No, I don’t have the specs for the D400 (should it ever be more than a vapor-camera) but after reading many “Df compared to” articles, I was thinking about what Nikon’s sales would be if they produced a D400 instead of the Df. I am going to go against Nasim and Roman’s love affair with the new Nikon Df and say that I don’t care much for it. Sure, it is cool looking, but otherwise? I made the comment to Nasim and later to Bob (who might feel as I do) that it doesn’t do much for me. Roman concluded in summary of his Df vs D610 article that you buy the Df with your heart and so it may be that I am heartless. When it comes to the Nikon Df vs the mythical D400, which would Nikon be better off producing?
Nikon is at a crossroads and doesn’t seem to know what to do. They are producing some unique products such as the Df and the Nikon 1 AW1 but in the process they seem to be abandoning a previous bread and butter camera line – the D300s. Are niche cameras going to lift Nikon out of the slump? Nikon is cutting their sales and income forecast for their 2nd quarter. While the company is doing OK overall, it is largely because their Precision Instruments division is carrying the slumping Imaging Division. Take away Precision Instruments and the company would be hurting. So far, the demand for the Df doesn’t appear to be as great as it was for other bodies and that may be for multiple reasons, but regardless of the reasons, Nikon still needs to sell cameras.
Many wildlife photographers that I know are all holding on to their D300 or D300s and waiting for the mythical D400. In fact, I know those that are buying used D300s still to this day. They aren’t buying the D4, so the D400 wouldn’t cannibalize the D4 much if they build it right. I am not going to go into all the specs that could be for a mythical camera, but 16 or 24 megapixels, 8 frames per second, a decent buffer and better ISO capability than on the D300 and you have a great seller. They have all the technology to produce such a body with little research, development or production costs. A D7100 with a better buffer would probably do it and they could charge more for it, maybe $1800 as opposed to the current $1100 for the D7100 and it wouldn’t take much to manufacture it, just build the D7100 with a bigger buffer, and you are there. Their profit margin would go up from that of the D7100 and there are a lot of sales sitting on the sideline from people that are not upgrading their camera bodies because they don’t feel there is a viable D300(s) replacement.
I am sorry to bring up the painful D400 discussion again, but in a period of lagging sales, why doesn’t Nikon listen to the forums and to their customers? I once heard it said that doctors should listen to their patients because they are telling them the diagnosis. Maybe Nikon needs a hearing aid.