No, no that Dr. Evil. I am talking about EVIL camera (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens). There has been a lot of talk lately on that topic. Other companies are not shy of releasing EVIL products left and right, the latest one being the Ricoh GXR, which has a cartridge system that packs the lens and the sensor into one interchangeable piece. After RED, this is as close as you can get to a modular camera (btw few months ago there were rumors about a Nikon modular camera). Olympus E-P2, Panasonic GF-1 and Samsung NX-10 (not yet released) seem to be the most popular EVIL models at that time. The latest rumors are that Sony and Fuji are expected to be next to release EVIL cameras. Canon is quiet. Some rumors pointed to a Canon micro format camera, but nothing substantial so far. And the we have Nikon...
All of the Nikon EVIL camera information so far has been based on patents filed by Nikon Corporation. Filed patents don't mean much - they may or may not materialize and a patent may not even be granted for a some applications. Many companies file patents just to protect something they may use years from now or not use at all. It is important to note that all of the EVIL related patents has been filed by Nikon in the past few months.
I will try to recap all the information we have so far on the rumored Nikon EVIL camera:
Lenses (to convert to full frame equivalent, multiple the focal length by x2.5):
- 32 mm f/1.2 (patent #200090273851)
- 14mm f/2.8 (patent #20090257125)
- 18mm f/1.4 (patent #20090225444)
- 30-107mm f/4-5.6, (patent #20090147376)
- 10.5-107mm f/3.3-6 (patent #20090135498)
- 10.5-108mm f/2.8-6 (patent #20090116121)
- 9-42.6mm f/2.8 - 5.6 (patent #20090086334)
- 10.5-107mm f/2.8 - 5.9 (patent #20090086333)
All of the above lenses have an image diameter of 17 mm. Currently Nikon doesn’t have a camera with 17mm sensor (diagonal) which is smaller than 4/3rd format (21.6 mm). In some of the patents the lenses are described as “employable as an interchangeable lens system”. If Sony comes with an EVIL system next week, it will be interesting to see the sensor size. If the diagonal is 17mm, we will have a BINGO since this is where Nikon will get their sensor from (speculation).
- Lens mount cover while the lens is removed (patent #20090154915) - the camera on the drawing is clearly mirrorless:
- Several different patents applications refer to this drawing, which has been described as (patent #20090256952):