Having recently introduced two beautiful new cameras, what Nikon really needs in its lineup is two more.
Before I go on, I ask you to accept that I speak with tongue-in-cheek. In reality, the products that the people at Nikon and Canon and the other camera companies are making for us are truly beautiful, offering amazing technology for what we must admit are very reasonable prices, considering. Their progress over the past ten or fifteen years has been awe-inspiring, a delight to witness, and we should all be very grateful for their work. They deserve every success and then some.
Of course everyone jumps on them to tell them their business and demand more, more, more. It's a common recreation online. I hope it doesn't exasperate them.
But anyway, here is what Nikon still needs. It still needs an "FX Deluxe," a camera with an FX sensor like the D3 but with much higher pixel count. Given that Nikon and Canon are like Hertz and Avis, Chevy and Ford, Honda and Toyota, and mustard and ketchup, it must shadow Canon, and Canon will have the 1Ds Mark III soon. Surely Nikon will follow suit. Every online prognosticator foresees this. (Some more anxiously than others.)
(Which one is mustard and which one is ketchup? Let's just say they each take turns playing ketchup.)
But don't forget that Nikon also needs the "FX-Light." The FX-L will have the same FX sensor as the D3, but without a lot of the other expensive features, for people (yes, even some pros) who want the image quality of the D3 but who take one picture at a time.
You see, I really, really like the whole idea of the D3. I covet one. I've seen some of the jaw-dropping high-ISO samples online and I'm salivating over the proba- bility that the D3 will have really, really high image quality.
But then I picture myself actually owning it, and I have to laugh.
First of all, I imagine my shoulder hurting. The D3 would be more camera than I need, literally.
So I'm out for a walk, shoulder drooping but holding up. I see something, and turn the camera on. It's up and ready in .12 seconds. Thanks! But I could have waited another tenth of a second. Maybe another two tenths, even. I'm that patient.
I bring the camera to my eye. The viewfinder is magnificent, enabling me to compose quickly and easily. I love that.
I take a picture. The D3 responds instantaneously, and is ready to take eight more pictures within the same second. But of course, being me, I want to cogitate a little bit, and stare into the viewfinder for a few seconds. I poke around the subject a little, taking a few more pictures. My pace is generally one frame per several seconds. The D3 is left wanting exercise.
The D3 is eager to accept DX lenses, cropping itself to 5 MP. Of course, being me, I only have the one lens. (Well, and a portrait 85mm, which I've left back at the house.) "Curses! Foiled again!" thinks the D3. (It can think, can't it?)
It offers to change its ratio, to 5:4. I'm used to 3:2, so I'm never going to let it change.
It's ready to sync flash at 1/250th. That's if I owned a flash.
Its shutter will go to 300,000 cycles, which is great—that will last me for 66 years, or until I'm 116 years old.
I also think its dual CF card slots are great. I'm sure I'll buy another CF card someday, and then we'll be all ready to go, my D3 and I! It probably wants to use its wireless transmitter and HDMI port too, but alas, it has chosen the wrong owner. I'll compensate by playing with the onboard virtual horizon adjustment tool. Well, once.
Of course, the LCD screen is wonderful for reviewing what I've shot (and for checking my non-auto-focusing abilities). And I'm tremendously pleased by its image quality. The prints I make are gorgeous. I love Nikon.
Well, anyway, you get the point. Canon gave its faithful a "1Ds Light" in the 5D. I think Nikon might need an "FX Light," too, for subjects—okay, and photographers —who just don't see the need to move quite so fast.
Maybe by '09?