NPS survey in Europe – all about the D700 replacement

Update: this survey is now sent to registered Nikon users worldwide (not only to NPS). I will publish my own D700 replacement survey later on today.

NPS members in Europe received an email survey from Nikon today. The first few questions were pretty standard (what camera you have, what features are important to you, any feedback to Nikon, etc). After going through the rest of the survey, it was clear that this whole campaign was created to gather information/data for the Nikon D700 replacement. Here are some of the questions (those are not direct quotations):

  • What improvements you would like to see in the D700 or why did you not purchase one?
  • How likely it is that you will purchase a Nikon D700?
  • What would you photograph with a FX camera?
  • What are the most important features of a FX camera?
  • Are you interested in a FX camera (vs. DX camera)?
  • What is the largest print size you use?
  • Will you purchase a DSLR in the next 12 months?
  • There were few questions about pixel count - how important it is, etc. One of the example question was about a 15 MP and 25MP resolutions - not sure if they picked those numbers randomly or there is a reason behind it.

Now, I am not sure if this is a good or bad news - is Nikon just starting now to think about the D700 replacement? Maybe they just want to be sure that what they have in their labs is what people would buy.

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  • andrea

    I use the D700 every day(ans night) as a professional photog. its tremendous imagequality in lowlight and lightweight. the glass i wear on it is heavier. best thing would be the d3s in this small design. d3x is shurely welcome though.

    neverever i had so much fun and job upportunities as with this cam.

    it really changed my life. my d2x and d300 is getting dust since then.

    • grumps

      I completely agree. For the size…. it is definately not a poor man’s D3 etc., as some might suggested! It definately holds its own. I really wouldn’t like to carry any heavier or larger for that matter, the glass is plenty enough for my weight training 🙂

    • Ken Elliott

      Same for me. I use my D700 to earn a living and find my spare D300 gathering dust. I’ll dump it and add another D700 or its replacement soon.

      I notice that pros who own a D700 seem pretty darn happy and want little changed. Perhaps a D3s sensor. The people who are not earning a living with the camera seem to be the ones who want all the changes. Funny…

  • John

    I love my D700 and would buy a replacement/upgrade if soem features were improved. 1) totally weather proof; 2) 100% view finder, even though I use Live View a lot; 3) Shaded LCD, maybe; 4) NOT 25mpix, that would require lots of terrabytes of hard drive. 5) the rest are little things, mostly related to my finger size being bigger than Japanese engineers’.

  • Gustaf

    hurry up with that upgrade!
    I can understand the MP-ISO dilemma. each photographer has different needs.
    but for me, there’s nothing like looking at my photos printed in BIG! 12MP seems short after i tested the 5DMKII

  • Mike

    Maybe, to make an educated guess of the significance of this survey, you have to compare it to previous surveys (if any) and how long afterward new bodies were released whose capabilities may have been influenced by the survey. For instance, did Nikon survey NPS and others in 200X and release a new body (D3s, D300s, D700) three months, six months, a year later?

  • I recently started working at a large camera retailer in the NYC/metro area and I am a Nikon D700 shooter myself.

    My general observation is that Nikon needs to re haul it’s prime lens line into AF-S lenses. I don’t mind AF-D lenses, but a lot of people who are interested in buying new lenses for their entry level bodies are disappointed there is no fast 50 for their cameras. The 35mm 1.8 DX has solved some of this, but what about for me? There is only the old 35mm f/2 AF-D.

    Granted Nikon makes the very popular (we have trouble keeping them in stock) holy trinity of lenses 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 but they are a much bigger investment. They are all fabulous lenses, but are all very heavy and I would prefer something similar to Canon’s 24nm f/1.4 L II, maybe even a 1.8?. I shoot in a lot of low light and love how the D700 performs, faster primes would make it even better.

    Granted there are some extremes I don’t think Nikon needs to go to, for example the Canon 85mm f/1.2 is overkill in my opinion. The Nikon 85 f/1.4 AF-D is a fabulous lens, I don’t think they need to do anything there, but an AF-S version would be nice.

    Here is a lineup I would like to see from Nikon in 2010:

    35mm f/1.4 AF-S
    24mm f/1.4 or 1.8 AF-S
    18mm f/2.8 DX?
    Redesigned 24-120mm with a constant f/4 aperture and VRII

    D800 towards the end of the year is probable, I don’t think there will be a D700x/s
    D90 replacement (FX?) I think the D5000 line is too similar to the D90, granted there is a better build quality, AF system, etc…

    The D3000 is perfect for an entry level camera. Most people who look at the D90 have ended up buying the D5000 kit with two lenses because it has the same sensor and they don’t consider the upgraded features of the D90 to be worth the extra money. Some people who consider the D300s end up buying the D90 because the D300s is more than they need, but what about this idea…

    Nikon could really steal everyone’s thunder if they were the first to sell an FX sensor in a D90 type body. I know it may sound crazy, but hear me out.

    Nikon D95

    12.1 MP FX sensor (when they stop making the D700… They love to reuse sensors anyway right?)

    AF: Nikon Multi-CAM1000 or maybe an updated system for FX, to spread the points out more, but not have the same capabilities of the D300/700 bodies

    ISO Sensitivity: Same as the D700

    Continuous shooting: 3 FPS

    Basically keep everything the same as the D90 right now, maybe update the video to true 1080p? They had no shame in releasing the first dSLR with video on a D90 body, why not make the first Nikon 1080p on a D90 as well?

    Granted this would NOT be something to release while the D700 is still in production. When the D800 comes out, it would be smart to release this a little later on.

    Consumers are very interested in high ISO performance and an FX sensor is the way to go, but a lot of people would also like something less expensive than the D700 or the new D800 line.

    Price (body only): $1,250

    Possible ktis:
    Redesigned 24-120 f/4 or 24-105 f/4 ?
    Redesigned 24-85mm f/2.8-4.0 AF-D as an AF-S lens?

    Granted this may bite at the D300s sales, but honestly I think the D300s was a stupid camera for them to make. The video they added was not as good as Canon’s 7D and Nikon should have known about the 7D’s coming. Their best bet would have been to wait it out until they could release a D400 at some point in the future. It’s still a great camera, but a lot of people would be happy to pay a lot less for the original D300 for a lower price without the video instead of a Canon 7D for $1,700.

    Just my two cents.

  • WB20

    Talk today whit a Nikon dude, at a Nikon expo in switzerland. He says to me, that there in no new D700s or D700x, it would be a D800 ore somthing like that.

  • DC

    To Nikon Europe:

    It’s the lenses, stupid.

  • I am not a professional or an NPS Member and i got emailed this survey.
    i love the D700, cant afford one right now, but if there’s a replacement: i want the D3S in the D700 body + 16MP(would be nice) + 720p HDvideo(at least) + 7-8fps. Do this for me nikon and i will buy it in a heart beat.

  • ZoetMB

    I haven’t read every post above, so forgive me if someone else also thought this, but IMO, I don’t think those questions have anything to do with the development of a new camera. Camera development times are probably still in an 18-24 month time range. My bet is that these questions are being asked to determine the MARKETING of the camera.

  • Daniel A

    Hum, dose someone have to prove of ones comments here? If so please delete this one Admin! 😉

  • Daniel A

    I sell Nikon d-SLR’s for a living, well I sell d-SLR’s for a living, and I do that each and everyday, I do consider my self to be one of the most subjective seal’s men because the body one gets with more or less determine what they will and will not do, even though all d-SLR’s are basically capable of almost anything. (and so I’m a Nikon user or should maybe call it all enthusiast) Either way, Nikon’s AF is superior to Canon’s. And either they go for a more affordable FX just abode D90 and just beneath D300’s, they will gain even more market. (Which as I heard is world wide just around 54% this year). Or shake the market with something no one could DREAM of. And now I’m going to talk about that dream, so hear me out if you have the time. 🙂

    Discontinued D700 would be wise (do it now, stop wasting your money and our time) and they should have done so as soon as Canon released the 5D MkII.

    So what Nikon needs to do is (not as a seal’s men, however though, they would sell even more if they did listened to some of the great opinions coming from some of us who have greater/cheaper/improved needs and so).

    A new sensor that is CLEANER for future D4, not saying the sensor in either FX or DX is not clean enough or there are better sensor out there, no. But in-order to “own” something which comes with a price tag in the short terms for them they will get a massive boost in many years to come in aspects like: being the first ones with a really cheap FX body on the market, because they will now have a usage for what makes the D700 the camera it’s (it’s sensor in a new body) (loved the comment from someone who opened this “door” up which have seen like a dream that never CAN come true). But also gaining newer users, mostly Europeans who think just because pocket cam’s like IXUS are “good” and now that they have “Canon” they should buy a plastic 1000D body with a lens which is probably cheaper then some random home-made glass, this kind of consumers can be Nikon users, these ones will get in line for upgrades to come with the “Nikon” sensor technology you came up with. So new sensor, aim for it sooner, rather then later..

    And now, Project D1000 and D800 (this is not a rumour of any kind, this is a grown ass man’s dream) 😉

    A new body, a bit more rugged then what D90 is, put the D700 sensor in it (this would be the cheapest way out of both bringing in profit and remaking the market to their benefit).

    Implantation of W-LAN and GPS into the battery grips. For this camera and the new ones (future replacement for D700). Use in all cameras from now on, the EN-EL3e battery. EN-EL4a should also be used in all the grips, no more 2 times the EN-EL3e ones. So the battery grip usage would not only mean balance, ergonomics, faster continuous shooting, it would also have in terms of “future” technical the kind of wireless advantage. This grip should have a small LCD panel, not for the D1000 body and with this grip the advantage in terms of faster shooting should not be more then 1.2 or (top) 1.6 frames/sec, and also this grip should be in the same build quality as the body without weather sealing. Which would mean, this COULD be used for the other models, hens compatibility which field is Nikon’s ground, but also flexibility. The other version of this grip should be fully whether sealed, with the LCD panel, this should bring to the D700 replacement at least 2.4 more frames/sec. So the new body for this model of the grip has to be just as tough as the D800 body, for the serious choice for the wild mark photographers, sports and so on.

    A new SB series, less buttons, more functionality, more flexibility, SB-900 replacement should ALWAYS be FULLY weather sealed. All should have wireless functions, no exceptions. Interface improvements in all, this is really important. The 400 replacement could lack LCD and so, but should also be wireless, and more flexible (angels and so) this one as it is now (the 400) is not much more then any other built-in flashes. Which is why Nikon are mostly giving then away with last year D60 and now D5000. And so the 600 replacement should land in between, but yet again, IMPROVED!

    In terms of MOVIE modes. (I don’t need it, market and the customers “want it”)..

    In 720p both cameras should aim for at least 20+FPS (D800 should have in this resolution only with the ->gripinternally; more custom function button availability in the D800 wouldn’t hurt at all!

    Before I forget, quiet mirror mode on the 1000D and this mode also or even improved version of it beside the mirror lock in the D800. Period!

    100% <- viewfinder in both cameras, but glass in the 1000D could be cheaper or not as bright at all (without battery it should remain dark just like D90), just solve this issue, ones in for all, invent something if you have to, but DO it!

    ISO, since the sensor of D1000 would be the one in current D700, you don't need to do much here, beside allowing lower base ISO instead of "extended" to this or that, keep it simple, 100-6400 nothing else! Clean it up a bit for extra shining clearness beneath 400, thank you. This D1000 should not have more than 2.5 frames/sec with either versions of the grip it'll shine at 3.5, almost 4 frames/sec! 🙂 More than ENOUGH for any enthusiast photographer. (Add to this DX format shooting and allow them to not only use DX glass but also 7 frames/sec or something if FX at approximately 4 is not "good enough").

    ISO on the D800, 100-12800, same as before, cleaner and shinier result at LOWEST ISO, the rest could more or less be just like the output of D3s, if anyone complains, they really should stop taking pictures. 4 frames/sec or so should be the base in this body, but with the grip, which should be the weathersealed one for anyone who gets this camera in my opinion, needs to get up to almost 7 FPS, outshine what is possible, break the rules Nikon. you will gain something greater with this that you couldn't count on.

    In terms of MP's; 24 on the D800 nothing less, for those who want less MP's (put it in lower resolution mode and stop complaining) 😉 For the big brother of D90 but yet still sister of D800 the "first affordable FX for the majority of consumers" 16 is ENOUGH. Not a single one more, (I would prefer this camera staying at 12 but that is me…)

    Most of this will remain a dream, but this dream is more real when I look at Nikon and put it in perspective combined with logic, all of this will not ever happen with Canon. Why do I say that, no I don't hate Canon, but I'm just not seeing then taking ONE, just one single step towards general improvement of photography, all I see is new models with more profit, more benefit, in Canon bad gets worst and it sells better, Nikon could always use this for it's advantage in any level of consumers.

    I shoot on daily bases, FX is what real photography is for me and many like me, do you need extra "reach" get proper glasses, extenders and so and so.

  • The Dude

    I hope someone noted that having a camera with a higher (500th) sync speed is more important to (semi) professionals than video.

  • Nikon, what are we waiting for? Let’s turn that around, what are you waiting for? We know your supplier has a 24mp Full Frame sensor….

  • Martin

    I’m new to this web site and I just finished to read a lot a of your comments. I just have myself a general comment: I can’t belive how many of you need the future camera that will actualy came out in some month, and how a 1 year old camera looks like outdated. I understand that most of you are professionals, but in the old time there was a 10 years time lapse between Nikon F(x) camera.
    From what I read, it looks like a D3s will realy make yourself a better photographer than a D3.
    I think that having 4 new DSLR camera in the same year is already a lot!
    I’m sorry if i’m too negative here but it’s truly what I feel.

    Finaly, as improvement for future camera, other than all the image quality aspect, it would be about the size of them. I’m pretty sure that it’s would be possible to do compact FX camera. I could maybe looks like as stupid example but my smallest SLR is a film Olympus OM-1. It’s also the one which has the second largest viewfinder of any 35mm camera ever made (about 15% larger than a D3). I pretty shure than can shrink electronic a bit more…


    • dom

      Hi Martin, totally see what you are saying there.

      in the old days when there was a 10 year gap between cameras i suspect there was not a 10 year gap between development of different films used? The development of Dslrs is more around the sensor than the camera (the sensor being the digital equivalent of film) and to date the Dpart of the slr is still not as good as good old fashion film, regarding dynamic range, tonal detail, or potential resolution. Technology is doing its best to quickly catch up and surpass film and one way which it is rocking the world of photography is through ISO development.

      I too have my fingers crossed that they do some more with issues like view finder etc but at the same time love that they are doing their best with making new cameras all the time.

  • Anonymous

    so what’s this say about the d700? they might have a possible d800 already made and just checking if people want what they have?

  • They are asking this in the US too.

  • Jose

    Nikon please, stop selling toys like D3000 and D5000, Be serious like canon and produce the semi professional camera that every body is waiting for. You well know Most people can’t afford a camera like D3s. Don’t you listen the crow?
    Wherever it is D700s-D800 D700x…… please bring it out to the public.

    • Anonymous

      The Rebel is not a toy? come on get real.

  • longtimenikonshooter

    I just received the same survey here in the US, and it has the following wording.

    “No personal identifiable information will be collected or used. It may take up to 15 minutes to complete this survey and the survey will only be available through December 11, 2009 (PST). The survey site is managed by our Japanese research firm so the URL will not be a “Nikon” web site.”

  • egon

    Non-encrypted white balance. Then I could actually consider buying it.

  • zeddy1200

    Anyone here to help me to think out of the box ?

    Here is what I would like to see on a rugged, FX image capturing device for my worldwide travel:

    • Fully move-able display (like on Lumix GH1 or Olympus E-3), or even better – a detachable one, without cable.
    This would help ergonomics: today I have to hold up > 1kg in front of my nose, but rather have the camera around my neck and my hands resting on the device (almost ideal ergonomics can be seen at Sony’s R1 !!)
    • Get rid of the mirror ! This is an ancient device from analog days. I want to have smooth, silent operation not the ‚clicks’ of a 70s style dial phone
    • And without mirror, pls crank up the fps – look what Casio is doing here: 1000 pictures a second puts any DSLR to shame !
    • No video please ! If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all. Any of the guys asking here for video features ever used it on Canon or Nikon ? – Manually adjust focus while filming ??? This is 2009, not 1989 ! I can buy a full HD video camera for 500 Euro, that will easily capture what todays visualization technology (TV screens, beamer) are capable of. And btw: Producing a decent film will need a different script than taking good photos (sound, cuts, movement, etc.)
    • Yes, electronic viewfinder ! – Give me a proper Live view with the same performance of autofocus as today’s mirror technology (Sony, Panasonic are on this track already) ! E.V.I.L. is the way to go !
    • Maybe even sealed lenses with integrated image conversion as we have seen from Rocoh’s GXR. So I can keep the body (processing engine) and use different options for my travel.
    • I would like to see a ‚system architecture’ for the camera body, where I could plug and play different processing options according to need: display (large, small, detachable), processing engine ( 1-4 processors with narrow or wide bus systems, for pros and amateur needs), Exchangeable sensor, so various needs could be met (ISO vs MPs for example), etc… Like today’s PCs can be assembled by an enthusiastic amateur

    …OK, I stop dreaming now, this is after all a Nikon forum.. I probably need to wait till Apple gets into the camera business…

  • Chris P

    I got the survey to complete, which I did. In the additional comments section I asked for f4 zooms to partner the lighter weight of the D700 compared to the D3 series, without the terrible edge performance of the Canon 24-105, and an updated 80-400.

    A thought has occurred to me since completing the survey, it was all about pixel density compared to dynamic range/image quality. Could it be that Nikon have developed two sensors, one a high pixel density one with the same problems that Canon are having with theirs, and another with excellent dynamic range/image quality which will appeal to people who take photographs rather than the ‘my camera has more pixels than yours’ brigade and are wondering which one to release?

  • Antimegapickles

    To tell you the truth, people are crazy demanding anything more from the D700, more megapickles just put more stress on the lens resolving power, more problems of micro detail that can be captured, diffraction, etc. As it is I think the D700 is what I would call a frigging perfect camera.

    For those asking to remove the mirror: you gotta be joking me, no EVF or live view system works like the performance you get from the phase detection system and it will take a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot of time in R&D before you see a decent (not even good) EVF or live view system… so don´t talk about something you don´t know, what´s sad is most of the people asking for this kind of “features” are IT dudes or hobbyist photographers who are to lazy to learn to use a camera properly.

    Dunno why so many want 24 megapixels in a camera?? most of you don´t even print a friggin photo you take and you post only a small web sized version… so if you don´t print often at all nor you post at full resolution in your “pbase, flickr, smugmug” (and all those crappy places for IT people) Why the F you want 24 megapixels? to impress models at model mayhem/one model place or the likes? to compensate? … I can almost hear the reply “to crop” and I will laugh so hard I will die…

    • longtimenikonshooter

      spot on!

  • ully

    Why Nikon did’nt produce a camera which works with both dx and fx lenses???

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