NEED versus WANT (a pro-DX comment)
Finally made my choice and bought a D7000 new this weekend. At $996, the DX D7000 offers me the correct compromise between price, weight, image size, and image quality. Given how good the Nikon DX system has been for me, there was just no way I wanted to spend twice as much for the FX D600. In fact, I wanted to snap up one of the last standard run D7000's before the D7700 or whatever is announced in 2-3 months.
I see a lot of rumors flying around that DX is going away. Maybe someday it will, but I don't see that happening any time soon. I think a lot of these people are coming from a position of being ego-attached to shooting FX...like it makes you a better photographer.
Frankly, FX may have a one stop advantage in terms of sensitivity, a slightly wider gamut of color, better ISO performance and of course the advantage for going wide...but none of this is worth twice the cost of the body to me. In fact, I also picked up a copy of the pro-build 17-55mm DX 2.8 AND a new 5th generation iPod touch for less than what a D600 body alone would have run. And in three-four years, those D600 bodies will be going for what, used? I always want to be rooting FOR digital rot and not against it!
Here's the bottom line...24mp is way more than any sane person needs. Hardly anyone is printing lately. One reason I've kept my 12mp D90 for so long is I'd rather have a camera that I know intimately and which gets out of my way and lets me shoot...than have the latest and greatest. Cameras are getting more and more complex with the addition of video (WHY??) and ever more MP. I don't want more MP...my RAW workflow on my three-year old Mac is already slower than I'd like. Yes, drive space is cheap...but lower transfer and processing speed is NOT!
I chose the D7000 as the successor to my D90 for specific reasons that I could write out and justify to a listener (my patient wife, bless her). I have been regularly running up against the technical limitations of the D90, so I wanted:
1. Better build quality
2. Cleaner high ISO performance
3. Better AF performance
4. Second card slot
5. Matrix metering with manual focus lenses
6. Enhanced dynamic range and IQ (although the D90 does make perfectly nice images in favorable light)
7. Going with the D7000 gives me a fully-capable backup body in the D90, too.
Once you look at the situation from this perspective, there is simply no great reason to spend twice as much. I think a lot of people are sucked into the D600 "just because"...and never demand even a fraction of what that higher end camera is built to deliver.
This has been a sort of rambling post. But I really appreciate what Thom Hogan has been saying about DX this month on his site. It has helped me examine and re-confirm my contentment with the DX format AND system. And here's to its continuation--hopefully with a few new wide angle pancake primes in the not-too-distant future!!