What could the Nikon D400 sensor be like?

The only D400 traces so far (credit: Anders Relling)

In addition to Nikon's press event on August 24th, Sony is also expected to announce its new a77 camera on the same date. This is another reason why we may not see a Nikon D300s replacement this month - Sony will want to take all the glory with its new 24MP sensor. Here is what I know about the a77 sensor in case Nikon decides to use it in the D300s replacement later this year:

  • World's first 24.3 MP APS-C sensor (FIY: Nikon D7000 has a normal ISO range of 100-6400)
  • ISO range of 100-16000 (expandable to ISO 50)
  • The sensor will offer AVCHD progressive (ver.2.0) full HD video recording at 60p which is also world's first
  • A 24p frame rate option will also be available.
A recent unscientific poll indicated that the D300s replacement is the second most anticipated Nikon camera right now (22% of all votes).
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  • pethunia

    Love this as tension-relieve!! Thanks. Much needed.

    • Ren Kockwell

      18MP D800 with great new video feature and everything else identical to the D700 and I’d be happy.

      • Only

        Only if it has a D3s sensitivity………….

        • Nikon will opt for a higher MP count. To me a 24 MP sensor is the most likely one due to the 5d2. The thing is that for being a newer generation it will definitely outperform the D3s. For sensors of the same generation a higher megapixel count means better ISO performance. I don’t know why so many photographers still believe in the opposite.

          See: http://bit.ly/eNtmpD

          • cpm5280

            Umm…better noise performance may be CORRELATED with higher megapixels, but to say “higher megapixel count means better ISO performance” implies CAUSATION, which isn’t warranted here, no?

          • PixelBrine

            There are allot of factors that go into ISO performance including the types of photo sites used. As far as the Higher MP count/Better ISO that is not really true. It may sometimes appear that way because you see higher MP counts on newer cameras that usually have better ISO but that is due mostly to improvements in the way the sensor “captures” light not necessarily because of more photo sites to collect it. The reason behind the Lower MP count/Better ISO argument is the size of each photo site. When you have the same sized APS-C sensor (or full frame) the more photo sites (MP) you put on it the smaller they have to be. The opposite is also true If you have less MP the larger each one can be. Larger photo sites consistently capture more light VS the area of the sensor than smaller ones. This amount of “extra” light captured can directly contribute to better ISO capability than “Camera – X” with a larger MP count, assuming both sensors are using the same generation photo site technology.

            • Jabs


              -or- like increasing the exposed surface area of an item by putting more bumps on it like how they make heat sinks or such = how many sensors work.

              People fail to realize that sensors are FIXED in sizes (square area) and thus the more you cram in there, the LESS physical size each item will be and in light gathering terms, it means less ability – as in each bump crowds the other and less light per bump, as in each bump in smaller or more dense in its’ distribution – generally.

              People make the erroneous assumption that sensors are like CPU’s and thus smaller (as in a newer LOWER nanometer process) is often better or somehow can now resolve better or even there is some equivalence based upon this ‘bump’ density – NO – totally bogus!

              Pixel PITCH is not a measure of megapixels but is ONE of the factors in the exposed SURFACE area now being used for light gathering purposes.

              FX is just bigger than DX or other smaller sensors and thus all factors being equal, it just gathers MORE light – PERIOD! – sort of like a bigger SOLAR cell -vs- a smaller solar cell as to which one gathers more sunlight due to more exposed area.

              Newer Technology will eventually supersede this, but for now, this is HOW it is today!

          • Worminator

            For a fixed sensor area, and fixed “dark area” per pixel, the fewer pixels you put on the sensor, the more light you can detect.

            That said, “high ISO performance” in modern cameras is obtained more by trickery-dickery rather than simple physics, and it is always possible to bleed resolution for lower noise in the final image.

            The correlation between pixel count and image noise is tenuous at best.

            • Jabs


              I was addressing a common and erroneous assumption on the Internet especially at Photo Web sites that – camera sensors are like computer processors, an item I am very familiar with.

              Computer processors are like digital calculators albeit faster and more complex but still basically calculations take place there.

              Camera SENSORS are just that – a sensor (something that senses something and then reacts or sends an output from itself). One of the known elements of a sensor is that it measures something based upon INPUT. Camera and even video sensors gather basically LIGHT and either do it independently as in a separate R (Red), G (Green) and B (Blue) channel or in a combined RGB setup. Light gathering ability is a function of the area of the item and also the pixel pitch, BUT everyone knows that larger area means better ability, often. The MORE you cram in a given area, the LESS exposure each individual light gathering cell has exposure to light, and thus DX and smaller sensors are at a disadvantage NO matter what the resolution is, as the size is FIXED in dimensions.

              One day, if they have not already done this, I expect
              a) CYMK sensors allowing an expanded color recording gamut
              b) RGB sensors with triple individual sensors as in one Red, one Blue and one Green feeding independent channels

              The sensors feed their output to some sort of analysis and collection system (that is where the CPU is, as in 8bit, 16bit or even now 32bit embedded chips – (think Nikon Expeed) and there it is kept either analog or digital plus processed and that is where Nikon EXCELS beyond anyone else in popular the Photographic Companies. THAT CPU and the ability to get clean 16BIT output/throughput AFTER the sensor is what makes the D3X so expensive and so great.

              I really like Sigma’s approach, since it really has merits to MY eyes, but so far, Sigma has not been able to ‘perfect’ their technique and maybe they need to learn from Sony, who already makes very good separate R+G+B sensors for video, but they are very expensive. The problem seems to be aligning the now three sensors, so as to minimize color shift or color registration errors leading to color bleeding or overlap.

              High ISO and even color response can indeed be tweaked after the sensor and it involves trade-offs, but when I look at what Nikon does compared to others, then I am truly amazed. Look at the files from a D7000 and then compare them to a Sony A900, a Canon 5DMK2 or even a Canon 1D MK4 and you will see their deficiencies easily if your eyes are trained.

              Let me give you a little of my observations and background – I was one of the first or foremost photographers years ago to choose Fuji Velvia 50D Pro film over Kodachrome 25 Pro, as when I shot BOTH and looked at them on a 36X loupe after shooting with identical bodies (F3’s and F4’s) and lenses, the Fujichrome was much sharper with better colors and that flew against convention even today. I also tried the same thing with Fuji 64T (Tungsten) versus Kodachrome 64 Pro, though they were different types of film (Tungsten versus daylight balanced film). I shot with Nikon’s on tripods with their great 6X Mag camera head plus used the proper dioptric adjustments on the F4s to get my results and conclusions. I even used the 55mm F2.8 Micro-Nikkor, the 105 F2.5, the 75-150 F3.5 E series zoom and the 180mm F2.8 ED IF plus the two F3AF lenses – 80 F2.8 (very sharp) and the 200 F3.5 ED-IF AF (also very sharp and contrasty) plus other Nikon lenses.

              Kodak reminded me of how the film was made, a B+W film with interpreted COLOR in processing -vs- a REAL color slide film in Fujichrome Pro. I now see the same exact thrust in digital with Nikon reminding me of Fuji Pro and others such as Leica reminding me of Kodak (they also use Kodak designed sensors -lol). Canon to my eyes is somewhere in between and Sony – is wherever they are -LOL!

              I thus have a trained eye with great visual acuity and that is what SENSOR output tuners like what Nikon has, seem to do the best. The D3X and D3s just blow me away, as does the Pentax 645D medium format bodies, hence I actually see the correlation to DXO scores clearly from experience, as usually I can pick out a Nikon shot from a Canon shot and it is even easier for me in digital now.

      • Zim

        and for $1999

  • John


    By the way, this is AVCHD, not AVSHD… But still, this is greatly inferior to the crippled compression used by Canon…

    • AVCHD v2 = 28MBit/sec max

      Canon + Magic Lantern = 55 to 80MBit/sec


      • Logan Mackay

        Avchd is vastly more efficient. Comparing by numbers is completely illogical and misleading. I will take the 24Mbit Avchd from the gh2 over anything Canon has right now.

        • Bit rate would only be meaningful if you were comparing the same compression with the same data. For example, on a GH2 where we can experiment with bit rates you can see some differences in how the bit rate improves intraframe movement.

          But comparing two different compression systems, all bets are off (and that includes different H.264 engines). Even Nikon’s 18Mbps AVCHD looks cleaner than some 50Mbps other bit rate/compression combinations I’ve seen.

          Even beyond that is the data you’re feeding the compressor in the first place. If it’s sub-sampled (most DSLRs) versus fully sampled (most pro video rigs), the fully sampled will win at a lower bit rate even with the same compression.

      • More MBit/sec is nothing on Digital SLR it just eat a lot more of memory.

    • These comments always confuse me, AVCHD is still MPEG4 H.264, I never understand how these are all so drastically different. Is there info that dumbs this all down to what is really making the big difference in the Nikon vs Canon debate of video formats and containers that shows technically why one is superior over the other?
      The magic lantern stuff really makes me think Canon has this down and I find comments about “crippled” tech without justifying, hard to follow. It just sounds like bitterness that the options offered by Canon are superior and someone hates to see it.

  • No Idea…

    i hope the d400 is announced this month…. i dont see Nikon announcing 2 full frame bodies at once….

    • Joaquim Prado


  • Shane

    No d400 this year there is no point as the d7000 is doing great why bother with s d400 anyway the d800 is majorly overdue even longer than the d400 so it doesn’t make since a d400 b out

    D800 & d4 announcements soon….. πŸ™‚

    • ja

      i think the D800 will be a different spec to the that of the D4 other wise whats the point of releaseing 2 FF camera’s with the same spec only apart from one is cheaper than the other , i would very much welcome the D400 as i have been waiting it out on the DX side of it ,

      • Worminator

        I’m betting on a slightly slimmed, trimmed, and cheaper D700 as the “replacement” for the D300s. To the DX fans, Nikon will say: it’s 24MP, you get 12MP in DX crop, same as the D300, what are you complaining about!?

  • Camaman

    I hope for nothing…
    That way I can only be disappointed by their mirrorless system in August… πŸ˜›

    • MattC

      Hahaha that’s brilliant! Although, I’d be crying.

    • Davo

      Great line!!!

  • Jadewatcher

    Admin, do you still think Nikon will upset its regular schedule for products refreshment by announcing simultaneously two FX bodies? I don’t think that’s unlikely but you know..considering the d700 is silently fading away from stores all around the world and this other rumor about the Sony a77..i am really starting to believe that the unlikely will happen πŸ™‚

    • No, I still have hard time believing that Nikon will announce two full frame bodies. I am thinking that we may just see the D4 at the end of August and maybe the mirrorless camera. The D700 is currently 3 years old and Nikon’s pro camera are replaced every 4 years. I think the most logical scenario is D4 in August, D400 by the end of the year and D700 replacement in 2012.

      • Maybe is going to be like last year, now in august is going to be two FX bodies and then later in November they will release the D400 with Olympics next year they have to release a pro DX body for those sport shooters to get more reach and perfect pictures.

        Honestly I think that by releasing two FX cameras now they will regain interest from professional and prosumer market with all the hype around the 5Dmk2 because its video capabilities and if they do increase the fps up to 60fps @ 1080p and somehow manage to control the rolling shutter and moirΓ© to make it a notch better than competition they will sell like cocacola in the middle of Sahara! I just hope they also managed to solve the sensor heating problem to extend recording times, maybe a thermoelectric cooler with a small Peltier piece attached to the sensor just to keep it operational long enough to extend both clip times and overall sensor life.

        • NisseHult

          If the announcement will be for two new FX cameras, isnΒ΄t possible for D4 and D700 sensor in a d90 body.

          If D800 will be released in winter, all the machines necessary to produce such a camera will be available an the technology is allredy invented!

        • to-mas

          olympics is not a place for dx cameras, but for highlevel like d3/4.

          • Mate with those 400mts races around the loop you will need all the extra reach you can get and if the D300 can get 8fps when gripped, what makes you think the possible D400 can’t keep up with the task?

            • Because D3/D4 will have better fps and AF so normal pro will use them together with 400/500/600mm lenses.
              Even now D300 cant compete with d700/d3s (i used all of them) at the sports events.
              I haven’t been on Olympics (i am not a sport shooter), but my friends from the news agency said that something less then the highend body (at least 2 per shooter) wasnt usual at that type of events.

      • PHB

        I think there is a likely interim refresh on the D700 to give it the D3s sensor so that does not go off the market when the D4 launches. Just like the D300 was made into a continuation of the D2h for DXers.

        Also would not rule out a D9000. That has to be a priority for nikon, bigger than th D800 even.

        So maybe 4 pro cameras this year and another one next year!

        • cpm5280

          Why is a D9000 a priority? The top end of the lower market segment (i.e., the d7000/d300 crowd, ‘prosumer’, whatever you want to call it) already has a great player in the d700, which isn’t long in the tooth. That market needs no new or updated products right now to pad it.

          • cpm5280

            sorry, meant “in the d7000”

          • PHB

            The reason I would go for a D9000 now is that FX is where the DSLR market is headed. There are plenty of punters who have been told that FX is the bees knees and that they should dump DX as soon as possible.

            Now that does not make a lot of sense to me personally. But it might if I hadn’t switched to digital before making most of my high end lens purchases. My preference is for a DX body and an f/2.8 zoom (with 1.5x crop factor) over an FX body and a ‘lightweight’ f/4 zoom.

            I would expect the D9000 to be essentially the same as the D7000 and cost somewhat less than the D400 when it arrives. Probably close to the current D300s street price.

            I expect that the D400 will compete pretty well with the D3x on technical specs. The issue is going to be the lenses.

            • El Aura

              “that FX is where the DSLR market is headed”
              Really? Show me any DSLR ranking where a FX camera even makes it into the Top 10. Only if you mean pro-market, you might be right.

              If there is anything where the interchangeable lens camera market is headed, it is mirrorless (look at market share of mirrorless vs. FX, mirrorless is approaching 30% and FX is probably in the <5% range).

            • Magnus

              Nikon will never label a FX camera D9000.
              Also, the need for a cheapish entry level FX is not that great considering the higher cost of lenses for FX.

              Pro (FX) cameras will probably continue to have low numbers (i.e. D4, D5, D6) and the ones for the masses (DX) will have higher numbers (i.e. D8000, D9000, D10000).

              The problem is the middle ground (D300’s DX replacements and D700’s FX replacements).
              The most logical is to name the semiproDX: D400, D500 and D600, and the FX ones D800, D900 and D1000…

              Then you would (in about four years) end up with:
              D5 (FX)
              D1000 (FX)
              D500 (DX)
              D10000 (DX)

              … this said I really think it would be best if Nikon just started over with a new numbering:
              – FX1 (D3 replacement)
              – FX10 (D700 replacement)
              – FX100 (entry level FX)
              – DX100 (D300 replacement)
              – DX1000 (D7000 replacement)

      • Rich

        If thats the case, no D800 or D400, Im done with Nikon! I just cant wait anymore! Im still using D200 bodies and I don’t want the half plastic body in the D7000. I’ll be forced to get a 5D markII, as much as I don’t want to!!

        Three photographers I know have switched to Canon, in the last year. Simply because Nikon wont put something out that will compete with the 5D markII at a decent price range. Nikon would be shooting themselves in the foot if they have focused on the D4 rather than replacing the D700. Just look at your poll.

        • For me, the 5d Mk II isn’t so great. If I had to buy a system tomorrow, I would choose the D700 over it. Better construction, faster frame rate, better ISO performance. Sure, the 21MP is nice, but I would seriously be hurting if I didn’t have 8.5fps capability and sick ISO performance. I do wish the D700 had the 5d’s 1080p@24fps, but if I really needed video, I could pick up a D7000 for $1200…

      • Ole

        What do you guys think about this one:
        The two FX-Bodies are the new D4 with
        the rumored Specs… to be released around
        fall… and the other one is just a slightly
        optimized D700s with Video and the D3s
        Sensor… Mirrorless comes for Xmas, the
        D400 in the next Spring for the Olympics
        and finally the D800 right in time for
        Photokina 2012..?!


        • HalbVoll

          I doubt it. The extra pixel in a D4 won’t be enough to justify the price over a D700s, as noise might very well be at the same level.
          However I do see a chance for an announcement of the “24mp twins” D400 and D800 early next year. Feels a bit like the 12mpx announcement of the D300 and D3.

          This leaves the question for the second body in late October. Easy one πŸ˜‰ A D7700, body from the D7000, sensor from the D700, at a price of the future D400. The D7000 body seems to be up for the challenge. Nikon gave it everything to be a worthy backup body, as well as a hell of a primary one.

        • Price that camera at $2000 and I would buy it right now. I do event coverage so the 20+ mp bump is useless for me. D3s sensor with full HD video with better compression and I am set.

      • D700guy

        So, in other words; no new camera for me this year.

      • rhlpetrus

        Me too, was betting on D4+D400, then BP, then TH and then you posted about D4+d800 (D700+) and I started believing that (I want an excuse to get an FF camera πŸ˜‰ ).

        Boy, it’ll be a BIG BIG disappointment if the D700 update doesn’t materialize in 2 weeks … . And not only here.

      • Worminator

        That doesn’t explain the D700 availability issue. In Japan the average online retail price of the D700 body fell 50,000 yen on July 24th, exactly one month before the rumored product announcement. That correlates with Nikon issuing a “clear your remaining stock” directive along with giving one month advance notification of new products.

        No such price drop happened for the D300s. If nothing else a 24MP D700x looks in the cards.

  • The invisible man

    How many times do I have to tell you !!!!!!
    Look at the picture, the D400 sensor is made of 3 colors sensors (RGB)
    Does anyone believe me now ?

    • Ren Kockwell


  • While I would like to see a D400 soon, I do expect to wait until next year for it. I do have the D7000, but do not like its ergonomics. In winter with gloves on, I frequently bump the mode dial into a different position as there is no lock on it.

    I do hope they do announce lenses with the FX cameras. I am hoping for at least one of the following:

    300 F4 VR Nano
    80-400 replacement
    400 F4.5 (smaller/lighter than an F4, but can still add a 1.4 TC)

    • SGN

      Amen on the lenses. πŸ™‚

      • I agree. I’ve used a borrowed D7000 as a second body on several shoots now. And, I must say while I love the image quality, I much prefer the ergonomics on my D300s. Especially when shooting with heavier glass like my 70-200 VRII.

        With that in mind I could see the D400 being delayed a bit due to the success of the D7000. But, don’t expect (really really hope) Nikon would drop the D300/s all together and try to position the D7000 as their pro DX body. The D7000 would be a small round peg trying to fill a big square hole. EG.. It would be strong in the middle, but lots of gaps in the corners. πŸ˜‰

    • Jabs

      @John Tangney

      What about a new version of the 180mm F2.8 ED-IF AF with maybe VR2 and nano-coating as a lighter alternative to the 200 F2.0 ED-IF AF?

      How about also a 28mm F2.0 AF and a 800 F5.6 or even F4.0 ED-IF VR2?

      Would love to see new versions of the DC series – 105mm and 135mm also.

      Maybe even a new 58mm F1.2 NOCT or something similar but AF now.

      How about a 105 F2.5 but with ED glass, if needed and then nano coating and such.

      Just dreaming – lol

  • Christino

    Maybe D400 now and D400s 24MP in the future, if itΒ΄s the case of using this sensor.

    Anyway, I am waiting for D800. I already have D7000 and would not move to D400.

  • broxibear
    • It’s mislabeled. That’s the P400. πŸ™‚

    • good one!

    • pethunia

      Love it! [..I have the exact eehh.. D400 on a wooden tripod in the corner of our living room for years now – how I feel I shoot have counted my blessings..]

  • Narna

    Thats a fantastic photo! And even real! Wait has it been photoshoped?? hmmm

    • The invisible man

      I don’t know about photoshoped but I’m sure, it won’t blend !

      • Art

        For what it is worth, Tom Dickson (“Will it Blend?” / BlendTec) is my down-the-street neighbor …. Great guy.

        • The invisible man

          Are you serious ?

          • Art

            Yep. Totally serious. Tom comes into my chocolate store all the time and has been very helpful and supportive as we have gotten our chocolate factory off the ground. He is quite a character and has lots of stories to tell. (They just recently won a suit against Vitamix for $9mil and now it is going to court again to see if Vitamix did it knowingly which would triple damages.)

    • no, the photo is real

      • Andy

        Its Norwegian manholes. Real. Have noticed the D400 on many occations. However, I am waiting for the D800 manholes and did not bother to mention.


      • Ren Kockwell

        Please don’t say Norwegian Manholes again. It makes me uncomfortable.

  • I just don’t see a real need for 24mp in a APS-C format. Diffraction will start at about F/8 or so. Unless of course they’ve found a way around this and will feature a stop or so better ISO handling over the D7K(which I doubt). I am a little weary.

    • Jan

      Yeh always wondered about Canon’s even smaller 1.6x and diffraction at f7.1

      • LGO


        APS-C Then:
        If 12mp on a Nikon 1.5x crop = diffraction may become visible at f/8.0

        APS-C Now:
        If 14mp on a Nikon 1.5x crop = diffraction may become visible at f/8
        If 16mp on a Nikon 1.5x crop = diffraction may become visible at f/7.1

        APS-C Soon:
        If 24mp on a Nikon 1.5x crop = diffraction may become visible at f/6.3

        Full-frame then:
        If 12mp on a Nikon 1.0x FF = diffraction may become visible at f/11 approx

        Full-frame soon:
        If 18mp on a Nikon 1.0x FF = diffraction may become visible at f/10 approx
        If 24mp on a Nikon 1.0x FF = diffraction may become visible at f/9 approx

        I think the camera manufacturers just wants us to buy more wider-opening lenses!

        • Soap

          Don’t confuse pixel sharpness with image sharpness!

          It is perfectly possible to increase photo sharpness through decreased pixel sharpness and increased pixel density.

    • Jimuan

      I have to agree with you. 24mp on an APS-C just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t think you would get that much of a difference in image quality from the d7000 and the RAW files would be huge, slowing down the workflow considerably.

      It would make much more sense for the d400 to go FX.

  • Hmmm sounds D400 is not in the works right now…

  • Dexter0508

    I’m really leaning towards the d700 replacement this year. Back in 2007, Nikon unveiled the d3 along side its “small brother” the d300, so i think its appropriate that this time Nikon unveil a “big brother-small brother” full-frame camera line.

    Nikon now has the resource and technology to do a smaller FF cameras ever since the d700 was unveiled back in 2008 so it’s really possible for us to see two new FF camera this year.

    We cannot deny the fact that the d300’s replacement is long over-due but nikon already has a very good Crop DSLR, the D7000. The d7000 was released last year that bridged the gap between pro-sumer and entry level/semi-pro DX cameras, there is just no place for another entry level/semi-pro DX camera this year not unless Nikon has a crazy idea of going all-out(which i doubt and the fact that we have the d300s which can still support the line)

    I believe that this year, Nikon will “WOW” their professional and advanced enthusiast audience with two incredible full-frame cameras and a “big brother-small brother” FF cameras just sounded so sweet πŸ™‚

    • Alex

      I too, think that Nikon will be unveiling the D4 and D700 replacement. If this rumor is true about the D400 sensor the same as the one in the Sony. However what remains to be seen is what Nikon will decide to do with their Fx. Will they follow their current trend of having the D800 very similar, but slightly crippled to the D4, or will they go a completely different direction (like Canon) and the D800 a high res camera with awesome video (like the 5D II) and a full body D4 for ultra low light capabilities and faster fps (like the 1D IV). Or maybe it could be a D700x/s and the D800 will be announced next year using similar specs as the D4.

      We don’t currently know what Nikon’s release cycle will be like for the Dxxx Fx series as they only have the D700 to go off of. They can do whatever they want, however the D4 seems imminent if you follow the trend, plus Nikon needs to get as many D4’s to the pros who will be using them at next years Olympics.

      • Dexter0508

        +1 for a new Nikon pro camera for next years Olympics

  • Mtrebbin

    soooooo. now we have got the lens cap!
    …What’s next?


  • VRphoto

    3 weeks until announcement and we have no idea what is going to be announced…
    how on earth is this information kept secret by nikon is a mystery to me…
    did everyone who works for nikon had to sign NDA?

    • The invisible man

      It’s not a big deal, when I’m planning to buy a new lens I can keep it secret for up to 6 months !

  • “A recent unscientific poll”

    Ha! Love it! πŸ™‚

  • KnightPhoto

    So what is going to be the deal on the top end of the ISO range. Is 16,000 the boosted HI+2 equivalent value? In which case the highest rated ISO would only be ISO 4000?

    All this talk about binnig, I am likewise very wary of this sensor. I need a DX camera that allows me to stop down to f11 and whose ISO performance is as good as my D700. I don’t really need a sensor that favours resolution over ISO performance. This level of pixel density would be 58 megapixels on FX. That is getting pretty extreme!

    • Either 1) something is amiss, 2) something fantastical is about to happen, or 3) Sony is trading long-term credibility for short-term hype.

      I vote it’s either 1 or 3. If option 2 is real, well, yeah. I’ll believe it when I see it.

      • Tony

        I think Sony know that they are almost at the limit of Bayer sensor, so they have to bring it out and catch the tide before it obsolete.

      • Victor Hassleblood

        I think Sony is becoming more and more serious. Hope they’ll stay FF and will give the market something new in that segment too. And missing lenses of course.
        Sounds like the a77 will become a killer DX-machine for both, video and stills. The NEX 7 is supposed to have the same sensor and a built in EVF. Wonder what mirroless-solution Nikon will bring up to compete with that? Sony truely is serious competition and I appreciate competition. That a77 battery-grip looks pretty cool and tough. The one of my D7000 is not really that great. You can’t find the camera’s fn-button from there and you don’t find many controls on the grip. Further more you can’t tighten the grip to camera in a manner that feels right – no matter how violently you screw that wheel, grip stays slightly loose.
        If I was Sony I would keep that sensor for myself and do not allow Nikon to use it for at least another year. I am not sure about the SLT-concept. My guts scream NO, but I guess one would have to try it before you know.

        • Danyyyel

          They are selling 3 times more large sensor to nikon than to their Sony dslr division. In fact it is Nikon which is subsidizing and financing the development of the Sony sensors. People should see the grand scheme of things, it is not a simple 1 +1 = 2. For Nikon having committed to Sony for a large part of its Cameras, I am sure that they have a contract for many many years to a decade, and the whole road map of Sony sensors.

  • bjrichus

    Nahhhh…. All wrong.

    Aug 24th will see the announcement of Sony and Nikon merging….


    • I hope with all my blackened soul that that joke never sees the light of reality.

    • The invisible man

      @Ron Adair
      Yes, I’m planning to mount a SONY stereo microphone on my Nikon D900 when shooting full HD video !

      • Victor Hassleblood

        Get a Sennheiser mic. That is what I plug into my D7000 for now, hoping to plug it into a D800 soon.

    • Danyyyel

      It is extraordinary how some people want to go back to slavery.

  • Jim

    Ah Yes the ol’ Manhole cover full frame sensor ploy..and you can even count the pixels.

  • Mark V

    Strange question: with the recent comment that Nikon made about the new focus on video, do you think it might be possible that Nikon might release 2 ff cameras, and one would be more like the d700 but centered around video, perhaps even with sensor cooling for longer video recording, similar to the RED cameras? Or conversely, could we maybe see a D4v that has such features released next year?

    • JonMcg

      I’ve been thinking they might very well do the same thing. I expect a D3s replacement to be split into 2 separate cams, one more focusses on video, the other oh photo… Just a hunch..

      • ja


  • great photo a lot of goodies are coming SOON

  • The invisible man

    Peter, did you think about what could hapen to you if NOTHING hapen on August 24th ?
    Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone where you live, anyway who will bother looking for you in a litte town like St Petersbourg in Arizona !

    • No, there will be something on Aug. 24th for sure. Press events are already scheduled in several countries. I also believe it will be more than new Coolpix cameras.

      • NoVideoPlse

        The D400 manhole cover is a sign of sh?? hitting the fans ????

  • Joe

    I have no idea how I am going to afford a D4, D800, and a D400, but its gonna happen. Is there a shred of hope for 60p on the D4?

    • The invisible man

      If the D900 meet my expectations I’ll be back in professional business.
      I’ll also get the AF-s 200 f/2 VRII if the D900 is good (clean ISO 800).

  • David Duncan

    The D9000 sensor is from Sony.
    Nikon already producing D3100, D4 and digital 110 sensor. Nikon will only make 1 series of sensor per size.
    24mp sensor was the pinnacle of Sony sensor development, important for Sony to eat the market share of Canon hoping to attract customer’s that want high MP.
    Nikon let Sony have 6 mos to attract Canon’s high MP customers before they release high end DX. Canon doesn’t have APS-C sensor to compete with 24mp, has hit a wall in sensor development now that R&D is focusing on video

    • The video seems to be paying off. I’d imagine more people would be interested in good video (60fps, quality, settings, etc..) then an extra 8mp on their camera.

  • Spliter

    Go to h*** everybody with that d400. Why!??! I read all this rumor stuff…there so many who want that d400. I dont get it…There ar 4 cameras, which we need. Two DX and two FX. One cheep and one damn good of all kinde. So – Two DX we just got, now we need two new FX. And in that way, i really dont see the future of d400…

    So may be somebody explain me…why!?

    • Lightning

      Are you kidding me? The D7000 is simply not the camera I need for wildlife photography.
      You don’t see the future of a D400? DX is still the best teleconverter you can buy.

      • rogger


  • Monkey Nigh Mow

    60p means nothing. I need 25p and 50p (PAL country). I hope Nikon don’t be stupid and only give us 60p or 24p. That’s dumb to say the least. 24p/25p/30p/50p/60p is what they should do.

    50/60p is only really needed for sports/slow mo. 25/30p give a nicer look IMHO. A little motion blur to give it the film look and you’re there… nice.

    For noobs then do everything in 50/60p and be happy… even though your TV probably can’t play it back, but hey, you have 50/60p! Yay for you!

    • The best way to utilize 60p is to slow it down by about 2.5x so it’ll get you that nice slow-mo action in 24p πŸ˜› Don’t be hatin’.

      • Monkey Nigh Mow

        Only if the rest of your project is also in 24p. Unless your outputing for film, 25p or 30p is a better choice…

        Sorry about the venom. Just tired of people saying they need 1080p 60p without knowing why.

  • Ric

    NX3 release to go with the new bodies.

    • Walkthru

      Oh Lordy – there’s another thing to add to the wish-list. I’m gonna be a very old, old man by the time they get this stuff out onto the market.

  • DX2FX

    Apart from the D4, I wonder why many sources are reluctant to speculate the second FX body a D800 but chose to refer it as a D700 replacement/ follow up ? What else could it be ?

  • Why AVCHD on professional camera?

    AVCHD is complicated. But would sound better if Nikon have plug-in or software to edit it.

  • NikonTheAvenger

    I don’t know about the name of the new Nikon FF camera is gonna be, but my reliable Nikon source rep told me that its going to be a damn good Canon replacement.

  • Jaye

    Whomever thinks the D7000 is a decent replacement for the D300/S probably doesn’t shoot with anything but a kit lens. I had 3 D7000 bodies and returned all 3 of them. The D7000 just can’t focus big glass like the D300S. I’d totally welcome a D300S replacement this year.

    • What are you talking about? I shoot two D7000’s professionally and have shot the D300s as well as others. The D7000 has a superior AF system to the D300s, you just have to know how to use it. It focuses big glass perfectly(which is a stupid statement btw, like big glass is harder to focus….lol).

      • VRphoto

        D7000 has superior AF than D300/D700/D3 51 point AF?
        I don’t think so.

        • Af points don’t really mean much. The D7K has a much newer AF system. It’s RGB sensor has twice the amount of pixels, to start. It’s not uncommon for newer/better tech to be introduced on lower end bodies in between pro level updates. The D7K has a great AF system, despite of what you may perceive. Don’t get too cought up on AF points.

  • [Γ”]

    No one seems to have noticed the new EN124 Battery. πŸ˜‰

  • lock

    The d400 iso specs must be wrong. They really make no sense, since the top end is not full stop. I predict this will be changed for sure, something like iso 25600. And that will be without the expanded range. But personally, if Nikon puts a D3s sensor and hardware in a D700 body with some new snuffs and stuffs, I might as well go FX . That sensor is a dream.

    • Alex

      You only think the D3s sensor is a dream. But the D4 might just set a new benchmark. ;D

  • Mark Petersen

    on a side node, every body is only talking on how the earthquake has delayed the introduction of XYZ, but maybe it also have forced nikon to speed up the introduction of some models
    as maybe X production line have been damage to such an extend that it was more practical to start the production of the replacement that to reestablish the old production line
    this may be the reason the we hear of FX+FX and not a FX+DX announcement

  • Anders Fredriksson


    I saw a manhole cover “D400” yesterday and then i automagically thought Nikon… Creepy!!

  • RumpelHund

    Whoa what a lens mount!

    There must be some 25″ sensor in there, of course that size requires industrial grade materials like bare iron. Kids might drop into the mount otherwise!

    Can’t wait to see the lens to this.

    Forget about the time of carriing around heavy gear: this D0.04 has wheels and motor, including seat to hop on the cruise. A all-new street photo experience!

  • SNRatio

    The Sony ISO specs may well be right: ISO and f-stops usually go by thirds, and one third of a stop above ISO 12800 is ISO 16000. (Try 2^(1/3))

    I think the considerable video capabilities of the new Sony sensor may be the most important reason we will have to wait some months for the D400. Nikon can’t afford offering anything half-baked this time, and it does not seem like this sensor has been available for so long in its finalized version. They may also choose to wait on the reeases of the competitors now, as they aren’t really in a hurry to release anything in DX.

    Strictly speaking, the 4-year cycle applies only to “purely pro” Nikon, there’s nothing said or implied wrt the semi-pro models, where 2-3 year cycles mye be more sensible. So, releasing a D800 now puts that line on a 3-year cycle, and announsing the D400 fall/winter will make the D200-D400 cycles average 3 years. The D300 was the anomaly here, for obvious reasons.

    • lock

      I know how the iso count works. But if this iso 16000 would be the case, they basically would have an is0 range going to max 12800 with one third extention only (like H1), or form iso 6400 Hi 1.3. That is not going to happen. It would suprise me very much if this model cannot produce the same iso range as the D7000 and the K5, the latter to me being the winner in terms of noise and detail. The D7000 does 1/3 steps above iso 6400 as well, but up to a full Hi2 (iso 25600, whatever it’s worth). Sony doesn’t, but in stead offers the multiexposure option at iso 25.600.
      I expect the D400 sensor to do one (or 2) full stops more in the Hi-range like the D7000 does, depending on the max iso in the normal range (6400 or 12800). If Sony cannot produce this type of sensor, the extra 8 Mp will cause a serious discussion among pro users and amateurs.
      There could be one explanation why Nikon seems to delay the D400 with a 24 Mp sensor: the hi iso performance is indeed poor and needs serious tweaking/better hardware. Something that may not be ready yet.

      • John

        Another reason for a D400 delay is that perhaps there are none to few Nikon lenses that have that kind of resolution. Perhaps they are developing a new kit lens that can satisfy a 24MP DX sensor. The 16MP D7K sensor has already shown that many lenses are running out of steam.

      • SNRatio

        Look at the physics involved. What will be the full well capacity on a 24MP DX sensor? And 8 steps up from an (assumed) base ISO of 100, a full exposure is only 1/256 of that electron count. Factor in some read/amp noise, look at the shot noise when full exposures are D400.
        This is where pixel binning enters the equation: D400@12MP may beat D7000@16MP comfortably at high ISOs. You lose some image quality in binning, but not too much. Without binning, 24MP is not a too good idea for a general purpose DX sensor, with it, it might just be close to the ultimate, 24MP being usable for high quality full res shooting up to ca ISO 800 or somewhat higher. 12MP giving “acceptable” quality up to ca ISO 25600. In this context, it may well be that certain quality criteria are (barely) met @ISO 16000, but not higher. Might for example be a combination of DR and color precision.

    • Danyyyel

      Perhaps the main difference will be because of the pelicle mirror in the sony that takes out about a third of the light going to the sensor. You could expect more of a 25600 Iso on the Nikon and Pentax version using the same sensor.

  • broxibear

    The last week in August and first in September are going to be chaotic.
    Nikon and Sony announcements on the same day ?, Canon rumoured to be ready to announce their 5D mark III a week later, and now I’m reading both Panasonic and Olympus are going to announce more m4/3 bodies during the same period.
    What the hell’s going on ?

    • John

      It’s called competition.

  • EnPassant

    I trust Nikon! Whatever sensor they put in D400 it will have very good performance and most people will be very happy with it.
    As to the dual FX-release Nikon last year already broke the pattern of coming out with the pro-DX camera (D100-300) first and instead presented the D90 replacement D7000.
    What if they repeat it this year by releasing a FX-camera in D7000 body with 16-18 MP instead of the D700 replacement?
    That way a D4 with 24 MP would still be the choice for those needing a pro-grade FX-camera. Also Nikon could sell both cameras for premium price as there would be no other new fx-cameras competing with them until a year later when Nikon will show the marvellous D700 replacement with 24 MP for Photokina!
    Inbetween Nikon will release the D400 with 24 Mp and the D3100 replacement with the the innovative name D3200 and their mirrorless camera.

  • Fab

    I don’t want a lens mount this rusty on my new camera. Nikon disappoints me…

    • The invisible man

      I put grease on my cameras and lenses bayonets (I’m serious).

  • Nikon has a habit of recycling their older sensors. I wonder if their 12Mp FF sensor will be recycled to a lower price, maybe sub $1000 body. That would really shake up the market!

    • per

      That could be interesting. The attractiveness of the FX format is in my view not mainly due to the superiority of the sensor, but due to the view finder. I am myself shooting with a D7000 and am very happy with it. I mostly use it for street photography. Once in a while I walk into a camera store and look through a D700 and then I smile. But then I look at the prize’n size and then I say thanks, but no thanks. There are a lot of prosumers out there who bought D90s and D7000s and who would be tempted to go FX if the prize’n size was right.

    • NikonTheAvenger

      I like your idea.

  • Danyyyel

    I really hope Nikon comes out with some killer video from this line. They are the company that don’t have any video division to protect. This is a whole new market I think they did not ever dream to expand. Canon has been the company that have really benefited from the dslr boom while Nikon has missed the boat. They can’t just come out with some “follow the leader” tech if they want to get some market share.

    They should at least have one of the 3 thing bellow to put them back in contention

    1. A 10bit 422 high bitrate codec

    2. An uncompressed 10bit 422 hdmi output that can be recorded by external recorders.

    3. At least a limited (time/buffer) HD raw output.

    At least one of these would be needed to sway the market in Nikon direction. This market is still not mature (the canon dslr have still a lot of issues) and people are prepared to move a lot if a product offers something significantly more. This would be a whole new market, selling a ton of lenses etc. But if they continue to miss the boat and the market matures, with for example a Canon 5d mark iii with at least one of the above feature, then it will be very, very hard to get any foothold in the large sensor video market.

    • Jabs


      Exactly right – that is what Nikon needs to do in their Pro bodies, at least – even if it is very expensive. Maybe also they can use a breakout box like many do with USB audio gear (like M-Audio) and give more output options OR they could just buy RED and be done with it – lol

      1920×1080 is so low a resolution though – maybe they will confine one series of bodies to 1920×1080 and then step the Pro bodies (at least a version of the D4) up to 2K to 4K resolution. I have seen Pro digital uncompressed video on Sony equipment and even playing back at 120fps (Fast Forward playback or 4X playback), it looks significantly better than any HD content or camera’s output.

      Of course that Sony digital camera did cost over $250K and was huge, but it made some unusual Music video footage, that now we have to wait for the quality of equipment to reach that level in a lower price point (below say $12M) one day, maybe.

      What people fail to realize is HOW really low a resolution HD is – compared to what is out there professionally.
      We are in an era of empowering Independent Film makers via lower priced gear, but the big iron or REAL Pro gear will probably always be outrageously expensive – as you make money from investing in gear to do specific jobs.

      My favorite video Manufacturers are Sony and RED, while my favorite photography gear manufacturers are Nikon and Gitzo (tripods) plus Zero-Halliburton (cases).

      • Danyyyel

        Hi Jabs, I know that 1080p seems to be very low resolution, but contrary to still images, moving ones perception of resolution is much more forgiving. all Sony cameras and the Arri Alexa which are use to shoot film are 1080p camera. Only the RED has more resolution or just introduced Alexa raw version if I am not mistaken. There are heated debate about that, but apart from the red film, all the other digital film have been 1080p. If I am not mistaken the star war trilogy was shot at 720p. Most if not all the digital cinemas have 2k projectors, it is only now that they are trying to upgrade to 4k.

        I am not saying that more resolution is not better, but getting a good uncompressed down-sampled 1080p/2k through hdmi would already be very good. I think that for this level a 4k (8 megapixel) raw output would be a nightmare to deal with. A 2.5K (like alexa) would already be a game changer. A d400/d800 camera with an ok codec and an advance 1 to 5min 1080p/2.5k raw mode would shift the market completely towards Nikon, at least before an answer form the other manufactures.

        • Jabs

          Many things are done at low resolutions OR downsampled to consumer resolutions because 1920 x 1080 fits within the old analog framework perfectly. 1920×1080 is a content delivery standard and NOT an acquisition standard in the High End Industry!!!

          That is 640 x 480 = the standard analog video format with the extra resolution used to just cover the outside in case a monitor is not functioning right. 1920 = 640+640+640 and thus you can just basically triple things and keep the same scale as in aspect ratio as video consists of two interlocked frames. The extra area above 640X480 is called the overscan area and thus people get confused when they see a resolution higher than 640X480 or you tell them it is that size nominally.

          The Sony equipment that I saw was actually uncompressed digital D1 or D2 and that is way higher than anything used in Broadcast. I saw it with my own eyes and even had down-sampled footage from it as an Amiga user of the past – and it blows away ANY HD footage now, as even in Japan today, they broadcast higher resolution than in America at above HD resolution but it’s analog video. HD video is basically compressed video and I saw uncompressed video and there is no comparison. Uncompressed video is resolution independent and thus I can’t explain the sizes. Compressed video depends on sizes and codecs, for example.

          Cinematic 2K looks better because it is often too uncompressed and thus not like compressed HD. The resolution might be the SAME or similar, but there are NO artifacts and the megabit structure of this uncompressed digital video would not be able to fit into just about any normal hard drive, as it offers so much throughput – the average multiple terabyte drive would fill up in a few seconds and render the thing useless.

          This is why they went to compressed digital video, but uncompressed is way better. RED looks good but I have personally seen much better as in been to Studios. The advantage of the RED system is their RAW codec and the modularity of their system plus you don’t need to convert from analog to digital, as it is already digital. Lucas was NOT known to shoot high-end but more for special effects, as I had most of their stuff on analog Laser Discs (and it never looked great to ME) and there was much better stuff available then years ago. Had a Sony Laser disc player hooked up to a Sony Micro-Black Pro monitor (which I owned two of) and it looked better than a lot of DVD’s, but now Blue-Ray surpasses it but it still is compressed. Compression just lowers the bit rate and file sizes with minimum loss in visual perceptions of FLAWS, but when you view it on a Sony Broadcast or worse, a Sony Cinematic 16:9 or wider display with SMPTE colors and the wider color gamut of the Trinitron tube as compared to ANY LED or LCD monitor, then you will easily see this limitation. Of course the newer Sony Cinema displays costs about $40-50,000 by itself without input sub-assemblies and such.

          What I saw was a Chaka Khan music video (I think – I’m Every Woman), or an outtake from it and the quality amazed me plus they told me this was a third generation dub after being edited a few times. Compared to the cable or Broadcast version, it was like spectacular and reminds me of the difference between a digital Studio recording and the compressed mess that they sell you as a CD – not to mention the awful crap that is MP3 now. Ever heard a Studio master tape or sat in on a Studio session while they are recording and then hear the results yourself?

          Therefore I have been around several Studios and Television Stations plus been to some NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) shows thus well informed in behind the scenes activities. You are therefore wrong on what people actually shoot. EVER heard of or seen any footage from 70mm I-MAX? Twice the resolution of 35mm and will definitely put RED to shame. I have seen 70mm footage of NASA Space Shuttle launches and it blew me away, especially on Sony Pro monitors, as I don’t know of any monitor even close to that in color purity or resolution and I probably have seen all the brands or most of them myself.

          Your perceptions then, are often solely based upon your exposure and what YOU think looks good. I have been spoiled to see excellent things and thus my eyes are trained for that, so I keep quiet a lot, lest I become a grumpy guy and isolate myself from everyone – lol.

        • Jabs


          Actually HDMI is a content protection system and the bandwith is limited. It is there to protect the CONTENT providers and not allow YOU to view or MORE – copy their content as in making sure you are hooked to a HD monitor and not just recording their signal.

          Hence, we are in two different worlds.

          Nobody uses HDMI professionally except maybe photographers and Independent Film/Video makers.

        • Jabs

          One last comment

          If I remember right, most Theaters in America, at least – are fed a digital signal and simply project this image as in NOT having much storage but the signal is sent to them via an exclusive network and they do mere playback as no actual tape/disc is in house. This eliminates storage and the risk of piracy from somebody copying a master at the Theater, as an encoded signal is transmitted to them directly and they play that in the common multiplexes or multiple Movie Houses in one building here in America.

          • Sahaja

            How would this stop determined piracy? If these theaters get a digital feed over a network it can be recorded.

            • Jabs


              They send an encrypted digital signal feed and it probably in decrypted at the Theater.

              I don’t know HOW and if I did, would not say anyway – not on the Internet and have Hollywood coming after me – NAW!

              This is similar to how digital Teleconferencing works – via maybe fiber optic networks, but don’t know for sure.

              DO NOT pirate = the issue, or at least be nice – LOL!

  • Pacman

    epic fail! LOL

  • Anonymous

    The Norwegian manhole D400 is truly designed in a state of art. And how would life be if sensors were made circle? Image circle is a circle indeed. We could frame the print circular too, and call it “art” πŸ™‚

  • Landscape Photo

    Though preferring a 24mp D800, as an alternative I might do with a D400 exactly in the form factor & functioning of D300 only if Nikon uses the same sensor from D7000.

    But 24mp DX is an overkill. In few circumstances one may get a better image than 16mp, because of the lens resolution & diffraction issues. 24mp DX pixel density equals to FX 54mp !

    Otoh, a 24mp FX is a different story. It doesn’t feel as “stressed” as its DX counterpart in any aspect one can imagine. FX is future-proof, still having some potential up to 30-some mp resolution count.

  • The invisible man

    Here is a picture made with that new D400 sensor, not bad :

    • Thanks!

      But that’s no Nikon, it’s an Olympus E-400.

      If you look at the upper right part of the manhole, you’ll see where the “D400” tag came from.

  • AnoNemo

    NR Admin,

    Hope you are not going to show the content of the sewage pipe ….

    • The invisible man

      Well, I’ve heard that new sensors will have water cooling to improve ISO and contrast !

  • Hynss

    Exciting times…I shoot with two systems, Nikon and Sony, a900 and d3s…and i like this combo…d3s for shots needing iso performance…the a900 when light is perfect with monster MP and is amazing paired with zeiss glass…. Hopefully the new gear coming out at the end of August for both sony and nikon will be worth all this hype!

  • Q

    Im not sure what to believe. If there was as D4 or D800 in a few weeks, surly there must have been a lot of uses in the “wild” but nothing. I saw some Japanese guys in Stockholm the other day with a very strange plastic semi transparent cover not far from the pride area in central Stockholm on something looked to be a pro size camera. No rain that day… No brand on the strap. Black telezoom lens similar to a 400 mm nikon, but hard to tell. Most of it was in the cover too.

    • Anonymous

      Why didn’t you take a photo of it, even with a mobile cam?

    • Jabs

      Good find but no recording!

      Did they not just have the Track and Field Meet there?

      Maybe in that, someone was really testing a new Nikon – WHY did you not get a picture?

      No time, no thought, no equipment or was there some BURLY guys with mean sneers on their faces in the background trying to intimidate you?


      There is one coming up in a few weeks in maybe Korea, so maybe someone goes there hunting NIKON’s – be vewwy, vewwy – Elmer Fudd to Bugs – lol!

      a. Going on NOW – Samsung Diamond meet at Crystal Palace in London

      b. August 27-September 4 – IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

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