There have been rumors about various upcoming Nikon DSLRs. There are some perceived gaps in Nikons lineup. The D300s was the spiritual cousin of the D3 series and, in my eyes, a better D700 (I realize that FX folks will disagree with me). The D800 has now come along as the successor to the D700 and the D4 has hit the market as the speed-king. There is significant rumbling in the Nikon fan community about the absence of an upgrade for the D7000.
The question becomes where in the lineup that the D4 and D800 will trickle down to. There are many theories. The massive dividing line among various theories is whether the flow-down of capabilities will trickle down to the FX format, DX format, or both.
One popular opinion is that Nikon will create an entry level FX camera, possible a D600. This would be the FX equivalent of the D3200. It would possibly be a 24mp FX body, shooting around 3 fps, and have similar video capabilities to the D800. The AF might be slower and the body may lack an AF motor. In fact, the recent release of the 24-85mm lens suggests that lower-cost FX bodies are on the way… and they might be. I have no idea.
But, because I like to think about such things, I do not think that Nikon needs to make a D600. One thing is certain – the manufacturers have conditioned us to realize that the top DSLRs will cost thousands of dollars. Once someone has spent $1,500 for a D7000 or D300s and has improved their photography while using a fine camera, $3k for a D800 does not seem like a giant leap of faith.
Those in DX-land pining for more resolution can look squarely at the D3200. D7000 users may turn their nose at it, but they have no other higher resolution options in DX than the D3200. If they want to go higher-mp in a more capable body, they have to take a long hard look at the D800… and pay the premium. If I were Nikon, I would not add additional bodies, at this point, to interfere with that upgrade path.
The only thing that will get Nikon motivated to release either an FX D600 or DX D400 is if, like Greedo, Canon shoots first. Nikon has a good path for the entry level market with the D3200, and a good path for the middle market with the D800. Pros who need a camera built like an anvil can go straight for the D4. Building out the middle of the market, at this point, would probably hurt sales of the D3200 and the D800. Those bodies are relatively new and are very much experiencing the “early adopter” factor, which keeps margins high. As sales for those bodies stabilize, perhaps the next bodies will come around.
Let me know what you think!