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  1. #1
    Senior Member racingpinarello's Avatar
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    Nikon D2X...bets?

    I'm thinking/wishing that Nikon will announce an 8 mp Nikon D2X this weekend. The Nikon D70 came out pretty quickly, and the feeling at the camera shop where I rent is that they are going to replace the Nikon D1X from the lineup with it's successor.

    I cannot wait to hear back from PhotoJohn on Tuesday about the new stuff in the line up.

    Please please ...roll a 7 for daddy!!!

    Loren
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  2. #2
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Don't hold your breath...

    At this rate they'll release something next year that matches Canon's three-year-old technology.

    Seriously, they need to turn things up a notch if they want top remain a contender.

    I'm glad I'm happy with my setup or I would be PISSED...
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  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Wouldn't bet on it

    Nothing yet. And it's pretty doubtful. Everything has already been announced and it would be a miracle if they were able to keep something like a D2X quiet.

    Here's a little sumpthin for you from the Digital Focus press event I went to tonight. That's the D2H on the left and the D70 on the right. The D70 is the latest sensor for Nikon to use. It's definitely newer and most likely better than what's in the D100. The D70 felt pretty lightweight, though. It's definitely not a professional feeling camera.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nikon D2X...bets?-img_6393.jpg  
    Photo-John

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  4. #4
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    Hi All,

    It does seem that Nikon takes it's sweet time with these things. I think that part of it is that Nikon is overmatched in the R&D department by Canon, which is a huge company with many resources. Nikon also seems to be a fairly conservative company, and there still seems to be a "We're Nikon, and we wait until it's right, even if we get beaten to market" culture. It would have been much better if they could have gotten the D70 out the door before Christmas, but that obviously wasn't in the cards (Canon surprised everyone with a sub $1000 DSLR, I think).

    The flip side is that the D2H and the D70 seem to be real winners. The D70 on paper is much better than the Digital Rebel and pros are raving about the ergonomics and usability of the D2H. Nikon seems to be picking it's shots and thus far is doing a good job. I think that the D2X will (eventually) be a very nice camera. But boy, that Canon 1D MkII has really raised the bar.

    Of course, these cameras are getting MUCH better than most photographer's capabilities or needs. Isn't it great? ;)

    Happy shooting (and equipment watching)!

  5. #5
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Acadia,

    I think you hit the nail on the head with Nikon's culture. However, if they intend to survive in the pro market that culture NEEDS to change. I love their products, and I really, really want them to stay competitive, but if their products don't sell, then they don't have money for R&D, and we die-hard fans lose out in the end.

    As for the D2H, something needs to be done about the image quality. It has a terrible repuation for being merciless with exposure and white balance settings unless you want noise soup. It takes great images if all conditions are perfect, but how owften does that happen? Especially in their target market, journalists and sports shooters, it seems that the D2H is making a sizable amount of people very upset. I am holding out, maybe they'll somehow get it resolved. I have plenty of time before I can even start considering getting another body.
    -Seb

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  6. #6
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Nikon Rumours

    The French press says that the D2X should be announced this summer, and it will have a 10Mpix sensor.

    They also say that there will be an F6 (film) camera at some stage, which will be very similar to the D2H

    Charles

  7. #7
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    An F6?

    I wonder what they are looking to improve upon the F5?

    Brian
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  8. #8
    Senior Member racingpinarello's Avatar
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    Exacty Acadia/Sebastian

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian
    Acadia,

    I think you hit the nail on the head with Nikon's culture. However, if they intend to survive in the pro market that culture NEEDS to change. I love their products, and I really, really want them to stay competitive, but if their products don't sell, then they don't have money for R&D, and we die-hard fans lose out in the end.

    As for the D2H, something needs to be done about the image quality. It has a terrible repuation for being merciless with exposure and white balance settings unless you want noise soup. It takes great images if all conditions are perfect, but how owften does that happen? Especially in their target market, journalists and sports shooters, it seems that the D2H is making a sizable amount of people very upset. I am holding out, maybe they'll somehow get it resolved. I have plenty of time before I can even start considering getting another body.
    I'm almost done waiting for Nikon to change the philosophy. I'm not tied to a 35mm slr system, since I can always continue to shoot Nikon film, but Canon digital is way ahead. Better quality and noise reputation. I held off buying the D2H even though it feels very good, but Sebastian is right about the tempermental nature of the camera.

    I hope they come out with firmware, but in the next 3 months I want to buy a 35mm digital that would allow me to shoot sports. I would choose Canon if that decision was today. That's tough to say from a lover of Nikon 35mm film cameras.

    Loren
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  9. #9
    Senior Member racingpinarello's Avatar
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    Tweaks...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    I wonder what they are looking to improve upon the F5?

    Brian
    Nikon Rules!
    It wouldn't be a lot of changes, but they could improve the button placement for the autofocus/exposure lock, and the upgrade the meter with newer situational data. I'm sure it will be very similar to the F5.

    Loren
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  10. #10
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    It would be nice to see Nikon "kick it up a notch" with getting new stuff out there. In the past things were easier with film, and it wasn't that big a deal upgrading from an F4 to an F5 or an F100, they all took the same film. Digital is still so new that a three year old camera is nothing compared to what's just coming out. I'm not personally looking at another DSLR anytime soon - I might actually buy an F5 (used, and for a song) for some things I have going on where I'd really like to shoot neg film. Going completely digital takes other stuff too which I'm just not ready for now. Hey, it's just money.

    Of course, a D2X comes out that might change things too. I'm too deep into Camp Nikon at this point to really think about going the other route, and I don't think there's a point to right now because everything is still changing pretty fast. Down the road, maybe re-evaluate what I've got and see if something else will work better for me but not right now. Kind of ironic about image quality with the D2H - I don't think sports and PJ shooters hardly ever get to shoot under ideal circumstances.

  11. #11
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    Hi All,

    Good discussion. I was sorry/surprised to hear about the D2H image noise complaints. I hope that it is a similar issue to the original D1 and/or some bad batches of cameras. In any case, it shouldn't be happening.

    What Franglais reports about the D2X is very interesting. It seems that Nikon and Canon are beginning to position themselves like Toyota and Honda, with models filling slightly different tiers rather than going directly head to head. I would say this is advantageous for Nikon. Also, I am very interested the seemingly excellent D70 and am not giving up on Nikon.

    If the D2X is 10 MP with excellent image quality, and similar ergonomics to the D2H, it could be a real winner. Again, the Canon 1D MkII is a real achievement so Nikon needs to step up as well.

  12. #12
    Bloody Cyclist Poobah's Avatar
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    F6 Rumours

    One of the rumours I have heard regarding the Nikon F6 is that it will be modular and that you will be able to choose between film and digital backs. Thom Hogan has a number of predictions of what he thinks we can expect from Nikon this year at his site (Thom's 2004 Predictions). Of course it is all speculation but it makes for interesting reading.

  13. #13
    Sitting in a Leaky Dingy Michael Fanelli's Avatar
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    Contrarian observation...

    Yes, Nikon is not on the cutting edge. Yet their digital cameras are continually used for many years by pros who get fantastic results.

    With technology, there is a bizzare driving need to change something every second. Although I am a Canon user, I just don't see why Nikon should rush to match each Canon step when their existing line gets the job done. If photographers spent more time taking photographs with the equipment they own rather than lusting after the whiz-bang features of the latest wonder, photographic quality would skyrocket.
    "Every great decision creates ripples--like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge and rebound off the banks in unforseeable ways.

  14. #14
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Watch it, buddy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Fanelli
    If photographers spent more time taking photographs with the equipment they own rather than lusting after the whiz-bang features of the latest wonder, photographic quality would skyrocket.
    That's dangerous talk. You'd better watch yourself. Remember - it's about selling cameras, not taking pictures.
    Photo-John

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  15. #15
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    Unhappy



    Unfortunately these days your equipment, mainly the camera body, plays more of a role in the end product than it used to. As has been said already here, the "technology" is a bit more important with DSLRs because you can't look at the results and say "oh, this shot is way too grainy, I think I'll use Fuji 800 instead of Kodak 800". Your 800 is your 800 and that's it, if it doesn't suit your tastes you're in for a few hours of "darkroom" time to try to fix it. The underlying technology that makes up these amazing devices is changing faster than film ever did which leads us to expect new bodies every year or two. Does my D1x still product excellent photos? Yes. (All things being equal and assuming no pilot error) Could they be better? Yes.

    One of the big things about this type of tool is that, unlike the film world, when something new comes out it 99% of the time requires you to replace the entire body. When Fuji came out with Velvia 100 I could just go grab a roll of that and try it out to see if I liked it better than Velvia 50. If I did then I could simply keep buying some 100. I didn't need an entirely new body to use the stuff. People that scoff at folks that are always chasing the latest and greatest DSLR body don't have a leg to stand on in the debate if they use newer (usually better) films as they come out. To live the same equivalent you should keep using whatever film you used to use for a few years after it's replaced. While some may do this I'm willing to bet that most switch once they have a few test rolls of the new stuff back from the lab and their supply of the old stuff is gone from the freezer.

    What bites me the hardest is Nikons seemingly giant fat head. They really pull off the "we're nikon and we'll give you what we give you when we feel like it and you'll thank us" impression whether they mean to or not. The bigger problem is that there are still stubborn loyalists out there that would buy a turd in a box as long as it said NIKON on the side in big letters . Add that fun attitude with their repair service history (at least for Melville) and it's very tempting to give the big C a try....



    Loyal, but fed up, Nikon user for the past 6yrs,
    Peter D.

  16. #16
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Nikon fat head?

    My perception of Nikon's product development strategy is rather different. I think they listened to their customers who said "Preserve our investment in your material. Don't make us change it all every six months".

    So I think that Nikon aim for a product life of 2 years. They only release a product when it is ready and is advanced enough to stay on the market for that long. They decided at the start that their architecture would use an APS-sized sensor and they are in the process of rolling out a whole new range of lenses to go with it.

    Canon's approach is just the opposite. A succession of products with 6-month lifetimes, three sensor sizes, a new lens mount just for the 300D..

    Two different approaches. There is no right or wrong. You just pays your money and takes your choice!

    Charles

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    My perception of Nikon's product development strategy is rather different. I think they listened to their customers who said "Preserve our investment in your material. Don't make us change it all every six months".

    So I think that Nikon aim for a product life of 2 years. They only release a product when it is ready and is advanced enough to stay on the market for that long. They decided at the start that their architecture would use an APS-sized sensor and they are in the process of rolling out a whole new range of lenses to go with it.

    Canon's approach is just the opposite. A succession of products with 6-month lifetimes, three sensor sizes, a new lens mount just for the 300D..

    Two different approaches. There is no right or wrong. You just pays your money and takes your choice!

    Charles
    I must disagree on some points. I think that history tells us that a 2yr lifecycle for a Pro level DSLR is about right. That's roughly the time between the D1 and the D1x/h, the d1h and the d2h, and the amount of time between the 1D and 1D MkII (not sure when the 1Ds came on the scene). But based on that logic there should have been a D2X announced at PMA, and there wasn't. Even if the camera is annouced in June it won't be available until January..and even then it'll be like playing the lottery to get one.

    The "they only release a product when it's ready and advanced enough to stay on the market" thing is also, in my experience, completely incorrect. This also leads to one of the biggest gripes I have with Nikon: they do release products with flaws that are instantly visable, which to some degree is ok (depending on how serious the flaw is), but THEY WILL NEVER ADMIT that there is a problem. Never. Ever. What they will do is silently modify the new units going out the door to fix or partially fix the problems, and silently upgrade cameras sent in for repair. This garbage may have been perfectly acceptable in 1990, but apparantly Nikon hasn't heard of this new fangled Internet gizmo that lets every person on the planet that just got their new D(?) talk to each other and compare notes. There are going to be reports of problems from people that are simply too picky or just looking for issues, but when a large percentage of new camera owners log on at the same time and say "is yours making people's skintones look like they're having a heart attack?" there just might be an issue. When Nikon finally gets around to programming a new firmware for the D1/D2 series you have to mail them your camera to have it upgraded. Good plan; sell 20,000 cameras in the US market and have everyone ship them to two service centers around the same time...smart. Kodak and Canon let you download the updated firmware yourself. Back in the D1 days I theorized that Nikon had hardwired the important stuff to speed things up and that's why they had to have the camera back to upgrade it, but if Canon can make a camera that shoots 8fps at 8MP and has a user upgradeable firmware then that tells you something....


    Another problem with the extended dev cycle is that it builds up hopes to unattainable levels. How many reasonable people out there said "that's IT?" when the D2H was announced? Nikon effectively announced that they had created the 1D 2yrs after Canon did. Still people held out hope that Nikon would deliver super low noise at high ISOs with their new sensor because it was unbelievable that it would take them that long to make a camera that wasn't in some way a major step forward. From the examples I've seen the noise on the D2H looks the same or worse than it does on the D1H. Don't get me wrong, they hit just about every other point on my "wish list" with the D2H..except 6MP min and better high ISO quality; but those two points are most likely deal breakers for me. And while it doesn't matter that they may be deal breakers for me, the plain truth is that they are going to be deal breakers for A LOT of nikon shooters who will be very hard to get back if they make the switch. I'm talking about people like myself that don't just jump ship at the drop of a hat when the other brand has something more whiz bang to offer, but have become jaded to the point that it's worth the $3000 hit to try something different; from someone different.

    Peter

  18. #18
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Pass...

    I was thinking more of the D100 vs D30/D60/10D/300D story when I wrote my piece. Up till now we haven't heard a lot about problems with the full-blown pro digital SLR's. It's interesting to see your feedback.

    Charles

  19. #19
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    Up till now we haven't heard a lot about problems with the full-blown pro digital SLR's. It's interesting to see your feedback.

    Charles
    Then you probably weren't paying attention.

    The D1 had problems with banding and a magenta cast, only the banding was ever resolved, and only with a "silent" upgrade.

    The D1h and D1x were free of the banding and magenta casts, but earl runs seemed to have issues with the mode selector, as did a run of the F100 which shares the same part.

    Now the D2h not only comes several years after the same technology did with Canon, it also fails to meet the quality of the Canon. It surpases it slightly in response and shutter lag, and introduces some other improvements, but falls short in noise and reintroduces the magenta cast to an extent, mostly visible in skin tones.

    To say the Nikon waits until something is done before releasing it is unrealistic, the D100 wasn't really finished IMO until the 2.0 firmware. However, there is no difference here between Nikon and any other manufacturer. Ever since the high turn-around computer age came upon us, WE have become the beta testers at our expense. Blame all the early adopters.

    BostonBullit,

    The D2h has user-upgradeable firmware, the instructions mention it in the revised version of the manual that you can download on their site.
    Last edited by Sebastian; 02-18-2004 at 12:54 PM.
    -Seb

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian
    BostonBullit,

    The D2h has user-upgradeable firmware, the instructions mention it in the revised version of the manual that you can download on their site.
    Thanks Seb. I've heard both ways on this one and seen both things in the manuals so I'm officially waiting until an official firmware upgrade officially comes out so I can learn the read deal...officially ;) I'm simply too damn jaded at this point to believe that Nikon wouldn't pull a "you have to send it back" thing. If they messed up something that requires a hardware module change then they'd most likely say "send the camera back for a firmware change and we'll update it so that it can be user upgraded in the future" without ever mentioning the hardware change!!

    I've been in this game since the original D1 and I read every last bit of information I could dig up on that camera in the year that it took me to get up the money to buy one. The D1 that I eventually purchased exhibited none of the issues that were well documented, by everyone except Nikon, in the early run of bodies; but it had the same firmware and Nikon never admitted that anything was different.

    Peter

  21. #21
    Paint with Light PuckJunkey's Avatar
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    Wise men don't bet.



    A lot of people will continue to spend a lot of time worrying about this "vapor-camera", when they could instead get a real (perhaps lesser) camera and start perfecting their photographic style in the meantime. Or use the camera they have more, and worry about the one they don't have less, should that fit one's context. People have been hankering for the D2X for over 2 years now; at some point you have to wonder when everyone will just say "Enough! I've got better things to occupy my thoughts with; it's released when it's released. I'll talk about it more then."

    Not to say there's any harm in posting a thread like this during the PMA (a very logical time to do so), but going forward I hope this doesn't become habit-forming for members of this forum. Would be a real shame.

    There are other photographic web forums (that will remain nameless but pretty obvious), where the D2X Angst has gotten so bad, at times you have to wade through pages of threads to find anything worth reading. It's just unbearable to watch people get into arguments about the capability of a camera that doesn't even exist yet, or arguments about when it will exist. I can just picture the Nikon engineers sitting around at lunch and laughing "What D2X? Just because we patent a name doesn't mean it will become a camera." They're probably the ones placing all the bets, as to which forum will implode first.



    It just... doesn't... matter. I am glad to see this forum is quite a bit less "noisy" and better organized than its "competition" and hope it stays that way.
    D200 = Digital F100
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