Nikon Releases Some Stunning New Cameras and Lenses
Nikon seems to have been pretty busy as of late. They announced two new cameras (the D300s and the D3000), and two new lenses (the AF-S Nikkor 70–200mm F/2.8G ED VR II, and the AF-S DX Nikkor 18–200mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR II) all in one day.
First, the new Nikon D300s. It is very similar to the nearly 2-year-old D300 it replaces — the same 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, the same 3 inch VGA screen, the same 51 autofocus points — but with a few changes and additions. The biggest difference is the addition of video, the same 720p video of the D90 and D5000. Shooting speed has also been updated from 6 fps to 7 fps. Also, the D300s now has the option of dual storage with a CF card and SD card. The D300s will be sold at a recommended price of $1799 and start shipping in August.
Second, the D3000 replaces the current D60. This new entry-level camera is designed for first-time DSLR buyers. It features a 10.2-megapixel CCD sensor, 11-point autofocus, shoots 3 fps, and features a new “Guide Mode.” Nikon explains the new mode as “an easy-to-use interface that makes it easy for first-time users to select shooting modes…after selecting an item in Guide mode, camera settings can be further adjusted in order to obtain optimal results.” The D3000 will also be available in August with a recommended selling price of $599 with an included 18–55 VR lens.
The long rumored 70–200mm f/2.8 VR II, is an update to an often criticized lens. The original version drew complains of vignetting and softness on FX cameras. This version is completely redesigned and features an entirely new optical formula designed to deliver sharp images all the way into the corners. It uses no fewer than 7 ED elements to minimize aberrations and “Nano Crystal Coat” to combat flare. The lens will be available in November at a recommended price of $2399.95.
The biggest change to the new version of the 18–200mm F3.5-5.6G VR II is a new zoom mechanism to combat zoom creep — one of the most common complaints about the original. While the size, weight, and optical construction remain unchanged, a new coating promise to reduce flare and ghosting. The 18–200mm will be available in September at a recommended price of $849.95