My intentions were not to nit-pick on your analysis. I wasn't expecting a fully blown down-to-the-cent accurate analysis but still there were some points that I just did not understand.
I'll try to keep it brief and only reply to the main points specially since we actually agree on more things than we disagree.
The D700 was $3,000 when it was released.
See my reply to PB PM above.
I do not fully understand your statement:
"Your calculations also don't account for adding back the profit which makes the final price $3500 therefore even the D800 is a production paradox."
When you made your cost calculation, you started with the MSRP of D300 which is $2000. Then you said the a production cost would be around $1500. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm assuming the $500 difference is profit, correct? Now at the end of your analysis, you added the cost of the body to the cost of the new FX sensor and you got the final price of $3000 but you forgot to add the initial $500 that you subtracted.
My statement was "Published comments by manufactures OVER the last 8 years." One of the first comments on cost was from Canon about 8 years ago and that was very high (20+) but that was a long time ago as you said. Nikon hasn't released any cost from what I have ever seen. Sony sort of did but you had to back into it, that is where the DX sensor cost was about 1/4-1/3rd the production cost due to the failure rate of manufacturing sensors, i.e. dead sensors on a wafer. The more recent one I ran across was from a industrial chip maker who used the 5-6x cost factor again stating the failure rate per wafer. Apologies, but I don't bookmark every story I read.
This site does a good job describing the fabrication differences of an FX/DX chip where you can see the cost factors change.
I'm fully aware of what you wrote but that form of data (over long periods of time) is only useful when the data does not change much or to illustrate a pattern. It really doesn't mean anything in this situation unless it's current.
The article in the website was probably written when the D700 first introduced since they talk about the D300 and D60 too. This makes me think it's about 4 years old which also makes me wonder how old the sensor fabrication data actually is.
I have often thought the same thing but this is the same/similar gap they have had for the last 2-3 generations and Canon has a similar gap. I'm just not sure what can be added or removed to split it up. Evidently neither does Canon or Nikon. ;)
Even though the MSRP gaps were similar, actual selling prices were not. Again see my reply to PB PM above regarding this point.
That can be true in some situations and I have experienced that first hand. What I was point to was the paradox (I'm adopting your word as my "word of the day" btw- love that word) that many users opted to buy just a D700 rather than the D3 since performance and feature wise, it was almost the same camera. If you guesstimate that Nikon makes 10% (any % would work) profit, 10% of $3,000 = $300, 10% of $5,000 = $500. Say 50,000 people did this: D700: $15mil vs D3 $25mil.
"Paradox" is actually one of my all time favorite words. I still remember when I first learned it in English class :)
Now, here you're assuming that Nikon sold an equal number of D700 and D3 units, however that's very unlikely and Nikon would never expect that to happen.
The D3100 outsells (and generates more profits than) any other Nikon DSLR. Peter has a link on the main blog about Nikon becoming the number one camera seller in UK due to the D3100 :)
I don't disagree that their could be - Hell I would love to see a $2500 FX camera. I'm just one of those pesky realists that see things for what they are.
I like to think of myself as a realist too but I can also be a possibilist as well :)
Every time I hear this, my mind drops into a "Game of Thrones" inner dialogue: Who is the true successor? The inbred, the older brother, the younger brother, the last Targaryen, would Stark really just kill Joffery and leave the Iron Throne to someone else? Deee daaa deee daaaa - de da da daaaa, da dee daaa deee da, du da daaaaaa.
Sorry, never heard of it until now. Too bad it's not on any of my local channels.
I understand some people's disappointment. No one wants to spend $3,000 more for what they wanted. I just think those who wanted more resolution and didn't want to spend the $5,000 premium of the D3x won out this time - and in a very big way.
What if the D400 is DX but has a 16-18mp sensor that matches the D3s high iso?
Looking at what the Fuji X-pro1's images, I would say it can be done.
I'd like to see that although I'd like to see more mp's than that.