Every time I write about a D300s replacement, I get the inevitable “but Nikon would never do that because the D610 body already sits at that price point.” Okay, sure.
Then what do you make of Canon’s current pricing (from B&H as I write this):
- 7DII (crop sensor pro body) = US$1699
- 6D (full frame consumer body) = US$1399
The 6D even includes an extra US$50 worth of “free” items that the 7DII doesn’t. (At “list” prices, the 7DII is US$1799 and the 6D is US$1699, by the way.)
So, is Canon just crazy, or will you now believe me that you can put a crop sensor pro body into overlap with the full frame body price points?
Be careful with your answer, though. Your answer may not be the same as the answer others give. You might think giving up body quality for a bigger sensor is the correct call, but others don’t think that way.
I’ll stand by what I’ve written: a new Nikon DX pro body would sell in significant quantities. It has only a little overlap with full frame bodies in terms of customer base, even when full frame is priced the same (or less, as in the Canon example).
Now, at US$1700 the expectations for a D300s replacement would be different than at US$2100, but I still think Nikon could correctly slot something anywhere in that particular price range and not disturb the rest of their camera sales. That’s especially true now that the biggest surge to FX has already been done.
Personally, if I were Nikon, I’d make the D300s replacement with a built-in vertical grip and price it higher (e.g. US$1999 instead of US$1699). I’d be careful not to size the camera the same as the D4s, though. In other words, an appropriately sized DX pro body with full grip. Why? Because it would further set the new camera off from the D7200 and from the lower cost FX bodies.
When we first started discussing D300s replacements back in 2010, I was originally a non-believer in an integrated vertical grip version. But after talking to a lot of users, I decided I was wrong about my thoughts and changed my mind. Now I’m on the other side of the fence: a D300s replacement without a vertical grip is what I’m against ;~). An integrated grip gives room for an extra EN-EL15 on top of everything else, something that would be highly welcome by the typical D300 user.