Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Nikon predictions 2010

If there's one thing common on all the gearhead forums (dpreview for example) it's the continuing debate of "when will Nikon release something new?" quite often in combination with "I want to buy a D-whatever but am afraid that something new will come out just after I bought it".

The latter seems silly to me, the current lineup (with the exception of the Nikon D3000 perhaps) is so good that any camera will still be good enough for 99% of the users even after Nikon has released their latest model.

Having said that, here are my predictions for 2010:

Based on history as I remember it and my gut instinct.

D90 follow-up
(your guess is as good as mine as to the name of that one) sometime mid this year. I'd expected it already but end September at the latest. Slightly more mega pixels perhaps, (14mpix Sony sensor perhaps) certainly a big jump in video capabilities to full HD. A stop more usable high iso if we are lucky but I doubt that.

D3000 replacement
In my opinion this is desperately needed. It's the black sheep in the line-up with that old sensor from the D60. Don't expect video there but it needs to beat the Canon 1000D. Knowing Nikon it may not materialize this year if at all. I suspect a lack of a proper camera is hurting them more than they may realize. On any gearhead forum people will advice against buying this so first time buyers go out and get a Sony or a Canon instead and stick with that brand if they like the hobby.

Tricky to predict. I'd expect something that fixes the few flaws in the D700 and at the same time will try to hit the 7D/ 5dmk2 segment of the market hard but which will fail to compete on price.

Nikon EVIL
(EVIL stands for electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens. These cameras are now also being called m 4/3 even though that's Olympus' solution for this class.)
After the succes of the olympus Pen other companies jumped on this bandwagon. Sony has just entered this market with two cameras. Based on that and recent patent applications I expect Nikon to enter this market as well.
I'm 99.9% sure Nikon has prototyped this already. I suspect the first iteration encountered technical or marketing problems and had to have some major rework done. I still expect this in Q3. If it does reach the market by then it may very well mean the end of the D3000 part of the lineup.

Difficult to predict. I'd expect a 80-400 follow-up and the rumours of a 24-120 replacement in f4 are too strong to ignore. Possibly a medium long tele prime early next year (135ísh with VR but without DC)
I expect no new kit lenses and nothing really surprising in DX although I suspect quite a few people at Nikon are wondering how they can exploit and repeat the 35mm f1.8 G success even further since the 85mm f3.5 micro doesn't seem to be nearly the success Nikon has hoped for.

A SB-600 follow-up is long overdue. Outside chance that if the EVIL does reach the market there will be a baby SB-400 especially for that.

Other goodies
Hopefully Nikon will realize there's a huge demand for good software as well. View NX is horrible as a catalog tool and Capture NX is expensive and not well suited for bulk work.
In an ideal world we would get a workable View NX and a free Capture NX lite and we would see the prices of a full featured Capture NX positioned to undercut Lightroom.

If you want more predictions head over to Nikon Rumors.


Niky said...

Nice predictions Jeroen, I like your arguments for the new stuff. Looking forward to a 'new' 24-120 f/4, might just be the next thing in my lensbag!

Hope Nikon realizes there's a big hole between View NX/Capture NX and Lightroom. Maybe(/Hopefully even!) A Capture NX Lite as you said will be released.

Jeroen said...

Nice to know that someone reads these posts.

Niky said...

Yeah I do, subscribed to your RSS feed and read every item coming in :)