Scott’s Quick Nikon D3x Pricing Q&A


I’m teaching my Lightroom Live Tour in Los Angeles today, so I’m just going to do a quick Q&A to address some things that happened earlier this week regarding my post on the introduction and pricing of the Nikon D3x. Here we go:

Q. First, did Douglas Sonders Guest Blog yesterday kick major butt or what?
A. Absolutely! I was so tickled to see the level and depth of what he showed. A lot of people promise to show you “the whole thing” but then fall short, but I thought Douglas really delivered, and if you look at the comments from yesterday, he just got an awful lot of new fans. Well done, Douglas! I’d love to have him back again for sure!

Q. You’ve taken a lot of heat because you mentioned on Monday that Nikon introduced a new camera. So, are you getting a D3x?
A. Nope.

Q. You’re not getting a new D3x? Why not?
A. That particular camera is not for me. I know there are photographers who need 23-megapixels for their type of work, but I don’t need it for what I shoot (heck I could probably get away with just 8 or 10 megapixels), so a D3x just doesn’t make sense for me.

Q. But then you’ll have to live with the pain of knowing that you’re not shooting with Nikon’s highest top-end camera!
A. It’s a pain I’ll just have to live with, but somehow, I’ll get by.

Q. Won’t Nikon send you a free D3x?
A. Nikon has never sent me a free camera. In fact, Nikon doesn’t even send me review units to test for a week or so, so I seriously doubt they’ll be suddenly sending me their top of the line camera free.

Q. Yeah, but what if they did?
A. I’d try it out for a few days, but then I’d go back to my D3. I just don’t want to work with images that big. 23-megapixels files are going to fill my memory cards twice as fast, and my hard drives twice as fast, and make Photoshop twice as slow, so I’m perfectly happy with my D3 and D300.

Q. So, do you think the price of the D3X is too high?
A. Personally, I think it should have been priced around $6,500, but that’s just my opinion (by the way, if it was $6,500 I still wouldn’t buy it, because again—I don’t need it for what I shoot). That being said, it’s not fair for me to tell Nikon what their pricing should be, anymore than I’d like Nikon to try and tell me what price I should sell my books for. Right now, $8,000 is their starting price. A year or so from now, it may be less, or they may do something wonderful like they did with the introduction of the D700, or like Canon did with the 5D Mark II (how soon we forget).

Q. Yeah, but I just checked Canon’s Web site, and they’re still selling their 21-megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark III for $8,000. Shouldn’t they lower their price?
A. I guess if they weren’t selling—they would.

Q. Canon’s new EOS 5D-Mark II is a 21-megapixel camera, too, and it also takes high-def video, yet it’s only $2,700. Shouldn’t Canon discontinue their much more expensive $8,000 1Ds Mark III?
A. I don’t think so. Why should Canon not offer a product that some high-end users want, and are willing to pay for?

Q. So Canon’s top-end 20+ megapixel DSLR and Nikon’s 20+ megapixel DSLR are both around $8,000?
A. Yup.

Q. So why are the Nikon users so mad? Both companies high-end cameras cost around the same amount.
A. Nikon users wanted the D3x to cost a lot less.

Q. So can’t they just not buy a D3x?
A. I’ve been told countless times over the past few days that saying “…then don’t buy it” is not a reasonable answer. The only answer they will accept is for Nikon to issue a public apology, and lower the D3x price dramatically—thousands lower than the price of Canon’s own high-end camera.

Q. Do you think that’s likely to happen?
A. Nope.

Q. I noticed that you closed the comments on your and Moose’s Tuesday blog post about the mean comments on the D3x from Monday. How come?
A. Because it started getting really ugly. People were starting to say mean things to each other—picking fights—calling names, etc. and this blog isn’t about that, so on the advice of friends I closed it to further comments.

Q. How many times have you had to do this in the past?
A. This is the first time I’ve had to do this since I started the blog back in 2005.

Q. All this over a Nikon product announcement?
A. Yup.

Q. But I just went and looked and I didn’t see any really mean comments.
A. That’s because I deleted most of them.

Q. You know you’re going to get some more nasty comments from this post, right?
A. Of course.

Q. They know you don’t work for Nikon; you’re not sponsored by Nikon, you have no family members at Nikon, and that they don’t even send you units to review, right?
A. If they didn’t, they do now.

Q. So why are they still going to trash you?
A. They’re mad at Nikon’s pricing, and I made the mistake on Monday of announcing that Nikon introduced a new camera.

Q. But you don’t determine Nikon’s pricing.
A. Apparently, they think I do. Or that I agree with it. Or that I’m trying to hide it, create a cover-up, or there’s some larger conspiracy.

Q. Aren’t there more important things to worry about in the world than Nikon’s pricing on a camera most of us don’t need in the first place?
A. I would love to think so.

Q. How likely are you to mention the introduction of a high-priced DSLR from any manufacturer in the future?
A. Very unlikely. But if I do, I will state up front that the price is outrageously too high and that I hate the company that makes the product (whichever company that may be).

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