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More D600! Mehr Stürm und Dräng!

Read all about it! Looks like there's some photos of the rumored Nikon D600 in a Chinese forum linked to by 1001 Noisy Cameras. The posting, here, looks to be of a fairly cheaply built camera. I say cheap because when you look at the full sized image you should note what seems to be a mold line down the right side of the left hand grip. Of course this could be an artifact produced by the camera that took this image, or perhaps due to some not-quite-fancy Photoshopping. The overall body looks to be a lot simpler, with none of the ports and covers that cover the front and sides of the Nikon D700, or any other FX class camera before the D600.
From what I can tell it looks like nothing that Nikon currently sells, from the D90 through the D7000, D300, and D700. Lower-end Nikons (D5100 and lower) don't have the two buttons on the front near the grip, nor the manual/auto focus switch on the lower right mirror box. If this is a Photoshop fake, then it's a very believable Photoshop fake. But then I'm easy to fake out.

If anything it looks like Nikon is really trimming down to make this camera as cheap to sell as possible, especially if it's really supposed to sell for around US$1,500.

Then there's the rumor about a Nikon D400 that's supposed to replace the aging Nikon D300 DX body, selling for US$1,800. What? A DX body selling for more than an FX body? How's that supposed to work?

Finally, there's the rumor that Pentax will produce the worlds smallest FX-class DSLR, using the same Sony 24MP sensor that Sony will use in its rumored α99 and Nikon in the rumored D600. Pentax knows how to make very small 35mm film cameras, and proved it with the Pentax ME. The problem with this is the rumored price of US$2,820.

When I stopped laughing I cast my gaze over to the Pentax K-5 which is now around US$900. When it was first released it was pegged at around $1,600. Pentax was forced to lower the price when Nikon released the D7000, an equivalent environment-resistant camera with the same 16MP sensor for US$1,200 and it's been dropping ever since. I don't care what anybody says, if Pentax tries to push a near $3,000 35mm DSLR into this market it will have its collective ass handed back to it by at least Sony and Nikon, especially Nikon, for even if Nikon were to sell the D600 for US$1,800, not $1,500, it would still be a good $1,000 cheaper than the Pentax. And it would be a Nikon.

Bill's Take

Nikon D600 yes, Nikon D400 maybe, Pentax Digital ME hell no.


  1. I have no idea if that D600 photo is real or not, but I was expecting basically a D7000 body with a full-frame sensor inside, and this seems pretty close. I must say I've been very impressed with Nikon's aggressiveness lately, with the 36mp D800, and now the 24mp D3200. An entry level full-frame DSLR at well under $2000 USD will certainly make some waves.

    As for Pentax, their user base has been wanting a full-frame camera for sometime. The nice thing about Pentax cameras it they've kept the legacy K-mount, and from what I understand more than a few Pentax enthusiasts have been stocking up on old K-mount lenses to use on the new full-frame DSLR.

    Of course, they'll need to stock up on the old lenses, as there are only a couple lenses in the current Pentax line-up that will work on a full-frame camera. Still, even if it's just a boutique item, the Pentax crowd will be thrilled--good for them.

    So if Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony all have new, full-frame cameras out by 2013, who does that leave out? Oh yeah, Olympus.

    4/3 for ever!

    1. Just remember that a lot of this "prognostication" is done with tongue firmly planted in cheek...


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