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| p.7 #3 · Nikon's Problem Isn't the Cameras ... |
Andre Labonte wrote:
Remember that DX still represents 90% of DSLR sales for Nikon and that's without the D400. Also, my poll suggests that among enthusiasts and pros, a D400 is one of the top three most desired camera bodies behind a D800 and D800h. That tells me that other than the D800, the FX bodies Nikon is actually making individually are not pulling in as many buyers as a D400 would. Nikon is leaving money on the table.
To be fair, a poll done in a forum like this is biased at best. I'd like to see Nikon make a D400 as much as anybody, but a poll done in a gear forum doesn't accurately represent the actual demographic of potential D400 buyers. I'm sure that Nikon knows what they are leaving on the table. Hell, they might not even be leaving it on the table, they may eventually replace the D400. Or they may know that the users who made the D300 a success are now split between the D7100, D610, Df, and D800/E and that the slice of the pie leftover for the D400 is just too small to be profitable.
I think at some point, though the writing on the wall has to be seen. Nikon released its first DX DSLR 14 years ago. In that time they've built exactly two lenses for the DX format designed for professional use (the 12-24/4 and the 17-55/2.8). There have been a few other very nice lenses released for DX, but none specifically targeted at the professional user market like the two I mentioned. The 12-24/4 and the 17-55/2.8 were both released 11 years ago. Nikon's never updated those lenses and they've never added to them. The reason we've never seen a 50-135/2.8 or a 10-16/2.8 or a 16 or 18mm prime or a DX PC-E lens or any of the number of other lenses DX would need to be a complete system is because the D1-D2XS (and to a lessor extent the D100-D300s) and the 12-24/4 + 17-55/2.8 were placeholders until Nikon could release an FX body for professional use.
Even if Nikon releases a D400 tomorrow, I doubt we'll ever see those missing DX lenses. Yes, DX makes up a huge chunk of Nikon's sales, but the vast majority of those buyers never use more than a pair of kit zooms. I'd love to be wrong, because a 24mp D400 and a 10-16/2.8, 16-55/2.8, 18/1.8 combo would probably put my D800 on the B&S board, but I think they've been telling us for years that the pro DX line was done.