$1,000 off the Nikon D700
August 2008 More Nikon Reviews
December 2008 Update: Nikon let us down. Nikon didn't meet their price target obligation of $5,500 for the D3X, and in fact, totally screwed up by asking $8,000. Therefore, just keep the D700 for now until the D3X price comes back down to $5,500. Read the rest of this knowing that.
If you're a wedding, portrait, landscape or nature photographer, it's time to sell your D3 while you still can, put $3,000 into the D700 to tide you over until the D3X, and pocket the $1,000 difference.
Here are the details, and how you can get a D3X for just $2,000, total.
This is obvious to me since I've been doing this continuously since the 1970s, but I'll share it since it's probably not obvious to everyone.
For over 50 years, Nikon always introduces a flagship professional camera, and the next year introduces a camera with almost the same (and often a few extra) features for less money. It introduces lower and lower model cameras for a few years, and when it's gotten to the cheapest possible camera in the line, introduces a new flagship.
In 1956 Nikon's first pro flagship camera was the Nikon SP rangefinder, followed by the cheaper S3 and S4 in the next few years.
In 1959 the pro flagship was the Nikon F, followed by various Nikkormats.
In 1971 came the F2, followed by the Nikkormat EL, FT3, Nikon FM, FE and then the plastic EM.
In 1980 came the F3, followed by the FM2, FA and plastic FG20.
In 1988 came the F4, followed by the N90 and a slew of cheaper and cheaper plastic AF cameras.
In 1997 came the F5, followed by the F100 and then N80, N75 and N55.
In 1999 came the D1, followed by the D100.
In 2003 came the D2H, followed by the D70, D50 and D40.
In 2007 came the D3, followed by the D700.
Are you seeing a pattern? I detail the daily activity of Nikon's DSLR introductions since 1973 at my Nikon DSLR Timeline.
Profit from the Flow back to top
If you're paying attention, and if you're not a full-time pro who needs a genuinely professional camera, you can dump the pro camera, buy the next model down with better features and pocket the difference, all before the rest of the market figures it out.
In 2004 I sold my klunky D1H, bought a superior D70 (for me for nature, portraits and landscapes), and pocketed the cash.
In 2008, the D700 does everything most people need in the D3, for a lot less money. The D700 even adds some things that make it easier to use and potentially give it better image quality than the D3.
If you're like most people who have a D3, it's time to sell your D3 for $4,000 (used market price as of August 2008) and buy a D700 for $3,000 while you wait for the D3X. Here's the play-by-play:
Order your D700. Shoot with your D3 until it arrives.
When your D700 comes in, sell your D3. You'll get $4,000 cash. Shoot with the D700 for which you haven't yet had to pay.
When the 30-day float on your credit card comes due, pay the $3,000 and put the $1,000 left over under your mattress until the D3X gets announced. Keep shooting with the D700 and have a ball.
When the D3X is announced, probably fall or winter 2008, place your D3X order the first day you can.
When your D3X ships, probably in the beginning of 2009, only then does your credit card get billed.
When your D3X arrives, sell your D700. You'll probably get a solid $2,500. Shoot with the D3X, for which you still haven't had to pay, and you still have that $1,000 under your mattress.
When the credit card float comes due for the D3X, take the $1,000 from under your mattress, the $2,500 proceeds from the D700, and your D3X only costs you an additional $2,000. (The D3X will sell for $5,500).
You don't need to come up with the $2,000 until the float on your credit card expires, leaving you about a month to sell the D700 and get everything under control.
Not bad: I've just upgraded you from D3 to brand-new D3X for never more than $2,000 out of pocket, and you've had Nikon's newest and best camera in your hands the whole time.
I'm serious about the timeframes and dollar figures I'm forecasting, but there's also a lot of speculation involved. Don't fool with this if you can't afford it if any of my predictions or estimates turn out to be wrong.
Treat this like the stock market, except that in this case, Nikon's products are far easier to forecast than stock prices, and you can use your cameras for something useful, unlike financial investments.
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Thanks for reading!