Rumors are beginning to float around about a Nikon D900, before the D800 has even been announced. In the upper end of the consumer line, Nikon named the cameras D70, D80 and then D90. If Nikon continues to follow this naming convention in the prosumer line, we should expect the D700 to be replaced with a D800 first, then a D900 (possibly with some "s" model updates thrown in for good measure). If correct, that would likely put the D900 launch around 2012, or later if a D700s or D800s or similar is ever released.
Below are a list of rumors regarding the Nikon D900, newest first. Please rate how credible you believe these to be, and feel free to add your own comments/thoughts. If you have any more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click Rumors Wanted. We'll continue to add new rumors to this page as we come across them.
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According to NI (see source link below), the D4 should be announced early Q2, possible April, and available in the summer.
Their source suggests the D4 will be 'around' 20MP (FX 'FF' and HD vid). They go on to claim the same technology will appear in the (DX) ~18MP D400.
Furthermore, they also state the D700 replacement (D900), with similar video to the D4 will come along later (this year or next).
Then a little further down, NI claims a working pro has supposedly had hints from Nikon to wait until August when asking about purchasing multiple D3s cameras.
Our take: We are hearing August for the announcement and initial availability. We also think there is a very good chance a D400 will use the same 16 mp sensor found in the D7000. D900 naming doesn't make sense for the D700 replacement, why skip D800? - they've never done that before on the advanced consumer DSLR or above, plus we expect it before or at the same time as the D4 announcement. From the noises we are hearing, the first source NI quotes is likely fiction, but the second source that was told to wait until August ties in well to other details we are hearing.
According to NR, there is a new camera coming with 39 AF points, 16 MP with 6400 ISO + HI2 position, 24 fps 1920/1080 video and it will have an optional (new) MB-D11 grip. NR also claims : "I do not have any info on sensor size, exact model name or release date".
NR gives the possibility at 75%.
This doesn't quite gel for us, and here's why: ISO 6,000 + HI2 is exactly what the D700 has. A D900 with 16 megapixels while retaining the D700's ISO abilities would be about the right sized step forward. Even the MB-D11 fits if the shape of the base of the camera has changed. However the 39 AF points is the red flag - given the D300, D300S, D700, D3, D3s and D3x all use the 51 point CAM 3500 AF module, moving to a new module with fewer AF points would be a surprise (and have implications for the 3D tracking) - we certainly wouldn't expect a D900 to be a step backwards from the D700 in any way. We are not really expecting a new high-end AF module until the D4/D400 release next year. While this information may turn out correct, we would be somewhat surprised.
1001NoisyCameras is linking to a Quesabesde posting, the translation of which claims "unofficial sources" say there will be no D700 replacement until 2011.
Without any further info on the source, it's hard to comment. From one perspective, not moving the D3s sensor down into a D700s protects D3s sales (the D700 took some flak for hitting D3 sales early on), yet a high-res with video FX body in the sub $3k price range would be very well received, especially in light of the Canon 5D Mark II success.
NR has published an email from a Canon shooter detailing his conversations with Nikon about Switching brands (see source link below for full details).
Bottom line, he claims to have been told that there will be no Full Frame body in 2010.
Furthermore, he was told by a Nikon NPS Rep that there would be no pro level full frame body until after March 2011 (i.e. next fiscal year), probably with a split up of the line in s and x.
Our Take: From reading the published email, it's not 100% clear that "pro level full frame body" refers to the D700 line, as the person who emailed NR implies. Indeed, we fully expect a D4 to come out in 2011, so this timing seems exactly right for the D4. However if that is true, the "s" version of a camera is usually used to identify an incremental improvement (i.e. D3->D3s, D300->D300s, D70->D70s), rather than a new camera. Where an "s" and "x" version would make sense would be with the D700 (i.e. D700s with the D3s sensor, and D700x with the D3x sensor). However this is in contrast with the D800 and D900 rumors that have been rampant recently...
That confusion aside, there are numerous rumblings that there will be no D700 update/replacement this year, and numerous others that say there will. The consensus also seems to be that Canon will not release a 5D Mark III until next year also, so Nikon aligning their release schedule to Canon's would make sense, and the "prosumer full frame" line doesn't yet have a release history since it consists of a single camera, the D700.
Bottom line, we believe the "no full frame until 2011" to be believable based on the information we have seen from multiple sources. That said, we also wouldn't be surprised if a D700s and/or D700x came out very soon as multiple other sources have hinted. We simply haven't seen anything yet that comes even remotely close to convincing us one way the other... In the mean time, the D700 is a truly outstanding camera, unless you need video.
Thom Hogans current home page (April 19th if it's moved to his archives by now) suggests that the D700 replacement date is unknown, since the the D700 is the first of its line and has no history of gaps between releases.
However, his Nikon Announcements page (see source links below) suggest either a D900 (higher megapixel) being announced in April (to coincide with Nikon's financial year and projections), or a D700s (D700 refresh with the sensor from the D3s) in August.
This appears to be highly speculative on Thom's part, as opposed to being based on any inside information, however it does make a lot of sense. Sometimes Thom gets it right, sometimes he gets it wrong. What is completely missing is the D700x (D700 with D3x sensor, which Thom originally stated would be here for mid November last year, then claimed sooner than that, then it disappeared from his projections completely when it failed to materialize).
NR is boldly predicting two new DSLR's from Nikon will be announced today, Feb 21st, at PMA.
If correct, both the D90 and D700 are about at the 18 month mark, so they are just entering the window where they might be updated. Other possibilities are a much anticipated high-res FX body (D700x, D800, D900), or possibly a hybrid/EVIL camera.
While possible, we'd be surprised if this was true, and it would be the most tightly guarded launch from Nikon in recent memory.
NR is showing the Nikon D900 as listed on the back of the packaging on a Phottix Titan battery.
The best we can tell, Phottix does not have any kind of affiliation with Nikon (generally they all into the "cheap ebay" accessory category, most famous for their remote triggers that many people swear by and some swear at). As such they are unlikely to have access to specs/release schedules from Nikon (and if they were, they'd certainly be under an NDA). Our best guess, is someone, somewhere made a typo, and these companies are just propagating the mistake.
NR has a series of posts (most recent one in the source link below) pointing to people selling accessories and running Google ads for the Nikon D900.
You have to ask yourself, would Nikon give out release data and specs to third party (and in some cases no-name) companies who would then go out and list compatibility before the official announcement/not under an NDA?
And as for companies buying Google Ads for the phrase "Nikon D900", shortly after a Nikon D400 book appeared on Amazon.de in late 2008/early 2009, most of the major retailers were buying keywords for "Nikon D400", including B&H, Adorama and Amazon - Google suggests keywords based on what people are searching on, so the D900 rumors may be fueling themselves - the fact people are buying keywords is meaningless.