Nikon Df vs the Mythical D400

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?

Owl at a crossroads

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.


  1. 1) Ananda Padmanaban
    November 10, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Hi Tom,

    I agree with you 100%. The Df may be a great camera and it’s good that Nikon is trying to try something new. But it should not be at the cost of not producing something like the D400.

  2. November 10, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Tom, my last hope is Q1 of 2014 before winter Olympics :)

    Come on Nikon, make it happen!

  3. 3) Antony
    November 10, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Ouch !….Well I wont be buying one….Either…I shall be keeping my D3s.

  4. 4) Global
    November 10, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Or why doesnt Nikon make a mirrorless D400 that is spec’ed out like crazy. Or why dont they make a retro D400, which people actually can afford but uses most of D7100 components plus more buffer and better lowlight?

    Nikon isnt very intelligent right now. They made the Nikon 1 look and feel like a toy, rather than producing a pro level flagship to get people excited, and they made the Df look nice, but perform like an entry level fx.

    Imagine if the Df had been the D400, with better specs than the D7100 and cost as much as the D610 and just left video in there since the sensors can do it anyway. People would be in love with Nikon right now and it would not cannibalize any FX sales and it would still have good margin for Nikon as a high cost DX. Nikon is a bit dense.

    If sales went well, only then should they have released an FX version, once DX gave enough feedback, so that they could make a pro Df, which in my mind would later evolve into mirrorless FX as a natural progression with same FX sensor size.

    • Profile photo of Tom Redd 4.1) Tom Redd
      November 10, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Global, I agree.

    • 4.2) Charles
      November 10, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Agreed. If the Df had the APS-C sensor from the D7100 or D5300/5200 with 7-9 fps at a $2k +/- price point I would buy two right now. I really don’t care about video in a dslr either.

    • 4.3) John C
      November 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      It is coming, I hope! I believe that NIkon can not give up on DX simply because it is a much higher sales volume than FX. They have no choice but to start switching all DX over to mirrorless. Mirrorless is the future and is is cheaper to build. If they are smart (and here is hoping this is right) they are taking so long to introduce a D400 because it will be the first Nikon mirrorless other than the Nikon 1 lineup. Nikon 1 shows they can do mirrorless and AF. If they make a D400 this way, they could get away with using the D7000 16 MP sensor, have it do 8-10 fps with EXPEED 4, and charge between $2000 and $2500 for it. If they do that, it will sell better than the Df. The pros would also pick it up as a backup to a D4, not instead of.

      • 4.3.1) GM
        November 11, 2013 at 11:49 am

        I hope your wrong about switching DX over to mirrorless, as I have a large investment in Nikon SLR lenses which cannot be used on the mirrorless cameras unless they provide some type of adapter.

      • 4.3.2) Richard too
        November 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm

        NO!!! The D7000 sensor is obsolete. I know. I have one and its high ISO performance is markedly inferior when judged by current standards.

        Pros would not use such a camera as a backup to a D4. At best, some might keep it in their tool bad as a “light kit” much as Galen Rowell kept some small/light equipment for some of his runs when he was not going to carry anything else, but then pros have frequently used smaller/lighter equipment for scouting trips or occasions when being unobtrusive is a requirement.

    • 4.4) JT
      November 12, 2013 at 6:00 am

      A mirrorless D400 I think would be a bit of a risk.
      Too much R&D effort required.
      The problem would be getting an on sensor PDAF system with sufficient reliability.

      I think that for some of the market segments that are interested in the D400 sports and wildlife people they want really decent AF.

      As far as I am aware, most if not all widely used on sensor PDAF cameras are in the consumer end with the possible exception of the EM1.

      I’d imagine that even if a current sensor with on chip PDAF exists that is capable of the job, actually testing and proving that would be a biggish project.

      I think the place to do that kind of R&D and testing is in either the mass market stuff, where you can spread the cost over gadzillion cameras and where if it screws up a bit it’s less of a big deal or in the high end Dx range where the sales are small, but the premiums high, and where I suspect a lot of the R&D expense is spent anyway.

      I’m not a business guy, but I suspect while being an important camera as a camera company – because it fills a need for certain pros and high end enthusiasts, the D400 probably does not have the margin or numbers to self fund the development effort required to make it work reliably enough for what will ultimately be a small, but vocal and maybe influential market.

      You don’t want to piss those guys off with flaky new stuff.

      So while I agree that a D400 needs to happen I don’t think it should be mirrorless at this point in time because of the risks and likely (to my mind) costs.

      Actually I posted my own they should have delivered a D400 instead on an Dƒ over at DPR somewhere.
      I see the Dƒ as implemented as risky too.
      But I’m a thinking human not a str8 up fanboi – so I think I’ll be wrong and they will eventually sell in droves.

      I also disagree that a D7x00 body with a bugger buffer would do.

      I think it needs to use the standard Nikon pro control layout and build quality.
      But no problems, that’s an evolutionary step, not a revolutionary one.
      Quite possibly it might use the majority of a D300 body.

      I love Monday morning quarterbacking and tea leaf reading.

    • November 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      The Df sounds like a great body for a traditional photographer, but cameras are really only tools for achieving specific results. I shoot surfing and BIF with a 300-800 on a D300. It’s a pretty effective combo but I sure would like a 8-10 FPS, DX, 24 MP body. For college football, I use a Sony A57 with 70-400 at 10 FPS with focus tracking. Outstanding combo for capturing action but I really don’t like EVF. I thought about buying the new 80-400 AFS but Nikon doesn’t make a 10 FPS, DX body to put it on. Pentax just introduced the K3 which will do 8.3 FPS but their long lenses are lacking. The D400 would be a welcome body and I would be willing to pay up to $3,000 if it were 10 FPS. However, I do have a backup plan. Sony may be introducing an Alpha mount, 16 FPS, DX body next February. Goodbye Nikon. I’ll just use my D7100s.

    • 4.6) Charlie from Chattanooga
      December 8, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Global, you got it pretty much right, but don’t forget the important AF-On button and the extra CPU contacts. Some also value the better weatherization of the D300S.

  5. November 10, 2013 at 2:09 am

    I applaud your comments and I have posted here and elsewhere about the decision to launch the Df. This is a camera of indulgence, with no substance or reason. At least that’s my opinion at this time. I don’t buy this “Nikon have done their market research”, if they had they would be catering for the wildlife/sports serious amateur photographer over an above the D7100. This is purely a camera for the well healed who buy “sexy”. It’ll probably end up in a cupboard for much of its life!

    If this camera had been an affordable AP-S sensor “retro” camera I don’t think I’d or many others would be so vocal. However in my view is “I am an indulgence – I am the Nikon Df”.


    • 5.1) Max
      November 10, 2013 at 2:29 am

      Hello Richard,

      I agree with you. Look at the backside of the Df and it is clear that it is just a “normal” digital camera with some fancy nostalgic “decoration”. I think Nikon has manipulated their clients so much nowadays that for many to look at the camera is more important than to look through the viewfinder!

      This camera is too small to hold big zoom lenses (you will be limited to primes) and no video. Why no video? Nikon needs something for the upgrade in he future!

      I have been waiting a long time for the d400 but eventually got frustrated and bought a D800. Great camera so far.

      • 5.1.1) Richard
        November 10, 2013 at 3:11 am

        Ni video, single card slots and just a nonsense and no value for money at all. I have a D800/D7100/V1/F100 so what on earth would I want this for! A D400, yes. Q1 next year or it’s dead I recon.


  6. November 10, 2013 at 2:17 am

    100% right.
    Next article : “Nikon Df vs the mythical D700s/D710”

    • 6.1) OC Mike
      November 10, 2013 at 8:13 am

      You both got it! Why is the obvious so difficult to see? Again its ” marketing MBA grad’s analysis versus user (who have wallets ready to spend) comments! Finally, an Internet writer speaks the truth. The truth is what users want.

      • 6.1.1) John C
        November 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm

        What is obvious is how much the D700 hurt the D3/D3S. Nikon will make that mistake again. The Df is going as far as they can to appease the D700 replacement cry without hurting the D4, while at the same time trying to jump on the retro train.

        Personally I think they should have released the Df as a 36MP option instead of the D800. Everyone thought the D800 was going to price out at $4000, then it was announced for $3000 and backordered for 6 months! A retro D800 at the time would have been an even better time to go retro, and with a industry leading 36MP, they would have still been backordered at $4000. The Df, is a “take it slow” body. So is the D800.

  7. November 10, 2013 at 2:18 am

    The D400 is essential to many but perhaps they agree with Nasim, the DX is dead.

    If that is the case, given the demise of point and shoot market, they need to partner with a mobile phone maker for the camera side of their business to survive.

    • 7.1) Derek
      November 10, 2013 at 2:45 am

      I really don’t understand why there’s so much fuss for a D400.Why would you want another DX when FX is becoming more affordable. My D600 is a fantastic camera and with no problemys I hasten to add.

      • 7.1.1) MattB
        November 10, 2013 at 8:52 am

        Lots of reasons…the D600’s “slow” 5.5 fps, the clustered AF-point array, the slower autofocus, the maximum 1/4000 shutter speed, and the slower buffer. The D600 is a fine camera for a lot of uses (I have one), but people who want the D400 want a fast and snappy camera for sports shooting and wildlife photography. I use a D7100 for these purposes, but at a max 7 fps (in crop mode) and with a slower buffer, it just doesn’t quite cut it.

        • Alex
          November 10, 2013 at 9:25 am

          Yeah, but the slow speed is a processor issue, not a general design issue. You can do 8 or more FPS at 24 mpix if you have the right processor. It is a conscious (not technical) decision by Nikon to limit the fps as a differentiator between the models. Hence, FX is the right direction, and if anything, the latest Sony attempts to break into the photography market and gain some noticeable market share may just be the kick in the butt needed for Nikon to understand that FPS or buffer limitations can no longer be used as differentiators alone. Wouldn’t you agree that if the D7100 had 10fps and a bigger buffer, it would sell like hotcakes?

          • KnightPhoto
            November 10, 2013 at 10:09 am

            Answering my own question but the Sony A7R also only does 4fps. So to me this argues pretty strongly that that the maximum fps of the 36mp sensor in the D800 is constrained by the sensor not the processor. Which is too bad now that Nikon has the EXPEED4 processor :-/

            And the Sony A7 only does 5fps (to the D610’s 6fps)

            Anyhow, so I’m thinking Nikon did NOT artificially constrain fps this generation of cameras; it seems to be a sensor data offload constraint.

            • Alex
              November 10, 2013 at 10:26 am

              Actually the A7 is crippled as well. Uses the same sensor as A99, and that camera does 8/10 fps in continuous. So yes, it is a processor issue. The D800 sensor may as well not be designed to do much faster than it currently does, but I think the issue really is the choice of memory and storage offload. A d4x with a modified D800 sensor will clearly do more than 5.5 fps. The sensor/Expeed3 combination may not allow for higher speeds than currently achieved, but that does not mean it isn’t possible. It is a decision made by Nikon, not an issue that is insurmountable because of technical limitations in general. Sony has been doing 10fps+ on their APS-C cameras for a while, so a D7100 with a proper processor/memory combination can easily achieve 8+ fps, if Nikon wanted it to do so. My point is, if Nikon would release a D7200 with expeed4, 9fps and decent buffer, it would sell! A LOT. If it is sold at a price point that competes within the current market environment. $1500 for the body, I am pretty sure it would find many buyers. Same goes for the D610. Nikon could have made that 8fps with bigger buffer as well, but then they would have cannibalized D800 sales (or at least that’s what they may think). Nikon tries to protect itself against losing sales within their own brand to lower margin bodies, but they fail to see that they can only upsell to people with lots of glass. Nikon has nobody else to blame but themselves.

            • MattB
              November 10, 2013 at 10:55 am

              I agree with Alex on this. They put the EXPEED4 in a D5300 and it still only shoots at 5 fps. The D7100 could clearly be pushed a little further with a new processor. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if a sudden D7200 announcement was right around the corner. They are releasing minor upgrades instead of going straight for the camera that people want. The d400 would probably cost about twice the price of the d7100, but it would be a camera that people would hold onto for years and years the way many have with the d300. Nikon seems to think that would be bad for business.

            • knightPhoto
              November 10, 2013 at 11:46 am

              The other Sony models you mention only do 12-bit RAW or in the case of the A99 is “tele zoom” mode which is some kind of crop-mode high fps!

              I would be happy to understand if the Sony 36mp sensor can do more than 4fps in 14-bit RAW at full 36mp resolution. I am not aware of a single example of this.

              I would be happy to understand if the Sony 24mp sensor can do more than 6fps in 14-bit RAW at full 24mp resolution. I am not aware of a single example of this.

              If my facts are correct then it all leads to the Sony sensor’s are the constraint currently, not the processor chip.

              Now you wanna talk fast sensors, look no further than Aptina ;-)

            • John C
              November 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm

              The other issue the A7 has is dissipation of heat from the sensor which is more difficult than the A99. That may be a reason the A7 is “crippled”

        • Derek
          November 10, 2013 at 9:29 am

          Why on earth have you bought a D600 and a D7100! You’re saying that they lack the specs that you need! You get what you pay for so you should’ve saved your money and bought a D4!

          • MattB
            November 10, 2013 at 10:10 am

            Alex, I don’t see how limiting the FPS can be a differentiator when only their high-end full-frames go above 6! Minus the D700, of course, which has been around for a long time in camera years. You have the D610 at a max of 6 and the D800 that can reach close to 6 only in DX crop mode.

            Derek, I’m not here to tell YOU what camera you should own, so there’s no need to question my choices. I shoot with TWO bodies, a refurbished d7100 ($950) and a second-hand d600 ($1,500). Those two cameras combined don’t amount to HALF the cost of a D4. Don’t you think I would own a D4 if I had that kind of money? I’d rather spend the rest of my money on decent lenses than saving up for an expensive camera that is out of my budget, and having two bodies on hand with different lenses is a necessity for me when I’m on the job.

            Please do enjoy your d600. I didn’t say it was a bad camera. But your failure to understand why SO MANY people want a d400 was the issue. The d600 works for you. It doesn’t for a lot of others.

      • 7.1.2) Paul
        November 10, 2013 at 11:02 am

        I have a d800e as my main camera, and I could see my self buying a d400 for telephoto. If the d400 has 7-8 fps, at 24mp dx it would be like having a 2x TC with no lose of light or quality, and double the fps.

        • monopodman
          November 15, 2013 at 7:28 pm

          Compared to D800e and it’s 16Mp DX mode, a 24Mp DX sensor would only result in 1.22x linear increase (equal to 1.22x TC) which isn’t that much actually.

      • 7.1.3) GM
        November 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm

        Being primarily a wildlife photographer, the main reason I prefer DX is the 1.5 crop factor that DX provides and the FX does not.
        The 1.5 crop factor in essence converts my 600mm lens into a 900 mm lense without any lose of light or pixels, and when it comes to wildlife photography, most times for me, when it comes to lenses more or bigger is better.

        • monopodman
          November 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm

          For instance, current 36Mp FX vs. 24Mp DX is only 1.22x increase. A 48Mp D800e with 8fps DX mode would be the same as 24Mp D400 and you’d also get “instant zoom out” feature by switching back to FX mode for tight compositions with super telephoto primes. It’s a win-win situation.

  8. 8) Greg Heller
    November 10, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Tom: I couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t have much disposable income but I bought my D300s 4 months after it was launched. 2 years later around the D7000 announcement, it appeared that Nikon was going to be making great strides in the middle to upper crop sensor bodies. I was getting excited trying to imagine what the new Pro DX might be like. I started a savings account just for the new body it keeps growing little by little, at this time I could get a D800 or a Df but they aren’t the camera I have been dreaming about. The money is here Nikon whether I move it over to your account or keep it in mine, it;s up to you. Nikon needs to implement ‘Statements of Direction’ when I sold for IBM we issued (SoD’s) they contain info to the customers about certain product lines, where they intend to take a certain product, whether one line will merge with another line. At times they are vague and non-committal but you always had an idea of what IBM was thinking.

  9. 9) Carl TightShooster
    November 10, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Thats exaclty what I think too – Nikon, has started this with D800/D4, is bringing ‘special tasks’ cams; but no breaking stuff as they did with D300/D700. They eagarly take effort and huge energy not to bring the products their loyal customer wants to have :

    A D400, MultCam 4800, New designed 24MP sensor, … (pls not the old stuff from D7100 -we expect breaking stuff like the D3/D300);
    A reall D700 successor; 16,18MP new Sensor like the Sony A7, new MultiCam FX 5800, …
    A mirrorless APS-C and or FullFrame

    No wonder FF-sales goes down …

  10. 10) Clint
    November 10, 2013 at 2:58 am

    Nikon seem to be clutching at straws, with the way they have been conducting business I don’t see a long term future for them. Canon can afford to p*** off their customers as they have so many, but Nikon should be rewarding their user base. It seems to be a case of big chiefs busy spending their big salaries instead of listening to their customers.

    • 10.1) Daniel Michael
      November 10, 2013 at 3:38 am

      It’s quite funny at the moment especially after the whole “D600/D610 Nikon don’t care about customers” fiasco, and then the “Df is an overpriced D610” fiasco, loads of photogs threatened they are going to jump ship to Canon or Sony. Then, I so happened to chance up on the Canon Rumors site because of the new “white” release that looks just like a basic camera and guess what? They were all saying the same thing but opposite:

      “I’ve had it with Canon’s lack of customer loyalty – I’m switching to Nikon or Sony! “They just keep selling Toy cameras!” “They don’t want to innovate!” “Canon are going to go bust! Nikon are doing better!”

      It kind of made me chuckle, the grass is always greener on the other side they say!

      • 10.1.1) rob winters
        November 10, 2013 at 8:17 am

        I don’t see the grass as greener on the Nikon side or the Canon side. What I see is that the grass is not growing, the grass is turning brown. Unless there is some major breakthrough by the old guard companies, It looks like they will be marginalized by new competitors. Just like mp3’s had an effect on the high end music industry, the smartphone is doing the same to the photography business. The cameras in these phones are only going to get better and for much of the buying public they are already good enough.

        • Daniel Michael
          November 10, 2013 at 8:36 am

          Well, I agree of course Rob! I’ve written on these forums before that in today’s climate, the only companies that succeed are the ones with excellent customer service. Period. That includes listening to customer’s needs as well as providing excellent back up when things go wrong. At the moment the only camera company that fits the bill is Fujifilm. They will lead the way if the others don’t realise it and miss the curve. Nikon and Canon are guilty of not listening to what the customers want and also Sony’s customer back up is useless as well!

          The other problem Nikon have at the moment is they have no clear camera that fits a niche. They’ve actually made it very difficult for customers to choose a camera based on their needs. This is because they play with the specs of each release and never make it as good as they possibly can. They want to limit the product so it doesn’t overlap with the next product up. Customers then don’t have a definite “go to” camera. An attitude which will exacerbate people and push them away from their products. Look at Fuji on the other hand. Each of their X-series comes out with the best they have at the time, each one filling a niche, and they continually improve them, even, the old ones. Customers don’t feel like they’re being ripped off.

      • 10.1.2) KnightPhoto
        November 10, 2013 at 8:43 am

        Good one Daniel, thanks for checking on Canon Rumors for us – pretty hilarious ;-)

        I’m not one of the doom and gloom worriers. Nikon is an imaging company and they know what they are doing with:
        – moving a lot of us to FX. Yes it really is better if you are a pro or serious enthusiast. You can see Nikon’s FX emphasis based on all the new FX lens releases and FX camera releases.
        – that leaves a D400 for us wildlife guys and a core group that still prefers DX. It will still sell I think and the Df clearly did not fill the price gap between the D7100 and D610. So I think it’s still coming. It’s not an either Df or D400 proposition, it’s both!
        – Meanwhile Nikon have to be working feverishly in the background on a Nikon 2 DX mirrorless line. The reason I think that is no new DX enthusiast lenses have come out. But a DX mirrorless line would be smaller, lighter, and cheaper and Nikon must be focussing on that.
        – Meanwhile for the Nikon 1 line a native CX lens that goes to 600mm FOV would be a great item to blow away for example the recent Tamron 150-600 announcement.

        • Richard
          November 10, 2013 at 9:15 am


          Yes, it certainly does. I am coping well with a balance between the D7100 and the D800. I don’t even mourn the low fps, however the slow buffering fps for RAW on the D7100 is a nuisance. If we don’t see something in early 2014 I will be disappointed, but it’s not a show stopper yet.


          That’s an interesting comment. I actually like my V1/FT-1 combination although the recent firmware upgrade allowing AF-C didn’t really live up to my expectations. The V1 forums elsewhere are very quiet and the V2body only remains very expensive at $900 equivilent in the UK! I would like to see an AP-S sensor V2 CSC utilising the FT-1 and a 16mP sensor. That may make a very credible woldlife combination. Your comment regarding the Tamron 150-600mm certainly would blow it away.


      • 10.1.3) Richard too
        November 10, 2013 at 9:13 am

        You hit on the essence of the problem of the DSLR market. Neither Nikon nor Canon are paying attention. The marketing departments are clueless. Both companies would be better off if they fired their entire marketing department. Senior management at the two is little better. There is change occurring all about them and yet it is ignored.

        The D400 question defines the management problem at Nikon. Just how many D300/D300s and D7000 owners who got it because there was not a D400 are there out there who would actually buy a D400? It would not take a very large percentage for the D400 to be a “smash hit”.

        Yes, there is a lot of “I’m going to change to (fill in the blank)” statements being made, but just how many people actually are doing so remains unclear. From what I hear, a lot of this sentiment is the result of frustration over lousy customer service and repair. Both Nikon and Canon are guilty of this although Nikon has instituted policies which should win the title for them as the king of bad service.

        My own observation has been that the mix of white lenses to black lenses at major sporting events covered on TV has been returning to the pre-D3 era when Canon was predominant. Memo to Nikon: pay attention! The truth is out there. You have only to open your eyes to find it.

        In my view, the Df was a misallocation of precious resources that were desperately needed for other projects and has set Nikon even further behind in their product development cycle both in absolute terms and relative to their competitors.

        I say all of this as a Nikon customer who has become increasingly frustrated with the company and one who wants the company to do better, but doubts that they will. It is not in their character to reverse course.

        I think the next year old 18 months will be important, if not critical, in determining whether Nikon is either capable of or willing to respond. Canon does have an advantage in the lens mount from a technical standpoint which they will probably be able to exploit in the mid to upper level market, but Canon faces the same problem as Nikon in dealing with the changing market.

  11. November 10, 2013 at 3:05 am

    Hio Tom,

    I’m one of those still holding on with my 4 years old D300s… But as I started to shoot sports now, I need to get at least D3s for night games. Still hoping though for the D400!

  12. 12) Sören
    November 10, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Exactly what I was thinking last year. But by now I believe they have left the DX ship. Nikon believes the wildlife/bird shooters can go the D800 route and use the DX crop. Crop modes however are not best for composing and precise focusing (though the AF sensor density is great with the D800 than). Next step from Nikon is an F-Mount FX mirror-less system imo. At least this is what one has to believe as there are no new DX lenses from Nikon right now. I will add a Fuji Pro2 in 2014 or this future Nikon Pro2 than . That will be my DX route :)

  13. November 10, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Hey, Nikon want’s us D300-Users to switch to FX.
    Than they can not only sell us a new body but some new lenses too.
    Thats true for DX-shooters with 12-24 and 17-55.

    For my style of shooting, the D300 is good for 95% of my photos. Some more DR and more High-ISO would be welcome in a new body. I use the wide spread AF-Sensors when shooting Action, especially Kids-Action. The AF of the D600/610 would be a large step backwards. Expect I would use The more pixel sensor to crop a lot which they honestly cannot want us to do.

    So, instead of buying a FX with lenses to Upgrade my D300 as Nikon want’s my to do, I just do not buy a new DX camera at least, no, I buy nothing at the moment.

    When looking to all this retro stuff, Fujis XE2 looks much more sexy than the DF. Two switches for the modus and the time, WTF, look at Fuji. As already said, why is correction on the left side. The small Button on the right side seems much more intuitive and practicable. And at least, what does Nikon want to tell us with this ISO-Wheel at the left side. Shooting digital means changing ISO often. A wheel on the left side is also not very practicable.

    Using the Df will mean to take the camera on and off the eyes.
    So it looks like a camera for the one who missed the last 30 years.

  14. November 10, 2013 at 4:29 am

    My current camera is a Nikon D200 which I have had since 2007. The images I get from it are superb and I use the 18 – 200 Nikkor. I doubt whether I would notice much difference in the quality of images if I upgraded to a D400, D610 or whatever; the camera for me is a tool and I dont fall for all the marketing hype!
    No point spending money when you dont have to.

    • 14.1) Abbilder
      November 10, 2013 at 4:34 am

      Hm, Peter,
      I don’t know about The D200. I have one as secondary body. In my style of shooting The D200 falls back behind the D300. The AF of the newer D300 is worlds better. The D300 has better High ISO and much better Dynamic Range. I also like Inbuild sensor cleaning, better Display and better Battery life.
      So the D200 is only en par with later cameras when shooting slow under controlled light conditions.

    • 14.2) Derek
      November 10, 2013 at 6:13 am

      I bought a D90 which I still own then in May I upgraded to a D600. The difference amazing.

    • 14.3) John C
      November 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      I shot with the D200 and the 18-200 for a year or so. The D7000 with a 70-200 leaves it in the dust, even without using 2.8. If you ever shoot in low light the difference is remarkable. Apply that same difference yet again when using the D700, or any Nikon full frame for that matter….

  15. 15) Antonio Sanguigni
    November 10, 2013 at 4:33 am

    100% with you, Tom !!

  16. 16) GB
    November 10, 2013 at 5:47 am

    I really don’t know why every sucker compares it to the D600/610? IT IS NOT A D600, it is a new build camera with the best lowlight sensor you can get, and yes with some d600/610 parts… but who cares? I have a D600 and i would love to exchange it for a DF. Why? I love vintage camera’s and i really need high ISO capabilities..

    Yes, Nikon needs a D400, but i know why Nikon didn’t showed it yet… because the 7Dmkii isn’t there yet

    P.S. I heard the DF is rocking hard in the pre-orders… so get your info straight

    • 16.1) John C
      November 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      If you just want to compare low-light performance on a pixel level, the D3S sensor is still the best, followed closely by the D4 sensor. If you want to talk about dynamic range, the D4 falls short. Seems to me the Df is directed at a users who may value the dynamic range side of things.

      If you compare sensors at equal sized prints, the D4 sensor loses overall to the D800 and the D600/D610 sensor. The D4 sensor is also cheaper than either the D600/D610 or the D800 sensor, and now in surplus as the D4 wave has subsided.

  17. 17) Richard
    November 10, 2013 at 6:16 am

    “Sucker”…”Get your info straight”. How polite! You have an opinion GB, nothing else just like the rest of us. “Who cares” we do, not you obviously. “because the 7Dmkii isn’t there yet” You don’t that anymore than we do. “P.S. I heard the DF is rocking hard in the pre-orders…” You can’t know that for sure.

    “I love vintage camera’s and i really need high ISO capabilities”. Contradiction in terms I feel! If you really like retro, go to film. I did.

    If you are going to post, please be constructive and respect others view points.


  18. 18) dencelly
    November 10, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Each of us has different needs and accordingly a different opinion about what should be built next by Nikon. A pro grade crop like a D400 would not fit to my needs.

    I would prefer a small pro grade FX like a “D800E-S” with 24 MP, 8 frames/s and an appropriate buffer. Not “too less” MP, not too much MP as the D800 and not as expensive as a D4. A real universal workhorse. Would this not fit to the needs of the most of us? Sports, animals, weddings, portraits …
    Nikon knows very well why not to place such a cannibal in its product line!

  19. 19) FrancoisR
    November 10, 2013 at 6:22 am

    IMHO high end crop DSLR are a dead end and Nikon knows it too well. This is why there probably will not be a D400. My D300 was nice five years ago but even then I felt for the 5D with it’s jaw breaking love for light. Canon and Nikon have been trying to milk the cow with the crop sensor in the last two years but look around, where were the most amazing products coming from lately? …Fuji and Sony. 2014 will be the year of the mirrorless. Let’s hope Nikon comes up with a bold step forward like Fuji’s crop sensor. The big giants cannot turn on a dime but time has come and they both know it.
    BTW my friend has a Fuji X1-Pro but I still prefer his shots with the 5D2.

    • 19.1) DB
      November 10, 2013 at 8:00 am

      But Nikon keeps drawing more DX customers in every year . . . they need a tradeup body at a minimum, one that does not kick you in the groin with regard to frame buffer limitations. And for those on FX, I think there’s a real potential for “downgraders” as people get either too fed-up, too enamored with “fast-and-light”, too dependent on chiropractors, or simply too old and frail to carry around a big camera anymore.

      There’s a gaping hole there, and someone is going to fill it. Olympus have already had a real stab at it with the EM-1, and I’m very curious as to see what’s under that white sheet from Canon. The shape of the lump suggests “7D upgrade”.

  20. 20) jason
    November 10, 2013 at 6:23 am

    I agree with you, but I love and still want the Df (until the XPro-2 comes out). Nikon has totally been missing the customer boat. Few wanted the 36MP of the D800. I’d put forth that if the D800 had the 24MP D610 sensor, most would be happy with the non D4 full frame. Instead you’ve got 2 cameras that are suitable but not what the customer base really wanted. Same for the 7100 over a real 300s replacement (mythical D400 beast). I’m wondering if Nikon is trying to do everything in its power to not recreate the D700 gobbling up D3 sales left, right and centre. If so, they’ve done a great job! Only they’ve made products that people still buy and use and like, but just not as much as they could be. And, they’ve left gaping holes in the market. The D600 should have been the D400, but, alas.

    • 20.1) DB
      November 10, 2013 at 8:06 am

      I’d be satisfied with a comprehensive firmware or logic board upgrade on the D800. A small-raw option that delivers 5fps FX on the ENEL15 or 6fps FX with the grip and higher voltage batteries would earn a great deal of goodwill from me, not to mention a couple of grip purchases, and really give the D800 a boost in the marketplace. We’ve seen camera companies add HDMI output in firmware or buffer upgrades in hardware to existing bodies, why not give this a shot?

      • 20.1.1) KnightPhoto
        November 10, 2013 at 8:57 am

        Put the new EXPEED4 processor in the D800 and call it a D810. If it gets 1-2 more fps would be a very strong competitor.

        I’m not sure if Nikon is into this type of incremental upgrade approach. But personally I think they should do this kind of thing if they can.

        How about a D620 with EXPEED4 and 8fps and a D810 with 6fps ;-)

        Of course what we don’t know is if the sensors will be able to provide data off of them to support these higher frame rates.

  21. 21) john
    November 10, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I’m with you 100% on this commentary. I’d jump on the D400 if it fit the possible description you give. Right now one of the Olympus or Fuji mirrorless are on my short list. I almost pulled the trigger on the D600 but it didn’t intrigue me very much after the problems it had and I really wanted something with more focus points and speed for wildlife and birding. I may just go with a used D300 and wait for new developments in the mirrorless full frame market.

  22. 22) SVRK Prabhakar
    November 10, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I fully agree with this article, Nikon should look after expectations of its photographer base instead of producing novelty products.

  23. 23) Ak
    November 10, 2013 at 7:43 am


    Leave Nikon, leave the D400 and leave anything for that matter.. The way you write is soo captive and it draws the reader in. May be you should start writing more frequently. Cheers!!

  24. 24) DB
    November 10, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Nikon desperately needs to stop over segmenting its market. What did the company so much good in 2007 was pushing the technology to its limits, and offering it at every price point and in every format. You had, at that time, the D3 for the press folks, the D700 for those who wanted something smaller and less tank-like, the D300 for the DX mass market, not to mention an awesome D2x replacement, even a strong push in the Coolpix line to make those cameras more responsive and nimble. In between the two, a healthy line of consumer-grade DSLRs with file sizes that could fit on ordinary mortals’ hard drives. Just two real points of segmentation in the market. No crippleware. And a huge sales boost.

    Now, what do we have? Video, but not much else, added in a kind of gimmicky way to a consumer DSLR line that now seems more commodity and less exciting. Forced segmentation in the over-$1000 market that has run so rampant that you can’t really speak of a professional line any more, rather, a series of desert islands with crops that are too overspecialized to sustain a balanced diet. And utter confusion in the P&S department, where Coolpix is fighting a losing battle and “1” has been prevented by cackhanded marketing and pricing from being the sales champion it should have been.

    What would I do about it? Make a clear statement of supporting both DX and FX to a high level (easier than you think, it’s not as though Nikon has ever needed to overextend themselves on DX lenses anyway; people have settled for good zooms rather than primes if the body is good enough to make a few other compromises worthwhile!). Stop the crippleware, and return to the 25-year-old pattern of offering every $1000-plus camera with 1/8000th top shutter, 1/250th flash, and every FX camera with an AF sensor large enough to cover the appropriate portion of the frame. Think a lot harder about Nikon’s entire lineup as a system, so no more of this random choice of batteries (e.g. the Df and V2 deviating from other high-end bodies in all formats), no more failing to offer accessories that integrate the system (how about an SC cable and/or Commander mode to hook up CLS flash to the V-series, or firmware-upgrading the FT1 adapter for off-center focus, or updating budget-priced prime FX wideangles for digital in a way that works well on DX too?). Above all, sort out the sensor situation. Recognize that different sensors are like different films, not different prisoner’s dilemma marketing games, and offer products appropriately. Meet needs in software as well, for example with a small-RAW mode with increased frame rate in a high resolution body, or with NX2 repackaged as a plugin for DAM software if Nikon can’t pry people away from Lightroom and Aperture. Make it a coherent system, not just isolated design groups manipulated by a zero-sum marketing department, so Nikon can meet customers’ needs from beginning to end.

    • 24.1) OC Mike
      November 10, 2013 at 8:27 am

      So true. Plus U1 & U2 memory settings. (Revolutionary U3…OMG). Plus Wifi, NFC, GPS. 51 point focus.

    • 24.2) CameraChemist
      November 10, 2013 at 9:09 am

      I coherent line up of firmware, capabilities, and accessories would get my dollar. My photography budget is small, so every purchase is strategic and long term. With “Apple” like proprietary accessories that change too frequently, I shoot with my D5000 and mostly DX lenses in hopes that something comes out that tips me into a full frame body and FX lenses.
      But the Df was not it. Pretty, but too expensive.

  25. 25) Tommy
    November 10, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Agree with this article 100%! I have been waiting and waiting for Nikon to make a D400 … I can’t understand why they haven’t already done so? I am about to give up on a D400 … very frustrated with Nikon and their approach to the camera market!

  26. 26) Derek
    November 10, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Some people are never satisfied.All this moaning about what Nikon does and what it does’nt produce gets my back up! If a camera does’nt satisfy your needs then don’t buy it! If you’re waiting for the perfect camera then i think you’re deluded!

    • 26.1) DB
      November 10, 2013 at 8:11 am

      Ah, but they pretty much did the perfect camera for the time — indeed, the perfect lineup — back in 2007, and now they’re getting themselves and us in trouble by overspecializing and over-segmenting and leaving different parts of the market vacant. As Nikon customers, we’d like to keep Nikon as our vendor, but they’ve gone from making that very easy in 2007 to a lot more difficult now. And where Nikon has really messed up is by, in effect, upgrading some features while DOWNGRADING others in the same body. That strategy doesn’t work very long if the competition steps up, which it now seems to be doing.

    • 26.2) Derek
      November 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      You say you had the “perfect” camera back in 2007 well surely cameras are much better now!

  27. 27) Rod
    November 10, 2013 at 8:08 am

    The Df is a style over substance exercise! You are right that you buy it with your heart. I wonder how much the FX market contributes to Nikon’s bottom line that they don’t appear to be focusing on a ‘D400’.

    As an amateur enthusiast I need a camera that I want to take out with me all the time. I thought I could with a D700 but the bulk of the whole kit has defeated me. I just can’t carry it on the plane with my other essential stuff so FX just gets in the way of my photography.

    Until Nikon brings out something like a D400, I am concentrating on using M43 kit based on Lumix GX7 (I can carry this around all day plus a tripod!) and see how far I could get before needing to buying into DX.

  28. November 10, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I read the quick paragraph of your article that came with the email and HAD to hop over and read more. Yes, the Df is a cutie-pie … but … there ya go. If I want cute, I’ll dig out my ancient Nikon 35mm and admire it from across the room.

    I’m one of the people you described … sitting on the sidelines, hanging onto my D300 (and paid $700+ to get something-or-other fixed on it last summer). I was supposed to be out shooting eagles this morning and you can bet I’d have taken the D300 … plus I have a sweet D7000 for things that can’t move.

    When I read about the new Df, I too, just shook my head and wondered.

  29. 29) Jan
    November 10, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Agreed. Thank you or posting. Waiting. Canon has had many rumors for 2014. Hopefully that will be the year we are made satisfied.

  30. November 10, 2013 at 10:19 am


    I am absolutely on board with your comments. I will admit that I really like the looks of the DF. But as much as I appreciate aesthetics and good styling, such concerns would be a “tiebreaker” between two equal choices – not the main decision criterion.

    Having looked over the specs between the DF & 610, I am hard pressed to understand why I would “pay more for less.” I realize that we all sometimes have to rely on high ISO ranges, most discussions border on the ridiculous after a while. Most of us are simply not shooting anything worth mentioning that we would sell or print at large sizes at ISO 3200 or above – rock concert photographers excluded of course!

    I can understand why Nikon might be tempted to go “retro,” given the success of Fuji’s X100. There is little doubt that many DSLRs have that bulbous “me too” look. But creating the DF which goes backward in terms of specs and features from the D610, shaves 40 grams/1.8 ounces off the weight and nearly nothing off the size, and adds ~$750 to the price doesn’t seem like a winning formula. And unlike others on this site, I don’t think people having their photos taken bother to look at my camera or that the styling of my camera influences how people react when I take their photo. Does anyone really believe a couple on their wedding day is going to notice the differences between a D610 and a DF from a distance of 10-20 feet, in a dimly lit church or reception hall, and somehow react differently? Really?

    The DF seems more like a Hail Mary pass by Nikon to see if people will pay for sheer style and how much its advertising hype can garner on the nostalgia surrounding the retro look. Creating a strong brand image for a product can be very profitable, since it is easier to pay for advertising than to create real innovation and product differentiation. There are always those that pay for style and the notion of prestige or exclusivity. Nikon is about to find out how many of these people exist in the DSLR market. Burberry can sell plenty of scarfs, coats, and umbrellas because of the upscale image they have cultivated in the marketplace. I am not sure that the market for stylish DSLRs, that provide no product differentiation apart from looks, represents the same opportunites.

    I completely agree that Nikon continues to miss having a DX “workhorse” such as the an upgraded version of the D300 in its line-up. Improving the buffer of a mythical “D7100S” or introducing the D400 would indeed be a two ways to solve this issue. And given the improvements in DX sensors, I would be hard-pressed to recommend FX to most people. A good DX or mirrorless camera is as much as most people really need.

    The biggest concern I have with the DF is the fact that Nikon spent so much time and effort on the introduction of a DSLR that, apart from some of the aesthetics, doesn’t provide any real innovation. Another FX DSLR that simply looks prettier than the D610, and subtracts megapixels and video, seems like a bit of a sideshow rather than a significant product introduction.

    The market may prove me wrong of course, and perhaps the DF will be a raving success. Something tells me, however, that Nikon needs to be paying attention to plugging the gaping hole in their DX line for now, and laying the groundwork for capitalizing on the benefits of mirrorless technology. With their scant DX and FX market shares, Olympus and Sony are clearly attempting to capitalize on a disruptive change in the market, essentially changing the game instead of attempting to win at the old game. That seems to be the danger for both Canon and Nikon – they are so invested in their existing technology, they fail to see that it may be time to break the mold.

    Then again, if such change was so obvious to major corporations, we would all be shooting Kodak DSLRs. ;)


    • Profile photo of Tom Redd 30.1) Tom Redd
      November 10, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Bob, well said and thanks for the link to the Kodak article, very insightful!

    • 30.2) Richard
      November 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm


      Oh how I agree with you Bob. Everything you have said mirrors my feeling and comments made elswhere. My view is very sexy no substance and designed for the well healed hooray Henry’s!

      Having returned to film, both 35mm and medium format over the last 6 months and bought a Nikon F100, F80, the return of my beloved Olympus OM2-SP and a Bronica ETRSi I read the Kodak piece with interest. No doubt about if Kodak had carried on down the Digital road we’d be toting their cameras.


  31. 31) Jerome
    November 10, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I am a long time user of Nikon equipment and have a D300s and a D800, together with 24-70, 105 micro, 80-200 f2.8, 300f2.8, Tc14II. A great set-up for wildlife on the move. The weak link now is the D300s and note that using FX lens on DX is normal and eminently sensible. My point is that I will not be upgrading lenses, flash etc. until Nikon upgrade the D300s. There must be others like me and Nikon should realise that they are not only losing body sales but also lens and other accessory sales. It is so difficult to understand why.

  32. 32) Brian Copeland
    November 10, 2013 at 11:16 am

    How about a D310 and a D710 that share the same professional body, control layout, and battery grip (much like the D300S and D700 do now). One could have the D7100 sensor and the other the D4 sensor. Give us 16 or 24MP, a fast click rate, 51 focus points, and reasonably good ISO performance. At the same time come out with the D4 replacements, the D4S and the D4x, so the D710 doesn’t kill D4 sales. I’d pre-order a $3,000 D710 to replace my D700 tomorrow! I bet a few folks who gladly pay $2000 for a D310 tomorrow as well…

  33. 33) Paul
    November 10, 2013 at 11:20 am

    If Nikon put out a good d400 for like 2,000 I would probably buy it. I can see the value in the df, but currently it’s price is to high for it’s features for me.

    The last few releases from Nikon seam so close, but yet manage to miss the boat based off of a few small issues. Those small issues add up quite quickly on premium products. I can look past the fact that the Sigma 35mm does not have wether sealing much more easily the the fact the df does not have video. Granted I not need wether sealing or video often, but one is a competitively priced product and one is priced as a premium product.

  34. 34) Vaper
    November 10, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I agree somewhat with your article. But I believe Nikon won’t make a D400. As a D300 user I would love to see a D400.
    But can most everyday people afford it?
    Nikon has a serious backlog of unsold products. They still try to sell new D310o and D5100 at my camera store. And other makes of older cameras that are just not selling. Let’s face it, most people can’t afford changing DSLR’s every 2 years cause they are losing their jobs, homes and everything else.
    I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods but in mine the economic situation is pretty bad.
    And Nikon knows this cause the economic problems are worldwide. So why produce another DSLR when they are having trouble selling old inventory.
    So to keep their name alive they make a niche product camera like the Df, which is a very beautiful camera. Can’t wait to see the reviews. Maybe my dream FF camera one day.
    I applaud Nikon for making the Df, cause in a few years I may get one used in great condition at a wonderful price. The used market in my part of the world is flourishing.
    Like most people I am just a enthusiast photographer, it’s a wonderful hobby that I love but that’s all it is.
    And as a 50 something guy who just lost his job I understand Nikon’s thinking which is to keep it small for now and wait out the economic storm.

  35. 35) Jacques
    November 10, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I like what I read on the Df. However, I never did see a post on the numerous sites that said they wanted the vintage look. If Nikon had listened to their customers, the D400 would be there. I was among the long list of D300 owners that waited for the D400 DX model but I finally I went with the D800 that , for my knowledge of things, is superior to the DF. I am still waiting for someone to explain to me where NIkon is leading to.

  36. 36) Susan
    November 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I suppose unless one is let into the inner sanctum of Nikon Think Tank there is no way to know for sure what road they are taking. I have heard about the “coming” of the D400 for well over a year now and it seems to me logically that there is a strong market for that based on all the comments I have read on various sites.
    With all these other new models it seems to be Nikon is saturating their market with variety, yet the one camera body D400 that I hear pop up all the time seems to be eluding them. It would be nice if they would just say, YES it is coming soon or NO we aren’t making it. At least then a lot of us wouldn’t be in this holding pattern not purchasing a new Nikon thinking the D400 is waiting in the wings.

  37. 37) mikha_a
    November 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I think, df – it’s nothing. Fake overpraised gadget. But D400 – camera, which are really waiting many wildlife photographers, and many people waiting for new dx wide angle prime lenses….. . to my opinion, Nikon cameras line, imbalanced now – especially FX line. I see this line in my dreams:
    D600/610 – unchanged
    D800 body with d600 sensor with fast fps and deep bufer
    D800E – unchanged

  38. 38) Michael Switzer
    November 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I think the Df, simply because it is FF with the D4 sensor. DX is not the future for Nikon DSLRs. DX will be the domain of mirrorless cameras. Nikon will not create many more high-end DX primes with the f mount for that reason. Unfortunately for wildlife photographers the writing is on the wall.

  39. 39) Daniel Michael
    November 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Loads of pretty awesome suggestions in this thread for a camera line up. I just hope people at Nikon actually read them!

    I think really the issue here is Nikon needs to be more transparent with its plans. Apple can afford to keep people in suspense and surprise them with releases. Camera companies can’t afford to be because customers need to plan what they will buy for their specific uses. I mean, look at Sony, they actually announced and released the A7/A7R early, to stop customers buying latest releases from different companies, which they new were coming out. How do we know they were early? Because they released them with no lenses what so ever. No one will buy them until decent lenses come out, but people will wait now, rather than go some where else.

    Nikon needs to be clear with its customers.

  40. 40) Ben Denner
    November 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    I have been with Sony since their first DSLR . At present I am using the Sony SLT A77V and consider it better than Nikon or Canon. 24 MP APS-C Comos sensor & 12 fps full resolution. Best camera for macro photography as well. etc etc etc

  41. 41) Henrik Manoochehri
    November 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Hey guys;
    I am beginning to think Nikon knows exactly what it’s doing. Mirrorless oled is the future of viewfinders as Fuji is doing and Nikon is probably dropping most of its r&d funds in that direction. Not so much retro, but external dedicated controls is also a good idea and for that reason I for one like the DF. I don’t like 1/4000 max shutter speed and no built in commander flash, but would still buy the DF if I could afford it. My D700/D7000 combo lacks the low light capabilities I really need for the photography I’m doing right now so the DF would be a good choice for me. You guys need to keep in mind you are probably not representative of the majority of the photography market but of a more serious sub market who is interested enough to be on this site adding and reading comments. Do you represent even 10% of Nikon’s or Cannon’s market? I don’t think so; perhaps not even 1%.
    Technology is progressing so fast that within a year or two all this might be obsolete including the multi glass lens as this very site has alluded to in the recent past. In the mean time Nikon keeps making money by re-cloaking the same technology and hooking most of us like brinless trout.

  42. 42) Bradley Hsi
    November 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I thought Nikon has D400 already inside the D800. I used the D800 at DX format for my African trip together with my D4. Both cameras produced image at 16 MP, perfect for me. I admit that I miss a simple backup camera for D4, which D800 at 36 MP does not fill the bill. Now, Df seems is a very good alternative.

  43. 43) Emil Varadi
    November 10, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Tom, you sound like Thom.
    Thom Hogan is a strong advocate of DX, while Nikon seems to believe (see Nikon Germany’s campaign for FF) that they can convert their DX clients into FF clients. This is what Lloyd Chambers is also saying (why buy DX if you can have FF?).
    I have also seen similar arguments here in this thread from people, I believe those living in the States, saying one just needs to go FF and your problems are solved.
    Well, it does not, as many claim. I will not repeat their aguments, but have to point out that a price ladder is important, so a company can offer something to all its buyers with different wallets. Also, this is a global market and while it seems much easier for people in the States to buy FF, this is not the case in many parts of the world where people also buy Nikon (and other) cameras at different price levels.
    I believe that there is space pricewise and technically for the D400. I think Nikon is making a strategic mistake to abandon DX.
    UNLESS there is somethin that we do not know about. Well if I brought up Thom Hogan, then let me bring up what he said on his site: recent Nikon cameras seem to be products of a junior team of developers. We don’t know what the senior team is doing. Hopefully something more important than Df.
    I think it is important to point out that we now at a crossroad regarding camera development and Nikon sees that much better than we do. For example Lloyd Chambers is proposing small, fixed lens cameras instad of large DSLRs. Three small cameras (28, 45, 90 mm) cover most of what one needs, and their IQ is compatible if not better than that of most DSLRs. And three small cameras (like Sigma Merrills) take up much less space and are much smaller than a proper DSLR with lenses. And they also cost less than a top DSLR with top lenses. I personally would have bought the Merrills, but lack of a proper viewfinder and lack of a proper RAW software prevented me from making this leap. Their IQ is phenomenal.
    Sigma and Sony and perhaps others will not stop from marching in this direction. And then one will really have to decide, small fixed lens cameras with top IQ or heavy DSLRs? For very many people the answer will be obvious.

  44. 44) Tom Wilczek
    November 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Nikon, IMHO, got it all wrong on their releases back in 2012. There should have first been a replacement for the D700 along with the release of the D4. If you had the D600 sensor in the D800 body with 6 fps, you’d have a world beater. Then later on come with a D800x (36mp and no AA filter) and all the landscapers would go gaga. But no. Crap D600. D800 that is overkill for most folks. And now, a df which is cute and hip but Nikon insists on using crap af from the 600/610. This df release has me confounded and really doubting whether or not to stay with them. If it weren’t for how good they are with flash and how good/clean their raw files are, I would have been gone a while ago.

    • 44.1) OC Mike
      November 14, 2013 at 8:56 am

      “…crap AF from D600/610…” Wow, you hit the nail right on its head!

  45. 45) Brian Copeland
    November 10, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    When I made the move from DX to Full-frame this year I almost took the opportunity to switch to Canon. Their 24-70 and 70-200 2.8 lenses and 50mm 1.2 are sweet. Instead, I bought a 800E and the Nikon Holy Trinity and eventually some primes. The 14-24mm 2.8 and the ability to re-use most of my Nikon acessories was what tipped the balance. I’m invested now, but I still find myself jealous of the focusing and low-light capabilities and pixel size of the Canon 5D Mark III. Even the Canon 1D comes out ahead of the Nikon D4 in every comparison I’ve seen. I think mirrorless may replace DX, but I don’t see professionals giving up a $20K investment in professional glass for one of these anytime soon. I’ve always used Nikon, but I’d tell someone just getting in to consider Canon. Their DSLR cameras seem to get better, not worse.

    • 45.1) Richard too
      November 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      Precisely, Brian!

  46. 46) Chris Weller
    November 10, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with Tom. Nikon introduces another product no one asked for and something that their current product line satisfies just fine. (I’m speaking of the 58mm prime as well). Instead of giving the entire population of wildlife photographers what they need, Nikon chooses this.

    If they don’t introduce the D400 before the winter Olympics it will be clear that they have completely abandon this segment of their customers. Totally, inexcusably stupid.

  47. 47) AMM
    November 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    We need a mirrorless Nikon with F mount and everybody will buy it.

  48. 48) Kevin Hawke
    November 11, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Hi Tom,
    I really like what you are suggesting. I have a D300 and a D90 and to be honest I wish I hadn’t bought the D90 as compared to the D300 it is small and light. Ever time Nikon has produced a new DX camera
    (D7000, D7100)I have ventured into the nearest camera store here in New Zealand and had a play only to find that they are too small too.
    Oh to have a new DX camera with the latest specs but in a sturdy body like my old D300.

  49. 49) Keith
    November 11, 2013 at 2:34 am

    It really isn’t rocket science Nikon!

    Thousands of wildlife and sports photographers around the world simply want:
    A DX body built to the same quality or better than the D300
    A focus system the same or better than the D300
    A faster buffer than the D300
    A sensor better than a D300
    A frame rate faster than a D300
    A better high ISO results than a D300.

    Its called an UPGRADE!

    We don’t want a smaller,lighter plasticky body
    We don’t want a smaller AF focus area
    We don’t want mega mega mega pixels
    We don’t want a slower retro designed camera
    We don’t want an FX sensor
    We don’t want slower buffers.

    There are lots of photographers who want the array of bodies you produce.

    Unfortunately you just do not seem to want to provide an upgrade for what the D300 user is asking for.

    I really do hope you prove me wrong.

    For those who are knocking us D300 users for complaining, please realise that you may have your dream camera sitting in the palms of your hands (good for you),but they are not the spec we want, so there are some of us still hanging on in there for our dream camera to appear.

    It appears it just may be a dream………….Nikon?

    • Profile photo of Tom Redd 49.1) Tom Redd
      November 11, 2013 at 7:21 am

      Keith you summed it up pretty well. I hope it isn’t a dream, but we should know by the olympics….

    • 49.2) Chris Weller
      November 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm


      • 49.2.1) Chris Weller
        November 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm

        This is why I get upset when I see camera’s like the d5300 and the 7 updates to the d3000, d5000 and d7000 line that have come out since the D300s. It’s nothing against those camera’s, they are just fine, I guess, but Nikon chooses to spend resources on iterations with marginal benefit at the expense of releasing what will keep all of their loyal followers happy…..the d400

        Then you add this DF camera and lenses like the 58 1.4, instead of a new 300 f/4 or a 400 f/4 or anything else the wildlife crowd needs.

  50. 50) Derek
    November 11, 2013 at 7:15 am

    You’re all living in a dream!

    • Profile photo of Tom Redd 50.1) Tom Redd
      November 11, 2013 at 7:22 am

      Well then there is always the Burberry Edition of the Df :)

    • 50.2) Keith
      November 11, 2013 at 11:52 am

      You really can’t help yourself, can you Derek! ;o)

  51. 51) BC
    November 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

    I can respect many of the opinions I have read on the new Df, but I have a compelling reason to want one – the very reason that has been driving me back to my old F3-HP (film) camera… ease of use when shooting in manual mode. My last (and current) digital SLR is a D200; althought I am somewhat satisfied with the D200, I was never completely fond of the image quality – even when moving up form the D100. Among many of the very valid points brought up by readers of this blog, I spend too much time post-processing to get images “on par” with the color and sharpness of a good Ektachrome or Fujichrome transparancy. Overall, though, the biggest frustration was shooting in manual mode. I don’t like wrestling with menus and tiny buttons just to balance apeture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. Yes, the Df is “retro”, but it is refreshing to have a D-SLR option that has real tactile controls that can be used easily and simply in manual mode. And the reality is – for me, at least – I see no barrier to moving to FX format, as all of my lenses are full-frame Nikkors (and I still have a few Ai lenses from my old F2AS).

    That being said, it is a tough choice over the feature set of the D610 for example. Aside from “creative” work in manual mode, I still have the need to shoot sports (most notably, surf photography), and the DX format is a boon when combine with long and fast lenses for capturing these images. Overall, though, I tend to use the camera as a creative tool, and when doing so, the automation is typically turned off.

    It seems I have been waiting forever to upgrade my D200… I almost made the switch when the D300 broke cover, but wanting to go to full frame format, I just was not compelled enough to make the move.

    This is a great site – Thank you for your hard work, Tom!

  52. 52) Chris Zeller
    November 11, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I agree with Nasim and have felt DX was dead since the D700 came out and I stopped buying DX lenses. Its clear that Nikon believes this as well as they have not developed any new pro-level DX lenses in a long time.

    However, they seem to be in dire straits as the digital bubble is on the wane. Most everyone has already moved to digital from film and upgraded through a few cycles and arrived at a place where their current camera is good enough. Last Camera Syndrome and my D600 is pretty close to it. The Df looks attractive because for many, it just might be it. The Df is Nikon’s attempt to branch into new markets with a novel idea to spur sales. In this environment, I don’t see why they also would not want to cater to the pro or keen hobbyist DX user as well. While I personally think this market is a dead end, there seem to be plenty of people clammoring for it. Nikon should be happy for the sales boost. A D400 along with a trinity of F2.8 VR DX lenses would be a real sales boost.

    On the other hand, I don’t see why even a pro would buy a D300s in this market. The D7100 has nearly everything that a D400 would except perhaps framerate and all-metal construction. With disposable digital cameras and the upgraded build since the D7000 I don’t see that as anything but a paper advantage.

    • 52.1) Chris Weller
      November 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Agreed. Make DX lenses. Look at the giant DX body base out there. Specifically, make DX telephoto’s. The big problem with telephoto’s is size and weight. I have a 300 f/4. I would be perfectly happy if I couldn’t use it on my FX gear. Give me a 400 f/4 that is DX and I would never complain that I can’t use it FX. If I need 400 f/4, it’s probably because I want 600 equivalent. If I need 400 for night sports shots, I’d have to use a 2.8 anyway.

      If Nikon abandons me, I will purchase a the new (still vaporware at the moment as well) Canon 7d mark II and their 400 f/4 DO. Once that door is open, who knows where it will lead…..

      • 52.1.1) Richard too
        November 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm

        Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger, I think there are a lot of us out here who feel the same way. If Canon were to incorporate a true crop mode (processing only the smaller area of the sensor which should up the frame rate) in a follow on to the 5D Mk III, I think it would lead to quite a shift in the landscape. Yes, I know the D800 has a crop mode and that is one of the considerations in buying one if there is no D400 and I stay with Nikon. It has better build quality and a number of capabilities crippled in the D7000/D7100. The clock is ticking.

        One other thing. I was watching Tony Bourdain’s new series, the episode about Detroit. Post-appocapyptic Detroit, the once great city built by industries that did not pay attention to the winds of change that ultimately undid them and the city. There is a message there for the camera industry. Ask Kodak.

    • November 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Exactly my thoughts on the D7000s being the new D300…. What else do you guys need in a D400 when the D7200 has it all…

  53. 53) GM
    November 11, 2013 at 11:34 am

    First I would like to say I agree with Tom and his thoughts on the mythical D400, as I too am still waiting and hoping.

    Second, In response to everyone or anyone who asks why would we D400 wishers or waiters want a DX format Vs a full framer?

    For me, being primarily a wildlife photographer, a big reason is the 1.5 crop factor that DX provides that the full framers do not. That 1.5 crop factor in essence converts my 600mm into a 900 mm. and my 200-400mm f4 zoom into a 300-600 f4 zoom, without loosing any light or pixels in the process, and usually in wildlife photography the more reach I can get with my lenses the better.

    I was hoping for a D400 for the Mississippi Valley eagle season this winter but it looks like it’s not going to happen.

    VERY DISAPPOINTED IN NIKON, that they would produce a camera like the Df, rather than a D300 replacement.

    • November 12, 2013 at 9:27 am

      my Nikon d800 has a crop mode…. and so does every nikon full frame camera….

      • November 12, 2013 at 9:29 am

        And can you please tell me why the D7200 isn’t a good enough camera for you to want a d400.

        I’m really looking for an answer and i’m asking sincerely not trying to be a smart A+++ here

        Cheers from France

        • November 12, 2013 at 9:58 am

          Hello, Duncan!

          I will gladly answer your question. Nikon D7100 is, no doubt, the better camera when compared to the old D300/s. However, it is not a replacement model – there are still some major features lacking in the D7200. First of all, it is the speed. 6 frames per second is fine, but a person wanting to upgrade form D300 would likely want at least around 8 frames per second. Another big problem with the D7100 is the buffer size – it’s simply insufficient for sports/wildlife photography. Then there’s the ergonomics part, more advanced weather protection, etc. Basically, D400 should be a D4 with APS-C sensor put into a D800 body. D7100, however good, isn’t that good.

          • Duncan Dimanche
            November 12, 2013 at 10:11 am

            Thanks for your answer.

            I sort of figured that out while reading other’s comments.

            The Canon 7D doesn’t have his equivalent in the Nikon line up.


            • Profile photo of Tom Redd Tom Redd
              November 12, 2013 at 10:38 am

              Roman hit it on the head, the buffer severely limits the D7100 for sports and wildlife, for static objects it is a wonderful camera. The D800 would work in crop mode as others point out but then only at max of 5 fps and that is an expensive camera to use crippled, or so to speak. There is still a market for a D400, a D7200 (if ever announced) with a few modifications would work (as pointed out in the post). For now, there is no D7200, I am sure you were referring to the D7100.

  54. 54) OC Mike
    November 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I have heard the argument that the D700 was a blunder by Nixon because it stole D3 sales. I have read this from people far more knowledgeable than me. They have the data and I only have a gut feeling. Kind of feels like going to a gunfight with only a knife. Ha. But my instincts tell me that Nixon didn’t lose any D3 sales and made out like a bandit. Here’s why. The person buying a D3 is willing to spend a ton of money whereas the D700 are skilled amateurs and beginning poor pros. A completely different group of people. Nixon made out like a bandit because that amateur who bought that D700 started reading Ken Rockwell etc al. and bought more lens than any other group of camera owners. No, really. So, Nixon’s truly biggest blunder is not feeding this group of dollar fortified camera buffs. All Nixon had to do was add video, U1,U2,U3 (what is the price of this, just a bit of software), God, Wifi, NFC and a articulating screen and Expeed 3. Not one thing is pushing Nikon to cutting edge technology. It’s all off the shelf. And Nikon sales would be going through the roof!

    • 54.1) OC Mike
      November 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      God is really expensive. GPS is not so much… oops.

  55. 55) Dere
    November 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Why does’nt everyone stop moaning and instead focus on taking great pictures.

    • 55.1) Chris Weller
      November 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      That’s like telling a Chef to stop complaining about his dull knives and just make great food or the NASCAR driver to stop complaining about his car and just drive as fast as he can.

      If you are working with technology that is 3-4 years old, that’s a big disadvantage in today’s market. Can we stay with what have, sure; but the point is there probably hundreds of thousands of Nikon customers waiting to give Nikon $2,000 for a body they could easily produce and they we don’t have the camera available. Not sure when want crosses over into need, but it can’t be far away from where we are. Especially for pro’s.

      • 55.1.1) Chris Weller
        November 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm

        Think about it another way. If someone, as an amateur photographer who gets a once in a lifetime opportunity or a pro who needs to sell the photograph, were shooting an osprey grabbing a salmon out of a stream at dusk, they’d be glad to have a 9-10 fps camera with an extra stop or two of ISO range and greater cropping ability from the enhanced pixel density.

        Those extra 3-4 frames they grabbed in the same amount of time or the larger buffer they had in case they had to shoot a longer sequence or the extra reach that got them to the other side of the stream could make the entire difference.

      • 55.1.2) DanRay
        November 13, 2013 at 3:00 am

        A GREAT chef can make a great meal with dull knives. It’s his/her skill and experience that makes the difference. A GREAT Nascar driver can motivate a car around the track and win (IROC cars are all the same), the driver’s skill and experience behind the wheel that makes the difference. A GREAT photographer can make the decisive image with 4 year-old technology, it’s his/her SKILL and EXPERIENCE that makes the difference. It used to take Canon and Nikon a DECADE to introduce a significant new pro level camera body (Canon F-1, Nikon F2as, etc). Today camera body technology changes two or three times a year. Do we really think an extra 2 FPS will make a difference? How much additional ISO do you really NEED? Does this make you a better photographer? We’re caught in this mindset that we NEED all this faster, deeper, harder, longer technology. The chef SHARPENS his knives, he does not throw them out and buy a whole new set (but knife technology changes slowly). The driver TUNES his engine for the best performance, he dosen’t buy a whole new car (but internal combustion engine technology changes slowly). We think we need to upgrade our cameras with every new model number because we’ve been programed to upgrade everything in our lives with every new model number. New upgraded computers. New upgraded smart cell phones. New upgraded big screen TVs. Instead of “spraying and praying” at 10 FPS with a large buffer and hoping for the decisive moment on the stream with the osprey and salmon at dusk, why not sharpen and tune our skills and experience by fully exploiting the equipment we have right now.

        • Chris Weller
          November 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm

          I was wondering if you were going to respond. If so, I had a feeling it was going to read just like this.

          Yes all of that is true. It’s also true that Ansel Adams could make a better photo than me with a cardboard box, gaffers tape, Popsicle sticks and a roll of 110 film. I’m not Ansel Adams….I’ll take the D400.

          I have the money to buy it, I want it, it seems easy for Nikon to produce and yet we don’t have it. I certainly don’t need it, but then again I could walk to work instead of drive or eat hamburger meat instead of Filet or be typing this on a typewriter instead of a computer.

          None of us need any of this stuff. There’s nothing wrong with wanting new gear. That’s a big part of what drives sites like these. It’s fun! If we all just stuck with what we needed instead of wanted, our beloved Nikon would be out of business.

          • DanRay
            November 25, 2013 at 12:01 am

            “I was wondering if you were going to respond. If so, I had a feeling it was going to read just like this.”

            I think you have me confused with someone else. I don’t recognize your name. I cannot remember meeting you. I don’t recall seeing any of your work.

  56. November 12, 2013 at 9:23 am

    ummmm in my opinion the nikon D7100 is the replacement for the D300s.. right ?

    I mean what else could a D400 offer ? Faster buffer ? bigger body ?

    I was hoping for a low light king in a full frame body and the DF is that answer but that guy is expensive and doesn’t have video which is a deal breaker for me… i’ll have to wait for a video version of it….

    • 56.1) Keith
      November 12, 2013 at 10:03 am

      Duncan, I have tried the D7100 for bird photography and the autofocus system does not hold a candle to the D300s.
      It is not only a faster buffer and better built body that I want.
      The D7100 has a consumer grade remote port on it instead of the far better 10 pin port that I have on my D300s and is fitted as normal on the higher spec Nikon bodies, I have broken one of these ports on a D90 just through normal use which cost me £325 to get fixed, I do use a remote quite frequently and I have read that a fair number of other photographers with this type of port have suffered the same problem.
      Aslo the better all metal build of the D300s can handle big heavy lenses mounted on the camera more comfortably than the plastic based bodies such as the D7*** bodies.
      For me personally I prefer the bigger body size of the D300s over the D7*** bodies, the D300s feels just right for me with heavy lenses on it.
      Aslo I prefer the extra external controls of the D300s over the D7*** bodies and where they are placed.
      I don’t have a problem with carrying on using my D300s if Nikon don’t replace it, I love it, it just would be nice to have the the choice to buy an updated version of it with better ISO capabilities and slightly more pixels (16-18mp) and a better buffer clearance rate for RAW photos.
      The D7000/7100/7200 just don’t do it for me for what I want it for, and I know they are all very good cameras.

    • 56.2) Chris Weller
      November 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      The d7100 does not replace a d300s. It does improve on some specs (as you would expect in a camera released years after the d300s, but it falls critically short in some areas. Build, size, dedicated buttons, buffer, fps are just some of them.

      Having said that the 7100 does have the pro focus system, which is a HUGE pick-up from the consumer D7000 focus system, but only getting 6-8 raw shots out of the buffer is just not going to work for most action photography. Totally worthless for sports like football (where my bursts for plays that need to captured average something like 15-20 shots with some going into the 40-50 shot range for a long play where I’m tracking the player with the ball) and, at best, completely frustrating for tracking wildlife. You’ll miss a ton of shots.

      I’m a bit curious about Keith’s post above where he states his experience with the d7100 focus is worse than the d300s. I think it’s the same system. Maybe I’m wrong. The d7000 is definitely worse than the d300s, though.

      • 56.2.1) keith
        November 13, 2013 at 1:37 am

        Appologies, it was a D7000 I tried, not the D7100.
        But you have made the point re buffer rate of the D7*** series of cameras very well Chris.
        I do not do much sport photography, but I do quite a lot of bird photography and birds in flight are my favourite captures, so I have to admit to using machine gun tactics to get the pick of my best shots.

  57. 57) David
    November 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I’m guessing the real reason Nikon is holding off on the D400, is because CANON HAS YET TO RELEASE THEIR 7DII. Think about it…

    I have a feeling this camera has been ready to go for some time. Both Canon and Nikon have been dancing around updates to their “pro/pro-sumer” crop bodies for a few years now. It will be interesting to see what happens in the first quarter of next year.

    I also think there might be a slew of affordable full-frame cameras on the horizon. With relatively low releases in DX lenses, I think Nikon may be transitioning over to a complete FX lineup…with cameras that carry enough resolution to make DX basically obsolete (crop modes etc).

    Your thoughts?

    • 57.1) Chris Weller
      November 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Unfortunately, I think you might be right. If you are, that’s an even dumber reason. For them to think they aren’t forced to put out a camera that has been designed and ready for production just because Canon doesn’t have an equivalent is crazy. This certainly wasn’t the thinking when they introduced the D3 and the D300 at the same time in 2007 and blew away the market. Those two releases single handedly make Nikon relevant again and changed the entire DLSR market overnight. BOLD move. Where is that thinking now….The Nikon DF? I don’t think so.

      Also to hold off on a d400 introduction because Canon hasn’t release the 7d Mark II is a deadly error because with every month that goes by the competition for the d400 comes more and more from Olympus, fuji, sony, pentax and panasonic. I dare say that the m 4/3 and/or NEX or Fuji X-trans systems are only one generation or so away from competing directly with a pro dx camera for a wildlife and sports shooter. Nikon should have released this camera a year ago and OWNED this market for 2-3 years. They seem to believe the only purpose for DX is low end consumer mid prosumer needs. Sure it’s that too, but there are hundred of thousands perhaps a million or more worldwide, loyal wildlife and sports shooters being ignored. Why not slam the d7100 sensor in the D800 body, give it a decent buffer and release the camera? Seems pretty easy….

      • Profile photo of Tom Redd 57.1.1) Tom Redd
        November 12, 2013 at 10:28 pm

        “Why not slam the d7100 sensor in the D800 body, give it a decent buffer and release the camera? Seems pretty easy….”

        Exactly Chris! They have the parts. Reassemble a few things, a couple tweaks and they could have a killer package with little to no new developments needed. Yet they continue to avoid the obvious.

      • 57.1.2) Chris Weller
        November 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm

        One other point. If Nikon thinks that the wildlife shooter is just going to convert to FX because the camera’s are becoming cheaper is just wrong. Especially for birders (which I think comprise a large portion of the “wildlife” market), the FX will never replace the DX format. Reach is KING.

        I own a D4, a D600 and a D7000. Guess what I shoot birds with…..the d7000. As awesome as the D4 is, it’s better ISO, better focus, better FPS, better buffer. None of these is enough to overcome the primary thing I need when birding….REACH. Plus it’s heavier.

        I’ve shot with and examined a ton of camera/lens combinations and nothing would beat a D400 with a 300 f/4 vr with a 1.7 converter for overall balance of all the important features. Having said that Nikon would need to release a new 1.7 and 300 f/4 and get this d400 to market. I likely be would be very happy with that combo for 5 years.

        • Profile photo of Tom Redd Tom Redd
          November 12, 2013 at 10:39 pm

          There are many that would love to see a new 300 f/4 with VR as well as a new 1.7x TC!

  58. 58) Will
    November 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I own two Nikon D300s cameras. Both have served me well, but I would be the first in line to plunk down my hard earned cash for the ability to by a D400. 16mp -24mg better low light capabilities a good buffer and high fps and I would be in. I will never ever buy a plastic camera body simply because I take my camera into the elements in order to make bird and wildlife captures. If I had the money I suppose I would buy the D4 even though it is full frame. I am a hard core hobbyist. I love Nikon and have way to much glass to consider going in a different direction. Nikon already has the magnesium body from the D300s or even the D800. All they need to do is put the guts of the 7100 inside with a few upgrades like a bigger buffer, lower light capabilities and 8 0r more frames per second. Plus the ability to put a battery grip onto it. I would even be willing to buy the D400 if it did not have video capabilities.

  59. 59) Joe
    November 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Last year I made the painstaking decision to buy a D3s…
    My photography business grew and I needed the ability to shoot more and better in low light conditions. At that time I owned 2 D300 and a D200. I had/have plenty of FX and DX glass.

    My choices: D4, D3s, D800, D700, D7000
    I did not have the money for a D4.
    I did not care to invest in additional storage/computing for the D800.
    The D700 and D7K although very appealing did not cut enough mustard with low light.

    I found a very good deal on a used D3s.

    It does what I want except that I can’t crop much if at all with 12 MP.

    Now I am considering a D7100 and a D800 and to help fund the next purchase I will most likely sell off the D300(s) and the D200. I may sell off all of my DX glass as well. I am leaning towards the D800 for the reason (that Nikon wants me to) that it would be easier to stay with FX and also because the D800 build is more reminiscent of the D300. I tend to use and sometimes abuse my camera bodies. I also appreciate the way the camera fits in my hands, has accessible buttons and the plastic D7000/7100/600/610 just don’t feel right. IMHO…

    The DF? Well, I do like “retro”… I started shooting cameras in roughly 1975. I own numerous film bodies made by numerous makers: Pentax, Mamiya, Canon, Yaschica, Ziess, etc. I have 3 Rb67’s with a variety of glass and backs, several TLR’s, numerous old MF folders and a dozen or two (or more-oops) 35mm bodies and glass. Just like using Photoshop, I also develop and scan my own film. The truth is I enjoy using those retro cameras just as much as I enjoy the ease of snapping low noise jpg’s from my D3s. Now when I sit down and think about a digital “retro” camera compared to the enjoyment I get from shooting and developing film from a completely mechanical and manual camera, the DF is clearly nothing more than another modern gimmick… I say that with all due respect as are ALL modern digital cameras.

    I suppose that I look at cameras 2 ways.
    1: I get enjoyment from using cameras and 2: I use them as tools. They get me from point A to point B. Like I said before, I enjoy using the D3s. It takes me where I want to go very quickly and easily – like a fast sports car. The D300 bodies I have do that to some degree as well but are more like daily drivers and the old “retro” cameras I have are the photographic vehicles that I take out on warm sunny Sundays when I want to enjoy every bump in the road with the windows down, manually shifting gears… (I also get paid by clients specifically to shoot film from time to time.)

    Just like other digital cameras, the DF, although badged as a “retro” camera, is simply another digital tool fashioned to look like something it is not. It fits in the same garage as the D4, the D3s and the D300.

    Unfortunately, my daily commuter (photographic) vehicles – the D300(s) are approaching what I suspect may be their life expectancies. I enjoy using them. I appreciate the amount of return they have given me for the investment but now I must go out and find something that will do the same (or as close to it) investment wise. The D4 is still too expensive and doesn’t really offer up much more over the D3s. The D800 still seems a little like overkill, the D600/610/7100 – too plastic/don’t like the feel and the DF, well – it looks “cool” I suppose.

    I’d like a D400 and at this point since I am pondering the sale of all of my DX equipment, I don’t care if the D400 is DX or FX or for that matter if it starts with the letter “N” or the letter “C” just as long as it gets me where I need to go at a reasonable expense.

  60. 60) Jeff
    November 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Tom, fantastic article – if only NIKON would read this blog post. I think that is the problem Nikon is FREAKING LOST.

    With all the debacles starting back with the D7000 (back focusing issues), D800/D4 focusing/metering issues and D600 with the oil/dust spots issues. Nikon needs to stop wondering why their profits are down on the camera end and start looking at what others are doing right & successfully (i.e.: Fuji X1/X100s). The Nikon 1 line is a cute mom takes to soccer camera but an X1/X100s like APS-C sensor body for Nikon would sell easily (providing they choose the proper price point). That is another issue, the Coolpix A for $1099? WTH is buying this camera with a fixed lens??? An Underwater Camera AW1 it’s a very limited market – and again expensive.

    Now the Dƒ where do I begin? It’s under featured and slightly overpriced (IMHO). Granted it has the amazing D4 sensor but then the butchering begins – 1/4000 shutter, 1/250 max flash sync, 39 focus points, no video – for less then $200 you can get a D800 with better focusing system, video, faster shutter and sync speeds – though granted you do lose the ISO performance!

    Direction is important – Nikon seems lost – and hopefully they will find their way before it’s too late.


  61. 61) Larry L
    November 13, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    So I googled again after a wait to hopefully see a D400 pop up….nope, just the same old wishful thinkers.

    1) I want an all magnisim body like my D300s and similar controls!

    2) Better ISO, lower and higher range.

    3) More MP after all I have a 17-55, 80-200,& 16-85 zooms + primes that can focus down on a higher density sensor.

    4) I’ll take better color depth, dynamic range, etc, it you can really see a differance along with a better buffer, throw out the vidio option, who uses it anyway for assignments?

    The new Pentex K-3 is really setting the standard, an all weather sealed full mag, full frame, body for not much more cost than the 7100. If I did not have to sell off all my nikon lenses I would go for it. The oil drippers are no match according to the reviews.

  62. 62) Andrew
    November 13, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    “why doesn’t Nikon listen to the forums and to their customers?”

    Because they are not Fuji?

    It’s difficult to see a camera manufacturer like Nikon unable to adapt and innovate. It’s even harder to know that a large part of the solution is as simple as you described. They don’t have to take everything forums and customers have to say but come on! People are laying out exactly what they want!
    The needs of both amateurs and pros are being clearly stated and expressed all over the place (place here meaning internet), all they need to do is provide the supply. What do we get instead? A late attempt at creating demand with a camera that is neither a D4 or an M9 which equates to confusion and polarized opinions.

    While Fuji went all “Kaizen” on everyone and released a major firmware update that resurrected the out of production X100, and Sony dropped the first mirrorless full frame since the mostly unattainable Leica M’s, Nikon goes on to release the “I’m sorry things got oily” D610 and the “it’s a D4 that looks like an FE! Don’t you want it?” Df.

  63. 63) Will Speak
    November 14, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Lordy Nikon! just give us a D400. I don’t want a retro camera, I don’t want a plastic FX, I want more of what you got right in the first place, a tough, responsive camera that gives me a 50% extention to my lenses so I dont need a sherpa to help me carry it into the field.
    More pixels would be nice (16-18mp), improved low light capability would be better, 8fps is fine and if you could make it do it all quieter and bring it in at a reasonable price I’d be a very happy bunny and might even buy two.

  64. November 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Tom – I couldn’t agree more. Nikon would make a killing with a D400 or improved 7100. It’s time they get their heads out of their butts, stop with these designer novelty cameras and give the darn pubic what it wants! 18mp / 40 frame RAW buffer / 8fps / great quality at ISO 1600. IF you can make that happen, I’ll give you a free nature photo tour!

  65. 65) Richard
    November 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm


    I certainly agree with your sentiments, with the possible exception of ISO. Great quality high ISO performance beyond ISO 1,600 should be expected today. The D4 achieves remarkable performance even at ISO 12,800 and can produce images beyond that that are acceptable for some purposes. Part of the equation is sensor performance and part is ASIC chip performance (and the algorithms it processes).

    Part of the problem is that every moment Nikon has held off the release of the D400, unless Nikon have continuously updated it, it has gotten older and older with every passing tick of the clock and is probably obsolescent, if not obsolete, by now.



    P.S. A much larger HDR frame capability is needed too.

  66. 66) whisky
    November 16, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Dx was the past, and i’m not confident there is much demand for a D400 outside of the USA and some pockets in Europe. the remainder of Europe, and Asia might be better served by other product lines. to build a “pro-grade” Dx D400 for a niche market might push the cost near to (or even above) a D600/610. for only $800~1000 more you can buy Nikon’s highest MP Fx model which is just as capable as shooting Dx.

    I could be wrong, but OTOH Canon and Nikon know how to read the tea leaves, and they both seem to be behaving as if a profitable future will lie elsewhere.

  67. November 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    I suspect your right but the main advantage of DX is that you can carry a lot of DX cameras & lenses in a camera pack that will fit in a puddle jumper (very small jet). While I do own a D800, I travel with a D7000 with 8-16, D7100 with 18-35 F1.8, D7100 with 17-70 macro, and Sony D77 with 70-400. All this equipment fits nicely in a Think Tank Airport Antidote which fits in the small compartment above my seat in any small Canadian or Brazilian jet. Very convenient.

  68. 68) The Rev
    November 19, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Hi Tom

    I understand your frustration. I too am a little frustrated with Nikon. I wanted the DF to be a full frame, down sized street camera (FM ish in size and function, but not necessarily in design.) I personally think they could have stripped away a lot more of the ‘extra’ electronic stuff and made it more manual. In stead what we have is a retro less capable D800 ish camera for more money.

    Also, where is my D700 replacement. Its not the D800, – other than the massive 36meg, I loose out almost everywhere else in useability, – speed of shooting, etc etc. – its not really the all rounder that the D700 was.

    I am however confused about your D300/s point. For me Dx was always substandard. Why have Dx when you can now have Fx at DX scale. I admit I kept a D200 (hardly used now) when I bought a D700, but to me, coming from 35mm film and lenses, Fx is far superior in every way. I hated my Dx days and kept soldiering on with film alongside Dx until Fx arrived.

    Also if you really want Dx trade your D300 in for a D7100. If the D400 ever does come I would want it to be FX – but then isn’t that the space the D610 inhabits now? Why anyone, in the market for a new camera, would want to soldier on with a D300 (apart from the button layout – Afon etc) when other, better, nikons are available is really beyond me! Dx is hopefully on its way out – surely if you want scaled down photography a CSC is now the way to go, not a big DSLR with a small chip!

    Anyway, I agree totally with your point about Nikon’s confusion. I think they are trying new paths to attract new customers, but us oldies don’t feel looked after. I also think the Df is a camera with which they have both tried to keep the failthful happy, and attract new trade. Hence its a kind of a mixed up camera – fully electronic and digital, with some old fashioned controls. Time will tell if it does both.

    Incidently, while many of us wanted the Df to be a digital FM, I think it is more of a cross breed, maybe a digital FA would be a better description.

    The Rev

    • 68.1) Michael Switzer
      November 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      In the film days we would keep a camera for years. I had my nikkormat for about twenty. Lots of character after all it had been through. Don’t know why anyone would want to steal it. Alas. I guess the point I’m trying to make is, whats wrong with your D700. I mean why do you need a replacement? I’m sure it takes the same great pictures it did when you bought it. We don’t need a remake of Citizen Kane either. The original is just fine.
      We’ve become such consumerists we expect camera companies to come out with a new model every 8 to 16 months. Will getting a new D700 with higher frame rate, more focusing points marginally better IQ and DR make us better photographers? Maybe, but I’m not sure how much. I just attended a Joe Macnally flash seminar and was blown away by how much he could do with essentially old technology.

      I really wish I could have my old Nikkormat back. I’m sure it still takes pretty good pictures.

      • 68.1.1) The Rev
        November 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm

        Michael, I can assure you I have no intention of replacing my D700. Though I am in the market for something small and stripped out, manual and compact with D700 ability, something I can stick an 85 or a 50 on and keep to hand always. A SMALL Fx with an F mount! (at the moment that ‘gap’ is still being filled by an FM3A, and no there is nothing wrong with my FM3A either except the growing scarcity of film and film processors! Velvia 50 is no more……)

        I Had hoped the Df might be THAT small Fx, F mount camera, but alas no – its too big and too over specified with functions.

        • Michael Switzer
          November 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm

          I was hoping the same thing actually. I really wanted a split image focusing screen for manual focus. But almost all the flaming of the Df has been complaints of not enough functionality–no video crappy auto focus, too slow blahblahblah. I wouldn’t dismiss it for what you want quite yet. Wait until it is in stores. Slap a fifty on it, see how it feels in hand. All the functions you want are on the outside; available without taking your eye from the finder.

          I’m still waiting to see how this screen will do for manual focus.

          • whisky
            November 20, 2013 at 7:33 am

            Ming Thein had some thoughts about the Df :


            … and the focusing screen is non-removable and w/o focusing aids for manual focus.

            In 2006, when Nikon made their historical announcement that they were discontinuing most film cameras, they stated that the F6 would not be their last film camera. This promise now seems to be getting more and more distant, but a film back for the Df may have made it a much more interesting camera. Instead we got retro for the sake of retro, where form is a facade and doesn’t follow function. There may be a market for that … but I ain’t it.

  69. 69) Besamesa
    November 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    As a photographer, I was born with a Nikon. Learning and do my class with a D60 and then start to work for a local newspaper with a D7000. Now that I’have got good contracts with universities to do their photo coverage for football, basketball, volleyball and ice hockey. I am feeling a bit limited with de D7000 or either the D7100. To me 16mp or 24mp doesn’t really mather, but what I REALLY need is :

    – Very good ISO performance
    – Very good buffer
    – A speedy and accurate autofocus system
    – A good weather seal body with lots of physic button.

    After the launch of the D7100, I was hoping something better on buffer performance. On the other side, Canon doesn’t offer any improvment on their 7D.

    So the only cameras that can fit my needs are the new Pentax K-3 and the Olympus OM-D EM1. But Pentax fails to offer fast and good zoom-lens. On the other hand, the m43 system have legacy lens (35-100 f/2 and and 150mm f/2) .But the Oly’s ISO capabilities is maybe an improvment over the D300s, but fails to compete over the K-3, D7000/D7100 and 7D.

  70. 70) parhad
    November 30, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Hi everyone
    I do understand the needs and the dreems of such and such photographer. It is totaly natural.
    But the tools are what they are. And you are all very lucky guys to be able to buy them.
    250 years ago no one knew what is camera.
    In 250 years from now, we’ll probably have a pixel sensor, 36 images per second,
    1000 000 iso, all in a mirorless tini camera that goes under water.
    So go alone with it and enjoy what you have now. What you have right now is already pretty amazing.
    Thanks for reading my thoughts

  71. 71) Charlie from Chattanooga
    December 8, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    I have to say that I can think of no good reason to even introduce this camera. Something that looks good to some, but is crippled in a lot of ways.

    What a waste!

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