Imaging Resource links to a Nikon press release about the D70, Nikon’s answer to the Digital Rebel. Nikon is late to the party (though they don’t mention it in their press release). They are expecting to ship their cameras by Spring 2004. With Nikon’s track record, we could see the camera in Sprint 2004 or it might not make it ou until sometime mid-2005.
This is in stark contrast with the launch of the Digital Rebel by Canon. They kept a tight lid on the project, announced it, had catalog numbers a few weeks later, and about a month after that there were a good number of them hitting the street. The camera is still on allocation, meaning that whenever cameras come in to the country, the regional reps decide who gets how many. The cameras are trickling in though.
Nikon’s announcement is much more vague than Canon’s was, which tells me that they are much further behind in the manufacturing process. They probably don’t want to release any/many specs because they are still in flux. Hopefully they will use a high quality/high megapixel sensor (6+ megapixels). They list the magnification factor as 1.5x, which means that they are at least using the same size sensor. If they’re smart, they’ll either use the same chip that ships with the D100 or go with a similar quality chip that is a little less expensive to produce.
They will probably develop a consumer DX lens akin to the 18-55 that ships with the Digital Rebel. Nikon does have a nice lineup of DX lenses designed exclusively for their digital cameras. They have an ultrawide fisheye and a pair of ultra wide zooms.
It is too early to tell what the price point is going to be, but it is going to have to come in under $1000 with lens in the US in order to avoid laughing stock status. If Nikon is smart they will be able to set a new price point when they introduce the camera. By the time they get D70’s on the streets, the Digital Rebel will have been out for some time, and should be selling for at least a hundred bucks less than its initial $1000 pricetag with lens.
The entry level digital SLR lanscape just got a lot more interesting. Expect more detailed specs at PMA in February.
DPReview thinks that it will come in at $999 for body only. I hope for Nikon’s sake that this number is wrong.
All of this negativity would lead one to think that I’m anti-Nikon. I’m not. I happen to own Canon equipment, but that is because an amazing deal on some used equipment fell in my lap several years ago. If I had not picked up my Elan II rig, I would have probably saved up for a Nikon N90s, which along with the F3 is one of my favorite SLRs. My problem with Nikon is that they’re constantly shooting themselves in the foot. I feel bad to see a company do that, and it often comes out as cynical negativity.