D3 & D300...Exciting But Don't Hold Your Breath.
The introduction of the new Nikon D3 and D300 is the stuff that excites the blood of Nikon enthusiasts. I found myself jumping up and down searching every online photo site in my bookmarks for more information. But, now, a couple of days later, the excitement has been tempered with the realization that it could be a long, long time before we actually see these new wonders in any useful quantities at retailers. Why? Because it appears that Nikons manufacturing and supply system has suffered a melt-down over the last couple of years. The Nikon supply problem became very evident with the release of the D200 camera and the 18-200mm DX VR Zoom lens. Granted the popularity of these items would have taxed anyones ability to manufacture and supply sufficient quantities.

The D200 and the 18-200 zoom were to be available in December of 2005. Today, the end of August 2007, both items are still continually listed as back ordered at major retail outlets. This short supply has affected prices too. As an example: When first introduced the lens was to sell for $650, but due to it's lack of availability it is often found for over $1000. The best discount price for it is about $750, if its in stock.

A check of major online retailers shows a large, and disappointing, number of Nikon products listed as Out of Stock or Back Ordered. And, while retail realities dictate that stores run out of stock on items from time to time the Nikon problem appears to be much more systemic. Nikon has an issue, and needs to address it. So, while I may be excited, I am not going to hold my breath...

Comments (6)

That's alright. You'd have had trouble holding your breath until November anyways...

Comment #1

Just looked and D3 samples, hosted by IR from Nikon USA. I see banding in flat white areas. First one I saw was in swan, lower left quadrant. But closer look at Monkey and Hockey pics, have same banding. ? Where might these come from?..

Comment #2 Los Angeles Samy's Camera has the D300 at least...I got to check one out and was told they had several "upstairs" and I have no reason to doubt that, which should mean that they are not hard to get now...this was late November (07).

(I was very impressed with this camera, but then, what do I know...I'm shooting film with Leica R cameras and have zero experience with digitals, other than when people ask you to "take a pict of us" type of situation...)..

Comment #3

Hi, I've just picked up my D300 from the first batch delivered here in NZ. I'm really impressed with all the xtras that Nikon have added over the D200 these are most numerous in the extra software/interface/control aspects of the design and will take some time to learn, let alone use with dexterity. This is still an excellent dSLR in terms of build and image quality. The expanded feature set, however, just shows what we will need to become accustomed to as these cameras evolve. We ain't seen nothing yet!! Cheers, John..

Comment #4

John, do you know if the D300 uses the same image processor and in-camera processing software as the D3? (other than the full-frame difference). I have heard about the virtual lack of noise in the D3 and wonder if I can get that same lack of noise with the D300. I have both the D2x and D200 now in our business. Thanks, Tom..

Comment #5

Ok, it's now January and not August, but I had no problem getting my hands on a D300 recently...what you are seeing at the "major outlets" is a shift in the way they are dealing with DSLRs. They are not taking them to the stores, they are shipping from warehouses on web order. If you just go to pricegrabber you can find plenty of places that have them in stock. B&H for one, Adorama...most of the well-known camera stores have them. Tom, the D300 definitely has noise. "virtually noise-free"? that depends on what you expect to see, at a given setting...

Comment #6

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