Nikon D400: Missing Link, or Just Missing?

Nikon D400As the months pass and hardly a trace of a D400, it seems Nikon is overlooking the high-end DX segment. Rumors of an upcoming D600 entry-level FX camera have many wondering if Nikon is abandoning DX and leaving it to amateurs. The recent announcement of the D3200 unveiled a new 24MP sensor in their entry level DSLR. While it is possible this new sensor could trickle-up into the higher end DX line, whether it will make it all the way up into a D400 is yet to be determined.

Nikon was quick to bring the D3200 to market. Their entry-level line is always updated at faster intervals than their professional cameras. The resolution outperforms the rest of their DX line (D5100, D7000, D300s) and this should be rectified in the future. What does the D3200 hint at for the future of DX? We see the introduction of the WU-1a WiFi adapter. It offers wireless connectivity and the ability to share pictures directly from the camera to the Internet via an Android app (and soon iOS). They also produce the D3200 in Thailand, a great sign showing that their badly damaged factory is getting back up to speed. Their Thailand factory produces all their DX DSLR camera bodies and several lenses. The camera has already hit store shelves, unlike the month or longer previous products have taken. These are positive signs for Nikon’s production capabilities. Will a D400 be coming down the pipe soon?

The D7000 and D5100 are still due for an update soon, and it is hard to believe there is going to be much room between the D7000 update and a possible entry-level FX D600. The D400 could offer a build quality and pro-features above the level of the D600 and justify a similar or even higher price, although it would seem out of place to have a DX camera priced above an FX. The converging pricing of different formats would not be new for Nikon. With the CX format Nikon 1, the V1 was introduced at a higher price than the entry level DX D3100. But how many DX DSLR will Nikon want to have in their lineup? In the near future the choices may be DX: D3200, D5100, D7000 and FX: D600(?), D800, D4. With the new FX models D4, D800/D800E and possibly D600, Nikon is luring DX users up to FX format.