A directive sent by Nikon Canada
to dealers last week suggests that demand for the D3
will be sky high when it ships starting on November 30 to Canadian dealers, and that special measures are being taken to ensure the camera - as well as the newest Nikkor lenses - make it into the hands of working photographers.
These measures include requiring a prospective purchaser to complete a "Customer Certification Form" in which they must indicate which photography segment they work in and provide reasons as to why they should receive "Priority Fulfillment." The photographer must also agree that the D3 is for their own use in Canada, that they don't intend to resell it (presumably to help limit the number of brand-new bodies being listed on eBay and the like) and that they don't have the camera on order at multiple dealers.
Nikon Canada intends to review forms submitted by dealers and allocate stock of the D3 accordingly; each D3 sent out to a dealer will be earmarked for a particular photographer, and if that photographer chooses not to make the purchase, Nikon Canada and not the dealer will decide who gets that body instead.
While it's common practice in Canada for the camera maker to direct who gets a new pro-level digital SLR in the early days of its release, Nikon Canada's requirements for initial purchasers and its network of dealers are beyond what's typical. This suggests that the company is projecting that D3 demand is going to outstrip supply at a level that's also beyond what's typical.
Nikon Canada's Customer Certification Form is shown below.
Line Up: Nikon Canada's Customer Certification Form for prospective D3 purchasers
In addition, Nikon Canada has informed dealers that "[u]ntil further notice," only D3 purchasers will be eligible to take delivery of Nikon's new zooms and supertelephotos. Specifically, only a photographer buying Nikon's new flagship digital SLR will also be able to buy the AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR, AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4G ED VR and AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4G ED VR.
The D3, along with the AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED and AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, will ship both in Canada and globally on November 30, 2007, notes a letter from Nikon Canada's National Sales Manager Mary Mulder to dealers, sent out last week along with the Customer Certification Form and an explanation of the company's D3 allocation plans.