In this economy, other than the cream of the crop, high budget, agency and or freelance photographers, who would plop 8 grand down, or even 7 grand on a new top of the line camera?
That's a very good argument in favor of releasing a 1dsIV before a new 5D. The market for flagship products is always less sensitive to the economy. 1Ds customers fall into two categories â€“ those who need the product to earn a living and can't afford to risk losing work because their equipment isn't equal to their competitors and those who have the disposable income to spend as much as they want on a product. Neither of these targets are impacted as much by the economy as customers at the 5D end of the scale.
If this was my product range I would launch the 1D (of whatever version:s, mk4, mk5 whatever) first to a place stake in the ground and say "beat this". Then the 5Dmk3 would come out later with a reduced feature set.
My example, after the original statement of principle, cited the 1D and 5D. They sit in a very different category to the 1000D, 600D, 60D and 7D.
Just because it's fun to cause problems, I will quibble. I think there are really three categories. I would put the 1D bodies into one category, the 5D and 7D into another and all the others into a third. While this forum is dominated by full-frame enthusiasts, my personal, non-scientific observation of the real world is that individuals who earn their living from photography at the modest/middle-class level (wedding photographers, freelancers, small and mid-market photojournalists) seem to be a mixture of 5D and 7D users.
Just one example: I've had the misfortune to attend a number of weddings in the last couple of years and have noticed that while most use 5D's, there are a fair number of 7D users as well. Some mix the two bodies. I have yet to see any wedding photographer using a 1D. (They may be out there, but not at weddings in my socioeconomic category.)
I don't pretend to know where the market is going. I'm not convinced anyone, including Nikon and Canon really knows either. (Not that they don't do a lot of market research, but because the market itself is changing rapidly) But, it seems from my narrow vantage point that the distance between the 5D and the 1D is increasing and the distance between the 7D and the 5D is narrowing.
I still believe that one of the big challenges facing Canon is what to do about video in the 5D. I don't think they anticipated the popularity that the camera would enjoy with video and filmmakers. Now they have to figure out how to satisfy two very different markets. Some months ago, I suggested that the biggest challenge for Canon may be trying to meet both demands in a single body. I still believe they will only split the 5D line if there is absolutely no way they feel they can produce a camera optimized for both film and stills.
Finally, I tend to agree with Neuro that we could well see different sensors in the 1Ds than in the 5D. If that is the case, we could also see both bodies announced at or about the same time.