updated 10:15 pm EDT, Mon June 27, 2011
Nikon D400 and D4 to headline Nikon news soon
Nikon's future became clearer on Monday night with both near- and far-term camera plans. A leak has Nikon's perennial August refresh including the D4 and D400, sequels to two of its most popular DSLRs. Nikon Rumors hasn't commited to details, but a round of resolution and sensitivity upgrades would suggest the D4 will push past 12 megapixels and have at least ISO 102,400 sensitivity like the D3s.
The D400 may be the more ambitious of the two in its quality boost and could use a new Sony sensor that will reach 24 or 25 megapixels, putting the crop sensor camera nearly in competition with the full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Many of the improvements both above and below the D300s have yet to reach the three-digit Nikon line and could give it dramatically improved light sensitivity among other changes.
Nikon may not necessarily deliver the cameras the same month and is more likely to take a month or two to ship.
At the same time, Nikon has also explored the possibilities of where its cameras may go in the long run with a demonstration of its cameras at the City of Science and Industry expo in Paris. Among these is a completely modular camera that breaks out the LCD screen and main controls, the lens, and a grip into individual parts that could presumably swapped. A more extreme concept, the Multi-Ball, has many cameras that can get the "atmosphere" of a scene, presumably by auto-stitching a panorama. A final, unnamed camera would be based around viewing and have a six-inch touchscreen with an adjustable lever design.
One last concept, the i-Ball, has few details other than being shaped like a human eye with the lens as the pupil. It's not clear if any of the concepts will become real, though many camera makers look to these prototypes for individual design cues.