Nikon D4 with 32MP, D400 with 24MP sensors from Sony?

I received a tip about Sony's new a920 full frame camera with a 32MP sensor to be announced this August. If this turns out to be true, there is a good chance that the Nikon D3s replacement (D4?) will also use this 32MP sensor (given that Nikon continues to use Sony sensors).

On the APS-C side, Sony is expected to release a 24MP a77 camera in July. This could become the base of the Nikon D300s replacement (D400?).

FYI: Nikon announced the D3x three months after Sony introduced the 24MP full frame sensor in the a900. Sony announced their 16MP a580 camera on August 24th 2010, Nikon released the 16MP D7000 on September 15th, 2010. The Nikon D7000 has a tweaked Sony sensor where the D3100 had a Nikon developed sensor (see more info on Nikon/Sony sensors here).

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  • Jeronimus

    Stop the megapixel race. NO press photographer or amateur need more than 6 mp.
    Its just plain snobbery.

    • AS

      Jeronimus just get yourself a Nikon D100 and leave the rest of us to enjoy the beuty of24 Mpix from D400!

      • sade

        You get a D3x and leave those of us who don’t need A1 prints and prefer to have better ISO performance/dynamic range.

        • AS

          If you give me a brand new D3X for 2000 USD I will buy it, but until you can afford to give me such a deal I will already been playing with my brand new 24 Mpix D400.

          Buy yourself a 6 Mpix D100 and be happy, if you don’t want more Mpix.

          • sade

            I indeed won’t be happy with a D100, not because of its pixel count, but for its image quality. To me, an to many other photographers (indeed not all of them) what matters is the image quality and enough megapixel to print photos in at most A2 size. I would personally like to see a full frame with 16mp sensor and with 1-2 stop better noise than D3s and another one for those who need +30 mp pictures.

            • Sloaah

              At A2 size you can most certainly see the difference between a 12mp and 24mp camera, let alone a 6mp one. I do think that 24mp is a bit much, if only because there are a very, very few lenses that can actually use that resolution. They would certainly need to update there pro zoom DX lenses, such as their 17-50mm.

              I also agree that I would prefer better ISO performance, but the fact is the megapixel/ISO and dynamic range trade-off is not so clear cut as many make it to be. We will almost certainly get image quality better than the D7000, which is far better in those regards than the D300s.

        • Luke Kaven

          The “big pixel” myth has lived almost as long as the former “high megapixel” myth which turned out not to be a myth at all. You can do better with more pixels, and worse with less. This isn’t marketing at work here. The high MP sensors are better than their predecessors by a wide margin when compared /per unit area of the sensor/ and not on a pixel-to-pixel basis.

          • Amen! With the caveat that they’re used correctly. More MP = more room to screw up. Most people don’t have the ability to utilize D100 resolution, let alone the 100% linear resolution jump to 24mp.

            …but it’s not a total myth. Some “facts” have be superseded by new techniques (larger micro lenses, dyes that transmit more light, quieter A/D circuitry, better signal processing on and off the sensor).

            Even some ideas about diffraction don’t hold up in actual practice.

      • Kingyo

        “Jeronimus just get yourself a Nikon D100 and leave the rest of us to enjoy the beuty of24 Mpix from D400!”
        ^^+1000!! Lol

        This news seems just too good to be true, but I hope to see this become a reality 🙂

    • markus

      Well, I’m a press photographer and indeed for the publisher I mainly work (low resolution newspaper) I do not need more than 6 megapixel. However for everything I do besides the paper work I need as much MP I have my hands on.

      I’m now using a D3S and in combination with some colleagues we use a Pentax 645D for magazine (mostly travel and lifestyle related articles)

      As a side note, there are not that many PJ’s who can only live from photo journalism anymore.

      • drobcheck

        32mpix is way above the level of need for 99% of users and professionals. I shoot weddings and I would love to see a 16mpix max with even cleaner high iso.

        stop the megapixel war!!!

        • Agree! I’m very satisfied with the 12mpxi that my D700 delivers but like you I would enjoy an even cleaner iso. 32 mpix NEF would probably make my work harder with more CF-cards and longer time to download and post process of images on my computer.

          • You do realise that CF cards are getting bigger too… right?

            • Victor Hassleblood

              Good one.

              Not to mention storage space on HDs or processing power. I do not get any of these concerns. Computer hardware can’t possibly be the limiting factor. Performance evidently improves much faster than the resolutions offered by DX or FX. And storage space? Don’t make me laugh. 2.5 external HDs have already reached or even exceeded 1TB and already cost less than 250GB or 320GB HDs a while ago (let’s say when D700 was released).

              I tell you what I do whenever a job exceeds the storage space of a single DVD-R. I simply send my client a new and branded external HD as a gift. Guess what, I haven’t heard a single complaint yet.

      • nebus

        Well I personally can’t wait for a new sensor – although I really hope these new Sony sensors lighten up on the AA filter. I still have all my Nikon glass but have been using a 5dII for most work in the last year as Print pubs (not newspapers obviously) find 12mp too small and the D3x is about the same price I can get a 33mp back for my C645.
        I heard about this sensor a while back – I figured as much this was around the size we would see next – but I was hoping the D3x sensor was going to make it to the next models with better software before this. Oh well..
        As one commenter said – it would be nice to see APC DSLRs with around 16-18mp with super clean images (and a little less AA please), and then FF DSLRs with 28-32mp with the same. While they’re at it maybe they can get that mirror slap a little quieter too. I still wish they would come a out a pro body with an interchangeable viewfinder!

        • Worminator

          I can wait. The new sensor will be followed by a newer sensor. And so on. Incremental improvements. The sensor size won’t get any bigger.

          If I wanted high image quality and high pixel count, I’d already own a 645D.

        • photo-Jim

          That’s right!

    • D700guy

      I guess you’ve never heard of ‘critical sharpness’.

    • cpm5280

      Yeah, because nobody crops for area of interest, ever.

      • Worminator

        At 24MP APS-C, the optics will limit your crop quality long before your pixel count will.

    • MegaPics

      Jeronimus said: “Stop the megapixel race. NO press photographer or amateur need more than 6 mp.” That is the most ridiculous comment about digital photography that I have ever read. It completely ignores the fact that quite often (in both the press and amateur world) extreme cropping must be done on a photo. Then, after the extreme cropping is done and you try to make a large print or have it fill up an entire magazine page, you realize how important it is to start with an extremely high resolution image. Or, alternately, the picture can be horribly pixelated and you can try to explain to everybody that it’s OK because Jeronimus has determined that “NO press photographer or amateur need more than 6 mp.”

      • A capable photographer should never rely on cropping as a means to properly frame an image. Extreme cropping is a symptom of a technique-related problem, not of megapixel deficiency.

        • MegaPics

          @Ron Adair:

          As soon as you return from your outer-space trip to Perfect Planet, I would like to welcome you to the real world, in which not all images are properly framed in the camera (especially in the chaotic world of press photography), and there are often technique-related problems. If this is too shocking for you, please feel free jump back into your space ship and go back to Perfect Planet, where photos never need extreme cropping.

          • Thank for keeping the humor alive here, MegaPics. It’s always good to have a good laugh now and again.

            • Victor Hassleblood

              I don’t think it is intended to be funny. Humor is wasted on mister self-righteous who overestimates himself a lot. Some of the world’s most famous pics are extremly grainy crops from underexposed bw negs, exposed by “non-capable” PJs and developed in combat. Pics that influenced generations ever after and pics that still get published.
              And aside extreme cropping from shots taken in extreme situations and under extreme conditions, the usual cropping is part of every professional photographers everyday life. Maybe you are just not professional enough to realize that? Aspect ratios of published work vary a lot whereas the one of your camera always stays the same.
              To argue the benefits of higher RES is as silly as arguing the benefits of any other factor leading to more IQ or more possibilities. You could as well argue the benefits of higher fps, more DR or clean and high ISO or whatever.
              You see, most people have preferences depending on their field of work (of course). Most people are able to distinguish between their personal preferences and absolutism. And most people are able to bring their personal preferences forward as what they are (just personal preferences) and to do so in a relaxed manner. You are not most people. And you are not relaxed at all. You are unique. And you are stressed by your responsibility which is no less than owning the one and only truth. Why don’t you just keep it for yourself and make lots of money with your knowledge ? ? ?

              Seriously, there is nothing wrong with that. It might even been appreciated by more than just me.

            • Look at my work. Is it professional? Be candid. By far the majority of my work is uncropped. If I’m not “professional enough” to crop, as you say, then speak up. Otherwise, I would expect you to understand the intent of my original statement, which is that a good photographer will not rely on extreme cropping to replace the value of getting the shot framed right in camera.

              If you are really trying to argue the opposite, your viewpoint is laughable at best.

            • Milly

              I’ve just looked at your website – would it break your heart to include the top of someone’s head occasionally?

            • I only photograph bald people. Who request to not have their baldness emphasized. It’s a niche market, I admit, but I seem to do all right with it. Some people get offended though when I have such a large body of work that focuses on the less important things, like a models face for instance. Sorry for offending you.

          • Look at my website and imagine: NONE of those photos were cropped.

          • Victor, non-standart aspect ratio which is leading by designer’s needs is a different thing to a buckethead snap-shooting. If you need to crop a stripe for web-page or make a square frame for booklet, no problem. Do it freely. But precise framing is a basic photographic skill. Your photo must be enough good itself, then why do you have such a wide lens park?

            The second question is that 95% PJ’s are using zoom lenses. They just can’t afford to pass the moment if unfortunately they’ve got into wrong place. There’s just too much happening around to predict where can be THAT place, from which you can take a stunning journalist photo. Thus where zoom can serve and help. But in all other situations zoom is a bad thing, because you never know your field of view, you know exactly what you get only with wide and tele ends and thus you always wondering, rotating transfocator. Experienced photographer can easily read if with wide-angle FOV someone cropped his photo to match a normal range or even tele-range, because perspective and distance to the object REALLY MATTERS. That is why you need to frame precisely before releasing shutter and not relying to converter and photoshop.

            • OrangeGHOSt

              A perfect explanation indeed! as always “beauty is in the eye of the beholder..”

        • Alex

          Unless of course you shoot subjects that are too far away like some sports and don’t have the $$$ to buy a 400mm 2.8. The crop factor is why some of us amateur sports shooters like the D300. Even in sports where I have enough lens, like basketball where I tend to shoot fast primes, the subject difference changes enough that cropping is just part of it.

    • Geoff

      you can shoot in a lower MP mode and let some of us use the full 24 ?

      • Ke

        Can you shoot in RAW at a smaller size? You can’t on my camera, but it’s lower end.

    • Roger

      Please continue increasing megapixels. If Nikon listened to you, we’d still be shooting 4mp D2h like junk

      • Jim Campano

        If Ron Adair was not spending 90% of his time posting endless comments on Nikon Rumors, people might actually believe him when he claims to be a successful business man.

        • Cute, Jim. I don’t expect anyone to take me at my word. I post my link because I’m not ashamed of my work, and I know that by posting a link it let’s my work speak for itself. It may suck. That’s ok. It’s the best I can do now, and I show it proudly. However, where is your link to your body of work which we can all evaluate? Would you care to put your work where your mouth is before you start making personal attacks against someone you’ve never met?

          I don’t understand how people can get so upset about reasoned arguments. It’s not like I’m saying that megapixels are bad. Nor am I saying I don’t welcome more. I’m just arguing my points—something many other commenters here are doing—mine being that the megapixel race is a rather pointless pursuit for anyone seeking higher quality images. I have a personal opinion that most people seeking more pixels are looking at sheer specs to help them feel a sense of comfort when standing next to another photographer who might be carrying a higher spec’d camera.

          As for my comments here, I guess hobbies are now off limits to people in their free time, eh? Thanks for the update, Jim. It’s good to know what rules the elite are setting for us against our will or right.

          • Victor Hassleblood

            “(…) personal attacks against someone you’ve never met? (…) It’s not like I’m saying that megapixels are bad. Nor am I saying I don’t welcome more. (…) I have a personal opinion that most people seeking more pixels are (…)”

            basically you are saying it is alright if you attack “most people” (all of which are people you have never met) by telling them what you think about them, but it is not alright if one person of most people (all of which are constantly lectured and attacked by your insisting YOU DON’T NEED-comments) is going to attack you for a change.
            And the most funny part of this is YOU think you need (or at least welcome) more MP. Nikon is going to make all new FFs just for you Ron. You are such a silly guy. And this is why I enjoy reading your comments.

            • And yet nobody has rebutted my actual arguments re: the validity of needing a monumental increase in megapixels, especially at the expense of other image quality improvements.

              Instead of sticking to the argument (an argument which seems perfectly valid) a handful of the debaters on this site conjure up straw men or childish slights about how my images don’t show enough toupee. How can I take confidence in the perspective of those who will argue anything except their own point of view, one which they were so willing to grouse to the rest of us about only minutes before?

              So, what are the chances we actually turn this argument back on the subject you all repeatedly decide to vehemently address, that being the need for more megapixels at the expense of other improvements in image quality? Or the “fact” that Nikon is behind Canon because their cameras don’t have the same paper specs (something which is clearly—and perpetually—keeping you inches away from switching eternally to the other side)?

              I know I’m passionate about offering arguments in defense of my opinions. I would hope that others could be as passionate in making reasoned arguments instead of resorting to cheap shots.

              And for any of you that want to have a crit off, and show your best work against mine, you’re on. It’s likely many of you are better photographers than I. Better photographers don’t scare me—they inspire me. What scares me are folks that make drive-by attacks on work they can’t even begin to understand. We all start as beginners, but if you’re attacking someone’s work in an effort to strengthen your own argument, you’re a troll.

            • Victor Hassleblood

              ” (…) the subject YOU ALL repeatedly decide to vehemently address, that being the need for more megapixels AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHER IMPROVEMENTS? (…) inches away from switching eternally to the other side”

              I didn’t read all the comments Ron, but I found no such things we “ALL repeatedly address” here anywhere. This post is about an expected increase in RES of upcoming Nikon Cameras, which is welcomed by most and often combined with expressions of hope for other improvements (that are very likely to go hand in hand) like an extended DR. If someone attacking you makes him or her a troll, what are you? Attacking all and putting words and thoughts in everyones mouth and brain makes you the final ÜBERTROLL, I guess.

            • I’m confident that anyone sane who will read both of our arguments will have zero respect for someone like you Victor who shows both the ineptitude to understand the difference between personal attacks and cogent arguments, as well as the ill will to bastardize my words by taking them out of context and twisting them in a clear effort to demonize me and my viewpoints. You’re not a debater, you’re a troll.

            • I still haven’t seen a single cogent (or otherwise) argument for mega-megapixels here (go figure):


      • Thank you, Qwerty. It’s great to hear from you. What exactly do I say now that contradicts the very real fact that megapixels will increase? Did I say they would not? Can you please help me understand why I am an idiot?


    • chris

      amen brother

  • I forgot to mention: Sony released their 16MP a580 on August 24th, Nikon released the D7000 with a tweaked 16MP sensor form Sony on September 15th, 2010.

    • markus

      I’ll be in August in Japan for press events. I’m 99% sure we will see the update for the D3 and/or D700 presented. I myself don’t expect to see a new DX camera aimed at semi/professional usage.

      • LGO

        Sony has two new full-frame sensors. One is 24mp and another is 32mp. If Nikon uses these two Sony sensors, I expect the D4 will use the 24mp and the D4x the 32mp. Personally, I still hope that Nikon will use its own sensor of perhaps 18mp on the D4 and the Sony 32mp sensor on the D4x.

        If Nikon had decided to use the Sony sensor, I expect that Nikon will release the D4-successor ahead of Sony. It has been known for some time that Sony will need and will take longer before it will be ready to release an A900-successor. So unlike in the past when Sony was first to market with its new full-frame sensor on its new camera, this will not be the case this time around.

        Re the 24mp sensor on a DX body such as is speculated in the D400, lens diffraction will begin at f/6.3-f/7.1.

        If Nikon really uses the Sony 24mp sensor on the D300s-successor, then those owning slow zoom lenses cannot step down beyond one-stop before they hit lens diffraction zone. I am not sure this is a good thing. On the other hand, this is a good way for Nikon to get D400 owners to pony up for faster f/2.8 and f/4 zoom lenses. 🙂

        • D700guy

          +1 on this.
          My fear is that the D4 wont have the fps the D3s had, nor the ISO with 24-32 mp.
          My D700 could not take sharper images even printed out at a 30 x 20. So, unless they have some new tech magic worked into those high mp cameras I would want to see a segregated lot of bodies; one for fps/iso, and another for high mp.
          For those who dont already know this; the D3x fps is something like 1.5 at 14 bit color. That’s not going to cut it for us action togs.

          • Roger

            You’ve been mislead by the misinformation spread on the internet.

            D4 will have the fps. It will have more megapixels.
            There’s no magic involved – you dont need to have 2 different cameras for iso/mp.

            • zed

              um, no he hasn’t been ‘misled’ and neither have I. Current sensor designs prohibit the use of 10-11 fps with high (20+) mpx. the images cannot be cleared off the sensor fast enough and results in a film like double exposure. when you have found a solution, please let the engineers know. thanks

            • Roger

              zed, that aspect of performance is continually improved with every generation. canon in 2009 did 18mp @ 8 fps. in 2011, there’ll be no problem doing 20+ mp.

        • jose

          Agree with you, Why i will pay more money for nikon camera if they use a sony sensor, I know, sony did not have expeed II, high dynamic range such as d3x, etc. But, sony will have their own characteristics that for more will overcome current nikon /sony specs.

          • You’d think that but apparantly Nikon seems to be getting a lot more out of Sony sensors than Sony engineers themselves. Compare the D3x and the A900. Speaks volumes about Sony’s DSLR efforts – for the pro market they aren’t really anywhere compared to Nikon or even Canon or Hasselblad

            • Gérard Menthor

              D3x 7000 €
              A900 2300 €

            • sirin

              D3x 7000 € and the client would see good quality pics and give you more jobs, you’ll get those 5K back within 2-3 months and keep a better camera for the next 10 years.

              A900 2300 € and the client will force you into a technical discussion on why the images are so noisy they can’t be printed for a close distance subway billboard. and no matter how hard you try to explain your bright this sensor vs that sensor ideas, the only message the client gets is that you can’t stand up to the quality. and then he’ll remember that other D3x guy, who charges a bit more, but why not give him a call, since this one doesn’t seem to keep the standards.

      • Are you going to be in Japan for the Nikon press event? Do you have a date and/or an invitation?

    • Spoon

      There is nothing tweaked about the 16MP sensor used by Nikon.

      • dave

        There may not be anythig tweaked on the sensor, but the Bayer array and anti-aliasing mask are different than Sony according to Thom Hogan and that can make a big difference.

  • Fred

    I shoot events, sports and etc..
    I would HATE to use anything over 16MP!!!

    • sade


    • Patrik

      You could always choose to use a lower res when shooting sports. 🙂

    • Roland

      Are you just trolling, or are you really this ignorant?
      Who is forcing you to use this camera?
      Who says that you have to shoot at the highest MP setting?

      • Fred

        When my D700 dies, and they are discontinued it a long with the current D3 and D3s’s. Eventually you have to use what’s on the market. Or buy used, but for someone who gets paid, used gear isn’t the best thing.

        • Sloaah

          That wasn´t actually his point – he meant you can shoot lower resolution files with the same camera. Problem is at the moment you can´t – only Canon has sRaw files, as well as proper pixel binning. Hopefully we can get good ISO files this way – it´s certainly possible (theoretically).

          • Fred

            Who says that you have to shoot at the highest MP setting?

            At this point,

            Nikon has no option that I am aware of that allows you to shot lower MP in raw and get the full frame.
            As for Canon being able to do it, that is irrelevant at this point, we are talking about Nikon.

            • Roland

              And at this point, this camera is not even released, not even confirmed, not anything.

              Who knows what settings will be possible…

              I’m sure you can get your hands on some old D40, low resolution camera for a long time.

          • Roger

            Canon doesnt have proper anything, their sraw is flawed.

    • Roger

      I bet you said the same thing about 4mp. You’d HATE anything over 4mp, right?

      I shoot the same thing and I’d LOVE to have a 200mp camera.

  • B2

    AFAIK D3s sensor is designed by Nikon not Sony…

    • Tony

      I would say modify rather than design, and I think Sony allow this because they want to learn things from Nikon.

      It’s just like what they did with Nintendo that fist they provided a sound chip for SNES. Then after they knew how the game system should be, they released a Playstation 😛

      • Sloaah

        No, D3S sensor was designed by Nikon in its entirety. D3x sensor was modified.

    • Dude

      D3, D3s and D700 is the sensor design from Nikon.

      If Nikon again goes the was of single D4 into D4s/D4x again it makes no sense to start with the high MP sensor.
      Well we don’t know how Nikon’s sensor development has gone.
      I hope the Sony sensor is still optimized for best performance at rather low ISO.
      For a landscape/studio camera like the D3x (And Sony A900) this makes more sense.

      Anyways It’s doubtful that Sony will release a new FF model this year!
      Other rumour sites already have negated the idea of a A920 as well.
      With the success of the their SLT models it’s likely that their next FF model will be SLT design as well.
      This is expect to be announced mid-to-late next year.
      Why should Sony run a production cycle of FF cameras only to sell it 1 year.
      Seems way too risky.

      • Roger

        it does make sense to start with the high mp sensor. start high with the D4/D400 then go even higher with D4x.

        sensors arent optimized for low or high iso btw.

  • Martijn

    rather have 16mp and a transculent mirror for video.
    but it does have to be a reflex mirror, not like sony’s solid one.

    i don’t wanna lose 30% of light in photography! in video its a fair trade-off for autofocus

    • Tony

      Aren’t you get 100% of light when shutter is opened while taking a picture?

    • elliot

      rather have 16mp and a transculent mirror for video. but it does have to be a reflex mirror, not like sony’s solid one.i don’t wanna lose 30% of light in photography!

      A DSLR shot at 1/200th of a second would have be slowed down to 1/160th to get the same amount of light on a Sony SLT camera. Not a huge difference. Alternatively, a DSLR image shot at ISO 800 to would have to be shot at ISO 1,000 with a Sony. Again not a dig deal, especially given the advantages of the mirrorless Sony design (smaller, lighter, quieter, unmatched AF in video).

      • Martijn

        then why does everyone want just a little better ISO, and faster lenses…
        to get more light!

        30% still is enough. i wouldn’t trade it but opinions vary. and if u calculate 30%, you just can’t round off the numbers to the fastest speed.

        • 30% is close enough to 1/3 to make rounding okay. Take it easy!

          • sade

            That is not a right way to look at the problem. If your argument is correct then loosing 100% of the light must be equivalent to loosing 1 whole stop which is apparently not true. Losing 30% of the light is really a big deal!

            • Roger

              losing 50% (which is what sony robs you of) is a

              H U G E deal.

              and that’s why friends dont let friends buy sony.

        • Not only light, but image quality is worsened due to more elements and glass/air interferences between sensor and lens

    • Roger

      Sony loses 50% of the light btw. Pellicle mirror = worst “invention” of the year.

      • Renny

        I guess you weren’t paying attention in math class, Roger. It loses one-third on ONE stop. As someone already posted before you that means you’d have to shoot at 1/160 of a second instead of 1/200 with a Sony camera.

        On what planet is that “50% of the light”?

  • BartyL

    What I’d like is for them to put the D700 innards into an all polycarbonate body, and sell it for somewhere between the D7000 and D300s prices – around AU$1750. This would be fantastic for those like myself who don’t really need the pro body, and would encourage lots of people into FF.

    • RasmusJ

      I so agree. Want the FX sensor, but don’t need the pro. body. D700 sensor in a D90 body or something.

    • elliot

      That’s what everyone said about the 5D, then the 5D Mk II. Not gonna’ happen. The camera manufacturers want (and to a certain extent need) a higher price point for the full-frame cameras.

  • Tony

    The answer for MP race would be something like Foveon sensor.

    Remember ten years ago when CPU speed was 1GHz and people predicted that we could have a 5GHz CPU in the next 5 years or so? Today the CPU is barely run above 3GHz, but yet they’re much more powerful.

    • elliot

      There already IS a Foveon sensor. How much of an “answer” do you think it’s been so far?

      • Tony

        Even though the technology is not fully developed, it doesn’t mean that the idea is wrong. Pictures from SD15 look really nice and sharp plus the size of those files are only about 4-5 MP.

        If the SD1’s ISO is on par with D300s, I call it a success. But, nobody knows until it shipped though (supposes to be this month). So, don’t be so negative.

        • elliot

          If the SD1’s ISO is on par with D300s, I call it a success

          If only the ISO of a $6,900 camera with a niche mount happens to equal the ISO of a 2-year-old camera (using a sensor from the D300 which was introduced FOUR years ago), that’s somehow a success? How peculiar.

          Enjoy your $6,900 SD1 and however many hundreds/thousands you intend to sink into lenses….

          • Tony

            Let’s go back a little bit. Don’t you agree that we can’t run after high MP in Bayer sensor for much longer? There is a limit to that; pixel size, memory speed, CPU, lenses, etc. Efficiency is the key for speed.

            I’m sure both Nikon & Canon already know that, but I’m not sure how they would act. My guess is something like Foveon.
            As for SD1 if they can improve that much, it would be a success given how bad SD15 is even in ISO800. It would be nice if thing can be improved in blink of an eye. I wish I have $10,000 to spend freely though.

            • elliot

              Let’s go back a little bit.

              Before you started saying silly things? Sounds good to me.

            • Tony

              LOL elliot, I knew it that you would qoute something I said.

            • Roger

              again misinformation, whoa man, take a step back here.

              there’s a limit to how many pixel you can cram in, and the actual number would literally blow your mind. i’ll give you a few hints – it’s not 24mp. not 50mp. not 100mp. not 200 either. do you want me to keep going? 😉

              you’re asking for a solution to a problem that doesnt exist. foveon isnt a solution to anything. it’s a problem in itself. it’s performance is pathetic.

            • VJ

              Roger: while I agree the Foveon is not without its problems, you have the admit that on paper the concept should be able to deliver better quality than any bayer pattern. Positioning the subpixels on the same spot gets rid of the interpolation issues and provide the full resolution of the image.

              As the pixel density becomes close to the diffraction limits, one way to still increase the resolution would be some form of stacking: if 24 MP is the diffraction limit (hypothetically), a 24 MP stacked sensor would be able to resolve more than a 24 MP bayer sensor.

            • Roger

              I dont agree. It provides bit better resolution than the Bayer with equiv. number of megapixels. But Bayer sensors have more megapixels, so there’s no advantage in real life. Foveon also provides:

              – poor color
              – poor noise

              Both are “features” of the sensor technology. With Foveon, you get NO advantages. That’s why all the big companies have stayed well clear of Foveon.

            • does this fix it?

            • VJ

              Roger: I’m not talking about the Foveon in particular, but about the concept: getting rid of the demosaicing also gets rid of some issues (IMO).

              Guess we’ll have to disagree… 😉

    • Roger

      GOD NO!

  • SNRatio

    I guess 16/32 (or maybe 18/34) would be a natural development for a D4/D4X combo. The D7000 sensor shows it can be done IQ-wise with that higher pixel density, and I would think Nikon can keep the D3s properties in a slightly more pixel-dense sensor.

    24 MP might be something for a D700 follow-up. For example, with a “sRaw” 12 MP option for high ISO. Sure lots of enthusiasts would love getting D3X capabilities at D700 price, with a high-speed option too. For professional use, it would also surely work, but there it would tend to fall short one way or the other.

    24 MP DX – who wants it, who does really need it? It becomes diffraction-limited at the apertures we very often use. 16 MP is OK, but as there is not that much read noise left to get away with from the D7000 sensor, we are quickly approaching the point where higher res is traded against other IQ parameters. It’s the same thing about the high res& high iso dreams – there aren’t enough photons in a 24MP DX pixel to give us the information we want at ISO 51200.

    The great strides in sensor development have mostly happened by removing different obstacles – and there are fewer and fewer left to remove.

  • Gordon

    Put me down for the more megapixel brigade, I’ll take all I can. Ask any landscape photographer, MP is king and the more the merrier. Photojournalism isn’t the be end and end all of everything, there other photographic styles that demand more megapixels.

    • Gordon

      I should add too that in the landscape photography field, I am sure 90% of the landscape professionals and serious amatuers are using Canon bodies, Nikon was too late to the party and continue to be ignored. Nikon need to release something special to win back this segment of the photography world.

    • Sloaah

      Sure, if only the resolution wasn´t limited by diffraction. As mentioned above, diffraction will begin to occur round about f/6.3, which is a far wider aperture than most landscape photographers use.

      Alternative? Go for lower pixel density but larger sensor (one reason there are lots of Canon users in landscape is because they were the first with full frame, which makes a huge difference with wide angle lenses and effective resolution). If you truly want high resolution, the only option is to work with movements, which is what I do (i.e. 4×5″).

  • The invisible man.

    If you don’t know what to do with your money buy pro lenses, the D800/900 will come but we don’t know when, nice sharp pro lenses are already here (well, when available).

    I plan to get the new AF-s 85mm f/1.4 and my lenses will be complete (it start to be very HEAVY, I have to use a Bianchi belt to save my shoulder).

  • Dear camera manufacturers, leave this megapixel bump for the special task-intended technics like a digital MF. Improve dynamic range instead.

    • jose

      better to improve Dynamioc range is add features such as D 7000 tha allow to the user selec dynamic range features. D7000 took to pictures and make the arranges to show you a picture prity close to the preception you have.

      • Do you mentioning a D-lighting here? If so, then this feature extends DR for shadow zones, but no for light.

        • jose

          Slow Gin , this is not dlighting features this is a new features, the camera took two pictures and recompouse these in one with a quite real perception. I am not sure if the feature is in d7000 or in d5100.

  • Finally, a rumor!

  • rob

    I’d be happy with 16/18Mp in a body that performed as well as or better than the D3s (just gives me a few more options when cropping for magazine images when I have less than ideal shot).
    I hope the 32Mp is for the D3x replacement – it would be overkill for 98% of users.

  • Ken Elliott

    Whenever I read comments that say “Nobody needs more than XX megapixels”, I figure they don’t have a very big printer.

    If you look around, you’ll see a lot of photo printers with widths of 13″, 17″ 24″ and 44″. A 42 x 63 print at 300 dpi takes 198MP. A 16 x 20 @300dpi is 28.8MP. The ability to print big exists – there are three manufacturers making 44″ photo printers – yet the cameras are way behind the abilities of these printers. We print makers have to make a lot of compromises and spend hours in post trying to get shape images.

    That sub-$500 13″ printer needs about 23MB to print a 300dpi FX image uncropped. Think about it – it takes a $8000 camera to take full advantage of a $500 printer. Let that sink in for a minute. Now imagine trying to print using a 24″ or 44″ printer. Even a 60MP medium format camera can barely make a 24 x 30 at 300dpi.

    Then the Photoshop guy asks for higher res images so he can downsample after post. That’s why fashion magazines need high MP medium format 32MP images even for a magazine cover.

    Large format ink jet printers have been shipping for over 15 years from at least three manufactures (not counting the specialty guys). There are a LOT of them out there and they are a market that craves pixels. A $6000 printer and a $4000 computer is not that big an investment, and a lot of us have them. What we don’t have – and will likely never have – is a camera that can produce a 260MP image that lets us take full advantage of our investment.

    You can see why the Pentax 645 is creating such a buzz.

    • Sean

      Dude, I think I like you =D

      Statements such as “Nobody needs more than XX megapixels” may fit for your own use, but not for others.

      Technically this isn’t pushing megapixel wars, but pushing sensor technology itself, bayer sensors still own majority of the market with a continuously expanding pixel density. Each has its own limitation to which every maker is trying to break, and inevitably translate into better pictures.
      Still, would be nice to see further improvement in dynamic range. I’m personally partial to noise performance, I quite like natural grains, but would like more usable ISO6400 shots.

      P/S does anyone think this has anything to do with the 3MOS sensors Nikon/Sony is trying to develop?

    • @Ken Elliott

      So you’re saying that a 40″x60″ wall print needs the same level of detail as a 5″x7″?

      Do you also support 1:1 ratio for billboards?

      • PHB

        Resolution of your billboard is going to depend on how close it is going to be viewed. There are plenty of examples out there of work that is 4foot high or more by 20 or more foot wide.

        From Nikon’s point of view the question is not ‘what do folk blathering on NR want’ or even ‘what do professional photographers want’, its ‘what would make people buy a new camera’ and ‘what features are going to make people happy enough with their camera to recommend it to others’.

        If someone really thinks that 12MP is more than enough then they should get a D700 and be happy. Any replacement for the D700 is going to be higher resolution. There is possibly a chance of the 12MP sensor appearing in a D700s but that would be an extra camera as a stopgap, not a D800.

        • While I think you’re right about the attitude of “what’s good enough for now,” I think when it comes to IQ advancements, Nikon has shown a pretty good reputation for pushing the envelope as far as they can at the time they are ready to ship a camera. I know I’ll be sneered at by some here for showing such good faith to Nikon, but I do believe they are interested in best IQ, and letting spec fall by the wayside if necessary.

          Of course we’ll have 100mp one day. And of course Nikon will be putting 32mp chips in DX. But I am pretty sure Nikon will take the more conservative approach on that path, and do it only when the quality IS better than the previous cameras in every way. That’s in their DNA.

          As an aside, I don’t think we’ll see a replacement D700 with 12mp. From my understanding, that chip is limited to 720 video, and I highly doubt Nikon will be going back to anything less than 1080p.

      • Ken Elliott

        @ Ron – I expected someone would jump in ready to show me the “error of my ways”.

        Of course a large print does not “need” as high a resolution as a small print. I’m trying to give some prospective to users who don’t understand why some of us have needs beyond current cameras. And you can indeed make bill board from 6MP cameras. But you can’t get very close to a bill board due to its placement. We have no such control over the viewing distance on a large print.

        Yep – I know all about the viewing distance. But no matter how big the print, clients will almost always get close. Some ask why it isn’t sharper, and that starts a technical discussion.

        I doubt we’ll ever see a usable 100MP camera with a FX sensor. Diffraction would make it pretty useless. Guys like Clyde Butcher still use 8×10 view cameras to get the detail they need to print big. But most of us cannot do that simply because of the enlarger needed. Google “Clyde Butcher” and take a look at his darkroom. His enlarger needs as much space as a truck.

        To get anywhere near Clyde’s print quality with a digital camera, a photographer is forced to stitch multiple shots together. But if you need it in one shot, your choices become rather limited.

        A 32MP FX camera seems to be pretty darn close to the limit of what physics will allow. Anything more than that is likely to require a much larger sensor.

        BTW, I have experience printing large computer-generated rendering – which have no limitations of sensor size or optics. I can generate almost any size file I need, and have experimented with resolution vs. output. If we need a 200+MP image, it just takes longer to render. So its more of a time-to-render vs. image quality issue.

        Compared to what large format printers are capable of, all digital camera are puny. Argue all you want, but I bet you’ve never actually seen a 200MP print. Have you?

        • Whether or not I’ve seen a 200mp print seems rather irrelevant to me. I would argue that the real issue here is education:

          Education for photographers: we DON’T NEED X megapixels to make better images. I have seen 30″x40″ images from a 6mp camera that rival medium format film prints. I have also seen 21mp images that look like cat **** at their native 20″ size. In fact, I have even seen pretty poor looking prints from MF digital backs. Megapixels are all but irrelevant in the quest for great looking images, prints included. Anyone trying to tell us differently is wrong, plain and simple.

          Are there exceptions? Sure. But today people seem to have forgotten what an exception is, and have decided that in order for their work to be performant, they NEED to be classed in the exception category…”No exceptions!”

          Education for clients: Clients will ALWAYS need to be educated, no matter how many megapixels we carry in our back pocket. If we are uncomfortable helping to ease a clients mind about frivolous issues like why it’s not practical to crop an image 3x just so they can have more options later, then we’re in the wrong business, namely the business of interfacing with clients. Clients will have some issue, some complaint, or some bias until the end of time. Our job is to address these with good people/salesmanship skills, and help them to feel like they’re in good hands. A good salesman (who at the core should be a good craftsman) could sell a fashion magazine on 3mp images if that was what the craftsman needed to make killer work. And they would get the client swooning after the fact. This has little or nothing to do with technical details, and it never will.

          Education for ourselves: If we can’t go out there with our head held high while holding a camera that is 1, 2, or even 3 generations old, then WE’RE the problem, not the gear. I DO believe that Lance Armstrong could whip my ass on a Huffy, even if I were on the best bike on earth. Likewise, I think photographers today are mostly lacking the people skills and self-esteem necessary to be both bold and qualified in their craft. This seems to often stem from the lack of real skill. In place of these qualities, they try to rely on their gear’s stats as a supplement for qualification.

          Again, nothing we have technically will resolve these issues. So yes, more megapixels is inevitable. I don’t see 32mp FX as the limit, not by a long shot. Phone cameras are pumping out pixel densities that blow DSLRs out of the water. One day DSLRs may have hundreds or more MP. In the meantime, we are at a level of quality that most anyone can make work for them to the nth degree if they will but embrace their limitations and work from a creative place rather than a technical one.

          I’ve been around long enough to hear the naysayers spouting their diatribes against the current state of digital, things like “digital must get to at least 25mp before it matches the resolution of even 35mm film.” What a load of bullocks. I can walk all over your 35mm film with a decade-old 6mp DSLR. Ok, so you’ll talk about drum scans and blah blah blah, but when it comes down to it, 99.9% photogs shooting film 20 years ago couldn’t touch digital prints from 95% photogs today. Period.

          Today there is plenty of tech to illustrate our vision. If we’re running into a constraint, chances are it’s us, not the gear.

          • Ken Elliott

            Ron wrote:
            “Whether or not I’ve seen a 200mp print seems rather irrelevant to me.”

            So I take it the answer is “NO”? You did avoid my question. The only relevance is that is does give you an idea of what is possible. Not that it makes a big difference, but once you know what is possible, you do begin to see what you are missing – that’s all.

            Ron said:
            “Today there is plenty of tech to illustrate our vision. If we’re running into a constraint, chances are it’s us, not the gear.”

            I totally agree.

            But I have to ask if you stuck with your 6MP camera, or did you switch to something else. If MP doesn’t matter, why did you switch?

            I will say that I strongly believe 12MP is the sweet spot for most photographers – me included. I do have times I’d like (or need) more, and plenty of places rent medium format gear. My intent (which seems lost on you perhaps) is to provide a reference point for readers to understand why someone might need more than 12 or 16 MP. I’m not trying to sell anyone on the idea that their photos would “improve” with more MP. Beyond the minimum (say 6MP) you begin to get diminishing returns.

            Ron, if you were going to shoot for a client who requested a 44″ x 60″ print, what would be your choice of camera? Would the MP be one of the factors you’d consider?

            • I can’t say whether or not I’ve seen a 200mp print. I’ve seen some pretty high-res prints, but I doubt I’ve seen anything that high resolution. Again, I wasn’t dodging your question—I really don’t see the relevancy in this context. Resolution is not the problem of the majority of photogs on here arguing that that is their only problem. How do I know? I follow their link whenever they have one listed. I’m rarely impressed. If I am impressed, I say so publicly on this site. Until a user offers a link to their work, I consider that photographer as not artistically capable, though technically wizardly they may be.

              I understand your points, and have no problem with the idea that more megapixels bring some returns. That much is not in dispute. Even you state that diminishing returns is at play after some low number, say 6mp—certainly 12.

              I think a “reset” is in order: we basically agree with each other. More MP will solve less than x% of all photographers’ problems. Will more MP help our images? To a degree, yes. Will most people be able to see the difference? No, I don’t think so.

              Ken Elliott said:
              “But I have to ask if you stuck with your 6MP camera, or did you switch to something else. If MP doesn’t matter, why did you switch?”

              I switched, but not for want of pixels. I was shooting the Kodak DCS760, and the batteries were dying. The value of that camera was greatly diminishing, and the advancements in Nikon’s own digital bodies had finally (just) reached a point where I felt they were performing better than the 760. Alas, I purchased the D2x, and pushed it as hard as I could. I accepted the 12mp, but it was 0% factor in my decision to buy. I needed a body that produced results on par with or better than film (and the 760). Before the D2x, there was not a Nikon body I felt lived up to that standard.

              I have since upgraded a handful of times, and again have never been motivated by MP. My key motivations are higher bit depth, better low-light performance, and overall image quality improvements. I still remember seeing the Fireman sample image from the D3 when it was launched, and was amazed at the quality. I downloaded the JPEG! and upressed it to a wall-size print and was amazed at how well a cropped area print looked. It was a spectacular camera with class-leading quality. Nikon usually has less pixels, but each and every one counts at least double compared to the competition’s. That’s what matters to me. If there are 40 million of them and they rock as hard as the D3s’s pixels, so be it. I take zero issue with that. But more megapixels are neither needed nor important for the very vast majority of photographers who visit this site.

              As for which camera I’d choose for a client asking for a 44″x66″ print, assuming that print would be at floor level and was meant to be scrutinized at a 1′ distance, then I’d certainly be looking at higher MP cameras, maybe even MF backs. Most of my clients would need it for practical purposes, however, and in that case a D700/D3/D3s would be more than capable. If I were a landscape photographer who sold big prints in galleries, I would want the D3x, and I would make sure I could afford it. If I were not selling large prints that could justify purchasing an $8k camera, maybe the problem isn’t the resolution.

    • Bullsnot

      Who needs to print that large at 300DPI??? What the heck are you printing? How close to your print are you standing? Just because a printer exists that is capable doesn’t mean there’s a justifiable need for a camera to fill it!

      If you wanted to, you could easily take a 300DPI print head and put it on a 200 inch track and make 200 inch wide prints… would that then automatically “require” the market to supply a camera with a picture height of SIXTY-THOUSAND pixels?

      A large format printer is nothing new technology-wise, especially if it’s still only 300 DPI – old news. A higher resolution camera sensor within the same format size offering the same or better performance as the previous generation IS an advance in technology.

      • I double that.

      • Ken Elliott

        I find your argument silly. Building a printer that size is extremely difficult, and no such printer exists. But thousands of 44″ printers (and larger) are used every day. This market exists, and I am simply trying to explain how a 32MP camera compares to the capabilities of those printers.

        I remember listening to an argument where a guy was explaining how nobody needs a car that goes over 70MPH. When he got finished, the other fellow responded “Well, you see I race cars for a living…”

        • So you think a 261mp camera is necessary because we can print 44″x66″ images? Forget interpolation, forget viewing distances, forget it all? That seems so much less practical to me.

          So you race cars for a living. You think everyone should be able to buy a Bugatti Veyron? For $25k new? With third row seating? And towing capabilities? I mean, shouldn’t the race car driver be treated like the exception, not the rule?

          • Ken Elliott

            Ron asked: “So you think a 261mp camera is necessary because we can print 44″x66″ images?”


            I never said any such thing. Clearly, you have a point to make and seem to believe I’m saying something other than what I intend.

            • My point is how far do we take this? Nikon is producing great cameras with iterative improvements across the board, and revolutionary changes in certain categories. I think this is the correct approach for a non-ultra-specialized camera maker. Maybe I’m missing something?

            • Dan

              I’ve made my arguments for features other than megapixels at wrangl … waiting for the counter arguments and primary arguments for more MP instead! 🙂

        • This market exists, okay, but how wide it is? Very large prints at 300 dpi are in very thin commercial category and existing solutions can solve mainstream tasks easily. Take an overview: Nikon is not a special-task company like a Linhof, Sinar or Arca Swiss. It is aimed to conventional user with broad needs. Broad does not mean ‘special’, so pro-cameras like D3s can serve at their best in the landscape, portrait, fashion, concert and sport tasks. These are the categories where Nikon truly shines. But if you REALLY need camera which is capable to outresolve 300 dpi at such vast printing field, you don’t need a conventional camera, you need a special camera: digital MF or even LF.

          When you need to dig a hole, you’ll take a spade. So why are you taking the spade if you need to dig a foundation pit now? Rent a excavator instead.

        • Maybe you’ll find this comment silly, I don’t care. My last work was work of a moulder on concrete factory. Some tendencies were lead our company to a commercial fiasco and one day new owner pointed his hand to an exit. I was discharged afterwards. We were forced to move hundreds of tons of heavy machinery and materials. Our brigade of just 5 men was in rush to dismantle rails, overhead crane, every lathe and reservoir, move away more than 50 tons of ashes and disassemble one building. Without a heavy tracktor and high-capacity vertical-rail loader we couldn’t do this quickly. THIS is the meaning of special technics.

        • Bullsnot

          “Point of diminishing returns”. A camera company could make a 261MP image sensor with today’s technology, but who would want one? No company is going to build a product like a camera for such a narrow audience, and if they did there’s no way you could afford it. They have to spread the cost of development over a large production run to bring prices into a reasonable category.

          The amount of data required to make an image file of that size would cripple a camera’s processing abilities, even a seriously upgraded model. And how/where would you store all of this data? You’re talking about 500MB files, probably more! Shooting like this would allow a whopping 32 images on a 16GB card… you’d have to be tethered to a computer.

          A 200 inch 300 DPI print sounds silly, yes; that was the point. To most people, in fact probably over 99.9% of photographers, a 44 inch 300 DPI print is also silly. Cool, sure, but not practical and definitely not necessary. If you are one of the few photographers who’s prints require that much detail you will just have to settle for stiching multiple images together… today, and for a long time to come, especially if your arsenal is limited to 35mm equivalent gear.

          Sounds like you need to visit Ken’s site to see what “real” protographers are shooting; 4×5 film 🙂

    • I’ll repeat the Bullsnot’s question: what the heck are you printing? Or you are DPI-peeper? Aren’t you?

    • Mark G

      Ken is right, I’d you want to create what I like to call “hig fidelity” then higher resolution is needed. An FX Nikon with interchangeable sensors could be one solution to both demands (more MP vs better high ISO performance).

      I think Nikon is work toward both at once, thus the slower camera development but I must say with excellent results.

      Still waiting for my D800 (or whatever it. will be called). I just want at least 16MP but will take 18MP to 24MP.

      Perhaps if I just click my ruby sneakers together and chant “there is no camera Nikon, there is no camera like Nikon……,” I will eventually get my dream camera.

      My 2 cents.

      PhotoCat (formally known as Mark)

      • Ken Elliott

        Mark, I think you understand my point. Thanks for supporting my position.

        It is the print size and resolution that drives camera requirements. I remember 4×5 film guys shaking their heads about medium format guys with their toy cameras. The 35mm guys were considered clueless.

        Today, Clyde Butcher deals with his Wisner 12×20 view camera causing his tripod to sink in the swamp. If you saw his prints, you’d wish you could get that kind of detail. Clyde will sell you a 52″ x 100″ print for $17,380 framed. Clyde refers to his 4×5 as a ‘snapshot camera’. My stuff is crap compared to Clyde’s work.

        Rather than say “nobody needs xx MP”, it might be better to ask “when does someone need xx MP?” There are guys out there doing some pretty amazing things – way beyond what I do.

        • Bullsnot

          I think you’ve figured it out for yourself – there’s a tool for every job and 35mm equivalent camera systems are NOT for making 44 inch 300 DPI prints. Even if the sensors could resolve that much detail there’s not a lens available that would justify it.

          If you want mural sized “portrait quality from up close” gallery displays, 35mm isn’t going to get you there. You’ll have more success brushing your teeth with a screwdriver! 🙂

        • PhotoCat


          Thanks. I have been doing photo for over 30 years now and have worked in 35mm, medium format, 4×5, and some in 8×10. Each served a need. I fall in the middle and was a heavy user of medium format (Mamiya 6 is my favorite).

          I now shoot with a Phase One with the 16MP square sensor, and just got a D7000 Nikon.

          My dream camera would be a Mamiya 6 with a big square sensor and at least 16MP. I would love to see a Nikon D800 with FX sensor and 16 to 24MP sensor and an option to shoot in the 1:1 ratio (square format) like I can do with my Panasonic G2.

          I will just keep dreaming.

          Photocat (formally Mark)

          • PhotoCat

            A quick addition/correction to my first reply post to Ken above:

            > “hig fidelity” should state “high fidelity work”

    • sirin

      i totally second every word here.
      i worked with 44” printers for a few years, and the difference between 12pm and 24mp is so obvious, so inescapable, that denying it would seem as either lies, or trolling, or a sign you need new glasses. also, 44” posters are usually not for billboards, but for ground-level backlit panels, so the person would be able to see every detail, or a lack thereof.

      • Victor Hassleblood

        Thanks sirin,
        “inescapable” is the word. It is obvious in much smaller prints. And visible (at least to some) is the difference of prints done with 300dpi or 360dpi native RES.
        “… denying it would seem as either lies, or trolling, or a sign you need new glasses”. The latter is the perfect recommendation for many here.
        Nikon is apparently going to exceed the RES of FF cameras. What could be possibly wrong with that and what are all these silly arguments about?

        • sirin

          the arguments are coming from people who obviously have never done really large prints. just today i was looking at Nike 6 feet wide subway poster, hanging approximately 2 feet from my face, showing a human portrait that was so clearly upsampled, his face looked like a screenshot from an 8-bit video game.

          24MP > 12MP.
          end of story.

          • Wow. One photographer’s image was used in a 6 foot wide poster, and now it’s Nikons obligation to offer everyone in the sub-three-thousand-dollar-market a mega-Megapixel camera so they can sleep well knowing that they could do the same if they ever took pictures of anything other than their backyard horticulture or their grandkid on the 25 cent horsey ride in front of kmart. Got it. Now I see the light.

            • Discontinued

              if you don’t see the difference in quality far below that size (double page for instance) and if you have managed to educate* yourself, to educate * your so called clients and to educate* you optician that this means nothing at all, because a bloated ego easily makes up for both, the lack of eyesight as well as for missing IQ – hey, why do you care soooooooooooooo much?

              *make that “to persuade”

            • And one more time valid point from Ron.

              You, people, do not understand that Nike poster 6 feet wide with jaw-dropping quality was made with not usual gear. And even existing of such high fidelity images IS NOT the case to change things and bring them to the look only you like, need and can justify. At the end of the day, you are like a sort of audiophiles that are spending an arm and a leg for super-duper highest-end audio technics just to make themselves sure that they can hear everything. But what about music itself? Ketil Bjørnstad plays Steinway D but who cares if his art is so amazing?

            • And the last today. If you are lusting ultra-high resolution, go and buy Sinarback eVolution 86H. What’s the problem? If you are professionals then you can easily justify purchasing of this wonderful piece of gear. Too expensive? Okay, sell your gear and forget everything about photography. Switch yourself to 3-D modeling, so you’ll be free to render 12 gigapixel images for the very best what modern polygraphy can provide.

  • Maximilian

    Sweet news if true..

    It is true that 12Mp (or around that) is nice and all, but after playing around with a digital hasselblad cam, it is somehow hard to not want that kind of detail on a more reasonably priced camera (still, a D4 would be crazy expensive but still like half or a third of a hasselblad)..

  • Phil

    I think a high megapixel camera is useful in photojournalism because there are many times an image needs to be cropped to properly frame the point of interest.

    In this day an age however, I think any design in hi res sensors will ALSO need to have the ability to handle high ISO. I don’t think you can have one without the other anymore, so we’ll see how these chips fare.

    All that said, I do wish Nikon would take control of their own destiny, so to speak, and start putting out cameras with their own designed and manufactured sensors. March 11 may have changed that destiny, or at least pushed it back.

    • I agree. I want Nikon to move away from relying on other companies for there sensor needs. Every sensor that they have developed themselves have been astounding.

  • Basti

    And the D800 have also 32MP sensor?

    • PHB

      I can’t see that happening.

      But I could see a D800 being 18MP and a D800x being 32MP.

      • PhotoCat

        > “But I could see a D800 being 18MP and a D800x being 32MP.”

        PHB, I agree with your point. Presently, the Nikon DX cameras top out at 16MP and so coming out with a D700 replacement (D800?) that is 18MP separates that model and the FX line to some degree from the DX. For marketing reasons alone that would be a good move.

        Also, the idea of a model with higher megapixels like a 32 MP or maybe lower like a 24Mp could be offer for a higher price.

        Which would interest me would depend on the numbers, both cameras specs but also the price.

        Photocat (formally Mark)

  • dave

    If the D400 is going to have 24MP, I really don’t see how it can have as good high ISO as the D7000. I need high ISO IQ, high fps and a big buffer in DX format.. right now D7000 is three out of four. Sounds like D400 will also be 3 out of 4, just a different 3.

  • Knockwell

    Darn it, just put the D7000 sensor on the D300s replacement & it is done with, why 24 mp?? Why why why 🙁 This mp race is the reason why I dumped Canon & come ove to Nikon.

  • jose

    Sony announced a year ago that they will not manufacture more fx format cameras, they will modify and change it main in this point?

    • ob1

      I heard about this as well. I thought Sony was finished with full frame cameras?

      Can anyone clarify?

      • Sahaja

        I think that was a rumor or speculation from Thom Hogan not an announcement from Sony

    • As far as I know Sony never officially made such a stement – I think those were just Internet rumors – please correct me if I am wrong. The D3x and D7000 were announced briefly after Sony introduced those sensors in their cameras and I believe that this trend will continue with the D4 and D400 (or whatever they are called). Not sure about the D700 replacement – they may just use the D3s sensor.

      • I_still_want_d800


        D3S sensor in a D700 replacement?? If it is the same 12MP / 720p D3S sensor in a camera released in 2011 and supposedly to last until 2014 or so, i would say too little, too late. Even the same folks who insist 12MP on the D700 was enough would have a hard time accepting a 12MP sensor for the next 3-4 years.

        To be honest the 24MP Sony DX sensor seems to suggest a D400 is to be out soon, and also the D4. so a D4/D400 annoucement in August again? We might really NOT see a D700 replacement until 2012, a sad new for many, many folks here.

        • Tony

          I’m totally agree on this one. I hope at least D800 would come with D3x sensor or something similar.

        • I am just speculating here.

  • I like asian women

    Has Nikon or any camera manufacturer ever released a newer model camera that performed worst than its predecessor? I’m fairly new to cameras but not new to engineering. When designing newer products, one of the first tasks as a respectable manufacturer is to be better than the old. In the case of camera design, increasing ISO noise performance while increasing the megapixels AND sell for the same as current generation cameras would be considered a success. It confuses me why people are complaining about more megapixels or assuming just because it has more it will produce worse image quality.

    • Phil

      Canon’s lower MP cameras, notably their 12 MP line are cleaner cameras than the 18 MP models.

      Not a real DSLR, but my 2005 Fuji S9000 is far better than the new HS10 & HS20 models that are direct descendants of it. I had posted some examples of that here:
      A little background first:
      The samples:

    • Common Sense

      “Has Nikon or any camera manufacturer ever released a newer model camera that performed worst than its predecessor?”

      YES! Canon! Did you see what happened to the 60D? Everybody thought it was gonna be a 50D replacement until it came out. It was worse than its predecessor!

  • peter

    I’ll take the 32MP sensor, then the 64MP sensor. It will make it easier to take my hummingbird pictures with a 35mm lens anyway… While we’re at it let’s keep pushing MP and ISO so that I can take everything with the 35mm lens and just crop, crop , crop…

    Admin, any line on a guest post for someone to delve into shooting violet (Thanks TH) in nature. It feels like I have going to have to get a degree in physics or electrical engineering to get to the bottom of this. I’ve been looking at spectral sensitivity curves and I sure would like the sensor to match my eye when reproducing those short wavelengths that I can see. Hey Nikon, new sensor, new purples!!! What do you say?

    • not yet, but I am aways open for guest post suggestions

  • livefree

    The price of Nikon D7000 body only in Indonesia drops into $1,099
    Is this indication that Nikon D400 is coming soon?

  • John

    Hopefully these new Sony chips are for the “X” variants of the D4 and D800 and the regular, lower rez versions have 18MP or something like that and keep the great low light capabilities.
    12MP is enough for me. 18MP or so is tolerable, but higher than that and it’s not all that useful for many of us.

  • photonut

    Wouldn’t it be called D4X instead of D4?

  • JK

    The D3/s doesn’t use a Sony sensor, and it doesn’t really follow that nikon would revert to a sony sensor for the D4. Their own sensor in the D3/s is still class-leading. Upping that to 16 or 18 MPs and leaving well enough alone makes far, far more sense for the market that camera is aimed at. And for that camera’s market: if you can’t get it done with 16 or 18 MPs, the problem isn’t the camera.

    The D4x using a sony sensor at 32 MPs make sense, at ~1.5x resolution from the D3x. And for all you wanting a D800x with the same sensor for $1800, would you please just switch to Canon now? Pretty, pretty please?

    • Gérard Menthor

      Uh… 24 -> 32 Mpx is 1.15x resolution.
      Dura geometrica lex, sed lex!

      Yes, we are numerous to pla to switch to Canon, or maybe to Sony…

      • JK

        You are right, I should have said ~1.5x the number of pixels.

        And yes, please, switch now.

        • JED

          24 * 1.5 = 32?

          Wow, learn something new everyday..

          • kem

            you need to learn more, like what ~1.5x mean …

  • RuhTARD

    I pray Nikon does NOT use a sony sensor in any pro body.

    • JED


      • Lulz

        Because Sony sucks. I hate them. They are a joke of a company.

  • Tanduà

    I bought d700 few months ago….d800?….24mpx?… I will buy d900 …2015

    12 mpx nef uncompressed = 14 MB
    24 mpx ned uncompressed = 28 MB


  • bdeckert

    The whole 32 and 24 MP thing would be okay if they had small (half size) raw files available. Then they could market the D4 to studio photographers at 32 MP with the option to reduce to 16MP, and they could market the D800 to wedding/event photographers at 24MP with the option to reduce to 12MP.

  • Zim

    Nikon just get it on the market

  • JD

    We need D800!

  • Fabio

    Please Nikon, I mentally NEED to see a camera, the D800 or whatever, with FF + at least 20MP + FullHD 1080 + and all the new improvements every new cameras have. Even a bit expensive. I’d know it exists, that is my camera, I’ll save, I’ll have it, and I’ll be happy, really happy to go through the world with this beast in my hand. I’ll never sell my fantastic D700, but it’s time to step forward.

  • SGN

    What if the 32 mp FX is not the D4 but the D4x ?

    • John

      Yep, that’s got to be it. Nikon probably has their own 18-ish MP sensor for the D4 and D800 and the 32MP monster is for the D4x. They will get a good price for this sensor from Sony, but will make their own DX sensor for the D400 since that will have much larger volumes.

      I also don’t believe they will put the D7000 sensor in the D400 as by the time they come out with the D400 they should have something a year or so newer and perhaps 18MP or so with the same DR as the 16MP in the D7000. They need something to separate the D7K and the D400 beside body features (it should have better video, higher DR, etc.). My dream would be for the D400 to have a kick-ass EVF, but I suspect I will be dreaming for a long, long time.

      • Joel

        Sounds like you may want to take a look at the A77 in that case.

  • Allan

    I don’t care about all this mega pixel, IOS or HD video $hit. I just want an updated model of D300s.

    • Tony

      What about a night vision to help focus in the dark. Sh*t I need to contact my lawyer and submit this idea 😛

  • markus

    There is no sign what so ever in Japan that Sony is releasing a new full frame camera I know that Sony mentioned last year that there are no plans to make a follow up FF model to the 900/850

    • Again, I don’t think Sony ever mentioned that they have no plans for FF model – those were just rumors that took life on their own. Both current FF Sony cameras are discontinued and it is hard for me to believe that they will wait till 2012.

  • plug

    We need this, we need that! I love my D700 but would appreciate more megapixels if the other qualities are improved or maintained. What we really need is new high quality glass where there are gaps in the range. 300f4, and 70-200f4 for example

    • Ronan

      70-200 f4? Use the 70-200 2.8, it’s excellent…

  • MRPhotoau

    My 5c worth.
    If Nikon uses a 32/24/? Sensor in the D400, D800, D4, D4x don’t you think they have done there homework and the sensor will be an improvement on the previous model.
    Otherwise they won’t use it, period.
    I have complete faith in their judgement regarding this issue. They have done such a great job so far.
    Ron and Mr. Elliott please go back and reread each others posts. I would be surprised if either of you disagreed with what each was fundamentally saying. Nikon will never please everyone and I’m very happy with my D700 but would love 24mp in the upgrade I’d even take 32 if they give it to us. D4 or D800 but I don’t need it mostly. It would sure save a lot of time for me in post though. Shooting landscapes it would be great it would even be a benefit for my portraits. Ramble ramble ramble. I think it has all been said already. Blah blah blah

  • need to take pictures
    no videos!
    I hope soon to change my d90
    D300S with a price that is lower
    if I have money
    will focus on the D400
    best regards

  • SNRatio

    I think Nikon have done their homework when they release new upper range models, yes. And we have had rather precise hints from them, implying, among other things, that we should not expect too much improvement in the way of high-ISO performance from the D3s successor. Whatever efficiency improvement they achieve, they will partly use for higher res. Therefore, I am very curious about a new pro DX model – I would guess it has max 16 or even only 12 MP, but way better high ISO than the D7000. Landscape enthusiasts will be directed towards an FF model with some 20ish MP, uniformly outperforming the D7000 sensor.

    I really doubt Nikon has any motivation at all to offer cheap 32+ MP cameras now, as I see very little chance of the competition pressure in FF getting any worse for Nikon than it has been. And those of us who have really tried to get the most out of our D700, have, mostly, hit harder on the limits of glass than of the sensor. (Video is something else.) And I really doubt we will see glass able to make good use of, say, 80 MP FF resolution.

    I think we may still for a while see increased resolution with little IQ compromise on Bayer sensors, but that may take multiple readouts, and it will not come for free. Nor will improvements with Foveon-type sensors, and I think we are approaching the end of the MP race on FF and APS-C. If there had been a simple solution to adapt from mobile phone cameras, I think we would have seen that by now. For high-quality photos is an enormous competitive factor for phones. I would rather guess we will se the same sensor-enlargement-for-quality-improvement there, or tricks like multiple readout etc.

    • El Aura

      “And I really doubt we will see glass able to make good use of, say, 80 MP FF resolution.”
      Really? Let’s see: 80 MP FF is (24E3*36E3/80E6)^.5 = 3.3 micron pixel (sensel) size
      Let’s look at the pixel size of a Panasonic G3: (13E3 * 17.3E3/16E6)^.5 = 3.75 micron

      And since we can put all those lenses one might fit on a FF camera also on a G3, we can already test how much use they can make of a 3.75 micron pixel sensor. Of course that is only for the central area of the lenses but still it can easily show us if this sort of resolution is possible.

      • s1Lma

        According to some papers, diffraction limited resolution is roughly n microns for f/n aperture lens. Given this for 24×36 full frame, we get 54 mpixels for f/4 lens and 27 mpix for f/5.6.

        So, if the tests on the are correct and the best nikon primes slightly outresolve 24M sensor at f/4, they need to show exactly 1,5 more linear resolution on 54M camera in tests(in order to exploit the sensor resolution) which is unlikely to happen, correct me if I am wrong…

  • BorneoPete

    I hope they reserve the 32mp sensor for the D4x and make a super high ISO performance camera in the D4. They should also reserve the D3x retail price to the D4x, and the D3/D3s retail price to the D4. As far as the D400 goes, if it has the 24mp then fine, but how much would it cost? And how about the body? Would it have a pro body? These are super interesting things waiting to be uncovered by Nikon.

  • TaoTeJared

    Wow what a bunch of nutty people on here. I am blown away that so many are so focused on a single attribute and doubt that any will be content on what will be released. Nikon does a great job in always improving it’s cameras and is truly dedicated all different types of photographers.

    If the new D400 can do everything my D300 can do and beat my Fuji X100 in low light with that resolution, it’s a winner in my book.

    • Tony

      I totally agree for Nikon it’s more than just a sensor, but other competitors are getting close or better on other attributes. As long as there is not much gap between sensor pixel quantity (for next 4 years), I think everyone will be OK.

  • Hamuga

    @ Admin,

    A post on this topic (Posted June 20, 2011 at 7:24 pm) seems to have broken every post after it and converted all the text to italics. At least on my computer. I refreshed a few times, but every post after that one looks pretty strange to me.

    Thanks for all your hard work.

  • Hold on one sec…. I had to wipe up my drool… This would be so awesome!

  • rhlpetrus

    I don’t believe the D4, which is supposed to run at 9fps or higher, will have a 32MP sensor. More likely 18MP, outstanding high ISO.

    The 32MP Sony sensor is likely coming in the D800, this camera will no longer follow the D3/D4 line IMO. Nikon need the MP to compete with Canon 5D III, certainly above 24MP, that’s likely in the oven. The D4 is in another market, speed and high ISO.

    And the Sony sensor should be outstanding re DR, if D7k’s technology is any indication.

    They will likely share the same AF technology though (D4 and D800), and my guess is that we will see a breakthrough in the contrast AF dept and also in video. D400 should also get same AF/video tech.

  • is it “meaningful” to develop a DASLR that shoots film and digital at the same time.
    film is loaded at the very first and the sensor being at the foreground toward the rear element of lens. photographer to choose whether the shoot digital, “colour”, and the sensor is there to get the picture. otherwise, choosing film make the camera mechanics pull off the sensor above and let the film play his role. Somme millimetres to be recovered by displacing the mount a little deeper into the camera body because of the “back” position of film. It’s naive as a little thought, but can give a real flexibility to what ever a photographic situation might be.

  • july is almost here and then august cant wait for the new info on dslr’s

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