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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Comments

Mike, as far as this progression, I think you need to examine where Sony is going with sensor development, because it appears to be driving this train. I think that the reason the D600/610 has a 24MP sensor has more to do with the development of the A99 more than anything else. Lower development costs. That is just my thought.

You are correct, and it IS a head scratcher!

I researched Nikon and Canon when I was a department manager, and felt that Canon was superior for lens availability and lot of other stuff (Nikon STILL doesn't have f/2.8 wide primes except in their barely functional "D" series, no "G's"). BUT, when I purchased, I purchased Nikon because they had a native "tiff" settings. They still seem to be the cameras that still has it, on the 800, 300s, and retro. The question should be, if the 600/610 is replacing the 700, where's the "tiff"?

I bought a used D700 from B&H six months past as there were no such devices available in reasonable condition in Canada. Oh there were, but for $2600.00 and rather beaten??

Don't do that much photography of anything these days. When the urge does strike the D700 feels like my F100, solid, comfortable and able to perform and do just about anything photographically.

Now if the cameras could just kick me hard enough to get me out of the doldrums about my own photography.

I think that Nikon thinks that the Df is what you should buy to replace your tired D700. Surely Nikon must be aware that the D700 is not merely a "rich enthusiast" camera. I see a lot of freelance photojournalists in my town shooting D700's; haven't seen a single Df in the wild. Is the Df even supported by Nikon Professional Services?

Along with its abandonment of the pro DX-sensor market (where is the D300 replacement? No, the D7100 isn't it, according to Nikon itself, and does not qualify for support from NPS), the lack of a true D700 upgrade makes me wonder how, exactly, Nikon expects to keep its existing pro and semi-pro customer base over the long haul. Those older cameras won't last forever. And not every working photographer wants (or can afford) to haul a D4 or D800 around.

A D4s sensor in a D700 body would be mighty tasty though ... as would a D7100 sensor, AF and video in a D300. As you say, difficult to understand, but I'm not smart like a Nikon product manager.

Just a nitpick: The D700 never had the responsiveness of the D3, especially in AF. The single-digit Ds always had the faster processors or stronger AF motors to provide the faster than any camera below in the lineup.

What is also perplexing, is that Nikon didn't do the D4X. Talking to a pro friend who has both the D4 and the D800, they have subtle differences that make switching between each other maddening. Why Nikon chose to segment their users in such an aggravating way is beyond me.

I don't know either but that is a camera I would buy. I am not one who needs the uber-resolution of the D800. The large file sizes are rather a pain for me.

Mike, nobody really knows or can figure out why Nikon makes any of the boneheaded moves they do. Just read ThomHogan. He's baffled by them.

Cheers, Bob
who hopes his D700 carries on for several more years

Not sure why people would still be clamoring for the D700 when both the D800 and D600/D610 are superior, excepting the unfortunate D600 design flaw which is finally being rectified properly. The D600/610 in particular are probably superior to the Canon 5D series for much less.

The residual value of D700 bodies on places like eBay speak loudly about its continuing popularity.

Better yet, drop the 24 MPx sensor of the D600/D610 in the D700 body and I suspect you would have a real winner. That Sony-sourced sensor does score highly on DxOMark, only 1 point behind the D800. Up the volume on that 24 MPx part and help drive down costs.

I wonder if Nikon is not a lot like deer starring into oncoming headlights. The P&S market has collapsed, their Nikon 1 entre to mirrorless has disappointed all, and they seem to be scatter-shooting with their recent offerings like the Df, just hoping something will stick.

So you think that if Nikon, instead of creating the D800, an affordable FF with the best sensor in the market, had made a D700-II, they would have done better? It could be, but I can at least understand Nikon's strategy here.

JP

PS I like your meta-humblebrag-trick!

It feels like the D700-class camera is cursed a bit by the fact that it's not "amateur" and it's not "professional". At the lower end of the spectrum, you have cameras that do everything... alright. Not great, necessarily, but they have a suite of features that appeal to most people. There's room for improvement in every area. At the high end, with the D3/D4, the performance/specs are maxed out in pretty much everywhere (ignoring the X, E, S modifiers). In the middle, you have specific users with specific requirements who aren't prepared to pay for a totally maxed out camera. For example, I mainly shoot (outdoor, daytime) amateur sports, and while I want great AF performance and high FPS, I can get by with 12MP, don't need in camera-HDR, and can get by without mega-ISO. I think (or maybe I just hope) that you see the D700 market fragment even further than just D600 and D800 (and Df) and that what we see in the mid-market are more 'specialized' cameras. More than a D710, I'd like to see, say, a Ds: A simplified D4 (ala the Df) but optimized somehow for high FPS and AF performance.

"I guess I just don't understand why Nikon would have such a big hit with the D700 and then wander away from the model designation and the spirit of the product."

We might think the D700 a success, based on the fact that lost of TOP type people liked it, but for a company that needs to stay in business, the criteria are different.

But how do we know Nikon found it a hit? Pricing is a tricky business that depends on amortization of creation costs. If, based on what they knew, or thought they knew, about 5D sales, Nikon chose a price and projected a sales number, then sold 2/3 that many, it could be on the books as a large financial loss.

When that happens in big companies, sometimes the model name/number becomes anathema. You can bet no one inside Ford ever used the name Edsel for anything but the person or as a pejorative to try to kill a project they didn't like.

I'm not saying that is so; I have no way of knowing. I am saying that it's easy from out here, and based in large part on words/opinions on the web, some authoritative sounding without basis, to make assumptions about what's going on inside manufacturers.

Moose

Doesn't make sense to me ... maybe they thought the Df would be the D700 replacement. In which case, they shouldn't have thought at all. They did ok in the APS-C market, going from the D70/80/90 to the D7000/7100. Stick with a good thing. But they, why they haven't developed a D400 is a mystery as well.

Oh well, let mysteries be mysteries; I'm happy with my D7000 and if I were to ever move up the food chain, I'd be happy with Nikon's choices. Meanwhile, I still think that the X100s (that I don't own) is most likely to be my favorite digital camera of all time :)

Nikon is throwing darts, I think. Around 2005 they were firing on all cylinders, but something has changed and not in a good way. It used to be simple: Canon made the best point-and-shoots and Nikon made the best AdAm DSLRs and easily the best entry level DSLRs as well.

Now it seem as if the same borderline incompetence which has defined their generally lousy point-and-shoot line has infected the "real cameras." Oh well.

I moved from D7000 to 6D and extremely happy with it... Owning the 5D mark 1 once made me appreciate the Canon side very much.
No more looking back

There are lots of bad things that can happen between creation of a rational and reasonable product roadmap and shipping of hardware to customers. Nobody wants to miss an opportunity nor do they plan to produce a failure but both happen.

I think the AdAms has fallen between chairs. Nikons main markets are obviously the consumers and the pros. I am a bit disapointed with this since I use the D300 which was also a big hit and then abandoned. Hopefully Nikon will come to its senses and fill the gap soon.

Dear Mike,

"...depending on whether you choose to count the Fuji X100 and X100s as two different cameras..."

Oh, don't go there. This is for amusement value only, there's no bragging rights to winning-- there isn't even anything to win.

When you did the poll, several readers pointed out that despite there being only a letter difference in the names, they were distinctly different cameras. Leave it at that.

Opening this can of worms gets you into evaluating every bloody camera combination. For example, anyone who can make the case that the two Fuji's should be lumped together can make a better case that the Olympus E-M1 and E-M5 should be lumped together.

And I betcha it wouldn't stop there.

So, don't... just don't...

pax / Ctein

Mike, as you suggested at the time, yes, my D800 is "More Perfect" than my D700 was. I would still have absolutely no complaints and definitely more money considering new lenses for the D800. (which still scares me as to how good it is) But I have added my Xpro1 as a B&W camera and am having lotsa fun with it in spite of winter continuing here in Maine.

The answer to the D700 successor has to do, I think, with Nikon abandoning DX as a professional format. The D300(my favorite of all time) was the only DX camera Nikon listed in their professional cameras. It has had no successor despite its immense popularity among advanced amateurs. Evidently Nikon feels that another 24MP DX camera slotted in above their entry level cameras will not sell no matter how well built.

The D700 was a D3 sensor in a modified D300 body. Nikon does not have suitable body to modify for the D700 successor. I bought a D800. It is a nice camera but the body has some details(some buttons) that are noticeably cheaper than my D300. It is not as quick as my D300 was. Even though lighter according to the specs it feels heavier in the hand and the grip is shallower making it less comfortable to hold. The D600/610 is a modified D7000 body.

So essentially the D700 was easy and cheap to produce with parts from two cameras that were pro level. That DX level body is missing to modify and I think Nikon is reluctant to spend the development money for a new body that may cannibalize D4S sales. Lots of D700 users have made the jump to D4 which is exactly what Nikon would want.

I actually think Nikon has their DSLR bases fairly well covered, and their current line-up might have something to do with their history as DSLR builders. I was still working occasionally as a journalist, with photojournalist friends, at the time of the F5, when it was the basic PJ camera. But many PJs left the F5 in the car, and carried an N90s when they could -- most of the same functions, photos just as good, but much lighter.

The fact is, the D610 is a better camera than the 700, and the D7100 is a better camera than the D300 (which I owned.) I think people like the 700 and 300 because they seemed like "Pro" cameras, not because the images are better. But "Pro" cameras are mostly about armor and weatherproofing, and most people don't need that as much as they think they do. If you really do need it, on occasion, there's always electricians' tape or plastic bags.

The real hole in Nikon's lineup is a viable mirrorless, and that it where they'll eventually pay for their neglect. They desperately need a NEX or an m4/3. (I think they should create a mirrorless camera on an existing standard, either APS-C or m4/3.) Their fear of cannibalizing their DSLR lines could lead to their DSLR lines being cannibalized anyway, but by their competitors.


So what are we really talking about here? What set of features constitutes a good value for, say, $2,350, as distinct from the $1900 D610, the $2,800 D800, or the $2,800 Df?

I just don't see it, unless maybe it's the D4/Df sensor in a somewhat beefier body than the D610. But then wouldn't Nikon just be undermining sales of the D610 and the D800/Df?

It seems to me the D610 is, like it or not, the successor to both the D300 and the D700.

I guess I just don't understand why Nikon would have such a big hit with the D700 and then wander away from the model designation and the spirit of the product.

It may not matter much to Nikon. According to Flickr's camera stats—an imperfect data source but what we've got—2,562 people used the D800, D600, and D610 as average daily users. 1,289 used the D700. So about 50% are using the older camera in its approximate class.

In Canon land, 3,837 used the 6D or 5D III, and 3,225 used the 5D II. So about 90% are using the older camera in its approximate class.

Maybe Flickr users are biased towards Canon or the 5D II. Or maybe Nikon users really like the upgrade options and think that 36 is so much better than 12 or 22 that the D800 is worth it.

People reading here know about the megapixel myth but it's possible that not everyone does.

I was surprised -- but happy -- to see that the D700 was a TOP contender. When the D700 was released I knew it was the camera for me. I was waiting for a FF at an "AdAms" (interesting term!) price.

I remain very happy with the D700. The file sizes (12MP) may be a tad small by todays standards but its good enough. And many features found on the D700 are missing on the D600/D610 and even the Df.

If Nikon introduced a D700 II with a D4s or equivalent sensor -- and all the features that make the D700 so useful -- I would probably buy it. I'm really interested in the high ISO capabilities because I do a fair bit of night sky photography.

Tom Kwas:
'barely functional "D" series, no "G's"'

I've been disturbed by the G lenses absence of the aperture ring feature, how do you figure G lenses have fewer features than D lenses?

The D600/D610 are wimpy high-res cameras, not good high-speed cameras. The obvious statistic is they don't have the frame rate. And they aren't in any way an improvement on the D700. (Yes, they're higher resolution. No, that's not an improvement for what the D700 is used for.)

Being afraid to compete with yourself is always a bad long-term choice for a company; because somebody is going to compete with you, and if you don't do it yourself, all those sales will go to your competitors. So if Nikon and Canon are doing bad mirrorless lines for that reason, it will probably bite them eventually.

On the other hand, the Nikon mirrorless line is one of the more interesting ones and I hear quite a lot about people doing things with it. It has much better auto-focus than anything else, which is where mirrorless generally falls down, and that's a crucial feature for "family" photographers -- kids and pets are fast-moving. It's strange to hear people write it off as a failure.

I disagree with Tommy Brown. The DF is D600/610 subsystem (focus, shutter, sync speed) in a retro body with a D4 sensor. D700 had the focus system of the D3, same sync speed and the same sensor. The DF has a great name though :)

And I still regret selling my D700.

All the complaints aimed at the D700 related to its rather behind-the-class resolution and lack of video. It sold OK, but also robbed Nikon of D3 sales and was comprehensively outsold by the 5D2. From Nikon's POV it was not as much of a success as it should have been.

Knowing the 5D3 would be in the 20+ MP category Nikon simply opted for the higher resolution sensor, which actually gained a few converts from Canon.

They also had only one high performance pro body (the D4) and one high resolution enthusiast body (the D800). Two bodies covering four previous cameras, with the cheaper D600 offering lower upgrade and conversion costs to those moving up from the D7000.

So basically the D800 is for me both a perfect replacement and a significant upgrade in one camera, and far more versatile than the old D700 ever was. Having 16MP (and 6fps) in DX mode is a real advantage for events and wildlife shooting too. So it doubles as my D7000 replacement as well.

Tom Kwas:
'barely functional "D" series, no "G's"'

Well, I agree, for the most part the D series primes are nothing to write home about due to mediocre optical performance in most cases. But the G lenses? Aaargh!! I hate them because they truly are G ("gelded") lenses with no aperture ring. I can't use any of them on my older nikon bodies in my Extensive Nikon collection. Nikon, please give me newer improved optics in a D series design, so I can use the lenses on my D800E as well as my vintage 1959 Nikon F!

I know.... not gonna happen. So, the Zeiss manual focus Z.2 Nikkor F-mount lenses get more and more interesting to me as each day passes. In any case, Nikon loses the sale.

I have no need to upgrade as Nikon made such a good job of the D700. Don't think I would buy dx again as Nikon hates it as much as I do.

Don't we have pretty much everything we need right now? I just never gave a hoot as to what was coming next, who's making what, why they aren't making 'X' camera.

My first camera was a Minolts SR-3 (60's) that my Dad bought for me at Altman Camera on Wabash in Chicago..used in '73?. I kept that thing for sooo many years..trashed it, had it fixed again and again..Then got a Canon F-1 with a cheap Vivitar 2.8 28mm and used that until it was stolen in 1987 or so..Moved to Nikon>>>don't even remember WHAT nikon it was?? an FM (2?) of some sort? My first digi Camera was a Sony R-1 and then a Nikon D300..that's what I got now. I have never owned a new street camera..always bought used. My studio equipment was always bought new but I never spent a whole lot of time thinking about it. I shot Hasselblad 500cm with three lenses and a Sinar F 4x5.

It just doesn't even hit my radar..all this speculating on the various cameras and wtf they are about to do.

I was one of those D700X buyers, lurking at the rumors forums, waiting for the announcement day. I already had 5D with 24/1.8 sigma, 50/1.4EF and 85/1.8EF, sold them around D800 announcement (kept the 50 only). 2 FM2ns, 7 f-mount mf primes covering from 17 up to 105mm would serve me until I get the 24-70G lens.. Couple of weeks after D610 release and numerous times playing with the D800 & D800E I finally got the 5Dmk3, 24-70/2.8mk2 & Sigma 35/1.4 - can't be more happier with the combo.

So, there is a replacement for D700 but it comes in EOS mount.

The thing is those 2 DSLR giants never had 2 models overlapping with specs addressing to certain niches of dslr market. Other than 1D/Dsingle-digit models and D300s/7D lapsus, they never had directly competing with each other. So you marry the youngest one from either of two houses, when it's time to settle down.
Now the question is what to do with all those mf f-mount primes collecting dust on my shelves?

I'm not sure what Tom means by "D" lenses. Nikon AF and AF-D lenses require drive motors in the camera bodies for AF, and their recent consumer bodies do not have such motors. That can be described as a lack of a feature.

On the other hand, the G lenses do NOT have aperture rings, as you say, and that can be considered the lack of a feature.

I agree with Mr Camp that D700 cannibalized D3 sales. I happily use an original D3 that I suppose will be upgraded to a D4s eventually. If there was a D700II, I probably would have bought that. But the Df, much I wanted it to be what I wanted, isn't.

I never understood why they didn't put a 16MP sRAW option into the D800. I believe Canon have been doing it for ages, and Nikon clearly know how to given its a feature on the new D4s.

They presumably could have increased the Frames per second accordingly and you'd have a "landscape" and / or a "sports" camera in one body.

I bet a lot more D700 owners would have upgraded (myself included).


www.bloomberg.com/quote/7731:JP

Then click (or tap) on the one-year view option.

I'm totally with Mike on this one.

The D700 was (and remains) a terrific camera. Nikon should have kept the D700 body and AF system and put in the 16 meg sensor of the D4, with its somewhat higher resolution and notably improved high ISO noise performance and dynamic range, and simply called it a day. They would have reaped the rewards of Sony's latest CMOS sensor technology in an original body that Nikon really got right the first time, and everyone would have won, both Nikon AND it's customers. It's the old maxim that was never truer, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It reminds of me of when you really nail a design, there's virtually no need to do it over again just for the sake of it. Think of the diamond-frame bicycle, alligators and crocodiles, and the 1911 Colt 45 automatic. There's a reason those designs have been around and worked so well for so many for so long; cause they got the design right the first time. The D700 MkII (I like that name, too...) could have become the de-facto pro workhorse, much in the way that the Canon 5D3 has subsequently become for so very many pros that did not require what I refer to as a "combat photojournalism" level of toughness of the "pro cameras", the D3/D4 or Canon 1D-series.

Canon, on the other hand, IMHO, completely blew it with the second 5D, the 5D MkII. They added highly capable video and an excellent new sensor, but so as not to possibly cannibilize 1D-series sales, but they hamstrung the camera with the AF system of the original 5D, which was already obsolete and outmoded when the 5D came out in 2005. I used the 5D MkII for the better part of an entire ALMS race weekend at Laguna Seca, and it was basically useless in low or dim light when it came to autofocus performance. WTF was Canon thinking? They FINALLY saw the light when they released the 5D MkIII, which ironically HAS become the de facto pro level workhorse that the D700 MkII could have become, if they were truly thinking about customer needs rather than being seduced by the megapixel wars. I have several pro friends who bought the D800, only to sell it because they found that it's resolution is so high, that you often have to shoot with it on a tripod or monopod or the slightest amount of motion blur will be visible. One good buddy recently dumped his D800 for the new D4S, and couldn't be happier.

And here's the most ironic thing: If Nikon did put out a D700 MkII tomorrow, along the lines as Mike has described, it would still become a very successful model for them, unlike that design fiasco, the Df.

Of course, no recent post of mine would be complete without reference to Fuji, and the only thing I want to say regarding the subject of this thread is that I am so very glad they have stayed with the basic 16 megapixel APS-C X-trans sensor that, much like the original Canon 5D, really nailed that magical sweet spot for resolution, dynamic range, and noise performance. I'm really hoping that Fuji is smart enough to leave well enough alone with respect to new bodies. Are you listening, Fuji? (I think they are because they have been doing a terrific job of "Voice of the Customer" ever since the first X100 appeared).

I got the d700 because it had a round viewfinder! (And 12 Mpix on full frame -- I deduced that future iterations would have more megapixels and smaller pixels: neither which I wanted .) The only thing better than a D700 is a D3 - it balances a lot better with the 17-35 and 70-200 lenses, the shutter soimds better, and the viewfinder digital display is nicer. Better battery, too.
The d700 follow up wasn't camera bodies, it was optics: the 1.8 af-s lenses and the 24-85 VR, and also the f4 constant aperture zooms.

Canon has done something similar to fans of the 7D, also a big hit, also a pro/AdAm body. A bit of an oddball (for Canon) body, too-- coincidentally Canon's most Nikon-like body in some ways.

I think the borderline between pro and amateur lines, and the potential for crossover, really confuses and scares the marketing guys, whether it's the high-end of amateur like the d700/300 or the entry-pro level like the 7D.

The 5D was different. It probably pioneered that space (correct me if I'm wrong), and it also happened to be a very special image making tool--a double win. And while the Mark II was clearly intended as a close update/replacement, it also happened to be a very special tool, in a completely different, even revolutionary, way. A monster hit and a milestone in its own right.

I guess that it is a matter of what does sell and what is most benefit effective, rather than cost effective.

Although the disparity in prices are barely understandable to me.
And some movements within the camera world are just showing how much "green" you can milk out of optics and cameras, ie. the Pentax price rise suffered some years ago. I don´t think they were losing money on the lenses they were selling [some, like the 100 "tank" macro 2.8 - http://www.photozone.de/pentax/130-pentax-smc-fa-100mm-f28-macro-review--lab-test-report - were truly a steal].

And I don´t understand either the amount of different dslr´s that can be slotted for each pricepoint. Most probably I am not the Sonican buyer prototype, but for me there are way too many options on these three brands considering just the bodies.

To make a paralelism, imagine that for each ford car proposition, you had a middle model just introduced:
-Slotted between the Fiesta and Focus
-Slotted between the Focus and Focus Sedan
-Slotted between the Focus Sedan and Mondeo-Fusion
-Slotted between the Fusion and the Taurus
-Just a hint about the Taurus

Fortunately, I got me 50 FA 1.4 just before that for 195 US$, brand new, rectangular shade included.

"Now the question is what to do with all those mf f-mount primes collecting dust on my shelves?"

PVS, They work very nicely on EOS bodies with a simple adapter.

If Nikon had a "Medium Raw" setting on the D800 (as Canon has on its cameras) it would knock the entire issue on the head. We would once again have a pro spec all rounder, which was the appeal of the D700.

I don't know about why folks liked the D700, although I can guess from have simply used one, but I doubt if it is because it "seemed like a pro model" with weather resistance and a tougher body. My favorite is another never to be upgraded camera by Nikon, the D300. The sensor was certainly fine for its day and stomped the 2008 sensor in the 2011 Olympus EP-3 handily.

But the reason I liked the D300 is that it gets completely out of my way and I focus entirely on photography. Selected appropriate shutter speed/aperture, compose, focus and shoot. It took a lot of frustrating time to get anywhere near the same with the Oly EP-3, and gawd forbid I have to try to find a forgotten setting in the gamer's menu. The Fuji x100? I like to carry that when I wanna take a break from photography and think about the camera.

I'm gonna guess most folks so attached to the D700 have good valid reasons as we've seen above. Nikon's reason for abandoning it and the D300---and DX altogether? I haven't a clue. Perhaps just like Nikon.

Mike,

I have been a Nikon F and Leica M2 consumer since 1963. Gulp. The only innovation in those days was the loss of many pounds in my camera bags when the Olympus OM system was introduced.

I've also been, off and on, part of the photo marketing machine almost as long.

And, like "Old Yeller," I continue to foam at the mouth. The digital revolution has made many irreversible changes in the mass communications part of society, only exacerbated by the camera marketing movement. Asking an AdvAm or professional photographer to part with half as much money as a good used car is truly insulting. And the results -- whether it's the quality of the image stylistically or technically -- don't matter.

Luckily, I can reach for my trusty little X-E1 and feel the fun of photography not unlike what it felt like in the 1960's. But, to echo some of the excellent comments by your readers, we are the dart board and Nikon and Canon are throwing some pretty dull darts.

I am so tired of talking about / posting about / thinking about why Nikon doesn't listen to its customers, I swear I have bought my last one. In fact, I sold a bunch of my old gear, picked up a GX7, and I'm snapping away, perfectly happy. The camera itself is lighter, but even more so because it's not burdened with unfulfilled expectations.

@robert e - thanks for the suggestion, I'm well aware of the option and have some F-to-EOS adapters from Fotodiox but I don't find the workflow that easy, 5D series (like other Canon bodies) don't have the Green Dot feature (>>>O<<<) like Nikon and most od my lenses are f/2 and f/1.4, so working with adapted fast lenses is painful due to matte screens being adjusted for f/2.5 and slower. Not that green dot was giving me 100% accuracy while I had Nikons but it did help a lot. In practice that means A LOT of out of focus shots with 2 of my favorite Nikkors, 35/1.4AIS and 28/2AIS.

Here is a different perspective:

As a working pro I found the D700 to be exactly what I was looking for: a small pro body. It had the chip of the D3 but in a body that was easier to carry when I had to hike with my gear and more importantly was less visually intimidating that the big D3. I could put the grip on it with the EN-EL4 battery and get 8fps for my sports and news work but without it I got an unobtrusive 5fps body for my documentary work.

For news and editorial applications 12mpx capture is more than plenty as the reproduction is essentially limited to a ten inch print, double truck, at 175dpi but these days more likely to only be a six inch screen resolution image for web use. I could do 90% of my professional work with a 6mpx camera.

I walk out the door with two D700 bodies nearly every day and have since they came out. If there was the fabled D700x that had the D4 chip I would buy two of those. Not for the price difference but because of the smaller body.

When the D1 came out, remember that?, I was at a workshop with among others David Allan Harvey teaching. Nikon was giving us all D1 cameras to use and David said “how am I going to use that huge thing? It’s gonna freak out my subjects.” That’s because he used a Leica M6 forever and those tiny cameras are perfect for his close up and intimate work with people who are not used to photographers. At the time I was using the Nikon N90s for the same reasons: smaller/lighter less obtrusive than the big Nikon F4s flagship pro camera. When David went digital he shot on the Nikon D70 because it was small and the quality was good enough for National Geographic.

However I also own two D800 bodies. These are my “commercial” and video bodies. They are amazing but are not a replacement for my D700s. The focus and all that is as good as the D700 and the high ISO is almost the same but the frame rate is the problem. When shooting news and sports I need more than 4fps and the DX crop isn’t an option. Also I can’t work with the 36mpx files remotely on deadline and it clogs up my workflow when minutes count.

The marketing of cameras is a complex and dreadful thing. I wouldn’t want that job. But considering that the DSLR portion of the image making is very small and the profit margin is tiny companies like Nikon have to weigh where their money goes. I’m sure that the D700 did take away some sales of the D3 but it also sold to people, like me, who needed something other than a D3.

As it stands, I’m about to have Nikon put fresh shutters in all my D700’s so that I can keep using them until a real replacement comes.

"Of course, the D800 was supposed to be the successor to the D700, but it isn't. It's a very different camera. And the D700 name was history."

Could you please elaborate a bit on this? I own the D800, used a D700 before. To me these are quite similar cameras with an edge to the D800 for resolution (obviously) and AF peformance.

Many people were afraid of the sheer number of pixel two years ago but 36 MP in these days are quite good to handle and a huge step up from 12 MP. If you dont need the full amount of pixels, so what? They wont hurt.

I think that Thom may know 10x more about the industry than Nikon does. And I say that as an owner of several Nikon bodies. It may be that my business is evolving in a different direction. But I can't believe that I'm the only one headed that way. Fortunately, the new bodies on the way will accommodate the majority of the Nikon lenses I already own.

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