It never fails. I bought a Mac Mini and within a month Apple released a new Mac Mini that is ten times better than the one I just bought. This summer I bought a Nikon D800 camera. It’s a fabulous piece of technology and light years ahead of my “over the hill” D2Xs.
So now, Nikon has a replacement for the D800! It’s the D810. What happens? The price of the D800 falls through the floor. I can’t trade up to a D810 without spending $1500 to $2000. I’m so over this kind of business. I think a company that sells a high-end piece of technology should offer some kind of price protection or reasonable upgrade path for those people who have a suddenly obsolete (but very expensive) piece of tech.
I spent about $2500 for my D800 camera body. Thank God lenses can’t be obsoleted! I checked the price for a new D800 and it seems to be around $2,900 today. The D810 lists for $3,300. With the new camera out the price for a used D800 is dropping. Currently I could buy one for $2,300. So you know what I’d get on a trade.
This drives me crazy. Leica did the same thing when it introduced the M8. They said it would be a stable product and upgradable. They weren’t going to leave owners holding the bag. Guess what, Leica released an interim M8.2 then replaced that with the M9. Now they just call it the Leica M. Price for the M? $7,000 (body only). The M9 still sells for $7,000 too. My old M8 cost $2,400. I will say the value is holding for that camera. I see them selling for $1,700 on Amazon but the M7 (a 35mm film camera) is selling for $5,000. Oh hey, if you really want to be stupid Leica has a M version that shoots only Black & White digital images. Price, $8,000!
There was a time I used the beautifully crafted Nikon F5 35MM film camera. Again it cost about $2,400 but today you can get your very own for only $350. That’s a travesty. The F5 is a machine. All mechanical and the craftsmanship that goes into producing one is incredible.
That $2,400 range is about what I paid for my Nikon D2Xs. It was a top of the line Digital camera. Today they sell for $650. When Nikon release the D2’s replacement the price jumped to $6,000! Same as the Leica.
This is a hopeless situation. There is no doubt that my D800 is a fabulous camera. I will be using it for years. I just hate knowing within four months of purchasing it, it’s replaced and takes a huge hit on its value. Maybe that’s why I love film cameras. You can’t play this game.
I have no doubt there is a Nikon D820 just lurking around the corner to challenge the D810 buyers of today. This way of treating customers and I mean customers who are spending a lot of money with your company is over the moon. At some point in time the electronics industry (be it cameras, phones or computers) must find a better way. Leaving customers out in the cold like this is just not right.