Rumor: Nikon D400 at 14.8 Megapixels

Sure as tomorrow is coming, a Nikon D400 will come . . . some day.  When?  I can’t say for sure.  I’d wager that PMA 2009 (in March) would be a good place to announce it.  Frankly, I’m surprised that we haven’t seen more rumors on this camera lately.  As far as DSLRs go, it’s the next big thing for Nikon.

Nikon Rumors is reporting some rumored specs of the Nikon D400 (at a price tag of $2000) from an anonymous source, which are as follows:

  • New 14.8 megapixel DX format CMOS sensor effective 14.3 megapixel
  • Self-cleaning sensor unit (low-pass filter vibration)
  • ISO 100 – 6400 (with boost up to ISO 25600 and down to ISO 50)
  • 14-bit A/D conversion
  • Movie capture at up to 1080p 24 fps with stereo sound
  • Nikon EXPEED Plus image processor 30% faster than previous EXPEED image processor
  • Super fast operation (power-up 13 ms, shutter lag 40 ms, black-out 90 ms)
  • Kevlar / carbon fibre composite shutter with 200,000 exposure durability
  • Multi-CAM3500DX Auto Focus sensor (51-point, 15 cross-type, more vertical coverage)
  • Auto-focus tracking by color (using information from 1005-pixel AE sensor)
  • Auto-focus calibration (fine-tuning) now available (fixed body or up to 20 separate lens settings)
  • Vignetting control in-camera
  • Automatic chromatic aberration correction
  • Custom image parameters now support brightness as well as contrast
  • Seven frames per second continuous shooting (nine frames per second with battery pack)
  • 3.0″ 922,000 pixel LCD monitor
  • Live View with either phase detect (mirror up/down) or contrast-detect AF, face detection
  • ‘Active D-Lighting’ (adjusts metering as well as applying D-Lighting curve)
  • Detailed ‘Control Panel’ type display on LCD monitor, changes color in darkness
  • Buttons sealed against moisture
  • Same ultra-fast startup and shutter lag as D700
  • Scene Recognition System (uses AE sensor, AF sensor)
  • Picture Control image parameter presets
  • UDMA compatible single CF card slot
  • Virtual horizon indicates if camera is level (like an aircraft cockpit display)
  • Extensive in-camera retouching
  • HDMI HD video output
  • Magnesium alloy body with connections and buttons sealed against moisture

[via NR] Plausible?

I think so.  These specs seem like a solid response to both the Canon 50D and Canon 5D Mark II.  Given the bargain price of the Canon 50D, however, I’m not too sure how bad it will hurt the 50D.  $2000 is a bit of a magic number for prosumer DSLRs and it may be enough to sway those Nikonians looking to switch to the 5D Mark II if these specs and price point turns out to be true.

For now, stay tuned to Photography Bay’s Nikon D400 coverage for the latest news and rumors.

Nikon D400

Rumors of a Nikon D400 have recently began to surface.  A couple of reputable sources, Thom Hogan and DPR forum user jeff-c, have alluded to a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor manufactured by Sony being placed in the D400. (via DPR)  While December 1 has been speculated as the announcement date for the past week or so, no confirmation has come yet.  jeff-c said that Nikon would announce a high-MP 135-size DSLR in about 45 days back around the end of October – so the first half of December looks pretty promising.

Thinking back to a little over a year ago, the announcement of a D400 makes more sense.  Recall that last Fall, Nikon announced the D3 and D300 together.  Both cameras were shockers and solid performers.  Imagine what a D4 (or D3x) and a D400 combo would be like – with the D4 at 24+ megapixels on an FX sensor and the D400 as a 16 megapixel DX DSLR.

Additionally, the D400, when announced, would almost certainly have the ability to capture HD video like its sibling D90.  In fact, I would expect the D400 video capabilities to be closer to that of the Canon 5D Mark II with audio-out capabilities and full 1080p capture.

And, while the timing is a little shorter than typically seen in Nikon’s DSLR cycle, the early (i.e., 12 mos. cycle) announcement of the 15 megapixel Canon 50D may force Nikon’s hand with the D400.

If the Nikon D400 isn’t announced in December 2008, you can almost bank on it for PMA 2009 though.

Stay tuned for the latest news and rumors on the Nikon D400.

UPDATES:

1/27/09 – Spy Shot of Nikon D400?

2/5/09 – Nikon D400 book on Amazon.de.

4/5/09 – Possible April 14, 2009 announcement.

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