Nikon D400 specs

I received this message anonymously (posted as a comment here):

Nikon D400
MSRP $1,999.00
Key Features:

  • New 14.8 megapixel DX format CMOS sensor effective 14.3 megapixel
  • Self-cleaning sensor unit (low-pass filter vibration)
  • ISO 100 - 6400 (with boost up to ISO 25600 and down to ISO 50)
  • 14-bit A/D conversion
  • Movie capture at up to 1080p 24 fps with stereo sound
  • Nikon EXPEED Plus image processor 30% faster than previous EXPEED image processor
  • Super fast operation (power-up 13 ms, shutter lag 40 ms, black-out 90 ms)
  • Kevlar / carbon fibre composite shutter with 200,000 exposure durability
  • Multi-CAM3500DX Auto Focus sensor (51-point, 15 cross-type, more vertical coverage)
  • Auto-focus tracking by color (using information from 1005-pixel AE sensor)
  • Auto-focus calibration (fine-tuning) now available (fixed body or up to 20 separate lens settings)
  • Vignetting control in-camera
  • Automatic chromatic aberration correction
  • Custom image parameters now support brightness as well as contrast
  • Seven frames per second continuous shooting (nine frames per second with battery pack)
  • 3.0″ 922,000 pixel LCD monitor
  • Live View with either phase detect (mirror up/down) or contrast-detect AF, face detection
  • ‘Active D-Lighting’ (adjusts metering as well as applying D-Lighting curve)
  • Detailed ‘Control Panel’ type display on LCD monitor, changes color in darkness
  • Buttons sealed against moisture
  • Same ultra-fast startup and shutter lag as D700
  • Scene Recognition System (uses AE sensor, AF sensor)
  • Picture Control image parameter presets
  • UDMA compatible single CF card slot
  • Virtual horizon indicates if camera is level (like an aircraft cockpit display)
  • Extensive in-camera retouching
  • HDMI HD video output
  • Magnesium alloy body with connections and buttons sealed against moisture
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  • I shoot with a D300 but tried my best to shy away from DX lenses. And I have been able to do just that. The only DX lens I have is the one that came with my D80 a few years ago but I don’t use it anymore since the rest of my glass is faster now anyways. But, I have to consider that I am fortunate in the sense that my budget is larger than the average semi-professional photographer. I don’t want to see Nikon abandon the semi-professional market and force them to lose (essentially, I really FX allows for DX lenses with lower megapixels, but really, how good is the quality there unless you’re pushing 10+ with the D3x) their DX glass investments. I do think that Nikon should concentrate its resources on developing better professional equipment; but, I definitely don’t feel that any sort of abandonment over the foreseeable future of DX-format is called for.

  • JACK

    If upcoming D400 is truth…..
    I’ll be expecting how good the noise control at ISO6400 compare with D700!

  • Anonymous

    Future FX cameras at 20+MPs; you can still use your DX lenses at half the MPs which is the same as the most current DX cameras.

  • hopefully this is true, and it comes out soon…i’ll be buying a D300 on the cheap then

  • SoCal Dave

    II have the D300 and am certainly attracted by the low noise of the D700. But, when I think of the lenses available for DX that just dont exist for FX AND the loss of the long distance crop factor, I am happy staying with DX and waiting for the D400. Two key lenses for me are the 18-200 which has no Nikon equivalent in FX and the Tokina 11-17 Fisheye zoom. While the 18-200 have distortion it can be corrected easily with with PT Lens and it is very sharp. But the big key to me is that the best glass in the world is no good if you miss the shot. With the 18-200 I dont get caught out with the wrong focal length on the camera. For this reason, I also like the popup flash. It’s instantly there if you need it in a pinch. THe best argument for the FX for me is again the lenses available. The 14-24 on full frame creates some ultrawide opportunities that ont exist in Nikon DX lenses.

  • OCristo

    I think a camera featuring DX sensor in a “PRO” (more resistent) body will have its market place for (at last) several more years.

    I will not go to D400 if it is FX.

    For people wanting FX, there is several options: D700, D3, D3x, and probably in short terms D700x (or something similar).



  • Marshal

    The more I think about it the more likely it seems that info at top is a wish list and not real hardware. Yet. Would be great if an upcoming DX camera had all those specs and could deliver very respectable high ISO photos. Not as good as D3/700 realistically, but if it could give low noise up to 1600, that would meet my requirements there. But I rarely need to go beyond 400.

    I don’t believe someone would deliberately jeopardize his career at Nikon in these increasingly tough economic times by releasing that much detailed info about a future product. Especially if an intro is not due for another few months. Say February @ PMA for instance. If it were next week, that would be another thing. But don’t hold your breath.

    I’d like to have a D400 if all that is true. It would mean I could keep my 12-24 & 17-55mm and not have to go through the hassle of selling them and getting the 24-70 & 17-35, the latter of which I used to own. Although, to this day, I believe it’s the sharpest lens I have ever owned.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if that 14.8 MP is a Sony sensor. And if it is than will it be used as well on the a700 replacment? Since they are both 1.5 crop. They just might do it like the D3x / a900 sensors. Made by Sony design by Nikon. There might be a serious partnership between those two. I thought it would be Fujifilm not Sony.

  • fxed

    I am tired of this nonsence. I enjoy shooting my 24MP Nikons. D700 + D90, that is. Who could ask for more?

  • grumps

    I think this D400 spec rumour looks really good if true, especially for a DX camera. A good follow up for the D300.

    If people want a FX camera, it’s here, the D700 costing very little more. My problem isn’t with the cameras so much as with ‘standard zoom’ FX lenses, for the price there are no good ones. Nikon needs to bring out a good mid-price all in one carry-around f/4 (trying to be realistic) FX lens for about $650 or so!

    Most of the other concerns are to do with costs, mostly our inability to spend so much on those fabulous N lenses that cost about $1.5k each. They should allow our med insurance to go towards camera lenses instead if we choose ;p

  • jskang

    Current D300 shows too many noise at the low ISO. so I hope taht new one will be improved this weakpoint.

  • Another way of looking at this wish list is that it’s basically the D700’s electronic improvements (faster 14-bit shooting, virtual horizon, etc.) with a DX-size sensor.

    This would be a very logical move for Nikon; it would help them rationalize their product line so that you could choose basically the same camera with either a DX sensor and a lower price point, or an FX sensor and a higher price point. It wouldn’t require a lot of extra engineering effort to introduce, and it might also reduce production costs by enabling some electronic component-sharing as well.

    So from that perspective, it seems like not so much a “wish list” as an obvious next step on the development cycle. The main question would be when Nikon would want to take that step. They don’t seem to be in any hurry to rush down the development path — for example, they still list the D200 as a current product even though the D300 seems to be its logical successor.

    Incidentally, I agree with the person who said that video mode is going to be standard equipment on future prosumer DSLRs. I suspect it’s already baked into the latest OEM chipsets; it’s just a matter of whether the individual camera manufacturer wants to add the switches, menus and firmware to enable it.

  • mirceaar

    An increase fron 12 mpx to 14 would not make sense.
    Unless there is a big step in technology – semiconductor’s light sensitivity, microlenses and filters. Even so, why not stick to 12mpx, if there’s a visible step in IQ?

  • Brad

    it seems as if Nikon may be becoming a victim of their own success, within the last year, they introduced a new product line (d700) they released the d300 (which won some outstanding awards this year) in early March if I am not mistaken… and the D90 in August. There are too many new bodies floating around, and they should expand their product shelf life. My studio is finally switched to all d300’s and d700’s after they had been released for a few months, now Nikon is already conceptualizing replacing them? Cameras are not cars… they dont need to be replaced every year, and they shouldn’t be.

    Nikon, I like you a lot, but don’t get greedy.

  • Road Passer

    With the new launching of new model, definately the previous model price will drop significantly, not a bad idea for poor ppl like me to buy the older model 🙂

    • Mike

      Can’t agree with you more.

      D200 is still selling in my part of the world at 50% off its intro price

      D300 is selling at least 20% off its intro price.

      Both are good cameras, they don’t become less good because later Nikon pulls out newer models from its hat

  • Dan

    If this is not a wish list than its a nikon R&D marketing technique to leak specs that are right or similar to what they are working on. Maybe they are at there last stage of development or something. Nikon has a creative marketing firm.

  • SoCal Dave

    The more I think about it the more I think we really could see a D400 sooner than the usual 2 year cycle. The D90 has equal to or better than image quality for less money. There has to be a differentiation between the D#0 and the D#00 product lines and waiting another year seems like a long time – especially when the D90 also has video and the D300 does not.

  • Dan

    I was looking at the Pop Photo test of the D300
    And D700. The D300 is 1 stop behind the D700 in noise above ISO 1600. It can be possible for Nikon to match the noise of the D700 be remaking the 12 mp aps sensor and improving its IQ. But to match that of the D700 and add 2 mp’s more at aps size sensor, I don’t think they can. It would be well above the noise level that will be acceptable. So the reaonable ISO would be 12800 max. But Nikon is know for the low noise/high ISO champion. Overall this is not what i see the D400. Less of some specs, but close to the real thing. Lets say May-september 09′ before the D4 release.

    • I don’t care whether they release the D400 before the D4 or vice-versa. What I want to know is, should they release the D900 before or after the D9? Keep in mind that by then the Canon EOS 5D Mk MCMLXVI will have 128.8 gigapixels, ISOs to 64 million and anti-gravity neckstrap lugs, so as usual, Nikon will have a lot of catching up to do.

      • Dan


    • Pablov

      I found chroma noise in 12MP DX sensor at ISO 200 (base iso for those cameras).

      Especially in blurred red objects in low light conditions, and (less noticeable) in deep blue skies (all at ISO 200)

      The FX instead didn’t show that chroma noise.
      Maybe as result of different color treatments of the sensor signals, but the D90/D300 and D700 are different in more than “just” 1 ISO stop.

      — If the difference in lighting is just 1 ISO stop between 12MP DX and FX, then the FX sensor could be around 18 MP without any real noise problems

  • grumps

    Well i think most of the paper spec comparisons just show the D700 to be a FX over the D300 DX. Meaning it’s mostly sensor size. Agreed, that translates also to the other factors of Noise, DR, and low light capabilities, etc.
    I also guess that for any tech advances, the D400 will need to improve over the D300, hence improving the specs over the D700 but as a DX camera.
    I know speculators (including myself) will think this is shooting themselves in the foot, but this happens or needs to happen sooner or later (that’s upto their sales and business decisions). And any future D700 (D700x or D800) improvements will improve over it’s predecessors. As a consumer I am excited to see what happens.
    As far as the carbon fibre construction, if true, is very interesting as well. I love the idea of increased durability and material science!
    As fas I am concerned, I know I need more than the D40 in what it delivers (IQ, noise etc) but but at the same time I don’t need a D3x (size and weight, and memory capacity since i don’t shoot/need that size)! This is me! So for myself the D300 and D700 hits the sweet spots (I have a wide-ish one) ;p

    • grumps

      I do agree it sounds like a wishlist, but don’t we all dream, hence us using this place: Nikon-Rumors! So if this dream does become true, great!

  • Jack Felis

    So, let’s say this thing is real, whether the specs are spot on or a bit off (ie. 16mp instead of 14, etc.), when would be the release date at this point?

  • Les

    Although I don’t have an issue with updating light sensitivity of the D300, but amping up megpix by 2 + video addresses Nikon’s competition, and not photographers. It remains to be seen if the D400 will address all those projected rumors. Personally I’d prefer a hybrid like D700 ( a D701 or 301), having FX function (X megpix) combined with DX quality sensor of 12MB+…..and that would permit both types of lenses to be utilized on one camera. This is likely bit out of the box for Nikon. Though I’d like for the rig to include 1080p video, I’d probably wait till 5D MK II is replaced several times in the future, so I could get it for $1000, adopt my Nikon lenses to it, and still *have* the video capability :-).

    doesn’t seem to address real issues of be doing all thaty mBut, my own preference would be D701 with

  • muskons

    here’s my “problem”, i want to buy D300, actually i’m buying it for the last 3 months, not new one used one…but now that i finally have 3 offers…for half of the price of new one and basicly they are like new (body without scraches and from 4000-8000 clicks). So i would really like the info about D400…and because it will probably still be dx format i will be able to use all of my lenses from d300..but i will have to sell my d300 ..and lose some more money:) so anyone..?.where is the info from nikon that d400 will be out in march? …or july?:) i would prefer july:) if i buy d300 this week..if not..then i hope march?:) well….anyone from nikon here that actually knows what is going to be?:)
    well have fun 🙂

  • brian

    I own a D300 and love it. FX isn’t a “savior” to photography. DX format still has its needs. I shoot professional hockey and love that I can do it with a 70-300 VR and not need to spend a load of money on a much higher dollar lens to get good telephoto. As for the cropping of a DX sensor. Most of my shots get cropped down anyways to get a specific individual player or action of the games. I see people with $4000 lenses at the games and the shots re no better than what I get. I also use the MBD10 grip to get the 8 frames a second so gaining 1 frame also has no real reason behind it to spend more. 12.3 mp is enough for me. I will have to have my 300 pried from my dead hands unless the 400 is substantially better and I mean very substantial.

  • brian

    OH and video? No Thanks, I have a video camera for that. I want my still camera to be a still camera.

  • Anonymous

    88% accurate

  • Richard

    Personally I enjoy my D200 with 18-200mm (Nikon) & D3 with 12-24mm (Sigma), and extra flash SB 400.

  • Marty

    This argument about DX vs. FX is akin to arguing the direction of film versus digital. In time, film will lose its remaining vested support, and the same will be true of DX. Physics may limit evolution from FX to FF in a small camera body.

  • David Johnson

    I shot with 8×10 view cameras for years. Also Fuji GX617, Linhof 617 with quite a few great lenses. Often shots with 35mm film cameras I used for METERING for the big rigs turned out to be more useful. I would rate my Nikon D300 as the best camera I have ever owned. I own lots of Nikkor lenses from 60 micro to telephoto.
    I would rate the 18-200 VR and 70-300 both D and VR as exceptional lenses to be there at the right time and the right place. Both DX and FX both have a very long lasting place in DSLR cameras. I have a lot of hardcore non-DX lenses but the midrange Nikkor in 24-135 or so in a highly rated lenses is actually one of Nikon’s biggest hurdles in getting pros to switch to FX. Personally owning from D100s,D200s (still in use and still flawless) plus D70-D90….and I still keep but do not use the F5s……I INTEND to keep using DX and FX no matter what offerings Nikon and Canon make. I will buy two D400s before I purchase a D800…..just my view on value. It is who uses the camera and how well. I never look down my nose on a Nikon user with a more modest Nikon like a D40. I use a D40X with a 18-135mm Nikkor when I need a camera I would risk damaging. I have drowned four nice SLRs and use underwater housings for still and video. The D400 WILL HAVE VIDEO or it will have fewer sales! Cameras that can shoot video and still bot and do it WELL will command the market SOON. I personally shoot mostly still. My guys who work with me shoot both. NO doubt it simply is REQUIRED for sales soon.

  • T Peters

    Dear Guys,
    One of the points that seems to be overlooked is the need for a consistent set of Nikon lenses. I was brought up on a NKKORMAT ( using that film stuff) and have an odd collection of lenses, 24,35,50,200,500.
    There seems to be a great deal of development on bodies – D90/D400/DXXX but lenses have fallen behind. The great ISO performance of the D700 means that you can use lenses with a max aperture of f4 and still have a number of stops left over. Cheaper full frame lenses would move a lot of people to the D700. Save costs with less glass and make a series of lenses that are similar to the DX lenses ( these are cheaper because the sensor is smaller) and you will have a winner.

  • Bob L

    I have budgeted for the D400 + grip in September. I cannot wait to place an order! I am happy that it is 14.8 megapixels and not 24.

  • Dick Adorjan

    I hope those specs are accurate and I would really like to replace my D300s. I have really considered changing systems because of some incentives from Canon. I would prefer to remain with Nikon, but get on with guys

  • Dick Adorjan

    I hope those specs are accurate and I would really like to replace my D300s. I have really considered changing systems because of some incentives from Canon. I would prefer to remain with Nikon, but get on with guys

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