After Nikon D600, Will There Be a D400?

Nikon D600 Front-SideAfter Nikon released the D600 on September 13, many waiting for the D300/D300s replacement were left wondering if there would still be a D400. What is clear is that Nikon made the D600 for the consumer market, and even use the term “enthusiast” to describe its target customer. While the D600 incorporates many high-features, it also lacks some elements that separate it from Nikon’s professional ranks.

The D600 has a body with top and back made from magnesium alloy, but the front of the camera and its internal frame is polycarbonate like the rest of the consumer line. For this reason it is not suitable for rigorous use with a long telephoto lens. Professional cameras have a full magnesium frame and body and can withstand more abuse. The D600 Multi-Cam 4800FX auto focus system was adapted from the D7000. While it offers increased sensitivity down to f/8, it is not the more advanced AF offered in the D800 and D4. The D600 will not provide the advanced tracking expected by wildlife photographers. The D600 maximum shutter speed is only 1/4,000 second. Professional D4, D800 and even the D7000 offer 1/8,000 second shutter. The D600 lacks the standard PC sync port and has a slow  flash sync speed of 1/200. It has a maximum continuous shooting frame rate of only 5.5fps which can not be increased with a battery grip. Perhaps the most important fact is that it only offers 10.5 MP images in DX mode. This is lower than even the 5-year old 12.3MP D300.

Dirk Jasper, Product Manager at Nikon Europe, was asked by dpreview at Photokina how the D600 compares with the D300s. Jasper explains, “The D300S is a different concept. It’s a semi-pro DX system camera and [D600] is an enthusiast camera.” Although Nikon expects some to upgrade from the D300/D300s to the D600, the customer is different. The D600 is a consumer-oriented version of the D700.

In recent history, Nikon has not always maintained existing camera lines. Just because there was a D200 and D300 may not necessarily mean there will be a D400. The D800 was not a follow-up to any camera, but rather a new concept. Nikon essentially phased out the D3X and D700 by bringing out the D800 and D600.

The Nikon D7000 is about due for an update, while the D300s is overdue. What will Nikon do with high-end DX? If we look to Nikon’s rival, Canon, we see that a 7D Mark II is in the works for early 2013. The D400 would be its direct competitor, and we know from history that Nikon and Canon are in lock-step when introducing products.

Nikon has plenty of room in its product line between the D7000 currently at $999 and the D600 at $2099. There is a possibility that Nikon could combine the D5100 and D7000 into one line, an enthusiast DX aimed at both photography and video, and then make the D400 a professional or semi-pro DX around $1799. The D400 seems more of a certainty at this point than a D7100.

4 thoughts on “After Nikon D600, Will There Be a D400?

  1. I like your story. I agree that Nikon will most likely introduce a D400 in the early part of next year. I also agree that the D5200/D7000 will blend into one.
    I hope we’re correct!!!

  2. Yes, I hope you are right. I’m expecting a D400 to be the next release from Nikon, at least in the semi-pro market. Being an “enthusisast”, I have waited to make my next move for a better camera (using a D80 since 2007) and a sturdy D400 with a ~24 Mpix DX sensor, pro-AF, and >7-ish fps is on my whish list.

  3. I don’t believe we will see a highend DX D400 model but rather a entry model in FX named D400. This might be late next year. Fits perfectly in FX naming schema and DX naming schema (D3xxx, D5xxx, D7xxx) and (D4xx, D6xx, D8xx)

  4. Theres so many predictions and rumours going on out there and heres mine.Dx format is not going to die like some sites are predicting,thats absolute rubbish.Dx format is going to new levels starting with the D400.Whats missing is a Dx format dslr for wildlife photographers like myself who do not want full frame but want the crop factor of Dx format.Im not interested in the D600 at all-its too slow and the shutter speed is only 1/4000sec.I predict that the D400 will have 24MP and will have much closer to D4 specs-51 area autofocus,8 frames per second and maybe even a super speed processor like the D4 has so as the buffer doesnt get full.I also think that it will be even more expensive than the D600 and also the D800 at around the £2500 mark.It would of course be fully sealed.Basically a Dx format D4-thats what i hope for and want anyway! I still think the D7000 replacement will be around the same price as the D7000 was when launched and that will compete with canons 7DMK2 which ive heard is due early 2013.24MP again,39point AF and the part magnesium body.

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