Top new camera rumours for 2012

Nikon d700

Nikon D800 release date rumours

A replacement to the popular 12MP Nikon D700 is overdue, and we've already begun to hear rumours of a Nikon D800 release date. Although the full-frame Nikon D700 remains the camera of choice for Nikon's legion of prosumer photographers, since its launch in 2008 it has been progressively overshadowed by its competitors.

Cameras like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Sony's Alpha A850 offer higher resolution sensors and (in the case of the Canon 5D II) significantly more advanced feature sets. Expect Nikon to respond to the threat of the as-yet-unreleased Canon 5D II successor, which means higher resolution, enhanced live view and - of course - the addition of a versatile movie mode.

Our money is on the Nikon D800 having a 24MP sensor, adapted from the CMOS sensor of the professional Nikon D3X, and 1080p video.

2011 Nikon D800 release date probability: 75% - either just before or soon after Canon releases its 5D II successor. What's more, last month we reported on a new Amazon guide book listing that suggests a Nikon D800 release date for Feb or March 2011, and a major French bookseller speculates that the Nikon D800 price will fall between 2000 and 2500 euros.

UPDATE - January 2011: Amazon has delayed publication of the two NikonD800 manuals referenced above - one until May 2011, and the other until Sepember. Also, our head of testing, Angela Nicholson, lists the features she'd like to see on a NikonD800 release.

UPDATE – May 2011: New reports suggest that the Nikon D800 release date has been pushed back to autumn 2011 as a result of disruption to production in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami in March. Sources have told the Spanish website Quesabesde that Nikon's Sendai plant has fallen behind a previous summer deadline for the Nikon D700 replacement as it struggles to cope with the effects of the 11 March earthquake.

Nikon D4 rumours

UPDATE September 2011: August's launch by Nikon featured only compacts and the premium P7100. It looks like we'll be waiting a little longer yet.

UPDATE August 2011: A report by Sony Alpha Rumors suggests that the D4 will use a tweaked Sony 36 megapixel sensor.

Speculation that a Nikon D4 would be announced in August 2007 was rife, as previous launches of the D3 and D3s had both occurred in the summer.

Any impending D4 would find itself at the top of Nikon's range, aimed at professional photographers looking for a full-frame sensor. As the current top-end models, the D3 and D3s feature a relatively low pixel count of 12.1 million, it's likely that we could see a huge leap in those numbers.

Nikon D400 rumours

With Nikon using Sony sensors, and Sony having just unveiled the 24.3Mp Alpha 77, surely it can only be a matter of days before the D300S is upgraded and we see a D400.

A resolution of 24.3Mp is a dead cert for the D400, but what else does Nikon have up its sleeve?

Perhaps the D400 will feature an articulated screen similar to the one in the D5100? Metering on the other hand could fall into line with the D7000 and use a 2,016 pixel sensor – the D300S uses a 1,005 pixel device.

We also expect the maximum continuous shooting rate to be at least 8fps without a battery pack. Perhaps Nikon will push the number of AF points over 51 to cover more of the frame.

Full HD (1080p) video recording is a definite for the D400, as is full-time AF in live view and video mode.

Hopefully, we won't have to wait too much longer to find out.

Nikon Coolpix P8000 release date rumours

The Nikon P7000 has been on the market for less than six months so we're not expecting it to be replaced in 2010, but already, we're anxious to see what will come next.

Externally, the Nikon P7000 is a near-clone of the Canon G12 (it even shares the same sensor) but that's where the similarity ends. Image quality is excellent, but Nikon's flagship compact is let down by its poor operational speed and rather feeble continuous shooting performance.

If Nikon wants to be taken seriously in the tough high-end compact market it's going to have to do better than this with the Nikon P8000. Expect the Nikon P8000 specs to boast a higher resolution sensor, an articulated screen and a beefed-up processor.

We'd love an electronic viewfinder too, rather than the useless and bulky optical finder of the P7000, but we'd settle for a camera that doesn't... take... ages... to... do... anything....

2011 Nikon P8000 release date probability: 100%, if Nikon doesn't want to get laughed out of the playground.

UPDATE August 2011: The Nikon Coolpix P7100 is announced! An update, rather than a brand new model, the P7100 features a tilting, but not fully articulated, screen.