Nikon Announcement – August 24th, 2011 – No D800 yet…

Nikon used their world-wide press meetings to introduce 6 new Coolpix cameras. These include the P7100 offering a full-featured camera in a lightweight body, the AW100 ruggedized body that is waterproof and freezeproof, and four S-Series cameras offering fun and compact styling capable of HD video. One camera, the S1200pj, features a built-in projector that is able to project your pictures or even your iPad or iPhone screen with its 20-lumen projector.

Nikon did not release any DSLR or even their mirrorless camera. In the past, Coolpix announcements have been made shortly before new DSLR. This may point to an upcoming Nikon D800 announcement in the next few weeks, possibly in September.

History of recent Coolpix announcements followed by new DLSR:

August 17, 2010 – Coolpix S1100pj, S5100
August 19, 2010 – DSLR D3100

September 8, 2010 – Coolpix P7000, S8100, S80
September 15, 2010 – DSLR D7000

Feb 8, 2011 – Coolpix P300, P500, S9100, L120, S6100, S3100, S4100, L24
April 5, 2011 – DSLR D5100

August 24, 2011 – Coolpix P7100, AW100, S1200pj, S8200, S6200, S100
August-September (?) 2011 – DSLR (?)



Top 10 Reasons a D800 Annoucement is Imminent…

  1. Many retailers (Adorama, B&H, Amazon, J&R, Calumet Photo, Ritz Camera) are out of stock on the D700 as of today.
  2. Some retailers have reported the D700 is discontinued and will not be restocked (Best Buy).
  3. The D700 was announced on July 1, 2008, making it the oldest DSLR in the current Nikon lineup.
  4. The D700 update/replacement is the most overdue DSLR in Nikon’s history. Nikon has updated their pro DSLR every 2 years: D1 1999, D1h & D1x 2001, D2 2003, D2x 2005, D2xs 2006, D3 2007, D3x 2008, D3s 2009, and their semi-pro every 2-3 years: D100 2002, D200 2005, D300 2007, D300s 2009.
  5. Various sources report that two new FX cameras will be announced together this year.
  6. Nikon has increased its sales forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. We would expect to see new product release(s) to make this a reality.
  7. The $5000+ D3s is the only Nikon DSLR to offer full-frame video. We would expect Nikon would answer this with a lower priced video-capable full-frame camera very soon to compete with the current Canon 5D Mark II and the upcoming 5D Mark III.
  8. The D700 has the fewer megapixels (12.1)  than every camera in the current Nikon lineup (D3s also has 12.1); only the $450 D3000 has fewer megapixels (10.2) and has been updated already by the D3100.
  9. Beat the Canon 5D Mark III to market. Canon may release the 5D Mark III as early as 1st quarter 2012.
  10. Nikon has scheduled a major press announcement on August 24, 2011.

New Nikon Patent Application for SLR Digital Camera – D4 or D800?

Nikon has filed United States Application US20110194020 today. It appears to be for a digital camera, and a continuation of a previous patent (12068231) filed on February 4, 2008.

Nikon Announced the D3 and D300 on August 23, 2007.

Nikon Announced the D700 on July 1, 2008.

Here is the new patent application filed today:


Nikon Patent Application August 11, 2011 (US20110194020A1) PDF (437 KB)

(Note: The diagram is a generic one used in several previous patent applications.)

Could this be the D4 or D800?

Moving up to FX Lenses

With the D800 expected soon, many people will be buying their first FX camera. There are many advantages (and some disadvantages) in moving to FX from DX. Perhaps the biggest change for most current DX owners will be upgrading lenses.

While the D800 will be full-frame format and can use any FX and DX lenses produced over the past 50 years, many will want the advanced features offered in the latest FX glass, including AF (autofocus) and VR (vibration-reduction), or in faster glass (wider apertures).

Current DX lenses are relatively inexpensive compared with new FX lenses. One reason for this is the size of the actual glass lenses required. The FX sensor is physically larger than the DX sensor. The outer lens elements must be larger to create a larger image circle.

Another reason is demand. There are many more DX format cameras sold than FX. DX lenses are made in much larger quantities and the economy of scale allows a lower cost.

Full-frame lens customers tend to be professionals who demand high durability and the best image quality. This often means using more durable, impact-resistant materials. In addition, the image quality they demand requires use of precision glass elements. They also have tough demands for low-light use and the ability to freeze action with fast shutter speeds. All this means the glass has to be even larger to gather more light. Big glass requires yet more material and precision, and drives up the price.

The end result is that FX lenses cost more than DX. The cost difference can sometimes be several times higher. For example, a tele-zoom: the DX 55-300mm VR sells for $360 while the FX 70-300mm VR sells for $525. But if you want faster glass, the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II is $2,200. Prime lenses also share this difference: The 35mm f/1.8 DX currently sells for $200, while a slightly faster FX version 35mm f/1.4 sells for over $1,600. (One might note however that a 35mm FX lens will act like a 50mm on a DX camera, so you could get a similar result on FX using a less-expensive 50mm FX lens.)

The the cost in mind, here are some example lenses to take advantage of your new Nikon D800 camera. A wish list of sorts:

  • Ultra Wide Zoom: 16-35mm f/4 VR $1,150
  • Wide Prime: 24mm f/1.4 $2,000
  • Normal Prime: 50mm f/1.4 AF-S $450
  • Portrait Prime: 85mm f/1.4 AF-S G $1,700
  • Do-it-all: 28-300mm VR $900