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Interview with Tetsuro Goto at Photokina *updated*

Update: this is a detailed recap of the interview with Mr. Goto, sent to me by a reader:

When asked about interesting concepts at Photokina it seems the Samsung NX100 caught his eye with the camera's small size as a key to this systems' merit. The interviewer jumps at this and asks if it is OK to say that when so many people are waiting for Nikon to develop mirror less systems. He then asks that if Nikon was hypothetically willing to make a mirror less interchangeable lens system, would it be APS-C, considering the problem with size due to lenses used. He replies that going APS-C would only make things bigger and would detract from the F mount's market value in terms of IQ and features. If the lens system and body are not smaller in total, the whole meaning of reducing size is lost.  If it was up to him to make such a thing, a mount smaller than the F would be chosen (his personal opinion)

In the interview Mr. Gotou does not confirm whether they are developing mirror less systems, he says that they are "eagerly developing a new genre of camera" that president Kimura described (in a previous interview probably) as "something that no maker is currently making" and that there is a hush order on what that thing is and that Nikon president Kimura says "Nikon will introduce this product as soon as it is completed" but also Mr. Gotou added "Nikon will view the market movement to decide when to introduce this product"

When asked whether it is a concept that will appeal to people using such product for work (I guess he means a pro product) or more of an enthusiast type concept, he responds by saying that although it is not targeted towards people who use cameras in their work, some will  look at this product as a really fun to use camera.

It is interesting that he says that the "current concept specs"  may have many fans but also many naysayers at the same time. It is a concept that has a clear like or dislike idea.

Another interesting thing is that the inclusion of the letter "F" on the new caps hinting towards a new mount system other than the F mount coming is just a baseless rumor, nothing more.

Seems that Nikon is dedicated to the F mount and its continued support and development and there is no need to betray this format as it is not showing any sign of becoming obsolete.

At Photokina DC Watch had an interview with Tetsuro Goto (Director of Laboratory Research and Development of the Nikon Imaging Company). Google's translation is almost useless - this is what I got out of it: Mr. Goto confirms that Nikon is working on a mirrorless camera: "So far I can tell there is a new type of camera" but they are watching "market trends" and will release it "when the opportunity comes". At the end of the interview there are some comments that CP+ 2011 event in February could be a perfect stage to launch new consumer products. This is probably a reference to the Coolpix line refresh that happens twice a year (in February and August) but a new mirrorless camera could also be considered as a "consumer" model.

I would appreciate if anyone can provide us with a better translation of the interview (only the interesting parts):

"Q: For mirror reflex camera with interchangeable lenses with no way, you'll have time to build a new system in the near future by Nikon?

A: If you're coming to the mount system is deserted, but soon you'll have to go in that direction. However, in practice F hopefully evolve successfully mounting system, users are more situation. In order to penetrate the emerging single-lens reflex, if allowed to grow If we let the situation evolve successfully, I do not think that cheating is necessary. I have more and more users from, F should we evolve the system properly mounted. That sounds like the work of the division.

Q: System of Nikon interchangeable Miraresurenzu, had always been rumored to disappear repeatedly. Do you think the lineup of Nikon actually need? Temporary rear lens cap that F is described as mounting, mounting another stepping stone appearance? Was told when I'm there.

A: Mauntorenzukyappu is, not particularly meaningful to develop a 645-format camera that Nikon is about the same as unsubstantiated rumors put out so soon. It has lately become more rumors subsided. For mirror-less aircraft, the President Kimura, "things like where the manufacturers are not made, but as soon as I get finished," I said. So far I can tell there is a new type of camera. Turning on while watching market trends, and best when the opportunity comes.
...
Also, in the consumer products, the U.S. repeatedly risen to the PMA Conference in February that the move to be held in September. New product launches in the spring because there are many things done in January 2, CP + will be the perfect stage to launch the camera manufacturers spring model."

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  • goose

    oh christ i cant understand a thing! also… FIRST!

    • http://chanraymond.net Raymond

      I don’t either but that doesn’t stop me from commenting. Someone care to explain?

      • goose

        all im absorbing is, some sort of misinformation about a nikon medium format because of a totally new mount??? wait what? but the nikon guy was the one who introduced the 645 in the conversation… 0h lord confusing

        • NikonMikon

          Take a look at my comments down below. It may make sense…

      • cirtap

        Well I understand….IF you take camera A…and Shove Lens B into Camera A…you get nothing!!!…lol.

        IS NIKON..willing to create a whole new system…without pissing off the old system is what this is all about. R they going to come up with a whole new line of Lens’s to go with the new Mirrorless Camera and IT will be in the SRL range…IT will be smaller, but for the PRO SUMERS to use…

        I think that is it….But in the mean time..Where is my D4?

    • http://www.dphoto.jp/ Issy Nomura

      Please read my comment below.
      There is nothing new about Nikon’s mirror less camera information.

    • Carlos R B

      LOL

  • D

    hard to care about this so far

  • NikonMikon

    it’s quite clear that Miraresurenzu = mirrorless lens

    and Mauntorenzukyappu = mount lens something (cup maybe?)

    I wish this interview was in Korean so I could romanize it for you haha. Unfortunately I do not know Japanese, but I recognize the goofy romanizations somewhat.

    • NikonMikon

      I just realized what it means after reading it myself. He is saying F Mount Lens CAP.

      Whoever copied the translation over forgot to include he said F before “Mauntorenzukyappu”. So I believe he may be saying that the F mount lens cap is insufficient or something for 645? Not too sure.

      • NikonMikon

        Ok I read it again. The interviewer mentioned the new F-labeled rear caps and perhaps it means Nikon is entertaining a new mount.

        The guy is responding with “Just because we updated the cap doesn’t mean it’s indicative of a new mount in the works” or something along those lines… I am purely guessing by the translation. As I stated before I can’t read Japanese.

      • jdsl

        Yes, the “F-mount lens cap” refers to the new rear cap with the text “F mount”.

        • jdsl

          and Mr. Goto says, it’s insignificant :)

  • alvix

    what about that “645″ ? its impossible to understand…grrr..

    • jdsl

      My understanding,

      Regarding the ‘story’ that Nikon is developing a 645-format camera, it is just a baseless rumor, and had declined recently as a rumor.

  • Ant

    Who is this Goto guy?

  • Dweeb

    All I want to know from these clowns is why after a decade I still can’t buy a Nikon version of Canon’s 300 ƒ4 image stabilized lense.

    • The invisible girl

      @Dweeb
      LOL !
      Do as I did this week-end, I bought a Ai-S 300mm f/4.5 IF-ED (the last and best version, don’t get the 2 earlier versions) in “like new” condition for $399
      It will not focus, not mettering on my D90 (but will on a D700, D300, D3, D7000).
      I’m also tired to wait for the AF-S upgrade to VR.
      Nikon need to stop making amateurs slow zoom and think about pros.
      If we want cheap lenses we can get them somewhere else.

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      I’ve said this before, but I’ll repeat it again: the greatest cost for all of these products is R&D.

      First off: you can’t just slap AFS and VR on any lens. They have to be designed from the ground up with those mechanisms in mind. Especially anything longer than 50mm.

      Second the market isn’t there for such a lens. If you look at the MSRP on introduction of previous 300/f4 lenses, you won’t find that they are significantly cheaper than their 2.8 counterparts. We’re talking a savings of 15% or less. And that isn’t going to motivate sales for something that’s already sure to be over $1000. People who spend more than $1000 on lens are also likely to be willing to spend $200 for a 2.8 or VR lens.

      So the nagging can continue, but it ain’t going to change anything. There’s no new 300mm/f4 coming any time soon.

      If you really want a $300mm/f4 BUY IT! There’s nothing stopping you! It’s a tank of a lens, and Nikon is very unlikely to replicate it’s mechanical build quality in the future.

      • http://www.pbase.com/jctangney John Tangney

        A major plus of the 300 F4 vs the 300 F2.8 is size! Yes it is still a big heavy lens when compared to th 70-300, but compared to the 300 F2.8, then the 300 F4 is a lightweight! Much easier to hike/travel with. A VR version of the 300 F4 would be very welcome as along with weight, there is a considerable price difference between it and the 300 F2.8 as well!

      • nobody

        Would you please tell me where I can buy a 300mm f2.8 for $200 more than a 300mm f4? In the universe I live in, a 300mm f2.8 costs more than 4 times as much as a 300mm f4.

        • http://micahmedia.com Micah

          @”nobody” …quick survey of prices on the net yields:

          300mm/f2.8 ED-AF: $1200-$2500

          300mm/f4 ED-AF: $700-$1500

          300mm/f4 AFS: $1000-$1200

          There’s this new search engine that turns up the most astonishing things! I think it’s called something like “goggle”. If only I had a search program to find it again!

          I’m saying if you look at prices today and compare them to where the 300/4 slotted historically, you’ll see that such a lens wouldn’t be cheap today. And would be so close to existing gear in terms of size and price, it just doesn’t marketing sense today. Maybe in the future it will. But I highly doubt it the way things are going.

          If you like the 300mm/f4 lenses, there’s nothing stopping you from buying one today! Just get one! Or get a 70-200 with the TC-14. It works marvelously! Just check anything over 200mm on my site. It was shot with that combo.

    • WoutK89

      Dweeb, that f sign you used, is used for focal length/point ;-)

    • Gareth

      after a decade you could have saved for the 300 2.8. i just bought a used G vrII and man, this lens is the king!

      of course it big for hiking with, but;

      on fx 300 2.8, 400 4.0 with 1.4tc, 510 4.8 with 1.7tc, 600 5.6 with 2.0tc

      on dx 450 2.8, 630 4.0 with 1.4tc, 765 4.8 with 1.7tc, 900 5.6 with 2.0tc

      with the tc’s on the f4 300 you are just wasting your time.

      • Gareth

        sorry meant I bought VRI

  • Anonymous

    so where is the FX? Are we going to stuck for another year with the 12MP?

    • Catastrophile

      this year there is a full frame cease fire (no new FF bodies in 2010 whatsoever).

      • Anonymous

        I think these bastards made a deal with the devil. I mean these a-holes at Nikon they sat down with canon and sony and decided let’s not do anything here. You know exactly like in those maffia movies.

        • zoetmb

          Total B.S. Don’t be silly. Nikon released more new lenses/bodies this year than in any previous year. New FX just wasn’t one of them. It’s coming. Relax. Back in the film days, the body major release cycle was eight years!

          A lot of the delay from Nikon has to do with the fact that they seem to be moving towards using only Nikon-designed sensors. The economy didn’t help either. What was the point of issuing a new body if no one had any money to buy it?

          • http://micahmedia.com Micah

            It’s been discussed here before, but this is actually how the big boys work in Japan. Collusion is accepted business practice. You don’t kill off the competition. It is dishonorable.

          • zzddrr

            @ zoetmb
            …the economy did not help? Here is post from dpreview (by Joseph S Wisniewski) and according to cipa data shipments are actually up.

            http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1000&message=36476210

            • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

              Just remember that CIPA data is not actually “sales,” but represents “distribution.” Basically, it represents inventory at subsidiaries, which may or may not have sold.

            • Anonymous

              Thom,

              Then where are the new FX cameras for 2010?

              Don’t you find it a bit suspicious that not one Japanese manufacturer introduced an FX in 2010?

            • Roger

              Bravo, anonymous, you’ve uncovered a conspiracy. It’ll go so well on your resume, right next to your daily anti-Nikon rants.

              You sure are gonna look a bit silly when Canon announces that 1Ds Mark IV….

        • Gonads

          I guess there is some level of collusion going on here, yes, but maybe in the sense that no other company made a move with an FF body this year, so Nikon decided not to either. Hopefully, that’s all there is to it, and it’s not a case of deliberately and collectively deciding not to release an FF body.

          • Roger

            New Canon FF body is likely coming soon. ;)

            • Gonads

              Well, i’d be glad if that’s the case to be honest, but i think ‘soon’ is relatively incorrect since there was no news at photokina. However, a competitive marketplace is a good thing.

            • Roger

              Canon couldnt care less if they announce on Photokina, they’ll announce when the camera is ready to ship. Soon.

        • aetas

          With all the time and money that goes into a new camera does everyone here think it is cost effective for any of the big names just to sit on them. Its not like these cameras are made in months but years. So why wait.

    • Denko

      Looks like 2014 will be the earliest for the D7 (D4) line if we are lucky and possibly all the way to 2016 if not.

      • Anonymous

        I think these 3 (Canon, Nikon, and now Sony) have formed a cartel and they really don’t compete with each other. I mean look at their cameras, not one is in face to face competition with another. (Check out all the features etc.) I tend to believe that this is the case. Well, if this has some truth then this will not be the first and last case of corruption (and price fixing etc.) from that part of the World.

        • http://sugarmountainphotography.com DKing

          I think you are exactly right. Is it a coincidence that their models don’t compete directly? Is it a coincidence that there were no full frame models at Photokina? I guess they read each others minds. And the new type of Nikon will be released “when the opportunity comes” which means when they negotiate the release with Canon.

          • Roger

            It’s not coincidence that there are no full frames at Photokina. It shows that Photokina is becoming irrelevant.

            • st r

              Photokina is held every second year. During that period of time, a single brand can issue 12 lenses, 1 pro body, 4-6 consumer bodies, 50 P&S, and so on.

              It is the whole concept of a “trade fair” which is obsolete.

            • Victor Hassleblood

              How does it make Photokina irrelevant, if Nikon doesn’t manage to come up with a pro body (or doesn’t want to ’cause there are too many of old bodies ‘n sensors left)?

              There have been plenty of Photokina related releases by other brands and even by Nikon itself (such as two consumer bodies plus many lenses). HB introduced a new 50MP back for the V-System on Photokina and yes, I am interested.

      • NascarGeoff

        I think this has been discussed before. Maybe a year ago or so?
        I think the conclusion was that in the past Nikon and Canon have made “deals”so that they don’t compete directly with one another. ie. each of their models sort of leap frog over one another.

    • hah

      you were never stucked. D3X is the best high res 35mm camera in the world and has higher resolution than any canon in existance :)

      • zzddrr

        and the D3x happened to use a sony sensor. Hah, what was your point? Don’t you think that it is a bit suspicious that 2010 there is no FX. BTW, Canon did show that they can make a big ass mp sensor so there is no technological barrier. Then why on earth have we not seen 1 new FX from any of the Japanese companies this year?

        • Roger

          We havent seen, yet. 1Ds Mark IV is coming, brother.

          Full frame cameras are high end gear, they’re not replaced with a new model every 12-18 months like low end stuff. You’ll see 1Ds Mark IV later this year, you’ll see D4 next year.

          • zzddrr

            Roger, the D3x will be 2yrs old in december which is 24months. The D3 is already 3 yrs old. D700 is 27 months old. Now when you look at this lineup you gotta realize that everything is at 12mp or 7 grand. Give me a break!

            The point i was trying to make that all of the sudden it is so quiet around the FX cameras. Look these companies are doing the fixing behind the scene that is why there is no FX this year. And trust me, we the consumers pay the price for this.

            • Roger

              How old is the D3s? ;)

        • Eric

          I hate when people mention the 120 megapixel sensor. Just because Canon CAN do it doesent mean every other company in the world can too, and it also doesent mean the thing cost less then many millions of dollars. It was a tech trial, nothing more and has no relevance.

          • Roger

            It was a publicity stunt more than anything else. We will probably never see that particular 120mp sensor in a commercial use.

    • cirtap

      NO…..Help is on the way..it is called D4!!!

      Here is what I know….

      18-24MP
      100 speed to 102,000
      Full Frame
      8fps
      and clocks in at $5,199.00

  • Kingyo

    LOL!! These google translations are hilarious :D
    I agree w/ Catastrophile, no FX in 2010.. unless a miracle announcement comes mid-November as did the D300s & D3s announcements once before? Anyway, it’s time to wait until Summer of 2011 for the higher end 16mp+ bodies :)

  • DaWolf

    Waiting for a D700 evolution, I find everything related to evil and coolpix tremendously boring :)
    It’s no fault of this site, of course…just saying.
    C’mon Nikon, give us the next ff !!!! :)

  • http://www.shortfingerphoto.com nubz

    Sweet! Looking forward to the mirror-less aircraft for sure!

  • Bjorn

    Personally I don’t play the waiting game, nor am I brand loyal.

  • chuck

    Who cares about coolpix or evil or mirrorless

    Nikon DSLR rocks and with the new releases beats everybody. Their new lenses rock, only gap now is a 70-200 F4 nano/VRII can’t be far behind.

    The smarpthones with 10Meg CMOS, 1080p vidoe and LED flash will kill everything but the highend, just like the iPOD and mp3 did highfidelity equipment for music.

    • pete

      true, nikon have really come to play in 2010. but, they have a few more gaps aswell as the 70-200/4:
      200/4 micro
      80-400VR
      300/4VR
      135/2

      • PAG

        Pete, I want numbers 2 and 3 in your list. These are the lenses that we non-pro bird photographers need the most.

      • hah

        nobody needs a 300f/4 when the superior 200-400 f/4 is available.
        80-400 is getting replaced with the 100-500.

        135 f/2 is being sold today and it is far less needed since the 70-200 VRII runs circles around it.

        • pete

          @ hah…what a total nonsense. you obviously havent used any of these lens’. a 200-400/4 runs at around $7k and over 7lbs. a 300/4VR would be around $1500 and would weight 60% less. what you;re saying is the equivalent of saying you dont need a d700 cos nikon have a d3x. its just pure rubbish.

          the 135/2 is a shadow of the 135L and cannot be replaced by a VRII. the 135 would again be less than half the weight and size and is a full stop faster.

          pls dont comment on things you are too ignorant to understand.

        • http://uniquephoto.blogspot.com Mike Z

          He means a 135 f/2 new version update with nano coating… Some people like shooting primes too and FYI f/2 is a whole stop faster than f/2.8.

    • Roger

      They sure do rock, brother. Never had so much fun than now with FF Nikon DSLR + 24/1.4 + 85/1.4. It’s HEAVEN.

      • nikkor_2

        +1; agree in full.

        To your list, I’d add the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR — quite possibly the sweetest Nikkor ever? — and the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II — a stunning, versatile performer.

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

    I just updated this post with a detailed recap of the interview.

  • shivaswrath

    so sounds like a Nex3-Nex5 type thing, eh?

    Those interchangeable’s are “fun”. . .I guess, but in the end, if I can’t use the existing stuff, why do it at all. . .

  • camaman

    All sounds like grasping at straws in this time of post photokina Nikon fact-less depression.

    One more thing… we all suffer from rumor addiction disease… One day soon (I promise) I’ll try and go cold turkey for a week and see what happens in the world… :-P

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

      You’ll come back and nothing will have changed. The same people complaining about the same things about the same products not having been announced ;)

      I know because I tried it. Just spent a week and a half away shooting (and away from teh intarwebs). Nothing changed. It’s like I wasn’t even gone ;)

      • zzddrr

        you are right Fried Toast, where is my high res? :-)

        • Baked bananas

          Its in the store now waiting for you. But it’ll cost ya bout 7 grand. Or you can wait til late 2012 at the earliest at the rate these guys are goin. Or just switch to canon, you wont be missed.

          • Anonymous

            Baked bananas, you did not say any new here. So go home and play with your 1mp gadget nobody will miss you.

            • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

              See? Like I said, nothing’s changed :D

  • http://www.dphoto.jp/ Issy Nomura

    First I thank Nikon Rumors for giving us interesting articles.
    As for the article of DigiCame Watch on the interview of Mr. Goto,
    you’d better notice he is fellow of Nikon, working for Nikon
    from the standpoint of image researcher giving suggestion to Nikon freely,
    how to improve image culture, and to expand enjoy of camera,
    separate from enterprise research and development.
    Also he is chairman of CIPA project committee, and director of CP+ 2011.
    So there are two Q & A about his research and CP+ 2011.
    About development and sales of mirror less camera, he is not at the position
    to be able to give official talk.
    He gave his opinion based on his research, nothing new about mirror less
    camera of Nikon.
    About CP+ 2011, he mentioned simply it would be good chance for camera makers
    to announce new models.
    It is true Nikon is working for and will sell new type of camera in near future
    but still veiled.

    • alvix

      thanks for the clarification,
      and do you know something about the sentence with “645-format camera” ?
      :)

      • http://www.dphoto.jp/ Issy Nomura

        Mr. Goto says there is nothing to the rumor of Nikon’s 645 format as the rumor Nikon will add new format because the rear cap was redesigned with F-format.
        Nikon has huge system not only camera but also lens and so on, and get good profit from F-format now and in future, I think it is too critical to go into large format preparing lens system and so on.
        Mirror less camera for which F-format lens is used by adapter could be realistic.
        This is my opinion using Nikon D3x, I am satisfied with D3x and the difference between D3x and 645 format is not big for my usage including commercial use, and Nikon’s lens and digital image technology make the image quality of next D4 model further improved.
        I take benefit of F-format because of weight and size including lens system, sub-camera system, computer ability of raw development and retouch, image quality at dark light, movie which my customers want recently, F-format lens already I have.

      • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

        He just used the 645 format camera as an example to illustrate that the rumours are groundless.

        “The F mount rumours are the same as saying Nikon is releasing a 645-format camera anytime soon, in other words, they’re groundless rumours.” :p

  • hah

    they need an APSC sensor plus an F mount adapter. that’s it. anything smaller and it will be a noise party like the micro 4/3 systems. Maybe noisy images are acceptable to lesser manufacturers out there, but for nikonians, we’re used to clean high ISO more than anybody in the world.

  • Richard

    “Dear Mr. Tetsuro Goto:”

    You are thinking the right thing to win the hearts (and pocket books) of photography enthusiasts around the world. Please insist that your vision be followed. Don’t let the bean counters (accountants) ruin the beauty of the thing.

    It is clear that you are on a path to make a modern version of the Leica M series. There can be two versions which are easily supported by the same series of lenses, and indeed in the same or similar bodies (with different sensors). A less expensive crop sensor body with the same mount and lenses as the full frame body.

    While you are at it, time the introduction of the new lineup to coincide with your new sensor fabrication plant which should easily be able to double the yields of former FX sensor partner Sony. That should bring the price of the FX sensor down and get the production volume up to be able to support a much higher sales volume of products, one an M8 interpretation and the other an M9 interpretation.

    Please, “Just do it!”

  • Eric

    So the part I don’t get is why does he care about protecting the F-mount? What difference does it make if people buy a Nikon F or a Nikon X (insert letter here) so long as they buy a Nikon interchangeable lens camera? I really don’t like what I’ve read about Nikon’s upcoming mirror-less system so far. It sounds like they are intentionally dumbing it down and handicapping the IQ just to separate it from their DSLR’s.

    There is zero reason why mirror-less cameras can’t and shouldn’t compete with DSLR’s. In-fact based on the autofocus speed demo’s I’ve seen on the new Panasonic GH2 it looks like they have already moved squarely into DSLR speed range. Combine that speed with automatic face tracking and you have one heck of a portrait AF system. I want a camera designed for digital from the ground up, not a retro-fitted 70 year old design using flappy mirrors.

    I think this is going to be a horrible move on their part. The next Panasonic GF is supposedly going to be smaller than the Sony NEX5. How much smaller does a camera need to be? I can barely hold the NEX5 as is. How do they hope to compete with m4/3′s and Sony if the IQ of those two systems blow away whatever Nikon has in store?

    Oh well, at least m4/3′s is doing it right and I have hope for Sony and Samsung as well. I was just really hoping Nikon would join the party since I’ve always liked their cameras. If mirror-less cameras do indeed engulf the sales of DX DSLR’s then Sony and Panasonic may be the “big two” next decade when it comes to camera makers.

    • Gonads

      You have captured my sentiments exactly! I just don’t get why they would intentionally make a new mirrorless camera and aim it [solely] at the amateur market. I could perhaps guess it’s related to not wanting to dent their DSLR sales, which they must be extremely keen to protect.

      I would much prefer it though if they brought me new products, and said how about this? they’re not a gas/electricity/utility company, but they’re comparable in that they only seem interested if there’s a risk you might be looking to switch providers :)

      • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

        > I just don’t get why they would intentionally make a new mirrorless camera and aim it [solely] at the amateur market.

        Because they think they’ve got the pro market covered, unfortunately.

        When I presented to the Nikon execs back in March, we had a bit of a round about on that. I don’t think that they’ve given pros exactly what they want (though I’d agree that the D3s and D3x are the best pro cameras at the moment), and spent a lot of time trying to make that point. But it was clear to me that they were more interested in one aspect I had presented as it applied to the yet unknown mirrorless camera. They didn’t like my answers to their questions, because my answers were serious photographer-centric, and their approach was amateur/fun photographer-centric.

        If you think about it, it does make some sense to try to target true consumer photography with a new product. The iPhone basically proved that, and all those smartphones are seriously eroding the compact camera market. If the camera companies still want to sell products at the low end, they need to reinvent them. I don’t think anyone here would disagree that the current Coolpix line isn’t up to that challenge. Something in the high-Coolpix, low-DSLR realm that brings back the reason to have a small camera (instead of just relying upon your phone) seems to be where Nikon is headed.

        • Gonads

          Thanks for the insight in to the world of Nikon Thom! :)

          I can understand where they’re coming from. Their DSLR range is very good, and hopefully it will get better next year with more FF models. It’s just a shame they’re considering restricting mirrorless to the consumer/prosumer range, when it could also be used in the pro range, if it weren’t for protecting their current investments in DSLR.

          I suppose as far as they’re concerned it doesn’t really matter what we actually want, so long as as nobody else is offering what we want at a decent price point. e.g. not M9 prices. I understand it’s just business, but it’s disheartening non-the-less!

          Still, so long as other companies are pushing mirrorless technologies, then they’ll have to change to tact. It’s just that it could take a couple of years for that to happen. Personally, I love what i’m seeing with the GH1/GH2 for instance. For video it’s ridiculously good, but it’s a not amazing with the stills yet. This is where I was hoping Nikon would step in, with their shiny new FF mirrorless!

          I think I’ll have to go hibernate for a while and then wake up when all of this stuff actually exists – wake me up for photokina 2014 :)

          • Roger

            Mirrorless cant be used in the pro range, not today, not with the current AF and EVF. Not good enough.

            • Gonads

              Surely that’s the point Roger? it can’t be used, because they haven’t made anything usable, but the technology does exist. That’s like saying you can’t make a car, because you don’t have any wheels. Well, you know what happens first then don’t you? you make the wheels.

            • Roger

              But does it exist today, really? A55, Sony’s brand new EVF camera, has a very poor EVF. Maybe GH2 is better, I havent tried that one, but I have doubts.

              A pro shooting the Lakers game wont be replacing his D3 with a camera that has a poor AF, and a electronic viewfinder with poor dynamic range, resolution and an obvious lag. EVIL cameras today are not up to the professional standars, that’s why all EVIL cameras made today are low end, and there’s no D3-like EVIL camera.

              Not to mention, EVIL will come with a new mount, and there’s no lenses. It will take Nikon a long long time to come up with a proper lens lineup for their mirrorless system, whenever it comes …

        • Eric

          I completely agree that cell phones will destroy the small sensor P&S market, but it seems to me the low end Coolpix market couldn’t care less about interchangeable lenses. I’d rather them make a range of Coolpix cameras using 2/3′s or even the 2.5x crop sensors for that market then focus their mirrorless system on people that prefer small well built cameras. I consider myself a pretty serious enthusiast, I just don’t like using giant cameras. Leica’s has pretty much built their entire company aimed at people like me, unfortunately their prices are way out of my range.

        • Richard

          That is a pretty low ambition on Nikon’s part.

          I am fond of the Leica form factor as, I believe, a lot of other people are as well, both enthusiasts and professionals. That said, the Leica model will not replace a pro level DSLR by any stretch of the imagination. It does have uses that are important in addition to the DSLR. If Nikon focuses on quality, they stand to sell this camera to people in addition to their DSLR. There are a number of people who may opt for such a camera in lieu of a high end P&S, but that is a small risk to take in my view.

          If all Nikon does is make a cell phone camera competitor I hope that it is a giant flop. All too frequently companies learn only from their failures. Successes are viewed as validation that they are “perfect” instead of an opportunity to analyze what was good, what the purchaser wanted and to improve upon that.

          There simply is no reason why Nikon can not turn out an APS-C interpretation of a Leica at a very competitive price.

    • Catastrophile

      there is a huge gap between the best P&S compacts and the new mirrorless cameras, (no mfr uses sensor sizes in between 11mm and 21.6mm diagonals, ie 2/3″ & 4/3 sensors respectively. so maybe Nikon will be trying to fill that gap with their upcoming mirrorless system, choosing a smaller than 4/3 sensor also will make their system more compact than any existing competition and avoid any adverse effect on DX.

      4/3 sensors have always had noise and low DR, but was that because the size is smaller than APS-C or because they are made by Kodak & Panasonic?! we have never seen Sony or Canon 4/3 sensor to be able to make a fair comparison with the APS-C’s made by the same mfr.

      recent sony 1/1.7″ sensors (eg the one used in P7000) give us a reason to be very optimistic about how might a smaller-than-4/3 sensor made by Sony perform, IMO much better than current Panasonic 4/3 sensors.

      • Catastrophile

        just to be clear, i’d rather see the Nikon Evil with an APS-C or larger sensor, but it is clear that using 4/3 & APS sensors, it is not possible to keep the size of mirrorless zooms as compact as many people want them to be! even a zoom as simple as 18-55 or 14-42 F3.5-5.6 is only marginally more compact than a comparable SLR zoom, hence the need to consider smaller sensor sizes.

        • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

          Just to be clear: you can make an APS (or even FX) camera that’s compact. Incredibly compact. The NEX5, as small as it is, is not even close to being as small as it could be. The issue has been and remains lenses. While it’s possible to make compact lenses for APS, it’s not an easy problem to solve and takes an enormous amount of R&D to get right. Moreover, it’s likely that truly small APS lenses will not be fast lenses because of the design issues that come up.

          You are correct about sensors. To a large degree, many of the recent sensor technologies (e.g. BSI) all play out better in smaller sensors than they do in larger ones, essentially closing some (some say “much”) of the gap in image quality between small and large photosites. Olympus clearly has this in mind, as they’re working on a compact camera that has a “tweener” sensor size (larger than current 1/1.7″ and smaller than 4/3). So I don’t think Nikon will be alone in trying to save amateur “compact” cameras with larger sensors.

  • The invisible pet

    FX vs DX
    I think many of you guys don’t completely understand the advantages of the FX vs DX:
    - larger pixels give more sensitivity, less noise.
    - larger sensor don’t transform a $550 20mm f/2.8 into a $150 30mm
    - larger sensor give more d.o.f (for the same subject/sensor ratio).
    - larger sensor give you slower “hand” shutter speed for the same focal (1/125 for a 300mm vs 1/250 with DX camera).
    - The same dust will look smaller on a FX sensor vs DX.
    If there is still people who prefer DX cameras I’ll be glad to exchange my D90 for a D700/D3/D3x
    :o

    • st r

      I am not a pro, but I have seen pro’s shooting a D3 in CROP MODE (DX) with a 70-200 VR. FX does not transform your 200mm moderate telephoto into a 300mm. DX does. Crop mode also increases continuous shooting rate.

      Nikon cameras are optimized for action photography, not fashion or advertising. The goal is not the minimum amount of noise or the highest possible resolution or the smallest possible effect of dust, but the highest number of “decisive moments” caught.

      • st r

        P.S. DISCLAIMER: “transform” as I used it should be understood as you used it, not literally (I know people jumps at you when you disregard considerations about DOF… they usually look at the details and miss the point of what you say)

  • Carlos R B

    I smell a failure…lol…after seeing the P7000…

  • jdsl

    This is just my understanding on the first part :)

    Q. By the way, will Nikon build a mirrorless reflex camera in the near future?

    A. It is likely to go in that direction if the F-mount system declines.
    In reality however, the number of users (F-mount) is increasing it is normal to continue it.

    • jdsl

      A. Regarding the ‘story’ that Nikon is developing a 645-format camera, it is just a baseless rumor, and had declined recently as a rumor.

      As for the mirrorless-device, President Kimura said, “No manufacturer is making it.”. As what was said before, there is no new camera type as we speak.
      We’ll watch the trend of the market and decide accordingly the best timing to introduce it.

    • Tym

      It is more about “a new system” meaning a new mount for mirrorless cameras. the existence of the F mount and mirrorless systems are most probably not directly related in the content of the interview.

  • carlgo

    I am waiting for a ff evil. It just makes sense. Imagine a Leica, but affordable and with a view thru the lens.

    • ob1ne

      +100

    • Alex

      x100!

  • ob1ne

    AMAZING, it sounds like a the “G 11 Killer”, or is it the “g12 Killer”? I forget with all this talk.

    Smaller than APS-C? Boring.

  • Gonads

    If it’s not FF, or at least dx, they might as well not bother to be honest. Bit disappointing. Where’s that Nikon Q Photoshop faker guy gone? he was more exciting than this tetsuro fellow – even if it was fiction :)

  • ren kockwell

    i think its a pro 3-d camera.
    now we can all sleep well tonight…

  • Tym

    I helped in recapping the Japanese content and translating it into English. :D

    It should be re-emphasized that this is Mr. gotou’s personal interview and viewpoint, and just like Mr. Issy Nomura commented previously you have to take this in light that this is his personal opinion as an independent research advisor. Although he might be in the know, this is not official Nikon talk.

    So in my opinion, it might be anything from Sub-DXto DX to something completely new as mentioned. It is more exciting to think about it in that way.

    When asked about the mirroless camera, the exact translation is :
    [ regarding the mirrorless camera, president kimura said "we will roll out something that nobody is currently making as soon at it gets finished". He also speaks of it as being something that is a previously non existing new type of camera. Regarding the introduction of the camera, (My guess, nikon) will consider the correct timing in view of the market trends.]

    This thing is being developed and may be a mirrorless camera but he would not say. When asked whether this “something that nobody is currently making” is a mirrorless system or not, Mr. Gotou answered exactly as : “as to what kind of a system this product is, I cannot say anything since there are instructions to only comment (on this issue) with comments like previous ones (in the previous question’s answer). But it is certain that a new genre of camera different from previous products is being actively developed”

    Many of you guys commented on the 645 format being mentioned in the interview but it was just mentioned to remind people that there was once a rumor of Nikon developing for such the format that turned out to be baseless, and compares this to the new rumor caused by the new Nikon F cap.

  • NikonFF&DxUser

    it’s Evol (for evolution). Not Evil. It’s a little brother F mount to compliment big brother F mount.

  • Tare

    It seems that they are going to develop a new EVIL and providing a adapter so that the F Mount lenses can be used on the new EVIL

    It does make sense if the F Mount lenses can be used on new EVIL with all the function like AF-S and the VR function.

    If they are going to take the market share of EVIL, I do think they need to release now. But if a new EVIL which can use all the F Mount lenses plus functions, waiting it until Feb 2010 seems to be a great idea :)

  • Nikon Tandoori

    Hahaha BUSTED …. i told you the EVIL system wasn’t meant at all for FF and neither DX but it was for consumers.

    “a camera just for fun” .. yeah .. i imagine … a hybrid between GF11 and P7000 sold at the same price as a D7000, but hey people will buy it because it’s the latest fad in digital photography.

    that’s how nikon makes money nowadays, not certainly selling the odd 5000$ pro lens or the D3x.

  • VJ

    Just a thought here… Wouldn’t it be possible to make a camera with a smaller than DX size sensor but with an F-mount. Current lenses could be used (albeit with a crop factor), but they could add an adapter to allow for small lenses for this particular system as well… Standard configuration for this new camera could be with the adapter (thus requiring a new lens cap) to suit the smaller lenses.

    The “new genre”, “something nobody else makes” and the emphasis on “fun” seem like attempts to hype it. What hasn’t been made…? Perhaps Nikon is going the “action cam”-route or something similar? There are a few action cameras out there, but all in all quite limited. Then there is the fact that they have a head mounted display on the market even… Could it be something that uses this a viewfinder? Internet connected cameras are found in most mobiles (direct upload functions), so that is not new…

  • loic

    Another interview in French:

    http://www.focus-numerique.com/test-1149/interview-interview-toru-uematsu-nikon-photokina-2010-1.html

    I am french, sorry I don’t have time to translate…

    • VJ

      Quick recap:
      -
      First question concerns 3D, the answer is that the engineers think about it, but also about other new techniques. It is no priority.

      Second question concerns contrast autofocus, and why it is slower on a reflex camera than on compacts. He goes a bit into the technicalities, and says there is room for improvement; they are about to test different possibilities in particular a semi-transparent mirror. They will choose the best option, and maybe not follow the competition: there may be different solutions.

      Third question: So you will introduce a new mirrorless system in the next months?
      Anwer: Good try! Good question. What do you think, Thomas? Wait and see! (Thomas is head of reflex camera division for France). Next he talks about about the markets (avoiding the question that Kimura has made such allusions).

      Then some comments on the Fujifilm X100.

      Then the topic goes to professional reflex cameras and megapixels. He says that it is more important for amateurs than for professionals. On compacts they could go to 16-18 MP following demands, but for reflex it is a different matter. He is of the opinion that the megapixel race is ending and refers to the D3s and its good comments.
      The interviewer mentions that it does appear contradictory to have a consumer camera with more pixels than a professional one.

      He indicates there are other areas to focus development on, such as ISO sensitivity: the limit has not been reached.

      Next it concerns the BSI CMOS (I assume this is French for the backlit sensors), to which he replies he does not know enough about to technique to state if it is possible/beneficial for big sensors.

      Final question concerns electronic viewfinders, and he states their customers prefer optical ones. Of course, technology evolves; so EVFs can get better and cheaper.
      -

  • John

    Give me my NIKONOS D already!

  • 14684

    So, are they going to wait until after I spend my photography allowance on a D7k to announce the new system? Hurry up already!

  • DaveyJ

    @st r You say that Nikon cameras are action cameras not advertising or fashion cameras. I have seen Nikon cameras shooting every subject out there. I am in places also where there a lots of other pro cameras. The decisive moment is to many of us the important image to get. All that said since I have owned much bigger cameras designed to capture as much detail as possible, at some point that is all overkill and today I have evolved into shooting more for the big picture, not making giant prints. Nikon though is researching imagery to stay as current as they can. Some of the avenues will not benefit the enthusiast as much as say a D7000 will. The p7000 is to me of much less value.

  • BigEater

    Nikon already has an amazing compact DSLR developed and ready to go and they don’t even know it…all they need to do is glue digital sensors in all the unsold Pronea bodies they have lying around. Voila! Interchangeable compact digital.

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