Nikon announces two new cameras, lenses
By Jason Odell |
July 30, 2009 6:12 AM
Nikon has officially announced two new cameras and lenses available later this summer and fall. The following products were announced last night:
advanced DX format DSLR
Read my thoughts after the jump.
So what do I think about these products?
First of all, I'm not surprised that there is a new entry-level DSLR. Despite quality products in this area, the low-end market is where consumer competition is toughest. Consumers want to feel like they are getting something new; these cameras will compete with others side by-side on the shelf at the big box stores.
In a nutshell, the D3000 offers a 10 MP sensor with EXPEED processing, a 3" LCD display, 11-point AF, and Picture Controls. The D3000 includes the 18-55 VR kit lens in the price of $599 USD. Not bad!
The D300s, is a "tweak" to the venerable D300, hence the "s" designation. This does not surprise me, either-- the D300 is a fantastic camera, and this says a lot about that model's dominance. The sensor is still the 12MP DX one found in the D300 (although I wouldn't be surprised if it gets new tweaks inside to improve performance), you get dual CF/SD card slots, and the ability to shoot video (720p). I really like the fact that the D-pad on the back now gets the proper center button. The Live View button is now on the back of the camera and not on the shutter mode dial; again, an improvement in design. While most D300 owners won't need to upgrade, this is a necessary product refresh, IMO. A great camera got better.
List price: $1799.99 USD
Nikon has make updates to two of their existing lenses, by adding improved coatings and the new VR II system, which is supposedly good for 4-stops of improved stabilization power.
18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 AFS DX VR II
This is a tweak to the incredibly popular original. The new lens gets improved coatings, and a zoom lock switch to prevent the lens from extending while you are carrying it around your neck on a camera. I really like my current 18-200 VR, so I'm not sure I'm going to spend the $849 USD to upgrade, but for those looking to get this lens, it just got improved. The used market for the older version should heat up, too-- so there will be values out there to be had.
70-200mm f/2.8G AFS VR II
This is the one pro lens I own that I felt needed an upgrade over its current design. The previous 70-200mm just gets mushy in the corners on FX bodies, and has strong light fall-off characteristics. I can fix vignetting in post, but mushy corners at f/11 are a different story. So I'm happy to see this one announced. The new lens is shorter than its predecessor (good), but slightly heavier (oh, well). There is a new optical formula, Nano Crystal Coat, and of course, VR II. I expect this lens to have better performance on FX bodies and I'll probably end up upgrading! The downside: list price is $2399.95 USD. Ouch!