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Author Topic: D3X Pricing  (Read 21872 times)
NikosR
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« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2008, 10:03:57 PM »
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Suppose for a moment that Nikon's view about the pent-up demand for the D3x (1/3 of the current demand for the D3, from a small well identified group of Nikon pros and studios) at the current introductory price, which does not enter them in a price war with Canon, is right. So they can sell all the bodies they can produce in their first batches at that inflated price. Suppose also that the camera's IQ gets recognised as the best there is in the dSLR sector. What will have happened? Nikon will have met their initial sales targets, avoided a price war with Canon and created a big fuss about this wonderful IQ camera made of unobtainium.

Then the obvious thing to do is let the camera price slip to 1Ds levels and at the same time introduce the D700x at a price competitive to the 5DII and the A900 to fulfill all the demand the fuss about the D3x had created.

This sees to me to be a reasonable scenario that might produce a hat-trick if of course the above assumptions prove correct and competition does not respond with a better product in the projected time period.. Now, would a lower introductory price for the D3x have improved this scenario for Nikon or not? I tend to think not.

The coin has always 2 sides and, at this early moment in time, it would not be prudent to suppose that Nikon has made the wrong choice.

PS. To Michael: I hope your reasonable choice not to buy a D3x at its introductory price will not hold you from reviewing the camera. Also, why do I have this feeling you're going to buy one in the end?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 10:15:53 PM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
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« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2008, 10:58:26 PM »
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Quote from: John Camp
I'm another guy who could afford a D3x, but won't get it; it's not the money so much as the sense of being gouged.

I'm sorry, but how long did it take you to get to this point of recognizing that we're being gouged?  For those of us struggling to make ends meet and who watch and stretch every dollar to the limit, we've never been able to afford these cameras which Michael and others are buying just so they can be on the cutting edge.  Michael (and others like Thom Hogan, etc) are grousing because they SUDDENLY FEEL RIPPED OFF!  HELLO?Huh

So, let me understand this.  The people griping have spent $100,000+ on digital cameras, lenses and accessories and seem to have no problem buying Phase One backs but will not buy a D3X because it is $1500 higher than what they WANTED to spend? I think the venom towards Nikon is misplaced.

Frankly, I think that targeting a high-end camera towards "landscape photographers" is a lost cause, anyway.  It's obvious that the 5DmkII will be the landscape camera of choice for 2009 no matter what Nikon brings to the table.  But is anybody complaining about spending the approximately $3000 for a throwaway camera that is really no more than a fancy Digital Rebel in a metal box?  Take the current digital rebel, add $100 for the metal case, another $100 for the larger sensor.  Now try to justify the fact that Canon is ripping us off for another $2000.  Camera companies charge what they can charge because they know that we will get sucked in and pay whatever they want for the right to be the best dressed photographer at the next workshop.  I really can't imagine Michael or Thom showing up at their next workshop with a three-year-old digital camera. Mostly because this is their gig--to be on the cutting edge. I suppose the cutting edge no longer applies once they finally feel ripped off by one company. I suppose Michael is going to go off in a hissy fit now and sell all his Nikon gear.

And then what is really over-the-top is to blame Nikon for misjudging the economy.  This one really gets me.  A photographer who is struggling due to the economy isn't going to buy an $8000 camera.  Nor will they buy a $5000 camera!  Unless they are in a lease, they aren't going to be buying ANY camera in 2009.  If a photographer is able to buy a $5000 camera, chances are they can afford the $8000 camera.

In the end, how is this any different than us charging $2000 for a color inkjet print that cost us $75 to make?  Aren't we gouging the market ourselves?  I'm sure we'll come up with various excuses for our own pricing, but fail to give the same right to a camera company to price equipment in a similar fashion.

Ken
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2008, 11:30:17 PM »
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Hi,

I think that everyone expected Nikon to come out with the 3DX at a slightly higher price than the 3D. The manufacturing cost on on the 3D and the 3DX are the same, as they share the chassis. The sensor may be possibly more expensive, but not by very much. Pixels are free, square millimeters cost.Nikon used to have a tradition to have a reasonable premium on the X-models but this no more seems to be the case.

The point is also that Nikon does not have a lower price alternative to the 3DX, and the D700 is not competitive with the Alpha 900 and the 5DII regarding resolution. I don't think that the 5DII is a throw away camera, on the contrary I'm pretty confident that it's picture taking ability is at the same level as the 3DX or the 1DsIII. It is also weather sealed, AFAIK. The 3DX can certainly take more punishment but you get three 5DII-s for the price of one D3X or Canon 1DsIII.

Now, Nikon may set any price they want, but with the present price and the competition in the market they may just loose the market share they gained with the 3D and 700D.

Erik

Quote from: image66
I'm sorry, but how long did it take you to get to this point of recognizing that we're being gouged?  For those of us struggling to make ends meet and who watch and stretch every dollar to the limit, we've never been able to afford these cameras which Michael and others are buying just so they can be on the cutting edge.  Michael (and others like Thom Hogan, etc) are grousing because they SUDDENLY FEEL RIPPED OFF!  HELLO?Huh

So, let me understand this.  The people griping have spent $100,000+ on digital cameras, lenses and accessories and seem to have no problem buying Phase One backs but will not buy a D3X because it is $1500 higher than what they WANTED to spend? I think the venom towards Nikon is misplaced.

Frankly, I think that targeting a high-end camera towards "landscape photographers" is a lost cause, anyway.  It's obvious that the 5DmkII will be the landscape camera of choice for 2009 no matter what Nikon brings to the table.  But is anybody complaining about spending the approximately $3000 for a throwaway camera that is really no more than a fancy Digital Rebel in a metal box?  Take the current digital rebel, add $100 for the metal case, another $100 for the larger sensor.  Now try to justify the fact that Canon is ripping us off for another $2000.  Camera companies charge what they can charge because they know that we will get sucked in and pay whatever they want for the right to be the best dressed photographer at the next workshop.  I really can't imagine Michael or Thom showing up at their next workshop with a three-year-old digital camera. Mostly because this is their gig--to be on the cutting edge. I suppose the cutting edge no longer applies once they finally feel ripped off by one company. I suppose Michael is going to go off in a hissy fit now and sell all his Nikon gear.

And then what is really over-the-top is to blame Nikon for misjudging the economy.  This one really gets me.  A photographer who is struggling due to the economy isn't going to buy an $8000 camera.  Nor will they buy a $5000 camera!  Unless they are in a lease, they aren't going to be buying ANY camera in 2009.  If a photographer is able to buy a $5000 camera, chances are they can afford the $8000 camera.

In the end, how is this any different than us charging $2000 for a color inkjet print that cost us $75 to make?  Aren't we gouging the market ourselves?  I'm sure we'll come up with various excuses for our own pricing, but fail to give the same right to a camera company to price equipment in a similar fashion.

Ken
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 11:39:34 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2008, 01:51:11 AM »
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Quote from: image66
Isn't the D3X announced price the same as the 1DsMk3?  What gives?  Why the outburst against Nikon and not against Canon?  How about Phase One?

Fair comment.

The very frustrating thing for Nikon shooters though is that we have been waiting for years for Nikon to regain an credible position as far as high end goes, and when they do they make the body difficult to purchase because of a high price tag.

The conclusion is pretty obvious, being a Nikon shooter means that you'll basically always be one year behind the curve and will have to spend a lot of cash not to be a full 2 years behind.

Their offering might be 20% better during the few months they stay on top, but you will end up being 20% behind during the 1.5 years it will take them to catch up after the competition releases a newer flagship... you end up paying more and getting less average.

The perception is clearly that when you are late to the party you should have the humility to first apologize, and then bring with you a good bottle of wine for your hosts. The message Nikon is sending with the D3x is clearly "you should be happy that we come to the party at all, and please serve the champain quick".

Cheers,
Bernard
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michael
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« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2008, 03:43:47 AM »
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Ken,

Speculation as to why Thom or I (and I can actually only speak for myself) buy and sell the equipment that we do is uncalled for and totally speculative. My situation is unlike that of anyone else. Though I accept short term loans of gear from major manufacturers for testing (especially pre and early production models), these are always returned within days, rarely held for longer than a week or at most two.

Because I believe in long term and field testing (and that's one of the things that makes my reports different that those of other reviewers) I buy the cameras and lenses that I use. Then, every year or two I sell them to free up capital for new purchases.

It means that I can test and use a wide range of equipment over extended periods. When something especially appeals to me I hang onto it it for a long time. I have several cameras that are in that category. Others come in and out in just months, or a year at most, being replaced by the latest model for use and testing. This is my business model. This is why a million people a month visit this site, to read my reports and reviews. It works for me.

But, even if buying cameras wasn't a business expense, as it is for me and many pros, and even if one can afford something, that doesn't mean that it's good value. May late fatherinlaw was a wealthy man. But, he'd drive two miles out of his way to buy gas for 2 cents a gallon less than at the station across the street. When I asked why, his reply was simply that it was the principle of it.

That's something of what I feel about the D3x and why I cancelled my order. Yes, I can afford it, but I simply find it to represent poor value. After testing the 24MP Sony A900 (which I purchased for less than the equivalent of US $2,500 here in Toronto last month) the thought of paying US $8,000 for a camera that that has the same resolution, the same frame rates, etc, etc, just seemed to me to be a bad value. The Canon 5DII is also well under $3,000 as another alternative in a full-frame 20+ MP camera.

With the value represented by the Nikon D700 as compared to the D3, and Canon 5DII as compared to the 1Ds MKIII, I feel that the days of the mega-pro DSLR are numbered. As Bernard wrote above, Nikon has just come late to the game, but the game is changing.

Cameras like the Leica S2 and forthcoming Nikon MX are, in my view, going to take their place for many photographers seeking a new high end. Yes, there will be some that buy the D3x, just as there are still those that buy the wonderful Nikon F5 film camera. Nikon is known for fighting rear-guard actions and doing so well.

So, I'm sure that Nikon will still sell some D3's and D3x's, and Canon some 1DMKIII's and 1DsMKIIIs, but I now believe that the days of these cameras as mainstream are passing, as much lower cost and competent alternatives become available.

That was the reasoning behind my cancellation of my D3x simply the acceptance that an era has passed and that value wasn't there (for me) at that price point. It might be for others though.

Michael

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2008, 03:53:43 AM »
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Hi Michael,

Thanks for long explanation. So you think that the Nikon MX is for real?

Looking forward to your evaluation of the Alpha 900.

Best regards

Erik


Quote from: michael
Ken,

Speculation as to why Thom or I (and I can actually only speak for myself) buy and sell the equipment that we do is uncalled for and totally speculative. My situation is unlike that of anyone else. Though I accept short term loans of gear from major manufacturers for testing (especially pre and early production models), these are always returned within days, rarely held for longer than a week or at most two.

Because I believe in long term and field testing (and that's one of the things that makes my reports different that those of other reviewers) I buy the cameras and lenses that I use. Then, every year or two I sell them to free up capital for new purchases.

It means that I can test and use a wide range of equipment over extended periods. When something especially appeals to me I hang onto it it for a long time. I have several cameras that are in that category. Others come in and out in just months, or a year at most, being replaced by the latest model for use and testing. This is my business model. This is why a million people a month visit this site, to read my reports and reviews. It works for me.

But, even if buying cameras wasn't a business expense, as it is for me and many pros, and even if one can afford something, that doesn't mean that it's good value. May late fatherinlaw was a wealthy man. But, he'd drive two miles out of his way to buy gas for 2 cents a gallon less than at the station across the street. When I asked why, his reply was simply that it was the principle of it.

That's something of what I feel about the D3x and why I cancelled my order. Yes, I can afford it, but I simply find it to represent poor value. After testing the 24MP Sony A900 (which I purchased for less than the equivalent of US $2,500 here in Toronto last month) the thought of paying US $8,000 for a camera that that has the same resolution, the same frame rates, etc, etc, just seemed to me to be a bad value. The Canon 5DII is also well under $3,000 as another alternative in a full-frame 20+ MP camera.

With the value represented by the Nikon D700 as compared to the D3, and Canon 5DII as compared to the 1Ds MKIII, I feel that the days of the mega-pro DSLR are numbered. As Bernard wrote above, Nikon has just come late to the game, but the game is changing.

Cameras like the Leica S2 and forthcoming Nikon MX are, in my view, going to take their place for many photographers seeking a new high end. Yes, there will be some that buy the D3x, just as there are still those that buy the wonderful Nikon F5 film camera. Nikon is known for fighting rear-guard actions and doing so well.

So, I'm sure that Nikon will still sell some D3's and D3x's, and Canon some 1DMKIII's and 1DsMKIIIs, but I now believe that the days of these cameras as mainstream are passing, as much lower cost and competent alternatives become available.

That was the reasoning behind my cancellation of my D3x simply the acceptance that an era has passed and that value wasn't there (for me) at that price point. It might be for others though.

Michael
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billh
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« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2008, 07:36:53 AM »
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Hi Michael,

As is often the case, the arguments by intelligent people on both sides of this issue make sense. I think the continuous stream of financial gloom shoveled out by the news media is in large measure responsible for those of us who reacted with disappointment to the $8000 price tag. I switched from Nikon film cameras to the 1Ds, then 1D2 and 1Ds2, and my memory of the 1Ds2 is only how much I loved the image quality, and not about feeling any resentment over the price. I bought a D3 last fall because the AF tracking was markedly better for me than the Canons, and I absolutely love the camera. I kept all of my Canon gear so I would have a choice of camera bodies in the future, and while I absolutely understand your reasoning, I had looked forward to your comparison of the available higher resolution camera bodies. Any chance of this happening?

Thanks,

Bill
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Quentin
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« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2008, 07:47:09 AM »
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Quote from: image66
I'm sorry, but how long did it take you to get to this point of recognizing that we're being gouged?  For those of us struggling to make ends meet and who watch and stretch every dollar to the limit, we've never been able to afford these cameras which Michael and others are buying just so they can be on the cutting edge.  Michael (and others like Thom Hogan, etc) are grousing because they SUDDENLY FEEL RIPPED OFF!  HELLO?Huh


Ken

Great!   So if you have some money, you're not entitled to complain about being overcharged. Truly a unique argument.  

Quentin
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beamon
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« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2008, 07:59:20 AM »
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I wonder if Nikon might be pricing this camera in anticipation of large price increases of all that goes into making the camera. A world wide, severe recession coupled with currency devaluation (here in the US, for sure) could change our perception of pricing drastically in the future.

Sure hope I'm wrong, but between borrowing from others and printing currency as fast as we can, I have fear and trepidation going forward.
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« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2008, 09:33:54 AM »
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With prices for full frames dropping, I can see no rationalization for the price point of the D3X.  The money would be best spent on good glass for a D700 or 5DMkII.  And Sony isn't far behind either.  Faux pas, Nikon.
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GregW
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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2008, 10:37:05 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Fair comment.

The very frustrating thing for Nikon shooters though is that we have been waiting for years for Nikon to regain an credible position as far as high end goes, and when they do they make the body difficult to purchase because of a high price tag.

The conclusion is pretty obvious, being a Nikon shooter means that you'll basically always be one year behind the curve and will have to spend a lot of cash not to be a full 2 years behind.

Their offering might be 20% better during the few months they stay on top, but you will end up being 20% behind during the 1.5 years it will take them to catch up after the competition releases a newer flagship... you end up paying more and getting less average.

The perception is clearly that when you are late to the party you should have the humility to first apologize, and then bring with you a good bottle of wine for your hosts. The message Nikon is sending with the D3x is clearly "you should be happy that we come to the party at all, and please serve the champain quick".

Cheers,
Bernard

Over the last 12 months Nikon has caught and overtaken Canon's DSLR market share lead in major markets. To what extent do you think Nikon's hubris is due to this emboldened position?

My view is that Nikon believes it is now the market leader, who in this case is offering: more resolution; a better AF system; and a more complete pro lens line-up. Rather than following, I suspect this is driving Nikon to lead on pricing.

The D3x could be a fantastic camera, albeit an expensive one. The risk for Nikon is that their message is lost in a swirl of negative headlines and discussion. Will their confidence prove to be optimistic?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 10:39:07 AM by GregW » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2008, 10:45:16 AM »
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Quote from: GregW
Over the last 12 months Nikon has caught and overtaken Canon's DSLR market share lead in major markets. To what extent do you think Nikon's hubris is due to this emboldened position?

My view is that Nikon believes it is now the market leader, who in this case is offering: more resolution; a better AF system; and a more complete pro lens line-up. Rather than following, I suspect this is driving Nikon to lead on pricing.

The D3x could be a fantastic camera, albeit an expensive one. The risk for Nikon is that their message is lost in a swirl of negative headlines and discussion. Will their confidence prove to be optimistic?

That could very well be.

I don't doubt that the D3x is probably best in class as a 35 mm DSLR, although I don't believe that the gap is significant with the other 20+ MP offerings from Canon and Sony.

Priced 2000 US$ lower it would have been such an exciting release...

Cheers,
Bernard
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wtlloyd
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« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2008, 12:02:14 PM »
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Quote from: image66
But is anybody complaining about spending the approximately $3000 for a throwaway camera that is really no more than a fancy Digital Rebel in a metal box?  Take the current digital rebel, add $100 for the metal case, another $100 for the larger sensor.  Now try to justify the fact that Canon is ripping us off for another $2000.  Camera companies charge what they can charge because they know that we will get sucked in and pay whatever they want for the right to be the best dressed photographer at the next workshop.  I really can't imagine Michael or Thom showing up at their next workshop with a three-year-old digital camera. Mostly because this is their gig--to be on the cutting edge. I suppose the cutting edge no longer applies once they finally feel ripped off by one company. I suppose Michael is going to go off in a hissy fit now and sell all his Nikon gear.

......

In the end, how is this any different than us charging $2000 for a color inkjet print that cost us $75 to make?  Aren't we gouging the market ourselves?  I'm sure we'll come up with various excuses for our own pricing, but fail to give the same right to a camera company to price equipment in a similar fashion.

Ken


Well, at best your assumptions about manufacturing costs are uninformed. Sensor yield drops dramatically for the larger sizes, you are closer to a 10X shortfall in your cost estimate than you are correct. And, there's a lot more to making a FF camera work at decent frame rates than just upgrading the sensor. Try putting a Lamborghini engine block inside a Volkswagen Golf. By the way, how many millions are spent just to reduce the mfg costs to the amount you decry?

Another way of looking at it: say it really only cost $75 to mfg a $2000 print. How many prints do you sell at this price per year? What are the travel, education, equipment, living...well you know where I am going. Frankly, your post seems to be ignoring the most basic principle driving commerce:

TANSTAAFL!
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2008, 01:58:06 PM »
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I think the problem with the $8K price is that it's out of step with the market and the timing of the release. If the D3x had been announced before the 1DsMk3 (or even around the same time), I could maybe see the $8K price; although I think the price would have come down by now, just as the 1DsMk3 has. The only reason people paid $8K for the Canon offering is because it was the only option available.

But the D3x is not the first on the market, or even the 2nd. It's the FOURTH 20+mp DSLR to be released. Now you can argue that it will also be the best (and I think that's probably true, although just exactly how good the image quality is compared to the Canon/Sony bodies remains to be seen). But the D3x is a "peer" with the 1DsMk3, and a late-arriving one at that. Given that the 1DsMk3 is selling for $6600, pricing the D3x at $8K seems irrational and out of touch with reality.

Yeah sure, there will be a certain number of people ready to buy at $8K. But how many more customers would they have gotten at $6500? Quite a lot more IMHO. In fact this seems like such a bad move that I have to wonder if there's more to it than just arrogance on their part. Maybe they just don't have the sensor yields yet to meet the demand that a lower price would have generated. So given a fixed quantity that they can actually shipped they've decided to milk it for all they can.

There's also the matter of what this does to an eventual D700x release. I really don't see how they can release a D700x in the next year without ticking off even more people. With the 5DII and a900 both selling for under $3K already (who knows how much they'll have dropped by next summer/fall?), I don't see any way that Nikon could get away with charging more than $4K for a D700x. And that would make absolutely no sense with the D3x still priced at $8K, so they either have to drop the price on the D3x substantially and tick off the early adopters, or price the D700x such that it can't possibly compete against the Sony and Canon cameras.

Nikon has done a great job in the last couple years of building momentum in the pro and semi-pro market segments, and if they could have priced the D3x more competitively it would have built on that. But with the D3x priced as a small niche product, and no offering to compete with the semi-pro 20+mp DSLR's, I think Nikon will likely lose some of that momentum.
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aaronleitz
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« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2008, 03:11:50 PM »
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Will someone please explain to me who exactly the target market is for this camera? Being a little more specific than "high end pros" might help as well....

As far as I can tell, there is not a single group of working photographers who still shoot exclusively Nikon that can be overwhelmingly happy with this camera and its (as yet unproven) abilities considering the other current alternatives in the marketplace (5dmkII, 1dsmkIII, a900). It's a shame too for Nikon, because coming in at around $6,000 or so and this body would have sounded the death knell for the 1dsmkIII (though the 5dmkII has done much of that as well). Though Canon will probably update that sooner than later, leaving Nikon to play catch-up AGAIN.

If the d3x is indeed a "concept camera" meant as a symbolic gesture to the rest of the market that Nikon is king of the hill....I submit to you the US auto industry and it's wave of new concept muscle cars/full size trucks.

Bottom line: The proof will be in the raw files. They're gonna have to be spectacular.....
« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 04:27:28 PM by aaronleitz » Logged

James R
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« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2008, 03:18:05 PM »
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Don't buy this camera if you don't need it.  Why the complaints?  The D3x's price will drop in time, just as Canon's 1Ds3 did.  Maybe all this price angst is a by-product of the economic down turn.  I'm surprised this pricing caught everybody off guard.  I thought it was a given.  Michael makes a good point that the day of the high priced mega-pixel monsters has passed.  Time will tell.
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aaronleitz
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« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2008, 04:15:04 PM »
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Quote from: James R
Don't buy this camera if you don't need it.  Why the complaints?

This is exactly my question....At this price point, who needs this camera?

I'm not complaining so much as I am confused as to why Nikon would create such a camera that doesn't seem to suit the needs of any market.
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John Camp
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« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2008, 04:56:12 PM »
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The one aspect that could make all of this argument pointless is IQ -- image quality. Sample photos look excellent, but I'm not sure if any of the samples really push the envelope out of the 1DsIII range. If image quality is spectacular -- I mean really out of sight compared to the 1DsIII/5DII chips -- then Nikon may have something. I'm skeptical. I don't see that happening. But it's not impossible. We just don't *know* yet. But, that could be a game changer.

JC
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2008, 05:32:59 PM »
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Since when does the price charged have anything to do with the cost of production? It shouldn't. Nikon may not be getting the yields to ship camera in mass to everyone who wants one at the anticipated $5k price point (what I expected). Since those who use the camera productively want to put them to use asap, they should get first bite and at a price that gives them first opportunity without the 6 month wait if the masses were in the game.

This is just how business works. When the pipeline fills,the price will be lowered to allow production capacity to meet demand.

I too am disappointed and canceled my order with Midwest. To me the camera is a component of my hobby. I can see how it adds to the capability of someone who earns with the camera.

Why isn't anyone unhappy with Apple, best margins in the computer industry. We all pay up for ipods, iphones, imacs and Mac Pros with no complaint.

Marketing 101

bob


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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2008, 05:55:52 PM »
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Quote from: bob mccarthy
Why isn't anyone unhappy with Apple, best margins in the computer industry. We all pay up for ipods, iphones, imacs and Mac Pros with no complaint.

Because my Mac pro was cheaper than a comparable Dell workstation when I purchased it.

Cheers,
Bernard
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