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Nikon in 2010: “We plan to surprise the market”

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From an interview with Hiroshi Takashima (General Manger of Imaging Division at Nikon) at Photofair:

Q: What can we expect from Nikon in 2010?

A: We plan to surprise the market. We will concentrate only on better quality and better line-up of cameras. So you can expect surprises.

Me thinks the surprise will be the rumored Nikon EVIL system. What could be considered a "surprise" in the DSLR world?

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  • kim

    When I couldn’t afford a D700, I wanted one, and when I could, I lost interest. Ditto with the upcoming D900. Truth is, my D200 is still a far better camera than I am a photographer and a 900 isn’t going to do all that much about that :-( The money’s gone on a nicely spec’d Macbook instead :-)

    But it is all very exciting. Nikon has been the comeback kid these past few years!

    • Dr SCSI

      Kim, I know exactly what you are saying….I have been on an aquisition frenzy since I seriously got into photography two years ago, and I can’t wait until the day that I am worthy of it all. LOL :-) Nice to know I ain’t in this boat alone!

    • http://www.hayphoto.ca HayPhoto

      Comeback kid maybe, but I don’t pay a premium for out of date technology, especially if I’m upgrading from something that still works (just doesn’t meet my ever-growing needs).

      In my opinion, Nikon really needs to step up and start delivering on specs with its new cameras and lenses (adding AF to old lenses isn’t rocket science).

      I’m starting to seriously think Nikon is in the dark with which way the market is going, that is why they release really awesome low-light abilities in their cameras and nothing else.

  • T.

    What would really surprise me is if they gave the market a roadmap of what’s coming out, so our budgets weren’t surprised by surprise purchases.

  • Ed

    Either case, I would prefer Nikon NOT make budget items. Lower cost lenses/bodies do make sales but Nikon should continue the reputation of “you get what you paid for”. Ok Ok, the latest 70-200mm flaky on the inside was….. a turn-off but I would like Quality instead of Quantity. Of course, the better it is, it’s gotta cost more right?

    • http://www.iamron.com Ron Adair

      I see no problems with tiny holes magnified by a huge ass piece of glass. I think that was way overblown by the Nikon crowd.

      • Dr SCSI

        +1 Ron…I think most people who got upset about it don’t own or have never seen the results of photos the 70-200 VR II makes. In the end, its all about the final product which comes out in the targeted medium. Along the way, it is all about the useability and reliability of the tool.

        • http://www.iamron.com Ron Adair

          Well said. For those of you who have the 70-200 VRII, I will say that I probably would have been concerned as well—especially after paying such a hefty sum for that piece of glass. But people jumped the gun and called it flaking when in reality it was not a flaking issue, but a pitting issue, and probably tiny at that. And for those STILL carrying on, those are the ones that should be hung.

  • low

    i think we’re going to see a f1.2 lens this year ;-)

    • http://jtra.cz jtra

      Yeah, the Nikon AF-S 60mm f/1.2 N VR _DX_

      I would buy one nice fast portrait DX lens that would be comparable to 85/1.4 on FX.

  • Ubiquitous

    Hi People:

    I would not put too much into what Mr. Hiroshi Takashima, General Manager of Imaging Division, has to say. He is not listed in Nikon’s top management or Officers and not even a member of Nikon’s Board of Directors. In other words, he has no real power in the company. It is also another indication on how Nikon has become a financial driven corporation and no longer a technology driven one. The people directly in charge of Imaging have no power; the finance people do.

    It does not mean that Nikon is not coming out with groundbreaking news. However, I would be more attentive if Mr. Michio Kariya (President) or Mr. Ichiro Terato (Exeutive VP and, imho, the real power in Nikon) had been interviewed instead.

    • Dr SCSI

      Well put…one point I would like to add….what if Mr Hiroshi Takashima knew what that next great Nikon product was going to be, but he wasn’t at liberty to say. If he was an photo enthusiast, he would be bursting at the sides to tell us the insider stuff, but he can’t. Heck, I would be interested if Mr H.T. still had his job after the interview, as he may have released too much as it was.

    • longtimenikonshooter

      Nikon will come out with more $2K+ lenses instead in 2010, and that will surprise markets.

    • http://www.iamron.com Ron Adair

      Can you explain how the D3, D3x, D3s, D700, D90, D5000, and various lenses make Nikon a non-technology driven company? Sheesh, making waves isn’t enough anymore.

      • Ubiquitous

        Mr. Adair:

        Very easy. The technology of the cameras that you mentioned were developed before the new people at Nikon took over in June 2007. You even said that it takes time to develop new technology. Most of Nikon’s head of departments were appointed in June 2007, June 2008, and June 2009

        Nikon belongs to the Mitsubishi group of companies and Mr. Ichiro Terato’s background, the all powerful Executive VP, is with the Mitsubishi Bank. The takeover is now complete. Just study their Board of Directors to realize what is happening. Nikon is not what it used to be two years ago.

        I read a lot of your comments and they could have been said about GM 20 years ago: “How dare you tell GM what to do?” Well, the last I heard was that GM came to the American people (their consumer base,) and the American Government on their hands and knees begging for loans and money to stay in business. Is that the direction you want Nikon to follow by disregarding their base just like GM did?

        I have bought a lot of lenses lately and they are not Nikon: ZF 25, ZF 35, ZF 50, CV 50 and my next one is Tokina 11-16. I follow my own timetable and not Nikon’s. Hey, I’m the one with my purchasing money and not Nikon.

        • Ubiquitous

          Sorry. I meant CV58 and not CV50 – the Voigtlander 58mm Nokton f/1.4.

  • Canon user

    It would be cool to see Nikon FX camera with EOS mount! That would SHAKE the market.

    Also please do away with mechanic shutter. Electronic shutter must be ready for now (video mode works without shutter, right?)

  • Dr SCSI

    OK, here it is….the SMALL surprise from Nikon…
    Nikon introduces a new (MX, M for micro) format, thereby establishing a whole new market segment. Its closest competitor will be the Four-Thirds open standard system. The new sensor is smaller, 17mm diagonal vs the 21.6mm diagonal found in the Four-Thirds system. This gives the camera a crop factor (CF) of about 2.5x vs. a CF of 2x in the Four-Thirds, thereby allowing smaller lenses which are cheaper to produce and easier to market. This camera format is meant to close the huge gap between the point and shoot systems and the Four-Thirds systems, and it is targeted specifically at amatures that want more than a point and shoot but less than a Four-Thirds system. Want proof…Nikon’s current camera line-up goes for anywhere between $550 and $7500, Four-Thirds cameras fall between $425 and $1250, and point and shoot cameras go from the $25 “Hello Kitty” Camera to $1000 for a Casio Exilim Pro blah…blah… Where are the interchangeable lens cameras that fall under the $400 mark? There isn’t any that I know of, unless you go with Ken Rockwell’s theory of buying a close-out D40 because it is the most that most amatures will need anyway. Go check this wikipedia link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_sensor_format) about this untapped market for a graph which demonstrates the gap. The new MX format will not be an SLR in the traditional sense, as the mirror and prism will go away in favor of a digital view finder. This should put the entry price between $400-500 with an entry level kit lens. Want more proof, go look at all the patents Nikon filed for the EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) System. Pay close attention to the patent filing dates, as this will suggest the order the lenses will be released. If you follow the link here (http://nikonrumors.com/2009/10/16/its-a-nikon-patents-friday-nikon-mirrorless-interchangeable-lens-camera.aspx) you will notice September 2008 filings for two zoom lenses with 35mm equivlent ranges of 22-105 and 26-270. I suspect we will initially see this MX camera debuted with two kit offerings of those aforementioned lenses. Its what all amatures will desire, 5x and 10x zooms in an interchageable lens camera from Nikon, at a price point which fits the budget of the masses. With a Sep 2008 patent filing for the lenses and a Dec 2008 filing for the EVIL camera, you know Nikon should be ready to release it very soon. Most likely they will anounce this MX camera on the 3rd of February and have demo models at PMA 2010 later in the month. Its anybody’s bet as to how long it will take before they start shipping to retailers. AND NOW THE BIG SURPRISE…keeping with Nikon’s 50+ year tradition of interchangeable lenses, this new camera will sport an F mount for backward/forward compatibility. I know this sounds crazy, but its not really. The FX bodies automatically drop the sensor resolution when mated with a DX lens, and the DX body benefits from the sweet spot of all FX lenses (even when they are shot wide open). Therefore we should expect to see the same effects of mounting an MX lens on a DX camera (DX cameras automatically crops for MX lens as its already in your firmware), and when an FX or DX lens is on an MX camera, the MX camera benefits from the better glass, especially at wide apertures; and let us not forget the 2.5x crop factor advantage for the long shots and all the compatibility of third party lens manufacturers like Sigma, Tokina, etc. I should also mention the greater DOF with the new MX sensor, but I will save that for another posting. Final thoughts….like any company, Nikon needs to make money, they want to make money, that’s what they do and in today’s economy the new MX sensor couldn’t be better timed. The only thing to debate about now is the megapixel count of the MX sensor and its ISO capability. With a sensor area about 1/3 of DX or 1/6 of FX, the whims of amatures, marketability, and Nikon’s dedication to quality, I foresee 10MP with useable ISO up to 1600. Are you surprised yet? :-)

    • Dr SCSI

      ADMIN – How about survey on the sensor pixel density and ISO capability of the EVIL camera? This way we can see how close everyone gets to the official anouncement on 3 February. :-)

    • Rangefinder Bob

      +1

      Best, most well-reasoned, analysis, by far. And no whining or silly wish lists from the author!

    • STJ

      Best comments here so far are from Dr SCSI.. Thanks…

    • Richard

      Dr. SCSI,

      The more I think about it the more I think that you are both right and wrong. (How’s that for straddling the fence?)

      What I actually mean by that is that I think there is a distinct possibility that Nikon may adopt a Mx (Mini) format and an APS-C format. Wouldn’t that be a surprise?

      Let’s face it, Nikon’s offerings in the P&S market have not exactly set the world on its ear. The Mini may be an attempt to lure customers who would otherwise purchase somebody else’s P&S to buy a Nikon, just a different kind of Nikon. It fulfills the “cute” factor, is pocketable and should make adequate 5×7 prints (perhaps even 8×10) as well as “looking good” when sent by email or posted on the web. I seem to recall that something in the neighborhood of 95% of all prints made are 5×7 or smaller so the Mini would cover that market and the APS-C body would cover the enthusiast market.

      The APS-C would be aimed at people who want something “like” the 4/3rds cameras, but better in IQ (not that the images I have seen posted of the 4/3rds and µ4/3rds cameras are bad). You would have more pixels for cropping/editing and Nikon benefits from having some ready-to-go sensors of a known to them technology and (keeping the F Mount) some ready to go lenses while they fill in more specialized lenses, a pancake, for example.

      This not only fits with the various rumors, but fits the “plugging the holes in the market” issue.

      • Dr SCSI

        Richard, based on the following quote, are you suggesting two EVIL camera types, one with a 17mm diagonal sensor and one with an APS-C sensor, both without a mirror or pentaprism?
        “What I actually mean by that is that I think there is a distinct possibility that Nikon may adopt a Mx (Mini) format and an APS-C format. ”
        That is a very interesting concept, as it would address why Nikon went to the trouble to design a new set of smaller lenses with a 17mm imaging circle. I agree with you absolutely about the fact that Nikon will have lenses a plenty for both types of cameras, and the “cute” factor plays a bigger roll than most people realize. I guess the only question I have is, “at what price point do you bring in the APS-C EVIL camera?” I guess it would come in just a tiny bit above the cost of a 4/3rds system, because of sensor size and image quality, but below Nikon’s lowest price entry level DSLR. I think you may be onto something, because this would mean Nikon would be jumping into two new segments, one above and one below the 4/3rds, while managing to leverage their lens lineup in both forms!

  • Anticipator

    Damn!!! I hate surprises!!!

  • dude

    D4 please.

  • bonzo

    What, no lenses, just cameras?

  • Surprise meaning

    all rumors will be missed

  • JON

    well..they already did surprise people…with bad manufacturing process on 70-200mm vr2..caught everyone by surprise..paying $2.4k with crap inside the lens..

    • hellosunday

      As much as i hate it, ive gotta agree with you on this. I still think their being dodgy telling people its “Normal” in the manufacturing process. That never happened on any of my other lenses.

      • http://www.iamron.com Ron Adair

        Can you show one image where quality is actually diminished by the micro spots which are amplified by a huge magnifying glass on the front of the lens? I think people are looking for a reason to complain.

        If Nikon needs to charge more (for better products, mind you) to keep afloat, then I will go along for the ride. It’s not like they’re pocketing trillions in profit on the gear we’re buying. Look at their freaking financials.

        • Ubiquitous

          Mr. Adair:

          How do you know for certain that all the debris reported inside the 70-200 VRII won’t affect the functioning of the lens down the road? Talk is cheap! Are you willing to refund the money or repair the lenses, out of your own pocket, if the lens develops more problems in the future? Wasn’t this the job of Nikon Central to assure the 70-200 VRII owners that there is nothing wrong with the lens by issuing a categorical statement instead of sending their surrogates and underlings with non-denials denials?

          • Dr SCSI

            Mr. Adair, it is good that the bubles in the glass were noticed. I suspect over time, those bubles won’t matter a hoot. With that said, should they become a problem in say 5 years, I am sure there would be enough lawyers willing to fight a class action lawsuit against Nikon for a known flaw discovered in 2009. Also, I imagine Nikon would replace any of the lenses which have a problem because of the bubbles, long after the manufacturer warranty expired just to avoid a class action. Just my two cents….

          • http://www.iamron.com Ron Adair

            Debris, ubiquitous? Have you read anything re: bubblegate? So far, it sounds like a terrible non-issue.

            SCSI—Sure, it’s good notes were made on the issue, but really only if there indeed is a problem after X years. I suppose only time will tell. But I still have yet to see anyone show any image degradation whatsoever from the bubbles.

  • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin
    • Dr SCSI

      Is there more information available about the sensor? What does the author mean by “Back Illuminated”? I think your previous posts about the EVIL camera and lenses is going to be the BIG thing at the next PMA show. My lengthy post above re-caps several of your points and is strengthed by economical logic. There just isn’t a capable system available that fills the gap between Point&Shoot and Four-Thirds.

      • RumpelHund

        Back illuminated is an approach to use the sensor’s backside after making it thin enough.
        This spares the photocells from the shadow of the electronics, especially at CMOS.
        In former times this was done mechanically with very low yield and high costs. These days it is done by etching to some stop-layer and polishing. Sony claims to do it better now than anyone else so it finds its way into consumer cameras.
        Not for better quality, of course, but to shrink the pixel-size even more.

  • Gusto

    Doesn’t seem like it’ll be an EVIL camera based on the interview with Tetsuro Goto:

    “In the near future, it is possible that we will also use electronic viewfinders, but for now the quality is not there yet.” – from http://nikonrumors.com/2010/01/20/interview-with-tetsuro-goto.aspx

    Won’t be medium format also, based on the same interview.

    Surprise can be even smaller DSLR, large sensor compact, new SWM or underwater equipment. :)

    • Dr SCSI

      Gusto, I remember that comment from Mr Tetsuro Goto, but your also relying on google translations to get it right. Also, what was the applicability of his statement? Maybe what is meant, is that in professional DSLR cameras, where quality expectations are high in the $5K plus category, the quality is not there yet. The question/answer was regarding Four-Thirds cameras as a posibility from Nikon, and the use of electronic view finders. (Follow the link to the French site, and translate to English yourself for the full story. http://www.focus-numerique.com/news_id-1725.html ) I doubt Mr Goto would have given away a new technology implementation in an upcoming product release, prior to its debut. I am sure like politicians, they are coached on how to word dance with reporters.

      • Gusto

        You’re right. They probably know how to ‘word dance’ with reporters. :)

  • http://www.jphotog.com Eric

    The overall tone and quality of his answers to the questions does not fill me with confidence. Luckily, he’s only a sales drone, not in engineering.

  • b-red

    a built in flash which rotates, allowing one to bounce a stock flash, would surprise me.

  • cybertron

    Releasing
    70-200 F4 VR

  • Bryan

    The D3X only costs us $250 to manufacture….SURPRISE!!

    • hellosunday

      Nikon would then prolly lose a significant market share if they didn’t amend the D3X’s prices =P

  • eman

    how about a 12mp FF EVIL flagship :P ?

  • John

    I hope the “MX” body does not have a sensor smaller than DX – more noise, more depth of field when you don’t want it, and diffraction kicks in sooner. The higher pixel pitches also stress new and existing lenses even more. The m4/3 lenses that are wide are not small relative to the m4/3 bodies so I expect a 17mm diagonal sensor wide angle lens to not be that small either relative to it’s body. Plus none of the Nikon patents had a really wide angle lens (I think there was a 22mm FX equivalent).
    As far a the electronic viewfinder I was pretty happy with my CoolPix 8400 for what it was – I sure hope Nikon has improved upon EVF technology in the last ten years.. The EVF of the Panny G1 and GH1 I thought were fantastic.

    Don’t blow it Nikon! – Use a DX sensor and a great EVF for your EVIL camera.

    • Dr SCSI

      John, I think Nikon will offer a smaller sensor, with 17mm diaganal. I know what you are saying about more noise, and more DOF, diffraction, and pixel pitch, but please remember this system isn’t targeted at most of us here. I suspect Nikon has perfected the EVF or they bought the technology or it was a joint venture with another Japanese company. If you strip out the expensive Prism, the mirror mechanism, deploy a smaller sensor, introduce a new MX lens series but keep the 50 year old Nikon F mount, what do you get? You get a camera that many amatures will jump all over like a chicken on a June bug, or a pack of pitbulls on a gut wagon. Nikon gets a new market, plus they gain a new customer base whose MX lenses can be used on a DX body, or FX for that matter, or visa versa. You have what many people will believe to be a modular system with an upgrade path for their investment. For me, I will finally get a camera system I can keep in the car and not worry about it. :-)

      • John

        Dr. SCSI -

        I hope they do not use a smaller sensor.
        If they make a line of MX lenses that only cover the 17mm diagonal AND keep the F-mount, the MX lenses will not be useable on DX or FX cameras because they will be designed to have a smaller image circle and won’t work well on DX and certainly not FX.

        IF the MX lenses were for a DX-sized sensor, used the f-mount, but were designed for a much closer rear element to sensor surface, this would be great as you could use an adapter to use your DX and FX lenses without issue.

        As to whom the “MX” system is intended for – only Nikon knows of course. If it’s intended for those (like me) who want a high quality, small format camera and are willing to pay a price – great and make it a DX-sized sensor. If it’s to lure the point and shoot crowd and it has a sensor smaller than the m4/3 offerings – it won’t be attractive – I can buy something likely better from Panasonic or Olympus because I have to invest in a new line of lenses that can’t be used on my DX or FX bodies anyways, so why stay with Nikon?

        I doubt Nikon will be cheap enough to let you keep it in the car and forget about it – that’s the definition of their current CoolPix line-up!

        • Dr SCSI

          John-
          Your right, the MX lenses won’t work WELL on a DX or FX camera, but theoretically in my fantasy world, they would WORK, much like the DX lens WORKS on an FX body. And I still believe a MX lens would work on the FX camera, but on the 12MP FX sensor, you would only get 2MP and on the 24MP FX sensor, maybe 4MP; a waste of pixels no doubt! The fact that Nikon is planing on making interchangeable lenses for the EVIL camera that have an image circle of 17mm STRONGLY suggests a new sensor is in the pipeline. If Nikon just stuffs an APS-C sensor in the EVIL camera, why the need for MX EVIL lenses then? Just use DX lenses on the APS-C EVIL equiped camera, no need for a new lens with an imaging circle of 17mm.

          “IF the MX lenses were for a DX-sized sensor, used the f-mount, but were designed for a much closer rear element to sensor surface, this would be great as you could use an adapter to use your DX and FX lenses without issue.” —– You lost me here…why would I have a lens which has an image circle that has been optimized for only 33% of the available pixels the DX sensor would provide? If the MX rear element was moved closer to the sensor surface, the image circle would decrease in diameter and you would lose even more of your DX pixels. If the EVIL camera kept the F mount (which I am sure it will), there would be no need for adapters or spacers; there isn’t a need for them when I put an FX lens on my D300. Surely you meant something other than what I have comprehended. :-)

          As for the targeted audience of the MX EVIL format, I believe it will be your point and shoot audiance wanting a little more capability, but not the cost of DSLR or 4/3rds. Go look at the prices on 4/3rds systems, you will be shocked, especially at their lenses. Nikon isn’t trying to sell you or I the EVIL system, we are already hooked on DSLRs in DX or FX variants. They are just creating the yellow brick road for P&S users to eventually follow into the kingdom of FX. Nikon is keeping the costs of those yellow bricks down, by introducing an MX sensor and matching lenses that cost far less than the 4/3rds its competitors offer. As for a glove box camera to keep in my car, I can’t fit the D300 with the 18-200 lens, but a MX EVIL camera with a 5X zoom, I probably could. And at 1/4 the price of my D300 combo, I wouldn’t heistate.

          I know the smaller sensor doesn’t seem like a step in the right direction, but it is feasible and it makes financial sense. Somewhere in this thread I have a very lengthy post that goes into much greater detail, so I won’t repeat it all here. Anyway here is a summary of why I think it makes sense for Nikon to do this.

          1.) DX lenses work fine on FX bodies, but due to the vignetting of the DX lenses, Nikon FX cameras automatically crop down to ~5MP when DX lens is mounted on the D3 (not sure what they crop down to on a D3X, 10MP maybe). Same logic will apply for MX on DX, there will be a crop, but it is still useable. However, you would really be throwing good money down the drain by mounting an MX lens on an FX body. But when you go the other way, FX lens on an MX body with a 2.5x crop factor, it will appeal to many.
          2.) When I bought my D300, I was buying FX glass because I knew I would eventually upgrade to the D3. Yep, it seemed like a waste to many observers, but I was making photos using great glass at the time. Later, when I did get the money for a D3, I already had great lenses for it. The same logic would apply for an MX owner purchasing the higher quality DX lens, because they know they will upgrade to a DX camera one day, but they can use their DX glass now on their MX camera. They also know that the DX glass COULD be used on an FX should they ever decide to jump up to FX.
          3.) Let us not forget the resale value of F mount lenses from Nikon; quite often there are some models that go up in value, but for the most part they retain their value fairly well. Can any other manufacturer make that same claim? Panasonic, Fuji, Sony, anyone?
          4.) Mount a DX lens on the Nikon FX DSLR’s and they don’t have to process as many pixels due to the crop. The D3 will crank out 11 fps, and I believe the D3X cranks out 13 fps with a DX lens, or maybe it is 9 and 11 respectively (I am terrible with prime numbers). It is quite possible a MX lens on a DX body would allow the DX camera to hum along in MX cropped mode. There is no telling how much feature proofing Nikon put into their DX lineup of cameras, and we just don’t know about it yet. :-)
          5.)There is a huge gap in the sensor market between 4/3rds and Point and Shoot cameras. Nikon plans on exploiting this gap, by offering a cross platform lens/camera system to amatures not willing to jump into a full blown DSLRs. It will have the Nikon name, and the largest availability of lenses from numerous manufacturers. I think Bill Murray said it best, “Baby Steps”.
          6.) If Nikon succeeds in this venture, it will benefit us all. Nikon will have more revenue to R&D ever better products. And many of us will now have an audiance to sell our used DX lenses to, while we aspire to FX.

          • JWW

            To keep using the F mount would mean having to keep the same mount to sensor distance, a complete waste if there is no mirror to fill this gap. Remember the idea of a Nikon EVIL with a small sensor would be to make it small. I still think F mount lenses will work, but will need the adapter.

          • John

            Keeping the F-mount has nothing to do with keeping the same mount to sensor distance. The F-mount is basically the diameter of the mount. What Nikon can do is slightly modify the F-mount so that only MX lenses can directly mount to it — OK just call it the MX mount, but it’s the same size/diameter as the current F-mount. The did this with their TCs so that only certain lenses could mount to it – so why can’t they do it on the body?. This makes making an adapter for F-mount lenses to the MX mount easier – basically just an extension ring. The modified mount is now closer to the sensor and it’s larger, thus making it much easier to design non-retrofocus wide angle designs for the DX (hopefully) sensor.
            It’s currently hard to make a small wide-angle lens for the DX (APS-C) sensor cameras with the F-mount because the sensor is too far away, thus requiring a retro-focus design that makes the wide angle lenses much larger (longer and bulkier).

            Larger mount + smaller mount-sensor distance = easier wide angle design.
            Now the F-mount size can be a hindrance to making a small camera, but gosh Nikon made many small film cameras with an optical finder (FM-10, FM3A, etc., etc.) so why can’t they have this size body or smaller without an optical VF? You can make a small EVIL camera with the F-mount (OK modified F-mount), you just have to want to.
            John

          • Dr SCSI

            John, you bring up many interesting points and through the back and forth theorizing, a composite image of the EVIL camera is starting to solidify in my head…
            “What Nikon can do is slightly modify the F-mount so that only MX lenses can directly mount to it — OK just call it the MX mount”….I can’t quite agree with that one, because Nikon is all about compatibility and interchangeability. Why didn’t they make the DX cameras only accept DX lenses then, because Nikon wanted to pull in all of their old film users who already had money tied up in FF lenses, that’s why. Your idea of making an MX to DX/FX extension ring is valid, and brings up some other interesting thoughts. If the MX camera had a shorter distance between the F mount and the sensor plane to keep it compact, and the MX lenses were optimized for a 17mm imaging circle to match the new 17mm diagnol sensor, what would happen if you put a DX/FX lens on the MX body without an extension ring? Would you still have a 2.5X crop factor, or would moving the back lens element of a DX/FX lens closer to the sensor plane reduce the magnifying effect and give you less of a crop factor , but better DOF options? WOW! Now that would be a surprise, you could opt for the extension ring to get 2.5x crop, or not to get something like a 1.5X crop, talk about lots of creative options!!

          • Richard

            I would not see keeping the F Mount as a means of usingg MX lenses on DX or FX bodies, but the reverse situation.

            If the F Mount is used, even with a “native” shorter focusing distance, it would be pretty simple for people to pop an adapter on an existing DX lens and use it on the MX camera with the corrected focusing distance and a pass through of electronic data. For example, putting a 55-200mm DX VRII, which someone already owns, on such a camera would still be compact for the occasional use. There are a lot of people adapting various manual focus lenses to 4/3rds bodies and living with the step down & manual focus issues just because it is a neat way to use their existing glass or adapt things that the body manufacturer had not envisioned. One popular combination is to put a 50mm f1.4 lens on a 4/3rds body resulting in an effective 100mm f1.4…pretty neat, I think.

  • SimonC

    The surprise is more 18..XXX DX zoom lenses….bwa ha ha ha!

  • Ren Kockwell

    How about a competent Coolpix camera? That would be a surprise…

    • STJ

      Copy of above post…

  • datafox

    A surprise would be they drop dx for m4/3. Plus all m4/3 have sensor stabilization and full use of Nikon lenses.

    • WoutK89

      Nikon will make an EVIL camera, not m4/3, they would be stupid to make it a true m4/3. People will buy the panasonic body with Nikon glass, and Nikon wants us to be able to only buy both from them ;-)

      • Dr SCSI

        +1 WoutK89, see my long post about the EVIL camera. At first, I thought too that Nikon would introduce a m4/3 system, until I started reading the posts by ADMIN and the specifications on the matching lenses. Some further research reveals Nikon is dedicated to the F mount and they won’t budge. Thus I summized that Nikon’s new EVIL camera will be a F mount that uses FX, DX, and MX (micro) lenses. The smaller 17mm sensor format is not currently available in an interchangeable lens system by any manufacturer. If Nikon pulls this off, they will have created a new market between point and shoot users and m4/3. Plus the entry price for a Nikon interchageable lens system (with a kit lens) drops below $500, possibly as low as $349 sans lens. Economies of scale, upgrade path for amatures to go from MX to DX to FX with all lenses working interchageably with all systems; are you suprised yet?

  • glu

    I read the interview and the guy never says it’s going to be a good surprise, right?

    OTOH, maybe it’s just the Indian market that they want to surprise…

    :)

  • M!

    it’s going to be an F7.

  • Kiki Lavier

    My guess to shake up the market is to replace the FX format D700 with two models:

    * Based on the D700 (overall) but with HD video, and better high ISO performance beyond ISO 3200.

    * The shake-up model will be an entry-level FX camera with the build and feature set of the D90 or D5000.

    The shake-up model will spur more interest into FX, but will confuse or cannibalize sales of the cropped format D300 series.

    * Another shake-up model will be a compact camera with the DX size sensor but it is not a DSLR.

    * Consider the Micro 4/3 format. Look at the constant backlog of orders for the Micro 4/3 format camera–the Panasonic GF1, which accepts interchangeable lenses but has no reflex housing. There’s a big demand for that type of quality camera that other camera manufacturers would love to serve! The Micro 4/3s format is smaller than DX. I think it is 13x17mm. That’s a lot bigger than most compact point and shoot cameras, which cannot perform well at even modest ISO settings. The GF1 can at least perform well at ISO 800.

    • Dr SCSI

      Kiki Lavier, I agree with you about a D700 replacement, my guess will be a D700S with better ISO, but priced to not overly compete with the D3S.
      I don’t forsee an entry-level FX camera, that would pull too many sales away from the D700 (which by the way, is the entry level FX, if you ask me). DX will be around for a while, especially if Nikon needs to continue selling their DX lenses which cost so much to make :-) An entry-level FX, at a price which is implied to be less that the D700, but more than a D300S just doesn’t make sense; retail of such a camera would have to be between $1900-$2100 (body only). By the time Nikon released it, the D700 would have drifted into that price category anyway. “Another shake-up model will be a compact camera with the DX size sensor but it is not a DSLR. ” – I think the new EVIL camera clearly indicates a smaller sensor with a 17mm diagnanal. Nikon won’t consider m4/3, because that would mean they HAVE-TO agree to a new lens mount. I say it will be a MX lens system sticking with the traditional F mount for interchangeability with its big brother DSLR systems. Nikon is going to turn the market upside down with their interchangeable lenses which give amatures an upgrade path at an afordable price. MX > DX > FX (Suprised yet?) Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens (EVIL); my guess is they will call it the “Mini Me”.

      • Richard

        Why not an APS-C EVIL? The cost savings would permit a price point advantage compared to a similar DSLR and, perhaps, close enough to the 4/3 bodies, but with better resolution and IQ, to be competitive. Use the existing DX lenses with a few new faster ones tossed in that are optimized for the new body and it should be a competitive combination leveraging their existing technology and lenses. It might even have an optional 4×5 aspect ratio (and perhaps others) in the fashion of the 4/3 bodies. The body could easily be something a bit smaller than a Leica M still have plenty of space inside for the electronics. This would be the slightly larger alternative to 4/3 in the way that µ4/3 is the slightly smaller alternative to 4/3.

        Just how small a camera to most people want? Just for illustrative purposes, consider the D40 body (or the old Olympus OM-1 for that matter) without the mirror & etc of an SLR. It could actually be rather compact.

        The question is, just what is “good enough” for the electronic viewfinder? At the non-pro level I should think the typical customer would be happy with something that “looked nice”, but in a less critical way than a pro.

        The advantage to Nikon of this would be that it is a market space without competition…for a while anyway…and leverages their existing bits and pieces.

        • Dr SCSI

          Richard, you bring up some very interesting points. However, an APS-C EVIL wouldn’t require new lenses if Nikon kept their F mount, which I am sure they intend on doing on there new MX(?) camera. Just look at all of the US patent submissions for EVIL lenses with a 17mm imaging circle. It wouldn’t make sense for Nikon to put the higher APS-C sensor in such a format like the EVIL, and then mate MX lenses to it. For example, take their latest, highest pixel count on the APS-C of 12MP, but now due to cropping of MX EVIL (17mm diag) lenses, you get a 4MP cropped picture, with great ISO albeit, but which amature is going to buy a 4MP camera? To take advantage of the 12MP on tap, the amature would have to buy DX lenses. Now you just introduced a D90 competitor, and threw out all your R&D money on MX lenses nobody will buy. Although the new MX system may be similar in physical size to a 4/3 system, it won’t be 4/3 because Nikon will never submit to another lens mount (at least not now anyway). I can hear the CEO discussions in the board room at Nikon from 2-4 years ago, “We need to bring an inovative product to market which has a competitive advantage over 4/3rds, but is qualtatively better than any point and shoot. It MUST have interchangeable lenses which are compatible with our F mount!” Hence the EVIL camera was born. With a kit lens and an entry price point of less than $500, I think Nikon has a magic formula here. And I will say it again, MX>DX>FX is the path amatures will go over time as their incomes increase and their interest in the hobby goes up. Just think about all of the non-knowledgeable people you know who ask you about which camera to buy. Go to any camera store and you can watch them levitate toward camera bodies with removable lenses, only to turn away because of the entry price of $650 in the cheapest 4/3 system they can find. It looks as if the EVIL camera will debut with two kit lenses, one 5x and one 10x optical zoom; and I bet Nikon underprice the Panasonic G1 by 20% or more on introduction. I can also here the future sales staff at a local photoshop giving advice to an amature, “The Nikon EVIL camera is our hottest selling entry level SLR-like camera with an interchangeable lens system, that is compatible with nearly 50 years worth of Nikon lenses. With this system you can grow into pro-summer (DX) or pro (FX) systems from Nikon in the future. We also have a wide selection of MX optimized lenses at a significant cost savings. Or if you prefer, we have a large selection of Tamron and Sigma lenses are also compatible and benefit from the 2.5X crop of the MX sensor.”
          Just start to price the 4/3 lenses and you will understand why Nikon won’t do it, and moreover, why Nikon will kick the sheit right out of 4/3rds.

          • Anonymous

            @Dr. SCSI,

            “Keep the F Mount” That is the point of it all. The additional lenses would be some that are faster than typical for a DX camera (probably primes). The existing 35mm f1.8 would make a fine normal lens for most situations. Anyway, keeping the F Mount is crucial to hitting the ground running.

          • Richard

            Dr. SCSI,

            Erwin Puts posted something earlier this month had what was almost a throwaway comment “There is a strong rumor that Nikon, Canon and Sony are developing mirror-less compact cameras with APS-C sensor sizes. ” (without attribution) in his blog entry “Lost Decade”. http://www.imx.nl/photo/page152/page152.html#unique-entry-id-11

            Oh, that was me making the (Anonymous) comment that the point of the exercise is to use the F Mount. I changed computers and it did not fill in my name…oops! IN other words, yes, that is what I was saying. I could see a number of more specialized lenses being added as time and resources permit, but Nikon would have an have an extensive offering of lenses for the body the day it is introduced.

            The alternative is an open spec, like the 4/3rds spec, with lenses tailored to it and an adapter to use F Mount lenses in the meantime. There are quite a few adapters for various lenses to the 4/3rds mount right now.

  • Olivier

    Nikon, if you really want to surprise the market, make an FX EVIL camera with a 45 F2 pancake and try to fit inside all the good stuff you managed to put in in the D700…I will put my name on the pre-orders list in a second.

    The number of people interested in the M9 (but not buying it because of price and/or lack of AF) shows that there is a market out there for an excellent camera, not obtrusive…the perfect companion for documentary photography AND the camera you take with you at all times when leaving home, wether you intend to take pictures or not.

    • Richard

      +1

    • getanalogue

      +10000

  • Chris P

    The suprise will be that Nikon secretly bought Fuji’s sensor design that they put in the S5 and are going to produce a D700 based FX version around 12 + 12 Mp. This will have no video, but a huge dynamic range and slide film like JPEG’s, this will be for still photographers who actually want to go out and take photographs.

  • getanalogue

    Surprise: Focus on quality: Discontinue D300s, D90, D700
    New Line-up of bodies: D3000, D5000, D3s, D3x
    What a surprise!

  • http://www.reloo.com Camilla J

    Why not suprise us with lower ISO, like 10 ISO or something? I would like that.

    • Dr SCSI

      Hmmm? I am confused Camilla, a 4 stop drop in ISO? You could accomplish the same thing with ND filters, no need for lower ISO’s. Do you plan on shooting into the sun? ;-)

  • Hey-nonny-mouse

    They’re going to listen to their customers???!!!!! ;-)

    • http://www.iamron.com Ron Adair

      If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse
      -Henry Ford

      • Hey-nonny-mouse

        Henry: “Why do you want a faster horse?”
        Customer: “So I can get to the store in less time.”
        Henry: “Why do you want to get to the store faster?”
        Customer: “So I can get more work done at the farm.”

        Oh. So the customer didn’t want a faster horse. And you didn’t even need five questions to find out what they did want. They wanted to get more work done. And presumably the car that Henry created provided that benefit.

        Net? Don’t let pithy quotes let you fool yourself into thinking that you don’t have to understand your customers. You do.

        (disclaimer: I can’t claim authorship, see: http://www.enthiosys.com/news-events/faster-horses-henry-ford-bob-sutton-and-innovation/)

        • http://www.iamron.com Ron Adair

          Forest. Trees. Nobody said Henry Ford didn’t understand his customers. I see the quote as valuable because it shows that you really do need to dream and think and conceive ON BEHALF of your customer.

          Henry Ford didn’t come up with a diet plan telling his customers that they could make less trips to the store if they ate less. He built a faster horse, only one that his customers couldn’t quite conceive on their own.

          Look, the point is that Nikon really cares about imaging, and wants to make the best gear on the market. You’re deluding yourself if you believe otherwise. And that’s precisely why they haven’t yet released an 18mp DX format camera. They care too much. And maybe I’m the only one, but I really REALLY respect that.

          • Anonymous

            its a good point because we are clamoring for more megapixels or less noise and what we really is

            to take better pictures

          • Hey-nonny-mouse

            Ok, I can come around to your point of view concerning Nikon’s camara/lens development strategy. I can also see you’re passionate about defending this view point.

            I would like to say, though, that there may also be a flip side to Nikon’s approach. That is, maybe they’re being a little too focused to the exclusion of other aspects of their business.

            I think Thom Hogan has put is quite well recently when he’s pointed out two areas where Nikon’s strategy lets them down:
            1) communication: Nikon doesn’t communicate very well with their customers, as evidenced by various stories floating around the net (many of which you find here on NR). if they think making good products obviates their need to communicate they’re wrong, because customers may feel like Nikon isn’t paying attention even though they are investing (or hoping to invest) many of their hard earned dollars in the company’s products.
            2) software: it’s clear Nikon’s software makes the most out of raw files coming from their cameras, but I think most would agree in other aspects it doesn’t stack up to the alternatives. I’d much rather use (and pay for) a Nikon plugin for photoshop or lightroom, than be obliged to use current Nikon offerings – and at the end of the day I really don’t want a complicate workflow that involves too much jumping between software packages. TH takes this even further to suggest an “app-store” type approach (ie. a free Nikon SDK) would help Nikon revolutionize the way software is developed for digital cameras – I would definitely be interested as both a developer and user.

            In any case, my post was mostly meant as a bit of fun given the many complaints about ”why doesn’t Nikon give me what I want” that we see here. Hopefully, the ensuing discussion has been useful just the same!

            In any case my post was mostly meant as a bit of fun.

          • http://www.iamron.com Ron Adair

            And on those two points I can’t necessarily disagree.

            On the point of communication, I have definitely seen companies that are worse. Still, it doesn’t mean Nikon can’t (and shouldn’t) do better. I haven’t really had any issues with their communications PERSONALLY (though I’m sure they exist), so I really can’t say more on this.

            As for software, I will say openly that Nikon just plain sucks at software development, at least on OS X. I used NC a while ago and man, was it slow. It was some of the most resource hungry and unresponsive software I’ve ever used. Recently, the whole fiasco with the 10.4/10.5/10.6 issues has been just that: a fiasco.

            I have heard nothing but rave reviews of Nikon Capture’s RAW processing being the best there is—too bad I couldn’t even get the software installed and running properly to find out. When you have to wait literally 30-60 seconds (I timed it) every time you change the exposure of a RAW image, you know it’s time to give up and go somewhere else. Whatever the solution, Nikon would be well suited to get that figured out, and fast.

            On the rest of the points, I’m glad we can agree. :)

  • nts

    Reduce the price of D700 to 1000$, so the market will be very surprised, haha, JK.

  • marten

    Nikon should make a deticated HD video camera with a F-mount – that would blow the indy film industry ower :)

    • http://www.hayphoto.ca HayPhoto

      Agreed, I would buy one in a second. If it was 2k or higher in resolution I would buy it in 1/2 a second!

    • Anonymous

      +1

    • d purdy

      +1 to that

      make a true 2k video specific sensor F mount video camera body only price same as Canon 5D MKII

      allow recording in the equivalent of NEF for video streaming to an external hard drive

      offer some motorized zoom lenses but keep it compatible with 50 million F mount lenses

      offer an APS-C version for $1500 body only with same specs

      you steal away Canon’s thunder and you sell more lenses

  • thoms

    i vote for fx sensor in a d90 body

  • Anon

    It’s going to be the world’s first 4×5 single shot digital view-camera at a whopping 220mp.

  • rhlpetrus

    I shot this guy testing a new Nikon, but couldn’t see if it’s a dslr or a non-mirro box camera:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2689/4311150907_a83acd17ff_o.jpg

    ;)

    • Louis

      love it :D

  • guest

    What can we learn: Nikon doesnt like rumors, that might be true.

  • MarkusW

    Surprises would be:
    - Mirrorless DSLR-like cameras
    - Sensor not Sony-ish, but EXR-ish
    - Completely different kind of sensors, hardly any noise anymore, even at high MP numbers

  • EdM

    The crappy work in the 70-200mm VR II was surprise enough.

  • Anonymous Coward

    Hail Nikon, full of grace,
    the Light is with thee,
    blessed art thou among photogs,
    and blessed is the fruit of thy factory, Camera.
    Holy Nikon, fabber of Lenses,
    pray for us sinners, now, and at
    the hour of our death.
    Amen.

  • RumpelHund

    Maybe HDR?

    on an industrial image processing fair a german supplier presented some camera with logarithmic curves. It was feasible to read text directly behind some light bulb, like:

    http://www.pressebox.de/pressemeldungen/ids-imaging-development-systems-gmbh/boxid-303398.html
    http://www.ids-imaging.de/newsarchiv.php

    Maybe nikon will give us such modus for ulta-high DR: integrate each pixel until saturation and code the duration into grey value.

    I really do hope it’s more lenses, especially FX wide angle. f4-VR-Zoom sounds as attractive as does 24/1.4. I should surely invest into at least one of these.

    Maybe they use the much praised 28/1.4 and update it to AF-S. That should be a winner!

  • zzddrr

    I think Nikon will surprise us with more “s” variants :-)

    • Zorro

      Maybe a D40s?

      • zzddrr

        exactly a D40s. We’ve been dreaming about that beast

    • Bob

      Some of my best Nikons have had a S on it

      • zzddrr

        like “s” h…i…t?

        Just kidding, but seriously it looks like Nikon is taking too many shortcuts….

  • nv

    Everybody here is hoping for a D700 replacement. Many wish it had a100% viewfinder. I understand cameras without viewfinder and the required mirror are much smaller. Is there a benefit in a viewfinder? Wouldn’t a a big, high resolution display — maybe even an iPhone-like touch screen spanning the whole back of the camera be just as good?

    • Anonymous

      Not at all. The AF system requires the (secondary) mirror and the viewfinder has no lag whatsoever, as opposed to an electronic fiewfinder. For slow-speed photography (like landscape photography), a large (but thus vulnerable) screen might be an option, for portrait photography and such, probably not. I personally would not want to have it for landscape photography either, let alone a touchscreen – I like real buttons much better. Furthermore, the shutter lag is potentially increased if the sensor has to be cleared from LiveView data prior to taking the shot and the LiveView heats up the sensor.

      • aetas

        +1 cant agree more

  • Louis

    literally that’s an empty statement. EVERYBODY is “working on better quality and better cameras”. the only thing of any possible worth in there is “we’re planning on surprising…” the rest is pretty much the reaction a politician would give to an uncomfortable question.

    • Hey-nonny-mouse

      maybe they’ll surprise us with…… *nothing*!!!!

      after all everybody here seems to be expecting *something* so it follows that the biggest surprise would be nothing!

      there’s some inductive logic for you!

  • http://uspandey.in uspandey

    Nikon, where are my 24-70 F/4 and 70-200 F/4?

    • WoutK89

      at Canon maybe…, dont expect to see that from Nikon soon.

  • JR

    why is there all this interest in an EVIL camera?

    who in their right mind wants to look through and electronic viewfinder?

    • pete

      nobody but we also realise that you cant change physics. if you want a tiny camera with dslr quality, the VF has to go. its really that simple.

  • Anonymous

    anything they announce or don’t announce will be a surprise… The announce a 18-55 4.5-5.6 zoom and we are surprised.. They announce a new flash and we are surprised….They announce a new camera remote and we are surprised… They announce a whole new line of awesome cameras and we are surprised… They announce nothing at all and we are surprised…. lol

  • Matt

    I’m not sure that the F mount makes sense on a 17mm diagonal sensor. Sure, you get compatibility with tons of lenses, but wouldn’t the body have to be the same thickness from the sensor to the lens flange as the Nikon F/F2/F3…D700? Makes kind of a thick body for a sensor smaller than a 4/3rds (about 22mm diagonal). If the answer’s an adapter, you can do that already with the Panasonic GF-1.

    I would adore a small-bodied FX camera, something the size of the FE/FM3A. I like my D700 well enough but it’s a total cinder block to carry around. My FE was much lighter.

    • JWW

      Exactly! For this reason they will not use the F mount!

    • John

      As I stated above -
      Make the new mount very similar to the f-mount, but make the mount-sensor distance much much less. This new f-mount (call it the MX mount) would be the same diameter, but with a feature that would not allow a standard f-mount lens to attach – much like Nikon’s AFS teleconverters with the extra tab they have. Thus you’d have a large diameter mount closer to the sensor that would be easy to design an adapter to mount true F-mount lenses. The large diameter mount + closer sensor distance would make it easier to design wide angle lenses that are small like they should be for a small body. Nikon can make a small body with a mount the same diameter as the f-mount – look at the FM-10 (which has an optical viewfinder).

      • JWW

        I agree with what you’re saying John, but that wasn’t what was being suggested further up in the comments, where we both earlier posted (it was suggested full MX, DX, FX backward and forward compatibility was possible without adapters). If this was the case the sensor mount distance would have to be the same.
        Additionally, there is no need for the mount diameter to remain the same – a glassless adapter for DX and FX (to mount on MX) could easily neck down to the smaller mount as the required image circle is far smaller.
        I think your missing the point – the aim of the game here is small – compatibility with existing lenses is just a bonus.

        • http://www.hayphoto.ca HayPhoto

          You could change the sensor distance to the lens if you added an in-camera lens which corrected for the distance factor. It would mean slightly less IQ but I think for people buying a Nikon Evil its not something they would notice (plus a lot can be corrected in the camera’s software).

          • Hey-nonny-mouse

            Plus the in-camera lens would project the sensor from dust etc…

            Not that I think they’d do it, but an interesting idea

  • SimonThornton

    3 D

  • peter

    I just noticed the spec. info. is down on the Nikon Canada website for the 300mm f4.
    Take that for what it’s worth…

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