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Old May 22, 2006, 7:54 PM   #11
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I think Nikon will introduce a new model that will be cheaper than the D50. D70s will be discontinue. Nikon future competitors will be Samsung and Sony not Canon.
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Old May 22, 2006, 8:27 PM   #12
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D50 is low-cost enough, but the features have also been the minimal set already.

I just can't imagine if Nikon can design a still lower-cost DSLR than D50 (w/o further taking away necessary features).

If I have to predict, I would guess it'll ADD features to it e.g. live LCD preview ))

Just my stupid opinion.
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Old May 22, 2006, 9:19 PM   #13
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I agree, I think the D50 is as basic as its going to get. It would be real hard to pull any additional features out. More likely, we'll see a bigger price cut when the next prosumer model (the D70 replacement), and maybe a slightly updated model late next year. Maybe a larger LCD, backlit top lcd, etc. I don't think live preview is coming anytime soon. Olympus has it, and it really hasn't done anything to increase their sales. Live preview is just not practical in a DSLR because of design limitations. Also the size and weight of a DSLR (especially with a tele lens hanging on it) makes framing with a live lcd impractical. I'd rather see anti shake in body than a live lcd.
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Old May 23, 2006, 10:53 AM   #14
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Perhaps, as a routine improvement, D60 may/should have higher-resolution CCD at 8MP.

Really feel 6MP does not have enough image detail.


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Old May 23, 2006, 11:00 AM   #15
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My guess is the D60 or D80 will be 8mp... but i'm guessing it will be a D80 maintaining the D70 feature set and build quality while adding 8mp. D60 makes me think D50 features/build + 8mp... also, Canon has already made a D60 and 60D model dSLR so I doubt Nikon would use that model number. I think Nikon has the entry level consumer dSLR filled well with the D50 and entry level pro dSLR filled well with the D200, the current D70s just doesn't fill the gap well enough but a D80 model as its replacement might do so. Add the metering from the D200 that allows you to use older speed light flashes and it would be a real winner.
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Old May 23, 2006, 11:51 AM   #16
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I think Sony's Alpha line, that's coming out this summer, will give us an idea of what Nikon will have in the future, since Nikon uses Sony's CCD.

I wouldn't be surprised if Nikon releases products parallel to Sony's at the same time, which could explain D50, D70, D200 body shortage. I haven't really read much about how Sony's purchase of KM will affect Nikon, so I can only assume that things are working out just fine between them. Of course, the shortage can easily be Sony holding-out on Nikon in favor of their Alpha line. Who knows!

Maybe in the future Nikon will look into making their own CCD (or even CMOS) sensors, or using others (maybe Matsushita/Panasonic).

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Old May 23, 2006, 12:10 PM   #17
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Sony is not going to be a problem or indicator as to what Nikon is going to do. Any bodies to be released in the coming 12-24 months are already in the pipeline being developed. Any reaction to Sony's alpha line won't be seen for years, and Nikons product development certainly isn't linked to Sony beyond sensor manufacturing. Body design, engineering, control layout, feature set is all Nikon. One thing is for certain, Nikon is not about reacting to competitors. They are about engineering, and whenever they release something it usually exceeds anything the competition has to offer. Their release schedule is based on their own r&d and production capacities (as is Canon's). Nikon and Canon control 80% of the dslr market....they are the leaders. Sony, Olympus, Pentax and the others are trying to answer the big two's product line, not the other way around.
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Old May 23, 2006, 12:24 PM   #18
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Just out of my curiousity:

How long / intensive is the investment in R&D of good image sensors, in comparison with other running costs of a camera manufacturing business?

E.g. 2 years and 10% ???
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Old May 23, 2006, 2:29 PM   #19
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What I mean by Nikon-Sony connection was in regards to sensor size, not features. I don't know if Sony has any 8MP sensor that Nikon can use, and if Sony releases an 8MP Alpha, then that would indicate that Nikon will probably release an 8MP DSLR as well. Personally, I'd like to see Nikon skip the 8MP range and move the 10MP down to consumer level. I'm sure by then they can control noise better in 10MP sensors.

To some extent I feel that Nikon is more reactionary to Canon. What I mean is they released the D70 after Canon released the original DigRebel, and the D70 ended up suffering from BGLOD. They then released the D200 after Canon's 5D, and the D200, at least the early batch, suffered from banding.

I don't know if Nikon have any plans of making their own mass-produced sensor. I know they have one line of DSLR that uses Nikon-made sensor, but their mass-produced ones are from Sony. Nikon is not an electronics company. They don't make other stuff the way Sony makes TVs, and Canon makes printers. And I don't know if Mitsubishi, Nikon's parent company, makes sensors.

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Old May 23, 2006, 3:44 PM   #20
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Reading in between the lines, Thom Hogan seems to think Nikon may have a replacement for the D70s at some point, based on Nikon's financial forecasts for the first half of 2007.

You can see his thoughts on it here:

http://www.bythom.com/

Here are the latest financials:

http://www.nikon.co.jp/main/eng/port...60515e_all.pdf

If you look at the forecasts for Digital Imaging on Page 18, you'll see that Nikon is projecting 550k DSLRs for the second half of 2006, and 850k DSLRs for the first half of 2007. That's a big jump, especially considering more competition is on the way (for example, Sony and Samsung).

So, reading between the lines, Nikon probably thinks it will have a model that's going to sell relatively well (which probably means a new entry level model).

Of course, that's all just speculation.

Keep in mind that Pentax also uses Sony sensors, and they just announced two new 6MP DSLR models only yesterday. They'll also have a 10MP DSLR (previously announced), but it's unlikely to launch until around Photokina. Samsung has already announced both 6 and 10MP DSLR models, too.

Sony will probably announce it's first Alpha DSLR model in early June. So, perhaps that will give us some clues if they have a new sensor that may be competitive. If so, then Sony usually markets their sensors to other manufacturers, too (so, I'd expect the same sensor to be used by others).

My guess (and it's only a guess), is that the 10MP sensor used in the D200 is just too expensive for adoption in entry level models yet. But, if it shows up in the new Sony Alpha, then chances are, it will show up faster in more models from Nikon using it, too.

I wouldn't be surprised to see no change in sensor in the new Sony Alpha, though (i.e., another 6MP DSLR). We'll find out soon enough.

Nikon could also have some surprises up it's sleeve. They have manufactured their own sensors in the past, and there is nothing that says they can't do it for an entry level model, too. But, if they went that route, they'd want to make sure they'd have enough sales to warrant the R&D and manufacturing costs so that they could remain competitive.

Sony has the advantage of supplmenting it's R&D efforts with sales of sensors to other manufacturers (with Nikon being the largest buyer of it's DSLR sensors). I doubt Sony would want to jeopardize the relationship with Nikon by holding on to some sensors for it's own use (they haven't in the past with sensors for non-DSLR models).

So, I think the relationship is likely to continue, with Sony's ability to produce new sensors that are competitve to Canon's being the "wild card".

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