Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Is The Hi-End Prosumer Digicam Nearly Dead?

I've been wondering if Nikon's new D40 d-slr at $599 with a kit Zoom~Nikkor lens is a harbinger of the imminent death of the high-end prosumer digicam category. I'm wondering how much longer the all-in-one EVF cameras like the higher-end Sony can possibly continue to live on as d-slr prices continue to drop. I beleive that many customers in the high-end or "prosumer" all-in-one category have a high regard for the bottom line....the line right there in the checkbook register, or the line right there by the signature on the credit card slip at the store. Why would anybody pay $799 to $999 for an all-in-one camera with slowish autofocus and a sluggardly shutter when he could have a real interchangeable lens d-slr camera for $599?

If the new Nikon D40 with its kit wide-to-tele zoom lens at $599 does not signify the death of the high-end prosumer digicam as a category, it surely signals that no longer must one with only $600 to spend on his camera forever be locked into ONE LENS,permanently mounted onto what most people would call a "good camera". The D40 has an economical 6 Megapixel sensor size, which is ample for most people who would have bought a high-end digicam as recently as six months ago. Six Megapixels in a d-slr-grade CCD sensor allows the photographer to shoot a very favorable nummber of RAW or JPEG frames on even a 1-gigiabyte storage card. With good-quality lenses, 6 MP delivers a pretty good image up to 8x10 inches with careful technique. Consider the new price point Nikon has put its D40 at...Six megapixels, Six hundred dollars. In the summer of 2002, I payed $2400 for a the six megapixel FujiFilm S2 Pro d-slr body,with no lens whatsoever.


Anonymous said...

So given the choice, would you buy a new Nikon D40 body or a good condition second hand Fuji S2 Pro body.

Derrel said...

It is now May 23,2008 and at this date I would buy a new Nikon D40 with 18-55 zoom for $499 over almost any Fuji S2 Pro. The 55-200 kit zoom can be had with the above body/lens combo for $549 at discount retailers, making for a two-lens kit that's small,light,and has a warranty,plus superb battery life and a very compact,light body. I like the S2 Pro, but the D40 is several years newer,smaller,lighter,and has excellent image quality,plus in-camera image adjustment/retouching/cropping abilities. The D40 is a neat little camera with a killer-good battery system and great TTL flash metering with SB-600 or SB-800 flashes. The S2 is a tricky flash camera--the D40 makes flash easy and reliable.