What if Nikon surprised us all?
What if when August rolls around, instead of just the anticipated D3000 and D300s being the big news, they pulled the cover off a new larger than 35mm format camera called the Nikon VL1 (VL=VeryLarge).
The new Nikon VL1 is capable of using all the existing Nikon lenses, including the DX lenses in DX mode. Along with the new VL1, Nikon introduces a whole new line of VL1 lenses. That's why they've been slowly to market with some of the up-dates to the existing Nikon lens line-up. They've been busy designing and engineering the new series of VL lenses for the Nikon VL1.
The VL1 has a 50 Megapixel sensor, with an integrated solid state hard drive capable of holding over 250 full size, full resolution RAW image files from the VL1. The drive is removable, so you can have extras on hand, or up-grade it to a larger size as they become available.
The Nikon VL1's sensor is removable as well. This feature is specifically intended for making cleaning and servicing easier, but also makes one think Nikon is planning to introduce an up-graded sensor at a later point. The VL1 has user selectable RAW file sizes ranging from 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, and 50 Megapixels.
The VL1 has a built in Wi-fi transmitter, capable of tranferring images at previously unheard of speeds, making wireless image transfer almost as fast as writing to the VL1's solid state drive.
The VL1 has a revolutionary new auto focus system that is the most incredible thing ever to happen to auto focus. The VL1 tracks your eye movement and focuses on what you're looking at. The technology is absolutely incredible, and everyone that has tried it can't stop raving about it.
As a bonus, Nikon has included an entirely new software suite with the VL1. The new software is capable of rendering astonishing and previously unheard of enhancements to the VL1's RAW files, as well as doing Ultra High Quality RAW conversions.
To top it off, the workflow of this software is FAST. It makes Lightroom look slow and because Nikon has included it at no additional charge, it is sure to replace Lightroom for all Nikon shooters. To further this anticipated adoption rate, Nikon is making it available at no charge to all existing Nikon DSLR owners via download through the Nikon website.
Kudos to Nikon for not only fixing the workflow issues of their past software, but for taking a page from Google and making the software FREE.
The VL1 body will be available as of September 15, 2009, at an MSRP of $9,999.99 USD. Body and lens kit combinations will also be available at a cost savings of 5 to 10%.
(and until then, there's always the D700x to keep you happy :)