Nikon D400 is rumored to make a surprise appearance in September 2013, in order to reclaim the title of “flagship DX camera” from the recently-announced D7100.
The Nikon D300s has been the undisputed flagship DX camera for a number of years. This DSLR features a 12.3-megapixel image sensor and an EXPEED processor. It is aimed at wildlife and sports photographers, but the Japan-based company has announced that the D7100 is now the flagship shooter for enthusiast photographers.
Nikon D7100: is this really the “flagship DX camera”?
This bold claim in the camera’s official press release has left many people baffled. It was actually suggesting that the Nikon D7100 was supposed to replace both the D7000 and the D300s, thus unifying two very popular DX series.
However, shortly after that, a Nikon representative came back to his senses and announced that the D7100 is the flagship for the time being. Such a claim definitely indicates that the D300s is getting a successor, but details about it have been scarce, at least until now.
Nikon will definitely launch a D300s replacement
Sources close to the matter have revealed that the Nikon D400 is “definitely” coming, as the company has been working on it for a number of years. The camera should have been released by now, but it seems like the Japanese manufacturer has had good reasons to push back its launch date.
Furthermore, it appears that the Nikon D400 release date has been delayed at least a couple of times until now, but things have finally worked out and the DX-format DSLR might be announced this fall.
So why did Nikon delay D400’s launch?
There are three major reasons why photographers cannot purchase a Nikon D400 right now. The first one consists of the floods in Thailand, which have forced a lot of companies to close their factories.
The 2011 Thailand floods have compelled the Japanese maker to move its production lines elsewhere. Unfortunately, the Thailand factory was one of the most important and the company simply would have not been able to meet the customer demands, as it was expecting (and it still is) the D400 to be sold like hot pancakes, therefore it has decided to focus its efforts on the D7100.
The second reason refers to a lack of competition. Canon did not release an EOS 7D Mark II, so the D400 would have competed against the D300s and the D7100. Cannibalization is never a good idea, therefore there is no point in launching a new flagship X camera when there is nobody to compete against.
Canon 7D has been launched in Q3 2009, just like its competitor, the D300s. The rumor mill says that the 7D Mark II will be announced this fall or in early 2014, meaning that the D300s replacement will hit the market around the same time.
The final reason consists of the Nikon D7100 specs list. The camera features a powerful EXPEED 3 processing engine and a 51-point AF system, but these are not novelties. They can already be found in other DSLRs, while the extremely limited buffer is not something that could help wildlife and sports photographers, meaning that this device is not truly worth bearing the “flagship DX camera” crown.
Nikon D400 specifications sheet will include the same D7100 image sensor without an anti-aliasing filter, a new AF system, and a more advanced buffer, says the rumor mill. All these combined will be better for lensmen who are taking a lot of consecutive photographs.
Nikon D400 release date is September 2013 or early 2014
Sources are also speculating the DSLR’s release date. At this point, it appears that Nikon is simply waiting for Canon to make its move.
The camera will be launched in September this year or its announcement will be delayed until early 2014. If the Canon 7D Mark II comes this fall, then the D400 will definitely be introduced on the market around the same time.