Nikon’s full digital SLR lineup doesn’t suit me

For the past 3+ months I’ve been closely and extremely patiently following the developments of Nikon’s world of SLR cameras. And I have to say I’m now rather disenchanted.

I have some decent coins in my budget from my Etsy store profit and I’m ready to replace my 8 year old D100 (6 megapixel DX sensor).

married to Nikon
I’m somewhat entrenched in the Nikon family. I have three Nikon lenses, but two of which aren’t anything special and should be traded in. The third is a beautiful 60mm macro lens. I much prefer the interface of Nikon over Canon in addition to overall quality of build. Plus, there’s a bit of a Nikon heritage in my family of which I would feel a level of guilt for betraying.

What do I want in my ideal SLR?
– 16+ megapixel
– FX (full frame) sensor
– articulating LCD
– built-in focusing motor
– movie capabilities
– And I want it all for under 2 grand

I apologize if I made milk come out of your nose. Nothing comes close to these dreamy specs.

my kingdom for a D400
What’s been driving me nuts is that the successor to the D300 has been rumored for quite a few months. There were some solid hopes the D400 would have an FX sensor and 16 megapixels. Movie functionality was to be included as well. There was no talk about an articulating LCD. (Many pros and semi-pros hate it. I love it.) An FX sensor with 16 megapixels for 2 grand sounded perfect to me even if it didn’t have an articulating LCD.

In the past month the rumor mill changed from FX to DX which saddened me greatly. Then in the past couple weeks it’s been pretty much confirmed there will be NO D400, at least not for another year. Instead Nikon will release the D300s which will have dual card support and movie capabilities. whoop de freakin’ do.

Canon kicking Nikon’s butt
Nikon really needs a true competitor to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II (21 megapixel “full frame”). Yes, the Nikon D700 is incredible at higher ISOs, but I
ve seen reviews where the high ISO image quality of the EOS 5D Mark II is comparable to the D700 when 5D Mark II
s 5616
3744 images are sized down to the D700
s 4256
2832. And the Mark II
s images at low ISO are superior to the D700. The result? I want full-frame D400 16+ megapixels. The 5D Mark II goes for about $2600.

I’m avoiding Canon for the reasons noted above. Plus Canon’s full frame sensor really isn’t full frame as noted in one of my previous blog posts. It’s only half way to being full frame. Canon is being really sneaky about that and I wish the photography industry would expose Canon’s false marketing.

Here’s Nikon’s current line of cameras:

12 megapixels
FX sensor
static LCD
built-in focusing motor
no movie function
commentary: $2600 for 12 megapixels? rip-off. I absolutely love the full frame FX sensor. It’s the creme de le creme, pure noise-free butter. But 12 megapixels does that sensor no justice.

12 megapixels
DX sensor
static LCD
built-in focusing motor
no movie function
commentary: No way, Jack. Not much point for me to get the D300 when I can get the D90. Nikon desperately needs to update this camera.

12 megapixels
DX sensor
static LCD
built-in focusing motor
movie function
commentary: I’d buy the D90 if I had buy an SLR right now. DX sensors really shouldn’t get much larger than 12 megapixels. If they get over 12, then higher ISOs will suffer big time. And I need quality imaging at high ISOs with all the family photos I take indoors. But $1000 for a 12 megapixel camera just seems like a lot of money, especially when I think there really should be a full frame camera with 16 megapixels for $2000.

12 megapixels
DX sensor
articulating LCD
no built-in focusing motor
movie function
commentary: No built-in focusing motor kills this option. If I want auto-focusing, then I’d be stuck with only DX lenses. No thanks. If Nikon snuck in a focusing motor, then I’d be all over this camera. It’d be a great deal and the money saved could go to buy some nice glass. Though I’d have to investigate the functions on this camera a bit more. There’s only one dial mode instead of two.

Anything above the D700 is way too much money and anything below the D5000 is out of the picture because of the lack of an internal focusing motor.

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Mark R
Mark R
13 years ago

I’m saddened that my D60 didn’t make the list. Although I know you want a full frame sensor and higher megapixels.

Oh well, we are still very happy with our D60. It takes great pictures and has held up really well over the last year with heavy usage. Plus we just got it back from having it professionally cleaned.

Matt Maldre
12 years ago

I don’t get your comment moose. You say the D300 was announced and that they have HD movie capability, but then the you say they have no movies. And then you talk about D3000 at the end. I don’t understand.

Mark R
Mark R
12 years ago


I dont recall exactly what they did,but we sent in the camera body and both of our lenses. Based on that I would assume they cleaned the sensor, and the optics.


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