As many of you know, it's been rumored that Nikon is going to be announcing the new D600 at Photokina next month. It's rumored that the camera will pan out as such:
To me, this sounds like a mighty fine camera. Initially, I was slightly disappointed when I read that it had a 24MP sensor. Owning D800, I was very hopeful that Nikon had a trick up their sleeve and was going to really knock us out of the park with a lower-MP camera with incredible ISO capabilities. I was really hoping that the next FX camera would be announced with the D3s sensor and the body of the D700 (but add the video functionality of the D4 and D800). But, to its own defense, the D3s is still an incredible and holds its own against any camera in the "new" market today.
The one thing that is really worrying me, though, is the fact that the D600 is supposedly going to be catering to the "entry-level" FX market. In my experience, MANY beginners picked up a D800 when they were released, and simply don't know how to use it. But, I can't really see this being a D3100 of the FX market. If I were a betting man, I would say it's going to be more like a full-frame D7000 (even though that's what the D800 is said by many to be). It's got quite a decent MP count (the same count as Nikon's professional-grade $8000 D3x and entry-level $700 D3200), a decent body build, but in a very small package. See it compared even to the too-small D800:
I must say, I was awfully heated that it kept the square-like body type of the D300s and 700 as well and the D800 got the more aerodynamic Canon-like body. Now, mind you, I love my D800. But, I really love the feel of a beefier camera. Especially with large FX glass.
Now, how much of this will end up being true? Honestly, I'd say at least 85-95% of it will probably be true. It sounds right up the alley for what should be expected at this point. We'll just have to wait and see.
While this may seem fun and exciting, if you're like me and asking "Well, where's the damned D700 replacement?!", this may actually be good news. As you saw at the beginning of the post, the D700 has been discontinued (says bhphotovideo.com). The Nikon USA website is still showing that it is still in production, though:
This may make you think that the D600 is supposed to be the D700 replacement. Well, we thought that about the D800 too, didn't we? But, I say no. I don't think the D600 is going to be the replacement. I think Nikon has another camera up their sleeves that they're not telling us about (as per usual). A true D700 replacement. I really hope I'm correct about this, and am right for passing up on the D600 as the D800 backup. I couldn't begin to imagine what a replacement would be, but I'm guessing they'll just put the D4/D3s sensor in the camera next year, and branch the D4 into D4s and D4x as they did with the D3, but both with a higher MP count than the current D4. Then people will call that the true D700 replacement, and it will be. So, this could be exciting.
Honestly, I think it's a bit soon for them to put the D4 sensor into a lesser body. But, Nikon works in mysterious ways. And, if they did something of the sort, they would completely sweep the market. The D710/900 (or whatever they'll call it) will have the lower-MP, higher ISO cameras, the D800 will have the higher-MP, and, well, everything else, users, and the D600 will have the D5100 users now. The D4s/x will maintain the "king of the hill" title with all of the working pros (and non-pros) with a pro body now. Brilliant.
So, with a new, lower-end FX body coming out, where does that leave the D7100 and D400? Well, here's what I'm predicting:
I'm going to predict that there simply will not be both lines any longer. Whichever name is kept will not be the same line as its predecessor, and should be renamed something different like a D8000 or D9000 (probably the latter).
We're at a time now where Nikon seems to be really doing a major overhaul of their lineup. Whereas over the past generations we've seen only marginal increases, beginning with the D800 and D3200, Nikon has established that they're going to start a new way of thinking about things. Clearly the D3200 was a shock coming as the D3100 replacement. And, as the D800 wasn't labeled a D700 replacement, the D3200 wasn't labeled the D3100 successor, but is said to sit with it in the lineup:
But, we all know that that's just so that they can cover all the bases as far as financial options go. But, any way you look at it, it's essentially a different camera class besides the name. And, just as this received a major overhaul, I'm predicting that the rest of the line will as well. Where does that leave the D5100 (that already has the D7k sensor)? I honestly don't know.
But, in regard to the D7000 and potential D400, I believe there will be only 1, not both. On the same token, I don't believe that the D600 is the long-awaited D400, just moved to FX. I believe that the D600 is it's own line. The D400 and D7100 will be combined into one new line, under one name or the other (and, most probably the D7100). With Nikon beefing up their lineup of new DSLRs, I think the D7X00 line will be equally beefed up and will be the D400. I believe that everything the D400 was supposed to be will be put into the D7100, and the camera we all envisioned the D7000 to morph into will be no more (but will still carry the name of the line).
In this new lineup, there will be the following lines:
D3200 - basic consumer body. Good enough for most, and underused by the majority.
D5200 - new sensor of some sort to take over the D7100 line
D7100 - new sensor to take over the D400 line
D600 - "beginner" 24MP sensor, will essentially follow the path of the D3200 line, only in FX
D710/D900 - D3s/D4 sensor - Market-sweeper
D800 - 36MP current sensor
D4 - Will slowly fall out of mainstream circulation as the D3 did when the D700/D3s/D3x came out
D4s - D3s of the D4 series
D4x - D3x of the D4 series
Now, this is all just a supposition. I'd love to know what you think.
As always, thanks for stopping by.