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D700 Forever!?


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#1 EspenRekdal

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:08 AM

Hi all,

Looks like those of us missing "a real D700" replacement might be in for a long wait. Nikon's Nobuaki Sasagaki confirms that the D700 will continue to be built as long as there is demand.

http://www.robgalbra...d=7-11674-12354

What do you think?

Cheers,
Espen
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#2 PeteAtkinson

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:24 AM

I would hope that there will be a D4 sensor in a D800 body in a year. Since the D700 can't be sold in Japan because of the battery contacts, perhaps we will get it sooner?
I'll get a D800 in the meantime having missed the D700 era completely. The DX crop at 15MP is useful at least - hopefully 1600 ISO will look ok once downrezzed to something useful.

#3 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:32 AM

Interesting news. But then may just be a way to keep D700 sales strong until stock is used. And to make sure people buy the D4, rather than wait for that sensor is a cheaper body. Nikon lost a lot of D3 sales to the D700 (such as me). The D700 was already on sale when I was doing the D3 review for Wetpixel. So I just got the D700 instead. Vertical grips are not that attractive for underwater.
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#4 Don Silcock

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:38 AM

My guess is that Nikon will release a D700S and a D700X using the sensors for the D3S and D700X and price them about $2500 - halfway in between the D400 and the D800...

The point being that both sensors are still of great functional value which will have been left untapped if not used in the D700 body.

I would certainly buy a D700S if one came out as it gives me the better high ISO capability and would go straight in my D700 housing.

Don
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#5 loftus

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:23 AM

I would certainly buy a D700S if one came out as it gives me the better high ISO capability and would go straight in my D700 housing.

Don

Unfortunately they'd probably change the controls for video etc, and then it would not fit....
I think ultimately for underwater and wildlife use DX will make even more sense once the proposed D400 arrives. D800 will be the best studio/landscape, D4 will be the best journalist/sport camera, and D400 the best wildlife and underwater camera.

Edited by loftus, 20 February 2012 - 05:48 AM.

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#6 EspenRekdal

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:52 AM

My guess is that Nikon will release a D700S and a D700X using the sensors for the D3S and D700X and price them about $2500 - halfway in between the D400 and the D800...

Hi Don,

I think that it's highly unlikely that Nikon will re-use these "old " sensors in a new camera. I believe its possible that they could do a camera with a D4 sensor, but I think it is more than a a year away in time. Rumors are there will be 3 more Dx announcements this year (NR). When will Nikon find the time and resources. Nikon has also been way under par on lens announcements and productions this past year. Also the lack of a Canon - "direct competitor" to the D700 type camera leaves me with a feeling we have a long wait ahead before new FX releases.

Just my 2 cents worth..

Espen.
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#7 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:13 AM

I see reasons for and against the D3s (possible) and D3x (highly unlikely) becoming hand me downs in a D700 body, but my gut feeling is no.

I see no reason for the D3X sensor being donated. As the D800 already out resolves it, with newer autofocus. The D3s is possible. But I think the most likely is a D4 sensor in a D800 body. I don't feel we'll see the D700 body being reused.

The announcement of the D700 continuation comes as a surprise to me. Not because of the camera, because for many it was the best all-rounder of the D3-generation. But because the camera stocks had dried up in so many places - and this was what lead a lot of people to speculate on the imminent arrival of the D800. It also led to very strong re-sale values of the D700, which is often close to original price and actually only a little cheaper than the re-sale of the D3.

However, I suspect this is a recent decision by Nikon, a u-turn after the wound down supply a while back. And that is the only way I can see them launching a D700S - if they are restarting production, why not do it using the D3s sensor?

Although, I agree with Espen - that Nikon have got too much on their plate at the moment. They are already late with the D4. And from what I hear - they have a big waiting list on D800s to clear too.

Alex

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#8 Don Silcock

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:01 PM

Quite possibly my wishful thinking at work here as I was personally hoping that the sensors out of the D3X and D3S would be cascaded down - but..... Nikon are very good at teasing us all along and extracting the maximum spend out of each of us as we search for that perfect system and it won't be lost on them that there is currently a revenue opportunity with the 3X and 3S sensors.

Now that they have set the technology high bar with the D800 and the price point at $2999, there is a FX gap that could be filled at about $2500 with the D700 and those sensors.

I guess time will tell, but my gut feeling is that Nikon will be reluctant to let that opportunity slip.

Don
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#9 EspenRekdal

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:12 PM

Now that they have set the technology high bar with the D800 and the price point at $2999, there is a FX gap that could be filled at about $2500 with the D700 and those sensors.
Don


New sensors would mean a new production line.. I think what we are seeing is the conclusion of what interrupting natural disasters does to a production cycle. The D700 will do well as a entry FX to fill the lines between DX and FX.

Thom Hogan has a interesting take on the situation also. http://www.bythom.com

Espen.
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#10 fforbes

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:48 PM

As a very happy owner of a D700, I was still waiting for a long time, lusting in fact, for the D800 announcement. At last, it arrived. Then I had to have a long discussion with myself.

I will never shoot video, that's my husband's passion, and I don't want to compete with him.... besides God knows, still photos are more than enough to occupy my uw time.

Then I thought, will I really take a better image if I spend another $9,000? ( body + Subal housing). I love the colors and the dynamic range of the D700. It focuses like a dream. I can use any ISO I want. At this point, is it the arrow or the indian that will make a better image ( mixed metaphor, sorry).

I'm thinking it's the indian. I need to improve myself as a photographer, not improve my arrow. I'm sticking with this great D700 camera that I have.

Of course I may change my mind tomorrow.... and I still have all my DX lenses, waiting for the D400!

Fletcher
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#11 loftus

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:01 PM

As a very happy owner of a D700, I was still waiting for a long time, lusting in fact, for the D800 announcement. At last, it arrived. Then I had to have a long discussion with myself.

I will never shoot video, that's my husband's passion, and I don't want to compete with him.... besides God knows, still photos are more than enough to occupy my uw time.

Then I thought, will I really take a better image if I spend another $9,000? ( body + Subal housing). I love the colors and the dynamic range of the D700. It focuses like a dream. I can use any ISO I want. At this point, is it the arrow or the indian that will make a better image ( mixed metaphor, sorry).

I'm thinking it's the indian. I need to improve myself as a photographer, not improve my arrow. I'm sticking with this great D700 camera that I have.

Of course I may change my mind tomorrow.... and I still have all my DX lenses, waiting for the D400!

Fletcher

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#12 Don Silcock

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 12:00 AM

From Thom Hogan today....

The D700s and D700x
Feb 24 (commentary)--I notice that Nikon Rumors is recreating a poll that I've run many times, only in a slightly updated guise. It's basically the "what do you want to replace a D700" poll. The choices have always been (1) improve the low light capability (the D700s choice: 12mp D3s sensor in D700 body), or (2) increase the pixel count (the D700x choice: 24mp D3x sensor in D700 body).


With over 25,000 responses prior to the D800 leaks, my results put the D700s and D700x options neck and neck: within two percentage points, at 49% versus 51%. As I write this, the Nikon Rumors results are 58% versus 42%, still very close and within sight of a coin toss.

Indeed, one might explain the slight tilt Nikon Rumors tilt towards the D700s option as being people deciding that the D700x option (the D800) was a little too x for them once it was announced. That, coupled with the 16mp versus 36mp choice--16mp is closer to 24mp but keeps the essence of the D3s sensor--probably explains the difference. Still, taken at face value, all these polls that have been run about the D700 followup choices still indicate the same thing: there's strong demand for both options. Put another way, Nikon needs to produce both options.

So the question is: will they?

I keep getting vague hints from anonymous sources that the D400 is indeed not a DX camera but something akin to a D700s. To date, no information I've received about that has the clear ring of authenticity to it, though.

The interesting thing is that there are two missing cameras from Nikon's DSLR lineup: a high end DX model, and an entry level FX model. The D7000 doesn't satisfy the high-end DX side primarily because of its buffer. That, coupled with the new "top" for DX being 24mp (Sony A77, NEX-7), means Nikon doesn't have a true competitor at the top of the DX line at the moment. I can't see Nikon foregoing that, so it's easily imaginable that the D300s replacement is a 24mp DX D400.

On the other hand, there's that strong demand for a D700s. Curiously, Nikon announced that they'll continue to build the existing D700, but they didn't change pricing at all. That seems like a "patch," not a solution. Either the D700 needs to come down to a price one full step below the D800, it needs to get the D3s sensor, or both.

Meanwhile, the D7000 is coming up due for an update late this year. Could it be the new high-end DX? Imagine this lineup for a moment:

  • <LI class=bt>D3200. Entry DSLR, and entry DX, 24mp. <LI class=bt>D5200. Mid-level DX, 24mp. <LI class=bt>D7200. High-end DX, 24mp. <LI class=bt>D400. Entry FX DSLR, 16mp. <LI class=bt>D800. Mid-level FX, 36mp.
  • D4. Pro FX, 16mp.
versus:

  • <LI class=bt>D3200. Entry DSLR, and entry DX, ??mp. <LI class=bt>D5200. Mid-level DX, 16mp. <LI class=bt>D7200. High-end DX, 16mp. <LI class=bt>D400. Top DX, with 24mp sensor. <LI class=bt>D700. Entry FX DSLR, 12mp. (Eventual D720 or phase out?) <LI class=bt>D800. Mid-level FX, 36mp. <LI class=bt>D4. Pro PJ FX, 16mp.
  • D4x: Pro studio FX, 36mp.
Basically, it boils down to which of those lines you think makes more sense. The first list seems lean and clean to me. The second list has a lot of historical slop in it, and some pixel count marketing issues. Add in a third Nikon 1 model (my Z1), and the first list would be 3 CX, 3 DX, and 3 FX: basically an entry, mid, and top in each line, with the lines being spaced nicely (except for the Nikon 1, which is currently out of whack in terms of pricing).

The second list is more hodge podge, with new/old overlap and essentially four choices in each category.

I know which list I'd want to market. Does Nikon?
Don Silcock
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#13 loftus

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:12 AM

I think the DX vs FX separation that TH speaks of is starting to get blurred now that the high MP counts available in FX start to make sense for DX use as well. I disagree that the D800 is a 'mid-level' camera as he suggests - except from a price perspective, for photographers such as studio, landscape etc - the D800 is a significantly higher level camera than the D4. If one looks at camera models from a functional perspective for different types of photography, the only camera missing now is a top line DX. If one owns a V1(with FT convertor), a D4, a D800 and a proposed 24MP D400 DX camera, there is not a single area or type of photography that cannot be handled at a very high level with a set of Nikon lenses.
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#14 Don Silcock

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:54 AM

Another very interesting post from Thom Hogan, my stomach is still telling me that a $2500 D700S and D700X is a possibility....

Don

Almost on Cue
Feb 25 (news and commentary)--Dealers on Friday got some new pricing from Nikon, specifically on the D700. The new suggested price is soon going to be US$2199 (currently US$2699). But here's an interesting kicker: there apparently won't be a minimum advertised price (MAP) associated with that, which would mean we'll likely see someone drop under the US$2000 mark.


Some people have questioned my slight shift on predicting what Nikon will introduce next. Actually, it hasn't been a slight shift. If you go back and read what I wrote in 2010 versus where we are today, I think you'll find that Nikon went a bit different direction than I originally expected. The post-quake thinking at Nikon seems to be a bit different than the pre-quake thinking, too. Nikon seems a bit more emboldened in its decision making since the last management change. Looking back on my conversations with Nikon executives over the past couple of years as well as anonymous tips I receive, I can see that I didn't pick up on all the clues that were dropped. Mea culpa.

But let me explain one thing that still seems to be hanging a bunch of you up: entry FX. First, it should be clear that a US$2000 D700 is very much an "entry FX" model ;~). And a danged good one, at that. Many of you seem perplexed by why an entry FX model makes sense, and why a US$1000 difference in price between it and a D800 works.

First the rationale: the market for new DSLR sales boils down to upgraders. The notion of "new camera users" coming into the market is mostly wrong. Young adults aren't opting for DSLRs, and that would be only a small percentage of the purchasers now, anyway. The side-grade from film SLR to DSLR is now mostly complete.

So today Nikon is actively soliciting Coolpix users to upgrade to CX (Nikon 1). CX users will be solicited to upgrade to DX. And DX users, well, it's only natural to upgrade them to FX. But if the entry FX body is 3x the price of the top DX body, that's a pretty big money leap. Entry FX can't be more than 2x the top DX price if it is to encourage upgrading. Indeed, it probably should be 1.5x (which would be about US$1800). That puts us right at the likely D400 pricing, which is one reason why I think the D400 could go either way (DX or FX).

Yes, a DX D400 at US$1900 and an FX D800 at US$3000 are almost 1.5x apart, too. So what's the advantage to making a D400 FX? Lenses. Indeed, the "where are the DX wide angles" question continues to be an interesting one. One might leap to say that this is more evidence that the DX line might stop at the D7000 point: someone who pays US$1600-2000 for a DX body is going to want lenses that don't exist. But those lenses do exist in FX.

I still think a D400 could go either way and is more likely to be DX, but given Nikon's recent aggressive push, I can't rule out an FX D400, thus what I wrote in the next article. The new US$2200 pricing on the D700 just throws another wrinkle into the mix.
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#15 divegypsy

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:19 PM

I'm perfectly content with the D800 as a replacement for the D700. Since I'm not particularly interested in video, the first thing I will do when my D800 arrives is to carefully check it to see if it can be shoehorned into my D700 housings. If I can do that, even if it takes some machine shop work, I'll do it and replace my D700's with D800's. If not, the D700 will be probably be just fine for underwater photography. D700 images are very well accepted at most photo agencies and magazines. D700 images also print beautifully at 16" x 24". I feel an image's visual content is far more important than the Nth degree of technical quality. And so do most image buyers, in my experience.

Fred

#16 John Bantin

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:33 PM

Fred has hit the nail on the head. I use a D700 but I alternate it with my D200 outfit. Yes, you read that right! I still use a couple of D200. Pity me! I bet some of you are unaware that there was anything BEFORE the D300! However, I'm here in the Maldives this week making some very successful pictures of mantas and whalesharks (using my Pegasus Thruster to cruise with the latter for up to 30 minutes at one time) and because there are no keen underwater photographers here, I don't have to make any excuses for the OLD camera kit!

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#17 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:57 PM

I'm perfectly content with the D800 as a replacement for the D700. Since I'm not particularly interested in video, the first thing I will do when my D800 arrives is to carefully check it to see if it can be shoehorned into my D700 housings. If I can do that, even if it takes some machine shop work, I'll do it and replace my D700's with D800's. If not, the D700 will be probably be just fine for underwater photography. D700 images are very well accepted at most photo agencies and magazines. D700 images also print beautifully at 16" x 24". I feel an image's visual content is far more important than the Nth degree of technical quality. And so do most image buyers, in my experience.

Fred


Hi Fred,

We didn't have a Seacam D700 housing with us in Cayman in January when we were playing with the D800, but my feeling from trying to fit it in D700 housings from Subal and Ikelite is that while it is very similar in size to the D700 it will be a pain to fit in housings. The main problem was the high and sloping shoulders of the D800 - which physically stop it going in to many housings which tend to be closely tailored in this area. And of course if you lower the camera, the lens is no longer inline with the centre of the port. Other changes are the AF-Mode switch no being a push button in the middle of the M-S-C switch (like on D7000), the video controls and a new angle on the shutter release.

Since the camera is fully confirmed now and almost here I feel it is OK for me to now share these shots I took comparing my D700 with the D800. The D800 is obviously the camera with the logos covered in tape (I took these while I was in Cayman before the camera was announced).

Front view:
D800_1.jpg

Rear view:
D800_2.jpg

Alex

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#18 divegypsy

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:44 PM

Thanks for the side by side shots Alex. I'm not anticipating that a conversion would be cheap or easy, but I do have two D700 housings and have already spent a lot of extra $ adding capabilities that the Seacam original did not have. When I switch from M to S or C, my housings now automatically disengage the manual focus gear which I have on virtually all of my lenses. My housing also allows me to press and hold down either the function button or the preview button, which gives me extra capabilities that these buttons can be programed to provide. The same "triple" control also releases a port lock. I also have a modified flash compensation control that I can use with my left index finger while my left hand is firmly holding onto the left handgrip of the housing. Having taken the time (lots) and $ to make the D700 housing so much better, I'd like to retain as many of these extra capabilities as I can rather than go through the whole process all over again. And that's why I said I think I'll be content to stick with a D700 in the housing if it can't be modified for the D800. Last year, 2011, was my first full year with the modified housings. Time and time again I was able to get shots I might have otherwise missed because the modified controls allowed me to do things faster and easier than they could have been done with any "off-the-shelf" housing. And a simple thing, being able to change the D700's camera battery without having to take it completely out of the housing, has also made life easier. Its now almost as easy to change the camera battery as it is to take out the CF card. All I have to do is take the housing back off. Giving up these things to get the theoretical 1.67x gain in resolution the D800 can offer would be difficult. And I'm not sure how much of this theoretical 1.67x I would see when shooting in the underwater environment. I shoot a lot with zoom lenses, not the fixed focal length lenses Jim Brandenburg was using. And to switch to those premium quality fixed focal length lenses would mean diving up a lot of versatility and missing some shots. That versatility is one of the reasons I use the 70-180 Micro-nikkor zoom much more often than I use my 105mm micro-nikkor.

Fred

Edited by divegypsy, 19 March 2012 - 09:28 PM.


#19 divegypsy

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 05:29 PM

Just received an email from Nikon that my D800 is "in the mail". Soon all those "will it fit" speculations may be answered.

#20 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:48 AM

Good luck and I hope it fits.

There will be a lot of happy readers if it does!

Alex

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