Pondering

March 29

As we learn more about the D5 sensor performance, it strikes me that there are some interesting side expectations now. 

To summarize, we went back to D3s level dynamic range at the low ISO values. As I wrote to one respondent: his D750 should crush the D5 in his studio with his studio lighting, gaining him a lot of ability to manipulate the shadows without worry. 

So here’s the pondering: Nikon generally likes to reuse sensors. Indeed, that’s especially true of the low volume, single-digit pro models, which probably don’t have enough sales to justify a full sensor run on their own.  Given that, what would we expect the D5 sensor to be reused for?

Historically, we have two very different answers. The D3 sensor was reused in the D700. The D4 sensor was used in the Df. 

The low dynamic range in the D5 sensor seems to suggest that a more all-around camera like the D700 or Df is out of the question for reusing the sensor. Why would I buy a Df2 with the D5 sensor and go backwards in ability for half the range I’d tend to use it for? The gain from 16mp to 20mp isn’t enough for me to get excited about replacing a Df, either. 

No, the more interesting and logical possibility of the D5 sensor design is a split of the D8xx line into performance and studio models, much like the original h/x splits in the D1, D2, and D3 generations. Now that would be interesting.

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