Nikon finally released the D800 and restarted the Pixel war (if it ever ended). With a whopping 36 megapixels on the same size of sensor as the D700 & D3s, we can say goodbye to that fantastic high ISO performance that made a lot of Canon shooters jump ship. I personally, have waited a year for the D800 to appear and the disappointment has been huge. This camera should have had a built-in battery grip and been called the D4x in my opinion. Do Nikon really think that moving from the D700 to the D800 is a natural step? Most people that bought the D700 were looking for a full frame camera with great high ISO performance and possibly a fast frame rate. The D800 has none of that. It has huge files that will fill up our hard drives three times faster.
Now I'm not saying there isn't a place for a 36 megapixel camera, as there are photographers that would like to shoot medium format cameras but can't afford too, so the D800 might bridge the gap between DSLR and something like a Phase One. But for those of us that want evolution instead of revolution, where do we go now? Nikon have announced that they will continue to make the D700 for the foreseeable future (depending on demand), but although it's still a great camera, it is an older model that needs updated. I myself would be moving from a D300 and D300s to full frame. The D700 would be a step backward from the later as it doesn't have dual card slots, which is a must for any wedding photographer. Likewise for Quiet Mode, which is essential during a ceremony.
But there is a bit of a puzzle in Nikon's current line-up. The Rumor mill, including Nikon Rumors, has a D400 on the horizon, but the D7000 has both moved into the space of the D300s and overtaken it in features and performance. So if there is no place for a D400 in the crop sensor line-up and there is now a gaping hole in the full frame sensor line-up, could it be that Nikon will move the D400 to full frame or is the D300/D400 range dead?
I'll probably buy a D700 to replace my D300 and then I'll wait to see what happens with a possible D400. If it turns out to be a 16 megapixel full frame camera, I'll replace the D300s with that. If there is no full frame sensor with reasonable amount of pixels, I'll probably stick with the D300s. At this point though, I feel as though Nikon have deserted photographers like myself, which I feel are more of a majority than a minority.
But as Steve Jobs used to say...there is one more thing! In the next two or three weeks, I will take delivery of the new Fujifilm X-Pro1, an 18mm f2 and a 35mm f1.4. I have been far more impressed with sample images from this new 16 megapixel APS-C sensor than the ones from the full frame 36 megapixel D800. Have a look at what Zack Arias has been shooting with an early model X-Pro1 and you'll see what I'm talking about.