Thom Hogan’s 2009 Nikon predictions

Here are the main points:

  • "Something not called D3x" - in late 2008 or early 2009. Oops, I just wrote in my last post that the next D3 will be called D3x. I still stand behind my sources.
  • New Nikon D60 in spring of 2009.
  • "A limited edition Nikon: likely a D3 sensor in an SP-like camera". NR reported the same rumor few weeks ago - here is the post. I personally find this one very interesting, I hope it really comes to life.
  • D400 plus video - released late in the year (2009).
  • Lenses: new DX lenses, primes - 28 (yes!), 85, 200mm and yes a new 70-200mm.
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  • andrew

    I shure hope that he is wrong on the primes. I would love to see the rumored 35mm f1.8 afs! Not so interested in the other primes at the moment.

    • Tom

      The 35mm f1.8 was rumored at Photokina as the next prime on the list, followed soon after by the 85 f1.4.

      If the 35 doesn’t come out then it’ll be the first year I haven’t bought at least one Nikon product in a year since 2003.

      • PHB

        I tend to think that the inaccuracy in Thom’s information is due to the fact that Nikon themselves do not know with perfect certainty what they will do. What is planned is one thing, what happens is dependent on both plans and circumstances.

        Nikon certainly can’t release a lens or camera that they didn’t plan to, but the histories of their past developments makes clear that only some of the products they design and approve ever get built.

        Thom is often wrong on timing, but rarely does an unexpected product come out, which is how you would expect someone with inside info to be wrong: things happen, best laid plans and all that.

        I would say that the clearest gap in the Nikor lineup was a mid priced, acceptably fast focusing longer range zoom, 80-400 or 200-400. After that the 70-200 needs a refresh and there needs to be a new wide and a new tele prime.

        I would have thought that given that the new 50 is out, a 28 or 24 was a much more likely choice than a 35.

        At this point a revision of the 70-200 is almost certain. Even if it is little more than a re-style of the body. Too much speculation, they need to send a signal that folk wanting one should buy now.

        I strongly suspect that we are going to be seeing bigger filters on the longer lenses. The 77mm filter was a good choice in the DX era. But its tight now that people are looking at full frame.

        My plan is to get the 50 f/1.4 AFS, and either a revised 70-200 or 80-400 if one comes out or the 14-24 f/2.8 AFS otherwise. I could be tempted by a 10-20 DX lens but the 12-24 does not do it for me. I would also buy an updated 85mm f/1.4.

        If the Dow goes back to 10K and my company stock returns to its previous level I am buying a 200-400 f/4.

  • Crabby

    Thom Hogan knows cameras very well and understands the companies reasonably well. However, I’ve got the impression that he imputes the same quarter-over-quarter emphasis to large Asian companies that is part of the US economy. Also, I can imagine a situation where Canon and/or Nikon don’t require full payment for equipment until it’s sold at retail to ease the situation for some retailers. (This is the WalMart model, where goods remain the property of the manufacturer until they’re sold. It works from laundry soap up.)

    I do agree that there is always a danger that Nikon will become like Leica and I get a bit nervous when I hear of low-product, high-end boutique Nikons.

    However, I believe that Nikon will announce its larger-than-FX cameras soon in order to get a jump on Canon et al. and to keep Leica at bay. Although expensive, I would think that this virtually all-pro part of the market would be least affected by the recession.

    As for lenses, I continue to pine after a revised 80-400mm and the day the Dow Jones Industrials go back over 10,000, I’ll order one.

  • Pablov

    mm, I’m not sure if a D400 would be “late” in 2009.
    I guess Nikon will release something with better video implementation than the D90 sooner than later

    • Agreed. D300x (w/ 1080 vid.) in June 2009?

      • rhlpetrus

        Why would Nikon rush such an update. canon still hasn’t brought video to APS-C, likely will do it first on a 500D, then on the 60D, but that’s more than a year to go.

        August 2009: D400, 14-16MP as he says (I had hoped for a better 12MP sensor, but marketing people won’t let engineers do that), better video than D90.

        • JCD

          What about 16MP native resolution with “better” 12MP RAW files available? Canon’s already doing this with sRAW, but I know nothing of the quality differences between the different formats.

  • Pablov

    forgot to mention… If a new DSLR is released, then previous predictions of many people wouldn’t be exact.
    Almost everyone said a new camera will be released (or even just announced) only after Feb 2009.

    Let’s see November 20th…

    I personally think that business and markets push companies harder, and today is not like some years ago, so isn’t the period of time between new products Sometimes unfortunatelly the “race” is kind of crazy. The possitive side is better products come faster, but also surpassed sooner by another

  • methinks thom hogan loves to set predictions just to make people go crazy and running to the bank to empty out the accounts just to wait for what’s going to be announced… like burning everyone’s pockets.

    oh, right, thom is like a gearhead, wanting the latest and best of best.

    • He stated @ the end that he posted these types of things in order to get ev’one worked up. Looks like he succeeded 😉

  • Leandro Federsoni

    About new Nikon D60….What do you think? The same sensor as Nikon D90? and Movie mode?

    And the line Nikon D40? No news?

    Leandro – Brazil

    • rhlpetrus

      I posted below, my bet is D60 reduced to <500USD price with kit lens and new camera with D90’s sensor, larger LCD and video, to compete directly with 450D. I want to see if Canon will again pull the 1year cycle rabbit and introduce the 500D with video. Maybe, but not likely with markets in retraction, as we all know.

      • rhlpetrus

        Forgot to say: D40 likely retired after more than 2 years of good service, it’s not competitive anymore.

  • FrankF

    I need the AFS 35mm. Its the only lens I really really urgently need in my daily work.

    I am getting mad about Nikons refusal to bring out a decent AFS 35mm-Prime with Nano-Coating. Let it be 1.4 or 2.0 or 1.8 or whatever.

    The only option today is the AIS 1.4/35mm and this has no AF plus its not easy to get in really good shape and I already have the 2.0/28mm which is very good picturewise but also no AF.

    Happy to hear that the 1.4/50 AFS has finally arrived. Too late for me, DX is history.

    42mm is the normal lens for the FX-Format, 35 is just üperfect, the AFS 60mm is my always on today on my D3. Give me 35mm!!!

  • FrankF

    plus I miss a new AFS 70-180 Micro Nikkor

  • FrankF

    NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4 still available??? Built to order???

    Versatile, ultra-fast wide-angle lens captures classic images with super-sharp results.
    * Fastest wide-angle manual Nikkor lens.
    * Close Range Correction (CRC) system assures high quality even at minimum focusing distance (1 ft.).
    * Ideal for photojournalism and other low-light applications.
    * Note: Available through special order only against confirmed and non-cancelable orders. Allow 60 to 120 days for delivery. Subject to limited availability.


  • Damn.

    Nikon finally makes the digital camera I have been wanting all along. A top quality digital rangefinder, and its 13K, and limited edition.


    No possible way I can justify 13K for any camera, not today, not tomorrow, and not ever.

    • hulk

      We have to start petitioning to get a MX rangefinder sooner than later!

  • rhlpetrus

    Main points:

    1) High MP D3 with *NIKON* sensor. Hope he’s right.

    2) Possibly a midrange zoom line for FX. I hope an f/4 line in the 1,000 USD range each (16-40, 24-120, 70-200), less bulky than prsent f/2.8 line.

    3) No MX soon, with which I agree, it never made sense to me and the market now is not a good one for new expesnive stuff; besides Nikon still hasn’t finished updating lenses for the FF line.

    4) My bet is D60 will be demoted to <500USD and new entry-level with same sensor as D90, with video as well, to fight with 450D at around 700USD body price. D40 put to rest after a long service life to Nikon. It’s not competitive anymore.

  • Leandro


    I think Nikon need develop a substitute for Nikon D40, but one totaly enter level…..using the same solution used by Panasonic with Micro 4/3 without mirror and with popular CCD 10Mp.

    Leandro – Brazil

    • rhlpetrus

      They’ll do that, but likely after at least another iteration, and after the micro 43 proves to be a good market performer (no mirror, EVF, mainly).

      Boa noite!

  • rhlpetrus

    Here’s Thom’s comment in a thread at DPR about the new high MP Nikon and other predicitions (Sony senor, etc):

  • Ken Bures

    Why would Nikon make yet another 70-200mm lens? What about a new 28-200mm lens to make the FX cameras (especially the D700) a “one lens” camera, just as the 18-200mm has done for the DX cameras?

    • The current 70-200 has been shown to have a DX optimised optical formula. Sharpness is fantastic in the DX frame, but outside this it becomes incredibly soft. Obviously this is due to Nikon not envisioning the need for a full frame lens with no prospect of full frame sensors in their cameras. Now though, the situation is much different with the D3, D700.

      Check dpreview’s test on the D3, it is quite interesting.

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