How Nikon's Pricing Changes the DSLRs

Today NikonUSA announced new pricing on their DSLR lineup, as well as some additional instant rebates through the end of June. Some of these changes are big enough that we need to talk through how the price moves may change your outlook on the Nikon DSLR cameras:

  • D5600 — instant rebates take the body to US$550. As you might note, the D5600 is looking somewhat awkward between the price leader D3500 and the now very affordable D7500. I'm not sure why you buy the D5600 body, even at this price. Good thing the body plus kit lens is the same price, and the two lens kit is US$600. In essence, one lens for free, two lenses for US$50. Get your DX here... Get your DX here... 
  • D7500 — MSRP has reduced US$250, plus an instant rebate of US$200. At the US$800 mark for this body, it's virtually a no-brainer update choice for D80, D90, D7000, and D7100 users. It's also a very strong candidate for D3xxx and D5xxx upgraders, too. Just remember that the D7500 has a couple of drawbacks that a few may find problematic: no AI lens indexing (older manual focus lenses), and no provision for adding a vertical grip. Other than that, it's a really strong camera I enjoy using. Reasonably small, highly capable, and now at the right price. My review of the D7500
  • D500 — MSRP has reduced US$200, plus now an instant rebate of US$200. US$1500 is a price point the D500 has been at before, so Nikon's discounting isn't really pushing into new territory here as it is with the D7500. Indeed, the differential between the D7500 and D500 is now quite pronounced. They use the same image sensor, so image quality really doesn't change between them. You're paying a big premium for the D5 style autofocus system and some other higher-end options. That said, there's not a better crop sensor body for sports or wildlife action shots than the D500. The D500 plus 16-80mm f/2.8-4 is US$2100, which is amusingly US$300 more than D750 with a near equivalent lens. My review of the D500.
  • D610 — instant rebate of US$100. We must be nearing the very tail of the D610's life, as Nikon isn't being at all aggressive with this model. At the current pricing, get the D750 instead.
  • D750 — MSRP has reduced US$300, plus now an instant rebate of US$400. The new US$1300 price is an extremely good one for a highly competent full frame DSLR. I'd argue that this is more than enough camera for most people. The aggressive pricing, however, would seem to indicate that a D750 replacement is in the wings (or less likely: that it will be retired completely in favor of the Z6). The D750 has always been a model where Nikon has tended to be aggressive in pricing, but this is a new level of aggressiveness on their part. In fact, with the 24-120mm f/4 lens, you get a body/lens bundle for US$1800, which is a pretty amazing number considering the capability you're getting. My review of the D750.
  • D850 — instant rebate of US$300. Not a lot new here, but this gets the body price under the US$3000 mark and more competitive with the high resolution full frame mirrorless cameras (including Nikon's own Z7, which also goes on sale). I still say this is the DSLR you want to get if you want the most well-rounded, capable camera. It's a competent 19mp DX camera for wildlife, it's a great 45mp landscape camera, and it's a jack of all trades in between. My review of the D850.

I should note that the Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras are also getting instant rebates (up to US$200 and US$600 respectively). Thus, those considering the D750 and D850 have to keep that in mind. My take? That new D750 pricing means you really have to want to move from DSLR to mirrorless to opt for a Z6. The D850 price shows that Nikon doesn't really care if you buy DSLR or mirrorless at 45mp.

I should also mention that the four Nikon cameras I've tended to use in the last year are the D5, D850, Z6, and Z7. I still use the D7500 for product shots. But other than that, I've mostly moved on from the other Nikon cameras. I don't know if that tells you anything useful or not, but those opting for a D500, D610, or D750 really need to be sure of their decision now, I think. 

The instant rebates are good through the end of June (though if past history is any indication, some of them will be either extended or offered again in the future).

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