Now that CES has come and gone, and the excitement has died down, Nikon has a couple more press releases scheduled in the coming few weeks that look promising.Of course Nikon and Canon usually announce a bunch of point-and-shoot consumer cameras around this time of year too, but since there are now *tw0* separate press release dates for new Nikon products, we are almost guaranteed to also see something a little more professional.And based on the leaks of images coming out on the Nikon D800, there is a good chance that we’ll see it by Feb 7th at the latest.

 

(Images leaked at Nikonrumors.com)

 

Since this time of year is always jam-packed with camera rumors, I’m going to keep rumors and stuff to a minimum from now on.But just to recap really quick, here’s the quick analysis:

• The D800 is probably going to be a full-frame, 36 megapixel semi-pro camera body

• Rumors also state that it will not be blazing fast like the D4, obviously. (probably 4-5 FPS, but with the same new autofocus system)

• It will however have all or most of the D4’s awesome video capabilities, including full 1080p at 30 fps and probably 720 at 60 fps.

• It could have dual card slots, like the D300s (CF + SD) or like the D4 (CF + XQD)

• Just for kicks:Canon’s 5D mk2 replacement, the 5D mk3, is rumored to have roughly the same specs:30+ megapixels, kinda slow frame rate but good ISO, all the latest video functions….however the AF system for the 5D mk2 replacement is still unknown aside from a single rumor that t will not be upgraded beyond the current 5D mk2 AF, or at most the 7D‘s (very good, but not flagship) AF.

 

 

This definitely sounds like a camera squarely targeted at the Canon 5D Mk2 and it’s replacement: a high-res, dual-purpose camera for semi-pro and pro photographers and videographers.However a lot of people are complaining that at 36 megapixels, it simply is NOT a suitable replacement for the 12 megapixel D700; a much better D700 replacement would be the D800 with the D4’s 16 megapixel sensor, instead.I’m sure that we will eventually see a D4-like sensor in a more affordable FX camera body, but unfortunately Nikon simply cannot afford to make a camera like that until about a year after the D4 hits shelves.It’s just a matter of profit margins.

LASTLY, we may also see a D400 or other “pro DX” type camera body soon, but rumors are all over the board regarding that camera so I will only speculate that it will be 16-24 megapixels on a crop sensor, with a body like the D300s but of course with all the various new improvements in video etc. that we’re seeing in other cameras.

 

Personally, the BIGGEST question right now is, will these high-res cameras have an sRAW mode?I know it sounds like a rather obscure and unimportant feature, but for example the Lin & Jirsa studio that I do post-production for shoots at least a quarter-million images per year, in sRAW1 on the Canon 5D Mk2 bodies.(10 megapixels, from a 21 megapixel sensor.AMAZING low-light ISO performance!)Bottom line-we are just NOT interested in trippling our storage and computer power needs, just to embrace the latest generation camera bodies.That’s part of the reason the studio shoots on Canon in the first place; Canon has had an sRAW mode for years now, and Nikon still doesn’t have a single camera with sRAW capability.(Not even the 24 megapixel D3X.)Nikon does have DX crop mode which produces reduced size RAW files, but then again you’re using the crop sensor frame which kills your focal length considerations, especially at wider angles.

Anyways that’s the main feature I’m on the lookout for, now that the Nikon D800 is almost here.If the D800 has an sRAW mode that is even remotely close to the D4’s ISO performance, then I’ll surely buy one.If not, and we’re stuck with ~30-36 megabyte file sizes, (compared to my 8-12 megabyte D700 files) …then I’ll have to think a lot harder before making my decision.

 

Take care,
=Matt=

 


(Nikon D700, Nikon 85mm f/1.8 AF-D, 1/90 sec, f/1.8, ISO 1600)
SOOC image (straight out of camera) exported w/ Nikon View NX2