In what was essentially a foregone conclusion after a teaser video popped up this week, yesterday Nikon confirmed it is working on a new, full-frame mirrorless camera.
Nikon’s official statement on the news is incredibly vague, and throws around a lot of hype with phrases saying the new camera will “enable a new dimension in optical performance” and that it “reaffirms our commitment to providing photographers with the ability to capture images that are richer and more vivid than ever before”. But don’t let that distract you from considering how important this camera is to Nikon’s future.
That’s because even though Nikon and Canon have maintained a stronghold on the DSLR market, the single lens reflex category is shrinking, with many major camera executives agreeing that “full-frame mirrorless will become the norm, and it will happen pretty soon”.
Meanwhile, sales of mirrorless cameras increased by 30 per cent in 2017, with companies such as Panasonic, Olympus and most notably Sony reaping much of the benefits.
That brings us back to Nikon’s upcoming full-frame mirrorless, which would not only be a first for Nikon, but could also be a make-or-break product for the company. Let’s first go through what little details Nikon has announced so far, before getting into the more far-out speculation.
The full-frame mirrorless part is a given, but Nikon has also stated that its upcoming camera will feature a new mount that will work with an upcoming line of lenses made specifically for its mirrorless camera.
This might seem like a mistake, as one of Nikon’s greatest assets is all the lenses the company has made over the last hundred years. However, Nikon also added that it’s working on an F-mount adaptor that will let people use its previous lenses on its new camera, though even with the best adaptors, there is often a slight decrease in image quality.
As for other details, the teaser video shows a body that looks like a mix between a Nikon DF and what you’d get on a high-end Sony Alpha (but with a slightly larger grip), with dials to the left and right of a built-in electronic viewfinder and a relatively large-looking display on the back.
And that’s pretty much it. Nikon has also set up a dedicated website for promoting its upcoming camera, but unfortunately, it doesn’t contain any additional info.
Nikon Rumors has posted a pic this week of what might be our first look at Nikon’s upcoming camera, and earlier this month reported that it will be available in two models: One with a 24-MP or 25-MP sensor and one with higher-resolution 45-MP sensor, with prices ranging from under $US3000 ($4052) to around $US4000 ($5402) for the 45-MP variant.
Initially, Nikon Rumors says that there will be three lenses available for Nikon’s new camera, 35mm and 50mm prime lenses at f/1.4, along with a 24-70mm zoom lens. The size of Nikon’s upcoming camera is said to be similar to a Sony a7, but with better ergonomics.
Finally, Nikon Rumors says the camera could start shipping as early as August 23, which would be a good thing for Nikon as reports have suggested for months that Canon is also planning on announcing its own full-frame mirrorless camera sometime later this year.