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Wait Until December 15th
Nov 27, 2012 (commentary)--I still get tons of "is it safe to buy a D800" questions. My answer remains the same as before with a slight new twist: in the United States wait until December 15th if you're going to buy one. You'll thank me for that (and no, asking what this is about won't generate any additional information, so don't send emails asking what's going to happen on that date).
Where was this commentary from?
bythom.com see 11/27 and this is from 12/5:
Finally, I'm going to re-issue and increase my warning: if you're in the market for a Nikon FX body, wait until at least December 15th. My warning has to do with pricing. Just as early Nikon 1 adapters are now wondering why they didn't wait, those shifting from DX to FX now may face some similar pricing displeasure. Certainly not the 50%+ drops that the Nikon 1 models have made, but if you like to preserve your Franklins (US $100 bill), have some patience. While FX bodies are doing okay, it appears that the sales are soft enough that Nikon will sweeten the deals in the US soon.
And this about the future of the two D800 models:
Dec 1, 2012 (commentary)--A couple of things I wrote in the past week seem to be prompting repeated emails, so perhaps I'd better clarify those things.
First, why did I predict that Nikon will drop the D800 and only make the D800E? This has to do with prices. With sales softening enough on the D800 now that we're about to see a significant discount appear in the US, things get tricky for Nikon. Nikon uses new product to reset price points. The D800 reset the original D700 price point (US$3000). But the D800 isn't likely to be updated for quite some time (three to four years if we use the D700->D800 process as a guide). Having it slide in price in less than a year would predict it would have to slide in price quite a bit over the course of its lifetime. Nikon's typical lifetime slide is 25%, thus a D800 that should hit US$2250 in 2015. But Nikon wouldn't want it to do so before then.
The D800E shouldn't really cost Nikon more to make: it's a lower volume production, which is why they charge more. The other reason for the E in the lineup has to do with video. I think Nikon thought that the D800 would become a go-to video camera, replacing the 5D as the poor man's Hollywood camera. The fear was that the E would trigger too many motion artifacts.
But people are buying the D800 models for their still abilities. They were the hot model this year because they basically gave grade school bragging rights to landscape and a few other shooters ("nah, nah, I can print bigger than you.").
What I'm predicting is that Nikon will figure out that by making only a D800E, and making it US$3000, they will be able to prolong the price point. This looks like a US$300 drop in price in the E model, but it's effectively a US$200 price increase on the D800 from where it will be in a couple of weeks. Everyone wins ;~).