Big launch from Nikon this week. Nothing really surprising happened, unfortunately. We’ve got a new bottom-end camera and a refreshed super-zoom lens, yawn and yawner.
The D300 needed video and it got something of a compromise there. This is something we were waiting for I think impatiently as a community. There is slow AF (instead of zero AF) but it’s still the 720p from the D90 while the competitor did an excellent implementation of 1080p last year. It’s okay… certainly Nikon’s “A-team” didn’t spend 2 years on this so some other projects must be ongoing there. In other news, the dual card slots are pretty cool, I wish I had this on the D700 so I could put JPEGS on the SD card.
The 70-200VR also needed an update and it got its due. No real compromise here though, because even the price got a huge boost (sic). They managed to make the lens another 5% heavier or thereabout, continuing down the march to the inevitable 2kg 70mm lens of the future.
Here are the old (top) and new (bottom) charts for the two lenses…
There is a boost in contrast at 70mm, which in practice I can tell you that's where the old lens was strongest already. I think those are very nice curves, there's hardly any difference between 70mm and 200mm, impressive! I don’t really see a reason for DX shooters to upgrade though, as the older generation lens was fantastic there already and will now sell at a stiff discount on the used market.
Funny thing is that I sold my 70-200VR the day before this new one was announced. It would have been quite a coup if I was thinking of upgrading, imagine that lucky timing. But I’m not, I don’t want another medium telephoto zoom.