More Rumors on Nikon D90, D10 & D3x

Earlier this week, Thom Hogan had some more insight on the new releases from Nikon for 2008.  Specifically, he noted on his site that Nikon gave an indication of low projected unit volume in the coming year.  He noted that Nikon’s commentary on this projection was that Nikon would focus on “upper end” cameras this year.  Thom noted futher how this was consistent with the rumors of the Nikon D3x.  Still, Thom notes, that doesn’t rule out the introduction of a Nikon D90 or a mid-level Nikon D10.  Both of these models are certainly higher up the food chain than the Nikon D40/D40x/D60 that have pushed Nikon up in the market over the past year or so.

More from Photography Bay:

Nikon D3x

Nikon D10

Nikon D90

Photokina 2008

Nikon D10

Nikon D10

The rumor mill is starting to firm up a bit for the fall line up. On the Canon end of things, we’re seeing the 5D Mark II as a solid front runner for release, as well as a possible update to the 1D Mark III with a Canon 1D Mark IIIn or Mark IV. On the Nikon side of the coin, we’ve seen a load of rumors point toward a Nikon D90 and D3X, with the D90 being a follow up to the D80 and the D3X a an all-but-confirmed 24 megapixel full frame flagship camera.

Recent days, however, have seen rumors surface of a Nikon D10. Thom Hogan, who (as I’ve quoted before) has a good ear to the ground for Nikon gear, has eluded to the possibility of a mid-grade full frame Nikon D10 coming as well. Of course, this is still in rumor mode; however, the D10 would be positioned in Nikon’s lineup at a spot above the D300 and below the D3. The D10 would compete more directly with Canon’s 5D (and, perhaps, 5D Mark II).

The best that I can tell, the clues go back to Nikon’s release of the MB-10 vertical grip for the Nikon D300.  If you recall, a similar thing happened with Sony when they announced the vertical grip (the VG-B30AM) with the A200 DSLR at CES, which led everyone to suspect a A300 in the works (and we saw it and the A350 appear at PMA).

Prior to the D300, all add-on vertical grips were named for the body on which they would mount (e.g. MB-D200 was for the D200). When Nikon announced the D300, one of my first questions was why is the vertical grip called the MB-D10? I’ve NEVER known Nikon to deviate from their naming policies, so I asked them where the D10 was. (via)

Discussing the upcoming Olympic Games:

There certainly will be D3, 200mm f/2, 300mm f/2.8, 400mm f/2.8, 500mm f/4, and 600mm f/4 all available for the sports, but it would be a missed opportunity not to have a D3x, D10, and any new lenses there, as well. (via)

Discussing Fuji’s position relative to Nikon’s DSLR lineup:

Case in point: imagine if a D10 had the D300-type body with the D3 sensor, but at a “moderate” price. Of, the D10 had the D300-type body with a sensor mid-range between the D3 and D3x, say 18mp, but at a “moderate” price. (via)

Responding to claims that he has no inside knowledge of Nikon’s R&D:

. . . . Actually, quite a bit of what I’ve posted in the past has come from within Nikon. The problem is that Nikon, like most companies, has multiple things going on simultaneously and the actual products that make it to market are a subset of what is tested. There were so many prototypes in the D3 process, for instance, that it became increasingly unclear what was going on and what the final product might look like. . . .

. . . the MB-D10 is an interesting clue. Nikon hasn’t really deviated in naming for some time, so this was a real puzzler. As for how long it might have taken for a D10 to appear, I think Canon’s long delay in introducing a 5DII and Sony’s delay in the A900 are probably part of the reason. Perhaps they were prepared to go one way (D3 sensor) if they had to move faster, another (the rumored 18mp sensor) if they had more time.

. . . if Nikon MISSES the Olympics with the D3x intro (and possibly the D10), they miss a HUGE opportunity . . .  (via)

On the timing of releasing a new D10 or D3X:

*”Olympics”–the biggest gathering of pro photographers in one place this year, and a clear pro opportunity. Announce just before (July), provide loaners at the event would be the usual scenario.

*”Photokina”–not much after the Olympics, but the biggest gathering of photo retailers and decision influencers this year. If you haven’t announced by Photokina, you lose a great deal of press and retail leverage. (via)

So, is the Nikon D10 a sure thing?  No, we’re still in rumor and speculation world at this point.  Does Thom raise some interesting points about a potential Nikon D10 in the near future?  I think so.  We’ll see if these rumors bear fruit in the months ahead and keep the D10 on the Photokina watch list.

UPDATES

6/10/08:  Purported images of the Nikon D10 surface. (Read more)

5/22/08:  More rumors on the Nikon D10 from Thom Hogan.  (Read more)