gambled incorrectly with the $8k price tag. I certainly can’t argue against that reasoning, though I’m not sold it was necessarily as damaging as we poor folk like to hope it was. However we won’t really know at least until we see their next move.

          I think most Americans were really put off by the major increase in price that they saw from Nikon while the dollar was tanking. But in the back of our minds, I think we all knew why it was happening, and realized if anyone was to blame, it probably wasn’t the Japanese camera companies….

  • tigrebleu

    Could the DX-4 be a pro FF mirrorless? That would explain the name, different from past designations.

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      The question that begs to be asked then is why call it the DX-4? Why not the DX-1? Or more obviously FX-1, seeing as it’s FX format?

      More than likely made up stuff from a guy who doesn’t really know.

      • timmytank

        that’s my impression as well. this guy sounds like he’s taking stabs in the dark. with the world economy, weak dollar and the tsunami/earthquake, i’m surprised someone’s trying to pass off (among other things) the <$2500 price tag for the D800.

  • Jesse G

    $5k was the launch price of the D3. My guess that is the price point the Nikon marketing dept is/was shooting for before considering external factors like the exchange rate and how the tsunami has effected supply and manufacturing.

  • Alex C

    I have a feeling that he has his currencies wrong, these prices sounds correct if its in euros. But if I’m wrong ill get that price :)

  • Landscape Photo

    Where will the 20mp sensor come from?

  • SNRatio

    Price first: Nikon may keep the $5000 price point. In the D3/D3s there are several relatively expensive components which might be replaced by cheaper, just look at the D7000 vs D90/D300 to see how we can get more for less. Nikon is going to sell a lot of D4′s, and they are to be competitive in every respect.

    Resolution: It might seem that Nikon will now use very similar sensors in D4 and D800, just like D3/D700. One way to differentiate IQ, is with readout and processing electronics. The D800 might come with slower, lower-noise readout, to provide very high DR at low ISO, more like the D7000/D3X. While the D4 focuses on the other extreme property: Speed.

    I guess Nikon has noted that the largest drawback of the D700 vs the 5DII has been video, not resolution. If Nikon now launches an enthusiast model in 5DII-land, and Canon, true to their habits, ups the rez in the new model – probably with some inevitable drawbacks, it will be interesting to see how things turn out. Personally, while I can see reasons for going from 12 to 20 MP (landscape, wedding photography etc), I really don’t know how much will be gained by going much further. “Printing large”, sure, a handful of times during my life I have had material for that. Not more. Cropping? Yeah, sure when you are diffraction limited

    What interests me more, is that there is no mention of pro DX in these last rumors. That might mean they don’t have anything ready yet. Which isn’t too strange.

  • http://www.buynikond5100.org buy nikon d5100

    hopefully the wait was killed by a given investment ..

  • Q

    GAS! Where do I order the D800? I want it NOW!

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