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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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  • santela

    so glad i got the nex last year

    • http://haroldellis4444@gmail.com Harold Ellis

      yea they can keep it. another money saved.

      oh wait not…

      because i ordered two X100!

      yeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwww

      • preston

        hahaha, nice one.

  • Chroko

    Nikon was bitten by the sensor size before: they standardized on DX cameras at the pro level and assumed that was it. After Canon introduced their full-frame cameras, Nikon took almost five (5!) years to catch up with the release of the D3.

    Unless this sensor contains some truly revolutionary low-light technology, it will be garbage. I wanted a digital FE. Instead it looks like I’m going to have to wait for a digital Bessa or Zeiss Ikon, or perhaps the next Fuji iteration.

    • SZRimaging

      Only garbage on the pro end. It will more than likely do fine on the consumer market.

    • Where’s my…

      Absolutely true. I think Nikon should be slightly embarrassed that best mirrorless F-mount capable cameras are the Panasonic GF1/2 or Sony NEX-3/5, the latter if flash is not interesting.

      • Where’s my…

        …with an adapter, of course.

  • MK

    i would consider this model if new is true, coming from GF1. lens stabilization (vs. IBIS) on this model would probably be a deal breaker for me. if you pay attention to any of the posts here, you will get the impression that anything smaller than aps-c/m43 is worthless. the most sold cameras contain a 1/2.33″ sensor; its all a compromise; IQ, cost, etc etc etc. just because you don’t want to compromise on taking full-frame 12800 iso shots and pixel peeping to the MAX, doesn’t mean someone else wont.

    • disiderio

      Personally, I do like the DOF associated with full frame cameras. Eg 50mm equivalent on a small sensor is actually an ultra wide and absolutely nukes any possibility for some nice, lush DOF. :(

      • Rob

        My camera stays on F8. I hate out of focus stuff. I use my flash or auto iso levels to keep me there. Nikon having designed the mount from scratch will I’m sure will leave them the ability to give us a wideangle lens. You can betcha that it will have a fancy sensor, that will be there tech point of difference (for the boys) and it will be a smaller camera (for the girls). If they give us good quality video…

        • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

          …you only shoot at f/8 because you hate out of focus stuff?

          Do you shoot landscapes and nothing but landscapes?

          • Yan

            Landscapes at F8 ? It’s more at f8 everything is in focus? Are you in Macro photography? hehe

            • http://fotografieprofesionala.wordpress.com/ AS

              Macro Photography at F/8….Guys you are joking!
              The truth is that only beginners need f/1.4 to cover their mistakes and lack of vision in their photos, the rest can manage good or even grate pictures at any f number LOL

            • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

              …and pros who understand that depth of field isolation produces extremely flattering photos. I was more bringing attention to a blanket statement of “I always shoot at f/8″. I doubt anyone who shoots f/1.4 is ALWAYS shooting for shallow depth of field.

              Please… we’ve all seen the beginners who call themselves pros with their f/4-5.6 zoom, taking photos with trees in the background where the leaves are enough in focus to be extremely distracting.

          • c.d.embrey

            Actually, nothing but advertising. Advertisers want their product to be clearly seen by potential customers.

            • ZoetMB

              Yes, but usually the product is in the foreground and to emphasize the product, you want the background somewhat out of focus.

          • Rob

            Just snapshots mainly.
            Like Warhol said a good photo is in focus and of someone famous.
            Generally for me I find I like challenging my camera with low light conditions pushing dof. Wideangle macro using a 10-20 amazing how close you can get to stuff if you close down the aperture a little.
            Anyway the pani 10-20 m43 lense costs a bomb so Nikon better give me affordable for this non-pro iteration.
            Luck buggers that like their tele’s have hit the jackpot with this sensor.

    • Vandyu

      Not enough sensor sizes. Definitely need more, more, more sensor sizes. Not enough confusion in the market yet.

  • disiderio

    The problem with releasing a dx or full frame too early is that nikon can;t stagger the product release. They probably don;t want to play all their cards too early. They could make a dx or full frame sensor camera. This isn’t impossible. It’s not rocket science. They won’t because it’s not a business wise decision. Unfortunately, nikon is starting to be recognised more as a toy camera manufacturergiven they haven’t bother to release a competitor for the excellent canon 5d mk2.

    • Ronan

      Latest Nikon DSLR beat Canon DSLR so wutcha talking about?

      • GetOutOfTheOld

        That’s the problem. Nikon is not a risk taker and if they were with their name then they would definitely pull ahead. They need to go back to their roots of ripping off Minolta and bettering them in marketing and moving on to new technology than just sitting in the middle waiting for die-ing-off die-hard fans to support them.

        Take a chance Nikon. Take that effing chance and appeal to the tech-hungry updated crowd that wants to see change. You’ll be surprised at the results. Just look at Sony and how far they’ve come in the last year.

    • Vandyu

      “Unfortunately, nikon is starting to be recognised more as a toy camera manufacturer given they haven’t bother to release a competitor for the excellent canon 5d mk2.”

      That’s a bit of a stretch. Here’s a toy camera manufacturer and my old faithful Nikon DSLR and SLR beat this for sure.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toy_camera

      http://www.fourcornerstore.com/

    • Your a troll

      TROLL!

  • Mike W

    This camera is clearly not for most people who frequent this site. That said, let Nikon actually release the stinking camera before you pass judgement.

  • Stephane

    Well. While I applaud the courage of Sony to come up with new designs, I find the ergonomic of their NX series unappealing (think bar of soap with a soft drink can attached in front) and the look a tad sissy / metrosexual. Try holding this little fellow for a few minutes with the right hand only. The size, shape and weight with a lens attached, does not make it a compact camera. Rather a DSLR alternative.

    This shows the importance of keeping the size of the lens reasonable. The way to achieve this is to reduce the sensor size and to stick to prime. Now think long term. Nikon is (hopefully) still going to be selling cameras in ten years time. With the progress with have seen in the sensors over the past 10 years, I assume that we will be getting great qualities out of 2.6 crop factor cameras within the next 10 years. Starting a line now with a lens mount to fit this sensor size is a great idea which will become a lot more logical over time. Remember that when Nikon comes up with a new mount size, they keep up with it for years and then it takes years to develop a full range of lenses to match the lens mount.

    Consumers have a tendency to focus on short term to fill their perceived “want” as quickly and cheaply as possible. Advertising and marketing gimmicks will create these “wants” as it helps sales. Research and development department of companies, on the other hand, have to think long term. This might just be long term thinking. Way to go on my opinion.

    • Karlosak

      +1

  • SF_Strider

    Good that it breaks my dream on Nikon EVIL. Now I can focus my money on D400 & Sigma SD-1

    x2.6 – it makes every old DX & FX lenses not worth to use on this new machine.

    • Libby

      +1

      A new lens system and mount – yeah that’s what we’ve been wanting. Yeah right.

  • Rich

    If its true about the sensor size it wont be geared towards pros.

    It’s always been a dream of mine to see a Nikon medium format that really pushes the boundaries of functionality with the superior image quality of that format (the best of both worlds).

    • Rob

      Since full frame sensor cost hundreds of dollars to produce, I’m sure medium format sensors cost thousands. Yields decrease exponentially as the sensor size increases, meaning prices increase exponentially.

      • Rich

        @Rob I would be willing to pay the high price for a medium format Nikon; Im imagining it would be in the $10,ooo to $15,000 thousand dollar range. Keep in ming it would be aimed at the pro market; where paying $8,000 dollars for a lens is common.

        I think were reaching the limits to how many megapixels a 35mm sensor can accommodate. Larger pixels = better image quality; so, it doesn’t make sense to keep adding higher mp counts at the expense of noise. I believe the engineers at Nikon could produce something with exceptional image and quality, with the higher fps and advantages of 35mm like dslr’s.

  • BenS

    Did i miss some anouncement or what ? I thought NIkon said that their mirrorless system will be on the “PRO” side ?

    • BornOptimist

      That’s a rumor that has turned out into facts. Nikon has never said it would be targetted towards pro. On the contrary actually, they have said it would NOT be targeted agains pro. Just look up Mr Goto’s inverview from last Photokina.

  • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

    c’monnnnn Fuji X300…

  • Julian Phillips

    Damn – what I want is a D3 sensor in a Fuji X100 like body – Right now only the Leica M9 comes close – but doesn’t have autofocus – the Fuji X100 restricts to just the one focal length – and then the sensor is APS-C. I wonder when full frame sensors will become common place enough for manufacturers to fit them into a smaller body that the D700 or 5DM2.

  • kaze kaze

    when I frist read the post about the 2.5x crop factor sensor my first reaction was *no comment*… I went downstairs to clear my head by talking to my friend John’y wlk grn…

    Well, we shouldn’t pass on judgement too quickly, let see the actually thing, took it out for a test spin, then either love it or love to hate it. I personally is not a big suporter of a smaller sensor (graduated in 135 film and now FX/ DX alternating) for IQ purpose/ high ISO noise and doing mind calc on the corp factor every time before I press the shutter release trigger, but never-the-less this will open up a new market and now nikon need a bloody good marketing dpt to pull it off, they should know better, as C-camp did when the 300D took the world by storm.

  • John

    Well, the lenses (particularly the wide angle ones) had better be stellar and small and the DR decent (like a D300) for me to buy in. I also better have a fantastic EVF and respectable video capabilities.

    I hope Nikon has made great inroads with sensors and off-chip circuitry in order to make the IQ of the lens + camera system spectacular for it’s size. No more than 10 or 12MP please!

    Also, there had better beat least a 24-80-ish FF equivalent and 70-250-ish FF equivalent decently fast, optically stabilized, zoom lenses available right away. Give me a 16 or 20mm FF eqiuv. wide pancake prime and we’ll consider that a good enough start to get my $$.

    Price? That’ll be one of the major criteria as to the success or not of this new platform.

    • pnutz

      What wide angle? Say we want a 14mm equivalent lens. That would be 5mm in this format. 21mm equiv? That would be 8mm. 11mm would give a 28. From the engineering standpoint a rectilinear lens at the focal lengths will be near impossible. Expect a ton of software correct (ala muckro filfth turd), and poor image quality.

      • http://www.zhovtenko.net VsevolodZh

        How then all those P&S cameras exist with focal length of 6.3-18,9 and even wider? Sigma even has rectilinear 8-16 zoom for DX format

  • http://www.bmupix.com/ Björn

    This is a very clever move by Nikon, if true. The sensor of their CSC occupies the middle of the large gap in size between those of current compact cameras and that of 4/3 and APS-C. As such they will have an opportunity to differentiate their product both in terms of size (smaller than the competition) and image quality. Image quality will sit in between as well, but that can only be good for Nikon as sales of the CSC are less likely to cannibalize sales of their (I assume) lucrative DSLR systems.

    Furthermore, all it would take is one fast F1.0 prime to offset any sensor size disadvantage in low light shooting. That lens would likely be a little larger, but the rest of the kit could be more compact than the competition.

  • http://www.digitalincense.com Daniel

    hmm…so i will have to look elsewhere.

    Nikon, nobody is interested in buying a mirorless with a sensor size closer to compacts.

    • Sky

      This.
      looks like Sony, Samsung and even m4/3 systems aren’t in danger anyhow.
      FullFrame mirrorless on the other hand…. that would rock the market, cause you’d be able to use rangefinder lenses as they are designed for giving advanced customers completely new, huge point of interest.

  • Julian Phillips

    might as well get an LX3… I just hope this is one rumor that remains only a rumour. I won’t be replacing my GF1 unless the cameras high ISO is at least twice as good – and I’m prepared to wait for that.

  • http://martian1018.blogspot.com Darryl Lara

    size matters! :D

    • http://www.BogdanSandulescu.Ro fotograf Iasi

      :) True. ;)

  • http://Www.megapixeltravel.com Graeme

    I simply cannot understand why they would go lower than MFT, it doesn’t make sense as that format is good but smaller sensors tend to degrade unless there is a huge load of processing power behind it. Which of course drive up the cost etc.

  • http://www.herrvorragend.ch fotograf

    Well, maybe they will ship a pair of lenses just for this camera. If not, this camera needs some special functions or ability to get some real attention. I don’t think they target the pro-consumers either.

  • Gonads

    Glad I bought a panasonic gh1 / gh2 now. 2.6 offers little or no incentive to existing m43/nex customers, or 1st time mirrorless customers. Extremely dissapointing for me, well it would be, if the gh2 wasn’t so awesome. I think this is one area I’ll just have to relegate to coolpix-levels of interest where nikon are concerned.

    • jack

      Never thought I’d see the day where 43 users would be laughing at another “smaller” sensor size…

  • http://www.davidcohendelara.com DAVID

    Ouch. Nikon’s DSLRs are great but for anything else they just don’t seem to get it.

    EVIL cameras are bought by people who know enough about photography to know that a larger sensor equals better quality. When they have the choice between Nikon’s 2.6x crop and the M4/3 sensor that every other manufacturer uses, they are going to buy the M4/3. It’s that simple.

    Now THIS is the camera Nikon should be making…

  • HY

    Fail. 2.6 crop… wat?
    digital S is what you need to make nikon…

    • HY

      add.

      digital S (fullframe) with Liveview.
      optional external evf. now that is a killer camera.

  • goose

    i want a mirrorless medium format. gotta’ count 50 more years, though.

  • glum

    wow, 2.5 crop would be a MAJOR commercial fail.

  • Albert

    sensor even smaller than m4/3 is just equivalent to a toy

  • Jim

    I see a lot of people being disappointed about the sensor size. I had the same reaction then I first heard of it, but the more I think about it the more it sounds like a stroke of genius by Nikon.

    We are probably now talking about a camera in the LX/D-LUX size with interchangeable optics. The Sony NEX series has a small body, but the big lenses make it look really bad, I will bet the Nikon Q-series lenses will be smaller by some margin.

    Furthermore, this will not be a camera aimed specifically on professionals but an interchangeable lens camera for the masses. The MFT cameras are not that much smaller than an SLR and ordinary people still think they are too big, I sell these things so I know. Hopefully they will bring the swinging 60s look to it like the Fuji X100. Think Antonionis “Blow Up”, thats where we want to be :-)

    Finally, sensor size. Nikon knows who they have to compete with so I would think this is a camera that will compete with MFT to some extent at least better image quality than LX5, G12 and the rest of the high end compacts. I guess they have some new sensor technology we havent seen yet, noise free images up to around 1600 and hopefully no more than 10-12 MP. In that case Nikon would be first in a brand new market and no one else would be able to produce anything similar for at least a couple of years. Kind of like Apple with the IPad.

    • Jim

      The Nikon SP design would be nice to see again

    • VJ

      But how many amateurs just use an SLR with one lens on it for 90% of the time? The interchangeable lens is for many amateurs a moot point: they get a wide-angle zoom lens and use it for almost everything…

      I agree on the NEX-issue: it looks weird and uncomfortable. And compared to this the 2.6 crop makes sense… but is there a market for it?

      • Jim

        What I notice then I sell MFT cameras is that the only people who buy it are either rich people who wants to look cool or professionals with a prime lens and nothing else. I have yet to sell a MFT lens by itself. No professional would buy a MFT zoom lens as you got the SLR for that and the rich people as you say don’t care to use anything else than the lens it came with.

        Now, if Nikon can make a smaller and more affordable interchangeable lens concept there would definitely be a market for it. This would be the same people who buy high end compacts and low end SLRs. The clue for Nikon is to make a camera that is so good that only the pixelpushers would complain about the difference. Most people never print more than 20 cm x 30 cm and even some compacts can produce stunning pictures at that level. This will not be a camera for the Pros or Semi-Pros but for ordinary people who wants something a little bit better than compacts but not as big as MFTs

  • Martin

    Good concept.
    I will never understand concept of lens-cap-sized camera with regular DX-sized lenses – like nex is.
    Estimating IQ from sensor about 3x larger than G12/P7000 together with modern image processing should be very interesting compromise…

  • http://www.petemccutchen.com Pete M

    Well, I will wait and see, but my instinct is to go with the crowd — the small sensor is a deal-breaker for me. Now, sure, maybe in a few years the sensors will be enough better that this small sensor will be “good enough.” But the flip side of that is, imagine how fantastic the APS and full frame sensors will be with the same technology.

    For a backup body, I’d buy something with an APS-sized sensor, but nothing smaller. The D7000 or Fuji X100 are both under consideration. But that tiny sensor just won’t cut the mustard.

  • john

    2.6x crop factor will be hopeless for any pro use

  • broxibear

    Thom Hogan’s got an update on Nikon stock, new releases and the earthquake effects on his site today. He’s basically underlining some of the things I’ve posted here and what Peter/admin has said.
    The fact that Nikon, Canon and Sony have been so quiet for the past month suggests to me they’ve got serious problems…lets see how much information Nikon are prepared to give in next weeks press conference.
    Personally I doubt we’ll get much more than any of the previous three vague statements, it seems to be the Japanese way ?

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

      The “Japanese way” seems to be changing a bit. Watching the Japanese TV and reading their press since the earthquake you see a lot of things that you don’t normally see in Japanese society, including direct confrontation. This has been mostly directed at government (slow, inefficient, incomplete, and misleading response) but it’s spilling over into business, partially because of the revelations that are slowly coming out about the power companies, amongst others.

      I expect some direct questions next week (I’ve got a bunch of my own I’m trying to get asked), and while Nikon can answer in Japanese-like ways, they also are relatively transparent. I’ve never seen them try to lie or intentionally mislead. If anything, they’re a little too transparent. But you have to know how to read their comments correctly (and it helps to have the original quote in Japanese as a lot of the translations leave a lot to be desired).

      Note that even before the earthquake the Nikon executives went quiet on the mirrorless camera. Something was amiss in the supply chain even prior to the earthquake would be my guess, and it might be the sensor itself. Without revealing anything, I’ve seen direct evidence that the launch was postponed, and since that point we haven’t heard a peep out of the Nikon executives. Instead, we’ve only heard subsidiaries talk about “not needing a compact system.”

      You are correct that there’s serious problems in Japan. They basically all devolve to one of two things: supply disruption and power shortages (and those two things together, too). If you remember those images of the tsunami taking out warehouses and other industrial looking buildings along the coast, yes, many of those were not related to the electronics industry, but as we’re starting to learn, quite a few were small operations that were sole suppliers of parts or raw materials to various companies. So (1) every company has one or more suppliers it has to replace. But (2) some of the suppliers they do have or ones they could transfer an order to are in the area affected by rolling power blackouts. With a lot of those low-level parts, the machines that make them can’t just be turned on and off instantly. What happens when your machine that makes something takes four hours to warm up and requires two hours to shut down and you get hit with two one hour blackouts a day? Many of the plants that have that problem are reporting that they are producing at about 40% of capacity right now, but have orders for greater than 100% of capacity.

      Within the Japanese business press I’m seeing a great deal of non-vagueness about these things, so I doubt Nikon will completely duck the questions next week. Even if they do, they might be “outed” by the press anyway.

      The danger to Nikon is that nearly 100% of their sales are in highly disrupted products. The semiconductor industry is not back fully online due to supply chain issues with raw materials, amongst other things, thus some of the need for new fab equipment is threatened. Both Nikon’s lens and FX body plant are not running at 100% and have supply issues. Even Coolpix has supply issues, despite being made elsewhere.

      A second danger is this: Japan is pretty good about predicting earthquake likelihood. The chance of an 8.0 quake close to Tokyo within the next 30 years is getting into the “will happen” range (right now it’s in the “will probably happen” range). The Kobe quake didn’t fully wake Japan up to some of their inherent problems. If the Kobe quake followed by the Sendai quake following by the likelihood of a Tokyo quake hasn’t woken them up, heaven help them. They need to make serious adjustments to power creation/use, deal with their under-regulated nuclear industry, figure out how to adjust JIT manufacturing to serious supply chain disruption, and a lot more. And they probably have very little time to do that while trying to rebuild what was lost.

      • broxibear

        Hi Thom,
        Going by Sony’s reaction, or lack of it, to the recent hacking of their PlayStation Network and Qriocity music service the Japanese way is still there…it’s as if they’re embarrassed to admit a problem?
        After the earthquake Nikon posted three quick statements in the space of three weeks…but since the 31st of March nothing?
        I hope they come out with some definitive statements next week, instead of something like “any new FX body is unlikely this year” I’d like them to say “there will be no new FX body until March 2012″ (if that’s when it is)…I don’t know if they will though ?
        I think the only reason Sendai and Tochigi are able to run any production is down to the parts they already had in the factory, once these parts run out it’s all stop again…this is what’s happening at the car factories.
        The other interesting thing is sensors, Sony have got their own problems making sensors so will they supply themselves and their own cameras, or give them to Nikon for the D7000 and possibly the D800 ?
        I’ve read some posts here suggesting Nikon can just move production to Thailand or Malaysia but that’s not something that can happen quickly if at all. The machinery in the Sendai plant that custom make parts for a D700/D3 is itself made in Japan… and guess what, those machines can’t be made because of supply problems ?
        It’s going to take time.

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

          I think the PlayStation Network problem is more nuanced than you think. That’s another story for another site.

          I’m not saying that the Japanese are suddenly American in the ways they respond, but I have noticed a difference that is clear and repeating through various aspects of their culture now.

          Nikon probably didn’t respond further because they are busy trying to come up with what they need to formally say on May 11th at the annual disclosure. With their stock price hit so hard by the quake, there’s a need to be a little more careful and not make the more casual releases they made those first couple of weeks.

          I doubt they’ll be as specific as you suggest. I wouldn’t be. Even on the D4′s four-year update schedule there would be plenty of things on the critical path right up to announce day. If even one of those things blows up on you, you miss the date you announced in advance and look foolish. The only real alternative is the RED approach: perpetual beta and constant postponements of individual features or deliveries.

          You are correct about “parts already on hand.” But that applies to everything, not just to the two plants in the affected area. Everything. That Toyota plant in Kentucky will be finding that out soon if it hasn’t already, for example. It seems everywhere I look in any industry in Japan I’m finding supply chain failures, usually due to a single component, part, chemical, or substance that is no longer being produced because the sole provider is gone or has equipment that can’t run with rolling blackouts.

  • http://www.vivesa.pl Fotograf Kielce

    These are bad news. Nikon mirrorless can be worse than mickro 4/3, 4/3 either NEX APS-C. :(

  • R

    I think sigma should make their Sd-1 with different mounts. That way if you have sigma lenses with an f mount or cannon mount, you can buy the sd1 and still use your lenses…they would sell so many more models that way. Or they should do m4/3 so all you need is an adapter…

    • http://www.zhovtenko.net VsevolodZh

      Totally agree.

      With such camera they could make an epic win and make a lot of $$$

      But till this time I haven’t seen a nikon lens to sigma body adapter, which is a pity :(

  • Nathan

    It’s still much better than the proposed Pentax low-end EVIL.
    It’s still a large sensor camera. People get very odd about sensor size and effective focal length. It’s all goofy BS, I think. Even 135 is SMALL FORMAT photography. It is better to have thumbnail sized imagers than pinky-nail sized ones, that is certain. And for image quality alone, it’s better to have palm of hand sized imagers. Between pinky and palm sizes, there has to be some compromise, as each size range gives advantages and disadvantages.
    A small camera with a 135 sensor doesn’t make much sense unless it’s to be used at effective focal lengths from about 20mm to 85mm and no farther. Leica is doing very well with the M9, but it’s not useful for birds, sports, studios, snapshots (it’s a very expensive piece of kit).
    Somewhere between 135 size and 1/2.5″ size, there has to be a size where some manufacturer can produce inexpensive f1.2 range optics in the 20-85mm EFL for those who don’t have 10 thousand dollars to blow on a camera. If that manufacturer had any sense at all, they would make that camera no more than 6-8 megapixels, with an emphasis on keeping noise down and using a relatively weak antialiasing filter.
    a 2.5x crop factor is fine. I would prefer 1.8 or 1.6x, but you can’t always get what you want in a size you’d actually carry around.

    • pnutz

      The Pentax low end EVIL uses a 2x crop sensor if I recall the rumor….

      • BornOptimist

        No, the low end camera will use a 1:2.33″ sensor (same as many compact cameras), so thats a 5.6x sensor.

        • pnutz

          I stand corrected. However the one based on the Pentax A110 is 2x right?

  • Trevor

    I just don’t understand the demand for small FF. What do you want to shoot? If you’re in a studio, small doesn’t matter. If you shoot sports/nature you need size to balance lenses. If you shoot landscapes, no wide angle zoom will fit in your pocket. And, if you carry more than a single small or pancake lens, what is the point of a small body?

    Or, you want Nikon to take time and effort to make a small, EVIL FF with all new lenses JUST so you can have a $2,500 35mm travel camera? I hear Leica calling your name (and credit cards).

    I think this is the perfect move by Nikon. They are saying that small EVIL cameras belong between P&S and DSLR, and I think they’re exactly right. They are for customers who want better quality than P&S and a slightly higher price point but who don’t want bulk.

    • HY

      street, journalism is perfect place for small FF

      • Trevor

        See paragraph 2.

        • HY

          seriously if nikon can make a $2500 digital rangefinder.
          it will be the hottest selling camera in the world, period.
          Nikon is not without experience with rangefinder, no necessarily the development cost would be that much worse then the 2.6 crop mirrorless and it’s new optical formula

          2.6 crop is defiantly aiming for consumer market but even that I still doubt the potential of such product.
          2.6 crop will not be so much lighter or compact then the m4/3, yet u hv a smaller sensor.

          It is the same story with nex to the m4/3, like it or not nex has took a big chunk of m4/3′s market and it will only get worse for the m4/3 when the new E mount lens line up comes on the market.

          thus, 2.6 has a doubtful spot on the market; if any

          • preston

            “the hottest selling camera in the world”? HY, I think you drastically overestimate how many people would want a rangefinder camera. Not having autofocus is a killer for many types of shooting. People are just too accustomed to it now.

    • bob

      You write like you’ve never shot a FX camera, because if you did, you’d understand the advantages over DX.

    • PAG

      Trevor, you nailed it. This is not a line aimed at avid hobbiests and professional photographers. There are not enough of us out there who will buy a small camera and multiple lenses for Nikon to justify the massive R&D expenditure to create such a system. You are demanding that this system be something it was never intended to be. Sorry, but Nikon has decided your niche market doesn’t provide the ROI required to bother with it.

      You need to talk to some people who are not DSLR gearheads. I have, and I can tell you that there are people (probably LOTS of people) that would buy something better than their point and shoot where they can buy 2 or 3 lenses (“kit” zoom, wide angle, and telephoto) and not break the bank or be forced to carry a backpack sized camera bag to hold it all.

      For those screaming about MP, this market does not want 20MP. Images that big will eat their hard drives and can’t be easily emailed or posted on Facebook. In fact, the vast majority of this market will probably shoot {shudder} JPEG instead of raw!

      Sorry, but this camera is meant to compete with the NEX, not the Leica.

    • http://www.zhovtenko.net VsevolodZh

      I agree with Trevor, one of the few people on this forum who does understand that FX cameras doesn’t generate profit, and there is no point in making FX RF for nikon, go buy Leica

  • http://www.eaglewheel.us bikinchris

    Perosnally, I think the P7000 should already have this sensor size.
    As for the new camera, I would have liked for Nikon go just a little larger than this in sensor size and then make a DX version of the SP rangfinders. Later on, they can make everyone buy another one when they introduce an FX version of the SP rangefinder. That way you sell them on two cameras instead of one.

  • big eater

    This will be the perfect scouting camera; when it’s time to shoot for money, rent a Hasselblad H4D for the actual photos, bill it to the client and you’re done. Also, there are lots of people whose photos only appear on the internet, all they need is nice clean images which is what Nikon excels at. I just hope it will offer CLS commander mode.

  • http://www.dungbeetle.com.au/ Scurvyhesh

    This camera will be tiny. Like the Zoolander phone. Ganguro girls will love it.

  • D700guy

    Yet another product from Nikon that I will not need.

  • iamnomad

    Small sensor blow.

  • Me

    Speculation on why Nikon got a smaller sensor mirrorless option rather than going “full frame” (24x36mm):

    It is possible that at some point after m43 was announced, Nikon, Canon and Sony thought they should also collaborate for a mirrorless future, after all, they produced the majority of APS and FX sensors and it would be crazy to compete against each other and m43 in a mirrorless market, but the unknown factor at the time was Leica; an important historical company in terms of inventing the “full frame” 24x36mm format that Nikon, Sony and Canon were basing their professional market on.

    I imagine that Leica agreed to finally join the “full framers” and not the m43 club on one condition – that neither Nikon, Sony or Canon would produce a full frame mirrorless/rangefinder type camera that would possibly damage sales of the soon to be launched Leica M9 camera. It was probably also agreed then that Sony would make the DX version of a mirrorless camera – they held the sensor makers card for second choice and Nikon could do anything smaller – the smaller player at the time, therefore none of them competed against each other but all competed against m43.

    I hope I’m wrong, but if you are looking for a “full frame” mirrorless camera it will probably come from an outsider like Fuji, Ricoh, Epson.

    • ZoetMB

      Total bullshit. It’s illegal to split up markets that way. There was no such agreement between manufacturers and there never would be. You have no understanding of either the photography or the electronics business, if you think that’s true. Where’s any semblance of proof?

      • spam

        +1

        And the replacement for A-850/A900 will be Full Frame and not a dSLR.

      • Me

        If you read properly, it is speculation and this is partly what this site is also about.

        It wouldn’t be illegal in the “full frame” sensor market because they (Nikon, Sony, Canon and Leica) all still will be producing full frame size sensors across their other camera line, thats fair competition in an established market, but in an emerging new market like mirrorless things are not quite set in stone, they just probably have decided this future “idea” and thats not illegal as it stands, Canon and Nikon haven’t even entered it yet!

        Staggering a product like a new mirrorless to market by Nikon and Canon with their own different sensor sizes would also be not necessarily considered as anti-competitive if there is a big enough time frame between launches which would explain to some extent why Nikon or Canon might not have brought it to market yet too (not taking into account recent events in Japan).

        • http://Www.eltonsaulsberry.com Elton

          Any agreement not to compete is problematic legally.

  • Vlad

    Wow, the emptiest discussion ever! :D

  • ZoetMB

    IMO, this is disappointing, if accurate. I would have liked to have seen a DX sized sensor. If the sensor was going to be that small, then what’s the point? Enthusiasts won’t use it (except the ones who get suckered in by the Nikon name) and most amateurs never buy a 2nd lens even when using a DSLR.

    I wonder if people who are criticizing the Sony NEX have ever actually used one. My son-in-law bought one and when I actually tried it out, I kind of liked it. Sure, you can’t put it in your pocket, but it’s still small enough and light enough to carry around anywhere and the results are kind of decent.

    And to make this smaller that 4/3 is a complete misreading of the market. It would be a P&S with removable lenses – nothing more. It’s almost as if Nikon was worried if they designed anything decent, it would erode the low end of DSLR sales.

  • John

    Well, my old CoolPix 8400 had a 2/3″ sensor (which is equiv. to 1/1.5″ I believe) and that 24mm eqiuvalent f/2.8 lens on it was fantastic (better than the LX-3 or LX-5). At base ISO it was just fine.
    So, Nikon has the lens technology to make very sharp lenses for small formats and I’m sure the latest sensor technology will make a ~12MP 2.5x crop factor sensor not too shabby in terns of DR/noise.

    I’m warming up to the idea as long as the lenses are good and compact AND the camera body has an excellent built-in EVF. It also needs to have a built-in flash and a hot shoe (like the C P8400 has). A flip-out high res screen and many physical controls (no touch screen please) would be perfect.

    I’d be happy with an announcement now and availability sometime this fall (though it would be nice tohave one for the summer here in North America).

  • Julian Phillips

    What I cannot understand is everyone who thinks that if you want to shoot full frame then you should be fully prepare to carry 5KG worth of kit around with you. As you get older you get back pain – and you are limited by the kit you can carry. Conversely your potential budget for buying expensive professional gear goes up. A small full frame is not just for travel. Almost all the original magnum photographers used to shoot with Leice sized gear are you telling me they were all travel photographers? If you try to shoot street photography with a D3 – its not so easy to grab those candid moments – trust me I’ve tried it. I may just switch back to shooting with my Nikon FE and darkroom and skip all this digital malarky.

    • John

      I agree – a FF body does not have to be large. I want one for the WA possibilities and for the IQ. Get rid of:
      – Focus motor
      – High frame rate
      – Optical Viewfinder (a very good EVF is just fine)
      – Large LCD on back: Give me one that is enough for exposure and framing and viewing focus. Or bettr yet remove the LCD all together and let the EVF be the image review. A tetherable LCD could be supplied if you realy want a small screen.
      – As much as possible to make it smaller and lighter.

      Who cares if it’s small mounted on a 400/2.8AFS since that’s not what it would be used for anyways.

      It would be nice if Nikon made a series of FF cameras that catered to both those who need all the bells and whistles and to those who don’t. The D700 (which I have) was a step in the right direction, but I would love smaller and fewer features and am willing to NOT pay less for it – i.e., charge for the compactness feature.

  • Libby

    If the cameras is truly as previously touted “targeted at professionals” anything smaller than an APS-C is pure folly. I will just stick with my Leica D Lux 4 for the fun stuff when I want to leave the big gear at home.

    Please, please Nikon, a full frame basic DSLR with no junk on it.

  • D700guy

    One of my big questions; and this one is way out there and totally off topic: is whether the D4x will rival Medium Format cameras in resolution. I am on the fence about going Medium Format, but the time frame in which I make that move coincides with the rumored announcement of the D4x.
    Anyway…carry on.

    • Tony

      Pentax price their medium format at $10,000. So with inflation + brand, Nikon would price them at $15,000.

      I would buy a Graflex and a Civic as a bag to carry it instead, but that’s just me.

  • Tony

    I’m rethink my thought again. Nikon might get away with this thing if the prime lenses for this new system cost $100-200 (since their size would be much smaller).
    We might even see some 55-200mm f2.8 at ~$250.

    After all it would be hard to see the different from DX format at ISO 200-400 when print size is 8×10 and below.

  • broxibear

    The Japanese PM today ordered a complete shut down of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant, west of Tokyo, because of concerns it might be compromised by major quake or tsunami. The closure adds to the power problems for Japanese firms who are already preparing for long power blackouts in the summer.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110506-709873.html

  • photonut

    Must have at least D7000 noise levels at 12 MP sensor size

    or

    a MP monster with 24MP as perfect landscape cam (as long as base ISO is awesome)

  • spam

    This is great news if true. Even MFT is really too big to be truly pocketable with even a 3x kit zoom. A 2.5 or 2.6 crop lenses can be made even smaller and make a great travel system.

    Btw Admin, do you know that they”ll use a 4:3 size sensor?

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