A Nikon D400 is virtually a certainty, unless of course Nikon goes out of business (not likely) or they change their naming conventions (which they have on occasion in the past for some model lines, but this is still unlikely).
The important questions are:
Will it be DX?
Most likely, since this is currently the leading DX line, and any FX models should in theory follow the D700 line.
Almost certainly, since their main competition already has in this price range. 14-16 megapixels would be a good guess we believe.
High ISO improvements?
If the megapixel count does increase, then that means smaller pixels, which means more noise. However you can also count on technological advances to be made in the 18 months since the D300 launch (when the D300 came out, it gave an extra couple of megapixels and a 1-2 stops ISO improvement over the D200, which came out 2 year prior). Given that, we certainly wouldn't expect high-ISO ability to get any worse, and expecting some improvement wouldn't be unreasonable. If they can pull off an extra stop, then they would be getting very close to D3/D700 territory.
Will it have video?
With the Canon 5D Mark II having 1080p, putting 1080p onto a Nikon D400 would be a very strong marketing move, offering the same or better functionality for video users for a lower price than Canon.
What will it cost?
Once they go over the $1,999.99 mark, you lose customers. However with the dollar dropping against the yen, and the pending price increases, our best guess it the MSRP will be right on $1,999.99.
When will it be here?
Our guess is PMA 2009 in March - the D300 is 18 months old, Nikon is currently delivering bad news around the globe regarding increasing prices, the D3x launch wasn't exactly the smoothest ever, and Canon has a clear advantage with 1080p HD Video. Releasing, or at least announcing the Nikon D400 would give people something potentially very positive to focus on.
Below are a list of rumors regarding the Nikon D400, newest first. Please rate how credible you believe these to be, and feel free to add your own comments/thoughts. If you have any more information, please email us at or click Rumors Wanted. We'll continue to add new rumors to this page as we come across them.
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Amazon, B&H Photo Video, Adorama and BizRate.com are all buying Nikon D400 ads on Google (just search "Nikon D400" on google).
If it was just one or two retailers, it could be them trying to get traffic based on people searching on rumors. Given it's the bulk of the main retailers, that usually means they know something and the Nikon D400 is imminent.
NikonRumors has pictures of a possible Nikon D400. It appears to have a larger-than-D300 pentaprism (but smaller than the D700), and looking at the comments on the page the consensus is that it is most likely a fake (the D400 looks photoshoped on for example).
We'll track this, and see if it is even close when the Nikon D400 does eventually arrive.
Nikon usually releases new body's to select testers ahead of any release, usually with logos and identification marks taped up. This looks very similar to a Nikon D300, except for the chrome ring round the dial (right side on the picture) - could it be a pre-production Nikon D400?.
More speculation than rumor: Sony is rumored to be announcing the Sony A800 at PMA 2009. Sony manufactures sensors for Nikon, but the relationship goes much deeper than that - possibly even sharing design elements (Think Nikon D200 and Sony A700 sensors, or the new Sony A900 and Nikon D3x - very similar specs, may well be branches of the same base design).
If this is true, this could give us a good idea as to the sensor specifications for the upcoming Nikon D400.
A user on DPReview.com forums by the name of jeff-c has a habit of being right, or close to right with his forum posts. In this post, he is claiming rumors in Japan about a 16 megapixel Sony APS sensor (Sony manufactures the Nikon Sensors), along with some photos of a D400 floating around.
Amazon.de is listing a book on the Nikon D400, available July 2009, by Author Michael Gradias (a quick search on Amazon.de reveals 112 titles in his name, with many Nikon, Canon and Photoshop titles, plus a few others).
There is no description of the book, just a price of 39.95 Euros. The book is orderable.
A quick search of the ISBN (978-3827244826) number shows the book is not on the US site amazon.com.
NR has another photo of a possible Nikon D400 on its site - looks very much like a photoshopped version of one of the D300 press photos (with a few buttons changed), even down to the texture on the camera.