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D100 update

H

hendrik_louw

Hi all,

It's great to see that Nikon has reviewed their professional range as well as their bottom range with regards to Digital bodies. They've also introduce two new intro lenses.

Logic tells me that the D100 should be the next in line for an update. Any suggestions on how long that might take? My first guess is most probably 2-3 months. I do hope sooner, since I would like to make it my first entry into the digital world...!!

Happy snappying!
Hendrik
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
It may have been already announced - the D70s - with the D50 taking over the role that the original D70 has been playing.

It would seem that there would be space between the D70s and the D2X for a general purpose camera with some "pro" features at around 8MP. The D2Hs is clearly a special purpose camera-body and not well suited to general photography at all. The hold-up may be the unavailability of a DX-sized sensor of the appropriate resolution.

larry!
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zakk92001

Active Member
Larry, I think the hold-up is mostly commercial. If the camera we are talking abou t had been launched before the D2X, it would have had great negative impact o n the D2X sales, since many pros and semi-pros would have gone for the cheape r solution already and been very satisfied with that.

Making an 8 or even 10MP sensor is not witchcraft anymore, and the appropriate sensor may even have been waiting on some shelf for months already, probably as a spin-off of the 12MP sensor of D2X.

Jørgen
 

charlie

Active Member
Hi Jorgen.... With all due respect, I have to disagree with you. There is a huge difference between a D1x vs D100 and there will be a huge difference between a D2x & a to be D200. ALthough I agree with Larry who continuously (and I mean that in a good way) reminds us that we can produce great images with any camera, a professional that uses an DSLR in the field everyday, expects to spend the $10,000 for 2 DX2 bodies as it is a tool that can withstand their daily usage, and has all the features they want to use. The D200 should it ever appear, will be used by proffesionals who need a second body but cant afford the $5000 yet, the proffesional that has just started their career and can't afford the D2x (but still wishes for the D2x), or the advanced amateur.

My current D70, and my past D100 suffered from being carried around by its strap with a long telephoto or zoom attached. It was never meant to be toted along everyday and placing strain on its lens mount. The D2 series on the other hand can handle the stresses involved. If you drop them (which I have yet to do) or knock them, they continue to work. This is just one of the many reasons for the difference between the two camera categories and why their build quality and price is different.

If that was trully the case, why then do you suppose profesionals who use other brands of Cameras spend the $5000 to $7000 on their camera bodies. After all, they do have the $1500 to $2000 cameras that are equivilant to the so called D200 you are looking for.

The market has already dictated that there is a place and reason for each model of camera in the lineup.

I agree with Larry when he suggests that the D70s could very well be the replacement for the D100. After all, it is more advanced as it should be. It is 3 years younger with newer technology applied to it. My only disapointment is that the D70 does not provide for a vertical grip (there is a company in Taiwan working on one) which I find very important for my style of shooting. And ofcourse, it does not have mirror lock up, but that has never been a major factor with me.

Get yourself a D70 and start enjoying the advanced features of this great camera.

Paul
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
Yeah, must drive the marketing guys nuts trying to price this stuff. I remember when Canon brough out their $1k Rebel 300. It was their current 10D with some really ugly cosmetics and a bunch of features DISABLED. Not an all new camera without the features but a camera costing several hundred dollars THAT WAS CRIPPLED! The cost of manufacture had to be almost identical. Who knows? The ugly body may have actually cost MORE, and certainly a little extra time was put into the firmware, commenting out features.

In the days of mechanical cameras, marketing was so easy. Entry level was shoddy parts and minimal features - high end was weapons-grade hardware with all the features. Everything else scattered at clear intervals in between. No problem setting prices.

Now other than the sensor, it is largely a matter of firmware. I expect that the production cost of the D70, D70s and D50 are within cents of each other. Nikon has also promised a firmware upgrade to bring the D70 to the level of the D70s internally. It is all about firmware.

Same with the D2Hs and D2X. I would guess that they are pretty much identical cameras with the exception of the sensor. Even the D6 evidently shares a major portion of their hardware and probably the control firmware as well. Even the mechanical parts are under firmware control.

larry!
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zakk92001

Active Member
Paul, Of course there is a great difference, but with no D200 around, many photographers who would have been happy with that camera will now buy the D2X instead. With the D2x being at least 2-3 times as expensive as whatever camera will replace the D100, the profit gain for Nikon is huge. There's nothing wrong with that. Just common sense.

As for the D70s, it's a replacement for the D70. Shouldn't be too difficult to figure out.

If you look at Nikon's film line-up before the F6, there were always two pr o bodies, the F5 and the F100 during the last couple of years. I guess they are both being replaced by the F6 if we look at the long term perspectives. If we translate that into digital, they would obviously need to replace the D100 with a pro-level camera that is lighter and more compact than the D2X, but can provide a similar build quality.

The problem in the digital world world is picture quality. In the film world, that was decided by photographer, film and lens. Now, the film is part of the camera, and to make something similar to the F5/F100 combo, the y would need to put the 12MP sensor in the D200 as well. With specs like that , even with simpler features, it would compete more or less head-on with the D2X. Still, it would have to cost a lot less and still, because many of the differences will be only firmware changes (it's cheaper to make identical hardware for the two cameras), they will receive a lot of criticism, like Canon did when they disabled 10D-functions in the 300D.

In spite of all this, Nikon has no choice. All of the newcomers buying 20D nowadays will buy lots of lenses in the future, and some of them will upgrade to 1D/1Ds later. This is not so much about making a profit on the D200, but making profit on D2/D3/D4.... and lots of lenses in the future.

Nikon, who has always catered for the photographers' needs, are being pushe d hard nowadays with the big electronics giants going for whatever money ther e is in this market. In a year, Panasonic will participate as well, and those who thought that fourthirds was a dead end may be in for a surprise or two.

It's not easy to see more than 3 or 4 survivors in the DSLR market in a couple of years, and even Nikon may have to seek strong partners to keep up the pace. Since Panasonic is apparently going with Olympus, Sony may be the only choice left for Nikon.

This was a little bit off-topic, but it's important to see the wider perspectives when discussing these things. A DSLR is not a result of the needs of a couple of enthusiastic photographers. It's a way of making profi t for large corporations, and the products we get will be a result of that.

Jorgen
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
> Posted by Paul Tchiloyans (Charlie) > Get yourself a D70 and start enjoying the advanced features of this > great camera.

Excellent advice. For someone who does not shoot for a living, and are thus able to use time-saving and tax laws for a quick payback, cameras like the D70 provide excellent value. Gordon Moore's Law is in effect with digital cameras just as much as it was with integrated circuits when Moore first proposed it decades back.

The current specifications of the D2X will be the specifications of the consumer model in two years time, and the D70 will be exceeded by point-and-shoots then. Both will depreciate to almost no value, but in real currency, the D70 will depreciate thousands of dollars less. In the two years, the D70 will produce excellent image quality, as will the D2X.

For the enthusiast, the payback is both in satisfaction and in savings over shooting with film cameras. I do a few prints when I have something special, but for the most part am happy viewing on the screen. My 19" monitors are equivalent in size to 11x14 prints. Not counting the time running back and forth to the lab, the savings in film costs, processing and printing pays off my equipment well before I am ready to trade again. I kept my previous camera as a backup, since I figure it owes me nothing and would have just brought pennies as a trade.

Cameras are announced well in advance. If a D200 were announced today, it could well be nearing Christmas before you could just walk into a shop and find one for sale on the shelves. The first batch go to those willing to put the money down and then wait. They then have the priviledge of beta testing version 1.0. If the camera has problems - the early adopters have problems. Take to anyone who put their money down on the Kodak 14n when it was first announced!!!

For the enthusiast, a high end camera offers very little. They are ruggedly built - but who cares? For a casual shooter, they will be lower in specs than an entry level point-and-shoot by the time they wear out. For a working photographer, doing a thousand exposures a week or more, this is more significant since there may be an issue of reliability. There are probably a lot of Kodak DCS420 cameras still in good operation condition, but who would want a 1.2MP camera that cost $8,000?

Cameras such as the D2H would be a very poor choice for most enthusiasts. Most of the value of the camera is in its ability to shoot the equivalent of a roll of film in three (24-exposures) or four (36-exposure) seconds. For this is has an extremely large buffer and a very fast processor. In exchange, you get the resolution of a very inexpensive point-and-shoot. Great if you are covering boxing, but of little use when shooting the opening of family Christmas presents, or doing vacation shots. Eight shots per second really don't make much difference for landscapes when you consider the time it has taken to make the Grand Canyon.

I do realize that there are gear-heads who are into cameras - and not photography. They cover their personal weakness by having the best of everything - even if it is totally inappropriate for their level of skill and needs. There is no point in even trying to reason with someone neurotic enough to spend $5k just to have bragging rights.

For anyone whose interest is in photography, not gear, the time to buy is now. Superb cameras are available at rational prices. With lots of use they pay for themselves before becoming truly outdated - which is inevitable. This is not the "planned obsolescence" of 1950s Detroit automobiles, where the chrome was re-arranged and a "New and Improved" sticker was applied.

I bought my third generation of digital camera a couple of months back, and am deeply impressed by how much each generation improved in every possible way. Furthermore, it truly shows in my images - and that is what counts. With the savings of owning a reasonably priced digital, I feel no resentment at upgrading every two or three years. Plus I have the use of a remarkably satisfactory image making instrument for that time.

larry!
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H

hendrik_louw

Great to hear all the veiws! As a very serious ameteur, I do feel that there is definately space for a D200. If you look at the F80, F100, F6 line-up, then there is definately a market for the D200 (D70, D100, D2X). Being into macro, I've seen that film does make a critical difference on the final product. As mentioned, with the "film already being loaded" in a digital, I'm definately putting my money on the best possible resolution. An 8-12MP would make a big difference compared to 6.1MP. Each little piece of detail makes a difference. I definately do not want to go backwards from film to digital!

I do however also wish that Nikon could release the D200, should it appear, ASAP. I cannot imagine that it will hurt the D70 market. Maybe the D2X, but I do feel that there would be a big enough difference, since professionals uslually goes for the best they can afford. If Nikon decide not to release a D200, it would be beneficial to make that statement. I would love to start with digital soon, especially with the "strike rate" one has with macro work. I will however not be very warm-hearted towards Nikon should I buy the D70s, just to find out that the D200 is released. The same goes for anticipating the D200 and not buying the D70. Unfortunately I'm not in the possition to afford both...!!
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
Assuming semi-pro/advanced-enthusiast market, the Nikon-mount camera that would be most vulnerable would likely be the Fuji S3 Pro. With the D70 and D70s doing very well in the $1000US range, it would be folly to bring out another general purpose camera for just a couple hundred more. To carve a niche in the market, it would need to be clearly much more advanced than the D70 and probably sell in the $1,800 - $2,400US range - comfortably between the D70 and D2X and not in competition with either.

Here it would be somewhat more expensive than Canon's 20D, and should be more advanced in both features and build quality. I would think at least an 8MP camera, with 10MP appropriate if a DX sized sensor is available at that resolution. Being a general purpose camera, it would not be in competition with the D2H, which is a special purpose camera not well suited to family photography, unless all the kids are terminally hyperactive.

The Fuji uses their proprietary smoke and mirrors - well interpolation - to make a 12MP camera out of a 6MP sensor. Granted it is pretty successful interpolation and many feel that it is quality worthy of 12MP. Even the reviewers play it a bit cagey on that one. It is in the $2,500US range. By the way, it was announced at the February 2004 PMA show. It is only in the last couple of months that it has been readily available.

This is quite typical of higher-end cameras it seems. An early announcement has a way of paralyzing sales for competitor's cameras. If one is contemplating a Canon 20D, reading the specs on a D200 is supposed to make the buyer go for the newer camera. The general rule before the camera is released, is for stores to take deposits for early delivery. This truly freezes the buyer in place for however long it takes to get product flowing.

Months pass and finally the cameras begin to trickle into the hands of those at the top of the waiting list. They function as unpaid beta testers. Months later, the waiting lists are cleared and cameras may actually spend a night or two on the shelf. At that point, you can walk in and simply buy one.

While delivery of the entry-level D50 and D70s will likely be fairly quick with first shipments arriving in May, it could be several months before one can just walk into a store, buy one and walk out - no waiting. They do have the advantage of being variations on an existing camera. One would assume that the D200 would use a lot of parts from the Nikon parts-bins, but one would also expect a mostly fresh design. Once announced, it could well be six months to a year before they are simply in stock for walk-in trade.

larry!
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zakk92001

Active Member
Larry, A short correction regarding the Fuji. If I've understood it correctly, 12M P is actually the sensors "native" mode, since the camera's processor will combine data from the 6 million "R" pixels and 6 million "S" pixels into a 12 MP photo. The reason why it is not as sharp as the output from a D2X, is that the R pixels are much smaller and give away much less information.

When used in 6MP mode, the camera actually first creates an 12MP image, before it's downsized to 6MP, which is also the reason why it doesn't work faster in 6MP mode, since there's a lot of processing involved.

The point with the process is that the smaller pixels work with a different dynamic range than the large ones, giving the famed "extended dynamic range", which actually works rather well, even compared to the D2X.

A side effect is that the 6MP output is unusually sharp. When you add the fact that the camera produces very usable jpegs straight out of the box (even with "film" modes if you want), it's a rather good camera if you can live with the slow speed and the fact that it handles like an inflated F80 (which it is).

Here in Bangkok, the prices is down to $ 2,000 now, which is only 500 more than a 20D. For a pro, that is not much of a difference, and for an amateur , the D50 or D70s are probably better choices anyway.

Jorgen
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
The trouble with such a long lead time until the camera is available is that by the time you can buy it, it is almost out of date with a newer one just around the corner
 

zakk92001

Active Member
Welcome to the world of electronics! This is of course the reason why Apple don't launch anything until it's practically on the shelf of the retailer. You should only know about the current product and not worry about the future. Unfortunately, digital cameras are still in the stone age. Photographers know that they lost something that they used to have in their F100s, F4s, F5s, Leicas etc., and now it is all going to come back in the mighty new model that is just around the corner, in this case the D90/D200 or whatever. I've never seen so many expectations for a new products. If I was Nikon, I would run and hide, and never release a product again. Nobody can live up to expectations like this, or can they?
 

yogi

Well-Known Member
Late response to an earlier post in this thread - The D70 already has 2 manufacturers for veritcal grips,

Well as far as your question... No, Nikon does not offer a grip
However, there are 2 aftermarket options for you.

#1 Jenis

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#2 Harbortronics

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I like the Jenis one myself, as it does not require the grip to be removed to take the batteries out. As far as using the Vertical shutter on them I am not going to be buying it for that.

You can read about them in nikonians here

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and here

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I know this is a little against the forumn policies to post stuff from other forumns but this is useful information.

Al
 

charlie

Active Member
Late response to an earlier post by Almon C. N. Dao (Yogi) on Friday, April 29, 2005 in this thread - The D70 already has 2 manufacturers for veritcal grips,

I ordered the Jenis Grip for the D70 from amazon, and below is my assessment of it:

After ordering the Nikon D70 Battery Pack Power Grip, I received the item within 3 day (weekend interuption). I give this product high marks because it was everything the description said. It allows me to use 2 EN-EL3 batteries at once, or 6AA batteries for the times I will be unable to recharge my batteries. The grip fits the D70 like a glove and does a very good job of matching the color of the D70 body. The molded plastic is very smooth without any sharp areas.

I have hands that are larger than normal and this addition allows me to hold the camera much more sturdily in horizontal or vertical plane.

Personally, I will not be using the vertical shutter release, because I do not like the way the setup works, but that is of no fault of Jenis, as the D70 does not have provisions for vertical grip circuitry. The Jenis grip uses the remote sensor as a means of firing the shutter release.

I wish it was made of magnesium for a more robust utility, but considering the cost it is still a great buy. For my heavy use, as a second camera complementing the D2h, I expect it will be able to handle the wear and tear.

Considering the fact that Nikon does not make such a product for the D70, that this is one of 2 such products available for the D70 (the better one in my honest opinion), and considering the cost and build, I have to give it high marks. If you are comparing it to a magnesium build grip of a D100 or F100, then you are looking at between a 3 1/2 star rating on a 5 rating.
 
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