Nikon D300 / D3 Announcements

Two years after introducing the D200, Nikon today announced its successor, the Nikon D300, and also the latest in its pro line, the full-frame $5,000 Nikon D3.

As I expected of any Nikon new-body announcement, this is really a no-win situation for me. Either the new camera is good enough that I'm left feeling relatively disappointed in my Nikon D200, or the new camera is pedestrian enough that I'm left disappointed in Nikon.

After reading the above-linked previews on Digital Photography Review, the drool on my keyboard is telling me the result. 🙂

In the “D200 vs. D300” specification comparison presented about half-way down the preview, items for which one camera has a clear advantage over the other are shown in green. The D300's column is completely green, except for camera weight and size, which are essentially unchanged from the D200.

For the D300, particularly appealing to me are:

  • Better low-light performance
  • Much higher resolution LCD monitor (44% larger, but 4× the pixels)
  • Self-cleaning sensor
  • LCD Live-view (a'la consumer point-n-shoots)

I probably won't get one because I don't need one, but if I really care about quality, I really should upgrade to the higher-performance sensor, shouldn't I? 🙂   Bjørn Rørslett, a noted nature photographer, says “The new D3 has high-ISO performance beyond what anyone could imagine possible. I could hardly believe my eyes.I don't know how much of that is found in the D300, but I'll be keeping my eyes out.

When the D200 came out, it was in short supply for months, causing all kinds of angst in the Nikon community. It looks like Nikon will try to avoid that this time: the Japanese press releases indicate that they'll have an initial production of 60,000 units/month for the D300 compared with 40,000 units/month for the D200 back in late 2005. (For comparison, the D3 is scheduled for 8,000/month.)

About a year after the D200 came out, the public speculation for the next Nikon camera really geared up, and it's been extremely intense for the last six months or so. Really intense — lots of speculation. Today's announcements will quell that for a short while, replacing it with speculation on how what's been announced will actually perform.

But I'll start the speculation on the next announcement: perhaps 18 months from now, Nikon will announce a full-frame D400. Hmmm, I may just have to put off my D300 purchase to wait for that.... 😀

All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

Yes, I was (am) drooling too… It’s way out of my league and I could never justify it, but that D3 is one beautiful piece of technology, too. The new 24-70 might find it’s way into my hands sometime in the next year, assuming I’m convinced it’s worth the money, but the rest will have to wait, perhaps forever.

— comment by Zak on August 23rd, 2007 at 8:00pm JST (16 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

No no no! A photographer of your caliber oughtn’t wait. You NEED the D300. You MUST have it. The D200 is not worthy of you. It should be removed from your esteemed presence immediatly. I’ll take it off your hands – again, out of sisterly love entirely.

— comment by Marcina on August 23rd, 2007 at 10:46pm JST (16 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

That is really a nice camera – get it IF you think the D300 does something that your D200 absolute can never do AND you need that feature. Only reason I’d move off my 6MP body is if there’s a body that can very closely achieve what I’m now addicted to in depth and resolution: Slide film.

— comment by William on August 29th, 2007 at 9:03pm JST (16 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink
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