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Nikon planning to release a new Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4G VR lens

New-Nikon-announcements-in-2013

There will be several changes in Nikon's product map as a result of the recent forecast cuts. As you can see from the above Q&A session, Nikon is planning "to launch new products in the latter half of the fiscal year expect a shift towards newer products that have higher profit margins". I already mentioned that I expect three new Nikon DSLR cameras by the end of the year (the actual announcement could be in the first week of 2014 for the CES show): one full frame camera (probably D4x), one entry level DX model (probably D1000). The third camera is still not clear: it could be anything from a mirrorless to a SLT based or a retro design.

Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-300mm-f_4D-IF-ED-lens

The current Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED lens

Upcoming lenses are always more difficult to predict, especially with the latest changes in Nikon's product map. At that point I expect Nikon to release a new Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4G VR lens which will be the long awaited replacement of the current Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED ($1,369.00). Expect better image quality and higher price similar to the recent 80-400mm upgrade. I was told that this lens already has an assigned internal number which is usually an indication for announcement in the next 1-3 months.

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  • Stefan Georgiev

    ANY news about 200mm f/4 micro or 24-70mm f/2.8 replacements?

    • keepitsimple

      would be nice to see a smaller/lighter 24-70 or 28-70 f/4 to go with the new 70-200. Also need a 35 f1.8 or f2 update.

      • Ben

        Hard to imagine a 28-70 f/4 with the 24-120 f/4 performing so well.

        • Stefan Georgiev

          It has to be 24-70 f/2 or 24-85 f/2.8 if you ask me

          • Henri De Vreese

            With VR!

            • Stefan Georgiev

              AMEN! :-)

        • umeshrw

          By performing you mean selling or IQ or actual usable quality?

      • Crave

        Drools for… 35mm f 1.8 or 2.

        • Keith Homan

          Why would you want a 35 F/1.8 or F/2? They already have the 1.8 and 1.4, granted the 1.8 is only for DX, so buy the 1.4 which is an outstanding lens. I own it.

          • patto01

            A FF 1.8 or 2 would be much less expensive. Some of us don’t have a lot of money or don’t really want to put all of it into camera gear.

            • Keith Homan

              What price would you be willing to pay? The 28mm F/1.8 is priced at $700. Would you pay that much for a F/1.8 of the 35mm F/1.8 for FX? I’m sorry, but FX items come with a price.

            • patto01

              My 50mm F/1.8 cost $220. 28mm is a more complicated design, but not worth $700 unless you consider lower volume and thus a higher price. I have no idea what the relative demand of a 35 would be but, aside from that, it shouldn’t be as much as the 28. I might consider the Sigma 35mm (too many mixed reviews) at $900 but that’s F/1.4. Really, you hit the nail on the head: what’s anyone willing to pay? For me, I wouldn’t pay more than $400 for a 35mm F/1.8. In any case, I’d never pay $1600 for a 35mm F/1.4. That isn’t to say it isn’t worth it, just not to me.

            • fred

              The DX 35mm f1.8 AFS is about $200. Surely a FX 35mm f1.8 would not exceed $300?

            • patto01

              I think that’s a little optimistic. You can’t compare an FX lens to a DX lens. More than just the increased coverage, there’s an assumed increase quality in manufacture, coatings, etc. In the same way, you can’t really compare the 35s to the current 50s. I think it would be fair to compare a FF 35mm to the 85mms: since the 85 1.4 is about the same as the 35 1.4, a FF 35 1.8 should be about $500 (same as the 85 1.8). But I still wouldn’t pay that much for one; I just don’t need it that much.

          • peterw

            There is no reason to consider a 35F1,8 AF-S DX for a FX camera, as there is no reason to consider a 35 F2 AF-D for DX (yes you can use both on the camera’s).

            The present 35 F2 AF-D weighs about 200 grams.

            The nearest modern alternative is the 28 F1,8 AF-S with about 300 grams. Thinking about that one… and a bit cropping. But it is rather large. The present 35 F2 is nice and compact…

    • AM

      I replaced the 24-70mm f/2.8 with the f/1.8G prime trilogy.

      • Keith Homan

        What’s the F/1.8 trilogy? I can think of four of them right now and would just like to know what you think the three key players are.

        • Glen

          I think it is understood to be the three FX AF-S f/1.8G primes – 28, 50, 85

        • AM

          The three FX lenses: 28, 50, and 85mm.
          The 35mm is a DX lens.

  • HotDuckZ

    Better image quality & collar, Shorter, no focus breathing, better external design, that all I wish. Amen.

    • fred

      The image quality of the current 300mm f4 I own ain’t bad. The bokeh can sometimes be a bit ugly but the sharpness is great and the AF-S is good. The collar is short but sturdy. Nothing wrong with the external design either, its clean and simple.

      If they up the price too much (like they did like the new 80-400mm) it may scare some people away. I’m guessing initial price $2095, (the old 300mm price + 50%)

      • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

        I borrowed the current 300mm f/4 lens recently and the AF was not good at all – a lot of “hunting” until it locks. Maybe it was an isolated issue or maybe because I was using a teleconverter.

        • Shutterdancer

          I’ve been using the 300mm F/4 almost exclusively for the past couple of years…..with 1.4 TC permantly attached…it focus hunts from time to time depending on lighting and distance to subject but I can live with that seeing as how there isn’t another lens out there as sharp for such a bargain price….I purchased grey market for 1099.00 US ;-)

        • Ken Rockbell

          It will work well when you pay for f 2.8
          or maybe the teleconverter….

        • RWJ

          Which TC were you using?

          • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

            TC-14E II

            • RWJ

              Really, I love my 300mm f/4 on my D800. I want to get the TC-14EII. I have a TC-17, but I do not like the stop and half effect. Thanks for the updates as always.

            • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

              I also liked the combo. If Nikon really announces this lens, I will be buying it – it’s the cheapest way to go above 400mm (with a TC).

            • http://www.linkedin.com/in/ablelawrence Able Lawrence

              If they can come out with a lens that has built in TC (flip a switch to activate it like the 200-400mm of canon) it would be great.

            • Shutterdancer

              Same here RWJ ..TC-14E II

      • HotDuckZ

        As previous rumors their will use difraction optic and bokeh isn’t good then I hope it’s better. Cosmetic of AF-s was fine to me but look at 80-400 it’s not nice. Collar of 300 f/4 is very anoyed my feeling (80-400 too, 70-200 was great) and I very hated it, 105 DC & 135 DC was great because they use screw lock system but bayonet + build-in to lock it on two way may be better. Hope you’re understand my english! ;)

        • patto01

          It’s not easy but not impossible either! :-)

  • John Tangney

    The 300 F4 VR II looks very enticing, though would also like any more info on the 100-300 that was recently discussed. The other BIG topic missing here is a D400. If it does not come soon, I may ignore the new 300 F4 and start looking to other vendors cameras and lenses.

    • AM

      You’re already wasting time, the D400 is not coming soon.
      Let us know how it goes looking to other brands.

  • Randy Stephens

    Are you thinking now that the D400 is probably not going to be launched?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      At least not any time soon. For a long time I was told that the D7100 will be the top of the line DX camera. It seems that what I reported an year ago is still true.

      • Stefan Georgiev

        wait until Canon releases 7D Mii

      • Brian

        I was told right after Earthquake by someone high up that there was no D400 planned. Nothing I’ve heard or seen since tells me anything different. Think of the amount of bodies they’ve released since the D300 and ask if they were releasing what is the hold up?

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

          Same here – I was told that the D7100 will be the top of the DX line months before the camera was released. After it came out, many realized that the buffer is not fast enough and we all assumed that there will be a better DX camera coming soon. I have not heard anything reliable since that such camera exists.

          • J. Dennis Thomas

            I was informed that the D7100 was going to be the top of the line as well. Feature-wise the D7100 is a very good camera. I’m not a big fan of the layout, but if I used it every day it would probably get easier.

            It’s a pity that Nikon won’t do a buffer upgrade like they did with the D1X.

            As much as a D400 would be nice it just ain’t happenin’ no matter how many people cry about it on the camera forums.

            • Plug

              It is Nikon’s logic that seems so strange. I want to regularly upgrade my equipment as many do. Lenses, flashguns, other items etc. But the lack of a D400 has stopped my spending in its tracks. What is the point of a lens without what customers feel is an appropriate body to mount it on? Nikon are saying strongly to me that they do not want me to be a customer even after spending tens of thousands over thirty years. I just do not understand why they regard me and presumably others with such contempt.

          • Spy Black

            Dude, you really need to filter out any comments with the D400 in it. It’s really old and tired.

            • Aldo

              so when do you think the d(500-100) is coming out?

            • Spy Black

              That’s acceptable…

  • KnightPhoto

    “expect a shift towards newer products that have higher profit margins”.

    I’m guessing this means higher prices… e.g 300 f/4 VR @ $2,000 and D400 @ $2,300-$2,500
    Not sure why NR is pessimistic about D400 date, Thom, before he went on safari, expected the announcement is immanent. Hope Thom is correct otherwise a lot of “D400 people” have threatened to jump ship.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      I am not pessimistic, I am basing my opinion on the info I receive. Unless a miracle happens, there will be no D400 this year.

      • umeshrw

        amen

      • Matthew Fleisher

        Ah, scheduled for January release….

      • juandiegojr

        there will be no D400 ever. Whats the problem with D7100?

        juandiegojr.com

        • Cyrille Berger

          It is not a PRO camera OMG !

          • Remedy

            Doesn’t mean You can’t take PRO pictures with it.

            • umeshrw

              Pro camera is not at all about taking pictures. It is about better probability of being able to get the picture. Safety, reliability and speed.

            • Starfires

              Well, you could take pro-quality pictures with a D3200 for that matter, it’s just harder to do so consistently in more challenging situations. Cramped controls and a small buffer put many off the D7100, even if it is a great deal on paper. Ultimately, pro gear exists for a reason and if there’s no D400, there’s not much reason to keep investing in other serious DX gear.

              It’s something which holds me back from getting, say a 10-24mm DX over a 16-35mm FX. Both would probably do everything I want, but if Nikon’s not going to keep bodies as usable as the D300 coming it may be better to look elsewhere, whether to FX or m4/3, just to be sure of a system living well into the future. The sheer size of FX seems to me a burden, so Nikon has no guarantee I’ll ‘upgrade’ to that.

            • Sahaja

              First you say the D7100 has “cramped controls” – but in the next paragraph you say the “size of FX seems” “a burden”.

              Doesn’t quite make sense.

            • Starfires

              Well I see your point, but I’m speaking more of lens sizes. There are a lot of compact lens options for DX and of course telephotos automatically give you more reach. Also small, affordable bodies (like my D5100) exist that let you downsize even more.

              Yet it’s not only that, it’s the fact that moving to FX necessitates buying a lot of new lenses to have the same flexibility a well-rounded DX collection gives. With newer sensors improving and lenses like the Sigma 18-35mm finally emerging, it makes me wonder if it really is necessary? If Nikon stops making pro DX bodies though, it does mean changing to have the advantage of the newer sensors and processing. D300 IQ seems quite dated to me, even if the body is all it needs to be.

            • RBR

              That is not the point. Use a D4 and then a D7000 or D7100. There is no comparison between the controls, including dedicated buttons for direct access to settings rather than digging around in menus, and ease of changing focus points with the joystick on the D4.

              Though this has nothing to do with “build quality”, have you ever critically examined images from a D4 shot at ISO 12,800? They are entirely useable as is and what noise there is is readily removable in LR if you are so inclined. High ISO performance truly is transformational.

        • umeshrw

          Man we should keep the whole pros and cons list ready for copying and pasting. It really is boring to write it again and again…. and again.

        • Deep_Lurker

          The D7100 is a great $1000 camera body. Its problem is that it would be a miserable flop as a $2000 camera body.

          And there are lots of people who want $2000 worth of build quality and features in a DX camera body. Not a beefed up D7100, but rather a DX-mode-only D800: A D800 with optimizations for shooting in DX mode along with a lower price due to the sensor being DX rather than FX.

        • BroncoBro

          “Whats the problem with D7100?” Speed, buffer, controls, build quality. D7100 is not a pro camera. It isn’t intended to be. D300s needs a refresh.

    • Jeroen Wijnands

      Given the recent trends and the VR… I think $2200 at introduction.
      There never will be a D400.

      • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

        I would say $1999 for the new 300mm f/4 lens. Will have to agree on the D400 unless I see some serious proof.

        • decisivemoment

          If they charge that, I’m buying an FT-1 and running the 70-200/2.8 II on my V1. Canon has an outstanding 300/4 with image stabilization for $1,349; $2000 from Nikon would be adding insult to injury for their long-term failure to improve the existing lens.

          • Remedy

            Can You mount a Canon lens on a Nikon camera? No? So it’s completely irrelevant how awesome and cheap Canon 300mm f/4 L is. No one at Nikon cares and that’s why they are gonna charge big money for this new 300mm f/4 VR because they can. That’s exactly the reason why new 80-400 is practically twice the price of the old one. So expect the same scenario with 300mm f/4.

            • patto01

              The new 80-400 is significantly better than the old one. I can’t imagine a new 300 enjoying that same advantage.

            • Matthew Fleisher

              Yes, there are adapters for things like that.

            • Remedy

              To mount Canon lens on Nikon camera You need a converter with optics because Canon flange distance is shorter than Nikon’s.

            • Scott M.

              You CAN’T mount a Canon lens on a Nikon camera. You CAN mount Nikkor on Canon
              with an adapter.

            • Remedy

              Who said You can’t? This link begs to differ http://www.ebay.com/bhp/canon-lens-to-nikon-body-adapter

            • umeshrw

              Are any nikon specific features disabled when using these adapters? What about close focus and infinity distances?

            • Scott M.

              Hmmm…$7.99 on eBay, must be awesome. I’ll buy a new Canon lens and try one.

            • Matthew Fleisher

              Sorry, you can adapt a Nikon lens to a Canon body but not the other way around.

            • Michael Sloan

              Maybe there is no way to mount Canon optics on Nikon, but the original poster’s comment does have relevance. I can buy a used 5D MK I, or a decent entry level Canon DSLR and their 300mm image stabilized lens for equal money. That is significant because it means Nikon’s customers may just add their competitors products to their bags instead. Where as previously, they would have never looked elsewhere. Not to mention, a $2000 f4 300mm optic gives many shooters justification to start looking at 3rd party alternatives, like the new Sigma 120-300mm f2.8, for only $1200 more.

            • Remedy

              “For only $1200 more” Richie McRich much?

              You want it “cheap” You got 300mm f/4 AF-S (or even AF-D), You want 300mm with VR for hand held shooting (because there is no other point for it) You got even cheapr 70-300 VR or new 80-400 VR which is pretty expensive but You are covered up to 400mm with really good VR.
              Come on, there are so many options for Nikon shooters including 3rd party lenses which always worked best with Nikons.

            • Michael Sloan

              Sorry about that, point taken, $1200 is a great deal of money, 60% more than what many think the new 300 f4 VR IV will cost. But that was the reason why I made the remark in the first place. The Sigma lens would offer you a lot more bang for your buck. 120-300mm constant f2.8 with options to use a 2x teleconverter, for 600mm f5.6! Those kinds of options is what many buyers will weighing in their purchasing decisions. If Nikon tips the scales too much in their favor, other options will become more apparent. I personally bought a beat up 300mm f4 AF-D for $750 as a quality 7 from B&H. It even came with the improved RRS collar! This thing looked like it covered war reporting from Bagdad and Kabul, bit the glass was clean; the serial number indicated it was made in the debut year for the lens. That is like 10 years ago! I’ve shot motocross with it and at 1/500, you don’t need VR. If Nikon charges $2K on entry, they may find their biggest competitor is their own predecessor.

  • Joseph Li

    Nice!!~~ a 300 f/4 g vr ii with better optics, vr ii or possibly iii , is lightweight and wont break the bank like the 2.8, great telephoto in good light.

    But nikon,what’s up with no D400? that’s so easy for you to make,stop delaying already. Slap a 24mp DX sensor with no AA filter (from d7100), throw in 51 pt AF (from d7100), better built pro body, throw in D3s buffer, throw in a shutter from D3 to keep costs down, make it do 9fps, price it $1600ish and call it a day.

    • longzoom

      D7100 sensor has narrower DR than D800 one. So please…

      • umeshrw

        And worse noise levels too …..

        • longzoom

          Indeed, but sensor is smaller, no surprise. RX1 sensor has very wide DR, what should be used, or even newer one, but not D7100 sensor!

          • umeshrw

            It is not just the sensor size. Actually 7100 is a consumer grade model similar to D70 of past. Whereas 300 is descendent of D100 which is a semipro model. Nikon has kept 7100 noise at higher levels deliberately just like that of D70,D7100 etc. At the same time D300 has respectable noise performance like D100. (D200 sensor was a mistake – I had them both and I still love 100 but dislike 200)

            • longzoom

              Agreed. That is what I am saying, too – not only size, but quality of the sensor itself!

            • Photojournalist

              This is idiotic. I get better noise performance on my D7100 at ISO 6,400 than the D300 at 3,200. I’d never shoot the D300 over 1,600. I can go way over that in the D7100.

              Have you actually used a 7100?

            • longzoom

              Anybody’s else different opinion isn’t a reason to call human being like you do.

            • umeshrw

              I had 300. Compared a friend’s 7100 side by side extensively in two shoots in real life shooting situations. Also had compared 7000 before that( same friend) when it was introduced then. 7100 is a bit better than 7000 for noise. When reduced in size to compare with 300′s , 7100 fares a bit better but still not good enough. Most difference was felt when I brought both cam’s images for processing. 300′s show less noise than 7100′s for same amount of correction. I shoot raw always and process in capture nx2. Ofcourse I must mention that 7100′s image is a lot sharper and detailed than 300′s but then again that must be because of no AA filter. Maybe the increased resolution and detail could be showing increase in noise. Something like that is felt also with my current 800e but then again I feel it would not be a fair comparison. Can anybody here give any technical knowledge whether resolution is connected to apparent increase in noise even when such is not the case.(sorry if my wording is not correct. try to understand please) Also these are my own practical findings. They work for me.

            • Photobug

              Amen about the D200 sensor. Had it 15 months and bought the D300 in the first week it was available.

      • fred

        So please….Where does Joseph Li mention a D800?

        • longzoom

          Clear sample of demagogue… So, please!

      • Remedy

        By ~0.5EV at lowest ISO setting and OLNY after downsizing D800 image to 24MPix. Comparing 100% crops it’s only 0.3EV of a difference so biatch please.

        • longzoom

          Watch your language

    • http://Flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

      I’d buy that camera in an instant.

      • Biased1

        What body do you have now? Do you shoots lots of action?

        • http://Flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

          Orten.

          Motocross especially, but plenty of wildlife too.
          I have a D7000 and D800 to which I attach a AA battery grip and shoot DX in those situations.

          • Biased1

            ok, this explains your need for high FPS. What focusing mode are you using? I have trouble with my D7000 focusing on moving objects. Are you using back button focusing?

            • http://Flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

              I just use 3D. D800 also. It works great and normal old front (shutter) focusing. I don’t focus and recompose shooting sports tho. Either center focus point and crop later or move the focus point to where I want it.

            • Biased1

              Thanks. I’ll give it a try.

    • Vocko

      AF from D7100 is actually from D300(s) sooo – NO.
      D400 needs to be 16mpx (as the D4), almost the same AF as a D4 or D3s, FPS should remain the same not less, and body same or better than D300s (D700?)
      It really is a no brainer what D400 needs to be…

      • umeshrw

        AF for 7100 is derived from D800. Rest is good for me

      • Remedy

        Dude wake up!!! D300 has practically THE SAME AF as D700, D800, D3, D3S, D4 and yes, D7100 it’s MultiCAM 3500 DX or FX (deppending on the sensor). The only difference is refinement and in camera CPU that’s driving it.

        So no, not like the D4 or D3s, instead it’s time for a brand new AF system for Nikon cameras. This one is 7 years old now.

        D400 needs to be bigger than all those tiny crap designs for midgets. Large buffer, 8-10 FPS, new (and I mean NEW) AF system, maybe new viewfinder (bigger magnification) and video without line skipping would be nice too.

        But lets get back to the topic. Sadly this new 300mm f/4 is gonna be ridiculously expensive compared to the old model. Minimum twice the price, minimum! Mark my words.

        • Captain Megaton

          ” instead it’s time for a brand new AF system for Nikon cameras”

          Because the old one is just sooooo terrible right?

          • Remedy

            No, because the new one might be this much better. You really can’t see space for improvement? How about wider spread of AF points across the frame? How about faster and yet more accurate? Seriously dude?

        • sadfdf

          I feel your pain, I won’t buy a 2500$ 300 f4 VRII as I’m just an amateur. I’d much rather spend that money travelling.

          • fred

            As and amateur, I’d buy the current 300mm AF-S model, cost about $1100, nothing wrong with it, nice and sharp!, get it before it goes.

        • RBR

          Is Nikon killing itself with its out-of-touch marketing? They seem to be in the habit of underwhelming their potential customers as well as the existing user base. The exception seems to be the very top-of-the-line products used by a comparatively small number of purchasers. (Just how large can the D4 market be.)

          To make matters worse, pricing was set when the Yen/Dollar exchange rate was 78 and it presently 99.

          The example of the new 80-400mm pricing is used. If the production costs truly have risen to the point that its price is justified, Nikon is in big, big trouble. The potential market for the new lens is a great deal less than the old one which tends to make the changes a self-fulfilling prophesy of doom. One might expect the current down trend in the camera market to be a changing market rather than a temporary sales slump. Although other camera manufacturers are making errors not entirely different from those of Nikon, at least one, Canon, is better positioned to survive this mess because of its greater diversification. The camera divisions of Panasonic and Olympus are not quite on a “death watch”, but their management expects them to return to profitability or face the consequences. Olympus has its own financial scandal to deal with and Sony have brought some relief, but it has problems of its own. One should not forget that Olympus have left the camera market once before.

          In my view, there simply is no rational justification for the enormous price increase of the 80-400mm. It portends bad things for Nikon’s future, both as to this particular product and the management team which chose this course of action.

          If the long awaited 300mm f4 is similarly priced, I suspect sales to be a “disappointment” to Nikon, but a surprise to few others.

    • Paul

      Yup I am waiting for that camera to purchase as a second body. I want a DX sensor but I am holding back until this comes out. Want sales Nikon? Build this camera!

    • enchanted

      YES!

    • RBR

      I would add refined image sensor and processing (for noise reduction) and enough buffer to avoid the buffer overrun issues of the D7000.

      Nikon needs to get such a body in the hands of customers before it is so late to market that it gets skipped altogether to bring out a delayed D500.

      I just do not think Nikon has any understanding of the demand for a D300s replacement. The lack of understanding of the market on the part of Nikon is the most troubling part of all this.

  • Plug

    For wildlife/birds which is my hobby I would like lightweight reach and have been imagining a D400 + 300f4 as a carry about, easier and quicker to use alternative to my D800 + 300f2.8 + TC14/17 but with improved fps, buffer ability etc. I don’t see justifying the expense of a 300f4 without a D400.

    • Jeroen Wijnands

      300mm is short for birds

      • Plug

        Not so much so on DX but definitely yes on FX.

        • AM

          300mm is 300mm either on DX or FX.
          Do you want more reach? Just buy the Coolpix P520 and you will have your bogus 1000mm.

          • Remedy

            You might wanna get a grip with reality.

            • AM

              Reality?
              Tell me what that I wrote is not true.
              All that “extra reach” due to crop factor is pure marketing BS.

            • peterw

              hihi
              never shot birds, did you?

              the ‘pure marketing’ extra reach DS, has some real world fairy-like aspects.

              ‘Several’ times I could take pictures of a wild bird with FX and the wideangle lens set to 17mm… about 4 times in 10 years. Lovely moments…

              My other favorite lenses for birds are a 300 F4 on DX camera for close flight pictures (handheld, used about 5% of the time) and a 500 F4, sadly mostly on DX and allmost allways with tc14 E-II (used the remaining 94,99%).
              Great results, these long lenses on DX camera’s. These long lenses give extra reach… as does the DX camera. Or do you think one should buy a 800 F5.6 instead? ;).
              As a matter of fact, some people make great pictures with an Olympus E3 (or what is it called?) and its 300F2,8. There is no Coolpix which is suitable for this.

              serious:

              It would be nice if this new 300 F4 would focus to something like 0,7 m (it will not), and if it would remain 300mm at all focussing distances. No focus breathing, please… please…

      • http://zhovtenko.net/ Vsevolod Zhovtenko

        With modern cameraswith super pixel density 300mm in not short at all

    • Keith Homan

      Why not just buy the 80-400mm for birds?

      • AM

        Slow AF and soft at 400mm, even the new one.

        • Keith Homan

          I’ll have to disagree. That lens is very fast and is sharp at 400mm. My friend has it and gets amazing pictures on both his D800 and D4. We plan to actually test it against my 200-400mm F/4 though.

        • Remedy

          Bullshit and bullshit. Wow double bullshit in one sentence. That’s quite an achievement. Not only this new 80-400 is pretty fking sharp at 400 it also has one of the fastest AF. Again, get some grip with reality.
          Quote from SLRgear review: “Optically this lens is excellent, producing very sharp photos on both full-frame and sub-frame cameras even at wide-open apertures throughout the zoom range. Other image quality factors like chromatic aberration, distortion and vignetting were all well behaved and minimal. Autofocus performance was outstanding with fast and accurate AF”. Let me rephrase it for You: autofocus performance was OUTSTANDING.

          Get it?

          • AM

            The new 80-400mm is a major step forward over the previous version. Yes, AF is faster and it’s sharper at any focal length. But, it’s a known fact that over 300mm, even the new version performs like a kit lens, AF gets slower and sharpness gets a big hit.

            Is it a good lens? Yes. Is it outstanding? No.

            Somebody purchasing this lens would expect better performance at the long end for the price they’re paying.

  • Jeff Shapiro

    BUELLER, BUELLER (D400)??

  • groucher

    I hope the third camera will be a gimmick-free retro camera and not just a retro design.

    • fred

      Why can’t the 3rd body be a ‘high margin’ D400?
      The demand is certainly there, just step up and supply it!

      If no announcement by Christmas I’m buying a D7100,

      I cannot wait forever for the D400. Too bad for Nikon, the D400 would be greater money for them, a missed opportunity.

      I cannot afford a D800 (for that money I’d rather buy glass) and the D600 is hobbled.
      My old tough D300S will be a back-up.

      • RBR

        You might want to wait until the CES early next year.

  • groucher

    Nikon need to ensure that the new 300mm lens retains the minimum focus distance (just over a metre) – the current lens is excellent for near macro work.

    • Brian

      Yep. One of the sharpest lenses I own and I have a 300 F/2.8 and 800 F/5.6. I use it all the time for macro.

      • Dpablo unfiltered

        The minimum focus is what???

        • groucher

          Just over a metre.

          • Dpablo unfiltered.

            Weird. My 300 2.8 probably can’t focus in less than 3 meters. I’ve never seen a 300 2.8 lens that can focus in anything like that. Or are you talking about the 300 f4? (Small element lenses commonly can focus much closer…)

          • peterw

            1,45 m
            sadly Nikon doesn’t offer good extension rings, so you need a 36mm Kenko rubbish to get to a meter. great for bigger butterflies and dragonflies.

  • Antonio

    I really would like to see the nikon internal study showing how much money they are leaving on the table by not making a D400…
    Or maybe they can’t do it good enough for expectations at a competitive price (kind of doubt it…).
    I would consider a D7100, but paying almost double of a D7000, I just don’t see it; for me, half the value in upgrading would be for the Dxxx type controls and layout (and the grip fits my hand better :)).

    • AM

      They’re not leaving significant money on the table. otherwise they would have released it already.
      Sorry to break it to you, but the D400 is not a big market. Entry-level consumer DSLR is.

      • umeshrw

        I feel they are still hellbent on making people go towards FF and hence higher priced lenses which is higher profit margin. D400 is big market but the lenses for it is not. They would not consider D400 unless they bleed very badly.

        • fred

          I use the full-frame 80-400mm and 300mm f4 AFS on my DX body. Happy to stay DX too…where is my D400, NIKON??

      • Starfires

        How can you be so sure? I wonder, was the 7D a poor seller (as that’s what this would compete with)? The problem for Nikon is it might confuse their customers as to how to upgrade. The message right now is the only real upgrade is FX.

  • Arkasai

    As always the comments are rife with D400 lust. I won’t complain this time because I see some merit to the comments. I’m not sure there will be much of a market for a D4X with all those D800′s out there. So a high performance pro/enthusiast weather sealed APS-C camera would generate higher demand and profits.

    Like a million others I’d love to see Nikon build a legit retro styled digital camera. They’re really shooting themselves in the foot by not leveraging their iconic photographic history in modern products. If done right, Nikon could steal the RX1 market from Sony, making a retro styled full frame that takes SP lenses.

  • whoami5423

    I’m not sure how to take this news. This means we are either getting cheaper builds so there is a greater profit margin or that we can expect to pay through the nose for new products. Given the competition (Sigma’s new lenses; Canon’s competitive options), this does not look like a good long-term solution for Nikon! Perhaps I could recommend a better alternative: Release the D300s and D700 upgrades that people are actually looking for! Price them competitively and I’m sure things will look a lot better fairly quickly.

  • Aldo

    I don’t know why some of you ask for “pro built” … yet you want to replace bodies every year…

    • Joseph Li

      good point!

      • Global

        Love it — Sigma goes “Artisan class” — sharper and cheaper than Nikon. Meanwhile, Nikon goes “Cheap and High Margin” and plans to save their brand by charging consumers even more for even less. Wonderful.

        Be prepared to start using Sigma glass instead of Nikon soon — those of you with a 35/1.4, already know this!

        • Nikon

          Never use Sigma glass. You get yourself into a lot of trouble (quite often). And sharpness is not everything, only for pixelpeepers but not for real photographers.

          • Global

            You obviously haven’t tried their 35/1.4. By the way — I am not talking about Old Sigma glass (that glass is TERRIBLE).

            But it seems Nikon is ALLOWING Sigma to take their business more and more. And Sigma is starting to step up to the plate, while Nikon is intentionally — in stated goals — going to step backwards.

            My bet right now is that Nikon continues to lose money. (And I love Nikon — I wouldn’t switch. But the N1 was terrible, they don’t understand their D400 customers, and their glass is starting to fall behind competitors in certain field lengths).

            • Megadon357

              ” But the N1 was terrible…”

              Says another person who never used one. The V1/V2 cameras are super fast and very fun. Sold my OM-D once I tried out the V1. I hope Nikon continues producing great lenses like the 32mm f/1.2, the 18.5mm f/1.8 and the 6.7-13mm wide zoom.

            • CXfan

              The 1 system has a lot of potential. I think the CX format is the perfect size for a mirrorless system and already we have those fantastic lenses. The problem is and has always been a lack of a compelling body to go with them. Personally i’d prefer to ditch DSLR and build a system around high quality CX lenses. That 32 f1.2 is the most interesting thing to come out of Nikon in a long time. But where is the camera to drive it? Give me the D4 of the Nikon 1 system, add 1 or 2 more lenses [maybe a non-pancake 10mm f2 and a 40mm Macro] and i’m in heaven.

            • Global

              Exactly. Not everything needs to be “dumbed down” just because its small.

            • groucher

              The N1 System also has the 10-30mm and 30-110mm VR zooms that give a FF equivalent of about 27 to 300mm in two lenses that will fit in a pocket. Sharpness of both lenses is excellent. Then there’s the FF adapter that gives access to all of Nikon’s FF and DX lenses with full electronic control of the lenses with IF. The N1 is a brilliant system and, thanks to the ignorant comments that appear on these forums, the V1 is now very well priced.

            • Global

              I’ve used one — you probably have never used a D700 or D4, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. When I pick up the D700, it focuses instantly and I can just take a shot. Not to mention it was ergonomically garbage.

            • enchanted

              I agree.

            • Photobug

              Note, the new name is the D9000, not D400. This fits the category and has been rumored for over a month…the new name not the actual manufacturing of the DSLR..

          • Matthew Fleisher

            Of course Nikon would say that. Give us a real reason.

            • Dpablo Unfiltered

              The real reason is that they put a lot of features into the mounts for things that they aren’t discussing because they don’t want the competition to know what they are getting ready to bring on. Well that means that the people who are reverse engineering the mounts are only hoping that they have everything covered. Fortunately this has bit the asses of Canon users many more times than it has Nikon users, but some of the earliest lenses don’t work on most recent Nikon cameras also.
              I also agree about sharpness. There are some lenses that are measurably very sharp that I avoid using because the rendition of the colors is so compromised that I have a hard time imagining what I will get. My early Sigma 21-35 is one such lens.
              My guess is they used it to shoot the first Black Sabbath album cover…

          • snakebunk

            I have only used Sigma lenses and I have never had any problems with them.

            • Dpablo Unfiltered

              Some sigma lenses are ok. You should get a sigma camera to go with your sigma lenses and quit wanting an update for your 300. You probably wouldn’t have a problem with that…

            • snakebunk

              I’m very interested in the Sigma cameras and the great image quality of the Foveon sensor. But they are not very fast, they have bad iso performance, I can not use Lightroom with them (if I understand it correctly) and none of my lenses has a Sigma mount.

              Have you tried any of the Sigma cameras?

              Right now I think Nikon cameras and Sigma lenses are a great combination, but I do miss a D400 as you point out.

            • Dpablo unfiltered

              One of the main things that I like about sigma is that the effect that they are going for with their coatings is the same as that of Nikon where other makers are going for their own effect mostly. That said, they don’t even come close. It’s just like most off brands, sometimes everything is great and you are wondering why you need the real thing and sometimes you have a bad sky or a bad processing and then it’s really clear. Nothing can touch my 100-300 f4 but I’d much rather have that lens if I could send it to the Nikon factory and have it recoated. It’s a fairly recent lens. It doesn’t look too much different than the Quantaray stuff I tried before. All of this is better than the 21-35 zoom, which was the first zoom that went that wide.
              Maybe they have the coatings better yet on the 35. I won’t know until I use one.
              But the 100-300 was fairly recent and was a top dollar well built piece of metal, so I’m going to consider that it represents the best of what the company had either until recently or until this day. And much of the Nikon that I compare it negatively against is as much as 40 years old.
              And when I’m talking about the color… I’m talking like on a fast lens stopped down a bit, not a slow plastic zoom. Invest 75 or 220 and get a Nikon 50 f1.8. Invest 300 or 500 and get a Nikon 85 f1.8…

          • BroncoBro

            I’ve made a lot of money with my Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 DC. Great lens if you know how to use it.

          • Jeroen Wijnands

            Sigma makes lenses that are good enough for most people and that are affordable to a lot more people than the nikon equivalents. Nikon does not seem to consider that important.

          • Benni

            sigmas 150 f2,8 and 180 f2,8 macros are excellent. The 200:f4 macro of nicon can not really compete with that. Surely, the 200:4 macro is build like a tank, but it is outdated, compared to these excellent sigma macros. I would want from nikon a 300:f4, with AF-S and VR, and compact a 400:f5,6 AF-S vr, a compact 500:f5,6 Af-S vr, and then two macros: A 150 f2,8 AF-S vr and a 200:f 4 Af-S vr. These telephoto lenses should also use the new fluorite lense elements that nikon is now capable of to make.

            • RBR

              Is Nikon moving to fluorite lenses?

        • HotDuckZ
        • Fabricio

          Sigma produces great lenses that are underestimated. I’ve got a 70-200 2.8 OS and that’s a pretty sharp lens, with great colors. Maybe the weakest point in a sigma lens is the AF speed. In image quality, nothing to envy from Nikkors.
          (I have also a Nikkor 24-70 2.8 to compare… to make it clear).

    • juandiegojr

      I started to think if Nikon would include a neckstrap with “Nikon D7100″ some D400 hopers will open their eyes

    • snakebunk

      Nikon D300s was released four years ago. It would not be “every year” to replace it now. Sorry if I misunderstand you.

    • Photo-Jack

      In fact it is not expecting pro updates every year. The call for new bodies rather comes from Nikon first listen to their consumer biased markteting department, second looks for what Canon is doing.
      Existing customers wanted a D700 upgrade, neither the D800 nor the D600 is. (don’t get me wrong: for my purposes the D800 is the best camera one could possibly buy at the time!) The D7100 is no replacement for the 300s.
      One of the things I liked a lot about the past generation was, that one could use the same asssessories with them, like handgrip, remote controls etc. Now one have to lug around seperate stuff for almost every body. Of course that isn’t relevant for consumers who have one body with a kitlens.It was Nikon’s decision to participate in the maker’s rat-race having to produce stuff for a kind of people who “need” to change their cameras as much as women their dresses. Hopefully they’re healed by now.

      • enchanted

        Well said.

  • Brian

    $2400

  • saywhatuwill

    I don’t like those words “products that have a higher profit margin.” That usually means JACK UP THE PRICES. Does that mean we’ll see a D4x for $10,300 that really only costs them not more than a regular D4?

    • AnthonyH

      Not necessarily. Point and shoots have little profit margin while SLRs and lenses have higher profit margins. Thus, the statement likely means that Nikon will focus more on SLRs and lenses and less on point and shoots.

      • Plug

        Yes lenses have a higher profit margin but not without an appropriate body to put them on.

        • AM

          There are plenty of appropriate bodies to put them on already.

          • Plug

            I am not disputing that. My D300s is a very good camera. I just want better and then I will be bothered to upgrade lenses. D7100 is not enough to be called top of range DX. Better glass deserves a better body.

            • juandiegojr

              because doesn’t have a 3 digits model number¿?¿?

            • http://zhovtenko.net/ Vsevolod Zhovtenko

              Beacuse doesn’t have:
              full metal chasis
              comparable to D300s buffer
              Support for CF cards
              Superior ergonomics
              all those buttons for setting adjustment

              Basically top-end DX body should be like D800 in terms of build quality.ergonomics, buttons.

              Remember how d300 and d700 were alike?
              D700 got upgraded to d800, while d300 doesn’t have an upgrade.

        • David k

          Oh Christ! You aren’t whining about a non existant D400 are you? Buy a D800e or a D600 and then go take some pictures!

          • Plug

            I want something to complement my D800, but is DX for reach, has a large buffer and high fps. ie something to replace my D300s.

          • patto01

            I think it’s more appropriate to complain that Nikon doesn’t make a camera with the specs he wants than to endlessly complain about focus and dust issues that were fixed months ago. Either way, I’m pretty sure “Christ” isn’t complaining. He can make any kind of camera he wants!

    • Gly

      Unfortunately Nikon is hurting. Expect to be gouged as they try and make up for losses in the last quarters.

      • RBR

        Even amongst Japanese companies which are reluctant to force management changes, sooner or later it must become evident that the current management team have led the company astray. As a company which is not diversified, Nikon can not afford many such missteps.

    • IslandNature

      Or it means making the cameras/lenses at a lower cost – Thailand, Philippines, China – and keeping the prices the same or slightly higher. Of course, doing so could generate QC problems which could impact sales …. bit of a Catch-22.

  • Pixyst

    How about a true rangefinder? No need to let Leica have that market all to themselves. How about some truly high end primes – ones that can deliver ALL that the D800/E has to offer?

    • preston

      True rangefinder means bad for zoom lenses, bad for telephoto shooting, and no autofocus. Doesn’t sound like a very appealing market to me. There is a reason nobody is trying to challenge Leica in this market.

      • Mr. Mamiya

        Have you ever tried a Fuji X100? Their hybrid viewfinder is great and you can switch from “true rangefinder” to EVF. It even has AF and you could use any lens you can imagine using the EVF.

  • click

    Maybe the D400 will be an FX Camera an much cheaper than the D600. Because Nikon will have more DSLRs for the entry level.

    • patto01

      The name, in this case D400, is not as important as the specs which necessarily would be DX. There’s already an FX camera with the other specs everyone wants in a D400: it’s called D4.

      • RBR

        The one spec that is not there is $$$.
        ;-)

        • patto01

          Well, as they say, “if you have to ask…” :-)

    • fred

      The FX D600 is already hobbled.
      Cheaper D600 version means even more hobbled.
      Happy with slower shutter? say 2000th sec? Flash sync 125th sec? Smaller buffer?
      Maybe all plastic?….Nooooo thanks!
      A D400 has to be top-end DX.

      • bad vibes

        I don’t really care about a faster shutter… I want a camera with less mirror slap and shutter vibration so I don’t have to use mirror lock up so often. We are getting to the point with these cameras that any vibration shows up in the picture. It’s getting so bad I’m thinking of encasing my D7000 in 200 or 300 lbs of concrete with holes for the lens, shutter, battery door and viewfinder.

        • peterw

          bad vibes, good point… ;)

  • Michael

    I personally am not saying we need it but, with the Olympics in Sochi in February, I am surprised that Nikon is not putting out a D4s as a new high speed sports model. The Olympics is a popular time to release these. Again, I am not saying we need a D4s, I am just making a point. Personally, I am looking to add a D4x to my toolbox.

  • Alley Oop

    A 300 f/4 with VR is much needed! There’s currently no compliment to the Canon 300 f/4 IS, which is great for sports.

    • Remedy

      Sorry but my Nikkor 300mm f/4 AF-S sitting on a tripod says different.

      • PeterO

        I use mine for sports handheld. 1/500, wide open produces razor sharp images. The bokeh is gorgeous. Tripod for slower speeds

    • catinhat

      You don’t need VR/IS for sports at all, unless you’re shooting chess. :-)

      • Remedy

        Hahahahah! So true. :D

      • AM

        Chess is not a sport, but Poker and Spelling Bee are, according to ESPN.

      • SI

        VR is very useful for panning shots of motorsports, cycling, horse races, track and field…..

  • whisky

    i wouldn’t be surprised to see a shorter 300mm f4 with diffraction optics at around 3K. an innovative design like that would be much more likely to generate interest and a healthier margin than a regular 300mm G w/VR at $2K.

    while they’re at it, how about an improved TC-14E w/ED for the new 300mm as well as the 80-400mm G. that might command $600 plus and help Nikon to further cushion their failed marketing division.

    • decisivemoment

      Even with diffraction optics, $2K is pushing it; as for a plain old G with VR, bear in mind Canon charges $1,349 for an excellent example thereof, and $2K would be plain insulting.

      • Remedy

        Nobody at Nikon cares how much Canon charges for their OLD AS A COLE 300mm f/4 L. You hear me? NOBODY CARES at Nikon. That’s why they are gonna charge 2000$ for it.
        Does Sony care their 500mm is nearly twice the price of what competition costs? Do they?! No.
        Did Canon care when they released new version of 24-70 f/2.8? It’s plastic, not that big optical improvement and yet they charge twice as much. And they didn’t even add IS. Did they care how much the old version cost?

        Sorry for ruining Your perfect world.

        • decisivemoment

          No need to be belligerent.

        • http://wealthbuilderbiz.com/ WealthBuilderBiz

          Woke up on the wrong side of the bed today?

          • Remedy

            My bed has only 1 side, right one.

        • patto01

          I’m not sure your examples are that good. Sony isn’t really competing with Nikon or Canon. Canon, as the top dog, isn’t always looking over their shoulder at Nikon. I don’t think they’re waiting for the D400 to release the 7D Mark II, while the anouncement of the 7D Mark II seems to be the only thing holding up the D400.
          Sony and Canon both enjoy other, larger, divisions to make money. Nikon has other optics divisions but is mostly a one trick pony.
          Or not!

    • RBR

      Someone should invite Nikon’s marketing division to take a long walk off a short pier.

  • Marco Santa Cruz

    HIGHER PROFIT MARGINS… means… cheaper materials (plastic?)… and prices higher than expected.

    • fjfjjj

      This is the moment when Nikon might lose the plot, by putting growth before quality. So many companies fail this way. So many must eventually reorganize and shrink, if they can make it that far. I’m sad to imagine Nikon giving up its legacy of slow methodical engineering focus to make some cheap high-margin crap. Let’s hope they don’t end up like Polaroid or Kodak… or Hasselblad.

      • Sundra Tanakoh

        I agree. I guess it is time to pick up a second D800 backup.

    • David K

      A higher profit margin model may mean simply focusing on the highest IQ products and no longer trying to compete with inexpensive compact cameras, cell phone cameras and entry level DSLRs. Frankly, this makes some sense to me.

    • sdancer

      Higher profit margins ultimately means higher prices paid by people who are willing to pay them, i.e., not consumer mass market.

      Heck, if they want margin, they should ditch the consumer market altogether and focus on industrial and medical imaging; maybe pro photography has a place in there, but I’d even question that.

  • Bored…

    D400 please!!!!! No more entry level!!! All present entry level and pro market waits for upgrade to lightweight superb quality DX 400 product with all the Bells and whistles of todays features!!! It must be kill seller.for sure. Read this 1000000 of times to Nikon CEOs.

    • RBR

      There’s a thought. If someone had the Nikon CEO’s email address, inundate him with “I want my D400!” emails.

  • Jon Ingram

    Wow, so if I’m reading this right, nikon will not be focusing on compacts as much, may start emphasizing dslr’s of other mystery products which have a higher profit margin, may also gouge photographers in the process, and will also be making their products more cheaply. Really sounds to me like this is a good short term profit idea but an awful long term strategy, both fiscally and in terms of customer base. Hope they get progressive in some other areas and stay true to their dedicated customers. Statements like this make it sound like they don’t care at all about thier customers, only their share holders.

  • James Donahue

    How about a rangefinder of the type of the Fuji x100s that would used all or most all of nikons present and furture lenses without some overpriced adapter

    • IslandNature

      The Fuji X100S is a very fine camera in its own right although not without its quirks (find the focus point thing a little fiddly compared to the D600 … but at least the Fuji covers the whole sensor, manual focus is excellent). I guess Nikon’s “equivalent” is the Coolpix A. Sounds like you’re thinking more along the lines of the XPro1 or the X-E1 which have interchangeable lenses.

  • fjfjjj

    This is the moment when Nikon might lose the plot, by putting growth
    before quality. So many companies fail this way. So many must eventually
    reorganize and shrink, if they can make it that far. I’m sad to imagine
    Nikon giving up its legacy of slow methodical engineering focus to make
    some cheap high-margin crap. Let’s hope they don’t end up like Polaroid
    or Kodak… or Hasselblad.

    • Aldo

      ok we got it lol.

    • GettingWorried

      I think Nikon have already lost the plot to be honest. The market is just too crowded not to be innovating. All we have gotten this year in camera bodies is arguably the one thing almost nobody needs, and thats more megapixles. Same ages old autofocus across the range, same shitty video specs and performance, same dynamic range. Painfully slow rollout of G versions of important lenses like this 300 f4. Continued absence of pro DX like D400. D4 being upstaged by features in Canons 1D for the first time in years.
      My impression is that they are a company that doesn’t know who it is anymore in this market. Meanwhile there’s more competition than ever competing for our attention.
      The problem Nikon has now is Sony. A gigantic company that went through hard times recently and has unfortunately for Nikon, and fortunately for everyone in the market for the next great thing, decided that it wants a larger piece of the pie in the top end of the camera market. They are poised to imminently release a plethora of new cameras to market that to me seem to be a generation ahead of where Nikon is at. And they are bringing lenses too. Add that to the fact that Sigma seems to have decided that they want to be a 3rd party lens manufacturer with products above the big 2 in quality instead of below… and Zeiss entering the market again at the high high end. Schnieder doing interesting things with cinema lenses aimed at DSLR users. Canon turning their L-series lenses into Cinema primes. I just see Nikon losing their long held place as the smaller of the big 2 who charge a little more and make stuff a little better. They have lost their momentum in the market, and others are aggressively going after their piece of the pie. 6 months from now its entirely possible Nikon could well be in free fall.

      • Photdog

        As far as Sony is concerned I don’t agree! Sony went a different avenue with their SLTs, which will never convince me. Sony’s XQD cards are another example in the line of betamax, where Sony can/couldn’t make success of good technology. (to my knowledge the D4 is still the only device employing XQD-cards) The real threat from Sony is rather Nikon’s dependency on Sony’s sensors and the possibility that Sony could develop intentions to buy Nikon if Nikon gets considerably weaker.
        The rise of internet and social media pushed up the demand in simple manageable cameras. This temporarily opened oportunities for a fast growing p&s market. But then cell phones took over as their technology has reached a standard in IQ which is sufficient for the most of the consumers. As they take their phone with them anytime anyway, a p&s has become a redundant device.
        Demand is still there, where people have higher expectations on IQ and want to be in control in the process of taking images. But Nikon’s products below the D7100 fulfill that only in a limited way. Thus pursuing this avenue becomes increasingly riding a dead horse.
        The call for Nikon is to return to their traditional values: making high end photogear.
        All the time I’ve read NR hardly anyone called for a D4x. And I wonder what that would be: a highspeed D800 in a large body? A large body with a 54MP sensor? But at the same time hundreds of readers voiced their demand for a D400 which certainly does already exist somewhere in the Nikon organization. Actually I believe the have already the fourth or fifth generation sitting in their shelves as the rumors of an upcoming D400 are going on for 3 years by now.
        Same in the mirrorless setion. Nikon A is sqeezed by the Fuji XE-1 on one side and by the Sony RX1 on the other side. As it isn’t even a sytem camera it rather appears as an overpriced halfdone product.
        I think the 14-24/2.8 introduced in 2007 is a very good example of how a really welldone product can last many years. It is almost 7 years old but still an unquestioned reference in its class. That is what Nikon needs more of.

    • js200022

      Great post. That is Nikon today.

    • Captain Megaton

      “giving up its legacy of slow methodical engineering focus to make some cheap high-margin crap”

      The are outsourcing the manufacture point-and-shoot to Chinese OEMs to keep costs down, vs. making them in Nikon factories in China. You gotta wonder how that makes it cheaper, and the answer is probably “you don’t wanna know…”

      Then the are going to make more new lenses and more new cameras more often, and price them sky high, so as to more efficiently milk the legions of Nikon users who simply must have the latest model of everything.

      I can’t speak for the Nikon legacy, but I have noticed a gradually hardening cynicism coming from the company in recent years. Less “how can be build a great camera?” and more “how do we get people to give us more money?”

  • f4 lovin gimme

    OHHH MAAHHH GAAAWWWDD gimme gimme some F4 lovin. 16-35mm 70-200mm 300mm

    • patto01

      I don’t think anyone will give it to you but they’re certainly for sale! :-)

  • FredBear

    Funnily enough I was looking at some 300 F4 pictures last night. the quality of this lens is outstanding (including the bokeh). Many pictures were taken at or around 100/200 hand held and were a bit ‘softish’ due to motion blur and I was regretting that the lens didn’t have VR. I’ll be first in line if Nikon bring out a VR version as long as the IQ isn’t affected.

    As for the ‘mystery camera’, Nikon couldn’t do badly by bringing out a small mirror-less DX camera. How many times do hear complaints of people wanting a smaller ‘walk-around’ camera with great IQ to go with a walk-around lens? Nikon 1 just didn’t hit the mark – why another set of lenses when the DX set isn’t up to scratch to start with? The costs of a new design team, manufacturing et al for a separate Nikon 1 camera system just doesn’t ‘compute’.

    • RBR

      Mirrorless requires an entirely new lens system or adapters to make do. Part of the mirrorless systems’ attraction is size. Nikon have enough trouble keeping their existing lineup up-to-date as it is. I do not see the company being capable of doing both.

      That said, Nikon is very late to the mirrorless party if they intend to join it.

      • FredBear

        Iff you want a smaller body then yes, one must change the flange to sensor plane distance which will require a different set of lenses.
        However, just by removing the mirror does not mean that one has to change the focal distance – and one can still then use all the FF and DX Nikon lenses.

        Unless one goes to a very small sensor size one doesn’t get a big advantage in system mass/size either.

  • KnightPhoto

    Where a 300 f/4 DO VRII lens would be great, is on the Nikon 1 series. I hope that rumour is true!

  • the grammer girls

    “At that point I expect Nikon to release a new…”
    Once again, the phrase is, “at THIS point…” THIS not that…

  • Kakamoto

    EXCLUSIVE FOR NR :

    We overheard Nikon reps discussing about the new D400 being assembled in this very moment in the new Nikon factory of Savannaketh, LAOS ! We’ve spotted a japanese photographer here in Phnom Penh shooting with a nikon camera without model number and he claimed “it’s a prototype”, it looked like a D300s but with bigger LCD and a few more buttons, he also stated it’s coming out soon !

    • NRA Advocate

      BS!

      There is not, nor will there ever be, a D400. Having a debate about this camera is like having a debate about a unicorn.

      • FredBear

        Leave us Unicorns out of your arguments please!

      • umeshrw

        And here he is.

      • KnightPhoto

        GO ahead, those of you who think there won’t be a D400, explain the D7100 miniscule buffer. Tell us about how that’s going to stand up against the 7d mkii (let alone the mki).
        CLEARLY a Nikon DX camera with a larger buffer is on its way :-)

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      Picture or it did not happen.

    • AM

      Coming out soon? The photographer or the Nikon rep?

  • Cyrille Berger

    I always wondered. Am I the only one who would want a ligth weight 300mm ? Like about the size of the 70-300mm, but with single focal for higher image quality, but that don’t weight 1.5kg and don’t require a tripod.

  • Peet

    300 f/4 is great, but what about 400 f/4. That would be greater.

    • Steve Griffin

      The price of the telephoto’s (and the gaps in the range) is the biggest disappointment for me since buying into Nikon. The new 300/4 VR will probably cost $2200+ because of the new design and the VR. They’d be wanting to clear stock of the current lens without losing sales as well.

      I’m starting to wonder if a Canon APS-C camera body for telephoto use might be a good idea. I have a K-5 but that’s *only* 16MP and 24 would be a better bet for Tele’ work I think.

      I would prefer a 400mm that’s light and portable as well but I doubt they want to limit their 200-400 F4 and 400 f2.8 sales – although I can’t imagine them flying out the door at the prices anyway.

      I’m also not sure if VR is all that necessary for birding and sport either as the shutter speed is usually as high as possible for that kind of shooting so I will probably just keep my 300/4.

      • RBR

        The 200-400 and 400 f2.8 really appeal to a different user base. I doubt that their sales would be canabilized by an “affordable 400mm f4 because those who would buy it simply are not in the market for either the 200-400 or the 400 f2.8. Those lenses are not even considered in purchasing decisions by the overwhelming majority of potential “affordable” 400 f4 purchasers.

  • jk

    I want a small 400f5.6 with VR2 , Canon has a good 400mm f5.6 but it does not have IS.
    But to be honest , the current 300f4 AF-D is not that bad , it is pretty sharp even on the D800E , just need a tripod.

    • Neopulse

      IS at that focal length handheld is not a good idea. Use a monopod :-)

  • Smudger

    If it happens it will be @ twice the price of the old 300mm
    Now that the D4xx is best regarded as discontinued WTF is the D500??

  • robert

    So expect overpriced crappy quality products as usual…
    So basically same ole same ole. So basically nikon is on course for failure.

  • Aston

    Nikon shoots itself in the foot if it thinks profitability doesn’t come from its extensive and existing DX users. How many are waiting for higher end DX equipment such as a D400 or 24-70/2.8 equivalent and would spend vs speculative smartphone users upgrading? Wakeywakey Nikon!

  • Anonymous Coward

    You can get to higher margins by eliminating components too. Especially big, heavy, expensive and hard-to-align mechanical and optical components that, unlike electronic components, don’t go down in cost over time. More mirrorless and EVF?

  • http://www.postlinearity.com gregorylent

    keeping with the general nikon discussion here apart from the 300mm … nikon need to up its video game

    canon c100, c300, using canon lenses, is a fabulous thing .. nikon has nothing

  • FredBear

    Well we’ve had cameras now with different colours, how about cameras with different flavours?
    When one has finally licked one’s way through the camera body it’s time for a new one – thus creating a self perpetuating market!
    Why have a pink camera if it doesn’t taste of strawberries or a yellow one that doesn’t taste like banana?

  • Quit hating on D7100

    The D7100 is worlds better — worlds better — than the D300s. More sharp, better IQ, better AF, to name a few. The D300s has more buffer space and a slightly bigger body. The D7100 isn’t poorly constructed — it’s chasis is fully magnesium alloy, it’s fully weather-sealed. The buffer issue isn’t even an issue with 95mbs cards. I’m a full-time PJ, I know, I take long bursts, the buffer hasn’t been an issue.

    • decisivemoment

      As a PJ, you’re presumably using JPEGs most of the time, which the D7100 is more than equipped to handle. I think most of the “hating” or at least buffer anxiety is over the problems it has with NEF files.

    • umeshrw

      We don’t hate it. We are just saddened by thinking how good it could have been with just a slight tweaking and a few additions. We could even have accepted not getting a D400.

      • Smudger

        Yep, you have to wonder why even the D3200 has a much bigger RAW buffer.

  • LobsterHat

    Why doesn’t someone make a good APS-C 300mm prime lens? It would be cheaper, lighter, and of course a 450mm equivalent. There are a lot of people who use crop mode/crop sensor with long lenses for the extra reach (especially hobbyists). All that is available now for APS-C are super-zoom variable aperture lenses.

    To step up to this prime is going to be an 8x increase in price compared to the 55-300mm VR 4.5-5.6 which is commonly available for $250 in combos. There is of course the 18-300, but that is a primarily a convenience lens for ~$1000, and I don’t think the IQ is much of an upgrade if any.

    I’m sure this lens will be great, but for $2K as some are projecting, I think that many hobbyists will be discouraged.

    • AM

      A good APS-C 300mm prime lens would be expensive anyway.
      DX lenses are cheap because their optics are crappy. The only descent DX lenses are priced similar to their FX equivalents: DX 17-55mm f/2.8 ~ FX 24-70mm f/2.8, and DX 35mm f/1.8g ~ FX 50mm f/1.8g.
      So, for the money you would spend on a 300mm telephoto, it would make more sense to buy an FX lens that you could use whether on an FX body or an DX body.

      • LobsterHat

        The two primes (35 and 50) you site are about as cheap as usable lenses get. The 17-55 is usually $400-500 less than the 24-70, which amounts to a 22-28% “DX discount”. Some people would consider that a pricing tier, but in the world of cameras it is, to your point, relatively insignificant considering most prices increase 50-100% as one upgrades. I based my DX discount theory (ie. that it could be significant) on comparing the 55-300 DX to the 70-300 FX or the 18-200 DX to the 28-300 FX. You can also see this in 3rd party lenses, like the Tokina 11-16 DX vs the 16-28 FX (looks like they are now ~$550 vs ~$800). It does seem like the DX discount diminishes with fixed aperture lenses and possibly with moderate focal length primes. I still think (in my layman’s opinion) that if this lens is released with $2k price tag, that there may be an oppurtunity for Sigma (who has been doing good things for the APS-C market) to step in an offer something for DX/crop mode shooters at maybe $800-$1200.
        I don’t think a cropped telephoto lens would necessarily be a bad investment for anyone who planned to go FX in the future, since 300mm isn’t really that long. Personally, I shoot DX and I end up cropping many of my 300 mm shots (effectively 450mm) even further in post.

    • bossa

      Pentax makes the DA*300 f4 which is a great lens (better than my AF-S 300 F4). It has better coatings, is weather sealed.. blah blah blah. But it is really a FF lens though so maybe it doesn’t count ;-)

      • bossa

        PS. The DA*300 is around $1300 in OZ

    • http://zhovtenko.net/ Vsevolod Zhovtenko

      Pentax makes 560mm f5.6 DX lens!

  • Velas

    As a new product I would love a retro mirrorless full frame camera. It would make me forget about the sony nex and the fuji cameras.

  • byD7000blows

    Anyone know what would be the price difference between the FX (16 MP in the D4) and a DX (16 MP in D7000 or the 24 MP in the D7100) sensors. Is it really that much more expensive to manufacture a D600 because of a FX sensor in a D7000/D7100 body.

    Has there ever been a DX body with dual EXPEED processors?

    • Joseph Li

      I think Thom hogan’s website explained a little about the cost of sensor production…for all i know..it’s quite substantial. Like 4:1 or something like that, rather than a 1.5:1 that you would think in terms of physical sensor area.

      • Mike M

        Physical sensor area is more than double (864mm vs 370). The crop factor is based on ONLY the diagonal dimension (eg 1.5x). So 1. you’re using twice as much semiconductor grade silicon, and 2. your failure rate is doubled as well. And silicon wafers are ROUND so larger parts require more “wedges” of lost material. FX sensors cost 3-4x what DX do by most estimates.

        • BigEater

          Someone needs to fix that round wafer thing—it’s the 21st century, for Pete’s sake. Why are we still making our wafers round? What a waste! There must be at least one awesome engineer and Nikon enthusiast visiting this site who can come up with a way to make rectangular wafers; get on it guys and gals! Do it for the good of all Nikon shooters.

        • RBR

          There were extended discussions of sensor production on DPReview a while back.

          Thom Hogan had expressed the belief that DX sensors run about $50 and FX sensors run about $500, but then said “something has changed” with the release of the D800 and then D600.

          There are images on the ‘net which show the merge lines of the stitching process on Nikon sensors (there are two of them). Somewhat surprisingly, people in a position to know say that losses from the stitching process are comparatively small. This process is necessary for FX sensors because the aperture of the Nikon stepper used to image the sensor on the silicon wafer is not large enough to do so in a single pass (Canon’s stepper is capable of imaging each layer of a sensor in a single pass). This requires three masks and the time for the extra steps which affects costs and production capacity. Production has been on 200mm wafers, but some of the newer 300mm fans should be online by now.

          Nikon have been sourcing some of their sensor production with sources other than Sony. It will be interesting to see what progress is made in that effort.

          Moore’s observation does not benefit sensor production costs because of the fixed size of the sensor, but the process improvements which normally accompany a new node can help with yields. Increased computing capability of the ASIC processors does aid in the overall quest for improved IQ and high ISO performance.

    • http://zhovtenko.net/ Vsevolod Zhovtenko

      Manufacturing FX vs DX sensor has at
      least 2 implications on cost

      1. DX sized sensor can be laid in 1 go (it has to do
      with size of that thing that prints semiconductors on silicon base) While to
      print FX sensor you need “stitch” several DX sized areas which rises chances
      of mistake.

      2. Wafer is same in size for whatever you print, so
      you can place less FF sensors per wafer, and wafers do have “broken”
      silicon crystals, so imagine(I don’t know real numbers) you can place 20 DX
      sensors on 1 wafer. And if there is 1 broken crystal you end up with 1 of 20
      sensors malfunctioning, But with FX you can print only 10 sensors, so 1 of 10
      sensors will be broken. May be proportions are different, but in any cases you
      end up with higher percentage of broken FF sensors per wafer.

    • FredBear

      The problem is that the current silicon wafers are not optimised for sensors of FF cross-sectional area – in other words there’s a fair amount of waste. This is being remedied and hence the material costs will decrease.
      The other problem is that there is a higher probability of rejects on an FF sensor simply because of the larger surface area. But as technology improves so the reject rate will drop.
      Lastly is the economy of scale. The more FF sensors produced, the lower will be the fabrication costs per unit.

      Eventually the cost of a FF sensor will be similar to that of a crop.

  • d cartier

    Did Nikon shoot themselves in the foot by declaring they seek “higher profit margins”? Actually, they are probably just taking a page from Apple’s MO.
    The camera “biz” is a fickle game. I currently love my d600 for exactly the reasons I bought it. But when that elusive FF mirrorless comes out – with MF features like split screen focus and focus peaking (plus wider tonal range) – I will be right there, with all my manual capable glass (sell my one G lens, of course). DSLR bodies are essentially disposable, lenses are an investment. Too bad Nikon has let us all down (with a few notable exceptions) in the wide prime department – otherwise, I might be more of a long term brand loyalist.

    • FredBear

      Well said. Many waiting for a ‘real camera’ and not just another iteration of a too oft repeated design that is more ‘pretty’ to look at than ergonomically designed.

  • Andrew Gregg

    No D300s replacement? Disregarded.

  • Jose Martinez

    Jeeze it’s almost 2014 already, what about an HD4K video camera?

  • Jose Martinez

    Nikon needs to make an Android Smartphone with HD4K Video and 16MP still imaging chip to survive the year 2014

  • Jose Martinez

    With interchangable lenses as well.

  • Captain Megaton

    “shift towards newer products with higher product margins”

    Ah. So more new lenses at double the price of the ones they replace.

    • Smudger

      And opening the door wider for Sigma……

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