Nikon support rep reveals the secret of MX?

There is this post on dpreview, which is very hard for me to believe. Apparently, a Nikon tech support rep revealed a lot of info about the release of a new MX camera this month:

  • November 20th announcement
  • Bigger than FF sensor
  • Available two weeks after announcement
  • The body will be the size of D700
  • New pro MX lens

I call this one busted right up front.

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  • Juergen

    Yes, seems indeed very unlikely…

    Further down in the original posting on dpreview there’s stated “1. She thought the price would be around d700 prices but was not certain for sure” which makes the source very doubtful – no way such a camera would cost only as much as a D700!

    • Digitalux

      And why not ?
      A “cheap” MX body would certainly be attractive and boost the sales of MX lenses.

      But, frankly, I don’t believe it (would like to be proven wrong though… 😉 ).

      • torax

        No reason to make camera “better” than d700 at the same size and priced body.

  • jih568

    if it’s close to D3’s price, then I will be happy enough.

  • Perhaps this is the mystery street shooter rangefinder to compete with Leica.

  • 1: why would nikon support tech spit out secrets about upcoming products?
    2: what if she’s a trainee and knows about MX from surfing on dpreview and this site?
    3: two weeks availability after announcement is too short to make at least 5,000,000 productions
    4: “bigger than FX sensor in D700 size body” is definitely wrong by looking at leica S2, it’s bulky and big
    5: workable with older FX lenses on extra big sensor? don’t think so

    • Ernst

      Nikon could have commenced production already, and in any event, they’re not going to produce 5 million cameras. That’s off by at least two orders of magnitude.

      D3 production was supposedly 8,000/mo. with capacity for up to 12,000.

    • PHB

      I agree that it is very likely that she is getting the info from this site. In the intel world that is known as blowback and it can cause major disasters.

      It was the deciding factor in the collapse of the USSR. When the Soviets mounted the ‘invasion’ of Afghanisatan it was already a Soviet satelite with a hard line Stalinist communist government.

      The reason they decided that they had to mount a coup was because they were worried that the Soviet backed President was in fact a CIA plant. And the reason they believed that was that they were listening to stories being told them by folk in Kabul who had previously been targetted by a KGB disinformation campaign designed to destabilize the President, make him less independent and more dependent on Russia.

      Reading their own disinformation caused the Soviets to invade a country already under their control and led to a war that bled the country dry and ultimately led to the collapse of the Soviet system. It also led to the election of Reagan, Carter might have survived the Iranian revolution and the embassy siege, thing happen. It was the double humilation that was too much.

      • I am not sure it is a good idea to mention the words “President” and “coup” in one sentence 🙂

        oh wait, somebody is knocking on my door…. there are 5 black SUV around my house…. what should I do…

  • Find it hard to believe that this info’s from a Nikon tech. And the price point seems too good to be true.

    And what do we usually know about things that seem too good to be true?

    • I know! I know this one! Hold on… I know, I’ve got it: It’s the stuff legends are made of!

    • Hey! How’d I get an icon? And who’s face is it???? WTH?

      • Now I look like an idiot. As soon as I posted it, it disappeared.

        I plead No Contest to insanity in the first degree. I may be insane, but I *still* don’t buy the rumor…

        • Anonymous

          Hey Fried Toast I believe you. I’ve had that happen before when I post something, I get a random icon with somebody’s face on it. Very wierd.

  • lox

    the dpreview post consists of 50% rumors frequently discussed here (jeff-c’s post -> Nov 20th announcement, MX size from 3 japan ads). If there’s a bigger sensor, it’s pretty obvious that there will be new lenses too, plus the new PC Nikkor lenses that probably work on MX too. The other half of the “news” is pure phantasm. No “service agent” would talk to you for an hour if he’s obliged not to talk about it at all (if ever he/she knew anything). “Two weeks” — no doubt about that – absolutely impossible. They would have started manufacturing it months ago, and we would have heard about that in this case. And if you don’t believe that it’s all fake: How in the world would a MX sensor fit in a D700 sized body. Never, ever.

    • Hulk

      Jeff-C already mentioned the body announced on Nov 20th will be a 135 (aka 35mm aka 24×36 aka Full-Frame) body.

    • wrp

      Of course you can fit a larger-than-FX sensor in a D700-sized body. Check out the old Fuji rangefinders sometime: they recorded an image the size of a credit card using a body about the size of a D700 (much smaller than a D3.) All you have to do is get rid of the mirror.

    • no name

      I generally agree with Iox, but don’t forget that the D700 was available very soon after announcement (and I mean not theoretically, but seriously available: walk in a shop and buy, no wait) – and only a few weeks after the first substantiated rumors (with images, etc.) were seen. Nikon must also have pre-produced it for already a while and still kept the information tight.

  • Marc

    It would be smart for them to provide it at a lower price because of the new mount. Who would buy/switch a whole new system… even if there was an adapter for existing F lenses. Remember, Mr. Kodak, or whom ever it was, gave cameras away but then sold film. This is similar, sell cheap bodies to sell the lenses that you need with them.

  • don

    I was the original op. A poster reported calling the UK service center and getting the exact SAME info. Maybe all you doubters should call the service center yourself and see what you get told??

    • torax

      Maybe it is just a service center joke to tell that 😀

    • just called nikon’s 800 number, the support tech chuckled and said “this product doesn’t exist”…

      • Anonymous

        u called them? U must be stupid

        • JJ

          He said it was an 800 number, so it didn’t cost him anything. Now if he’d called an 898 number, I’d agree with you . . .

        • I live near Tokyo and I’ve called Nikon directly several times to debunk crap that gets posted in the D300 Group on Flickr.

          I fail to see what’s stupid about going straight to the source for information.

  • Crabby

    It looks like something interesting will happen soon, but details seem awfully fuzzy!

  • NikonMan

    I was using a Pentax 67 today, it’s not much bigger than a D3, and the fast Nikkor zooms are larger than the 67 lenses. I doubt any MX sensor would be as large as 6x7cm film, thus a D3 size MX is not out of the question and depending on the size of the sensor it could be close to the size of a D700.

    Pricing however, is unlikely to be lower than a D3. even at D3 pricing it would do to med format digital prices what the D1 did to early DSLR pricing. (anyone remember paying $10K for a DSLR?)

  • It’s got to been earth shattering to make me even think of straying from my D3. I really don’t see a need for anything more,
    D3’s got my bases covered for a few years to come..

  • NikonMan

    To cover the question of the potentially increased flange distance of MX, the FX lens adapter could have an optic included to return infinity focus.

    such adapters exist for mounting lenses onto different brand cameras see here for an example

  • AE

    Your rep tells you things if you have been a very reliable customer spending thousands of dollars with them.

  • if someone really want to get “unknown” information, feel free to dial:

    digital tech support: 1-800-645-6689
    service & repair: 1-800-645-6678
    repair parts: 1-310-414-8107
    NAS / NPS members: oh, im sure you know it!

    have fun

  • Chevypower

    Will it have FX cropping and DX cropping, and be compatible with those lenses?

  • Dan Wells

    It seems like Mr. Nikon IS up to something in the medium format arena, there’s just been too much floating around for there to be no fire behind the smoke; but this seems too unbelievable (if they’re really two weeks from series production, why not bring a late prototype/pre-production model to Photokina and PhotoPlus?). I would not be surprised to see a MX camera in the Nov. 20 intros, but with a spring availability date… I would also tend to expect a 1Ds range price, NOT a D700 range price…
    What about something that was around 30-40 MP, full 16 bit processing, 2 -2.5 frames per second and $8000-$10,000? It could either be a SLR (maybe intermediate in size between the D700 and D3, like the S2), or a digital “rangefinder” that looked like a Mamiya 7? This would dramatically open up the medium-format market (either way). I’d personally love to see the rangefinder (which would have room for a 4.5 inch rear LCD, leading to a shooting experience that could be anything from “super Leica” to 4×5, depending on how the photographer chose to use it).
    This camera is a lot more reasonable than a $3000 medium format Nikon, yet it still turns the upper end of the market on its ear! Canon had better run or else accept the loss of most of their 1Ds mk III sales. A few people will still prefer the 1Ds mk III because it’s 5 FPS, and I’d guess that the 1 Ds mk IV will be 28-30 MP and 5 FPS, an interesting contrast with a 35? MP medium-format Nikon with better per-pixel quality, but 2 FPS. This would be typical Nikon – don’t go after Canon head-on, but rather bracket Canon on both sides. Right now, the only Nikon-Canon head to head is the D90/50D (almost exactly the same price, choose a few more pixels or a limited video mode). The D60 is a bit more money for a bit more camera than any Rebel. The D3 is a better camera than the 1D mkIII, but it’s also 25% more expensive. The D300 doesn’t compete against any Canon at all. The D700 offers high ISO, while the 5D mk II offers more pixels and video mode. Nikon has been very clever in not setting up head to head battles, and I’d be surprised to see them go after the 1Ds line directly (high-pixel, medium frame rate, full-frame) – I think they’ll offer something different (not sure if they’ll be quite as radical as the rangefinder, though).


  • Martin

    It’s very likely that Nikon is working on something along the lines of a Leica S2. But the proposed compatibility with FX lenses seems very odd to me.

    If it were to become something like the Leica S2 it’ll be a SLR camera. But if it would be a SLR, then there is no way to use a FX lens on it. And it isn’t the image circle, since it is possible to switch to a crop mode. But with a SLR camera you’d have to have a greater distance between the sensor and the lens mount. (Because you’d need some more space for the bigger mirror.) This greater distance is the problem. Because of it, it would no longer be possible to focus a FX lens to infinity. Sure, there’s always the possibility to incorporate special optics into an adapter, which reestablish focus to infinity. But that wouldn’t really help with image quality or maximum aperture.

    If we really need compatibility with FX lenses, this proposed MX camera would need the exact same distance between sensor and lens mount like a FX camera. But for this it’d have to be either a pure EVF camera or a range finder camera. Either of which I don’t fancy. EVF cameras are just slow and there is no electronic viewfinder which is as sharp and clear as a real viewfinder. And EVFs always lag behind … and then there’s the problem with the painstakingly slow live-view autofocus (ever tried live-view autofocus on a D90; it’s a disaster; that’s really a feature I could do without).

    What’s more: I never understood why everybody is so keen on rangefinders. I always considered them to be the tools of my grandfathers. They’re so backward, really. Sure, everybody keeps telling me how fast and silent and low profile they were. But come on: fast? A rangefinder? Without autofocus?! Yeah, right. I’m pretty sure my old Nikon F-601 (called Nikon N6006 in the US) will outperform any rangefinder in ‘fast’ and ‘low profile’. And if you want silent and low profile what exactly is the matter with a D90 or shooting on film?

    But back to this MX camera: if it really exists, I wouldn’t wait for it to be announced this year. In fact it would surprise me if Nikon announce it in February 2009.

  • Boris

    nikon announced something BIG, didn’t they?

    and well, the thread at dpreview has 136 messages in 24 hours. a max of 5% of the readers will write a comment… trackbacks on many websites and forums.. if i was the marketing guy at nikon i would definitely use these kinds of viral marketing some days ahead of an announcement. like this you can be sure that everyone possibly interested in the product is going to the 20th.

    but i’m unfortunately absolutly sure the girl is wrong on the price and delivery date…

    personally i believe they will announce a D3x with higher mp. but you never know… maybe they start shipping the D3x and announce the other one… we’ll see soon (if the nikon website isn’t going down for hours due to high traffic as with the D700 announcment).

  • Although some of the info sounds fishy, the basic concept is NOT technically impossible! Here’s one way to sketch it out:

    — The camera has a 48x48mm sensor (already commercially available) and a big bayonet mount on the front (anybody remember the S-series Bronicas, for which Nikon made lenses)? The big mount accepts two adapters:

    — One adapter accepts current F-mount lenses and provides a choice of SLR viewing (for action subjects) or Live View. The Live View option has the improved contrast-detect autofocus found on the D700. Lenses cover 24x36mm and you can select either vertical or horizontal framing.

    — The second adapter accepts MX-mount lenses, which use the full 48×48 area. When mounted, it locks up the SLR mirror; you view these lenses via Live View ONLY! Who would put up with that, you ask? Studio shooters, that’s who! Many of us are already accustomed to using a tethered camera and setting up our shots on a computer monitor. This type of MX camera plus the capabilities of Nikon’s existing Camera Control Pro would be hugely productive for, say, catalog shooting.

    — Why would photographers want it? Because 35mm-shaped DSLRs aren’t really convenient for studio shooting, and medium-format-shaped digital cameras/backs aren’t really convenient for field shooting; plus, there’s the expense of needing two types of cameras with incompatible lensmounts. With this type of setup, you could have one type of camera that does a good job at both and uses your existing Nikkor lenses.

    — Why would Nikon make it? Because they’ve realized that playing ping-pong with Canon is a mugs’ game; rather than just going back-and-forth trying to top each other with whose pro camera has the most megapixels, they can step outside the box and create a different category.

    Now, I’d much prefer if the MX really were the rumored rangefinder camera, because I’m one of those peculiar throwbacks who gets better shots with an RF camera than a DSLR… but I can’t imagine Nikon would invest in such a niche market, or that they’d announce it by promising something BIG…

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