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Rumor: Nikon mirrorless camera will come with three lenses and 2.6x crop factor

Information about the Nikon mirrorless camera is so scattered, that when I receive anything from a reliable source, it is a big deal. The latest tip indicates that the sensor in the upcoming EVIL camera will have a 2.6x crop factor. Most of the previously filed patents also suggested a sensor with image diameter of 17 mm (diagonal) and a 2.5x crop factor - the difference between 2.5x and 2.6x is probably because of different rounding. If this turns out to be true, the Nikon mirrorless sensor will be smaller than the current m4/3rd format (diagonal: 21.6mm, 2x crop factor). On this diagram I added in yellow the approximate size of a 2.6x crop sensor:

According to the rumor, three new lenses will be introduced at the time of the mirrorless camera announcement: one wide pancake and two zooms. For reference, several mirrorless lens patents for different focal lengths were filed in the past. Note that Nikon may be obfuscating the designs and exact numbers in some of their patent applications.

There has been contradicting reports on whether the new Nikon mirrorless system will be targeted at professionals or not.

[NR] probability rating: 60%

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  • Marc W.

    First.

    The camera better be TINY for that small of a sensor.

    • PHB

      The only sensor sizes that make sense are much bigger than DX or much smaller.

      It is not possible to make a camera that is great at every possible type of work. For EVIL cameras the tradeoff is between size+cost and noise.

      When the D3 came out, the D300 offered virtually the same feature set but losing one ISO stop. Since then technology has advanced and the best current generation cameras get another stop on the D3. So it should be possible for the EVIL camera to offer D300 sensor performance (ISO 3200, 12MP) in a form factor that is drastically smaller.

      In addition to the size advantage, the EVIL camera should have much better wide angle lenses than exist for any DSLR. Like the Leica, the EVIL camera will not be encumbered by the mirror sweep so the rear lens elements can reach right back to the sensor.

      D300 sensor performance plus Leica quality lenses for much less than an equivalent DSLR sounds like a good set of design choices to me. It may not be the choices that are popular here, but it is a set of choices that works.

      The other alternative would be an FX camera. That would work as a very high end offering and I expect we will see one in due course. But its not going to be a competitor to the F-mount system for a long time. The only advantage over the 2.5x crop sensor would be ability to take pictures in very low light.

      There are certain technical differences between DX and FX on a DSLR due to the fact that a DX lens has to be designed so that it stays out of the way of the FX mirror sweep. That makes it really difficult to make great ultra-wides for DX because the design constraints for the SLR are doubled. But those constraints don’t exist at all for EVIL cameras.

      In the film days we all managed quite well with ISO 200 or less. I used to shoot Velvia at 100 and Kodachrome at 25. So the idea that a camera is useless unless it can be used handheld in the dark is nonsense as far as I am concerned. Better to have a small, light camera plus a tripod than a heavy camera that means the tripod has to be left at home.

      • Ban

        Sorry, clearly you have no clue on equivalence, the effect of sensor sizes, physical SNR, or a range of other factors that affect IQ.

        • Tonio

          Try to be civil and don’t assume you’re the only person in the world who is smart.

          I think the small sensor size is a good idea. It’s 3x the area of a 1/1.6″ sensor (give or take) so it could be as good as a D90 in low light but have lenses half the size of micro 4/3. Why go mirrorless if you don’t also go small? Sony NEX and M4/3 are small cameras with huge lenses — what actual void do they fill? Leica had a blank slate for the S2 and it’s an SLR.

        • NikonMikon

          I agree, this person has no clue what is involved with sensor technology. Just because the D3 and D300 had a relationship of 1 stop doesn’t mean that you can apply this to every sensor in every size range for future predictions. This is absurd.

        • PHB

          And your qualification in the field would be? At least I have a doctorate in physics. I did not work on optical systems but the same principles apply in particle accelerators.

          The D3/D300 difference of 1 stop is a consequence of physics. Both sensors are produced in the same fab with the same generation sensor technology. The D300 sensor has approximately half the area of the D3 sensor but the same number of pixels. Ergo each pixel collects half the amount of light in the D300 as in the D3.

          That translates to 1 ISO stop by definition.

          Since then the D3s has arrived with a new generation sensor technology that pushes it out an additional stop. It is apparent that this is not merely a tweak, otherwise it would have been deployed on the D3x as well (and the D300s). But three years later it is certainly time we should expect that level of performance to make it down the model range.

          Since this is a completely new system we will be getting new lenses as well as a new body and the EVIL design makes it possible to make the lenses larger as well. It is really difficult to make a lens larger than about f/1.4 on an SLR. Canon has got up to 1.0 but the result was rubbish.

          A 28-80 f/1.4 zoom for an SLR would cost a fortune and be hideously large and probably rubbish wide open. For an EVIL camera the size and cost should be essentially the same as the 70-200, possibly a little shorter.

      • LGO

        I think Nikon is on the right track in testing the mirrorless system market using a small 2.6x sensor. If this is successful, Nikon could then be expected to implement the mirrorless system on a body with a 1.5x DX sensor and the 1.0 FX full-frame sensor.

        To supplement the initial three lenses, Nikon should release an adapter that would allow the new mirrorless bodies to take F-mount AF-S lenses that would support VR and autofocusing. This will help supplement the initial lens available for use with the mirrorless. Imagine using your current lenses as follows in its 35mm equivalent.

        - 24mm f/1.8G = 62mm f/1.4
        - 35mm f/1.8G = 91mm f/1.8 yes!
        - 35mm f/1.4G = 91mm f/1.4 yes!
        - 50mm f/1.8G = 140mm f/1.8 yes!
        - 50mm f/1.4G = 140mm f/1.4 yes!
        - 85mm f/1.4G = 221mm f/1.4 wow!

        - 10-24mm f/3.5-5.6 = 26-53mm f/3.5-5.6
        - 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 = 42-221mm f/3.5-5.6
        - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 = 47-520mm /3.5-5.6
        - 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 = 182-780mm /3.5-5.6

        - 16-35mm f/4.0 = 42-91mm / f4.0
        - 24-120mm f/4.0 = 62-312mm f/4.0

        - 17-55mm f/2.8 = 44-143mm f/2.8
        - 24-70mm f/2.8 = 62-182mm f/2.8
        - 70-200mm f/2.8 = 182-520mm f/2.8

        In addition to a native mirror-up capability (naturally as it is mirrorless!), the Nikon mirrorless would ideally also include the following features depending on the various models it will release:

        1. Continuous Burst speed up to 8 to 10ips
        2. Video Capabilities – 1080p at 24, 25, 30 and 60
        3. Optional EVF or built-in EVF
        4. Compatible with current Nikon flash system (including CLS & AWL)
        5. IR remote release in front and at the rear (like D5100 & D7000)
        6. Weather-resistance
        7. Built-in wireless for GPS, remote shutter release, flash control, file transfer, wireless tethering, etc.
        8. AF fine tuning

        Bring it on Nikon!

      • Qwerty

        PHB said: “In the film days we all managed quite well with ISO 200 or less.” That may have been true for PHB, but it certainly wasn’t true for me. In the film days, I was a photojournalist who generally used Tri-X. I usually used it at its normal ASA of 400, but I sometimes pushed it to 800 or even to 1600.

        • PHB

          If someone had told you then that the difference between ISO 3200 and ISO 12800 would be a make or break issue for a new camera format, what would your response have been?

          Back in the day when Jaguar produced the XJ220 they had a massive backlash from the pre-purchase customers promised a V12 when they put a V6 in it. Now the car still managed to get to an absolutely insane speed (over 200 mph) and the displacement was exactly the same. But people had ‘learned’ that V12 was better than V6 because there are more of them.

          Of course there is a slight advantage to V12, in theory it allows for a marginally smoother ride if the timing is set to 12 independent firings. But most V12s that were made fire two cylinders at the same time. So the only actual difference is a slight difference in the engine sound and a somewhat more significant reduction in performance due to having more surface area wearing for a given total displacement. The V6 was more powerful than the V12 and could manage higher revs. But people rejected it because they ‘knew’ that a supercar had to be v12.

          ISO response is an indirect figure of merit. It does not determine exposure by itself, it is the aperture plus the ISO figure (plus the shutter speed) that gives exposure.

          Focal length and coverage are directly linked in lens design. If you move the focal plane back (and focus the lens there), the coverage of the lens increases, as does the focal length (by definition). Nothing else changes. But look what it does to the ISO and f/ratio that result.

          Lets start with a 200mm f/2.8 lens focused at infinity, the actual aperture is 71 mm.

          Now move the focal plane forward so the image circle is 2.5x smaller. The aperture is still 71 mm but after moving the focal plane forward, the focal length is now 80mm, so the f/ratio is 80/71 = f/1.1

          It does not take a major redesign of the lens to achieve that performance. Its just taking the same elements and changing the focus point (which of course you do by changing the focal length. The focal length is also a derived quantity and depends on the distance to the focal plane.

          F/ratio and ISO are derived quantities. They are only figure of merit within a particular camera system. FX is better than DX on the F-mount because the F-mount is designed for FX sensors and the design compromises in the mirror sweep etc favor the FX sensor. But the difference is much smaller than people here would have you believe.

          How your D3 performs with lenses and a mount designed for FX compared to the D300 says only that FX works better than DX for F-mount. It says absolutely nothing about whether larger or smaller sensor sizes are best in a completely new system.

  • http://geoffcbassett.com Geoff

    I will never buy a camera with a sensor that cropped for over $500. There is no way in hell I’m going to invest in this tech.

    You want to go mirrorless? Fine, but don’t give me a crop factor that neuters my lenses.

    • steve

      +1

      I’m a Nikon fan but I’m not at all interested. I’d rather get Olympus’ upcoming Pen Pro.

      It worries me they’re wasting resources on a lame duck.

    • Tonio

      I don’t think you’re the target market, then. The advantage of a mirror less camera is chiefly size. If your bottom line is you want to use existing lenses then there’s not much point going mirrorless. The fact that Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, and Samsung have all jumped off one cliff doesn’t mean Nikon should too.

  • bob

    err…is this the size of the EVF SCREEN?

    AMAZING!!!!

  • Mac Rockwell

    Once again…. Consumer grade…. Nikon Wake up… release D800….

    • Nikonian

      Please stop bitching about the d800. I feel like that’s ALL there is to these comments. “WHERE’S MY D800!!?!!!??!?!”.
      You want to spend money to have the latest and greatest FF? Get a D3S.
      Nikon has a much bigger market in consumer grade gear than they do in full frame semi-professional camera sales so stop expecting the world to revolve around one niche’ in a HUGE camera market.

      • Mac Rockwell

        Hmmm… but I still want D800… D3s is 12.1 MP and very old…

  • Victor Hassleblood

    I don’t want one. Hope for Japan’s recovery and a new FX from Nikon. Jesus Christ. 2.6 really sucks. Even for mirrorless.

    • http://www.intersiteimaging.com/ BrettA

      Agreed – If they were going for anything under a DX sensor, let’s stick with open standard M4/3 and a 2.0 crop!

      But I’d much rather see an FX mirrorless – ideally one of the first as a Nikonos replacement. Native water-proof to 140′, compact off camera flash / arms, touch screen and an awesome sensor – likely what a D4 or D800 would use, etc.

      • Discontinued

        Remember the small Minox, Oly and Rollei (full manual controls) 35mm viewfinders? I inherited the latter from my grandma, once upon a time a gift from my father to her. Not really grandma friendly with its manual controls, but hey, what a camera ! ! !
        There is plenty of proof, that a small mirroless could even be FF. A 2.6 crop? Absurd. I would not call such a camera mirrorless or EVIL as any point and shoot is already mirrorless and provides tiny sensors. You would not call an iPhone mirrorless, would you? I would call such type of cropped camera PILS: Point (your) Interchangeable Lens (and) Shoot.

        Hope Nikon is doing well with its PILS, but I guess it’s not for me.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/collinox/ collinox

          totally agree with you.

  • Benjamin

    any rumors about f-mount adapters? while you may see it as neutering, the sports/wildlife crowd would love to multiply their lenses by 2.6x.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenkirsh/ Stephen

      yes, that’s why they all use D3s…. I shoot only sports the last 2 years, and I’m waiting on the “d800″ to replace my D90.

      Mirrorless camera won’t be fast enough for sports/wildlife.

      • http://www.intersiteimaging.com/ BrettA

        What? There’s nothing inherently slow about mirrorless, is there? Give it a D4/D800 sensor and it could be as fast or marginally faster than either.

        • Jeb

          Yes there is something inherently slow about mirrorless. The fact that you have no clue what it is shows how useful your other ‘opinions’ are.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/shigzeo/ shigzeo

            You sound like someone from the internet. I love this hospitable place.

          • http://www.intersiteimaging.com/ BrettA

            That’s fine – I certainly don’t pretend to be right all the time. Besides, opinions aren’t always related to right or wrong, they may well be simple preference. Also, of course, what one doesn’t know about one thing (like here), doesn’t necessarily have any impact. influence or relationship on other areas – one doesn’t need to be ‘right’ everywhere to be right somewhere.

            Anyway, would you explain “there is something inherently slow about mirrorless”, please?

        • Irfan

          Contrast detect AF system that mirrorless cameras use is not (yet) fast enough for birds/sports.. DSLRs use PDAF.

          • http://www.intersiteimaging.com/ BrettA

            Yes, but not only is it improving but Fuji announced many months ago that they had developed a hybrid PD / CD autofocus for mirrorless cameras.

            So combined with my use of the word ‘inherently’ (slow), it seems that to me that I was right, no? Indeed, in low light, CDAF is useable sometimes when PDAF is not (though that might not be an inherent deficiency with PDAF).

            If this is the only case for not being fast enough, I humbly submit that when Fuji’s solution is more widely adopted, it’s the D-SLR’s that should in theory be slower (hence my “or marginally faster than either” – though that’s conjecture based on time needed for mirror movement).

            • Irfan

              That’s special Fuji sensor with pdaf on the sensor itself. However, that was year ago, and looks like that even Fuji dumped the idea. No Fuji camera (not even x100) after that model has PDAF on the sensor itself

            • Irfan

              PDAF on DSLRs works fine (better than CDAF) in lower light.

            • http://www.intersiteimaging.com/ BrettA

              OK, Irfan – Got’cha, thx!

  • http://iheartcamera.com scurvy hesh

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! No Mirrorless!
    Ill take this http://www.cameraquest.com/jpg4/N%20FEA%2001.jpg

    With a digital back please

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/charge5/5647867411/in Huggs

      +1

  • bob

    …or it turned out to be the upcoming PENTAX EVIL ON A NIKON BADGE!!

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

      Pentax mirrorless camera will have 5.6x crop factor (1/2.33″ sensor):

      http://photorumors.com/2011/02/03/pentax-nc-1-mirrorless-camera/

      • Discontinued

        5.6 can’t be called anything but crap factor.

        • PHB

          5.6x is a bad choice because it is a dead end.

          As far as the optics go, the size of the sensor is irrelevant. Its like having a projection TV. You can use the exact same projector to throw the exact same picture onto a 12′ screen or a 6′. You just move the projector backwards or forwards. Further back you move it, the dimmer the picture gets.

          But there is a little minor hiccup and that is that light is quantum. So you end up getting diffraction effects and at a certain point the wavelength of the light is smaller than the sensor area.

          5.6x will be no impediment for the 12MP market. But it will limit them severely beyond that. 2.5x allows for a 24MP image which is pretty much sufficient for most purposes.

          I don’t see a demand for a DX EVIL. Its neither one thing nor the other. Its no longer ultra-compact. Its not FX.

          The way I see the market going is that in the near term 2.5x EVIL will compete against the consumer DX models (D3100, D5100). The prosumer and pro DX will gradually disappear when an affordable 24MP FX becomes available.

          There may be a demand for a full frame EVIL camera, but maybe not if Nikon can deliver ultra-fast lenses like f/1.4 zooms and f/0.7 primes for the EVIL system. That is possible because the coverage does not need to be very high.

  • Jimmy Lamont

    Really depends on the size as to whether it’s viable or not. I was awfully disappointed in the P7000, so much so that I sent it back. Interchangeable lenses would be a welcome addition.

    People, you’re not going to get an M9 for $500. Is Nikon the one that needs to wake up? I don’t think so.

    • hexx

      M9 is full frame

  • abeleski

    One step forward two steps back.

  • Banned

    Not interested.

  • What’s a Pentax?

    Sensor is too small. Give us a full frame mirrorless Nikon! You have the sensors and the capability!

    • Petia

      Yes, that’s a great idea. And give us a complete new line of FX lenses adapted for mirrorless, while maintaining the old one for some time.
      And please forget that algorithms and computing power now allow to get less noise out of a 17mm-diagonal sensor that we got from the first Nikon D1 (a pile of crap!). We should simply be able to print A2 sizes from 6400 ISO shots, that’s a minimum for most.

      • http://www.maletic.org dusanmal

        Proper usage of mirrorless design can yield less noise… There is nothing overly bulky with full frame DSLRs. They follow long established ergonomic optimum between frame size/camera size/lens size (normal)/data(film) quality. Hence, eliminating mirror from standard DSLR is not only for reduction in size. Something useful can be done with space released by the lack of mirror. I hope Nikon is thinking of it too but from my professional field, one important thing that is not in present day DSLRs jumps out: active cooling. Leave sensor the same, remove mirror system and put in active sensor cooling system in: instant order of magnitude improvement in signal/noise. No need for computing cycles and algorithms (and Can’ people already have leg up on that). Physically improve capture results.

        • http://www.intersiteimaging.com/ BrettA

          Yes, “Something useful can be done with space released by the lack of mirror”, like eliminating the unused space and making smaller cameras. And reading about M4/3 cameras which do just that, smaller lenses are then possible with the shorter distance between back of lens and sensor (though I don’t understand how that works :-( ).

    • http://www.intersiteimaging.com/ BrettA

      Absolutely! Thirded!

  • BornOptimist

    If the lenses are top grade, YES then I will buy it. It all depends on the lenses.
    2.5 x (or 2.6x) – excellent decision! For me this is not meant to replace a DSLR, but supplement it.

    • idiot

      My phone is a supplement for my DSLR. And I have it all the time.

  • mikils

    if that’s all, they can have it and stir fry it with tomatoes, as we say in Italy. I will not buy it.

  • Craig Houdeshell

    I hope this is not true and frankly it makes little intuitive sense.

    If it is true the camera will have a 2.6 crop factor, insert head shaking emoticon here.

    I will reserve final judgement until the “rumor” turns into a camera.

  • Luke

    Why would I want this over a M4/3 with that small of a sensor? I hope Nikon is just putting this out there to throw the competition off.

  • TaoTeJared

    Nikon really misses on anything that is not a DSLR.

    It almost makes you believe that Nikon sees the mirror-less cameras as “I want to change lenses” instead of the real truth “I want the image quality of a dslr but don’t want to drag one around.” People want image quality of a DSLR – Not Almost the quality, THE QUALITY. m4/3 doesn’t get that quality nor will a smaller sensor. That small of a sensor is just not going to get them there.

    • Craig Houdeshell

      Actually, some of us want the IQ of a medium format. LOL!

    • Petia

      I’ve a great solution to get DSLR quality with interchangeable lenses. Leica M9.
      Hopefully you don’t need a long tele, because there is none (usable). But anyway in FX it’d be 4x larger than the body; so much for the weight and space savings.
      Now Nikon just has to add a high-quality EVF (because these parallax-problematic 1930-style viewfinder just sucks), a D3x-grade autofocus, upgrade to an 8 fps-processing engine, add an integrated flash and a battery pack (with no additional volume, if possible) and divide the price by 5.
      Easy.
      If these japanese engineers only read NR!

      In the meantime I’ll buy a D3100. It’ll give me DSLR-quality pictures in a quite small package for $600.

      • TaoTeJared

        Now that’s a pipe dream if I ever heard one.

  • http://photoartbymark.zenfolio.com photoartbymark

    forget about it

  • http://photoartbymark.zenfolio.com photoartbymark

    that is about the size of the old disc cameras the quality was junk the best you cold do was 5 x 7 and that even sucked

  • Ken Elliott

    Place a Leica M9, Fujifilm X100 and a Nikon SP on a table. Those represent the feature set I’m looking for.

    Combine the style of the SP, viewfinder of the X100, a D5100 electronics package and you’ve got a great camera that could easily sell for US$1200 – $1800 for a DX version, and $2500-4500 for a FX. I’d rather have the SP-FX for $1200, but I can live with DX. In other works, I believe the sweet spot is between the D7000-D300s price.

    Think “affordable Leica”. Keep it simple, designed for photographers, with as few buttons as possible.

    • Ken Elliott

      Forgot – ship it with a fast (1.4 or 1.8) 35mm prime and I’m good. Add a fast 24, 50 and 85. Simply take the existing glass and put it in a new (metal) housing.

  • BigEater

    Dudes, you are bumming me out with all this negative thinking…. Could everyone here please double up on the Prozac and repeat after me: “The glass is half full, the glass is half full, the glass is half full…”

    • twitsmiter

      ^ This

  • Beytullah Pekmezci

    Doesn’t small sensor size increases DoF? Like the older video cameras, even with 2 – 1.8 f-stops.

    • http://www.EltonSaulsberry.com Elton Saulsberry

      DoF is a function of aperture and focal length. A small sensor requires only a very short focal length to cover the sensor. A “normal” lens of 17mm would have a lot of DoF at a moderate aperture.

  • Luca

    it seems to me that Nikon is dangerously protecting its APS (dsrl) cameras as many other vendors has done so far (Sony is the only exception). But releasing a so small sensor means:

    1) worse IQ than competitors! And as of today there are nice APS products, such as Ricoh GXR and Fuji X100 or even Leica M8.x, that have all a very good quality. Already better than m4/3 by a far extent.
    2) worse HIGH ISO capability! And same considerations as above.
    3) worse bokeh! the out of focus will be very difficult even with very luminous lenses.

    The first two points can be solved partially if you adopt a sensor with a low MP resolution. Let’s say 8/10MP and no more.
    But still Nikon should “have the balls” to invest into APS sensors even in an EVIL camera trying to differentiate its feature’s set from a DSRL!

  • nuno

    NR admin, could you please tell us which % of confidence do you have in this rumor?

    If it comes true I’m going Fujifilm X100. With such small sensor it wont be possible to go beyond ISO 800 or 1600 at most. Those mirrorless are for street photography, where you never uses a tripod, so the best high ISO quality the better.

    • Luca

      I agree with you even if I would wait for an interchangeable version of Fuji or I’d consider to buy the Ricoh GXR.

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

      I would say 60% probability

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/collinox/ collinox

        I bet on 10% probability

      • na

        hope nikon pay attention to what we say here: most of us don’t like it

  • padlockd

    If this is true, this is a fail (from my point of view). If they wanted pros to take a look, they’d have needed to put at least a DX-sized sensor in it. Now people might as well buy one of Nikon’s P&S. Or an iPhone. =/

  • Luca

    Nikon, take an old FF sensor (D700) and wrap around it an EVIL body with a similar tech of Fuji (hybrid EVF/OVF), keep the F-mount and makes some pancakes and you will have a super-winner! even if you sell it for US$2000!

  • Farrr

    Actually I am happy with 2.6 crop, because before that I was afraid that nikon will introduce sth so good that make us all switch from dslr and throw away all the lenses. Now I am releaved :D

    • bjrichus

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      Nice…. I’m with you on this…

  • broxibear

    This sector was always going to be a problem for Nikon.
    They’ve already got DX and FX and now yet another lens format… I think Nikon missed a trick by not going into micro four thirds. It would have taken off some of the pressure for new lenses because of the Olympus and Panasonic ones already available, and people who already owned a micro four thirds camera maight have upgraded to it without having to change all their lenses.
    The other thing they could do is market it against the Fujifilm X100, made with quality materials and a high price so it’s more of a niche product. If it’s just another coolpix it’ll die the same death as the P7000.

    • http://www.EltonSaulsberry.com Elton Saulsberry

      Yep. Comply with the standard and compete on value. Wide availability of third party lenses reduces barriers to entry to their system but also increases competition.

    • Mock Kenwell

      Nikon has never competed well on value, they compete well on quality. They can’t be this stupid. There has to be something more to this camera. If it isn’t TRULY pocketable—something that could compete with the S95s of the world with more manual, better IQ and ultra fast primes—then I fail to see the market on this one. They also had better “sex-up” their normally staid form factor design. This is a stylish market they’re entering. Frankly, if it ain’t pocket portable, I’m fine with a DSLR. I will only settle for this kind of super tiny sensor if I get ultra-portability.

      The Sigma DP series is on the outer edge of pocket portability with its size, but still allows lovely DOF opportunities and terrific IQ. It falls down with its interface, pathetically slow operation and spotty color rendering.

      I still say that if Nikon could develop a competitor to the DP series, with a fixed lens or super sharp small range tele, and could make it actually function properly, unlike the DP, they’d have a giant killer on their hands. Do we really want interchangeable lenses in a camera where portability is paramount? I would tolerate a digital Contax G2 if it offered full frame, but that’s about it.

      And Nikon still need to get off their asses and own the “tough cam” market. They practically invented the genre and are nowhere to be found.

      • http://Www.eltonsaulsberry.com Elton

        Value doesn’t necessarily mean inexpensive. It’s a utility/cost thing. You can have an expensive system that represents high value as long as it’s high performance. A super good 4/3 mount lens for a fair price would still be high value. Nikon could be the supplier of choice in the 4/3 market for high performance (sharpness, durability) lenses. With a reputation for excellent optics, it could represent a new market to go along with Nikon mirrorless sales.

        • Mock Kenwell

          Yes, value can mean bang for the buck, but this would only resonate with a pro/enthusiast market. Despite its tiny sensor, if this thing has interchangeable fast, pancake primes and great video in a TRULY pocketable format, I would buy it in a heartbeat. But in order for it to appeal to a consumer market, it would simply have to compete on price, or offer gobs of features unavailable in other models. The average consumer would be too easily wooed by more megapixels in M 4/3, zoom lenses, etc. It remains to be seen which market this is aimed at. Rumors have indicated both at one time or another. One thing is for sure. Nikon waited so long to enter this market, they really need to nail it out of the gate to gain traction.

      • c.d.embrey

        “Do we really want interchangeable lenses in a camera where portability is paramount? I would tolerate a digital Contax G2 if it offered full frame, but that’s about it.”

        The G2 system had 16mm, 21mm, 28mm, 45mm and 90mm primes plus a 35mm-70mm zoom. Duh!

        • Mock Kenwell

          Learn how to read before being a smart ass. That’s what I said. I would tolerate a prime-based, non-pocketable, interchangeable system like a G2 equivalent ONLY if it was full frame. Not 2.6.

  • disiderio

    Man, this doesn’t help anyone. At least DX with future provision for full frame as a product development/business tactic?

  • low

    lets go X1 baby!

  • Rory

    Thank gawd I bought my Fuji X100. Great camera. Nikon lost my money by not having an alternative.

    Now, D700 sensor inside the X100 body and I’m sold.

  • bjrichus

    Wrong! SO WRONG!

    Such a small sensor can only be movement in the wrong direction.

    I want a LARGER sensor – - unless the IQ and dynamic range is at least as good as DX or they cost less than about $400, such a camera is pointless, and then the low cost means little unless the IQ and Dynamic range stack up to DX ……..

  • R R

    that is definitely a deal breaker for me.. why waste money on that crap?

  • Carlos R B

    The question is not how worse is than mirroless competition…the question is how much better than 1/1.7 sensor will it be?..the answer probably is that the camera will have other new features, otherwise no one will be interested….

  • Knockwell

    Hockey mom stuff, no deal

  • HundredK

    I was hoping that this camera would use DX lenses. If Nikon creates a new line of lenses for a smaller sensor the DX line will get even less love.

  • d90000

    “pros” are not the center of the universe

    end of story

    • Rob

      So true. The sensor is twice the size of that offered in the Canon G12. How can this go wrong? Nikon has lens making in it’s roots, why cut their own throat and go 4/3? They can make their own lenses. Sensor tech is progressing so we’ll get higher ISOs in the future, it’s the lenses that will be important. I hope the smaller sensor will help Nikon give us competitive prices. I’ve looked at the other mirrorless offerings but they cost as much as an SLR which is a huge obstacle. If Nikon can undercut the competition most of the public won’t be looking at sensor size.

      • Twoomy

        And Micro Four Thirds sensors are FOUR times the size of the Canon G12. While many say that M43 can’t compete with DX or even FX, I disagree.

        But if Nikon is trying to launch a system between M43 and P&S, it’s going to be a tough sell to the general public. M43 has a four-year head start with over two dozen lenses available, including ultra-wide angle, super-zoom, and macro. Not sure how Nikon can compete here.

        • Rob

          Members of the public don’t know the difference between an I-phone and a megapixel, except you need one to take a good photograph. Go Nikon make G killer. Beginner photographers looking at this want to buy a system, they’ll buy the kit lens and be done. The legacy of m43 lenses isn’t that vital. How can Nikon compete? On the price.

    • c.d.embrey

      “ ‘pros’ are not the center of the universe

      end of story”

      So true – Fan Boys are the center of the Universe (or at least they think they are). 8-0

  • ben

    This will be perfect for the tiny compact camera group.!!!!

  • António

    It will certainly be a different concept, as a Nikon senior person said long time ago about the company’s project, but for sure not in the direction everybody was waiting for.
    Nikon users will be able to use their lenses on a Sony 1.5 crop factor NEX-7 body but forget about them if they choose the company’s mirrorless 2.6 factor camera.
    What will be the advantage? A new sensor concept with no Bayer’s filter? Or a new technology that eliminates noise and other shortcomings usually associated to small sensors?
    4/3 sensors crop factor of 2.0 keep being point out in every review as a disavantage . What will be the technologic “miracle” to allow Nikon’s 2.6 one to be considered as good as the competition larger sensors?
    Being a new and separate “system” why will not Nikon users feel free to chose another maker for their “small” mirrorless backup or “light” camera gear?

  • mwl

    I guess we have to depend on companies like Sony, Olympus and Panasonic to start taking the initiative on full frame compact/consumer products. It would be nice to see an affordable M9…like in the $1000 range. I understand that the production and development costs are more but if a company is going to come out with a new line where you NEED to buy new lenses and gear, specific for that line, then lower the cost of the body (because it’s going to be obsolete in 2 years anyways) and raise the price of the gear. Cel phones follow that model, don’t they? And we don’t see that industry slowing down. This is where a 3G camera (not for telephone features but uploading/syncing/updates) would make sense because then Nikon or whoever would benefit on an annual income for that camera instead of an initial cost. People are doing it for their iPads – why not cameras. And I’m not talking for Facebook but for an immediate backup to either prevent data loss or running out of room on your card. That way they can produce fast cards to keep up with high MPs with less storage so it keeps the costs down. Or, have onboard storage with upload backup features and there you’ve reduced the size of the camera because it lacks doors, inputs and housing and whatnot. But that would cater a small/young market.

  • http://photoartbymark.zenfolio.com photoartbymark

    2.6x Crap Factor

    • Ollie

      +10

    • Gonads

      :)

    • http://blogg.hogbergphotography.com Danonino

      Haha! Absolutely perfect! Shouldnt we just write an official letter to Nikon with the Headline “2.6x CRAP factor”
      And then list hundreds and hundreds of pages with withphotographers/amateurs that has signed it?

  • Twoomy

    I’m a Nikon fanboi but if true, this mirrorless system will suck. I broke down and bought the Panasonic GH2 micro-four thirds camera and it is everything that I could want for a system that is smaller than standard SLR’s. I think Nikon is trying to find a slot between Micro Four Thirds and P&S cameras and this system is just going to tank with lack of interest. Pany, Oly, and Sony’ NEX have the edge.

    As others have stated, Nikon, if you want my cash, release the f*cking D800 already! I’m not buying any other Nikon camera or lens until the D800 is released. Pany is getting my money these days.

    And some may say ‘calm down and wait, don’t forget the tsunami and nuclear disaster’ but don’t forget that there were D700x prototypes floating around about two years ago, but nothing ever seemed to come to market. *sigh*

  • Leaking Starfish

    If true, what a useless POS.

  • http://lestermultimedia.com/ Lester

    The problem isn’t that the glass is half full, the problem is that the sensor is half size!

  • http://www.alldigi.com/ Geoff

    This camera will fill the gap nicely between the Coolpix and DX cameras. Stick it in my pocket and take it everywhere.

    • Tony

      Good point, but why Nikon?

      In high-end Nikon is a winner hands down which make D90, D5000, or D3000 a good buy because they use the same F mount. But for this EVIL camera, the competitors look better by a lot (judging from how poor they make their compacts)

  • Neely Fallon

    2.5 or 2.6 are a complete waste on investment.
    Why would any purchase this? If Nikon does come out
    with such a system then sayonara Nikon.

    The Fuji X100 will evolve to a complete interchangeable lens system & easily
    overtake any mirrorless system Nikon or Canon (or Pentax)
    comes up with.

    m4/3 sensor crop is about as small as you can go to justify a lens/camera system.
    & Olympus & Panasonic are coming close to the limits of what is possible in small
    sensor design when it comes to high ISO / noise supression / dynamic range.

  • bjrichus

    Just a thought…. This might be a so-so still camera, but what if its really a fairly-decent video camera first and a still camera second?

    Appeal to the kind of mom and dad that want movies of the kiddies at sports and pay under $400 for it but don’t want to pay $2k for a new Sony perhaps? Would this outsell all the DX and P&S cameras by a factor of a zillion and make Nikon lots of cash?

    In any event, certainly not a “pro” device…..

    • Rob

      +1!

      • PHB

        It would be a huge sensor for a camcorder.

        The 2.5x crop factor also works much better than larger sensors for stereo.

  • Tony

    NOTE: comment below applies only if the news is true!

    Premium price for low-grade product, only a donkey would buy this thing. I’m not sure what Nikon is thinking. They can’t even make a proper compact and now they are trying to release this half-ass camera, OMG.

    It seems that the Nikon name is not what it used to be.

  • It’s all about my fx

    Me too. I’ve just bought a gh2. IQ isn’t as bad as people think, it’s actually very close to a d300. Slap some good lenses on it, and you’ll be amazed at how some of the images turn out. The video on the gh2 is an out of this world orgasmic experience.

  • Joel

    God.. really? I’d buy a Sony NEX with the D7000 equivalent APS-C sensor before buying this. What a waste of engineering time.

    • knurd

      The NEX-5 and (soon to be released NEX-C3) share the same sensor as the D7000. Plus you can use some sweet old manual glass on the NEX bodies.

      • Irfan

        No, Nex-5 uses the 14 MP sensor. Nex-C3 will use the 16 MP sensor

        • Sam

          The NEX-3C will use the same sensor as the D7000 and it’s even smaller than the NEX3 now. It looks like it’s shaping up to be a great little camera.

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