3 Things I Want In My Next Nikon Body

images compliments of iStockphoto.com

I'm actually pretty content with both my Nikon DSLR bodies. I use my D700 primarily for studio work and my D7000 for travel and event photography. I've had the D700 for a while now and of course the rumors have been circulating for a while regarding a D700 replacement. Even if there were no rumors we all know that there would be a D700 replacement (let's call it a D800) getting announced eventually. In thinking about what I would want in my D800 there are really only three things that come to mind. Sure, I'll take better sensors with less noise at higher ISOs and even a slight bump in megapixels is OK. However, neither of those things would make me want to buy it. I'm not unhappy with the 12 megapixels I have now and the ISO:Noise ratio of the D700 is fine for what I shoot. Nope, those features alone would not get me to upgrade. 


I Want 3 Things


1080p HD Video

This one is almost a given. I can't imagine that Nikon or any other manufacturer would not include DSLR HD video in their bodies from here on out. Although my D7000 has the video features I wanted including external mic support, I would like to see those same exact features in my D800 too. If they have to improve upon them, then give us a 60fps video capture option too. This is not rocket science and like I said, it's all but a given that the D800 would have this.


Built-in WiFi

I continue to be amazed that WiFi is not being built into every camera being sold today, especially the higher end models. After spending a few days shooting wirelessly to my iPad 2 via the Eye-Fi Pro X2 Card, I want this even more. It's crazy to have to continue to transfer images via cables and card readers as the only options. 802.11n chips are small and cheap. If an iPod touch can have WiFi, why not a $2,500+ camera body?


GPS Geotagging

I love the fact that Nikon DSLRs have built-in GPS support right in the camera's menu.

However, the actual GPS receivers continue to be an external option only. I have several different models, but it's time to have this functionality built-in. Again these chips are small and relatively inexpensive. After all you can get an entire portable GPS unit for your turn-by-turn directions for $99 or less. Those devices have touch screens, speakers, storage, etc. The actual receiver can't cost that much by comparison. Also size can't be much of an issue since most modern smartphones being sold today have them built-in. As big as a D700 (D800) is there has to be room in the case. 


I'll gladly take any additional features that Nikon wants to throw my way, but the three things above are the ones that would make it a no brainer for me to upgrade.


Plan B

I've even got a way that they can make these last two features available optionally for those 5 people on the planet that wouldn't want them built-in to the bodies themselves. There is easy way to give us WiFi and Geotagging in a more convenient way. They could build them into the Battery Grips. A WiFi transmitter in the Battery Grip is not a new idea. Both Nikon and Canon have done this before. The problem is the early ones were both SLOW and EXPENSIVE! It's time to go back to the drawing board and make these grips more functional, less costly and bring them into the 21st century. 



iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store

With the tragedy that has happened in Japan, we can all certainly wait! There are more important things to focus on right now.

28 Replies to “3 Things I Want In My Next Nikon Body”

  1. FYI: By law, every new cell phone must have GPS built in to track phone location, smart phone or not.

    1. Can you point to this law and which countries it is applicable? This is the first I’ve heard of this law.

  2. Terry, I think it is less about the cost of Wi-Fi and GPS chips and more about the effects these technologises have of battery life. However, I do agree with you that they would be extremely useful features to have in future DSLRs and I’m sure many of us would be happy to carry an extra spare battery for the times when we want to use GPS all day or spend the day in the studio with Wi-Fi spread to Lightroom and/or our iPads.

  3. I’d much prefer to have built in wi-fi and geo-tagging built into a batter grip mainly due to the battery drain. However, if Nikon makes it easy enough to turn those functions on/off to save battery then it might not be so bad.

    1. Define “super fast”. The current standard is N which in most cases is theoretically faster than most home DSL. I have 200Mbps coming into my house and it blows past my wifi N-based network due to the overhead, security, etc…

  4. Terry, I’m with you on WiFi and GPS. I’d love to see them both, but want a non-menu way of turning them on and off. I don’t want pictures taken inside my house to be GeoTagged.

    1. I don’t mind having to use the main menu but I agree with you Rick as far a turning of GPS. GPS is great when your out in the field but I like the privacy of my own home and we need to remember the privacy of our clients and that of the people how are wonderful enough to allow us to shoot on their property.

  5. Terry,
    GPS Cool, and wifi YEA, I would like a body just below D3 price range, like a $4,000 dollar range, combine a D300s (I have this one) D700 with hight quality HD like cannon

    Side-note, looking for a 27″ monitor for PC for photoshop useage. Any suggestions? price point under $600, that possible?


  6. Couldn’t agree more about built in GPS. No reason not to just build it in. And no more having to have a dongle attached for GPS. Loving my D700 but will buy the successor first day for the Video

  7. I can live without the HD video and although I love my D700 without the Built in Wifi and GPS Geotagging but you are right, it would help a lot. 🙂

  8. If they can put all that stuff in the grip, it would be nice to be able to install a PocketWizard transceiver in there as well. PW used to make one that would install inside a D1x. It would save on AA batteries and save space.

  9. Full HD for 24p, 25p, and 30p is an absolute necessity as is 720 for 60p and 50p. Throw in full manual video controls and a high quality bit rate option and they will finally have something to stop all the bleeding to canon. The battery grip would be perfect and I could see it being a big seller. Lastly, I would love a 100% view finder but thats not a deal breaker.

  10. Built-in GPS and different connectors: have you tried to screw the remote shutter release when it’s cold?!

  11. Well I think if you want video buy a video camera. I would rather have Nikon/Canon spend more time and effort on better sensors, better menu systems, better AF, and TTL flash that works off camera using a radio signal and not direct site. And yes a built in transfer system like blue-tooth or what ever is needed.

  12. Agreed Terry!

    1080p at 60fps is a must, and quick frankly I’d up the anty and would desire a 120fps setting as well; and yes, Wi-Fi needs to be built into these cameras as well.

    As a Indy filmmaker, one big, big, big thing I want to see on DSLR bodies (and I wrote Nikon a letter and got one of those dumb generic responses) is a TA3 port or otherwise known as a mini-XLR port. We’ve got to have balanced audio from one end of the cable to the other as opposed to going into an unbalanced 3.5mm audio port.

    Both Nikon and Canon are committing themselves to video on DSLRs and so a mini-XLR port will fit on current DSLR bodies (as opposed to the full size XLR ports which are beefy) so this is doable. This is vital for capturing robust audio via external mics.

    So that’s my wish item besides getting the Sony NEX FS-100 camera.

  13. I second those. My personal priority list is: full frame sensor, 1080p, 60fps and perhaps longer video recording. I’m even ok with gps+wifi being on a battery pack if cost and size is an issue. Im a very happy D7000 user myself and craving for more.

  14. I own a D300 and since there is D3s out, I wait for a D700-Upgrade with more high-ISO-capabilities.

    I would also want AF-Sensors covering as much on FX as CAM3500 in DX. And The AF being more precise in low light.

    State-of-the-Art-Video would be nice and Nikon just cannot afford anything than that. This might be the reason for not getting the D3s-Sensor into a D700-Body?

  15. How about wireless earbud/mic with voice activated commands, similar to the way one can talk to an XBox? “Camera….Shutter Priority, 1000. “Camera….ISO, 640″, Camera….Shooting Bank, A”

  16. There are excellent reasons why GPS and WiFi re NOT already built into cameras.
    1. Technology moves on and the WiFi would be obsolete long before the camera. The WT2 was state of the are when it was launched but is slow by today’s standards only a few years later, yet the D2X remains a usable and capable camera.

    2. GPS chips are evolving equally quickly and a new constellation od satellites is being launched by the EU, but a GPS today and it might not work with Galileo in a few years time.

    In both cases, to launch a camera with the technology built in could be to limit its long term capabilities.

    HD Video? I fully expect something better, 2160P for instance, to come along and that will make the video capability of any new camera obsolete too. You are however much more likely to get HD Video than WiFi or GPS.

    1. 1. obsolete, doesn’t mean unusable. I’m sure there are tons of laptops in use today with slower 802.11g or even 802.11b built-in and those users are still using those laptops just fine. If you were happy with the transfer rates of your D2X (based on the file size that camera produces) back when you got the WT2, what would have changed on that camera now that 802.11n is here? The file size and speed would be what it always was for that camera.

      2. All the more reason for my Plan B – by building it into the battery grips, you don’t lose as much of your investment if you decide to upgrade the battery grip to a newer one with newer technologies in it.

      1. Your “Plan B”, if properly executed is more viable and isn’t a million miles away from Nikon’s current WT for the D3 series. Add a GPS chip and appropriate communication and you are there. In fact the communication may already be included.

        I see this as a more likely realisation than built-in but I can see Nikon making the transmitter model specific meaning you couldn’t use the new one with an older camera. Why doesn’t the WT4 work with the D2 for instance?

  17. Terry,

    I would like to see a built in radio trigger for remote flash use. I have read that Nikon has applied for a patent for a speedlight with a radio receiver.

  18. Well, I got to thinking about it. Love the idea for Wi-Fi, and I think I came up with a reason it may not getting done. Well, a few reasons.

    Lexar. Sandisk. Panasonic. PNY. Kingston.

    I am guessing the physical media companies are slightly nervous about the potential elimination of their market, and talking very loudly to the camera companies about this. What else in your house uses a memory card anymore?
    Amazon is already moving to the cloud. iTunes has an app that allows you to keep everything on your home system, and stream via Wi-Fi; to the point that you can have a 16GB iPad, and stream ALL your media from home to your Pad. Cross-country, complete coverage wireless is an inevitability and will just get faster. The 802.11 standard isn’t going away, either. I think wireless is inevitable, but the physical media companies are going to fight it tooth and nail for as long as they can.

    I would still prefer to see these things in a grip. In 15 years, my shutter and sensor will still work, my camera will still take good pictures; who knows what the wireless or GPS standards will be. They are much more likely to change on us than the light coming from the sun.

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