Nikon, today, released the D4 - the successor to the D3s, and I've been asked if I will get one. Short answer, is no. But if you are trying
to decide there are a couple of ways to figure this out.
26 months ago I bought the D3s - which replaced the long in the tooth D2h.
The D2h was a great camera, but I out grew it. When the mega-pixel race was on there those who would argue that MP didn't matter, and there were those who knew better. This is a bit of a long back story but it's an important part to the decision when weighing the why.
The D2h was a love it and hate it piece. The AF was thoroughbred, the files were small and easy to manage and the body fit the hand like a glove. ASA's could be pushed to 1200 with great results.
On the flip side, it was only 4mp - so forget anything bigger than 12x19 and to push that limit you had to nail the exposure and know what you were doing in post. The JPG engine was crap - and the reds and greens were bad for jpg and marginal for RAW. Every single image - and I shot a lot of images with that camera, had to be touched - and that was ok, as I had nothing else to compare it too. The only better in the market place was the D2x and that you couldn't shoot past 800 ASA, and it was twice the price on a good day used.
As this was my first - I decided on a $1200 used D2h.
The D3 was released 6 months after I purchased the used D2h.
I was still in my learning curve though - and shooting a kit lens, 18-135 f3.5-5.6, with really good results, before I even know what the D3 could do - I still lusted after the D3.
Two years latter I finally started to get frustrated with the D2h - the reds and greens were a pain - the images lacked detail, and I wanted something new. So I worked two jobs and saved the $5,200 for the upcoming D3s - rumored, but yet to have been announced.
Long story longer - I ordered it when it was announced in Aug of 2009 - and it changed my game.
The images are like butter, colors are spot on - I have a two-three stop latitude if I want to adjust or really screw something up - AF is even more racehorse and it's full frame. Did I say full frame. Oh -- and it can shoot in the dark - I exaggerate with that last comment, but lets say it puts me in the 5%.
So since I'm still totally happy with the D3s - and it's paid for itself this year - I will still have at least 2 years left until the D4s is announced.
Then I may get a new body. The other side of this argument is save the cash for Lenses - and I'll discuss that in a later post.
I can't wait to see the photographers at the Summer Olympics flying the Nikon flag - good luck Canon.