Saturday, January 9, 2010

Nikon D900 Coming?

Rumblings are beginning to be heard about a new DSLR from Nikon.  It's going under the designation of the D900.

While a new cool piece of gear from Nikon would be great, there is some strangeness to where it would find its place in the Nikon roadmap.  It's not simply a matter of making a camera to fit a market for Nikon.  For those that are not familiar with Nikon, here's a brief look at their naming structures from their inception to now.  And, yes, they are highly predictable and consistent.

Starting with film cameras, the professional models had the designation of Fx, starting with the F and ending with the still prominent F6.  The next step down from the flagship film cameras was the F100.  There was only one Fxxx, but you'll see the parallels in a moment.  The SLR consumer film cameras had a designation of N.  So, the highest end consumer camera was the N90.  They also had Nxxxx numbers like the N2020.  Each designation represented a different market for them, including separate designations for even the point and shoots like the Coolpix.  Lastly, it's important to note that the higher numbers always represented the better camera (in each market).  So, a Nikon progression would be to start with two digits, either even numbers or odds (N50, N70, N90).  Then they would move to the other in replacing those models.  Then they would move to the off numbers like N65 and N75.  You get the picture (yes, the puns are always intended).

So, what does the DSLR market look like for them?  They started out with the landmark D1 and have moved up the numbers like expected.  Any small advancements get an S added to the name like the new D3s.  The highest end gets the X, currently the D3x.  They have recently added their Dxxxx models which are the D3000 and the D5000.  Then there are the Dxx models that have followed their normal naming process, D40, D60, D80, and D90. Finally, there are the Dxxx models.  There is, currently, the D300/D300s and the D700.

So, history lesson over, what is so strange about the D900 rumored?  The D900 would max out that number market leaving only room to insert a new model between the D300s and the D700.  Sure, you could add the D800, but the D900 basically fills that spot because anything much greater than the D700 would be as good as or better than the Dx models.  Confusing?  Does it really matter?  No, on both questions.  However, if the rumors are true, it will be quite interesting to see what other models will be replaced, including the D3x.  Ah, now you see where I'm going!  A D900 will mean there's probably other new goodies to follow.  It's all a numbers game...

For more information on the latest Nikon rumors, go to the Nikon Rumors site.


@inabeanpod said...

I wonder why my D70 wasn't really a D10? Starting from the bottom and working your way up? that makes since to me. But why have a D50 (2005), D40 (2006), D40x (2007) and D60 (2008) come after a D70 (2004)?

AWChris said...

The D50 and D70 were the odd numbered series. They switched to the evens after that with the D40 and the D80. The D40x was an anomaly that turned into the D60. D90 still fits as a flagship of that market. Why they don't start low to leave more room is a good question.