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D400 or D710? | Which Long Awaited Nikon Body Do You Want More?

By Anthony Thurston on December 5th 2013

d400-vs-d710

The Nikon D700 has long been a favorite of professional Nikon shooters, many still prefer it in fact over newer bodies like the D600 and D800. The D300s is arguably still Nikons only Professional Crop Sensor body, most professionals prefer it over the D7100.

Nikon however for some reason has deemed that upgrades to these two long overdue bodies is not a priority. But to heck with Nikon, lets play a game of what if… We wanted open it up to all of you out there to let us know which fabled Nikon upgrade would you like to see more?

The Nikon D400

Nikon_D300s_Body

The Nikon D400 is the fabled Nikon “Pro” crop-sensor body which would act as a replacement for the now pretty dated D300s. In my dreams this body would have the guts (with a few choice upgrades ofcourse) of a D7100 and the body of the D300s. This would be a popular camera for high end amateurs and sports photographers who like the extra range that a crop factor gives you.

The Nikon D710

Nikon_D700_Body

The D710 would be the fabled update to the D700, and if I am being honest it is also the least likely of the two to be updated anytime soon. The D710 would have the same sensor as the D4, and rest of the specs would likely look very similar to the D610 and D800, somewhat of a merger of the two. (This is also why this is the least likely Nikon camera to happen, Nikon basically split their D700 in to the D600 and D800 models)

Vote In Our Poll

Which Long Awaited Nikon Body Would You Rather See, the D400 or D710?

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What features would you want to see from these long fabled updates? Why would you want one body over the other? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jake Cornelius

    If the D710 was based on the Sony A7S sensor – count me in!

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  2. Micha

    D400 or D710? equal.
    An D7100 with an “Fullframe” Sensor….
    thats the Deal :-)

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  3. daniel laloyaux

    Well, I have 2 nikons body.
    – 1 D5100 because of its mobile display.
    – 1 D300S because of its performance and endurance.
    My favourite specs would be a combination of a D5300 and a D300S, meaning a solid, fast, crop APS-C format, 24 Mpx, with a mobile display, GPS, wifi, large buffer for raw.
    I absolutly need to keep APS-C because I have for more than 3000€ of lenses, all APS-C, not full frame.
    And I like the crop factor of course, plus the 100% viewer of he D300S.
    good movie 1080p, 24fps will be good to have.
    All combined in a single body… a dream, certainly.
    If the D7100 would have been equiped with a mobile display, I would have gone for it.
    If the rumoured D400 would have it all, of course, i’ll jump for it.
    Mobile display are not for pro, I hear that a lot. It’s WRONG ! it allows you to shoot at impossible angles, that is why I keep my D5100.
    This way also, I have 2 bodies equiped with lenses, ready to shoot depending on the moment.

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  4. JARPPI

    I’ve two aging D700’s that I use for low-light situations where rapid image delivery is important. My workflow with 12Mpix is a breeze and 36Mpix would slow me down too much. I also need high FPS which the D800 does not offer. Not going back to DX or Micro4/3’s for sure. I prefer the more compact body size of D700 to D3 for sure, so still waiting…

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  5. LH

    A d710 would be awesome, but I really can’t see that happening as the Df is pretty much the d710 with some annoying omissions to prevent it from chumping up all the sales from other pro Nikon cameras. Plus the price is a bit silly for the df for what it offers compared to other products on the market.

    It would make a lot of sense to make a D400 . I’m quite sure Canon is bringing out a 7d MkII, so unless nikon wants a bunch of bird photographers and sports photographers to jump boat it would make quite a lot of sense to have something on the Nikon camp as well? Don’t see why Nikon wouldn’t do it: 10fps or more, better iso performance, better dynamic range, some voodoo auto-focus system and surely birdies and sports photographers would chomp the camera up with glee? The d300s just needs a refreshment to it’s iso performance etc. as it’s all a bit out of date by now.

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  6. Peter Connan

    I guess one of the problems for Nikon is that everybody who wants one of these, wants something different.

    Personally I want a crop-frame sensor of around about 16 megapixels (and not more than 24) but with similar high-ISO performance and dynamic range as the D4, a highly responsive autofocus system and the robust build and excellent user interface of the pro bodies.

    I guess you can probably see that I am a bird photorgrapher…

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  7. Jonathan

    I would choose the D400 as I already have a D300. Moving to full frame would be too expensive. (Otherwise I would have bought a used D700) The glass would cost me 2x or more over my current setup. No other camera would suit my needs better than a D400. Though I would rather it be a 16-20 megapixel camera for better high iso performance (my only real issue with the D300) and for less diffraction at small apertures. Take all the lastest and greatest tech, combine with pro body, a 16-20 megapixel sensor with a 2 stop + improvement over my D300 in high-iso and that would be my ideal D400.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Jonathan, I think that this is possible with a D400, even if they use a 24 megapixel sensor. In my testing of the D7100 and now the D5300, I’m finding that removing the AA filter does help to regain a little bit of detail that is usually lost to diffraction. I mean diffraction will always be there on crop sensors, but from the results I’m getting I think this is the direction they’ll take. If they came out with a completely new sensor, it would only be to achieve significantly higher ISO quality and/or dynamic range, which IMO are already quite good on the DX 24 MP sensor.

      I too would love to see a D400, in fact I’d strongly consider buying one even as someone who already owns a pair of D700’s.

      IMO, a 16-24 megapixel D400 combined with a 36 megapixel D800 would be absolutely perfect for all kinds of photography including my current profession, wedding photography. I love the DX system for its far lighter and more affordable crop-sensor lenses, namely the Sigma 50-150 and Tokina 11-16 plus now the Sigma 18-35. I really, really only feel like I need FX now for use with lenses like a 35 or 85mm prime, where DOF and high ISO are extremely important. Yep, I would own systems with both sensor form factors. I know a load of people consider this to be a huge mistake or compromise, but my shoulders & back (and my wallet) think otherwise, when my equipment weighs many pounds less and costs many thousands of dollars less… :-)

      =Matt=

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    • Jonathan

      Indeed, I have some great DX glass, the fantastic Sigma 50-150 and Sigma 17-50. I find that in most situations I don’t need the 1 stop shallower depth of field of FX. In that regard I find DX gives an advantage.

      Matt, do you think diffraction would not be an issue at 24Mpx even at f/16? That is the aperture I use most when doing landscape photography. From what I have read, a 24Mpx DX sensor is the tipping point with regard to diffraction. Anymore and I would start seeing it closer to f/8.

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    • Michael Steinbach

      Matthew, I hate to keep shooting holes in your statements but when your wrong your wrong. The weight of a d300 is nearly identical to that of a d700. Lens, the 17-55 is nearly as heavy as the 24-70.

      While the sensors size can have advantages, DX is great for sports or wildlife, I would rather have the simplicity of having only one set of lens that worked across my entire system.

      Something else that is very important to me is dual cards run as a mirror. I feel more comfortable knowing that image loss due to card failure is cut in half.

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    • Doede

      Nothing to add to this! Totally agree!

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  8. Michael Steinbach

    I really need to stop reading this site, D800 replaced the D700, period. Move on. Saying the D610 is “basically a D3200 with a full frame sensor” as John stated is just incorrect, 7100 body yes. The idea that you would want to slide yet another iteration into an already confusing line up is crazy. Though I must say that Nikon did this to themselves. Blurring the lines between camera lines has made it difficult for customers to know what they want.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Michael, while I would agree with you that the D610 is definitely more of a full-frame D7100, I have to ask, why do you and so many others seem to be adamant that nobody on earth needs a D800 with more speed and fewer megapixels, let alone how this lineup is “confusing”.

      First of all, the D800 may be a practical replacement for any D700 user who WANTS megapixels. However, Do you really think that all future ~$3K flagship cameras are going to be 36+ megapixels? That would be a shame, Nikon will seriously miss out on the market of ~$2-3K sports action cameras. Simply put, that is what we want. A $2-3K action sports camera. DX or FX, honestly I’d be fine with either at this point. But if you think that the “D400” and “D710” are not a gap in Nikon’s lineup that desperately needs to be filled, IMO you would be mistaken.

      Second of all, breaking the boundaries between flagship and prosumer has been what Nikon is all about, from day one. Ever since they made the D100 and the D70, and plenty of times even before that in the film SLR days.

      So, how is this a bad thing that they “blur the lines” and offer as many pro features as they can in as affordable of bodies as they can? Would you prefer the opposite history, such as Canon which spent many years stubbornly refusing to add certain “advanced” (but affordable to implement) features to anything less than their $8,000 flagship cameras? DO you realize that until the 5D mk3 came out just 2 years ago, the ONLY way to get flagship autofocus in a full-frame Canon was to spend $8,000? Meanwhile Nikon has repeatedly delivered affordable ways to achieve flagship AF plus many many other features that Canon would classify as “flagship only, because we want to upsell people”

      In other words, Nikon’s blurring of the lines is very good for business, not bad. If they’re doing any sort of “shooting themselves in the foot”, it is that they deliver cameras that are too dang good so people wait longer to upgrade!

      If you ask me, the bottom line is that Nikon creates the cameras that people want, they just try not to rush to market with them. If you’re an impatient kind of person, I can tell you right now that Nikon will ALWAYS frustrate you.

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    • Michael Steinbach

      Matthew, Why is more pixels an issue? Drive space is the cheapest it has ever been! Oversampling is an excellent way to achieve accurate color and better resolving even down sampled. Speed isn’t an issue for me, I too came from a D3s-D700 combo and the D700 wasn’t a speed demon, when speed is an issue the D4 is there.

      Pricing. Does anyone think that you would get a D710 for lees the $2800? Below that your stepping on the toes of the 610 (which is an extremely capable camera in it’s own right. I have to defer to the Guru of All Things Nikon Thom Hogan (be sure to skip down to the part “So why isn’t anybody happy”), he truly puts as best as anyone can: http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/bunker-strategy.html

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  9. Kiril

    Well, looking at the lineup of Nikon bodies http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/ we can see the D300s .
    Now D700 was replaced with D800/E and D700 dispersed from the lineup.
    So since D300s is still here and thinking logically, Nikon has something in mind.

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  10. Matthew Saville

    Personally, I would love to see both cameras come to market. I think they would both be awesome cameras. However I’m realistic, and IMO Nikon has bigger fish to fry, along the lines of the Sony A7 and A7R. Love ’em or hate ’em, they will sell well and consume market share, and Nikon needs to compete. As does Canon!

    Regarding this overall discussion, by the way, I’m hearing a lot of people who have lost faith in Nikon completely, and maybe even jumped ship, accusing them of dropping the ball over the last few years simply because camera XYZ has not arrived yet.

    I think that quite the opposite is true about Nikon’s alleged lack of a clear and decisive lineup these days. Especially compared to their lineup pre-D3! Allow me to break it down:

    The D1 thru the D2X was a constant underdog battle in which Nikon was barely keeping up with Canon. Yes, Nikon had awesome feature sets and a decent overall lineup, but no more diverse or well-rounded than today.

    Oppositely, from the D3 until today, Nikon has consistently been king of the hill in the categories that have mattered most. (Until recently) The D3s and D4 are as good as or better than the 1DX for action. In fact the D3 and D3s were leaps and bounds beyond the competition, especially back in the days of Canon’s attempts to use a 1.3x crop for action. (I think it was an awesome system that they shouldn’t have eliminated from their lineup, by the way, but I’m just saying that the D3 and D3s were truly incredible cameras…)

    The D800 is un-beatable for landscape photographers. Seriously, especially when combined with the 14-24, what else comes even close?

    The D700 is old as hell, indeed, but you know what? For it’s primary purpose, (IMO wedding and portrait and light action photography) …it beat the pants off its initial competition the 5D mk2, and still holds many candles to the 5D mk3 for things like photojournalism.

    A D700 + D800 combo is completely peerless with regard to performance and image quality for almost any profession. If you want to argue that a two-camera solution doesn’t count, especially if one of them is discontinued and has no video, well all I can say is that I work as a photographer full-time in the “real world”, and this is just the way I see things. Nikon may be missing out on making a buck if I buy a used D700 on Ebay, but I’m sure they’re working on something else that will be, well, like the D800 but more practical for sports and photojournalism. Maybe even BOTH DX and FX versions.

    But I digress. Moving on. The D600. It came as soon as it could, and aside from the wimps who are afraid to clean their sensors, it was a nearly perfect execution of affordable full-frame. ;-)

    Admittedly, the D300s->D400 situation is pretty annoying for anyone who couldn’t afford a D700 right when it came out, or who currently feels that they’d love the reach of a more powerful D7100 for wildlife, but the bottom line is that the D7100 simply needed to come first. Like it or not, the prosumer DX market is wayyyyyy bigger than the pro DX market now.

    And once again the D300s, with dual card slots, truly flagship AF and 8 FPS when using a V-grip, is still way ahead of the curve with the ONLY drawback being high ISO performance, something Nikon DX has always struggled with. In almost every other respect it still beats the 7D, which has also yet to be replaced.

    So, what do you want from Nikon, to qualify them as “clearly defining” their market goals or direction, or whatever? A D400 and a D710 and a D4X, all in the same year? Not gonna happen. Sure, maybe we could have used at least one of these cameras within the past few years, but all the other cameras that Nikon DID release were simply more urgent.

    Simply put, we’re complaining because the previous generation of pro and semi-pro Nikon’s were so damn good that Nikon hasn’t needed to upgrade them yet. LOL, have a little patience!

    BTW, Nikon has repeatedly mentioned that this winter and next year will see a focus on higher-end bodies. So many of us are probably going to find that our “needs” are met within the next 6-12 months. Maybe we’ll get both a new DX and FX pro body!!!

    =Matt=

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  11. Bruce Kaplan

    Honestly, I would rather see Nikon put out a full framed mirrorless body, to compete with the Sony a7/a7r. Besides, DSLR’s are all going to go the way of film cameras one day; the minority. Start putting the money into the R&D of the smaller cameras and lenses (not pro-sumer J1 stuff).

    Conversely, even if I am wrong, and DSLR’s are the gold standard for the next 10yrs, please stop trying to get me lay out 1.5k -3k for new models with only incremental changes. Build in digital wi-fi tethering and work on things like quadrupling the effective ISO reach with software NR technology built into the body. Wow me. Tempt me with more than the same old model with a few new upgrades. Come on Nikon, be 1/10th as creative as your customer base.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Bruce, I agree with you that wifi and GPS are long overdue, (hence why I bought a D5300 for my outdoor photography) …however if you expect ISO performance to quadruple from what it is today, then I have some bad news for you. It’s just not possible. We’re already banging up against the ceiling of, simply put, counting photons in buckets as accurately as possible. There are only so many photons hitting a pixel. :-(

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  12. Peter

    If they made a D710 with a D4 sensor and decent buffer, that would kill sales of the D4, so why would they? The D400 is more likely than the D710 anytime soon.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Peter, see my previous comment on this subject. The D4 has been out for about two years now, do you really think they’re still flying off the shelves? No. If anything, it is far MORE cost-effective for Nikon to take their exclusive 16 MP sensor and cram it into as many other camera bodies as possible now. From what I remember of Thom Hogan’s writings, the development of a sensor is a HUUUUGE investment for any company, and the bottom line is that Nikon will not just use the sensor once in a flagship that very few people can afford, and once in a collectors’ item.

      I may be wrong, I certainly am not an expert on the subject of cost analysis for multi-billion dollar corporations. We are, of course, just speculating for fun here. :-)

      =Matt=

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  13. Ryan

    If the D710 had a 24mp sensor and a HUGE upgrade in autofocus from the D610 or D800 I think that would definitely be my choice.

    However, if it ends up being a 12 or 16mp sensor I’d probably rather have a D410 to use as a lighter, faster, backup body to use instead of my D800 as the need arises.

    Though tbh I’d be surprised if either of these come to fruition anytime soon. I think the Nikon DF will be the closest we see to a new D700 for the forseeable future and I just don’t see the market for a D400 being large enough to be worth Nikon’s time.

    Personally, I suspect we will be a seeing an upgraded D800 in the next 6months to a year. Even though the D800 isn’t THAT old yet I think Nikon probably knows that their rule of the big megapixel sensor with wickedly high dynamic range is going to come to a close. Many of the pros who bought D800s at launch will be nearing the point now where they may start looking for a new primary body and I think Nikon needs to put something out to attempt to one up whatever the new pro bodies from Canon are going to boast.

    For me, the only thing keeping me with Nikon is their lead in sensor technology. If they fall behind I will begin seriously thinking about going Canon or even walking down the M4/3 road. In my opinion Nikon needs to stay ahead while also updating a few of their more ancient primes (135mm and 180mm for example)

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  14. Timothy Isaac

    I don’t think, either of these 2 models will ever see the light of day. Why bother with a D400 when there’s already a D610? D710? Also doubtful. I think Nikon has learnt its lesson from the D3x vs the D800. They basically killed of their own camera. I’m pretty certain that with the upcoming releases they are going to make sure that never happens again.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Because a D400 would be a crop sensor body, the D610 is a full frame.

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    • John

      “Why bother with a D400 when there’s already a D610?”

      Because a D610 is basically a D3200 with a full frame sensor.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Timothy,

      While you may view these as some sort of massive corporate blunders, I view them as pushing the envelope of features and performance at an affordable price. Nikon has always had a history of shattering the boundaries between flagship and prosumer, etc. Again, why is this a bad thing? How does it constitute a mistake that should not be repeated? I see it as the reason I stick with Nikon; they give me what I want / need, at a price I can afford!

      Every time someone talks about how the sales of one camera cannibalized the sales of another, I wonder if they have any experience whatsoever in market analysis. I sure don’t, though, so I keep my mouth shut usually. But who are we to guess which product “ruins” sales of another? It’s a volume game. If the profit margin on one item is $3,000, but the profit margin on another is just $500, well all you have to do is sell seven of the other and you come out ahead. It’s that simple. Like I said, I don’t know any of the numbers. Maybe the D800 only out-sold the D3X by five to one, for example.

      So, I’m pretty sure that with the upcoming releases, they will continue to break the mold and deliver the best damn camera they can with as much performance and quality as they can possibly cram in and still turn a profit. :-)

      =Matt=

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    • NorcalPhotographer

      The whole pont of a D400 is it uses an APS-C sensor instead of a full frame sensor. The APS-C sensor is better for those wanting longer lenses since my 150mm macro effectively becomes a 225mm macro giving me just a bit more operating room especially with “skittish” subjects… my 200mm is effectively increased to 300mm, etc.

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    • Raman

      Because I want a crop sensor that bleeds speed for sports with a quality build ( not a plasticky d7100 with a tiny buffer) better autofocus and allows me to crop in post production without too much loss of quality hence a 24Mp would be nice. Or the alternative is a 8k spend on full frame / lens combo which will NEVER happen for me , so if Nikon thinks it can bully me into spending that sort of cash just because there is no d400 coming then I will just stick to my D300s with grip and 70-200 vrii 2.8 Or move to canon.

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