I guess by now those who are on and RSS news would know there’s a rumour going about with regards to a new Nikon body called D9300.
One thing is for sure. After nearly 2 years of trying to get people to upgrade to full frame, the two major super powers of the DSLR world – Nikon and Canon – may have conceded defeat and make a U turn when it comes to photography equipment.
Yes there will be those who would very much love to upgrade to a full frame camera. I would do too if the crop frame cameras such as Fujifilm X100(s)/XE1/E2/XPro2/XT1 didn’t convince me that there is a lot more that can be improved when it comes to crop frame cameras.
And post Fujifilm, it doesn’t make sense to pay extra money for little or no huge improvements over full frame camera bodies.
The danger of not keeping the DX people happy is very real now. As what Thom Hogan has been saying, there is a leakage because Nikon D200/300/300s users don’t get to see a vast improvement over the D7000/D7100/D7200 and instead is a downgrade (I mean those who used D300 need scene modes in D7xxx models?). And these users, with me inclusive, have good DX lens.
I concur my sigma 18-50 f2.8 Macro is not the best there is out there but my 70-200mm f2.8 DX Macro is a fantastic work horse for me. Add that mix to Sigma’s Art Series 18-35mm f1.8 zoom lens that I would get if there’s a good D300 replacement, then there is practically NO reason for me to get full frame cameras.
And let’s face the fact too. Getting full frame would require me to re-stock all my lens from DX to FX. Even with D800 auto cropping, I don’t find it wise to buy a camera with 36MP sensor only to use about 67% or 24MP of it then it is only prudent to wait for a camera that cost significantly cheaper than the D800 by at least 30% (around SGD2800). With the Sony A7 full frame mirrorless around, that price would be quite reasonable.
Next, if Nikon feels that the D7xxx series cameras can replace the D300, they are definitely wrong on that count. One is the buffer which is not at the same level. Two is the autofocus system though i shoot with the centre spot and track through it doing sports. Three, like it or not, SD cards are less durable than CF which is a given and CF transfer speed is faster even if the SD card marketing label says otherwise. The D200/D300 is definitely at the same level as the D800 when it comes to construction.
And think about this, when it comes to sports/bird photography, having a crop framer does make life a bit easier in terms of lens weight. Yes when it comes to landscape photography, we would need a wee bit more width but with lens such as the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 helping things out, it doesn’t feel that much of a disadvantage any more.
The most important aspect of it all is how the D300 is controlled. It is very similar to the D800/D4 top plate and has no nonsense such as scene modes to clutter the space.
In contrast, Canon users are way better served than us Nikonians. At least they have a pro level camera called the 7D with the 7D Mark 2 in the works. That said, the 7D is showing its age and with the rumour that 7D Mark 2 is coming much to the joy of many who are in the red camp, it would be fool hardy for Nikon not to respond.
But I am not holding my breath chiefly because Nikon can and did the illogical before. The main example would be the Nikon 1 series mirrorless. It costs too much, with an expensive lens range but doesn’t do justice to the amount being paid for it when it comes to image quality. Even DxOMark says the same.
Let’s just think if the D9300 or D400 didn’t come. There will be more people ditching the DX system. If they have not done so by now and upgraded to FX, amd with Nikon 1 system is not up to scratch, the next logical step for DX owners is to leave Nikon altogether.
And of course those who are happy with DX are those who just buy the entry level D3300 and D5300 cameras and leave it be and chances are they won’t buy the more expensive lens too.
Those who are in SPIN did ask me what would be the next steps if they have the DX system. For those who followed my advise, they would have skipped D3xxx and D5xxx altogether and got the D7xxx first. And the logical upgrade path is to totally ditch DX and buy D610 or even D800. Too expensive? Then they would have to leave the Nikon system and waste whatever money they have used on DX lens. Canon users still have 70D and 7D as options. Nikon? No such luck.
As for me, my options have opened up with Fujifilm picking up the slack. I am now using my DX lenses via an adaptor with my X-E1 thanks to Nikon lens having the aperture ring. The resultant money saved was huge and yet I can use my lenses on both systems. I personally find X-T1 to be something I would consider because the viewfinder is as big as a full frame camera (the main reason i love the full framers is because the viewfinder is huge).
With the Image Quality being pretty close between X-Tran and normal APS-C and heck even match very closely with D700’s FX, then going to the X-T1 would be a no brainer. In additional to that, the focus tracking on the X-T1 is a revelation of how much Fujifilm has improved in 3 years since the introduction of the X100 and would be quite ok for simple sports shooting.
However ergonomic concerns of the X-T1 stopped me from buying it. If the X-T2 improves and solves the weaknesses I see in the X-T1, then my total abandonment of the Nikon system will come.
If only Nikon has not been so stubborn in the past and did the D400, it wouldn’t be caught in this catch 22 situation. Let’s hope Nikon D9300 do come…and at the right price otherwise Fujifilm will have my money in the future.