PopPhoto’s crystal ball

Crystal Ball, originally uploaded by deanfotos66.

Popular Photography named the Nikon D3X as its camera of the year for 2009. In the same article they mentioned:

"Our crystal ball tells us the D3x’s 24.5MP sensor is likely to show up in a consumer model soon."

Not sure how accurate their crystal ball is.

This entry was posted in Nikon D3x, Nikon D800. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • leebee

    It had better or Nikon is going to lose significant market share – including mine.

    • WoutK89

      hehe, that’s a funny comment, significant market share huh? So that 0,8% that is D700 users will be lost? (just wet finger in the air the 0,8%, if anyone can tell how small it really is, please do)

      • Joe

        I really want Nikon to release the D3x as a more affordable camera too. There are a lot of Nikon users who need large files for their work. Canon has been providing a great, affordable solution with the 5D mark II, and there is no current equivalent from Nikon. I understand a vast majority of people might not care about a high MP Nikon, but for those who do, we’ve been waiting a while. Also, it’s a giant pain to make the switch. Trying to sell a bunch of gear and get a decent return on what you paid, just so you can turn around and buy the same gear from a different brand. At this point I’m just hoping Nikon cares about this portion of their market share (since I am part of it.)

      • The number you’re looking for is not how many d700 users there are today, but how many FX-sensor cameras will be bought across the whole market in the next couple of years at whatever is the going rate. If Canon and Sony and whoever else deliver at $1000 and Nikon doesn’t, then yes, they will lose significant marketshare.

    • donde?

      Why wait? Sell your camera now if you don’t like it. The used market will be happy!

    • low

      i dont see why you had to wait? you couldve went over to the competition and done what you intended to do long ago. or were you simply using your 12MP nikon camera and never realized how great the performance it was giving you…..hmmm?? 😀

    • PHB


      One of the problems with the Web is that everyone imagines that the best way to get their objective is to make the maximum demand and go straight for the maximum sanction if it isn’t met in full.

      Threatening to go to another manufacturer is the net equivalent of SHOUTING. It gets boring after a while.

      I am pretty sure that the number of Nikon owners who are planning to defect to Canon if they don’t have a cheap 24MP camera in the next month is negligible. Blustering on the net is not going to increase the priority of the 24MP body.

      • Anony-mou

        Indeed, I too believe that “Yawn” is a pretty accurate assessment of the situation.

      • David


        • WoutK89

          Hehe, but what if there are multiple non vocal ways on the web to shout, including your Caps lock work?

        • Tabitha Green

          CAPSLOCK on the internet does not mean shouting, as much at it just makes the person using it look like an idiot. 😛 (no offense to you intended, or anything. :D)

  • johnny

    Maybe they just stumbled upon the D700x articles on this very site?

  • nobody

    If they really knew something, they would not be able to make such statements.

    So, obviously they don’t know anything, but they read dpreview and nikonrumors.com (-:

    • zeeGerman

      exactly. At this point, it’s obvious that there will be some new Dx00, but I don’t think it will feature the 24mp sensor. just as the d200 back then didn’t get the 12mp sensor, but a 10mp sensor.
      So, my bet is still on a 18mp D900, it makes the most sense.

      • WoutK89

        How about looking at the time they were introduced in. I think the problem with the 12MP laid in the internals that werent able to process such big files in such a small body. We are now what, 6 years later? So the possibility is still there.

  • low

    yep, high MP camera we shall get. looks like the landscapers photogs screamed the loudest. 😉

  • jon

    that crystal ball is as clear as the light reflecting flange in the new 70-200mm lens.

    • low

      crystal ball was shot with the new 70-200vr II and you see the dust particles reflecting off the crystal ball itself!! this is absolute proof that the dust particles are affecting IQ!

      • lol, i had to lough out loud, thanks for that halarious comment!

    • Dweeb

      No, that is an actual element from the lense. What you are seeing is caused by the edge of the lense element according to Nikon Mozambique. There is absolutely no degradation of IQ according to the fanboy cheering section. Just use your equipment and stop complaining. LOL

  • litebyte

    Nothing mentioned on Rockwell’s, Thom’s or that one of Lammerse site. The only thing is that Lammerse mentioned that people might be surprised with high expectations.

  • phil

    I can’t stand the tension. I must be contributing 50% of nikon rumours hits these days, hoping for this. i’m still on a D100 and I think the worthy successor might finally be here

    • Anonymous

      A worthy successor for the D100 has been around for a considerable amount of time

      • WoutK89

        it’s called, the D90 😉

    • phil

      I’m a bit demanding on my definition of worthy. Technology moves so quick, I upgrade when the spec is 4x better than the last.



    • Anony-mou

      Yes! And grill me a Merguez, Rodriguez!

  • Anonymous

    I’d rather have a d3s sensor over the d3x

    • davey

      exactly. give me 12MP and the lastest and greatest ISO performance and call me happy. video? sure why not, maybe i’ll use it here and there.

      • Tabitha Green

        I demand both. 24mpix @ 16bit *plus* super-clean ISO 512,000.

        We all know that in 5-8yrs this will be reality. 😀

  • Geoff

    I would be just as happy with an 18MP FF that gives me nice clean iso3200 and say 6fps. heck, they could pass on video since i don’t use a camera for that.

    24MP will probably bump the cost past what I am likely willing to pay.

    If it is going to cost $3k plus, I’ll keep my D90 a while longer or take another look at the lines.

  • BAM

    Sounds like their crystal ball is nikonrumors.com

  • Alain2x

    Is this crystal ball the next standard of Nanocrystal glass for future lenses ?

    • WoutK89

      That’s the front element of the new AF-S 16mm f/1.8G VRII Nano fish-eye, and it will take filters

  • Mark

    Well, we know sooner or later a FX size sensor is gonna make its way to a camera for the rest of us. The question is when and for how much $$$?

    I still think a D700x/D800/D??? with more MP is the main thing needed, for marketing if nothing else. The kicker will be if Nikon will at least keep the D700 around for an extend stay at a lower price to combat Sony with their sub 2k full frame camera?

    Also who here thinks there is a chance of a new low end DSLR? I thought it was gonna be the D3000 but now I wonder…. some at a new slightly lower price point with a few less features, sorta a D40 dressed up with a new name, a few bucks less, maybe a smaller LCD screen?


  • Anonymous

    You really want a FX 18MP clean at 3200 ISO without video ??? I prefer to stay with my 12MP D700 extremely clean at 6400 ISO (and even at 12800)… If they go with 18MP it must really be as good as the D700 12MP in high ISO, and even better. If a 5D MKII 21mp can be very clean at ISO 6400, Nikon can make it very clean at ISO 12800!… And if they don’t put video in that camera, they will continue to loose people that will choose the 5D MKII instead… I would take a Nikon D800 or whatever, 18MP, very clean at ISO 12800 with 1080 HD video with good video quality at ISO 6400… That’s my dream camera, you might want something else, but at least, make something that will compete or blow with the 5D MKII in many area…

    • Anonymous

      I agree with this “I would take a Nikon D800 or whatever, 18MP, very clean at ISO 12800 with 1080 HD video with good video quality at ISO 6400… ”

      Would buy directly if the make this camera. Go Nikon! Go Nikon! Go Nikon!

    • tubino

      “You really want a FX 18MP clean at 3200 ISO without video ??? I prefer to stay with my 12MP D700 extremely clean at 6400 ISO (and even at 12800)”…

      Clean high-ISO performance is way more important to me than >12MP. I very rarely make poster-size prints. I often make compromises in speed or aperture or noise/ISO to get a shot.

      Okay, how about this to make both camps happy. I just bought a Canon S90 for when a DSLR is too big (or in an underwater housing). They claim it can do 12,800 ISO by using 4 pixels to render one, so that the 10MP camera is a 2.5MP when used for extreme low light. Now if someone made a 24MP camera that could also produce low-noise 6MP images at 12.8K ISO and higher, that would be cool.

      • WoutK89

        And that’s where he has this: “with 1080 HD video with good video quality at ISO 6400…”

        Video only takes 2 MP to be shot at full HD, thats also like downsizing for higher ISO. I’d say, 6400 is low when you can do it like that.

  • Nick

    Anyones d700 is welcome at my house once the new cam becomes available!

  • bjokerud

    Well, D3x sensor in a D700 body doesn’t make sense. Nikon wouldn’t profit from that at all I think. As far as the D900 rumors go, possibly with 18mp, vs the old D700 with 12mp? I don’t know.. Why? Its like taking a piss in the bathtub; nothing really happenes except the water getting warmer (and a bit filthier).

    I’m all in favor of a D700s with the D3s sensor.

    • low

      rumors are that we are getting a 20MP sensor?

      • bjokerud

        I don’t know.. 18mp vs 12mp isn’t that big a difference. 20mp vs 12mp is still not that big a difference. I don’t care about the pixelcount as long as the 100% crop are better than the current 15+mp cameras from canon, sony, etc. They don’t amaze me.

      • litebyte

        I also guess a sensor with 20.4MP

  • kevin

    Neither the 24.5 megapixel sensor or the 18mp sensor make any sense. What’s most likely is the D3s sensor and similar qualities, etc etc. I can’t see Nikon releasing a D700/800/900 or whatever you want to call it with a bigger sensor than the D3s with great high ISO capabilities and then sell it for less, it really doesn’t make any sense.

    Nikon is not about to come out and provide you with the ultimate pro level camera for $3,000. I would be epecting a 16-18mp sensor in the D4 and a 32mp sensor in the D4x.

    Just seriously look at things here you aren’t going to get everything you want in one single camera it’s just the way it is. I would be very happy with this camera being similar to the D3s and just a few thousand dollars less expensive. In all seriousness there are too many idiots out there that don’t understand megapixels really don’t mean anything.

    We’ve made 32″x48″ prints with my friend’s D3s and I mean if we can do that on a 12 megapixel camera than why do people really need more. The simple answer is they dont.

    I honestly think many people just want a huge megapixel sensor so they can say “My camera has 24.5 megapixels” as it sounds cool or something.

    • isitfebyet?

      Oh my god! your camera has a 24.5 megapixel camera?!?!

      • isitfebyet?

        double camera typo on top of mediocre joke = I FAIL.

  • Anonymous

    All we need is the 24mp sensor on a D700 type body for an affordable (max $3000) price. Forget high-ISO performance and video. We don’t really need them. We would be anyway shooting @ ISO100 & f/11 on a tripod or handheld in some situations. So why milk the quality and cause the prices go up for something to be used rarely. Remember, we were all happy with ISO 50 Velvia just a couple of years ago. So, a usable ISO 1600 is far enough for any appication. And a good, tiny walkabout midrange f/4-5.6 for hiking pls.

  • kevin

    No you don’t even need the 24mp in the d700. Tell me WHY you need 24mp and I will tell you why you don’t. Never having owned a 24mp how would you know you “Need” it. The fact is you don’t, you want it.

    Since buying a D3s I’ve used my D3x very little. Sure the pictures are 1/2 the size but when I do enlargements using genuine fractals it’s honestly nearly impossible to tell the difference. The fact is simple, people don’t need that 24mp sensor only for very few applications is at actually 100% necessary.

    That being said Nikon will push another 12mp sensor out. It makes the most sense that they would use the D3s sensor in this camera.

    • WoutK89

      And the reason, so I can crop, that’s what DX is for, you have the pixels + “free teleconverter”

  • kevin

    And what did I say above, using genuine fractals to make enlargements I can make a D3s image virtually identical to the D3x image. Not many people have the true necessity for that 24mp sensor, period. Most people want it just so they can say, “my camera has 24 megapixels”.

    You can push the argument a million different ways but at the end of the day not many photographers have the need. Ive been using my D3x very rarely as the D3s is quite simply an amazing piece of camera equipment.

    If you don’t own genuine fractals than I seriously suggest the investment as the program is worth its weight in gold. Even I need to enlarge D3x photos with it for some of my clients prints. Either way you spin it the ability to enlarge photos with on distortion is more important than how many megapixels your camera has.

  • Mark

    So I see there are 2 “camps’ that have formed. One that wants video in the new D700/800/??? and then the 2nd group that wants some more MP.

    I belong to the group that wants MP. I love Nikon and they need to battle Canon and Sony in the full frame (FX) cameras better. The cameras they make are great but they need more in the more affordable part of the the FX line.

    • Landscape Photo

      Maybe 18 mp is the middle way to go, to make both parties happy in one model. Yet where will the sensor come from?

      Just D700s at PMA, as said? Oh, no! But good reason to go Canon forever. Nikon can’t commit suicide with another 12mp being their latest & only offer. People will laugh at least if they won’t protest. Patience, this Feb. is my last resort…

      • Richard

        Where does it come from? The same place as Leica’s…Kodak. 🙂

  • simon

    If nikon dosent deliver a 5dm2 killer… i’m going to cross over to the big C. I hope they can do it… I really do coz I hate canon camera design.

  • Simon – dont do it! dont cross over to the big C LOL

  • kevin

    Good leave, you’ll be coming back after you get sick of canons horrible autofocus and metering. Oddly enough the IQ on the D700 is better than the IQ on the 5D Mark II and all the while the D700 produces better overall images.

    The only people who want 20+ megapixels are those who truly don’t need it which is what I find funny. It seriously doesn’t make any sense how this camera would have 18mp if the D3s has 12mp. If they produce this camera with 18mp then we should be expecting a D4 later this year with a 24megapixel sensor and a D4x with a 48mp sensor?

    Seriously it’s getting silly. Even canon coming out with a 32 megapixel 1Ds Mark IV seems awfully silly. Most people out there don’t even have a good enough computer to be able to properly utilize the photos in photoshop due to the huge memory constraints these large files have.

  • theduude

    i’m curious as well and don’t believe it’s gonna be a D3x-like sensor neither.
    i would totally go crazy for a FX sensor between 16-18 MPx (even though 12 MPx are fine), great Iso-performance like the D3(s), 5-6 fps (maybe 8 fps with battery grip) and the fast AF-system with 51 points and a 100% viewfinder.
    full hd video will probably included i guess, since nikon doesn’t have a cam with 1080p yet and they will be needing it to compete with canon. i actually don’t need the video function, but i think i might work with it every now and then.

    we’ll see what happens within the next weeks and nikon hopefully blows us all away with the new dslr.

    • Richard

      I think it has become increasingly apparent that absolute pixel count is not the be all/end all of image quality. The comparisons I have seen online of the Leica M9 (18 MP) with various and sundry DSLRs are pretty convincing, to me at least, that it may be time for emphasis on the result rather than advertising claims of bigger numbers. There was also a head to head comparison of a D3X and a 1D MKIV at extreme ISO settings that was rather eye opening. The Canon’s noise made the image unpublishable for anything other than, perhaps, surveilance work. The Nikon’s image looked as though there was not that much that needed to be done to it to be usable. It is true that most use is not with these stratospheric ISO settings, but ISO 6,400 use is useful in a lot of environments.

      If Nikon could pull off something (as a D400, a D700 successor or whatever) that is the equal of the M9’s IQ and resolution I would find that product very tempting indeed.

  • I have to imagine that the effort involved to change the sensor in the D700 is very small. Selling more cameras with the 24MP sensor would allow them to get the sensors at a lower price. They would then make a larger profit on the D3X or be able to lower the price as well as filling a hole in their product line up with a 24MP D700.

  • kevin

    No you are very wrong. They wouldn’t sell any more D3X bodies since people don’t understand the advantage of a D3x over a cheaper camera. The vast majority of the cost when purchasing a camera is not how much the camera physically costs to manufacture but rather how much research and development went into the product. They simply need to re-coup the money.

    For the most part the electrical components that go into the D3x say Vs the D300 are very similar. I mean the sensor is different, the electrical boards are a different size but when it boils down to it Nikon puts a lot more research and development dollars into making a top level pro camera and they need to re-coup that money.

    Now in the case of Canon I am quite positive the 5D Mark II was nothing more than a lame attempt at regaining some of the lost market share that Nikon has taken on them. Depending on what financial reports you read Nikon easily has 5%-10% more market share than Canon. The 5D Mark II in all fairness is not a good camera at all. I mean they take a wonderful sensor stick it in a camera and then leave integral parts of the camera like the metering and autofocus which are 5-6 years old.

    Canon realized after the release of the camera it wasn’t getting any Nikon shooters to switch and the effect it had on the 1Ds Mark III was catastrophic. I am quite sure we will not see Nikon do the same and there is 90% chance we see the D3s sensor in the D700/800/900 or whatever it is going to be.

    It does not make sensor to put a larger sensor in this camera than what the D3s has. In reality it as to be either 12mp or 24.5mp and there is a greater probability that it will be 12mp. It is most likely we see the D4 arrive late this year with a 16-18mp sensor which will likely have identical ISO capabilities of the D3s. I’m quite certain we will see the D4x in the 32-36mp range with usable ISO 3200. Oh wait ISO 3200 is already usable in the D3x lol.

    I’m currently shooting with a D3x and a D3s. I needed two cameras for my business and these two compliment each other so wonderfully. I’m so happy with the two cameras and their specific usages that I could just kiss the president of Nikon. I am quite confident I I won’t have the need to purchase a new camera for 5-7 years and this alone has me very happy.

    I hate to say it but right now the only advantage canon can offer people is better lenses for extreme zoom such as a the 600mm range and such. Nikon has them trumped in lower level zooms, camera body quality, the flash system is light years better than Canons and well it appears Nikon actually tends to listen to their cliental.

    • Richard


      Two comments.

      R&D costs are an interesting subject for discussion. Getting the volume up is important to amortize these costs across more units which can lead to both greater profits and greater market penetration. There are several technology areas which, in my view, have received inadequate attention in the digital photography market. Most important among them is digital signal processing. A digital cameral is, after all, “just” a specialized computer. The technology need not be developed from scratch by Nikon/Canon/Sony & the rest. There is plenty of talent out there which would happily develop what is needed based on what they already have available.

      I do wonder (although I do not have “inside information”) just how much modern technology is being employed in the manufacture of lenses. Sure, computer aided design is a great aid, but what have the manufacturers done to use modern technology in the actual manufacturing process? I get the feeling that they could easily produce lenses which would be the equal (or better) of what is currently available at much lower price points for many of the lenses we see. (Even taking into account that some of the recent price increases are a consequence of the dollar being in the toilet.)

      Most of the customers wanting the high res sensors are landscape people. Their needs are different from those of the Sports/Action crowd. They do not need a camera with maximum frames per second and so on the way the PJs and Sports people do.


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