Thoughts on the new overpriced Nikon D600 @nikonUSA – Consumer camera at a pro price

I was pretty excited about the D600’s announcement but after the price of $2095 was announced, I lost all that enthusiasm.  Sure, part of that is because the rumored price of this camera was about $1600-$1900 so a $2100 price was a shocker.   More importantly however,  if the D600 was a camera that was worthy of that price point, I would tip my hat and get out my credit card, but the more I look at it, the more I see that this is a D7000 (a consumer grade mid range camera for enthusiasts on a budget and soccer moms) slapped together with an FX sensor and commanding a semi-pro camera price and it really is worth $1600-$1900.

One thing that bothers me is the 1/200 sync speed.  David Hobby had an excellent article on the subject of why 1/3 of a stop matters on his blog:  http://strobist.blogspot.com/2012/09/nikon-d600-think-twice-before-you-jump.html .  I’ve had a D90 which also has a 1/200 sync speed and I can honestly say it is a point of annoyance when I’m trying to use fill flash outside on a moving subject because 1/200 is just below the threshold of having motion blur on a relatively slow moving subject and getting that extra 50th of a second can come in really handy in getting a sharper picture.  Not to mention that 1/3 stop extra power on a speedlight gives the speedlight that much more power.

I could live with the 1/4000th max shutter speed since the ISO goes down to 100 but why not have the best of both worlds?  It seems as if the shutter is not going to be that strong.  Then there is the smaller body, cheap consumer viewfinder and AF system, lack of a pc port, and the list goes on and on. 

It remains to be seen how many they will sell, but when I add it up, I think Nikon’s marketing made a huge miscalculation on what to charge for this camera.  It seems that an MBA at Nikon took the lazy way out and used this formula:

D7000’s initial price was $1200

D7000’s replacement shutter (on ebay at least) is $400

So a D7000 without a shutter when first released in theory is worth $800

An FX D700 shutter is about $1300

So in theory Nikon thought that if they just add an FX replacement sensor and put it in that body (I know, everything else would need to be redesigned too), it would be $1300+$800 which is $2100, the list price for the D600.  Sounds smart right? Not unless you think your customers are stupid.

D700 was a $3000 camera and that was 4 years ago and a first of its kind.  In 4 years, sensor technology has dramatically improved and there are many more cameras with FX sensors so I highly doubt that it cost Nikon exactly the same amount to produce the same size sensor.   Not only that, this is a mass produced camera in places like Thailand and not Japan. 

Even though on paper the pricing scheme may work out, in real life, this is just an overpriced consumer grade camera demanding professional camera pricing and is overpriced.   Sorry Nikon, I wanted to love this camera.  I waited for this camera, but at least at this price, I can hold out.

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on the new overpriced Nikon D600 @nikonUSA – Consumer camera at a pro price

  1. You took the clicks right off my keyboard. I loved my Nikons for decades but feel that we are being , especially in the UK where the price is even higher, for a load of mugs.

    My money stays in the bank!

    1. ooo a comment! I don’t get much of these. Yeah from what I’ve read, the UK folks are really getting hosed here and it’s almost better to buy a D800. I think that is mostly the fault of UK(or is it Europe) Nikon though as they set the price for the region. For now though, my money is staying in the bank…there seems to be an uproar across the board regarding the price so there may be a reduction some time in the future.

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