Thursday 28 November 2013

Nikon DSLR and lens predition 2014 (Nikon D400)

The year is almost over and Nikon did have a couple of surprises for us in 2013, but I wasn't that far off last year, so lets see if I can predict what to come from Nikon next year.

First lets take a look at what kind of cameras I predicted last year:
  • Nikon D7100 (I was expecting more of an upgrade to the old Nikon D300s, but still a great camera, but it has one major problem from being a great upgrade from Nikon D300S. It misses a big buffer)
  • Nikon D710 (We got that one, but in a retro look and without video. The Nikon Df)
  • Nikon D400 (A miss. Was expecting a model below the Nikon D600. A entry level FX model. Guess they got hang up on sensor problems in Nikon D600)
Besides theses Nikon announced the Nikon D5300 with GPS and wifi. A bit of surprise, but I think they regret that they didn't put the features into the Nikon D5200 and pushed forward the launch of this model. So what are Nikon going to launch in 2014?

I expect a Nikon D3300 where the focus will be small. Getting the camera as small as possible and use the same sensor that is in the Nikon D7100 and Nikon D5300 and I think it might have wifi like the Nikon D5300, but doesn't have GPS. Otherwise I only expect a small upgrade compared to the Nikon D3200. Expect it in August/September in time to pick up sales in next years Christmas sales.

I do expect a Nikon D300S replacement this year and I will hold on to my belief that it isn't going to be called Nikon D400, but more likely Nikon D9000. It just fits better with the naming schema where the Nikon Dxx is for FX and Nikon Dxxx is for DX. So why now and not in 2013. Well Canon didn't release they Canon 7D Mark II either and Nikon still wants as many as possible to jump to the FX ship. Nikon knows that Canon is going to ship their Canon 7D Mark II next year and they can see that cameras like the Pentax K-3 and Olympus OM-D EM-1 is starting to give the Nikon D300S users options on other platforms. So it is going to be a lot like the Nikon D7100, but with a 9 FPS (Nikon D4 has 11) and buffer around 50 (Nikon D4 has 75) in raw format. I think that this camera will be announced sometime during the first four month of 2014.

The last camera that Nikon is going to introduce the model below that Nikon D610 with less features. Nikon is getting pushed by mainly Sony on the price and they need a model below the Nikon D610 to get some of the sales. I think it is a going to be a lot like the Nikon D610 with 24 megapixel, but with a worse autofocus, fps and other features being less. Should hit the market with a price around $1400-1500. And I think it will be called the Nikon D400.

I don't expect any professional level cameras in 2014. So no Nikon D5, Nikon D4s or Nikon D4X. Best chance is a Nikon D4s just in time for the world championship in Soccer in Brazil, but I don't expect it. They made the difference between the Nikon Df and Nikon D4 bigger than the difference between Nikon D700 and Nikon D3.

So what about lenses. That is a hard one because that it doesn't follow a predictable pattern like the DSLR cameras do. But here are a couple of guess for 2014:
  • Nikkor 300mm f/4 VR (Having upgraded the Nikkor 80-400 in 2013 it is time for this model to get upgrade as well. I just hope that the price increase isn't as big as it was on the 80-400 upgrade)
  • Nikkor 85mm f/1.2 (Don't even know if it is possible to create this on the Nikon mount. I am affraid that there isn't enough room in the mount to have a lens construction to support this. They did create the 32mm f/1.2 for the Nikon 1, but that is a different mount. I know that many would love it done on the full frame as well. There isn't much difference in performance between the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.4, so time for this ultimate portrait lens)
  • Nikkor 200-500 f/4-5.6 (Don't really believe it, but Nikon at some point does have to come up with answers to these lens options coming from Sigma and Tamron. I think that Nikon is missing a huge market not have this kind of lens option)
  • Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 VR (A great lens, but time for a new version. There was 8 years between the Nikkor 28-70 f/2.8 and the Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8, so seems like it is time to upgrade this lens to better perform on the big sensors
It is going to be a very interesting year. Nikon is feeling the pressure from many different angles. Sony is very innovative and price competitive, Canon has been sleeping through 2013 and have to show up in 2014. Everyone is pushing to get a hold of a declining market. The camera companies have to find the right combination of features, price and introduction time to be the winner in 2014.

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