After my last post talking about DSLR vs Medium Format I thought I would talk to some of my friends at Fotocare and Digital Transitions about the gear that’s hot right now.
These results are quite obvious considering of how outdated the Mark IIIs are… once the Mark IV arrives these numbers shall be slightly different.
Nikon is trying their best to give you the best features, handling, build and most important IQ. Another interesting point is that D3 sales appear to be unaffected by the introduction of the D700. If those figures approximate to the global sales situation, the D3x is the bigger revenue driver.
I think the 18MP rumor was garbage and that the D4 will be a 24MP replacement for the D3x achieving ISO 6400 or better.
If D3x are selling that fast there is going to be no problem at all working through the inventory. Clearly Nikon needs to get a compact full frame 24MP camera out there to compete with Canon. Since the D800 would have to come out a decent interval later, probably 6 months, Nikon really has to get a move on with the D4 so that they can launch the D800. I guess that there may be other differences besides the sensor, perhaps more autofocus points, perhaps a WiFi connect feature.
I really hope that the statistics concerning the D3 sales not being significantly affected by the D700 sales is correct worldwide.
Again, if Nikon came up with a brilliant line of F4 zooms at a reasonable price, this would be a no brainer for me; the lenses keep me in Canonland for the time being. To get the real story though, you have to look at the numbers for the D700 (#500) the D300s (#150) and the getting long in the tooth D90 (#17).
The Amazon data definitely confirms that Canon is getting creamed in the flagship sales market. Looking at this data, and bearing in mind the fondness Nikon has for upgrading stuff that annoys the FX fanboys, I would suggest that the next camera out of the gate will be an upgrade to the D90. I am a fan of NIkon, I have to say that this data is skewed because it fails to include the D700 and the 5DMII. Put yet another way, this chart makes no mention of purple elephants, alien spaceships, lost cities (eg Atlantis), Elvis impersonators, or cameras that were released or announced in the last 6 months.
Generally I find there are more Nikon shooters than Canon where I am, that said Canon users generally have two bodies and both are pretty nice. But if you look at the Amazon sales ranks, it is pretty clear that a graph of sales in the professional segment would be the same as for the flagship segment. I think sometime earlier this year sales data was released showing nikon with a 75% share of the 2000$+ camera market. Nikon cameras are superb, no doubt, they just need to update ther wide and tele primes, yesterday. I can’t really see pros with $10000 worth of Canon lenses switching to Nikon as fast as that graph tries to suggest. Couple Nikons game changing, trend setting leaps in camera capabilities with Canons shortcomings in their pro body robustness (autofocus, low iso noise, etc), and you get Canon shooters switching in droves. The heading means total number of cameras sold and we can see the four flags: Japan, USA, EU, and China. Not so meaningful victory for Nikon, as the flagship for Canon has been 5D Mark II for a while, at least until 1D Mark IV. The market share data is from four major markets: Japan, US, EU, and China as indicated by the flags in the upper right corner.


What I find much more interesting is that the D700 introduction does not seem to have affected the D3 sales. Might want to spend some time reading the Fake Chuck Westfall blog before standing too long behind that prediction. I have read most of the comments here and it seems most of you have failed to look at the criteria of the graph.
It describes Professional cameras in the PRO MARKET and then describes the PRO MODELS available from both Canon and Nikon since 11-2007 (November 2007) to 7-2009 (July 2009). You cannot include the newer pro bodies introduced after the date of the graph as it did not exist or was not for sale then. Canon has two bodies declared as ‘professional bodies’ by them and so does Nikon! People have always been sensitive to what they perceive as what a manufacturer labels as a PRO body and then they question that.
Often a professional model has features that the others do not and then sometimes they surpass the pro model with a newer non-pro model, as most pro models are designed for a longer term use and not updated as often nor changed much so that working pros do not have to deal with new and sharp learning curves. Canon trying to beat the competition by increasing megapixels and neglecting other features which makes a camera great (such as AF and IQ) have severely backfired on them.
If you look at sales of the D3 they are essentially unaffected by the the introduction of the D3x.
Yes these are share figures, but if people were buying the D700 instead of the D3 I would expect to see a gap in D3 sales. I have no inside information here but I would guess arrival within the next 6 months with first shipments to top photojournalists being made about 2 months before the World Cup. It also means that there really does not need to be any concern about protecting the flagship sales by delaying launch of the compact body.
But its pretty clear that getting the D4 out fast is more important than loading up the features. But if we see an upgrade to add the D300 autofocus sensor it is a good bet that the D400 will not be far behind.
The D3s was recently released, and as usual new and hot, compared to the Canon 1Ds Mark III which is more than 2 years old. The 5DMk2 competes with both D700 and D3X, and the addition would make a bigger difference. Where I find a canon shooter would have something like a D3 & D200 in comparison terms. Lets simply use our camera on the fly and choose a single point for some low light focusing goodness.. I can say the exact opposite lately, although admittedly regarding tourists and general population, not pros.
It may be a biased sample but I think it shows how close they are in the general DSLR market and how much they dominate.
I find this really hard to believe but then the D3 has an identical half-priced sister, the D700 while the D3X stands by itself.
Canon may have a stronghold in the United States, but in many Asian countries Nikon has an enormous market share due to historical reasons. I like it when Nikon does well, but also when Canon, Sony, Pentax , etc… does well, too.
Since some countries put the date as 2007-11 and others as 11-2007 to describe the month and year of November 2007, then perhaps this is causing problems in reading the clear graph. When we look at another graph, say next year (2010), then we will be able to see the emerging trends then as facts based upon newer released bodies declared as professional bodies by the Camera Manufacturers themselves.


It is not about the merits of a camera body or not, but is about sales of declared pro bodies to pros. To me the D700 remains the single most attractive camera in the Nikon’s line-up for a reasonable budget which makes me ponder once in a while whether to switch. But the D90 is by far the most important camera in the lineup, it makes the most profit and drives the most lens sales. Canon does have a lead in the entry level bracket, but it is rather telling that the D90 is in the same ballpark.
I don’t know what Canon were thinking when they put their buttons on the bottom of the screen instead of the left. I would like to see stats on the buyers of Nikon DSLRs who converted from Canon (and vice versa). At any rate, both brands are superb and competition drives up innovations and drives down costs. That creates competition, and drives companies to innovate, and also lower prices, when they see a possible threat to their sales. I also don’t like Canon keep making higher pixels output instead of improving the proformance on High ISO. Same now with the D3 and the D700 plus the Canon 5D Mk2 -vs- the 21 megapixel Canon professional model. Wouldn’t it make more sense to update the D3x first, get it up to ISO 6400 and then update the D3? Clearly that has to go into the flagship first and if that is done the result will be worth the D4 moniker. Next to the D90, the D300 is the next most important, almost certainly the major driver of high end lens sales. Again, this is likely due to the fact that lower end customers have bricks and mortar options, or possibly that Amazon customers look at the D5000 and decide to spend the extra $100 for the D90.
And it feels like you have to be an ace guitarist to change ISO with only your right hand comfortably (on the 40D at least). In the consumer market the Rebel series will continue to stay dominant and will continue to break new shooters into the market.
Perhaps that’s why they are holding off on the D700x or D800 or whatever future body that will carry the 24 mp sensor. I never wish any single brand to dominate world-wide share because that’ll be the end of innovations. D3s does a very good job on High ISO setting – though I also think D3s better to slightly improve the resolution to 14M pixels at least.
Canon had a hard time with the 1D III and Nikon had been making great strides in all areas. Thankfully they finally have one (the new 70-200mm VRII ) that will be available one day, but even this lens will still be awhile before we can get one.
With the introduction of the universally praised 7D and the soon-to-be released 1D IV, which I assume will be very competitive given that Canon knows they cannot screw up again, any sort of considerable lead Nikon has in the professional market should not be expected to hold. What good is all the new DSLR bodies you produce or improve on if we don’t have or can’t order the glass we desperately want to use with them?



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