With photokina just around the corner , and the release of the new D7000 there is general disagreement about whether this is a replacement for the D90 or the D300s .
My thoughts are that it is something in-between ... a "tweener" .
Not quite enough specs to replace the D300 on all counts but too many to be a D90 replacement .
I'm thinking that Nikon are perhaps priming us for the release of another pro dx camera which disappeared when the D3 was released . The D3 was the wrong name for a full frame camera , it should have had a different name since it was in a very different class to the D2X [ fx format vs dx format ] .
We had the D1 , D100 and D70 , then the D2 series , D200 and D80 , next the D3 , D300 and D90 .
The D3 should have been a dx format for those who want a pro body in dx format and the fx format should have had another name and been in a different class .
So Nikon start running our of names for the different models and things are getting messy with the numbering so they name their entry level model the "D3000" giving it room for the D3100 , 3200 , 3300 .... for a few years of updates . This camera is the 'bait' to get beginners to buy a Nikon body cheap - and pay more for lenses that can focus on it .
Then the D5000 series , no focus drive either but a few more features for those who want a little more .
Also plenty of room for updates without changing numbers , 5100 , 5200 , 5300 ........
So we can expect the "thousand' numbering system to prevail in all models including the replacement for the D90 and D300 . People have been expecting a D400 and D95 but I doubt that those numbers will ever appear .
So perhaps the D7000 is slightly below the standards of the expected "D400" so that their next dx body can be that much higher than it - a pro dx body with 11 fps etc. etc. - a D9000 maybe ?
Then the D90 replacement would fall between the D5000 and D7000 - a plastic body with built in focus drive - a D6000 .
But then again what if they pull the same trick they did with the D50 giving us a D40 with no focus drive ? is their plan to slowly phase focus drives out of the lesser bodies so we have the choice between a cheap body and buying expensive lenses to focus with it , or having to upgrade to a more expensive body so we can use the older lenses ? That would mean a D5100 with no focus drive as the only other option - same sensor as the D7000 with less features .
And why did they name the entry level camera a "D3000" ? you would think they would make it a D1000 but maybe they have better plans for the nicer sounding "1000" .
So we have entry level D3000 to D3100
One step up D5000
Keen amateur from D90 to D6000 ?
New semi-semi pro D7000
In between the replacements semi-pro D300 - not to be replaced .
New pro dx body D9000
Update for D3 D1000
Update for D700 D2000
So the question is if we will a D6000 or a D5100 which tells us " no more focus drive unless you upgrade "
Of course this is all pure speculation but interesting to think about :)