Thom’s D400, Circa 2010

From time to time I jot down my thoughts about future products, particularly possible product updates. While cleaning up my files recently I came across my notes about what a D400 might be like from six years ago (original document was dated May 23, 2009, but there were two small updates after that). 

Obviously, we didn’t get a D400, but rather a delayed D500. Let’s see how I did:

  1. Clear noise improvement.
  2. Clear dynamic range improvement.
  3. 16mp+ sensor.
  4. 1080P video.
  5. 6 fps+ shooting rate.
  6. Tiltable or pivoting LCD.
  7. Clearly improved autofocus.
  8. More flexible Mup.
  9. Simpler Live View implementation.
  10. True center button on multi-selector switch (not OK button).
  11. In-camera HDR.
  12. Auto-bracketing at 2EV.
  13. Bounceable internal flash? (Yes, I had a question mark on that one)
  14. Weatherproof sealed body.
  15. Newest Capture NX included free.
  16. Merged Shooting/Custom banks.
  17. Allow any function to be assigned to almost any button.
  18. RAW histograms.
  19. Smaller body.
  20. Weaker or no AA filter.
  21. Better Auto WB.
  22. Live View with exposure simulation.
  23. Fast face detect autofocus in Live View.
  24. Additional channel(s) for CLS.

Let’s see, I missed 13, 16, 18, and 23. I was slightly off with 5, 15, 17, 19, and 24.

But I also had a “possible, improbable” list for the D400 (remember, this is six years ago):

  1. GPS.
  2. Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth.
  3. Built-in wireless remote capability.
  4. More cross points in autofocus.
  5. Internal RF based flash control.
  6. Even more customizable buttons.
  7. Small RAW files as an option.
  8. In body VR.
  9. Virtual Horizon in viewfinder.
  10. 8 fps+.
  11. Dual CF/SD slots.
  12. Built in IR.
  13. Less noisy shutter.
  14. Built-in wireless tethering.
  15. In-viewfinder hyper focus indicator.
  16. Viewfinder shutter like Dx series.

Hmm. I missed on 3, 8, 11, 12, 14, and 15. Slightly off on 5. 

So, of the 40 items, I hit 30, though 6 of those were slightly different than I envisioned.

Normally this is where the author would proclaim “see how smart I am?” Nope. The thing that’s a little on the disturbing side is that this is much more “see how predictable Nikon is?” That’s one of the issues with iterative product design: can you ever truly break the mold and provide users with innovation that surprises and delights? 

I suppose I ought to jot down another list for the D510 or D550 or whatever it ends up getting called. What are your thoughts? What do you expect?

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