Back in September of 2007, I wrote about the exciting new Nikon D3. After all, it had been a long while since Nikon had introduced a new camera AND it was their first full frame camera; this, after letting Canon have control of the full-frame (FX) market for about 3 years. Well, the boys and girls at Nikon have stepped up and announced another full-frame camera. The Nikon D700!
The D700 looks like a direct competitor to Canon’s 5D. A digital camera with a full sized 35mm sensor at a price of about $2,999, somewhere between the D300 ($1799) and the D3 ($4999). Not bad at all! It, again, kind of raises my geek alarm. I hate when that thing goes off because it keeps ringing, and ringing, and ringing!
But, again, for those of us already invested in number of DX lenses, the transition would be a bit costly, assuming that we wanted to take advantage of the FX sensor. The D700 provides 12 MP, full frame, or 5 MP (DX). Kind of seems like a waste to shoot with DX lenses on this baby.
The main reason for having an FX sized sensor is to shoot ultra-wide angle lenses such as the 16mm f/2.8, 20mm f/2.8, or the 12-24mm f/2.8, each bringing their share of pain to the wallet! Another advantage of the larger sensor is lower noise at high ISO; however, I wouldn’t think that this would be a primary reason to spend an additional $1,200 over the price of a D300.
Certainly, I would consider purchasing this camera if I had all non-DX lenses, but the opposite is true; merely forking over to Nikon another $2999 of hard-earned cash is not the only issue. Another issue is the support crew that I would need to buy with it … my same reasons for not getting a D3. Sigh… Perhaps when all prosumer cameras are full frame and the cost of those lenses go down, maybe, just maybe.
I’m interested to see what this new introduction will do to the price of existing Nikon lenses that are used with 35mm film cameras. They will work on both the D3 and the D700. By the introduction of this camera, I would suspect that suddenly these lenses would become more valuable, even though they are not auto focus.
Lastly, after the introduction of the D300, I watched in horror as the value of my D2x plummeted like a lead balloon. Down! Down! Down, it went. Down to where a D2x in excellent+ shape with low mileage (shutter actuations), say < 20,000, might fetch, if you’re lucky, slightly over $1,200. A well used one, still in excellent shape, with shutter actuations of 40,000+ may get you $1,000, if you are lucky! Mind you, Nikon’s shutters are rated at 150,000 actuations MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures), meaning that about on average, shutters fail at 150,000.
Probably most of the people who are looking at these numbers will not even come close to exercising the camera to failure. My camera has 40,000 actuations in 24 months, which is about 1,665 pictures/month or about 55/day. Even at that rate, it would take about 5.5 years to bring the shutter to failure by using the ‘remaining’ 110,000 shots, assuming that it would break at that time.
I wonder what the introduction of the D700 will do to D3 sales. Hmmm. I don’t think that they’ll affect D300 sales much. That’s a different group.
Oh well. Something to think about. I think that the folks at Nikon are doing the right thing in taking back the market. Maybe I’ll jump on the bandwagon when this current crop of cameras start depreciating … and they will!