Nikon made it official on Monday December 1, the Nikon D3X is the new top of the line Nikon DLSR.

The camera boast an impressive list of features (very similar to the Nikon D3)

  • Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with 24.5 megapixels
  • ISO 100 – 1600
  • EXPEED-based image processing
  • Scene Recognition System 
  • 51-point AF
  • High-resolution 3-inch LCD monitor with reinforced glass
  • Two Live View modes 
  • Picture Control System
  • Active D-Lighting
  • Electronic virtual horizon
  • UDMA-compatible memory card double slot

So why is there so much uproar over the new camera from Nikon. Well, it is the price: $8000 

I wasn’t going to write any more about the D3X becasue it is simply not a camera I want or can afford. I don’t do much landscape photography and my clients don’t need images that big. I still use a Nikon D2H on occasion which is a 4 megapixel camera, so a 24 megapixel is overkill for me in those situations.

I am sure there are many working photographers out there that will need one, and get one. The uproar seems to be from a group of folks who think the Nikon D3X is overpriced. A sampling of the comments from DPreview:

Is that price possibly for real? 

The economy is collapsing and they want to charge 8 grand for this camera? Did they somehow miss the memo that commercial photographers are in a world of hurt with all the ad and marketing dollars being frozen?

 

I’d never pay any one $8000 for a camera,…no matter what it does!

 

I honestly think this price must be a typo. There is zero reason it shouldn’t cost exactly the same as D3. In fact I might even let it be a bit cheaper (maybe 100 bucks) given it has a more commodity sensor. The US press release had a typo on the sensor about being 5.49 um instead of the correct 5.94um, maybe someone goofed the price as well

Over at Photoshop Insider, there were 31 comments on the small post announcing the D3X, 99% of them negative about the price, and when Scott Kelby posted a follow up this morning with comments by Moose Peterson, there were another 42 comments at last count, most of them negative about the price. 

Nikon has made a serious error here that will impact their user base and their own long-term fortunes. We are in a recession/depression economy now, and we are a price-aware market. We know that the D3x costs the same to make as the D3. We know then that Nikon is charging an exorbitant premium.

 

They are offering basically a overpriced, low production model to tell the world they are still in business. They have already cut back on production in China, so it seems to me they are willing to further reduce production on items the public wants because of the world-wide financial crunch.

Follow me here, I think that folks expect the top Nikon camera to always be priced around $5000. It doesn’t matter what the camera does or doesn’t do, $5000 is the top price for a Nikon SLR. The F5 cost $5000, the D2X cost $5000, the D3 cost $5000, so the D3X should cost $5000 and it doesn’t. 

Let me reiterate, I don’t plan on getting the D3X, I just don’t need it. It doesn’t suit my needs. Part of that is the price, part of that is that I use the higher ISO range a lot, and part of that is that I get great images from the gear I use now.

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