It's not at all unusual for new flagship DSLRs from Nikon and Canon to be backordered to the extreme (in fact, it's the norm), but the D3s' situation is pretty unprecedented -- and there's no letup in sight. We spoke to J&R this past weekend about the tight inventory and we were told that they receive maybe "one or two" D3s bodies every couple of weeks, but not on a regular schedule; they just get them when they get them, and naturally, they're sold out by the time the boxes roll into the store. Folks browsing J&R's website don't even stand a chance.
So, what's the story? Is there a manufacturing problem that Nikon is trying to correct? Is the camera's full-frame sensor being produced at insanely low yields? It'd one thing for demand to outstrip supply, but in this case, they're not even in the same league. It seems like there could be something afoot here, but a company spokesperson has told us this week that there's nothing more to blame than extraordinary demand, seeing how a single factory produces units for the entire world. Fair enough, Nikon -- but considering the rate at which DSLRs obsolesce, it's totally reasonable to think we'll see a D4 before supply catches up.