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The rumored D800 delay is not Nikon’s fault

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Nikon factory in Thailand before the flooding (credit: Bangkokbiznews)

and after the flooding (credit: Noppatjak)

I guess some [NR] followers have not read my previous posts or just failed to realize the seriousness of the situation in Thailand which was probably the reason for the Nikon D800 announcement delay. You cannot really blame Nikon or [NR] for that. Here is a quick recap of my posts from the past few weeks:

October 3, 2011:

I initially did not post this online, but after receiving some additional info I can now confirm with a 99% probability only the name “D800″ and the sensor size of 36MP.

Stay tuned, it has begun! If the specs are out, expect announcement before the end of the year (I would say 30-60 days from now).

October 9, 2011:

This is the list of “confirmed” specs for the Nikon D800. My confidence on those is above 90%:

  • The name will be Nikon D800
  • 36MP sensor
  • 100% viewfinder coverage
  • Improved AF with face recognition – the D800 will still have 51 points AF point
  • Dual memory card slots (still not sure if they will be SD, CF or both)
  • USB 3.0
  • ISO range: 100 – 6400, ISO LO @ 50 and  ISO HI-2 @ 25600
  • The screen will be larger than 3 inches
  • The D800 will not have built-in GPS
  • Expeed 3 processor
  • There will be two different D800 versions/models, one with the antialiasing filter removed

October 17, 2011:

October 26th is 9 days away and so far I have not received any information on any scheduled Nikon press events for next week. It will be highly unusual for Nikon to announce the D800 without any major press gathering – maybe they have chosen this path to prevent any leaks.

The bottom line is this - I was never sure about October 26th being the Nikon D800 announcement date. There were some clues, but no scheduled press events. After I received multiple tips and several other websites (Chasseur d'Images, digicame-inf0) reported the same story, I do believe that there was initially a Nikon announcement scheduled for October 26th that was later postponed because of the floods in Thailand.

But wait, the D800 should be produced in Japan, right? Yes, but some parts are probably made in Thailand. The problem could also not be related to Nikon at all - this story/picture about the submerged Sony factory circulated the Web yesterday:

Credit: Bangkok Post | Pattarachai Preechapanich

Image Sensor World found out that this was Sony Bangkadi facility - here is the "before picture":

This Sony factory is used to manufacture CCD and CMOS sensors and other chips. It also serves as Sony devices distribution center:

Maybe the new 36MP sensor for the Nikon D800 is produced in that Sony factory? We will probably never know.

Heck, even Canon had to cut their annual sales by 660 million USD because of the situation in Thailand.

Here are the latest water levels at the Rojana Industrial Park in Thailand - basically unchanged since 4 days ago:

So that's it - I hope this will clear the D800 situation for everyone. I still stand behind the D800 specs I have published before but when the official announcement will happen is anyone's guess. I will still stay till midnight EST tonight - just to be sure.

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  • joe b low

    Here’s how you can make yourself stop wanting a D800: go out, buy a D700, D3, D3X or D3S and actually use it instead of your inferior DX model.

    Job done. You now know how good the current FX models are, so you can stop bitching about a replacement you’re never going to get anyway because you can only afford DX like you currently own.

    • George

      Ignorant. Quite a few of us only get one shot at a top-end camera every five or ten years, so we DO want to get the most current. I am sure, of course, that you are so well-off that you can buy a new D700 now and a D800 in two or three months. At least I know how to USE my camera (DX though it may be for now) in my chosen profession.

      • joe b low

        If you can only afford a camera like the D700 every five or ten years you need to spend more time in school, and less infront of a camera, and get yourself a decent job. Seriously.

        • willingtowait

          Says the guy who probably had his whole life set out for him from the age of 5. You obviously wouldn’t know half the struggles most people go through to get merely an education, let alone a 3k camera.

          On the flipside, any sensible person knows that being patient usually pays off.

          I am a first time buyer of an SLR, so call me an amateur if you may, I am not offended. I will be waiting for this product (which I hope to last me 5 or 10 years), because I’v heard only fantastic comments about it.

          I have done a lot of research into these camera’s, spoken to photographers, and even Nikon themselves, and although nothing is confirmed, I have been told that the wait for the d800 will be well worth it. So I’m definitely waiting!

          P.S. Joe b low, if you can afford to buy a 3k camera every couple of years, why don’t you come to my side of the city and afford a set of manners that will last you a life time. Because where I come from, being able to spend 3k on a camera has nothing with how decent your job is, it has to do with your priorities, and whether you see expensive camera’s as one of them. Seriously.

          • Danyyyel

            Or the guy only has his cat to care for, so he can buy his 4k camera to photograph his best mate.

        • Digby

          joe b low

          I refer to your statement “you need to spend more time in school, and less infront of a camera”

          Please note that no matter how much you spend on the purchase of a camera, your pictures will never be as good as the real photographers here. This is because we stand “behind” the camera & not in front of it!

          You are an excellent example of the old adage “a fool and his money is easily parted”, particularly when you spend a truck load of money on the best camera, only to obstruct it by standing in front of it like a dope. LOL ;0

        • Chrispy

          Man I have seen some rude comments in my lifetime but “Joe b low” you take the cake.

          For the record I own a D700 and am looking forward to the release of the D4 which currently only exists in the imagination of mangy of us. Being able to afford high end cameras is something I have worked hard for and I have not lost sight of the fact that I came from a humble background and recognise that people in this world do struggle and deserve respect insofar as they aspire to own some amazing technology to further their photographic pursuits.

          Take a humble pill mate and look at how the other side lives.

        • jen

          True….IF you are solo. If you make a good income and have 3-4 kids..its a matter of priority and you obviously dont have kids. My husband makes well over 6 digit income but my kids have growing needs and wants too. THerefore, My D700 and 70-200, 24-70, 14-24 and D7000 are real treasures treasures to. So yes, every 5 yrs is what I will have to wait for new camera.

  • Richard the third

    Delay now inevitable. Breaking News:

    TENS of thousands of people jammed into bus stations and highways fleeing Thailand’s capital as flood forecasts turns more grim and the first official evacuations ordered.

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/world/thousands-flee-as-gigantic-floodwaters-threaten-bangkok/story-e6frfkyi-1226178444480#ixzz1bwwCbv00

  • Simon

    The flood in Thailand has affected production of Nikon flagship full frame dSLRs shows that it is not really “made in Japan”. So what qualify it? Maybe some components were made in Japan but the bulk of the work that produces it is carried out in Thailand.

    • Benji2505

      Or the decision makers have different priorities than announcing a new product that launches in months from now

  • Anon but not Canon

    Below is from Thom Hogan’s blog:

    ————————————————-
    Good News?
    Oct 26 (news)–I received word this morning that Nikon Thailand has rented new space in an area just outside Bangkok and has asked workers to return to work next week.
    ….
    ————————————————-

    • Dave

      I doubt that because the flooding has impacted Bangkok as well. Also, the workers have been displaced by the flooding as well. I do not know where they are going to live either. I live about tho hours from Bangkok and our area has over 500,000 people from Bangkok here now as they try to get away from the water.

  • Yagion
    • ken

      but ugly mermaid, i´d be damned if it aint a man .

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/joe_i/ Joe

    The flood waters are one thing but they bring with them more than just damage to the physical buildings and infrastructure. They bring long lasting and life threatening problems for people in and around flooded areas.

    http://www.etravelblackboard.com/article/124715/world-travel-health-alerts-8211-october-26-2011

  • Phot

    Nikon, at least announce the d800 and delay shipment, FFS!!!!

    That is all.

    • John

      I agree, just let us know we’re not waiting for something that will never come.

      We will wait, after all we are loyal customers of Nikon. Wouldn’t hurt to tell us you have something for high end users.

  • http://www.kromatica.pe Kromatica

    I’ve delayed several months the buy of a new camera waiting the D800…Nikon!!!!! Pelase!!!!!

    • laughing

      continue making your photography better with what you already have and spend the upgrade money on more lenses.

      • John

        So what happens when the camera dies. Where do you put your lenses then?

        I have incredible lenses but have many pro shoots to do. I need to know if I can replace a camera if I need to.

        I’m not heartless, but Nikon doesn’t let us know they have something we would find interesting. At the very least tell us the Nikon D– will be delayed.

        Right now we don’t even know if there will ever be a Nikon D whatever.

  • Andrew

    Just a thought on delays. If Nikon has a supply issue and Canon has tipped their hand, this allows Nikon to possibly re-think some specs (like is 36 necessary, perhaps 21 or 18 or 25 would be fine) and enable a better price point, or better margins, more reliability, better ISO etc.. If they announce now, it will only lock them into a product spec that they may be able to improve on (at the cost of another spec).

    Yeah, I’d love to know what the current POR is for the D800, but not announcing 6 months ahead makes a lot of sense to me.

    • Richard

      @Andrew,

      I think it probable that Nikon have multiple prototypes in existence which were configured in a variety of ways. I doubt that they have committed a particular one to production at this point although the list of ones likely to be put out for production is probably pretty short at this point.

      Knowing (if Canon actually were showing all of their hand) what the competition’s next product is might just give Nikon an opportunity to refine their choices during the delay. I think there is still time, probably just, to get the D4 or whatever out in time for London. The very real problem is going to be the sensors. If Sony’s fab for FF sensors is out of action Nikon had better get another production source quickly.

      The whole affair has just been one calamity on top of another for Nikon.

      Thom Hogan’s report that Nikon have rented facilities and is asking its workers to check in is just the beginning though. There will have to be arrangements made for the displaced workers to have some place to call home, get meals and avoid a epidemic of a host of diseases that often follow floods.

      This will be the greatest challenge Nikon have faced in many years, if not in the history of the company. I hope the leadership is up to the task.

      • http://www.thomasgaitley.com Tom G

        If you look at Nikon’s latest annual report, they discuss some of their business continuity challenges – and essentially say “sorry, we are still learning from Sendai.” Unfortunately, most manufacturing companies haven’t done a very good job in developing resilience to manufacturing disruptions because the day-to-day cost is perceived to be too high (e.g. cost-efficient centers of excellence versus dispersed, duplicate manufacturing capacity) and the effort to do so takes time – staff time spent toward mitigating risk and preparing for disruptions is time not spent directly on producing a product. Advance preparations should have been made long before the actual incident to relocate and setup the manufacturing, test, ramp up production and ship. Ultimately, they are going to the pay the price and “realize” the true cost of those risk management/business continuity management decisions now – they will probably retain many of us who are already committed to and invested in the Nikon line, but as more and more people migrate from film – yes, it is still happening :) – and into DSLRs, guess who is going to get their business now? Canon.

        Crises are the litmus test of management’s capabilities and so far I’m not impressed with Nikon.

        • Jabs

          @Tom G

          Great ideas but mere guesses on your part, as you are speaking from the Public’s perception and not from an insider actually involved in the day to day Operations of ANY Camera Manufacturer whatsoever.

          Canon, Sony, Nikon, Pentax and many others are all affected by now two disasters and some keep quiet while others blab all over the place. This blabbing does not change the reality of multiple disasters on several Industries and your points about Nikon can be easily rebuked by ONE sentence from me.

          The Nikon1 is being shipped right now to accolades and is made in China.

          BTW:
          Sony’s entire camera line is reportedly made in Thailand too and thus maybe in worse shape than Nikon even though Nikon and others depend on their sensors. The fact that Canon has pre-announced a thing and NOT delivered it, points to nothing at all, as where is their new DSLR or new mirrorless camera system now?

          How late are they in delivering an update to their FF bodies – equal your posturing here!

          People talk, I analyze and then take your arguments apart easily if I feel like it.

          Simply stated – Nikon has a Plant in China and Malaysia that can make what they want!

          Don’t forget about that Plant in Sendai, Japan too.

          Real Contingency Factories versus alleged missing contingency plan guesses by you.

          What was that you were now spouting about in idle guesstimations?

          Mulltiple Setbacks from natural or unexpected or once in a lifetime disasters can never be really planned for, as they are the unknown quantity = learn that yourself and stop dreaming, as to plan for every unknown would paralyze you and make you a real clueless buffoon. You plan for Production, loss of Production and other foreseeable issues such as Business Disruptions and then Insure yourself for basically what is called ‘natural occurrences or acts of God’ = the unknown.

          It’s an unknown quantity – remember?

    • Jabs

      Too late in the game to rethink the megapixel size of a camera body by Nikon.

      Sorry, but cameras are not like computers where you simply unplug this processor, hard drive, DVD-RW, graphics card and such to replace it with another to now make a new model.

      Cameras are finely tuned systems trying to fit in a cramped place while being able to stay cool and not random bit and pieces. Everything basically is custom made for that camera system including lengths of pieces and their sizes to attach to things within a camera.

      Canon backed down because they were horrible at the elevated megapixels that they produced and pushed.

      Nikon was and still is greater at the higher megapixels that they have released.

      D90 was a breakthrough at 12+ megapixels.
      D7000 was even more astonishing at 16+ megapixels.
      D3X at 24 megapixels looks stunning compared to any 21 megapixel Canon body released.

      Canon has not been able to do that – raise megapixels and also raise IQ plus dynamic range.

      Basically – Canon went backwards in IQ with the majority of their newly released cameras, so they HAD to change – smart and necessary move on their part.

      Nikon does not need to do that, as every new generation so far has outperformed the previous generation by sometimes a significant margin in both IQ and dynamic range.

      You are trying to make a deficit of Canon into now a virtue of theirs – lol.

  • Juan

    One can only hope that the real reason for the delay is rethinking the really dumb decision to go with such excessive megapixels and failing to improve on ISO, particularly in light of Canon’s decision in its recent announced camera, to keep them at a reasonable level and go with greater low light performance. That’s the real key – flash is great for ad photos or interior portraits and such, but nobody on the go (and isn’t that where most truly great photos are created??) wants the trouble and intrusiveness of using a flash when they don’t have to.

  • Someone, Somewhere

    How can it be not Nikon’s Fault? Is it fault by choosing the place to manufacture thinking it is cheap and now pay the price.

    • Chrispy

      ‘Someone, Somewhere’ Nikon’s fault???

      Lets get real here. Nikon chose to manufacture in Thailand for reasons of economic realities so that you can purchase a great camera at a competitive price. Do you think that Canon are not manufacturing their products in locations for the same economic reality? C’mon.

      This flood event is probably a 1 in 100 year event. If the factory architects had an inkling that the area was a flood risk I doubt that they would have built there in the first place. It’s easy to be critical of a decision after the fact. To use your reasoning perhaps Japan should be criticised for building Nuclear power plants in a country prone to earthquakes. Every build is done so after a risk assessment.

    • John

      I completely agree. Why not build the next plant on Mt. Krakotoa or some other high risk natural disaster area. Nikon makes some very bad decisions. I’l wait for the D whatever if Nikon would just tell us that there will be a nikon D whatever.

  • gemwizard

    Basically half given up of waiting and wanting to shoot with a FF Nikon for the imminent xmas season instead of the D300 which I have been using since its launch, the shop that I frequent told me that the agent has stopped supplying D700 for over a month..reason he said was that the D800 is coming soon!

    BTW I live in Singapore.

    • john

      gemwizard, all Nikon needs to do is post something to that effect on ther site.

      Then we would have much less to wonder about and could make buying decisions that aren’t based on rumor.

  • Wade Spam

    Yes it’s Nikon fault.. this should have been announced at the beginning of the year and available in August 2011.

  • http://www.imagemelbourne.com.au leoklein42@gmail.com

    The new Canon camera is Canons new D3 / D4 fighter. Its not a 5D replacement or competitor for the D700 or D800. It will be priced too high.

    There could well be truth in the idea that Nikon will continue the D700 (or similar) as low light king and introduce the D800 for those wanting more resolution. Canon seem to be happy to offer both the high res 5D and the new lower res high Iso body.

    Only time will tell

  • MK

    no nikon j1/v1 news?

  • d700

    A failure is failure. Excuse for it is shameful act in Japan. Japanese virtue is to accept responsability. If you like Japanese camera, you should learn Japanese culture, too.

  • Raj

    One of my friend bought canon 5d mark 2 today.After long waiting of nikon d800 but never release it, postponed and postponed again,,,,,,

  • ChrisCaflowne

    Nikon could have avoided this 2 years ago by coming out with a D700S; same exact camera with video tacked on.

  • nicks

    I live and work in Europe as a wedding photographer. On film days I was shooting w Nikon.Digitally first I used Eos1 then(the past 3 years) Nikon D700 Nikon D7000 and even d5100 supplementary to my free shoulder. I also shoot with Canon Eos 5d MkII (when I have time to focus accurately without being afraid of loosing the shot). I prefer Nikon for the 70% of my work. But after 3 years of using my D700 and one year of full use of my D7000 under any kind of situation, I know well that a new model comes when you already have explored all the secrets of the previous. If d800 gives superb image in a variety of my shooting situations it will take a place in my bag but no more than 20% of my shooting time for the first year. I feel I do not want to sacrifice my time spent learning my camera’s behavior and taking from them (or the combination of them) the best I would like.

  • Jabs

    For those who would believe that the Industrial Estate in Thailand was some ‘backwater slum’ filled with ‘slave labor’ and then rant about moving it elsewhere, maybe you look at this and learn, perhaps.

    http://www.rojana.com/roj_proj_ayutthaya.php

  • samot

    i have now and then followed the comments on this side and it strikes me what low level it has taken. my advice to nr-admin; shut down the comments possibility and stick to keep the nr-site for information only.

    • the majority

      YES!!! Finally. I’m sick of all these losers who talk about how comments should be removed from the website. What a bunch of crybabies!!!

    • hahaha

      Don’t go on the internet and you won’t get hurt feelings. Sensorship is not the answer.

  • http://davidkasman.com David Kasman

    To be fair to everyone, after the flooding and other natural disasters Nikon could have simply said something like “Due to the flood, the Nikon 700 successor release date has been pushed back to mid 2013″ (or whatever date they estimate). That way, customers could buy a D700 now, sit tight, or wait for the new model depending on their individual needs. If I had known it would take so long, I would have purchased a D700 over a year ago, but I kept thinking the new model was just around the corner. So, I lost out on a over a year of shooting with a D700 and Nikon lost a D700 sale. Greater transparency by Nikon would have been better.

    • Jabs

      Or you could have just bought a D700 a year ago and revel in using it plus learning about it for a whole year, instead of making choices based upon mere speculation and rumors.

      Does that make any sense whatsoever to you now?

      Who now makes a camera of equal or comparable quality for you to now buy?

      You delayed a purchase from speculation and now you blame Nikon the Manufacturer – lol

      The Internet makes us crazy sometimes, it seems.

      A decision made about the unknown while rejecting the known quantity – real genius too – right.

      A bird in the hand is worth TWO in the bushes – applies here.

      No insult meant to you either, but too many posts like this here.

  • Leo

    Nikon are doing the right thing and NOT making an announcement until they have assessed the factory. Its still under water, so there is no way they can know if/when camera production will resume there.

    +1 to those wanting the flaming and personal attacks gone. Stick to the topic guys!

  • Dave

    The flooding here in Thailand is really bad and it is going to be several months before things improve. I know because I live here. Ultimately it is going to impact Nikon’s DX supply as well.

    Personally I do not care anymore about any announcement on a D800 or anything else from Nikon. Personally, I am fed up with Nikon being “coy” about their announcements of upcoming products, so fed up I am buying a Canon 5d MkII. Ken Rockwell (I know you either love him or hate him) had an interesting comment on his website today and I am paraphrasing here so bear with me. “What if Nikon is going to move away from FX cameras as the DX line is more profitable and sales in professional gear is a fraction of the what is sold in the consumer field”. Interesting thought. Time will tell.

    • Richard

      @Dave,

      I wish you and the rest all the best in dealing with the flood waters.

      Sometimes I think Ken Rockwell simply throws out a provocative statement to “stir the pot”. That said, I don’t think anyone outside the board room at Nikon has any clue what the company will do in the present circumstances.

      Although Canon is affected, though to an unknown degree by the situation in Thailand, it is beginning to become apparent that Canon’s recent announcement was a statement to the pro market that they will meet their needs shortly. Nikon traditionally plays their cards “close to the vest”, but may not be in a position to do much. The Japanese government announced a loan program for companies affected by the flooding and also announced that there would be an expedited visa program to temporarily allow companies to bring workers into Japan. Whether these initiatives will have much impact in the near term. Japan is, and will remain, short of electric energy for some time to come, which is bound to cause problems.

      If Nikon abandons the Pro market, as Rockwell posits, the company may very well implode. I could not see serious amateurs staying with them for very long if there were not top quality glass and bodies, even the “lower end” FX bodies, to grow into over time. Nikon’s P&S cameras have not fared particularly well compared to Canon’s and the rest.

      If, as many believe, the consumer DSLR/DX lineup funds the R&D budget for the FX lineup and, in return, has that technology “trickle down” to the DX lineup just where does that leave Nikon in terms of development? Sure, the funds would go to DX R&D, but just how much development would there be?

      Canon have a definitive lead in video and appear to be prepared to extend that lead with the rumored/expected announcements. Nikon has a lot at stake in the coming cycle of cameras. I hesitate to say that they are “betting the company”, but I would not argue with someone who did. I hope the company is stronger than that.

  • http://www.chriswrightphotography.com Photographer Dundee

    I love my D700 and will continue to nurse it a little while longer.

  • roy long

    If you take a look at Nikon’s recently announced, revised forecast for FY ending March 2012, you will see that they have revised down their sales prediction for that period. The revision is 65,000 million YEN ($836 million). Now to me (and I’m no expert) that indicates we will not see a D800 or other FX model until mid-2012. sad face :(

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