Back in the days of film, your camera body was not the most important piece of equipment in your camera bag. Essentially, a camera was a box where you loaded film in one side and attached a lens to the other. In the Nikon world, camera bodies ranged from a couple hundred dollars for an entry-level camera up to $2,500 for the flagship F5/F6 body. They all took the same pictures on the same film but the construction and the gizmos and gadgets available on each camera varied. The world of digital has changed that tremendously.
Today’s camera bodies are essentially a small computer that attaches to a lens. Image quality is no longer independent of the camera body but the two are now pretty much one and the same. Since each camera is essentially a computer, Nikon’s price range goes from about $500 for an entry level D40 with lens up to the top of the line D3x for $8,000. No matter which camera you buy, it’s a major investment and like purchasing a new computer, you find it out of date sooner than you can imagine.
For the past 18 months or so I have been using a Nikon D3 as my primary camera. I also own and use a Nikon D2Xs as my second and backup body. Both are about 12 megapixel cameras and create outstanding images.