It seems that Nikon will announce a camera similar to Leica X1

UPDATE: when I use the phrase an "X1 clone" I just mean to say a compact camera with a CMOS sensor, the X1 is just used as a reference. Do not expect to get the exact same Leica X1 camera with a Nikon logo for a half price. If Nikon does release something like that, I can guarantee you it will have nothing to do with the Leica X1, except the sensor size.


The second mystery camera on October 15th may really be a Leica X1 clone. This rumor circulated the globe few weeks ago and Nikon Singapore has replied that "based on the current outlook, we do not foresee a similar product range as the Leica X1" (initial source was CNet).

The rumor I received today says that Nikon is manufacturing the X1 model for Leica (or at least parts of it) and that the Nikon version will have the same sensor as in the D300. Not sure yet whether it will have video recording capabilities (the Leica X1 doesn't). The source mentioned also that the camera may have a swivel display or look even something like the old Nikon Coolpix 995:


NR probability rating: 90% (up from 80% few days ago)

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  • Anon

    If it actually has the same sensor as the D300 (and Nikon does not screw up brutally), I see no other way out of this than buying one.

    • Anon

      Additional information: making it look like the Coolpix 995 is covered by the term “screw up brutally”

      • specs

        I hope Nikon makes the camera the Leica X1 should have been:
        interchangeble lenses, with standard a fast 40mm equivalent (like the Panasonic GF1).

        As for screwing up by making a C995 lookalike:
        I don’t think there is enought space for an APS-C sensor in such a body. But they could still screw up by adding a swivel display.

        A simple (lean) camera has a few advantages:
        – light and small;
        – not susceptible to heavy use and wear;
        – easy to use (since hard to use features are left out);
        – not more expensive as necessary.

        • Pete

          i’d have thought that most buyers won’t be interested in fast primes.
          it’ll attract d3000 18-55 f3.5-5.6 buyers.

          interchangeable lens? not for me. and anyway nikon don’t have the lenses (pentax do with their pancakes) and i don’t want them distracted.

          for me an x1 with a 35 f2.8 with the d300 sensor will be fine. or an 18-55 f3.5-5.6.

          • Nikkorian

            fast prime 35 or 40 eq. would be good. lets you take quality shots with low dof or at low light when on some kind of holiday trip.

  • Joe R

    If it can record video properly (1080p 60 fps without the rolling shutter) I don’t care what it looks like.

    • specs

      You forget the “cooling beer” option.

    • WoutK89

      ironing clothes, doing the dishes, groceries… and so on

    • Nikkorian

      for a holiday cam vga would be totally fine

    • Sky

      And a winch, so that you could help your car while it’s dig in mud during your photo-trips.

  • Alex

    How about a 5D Mk2 clone instead?

  • Anon

    Rumors about a Nikon large sensor compact are flowing these days, I think it’s true. No smoke without fire!

    I hope they don’t also copy Leica’s pricing ^^

    And that it has NO interchangeable lenses, since that will make it too large to carry in a pocket, which is what compacts are about. That’s why I carry a compact when I travel, because I need a camera in my pocket at all times. Slap a lens on it and you have to carry it in the bag, just like a DSLR…

  • twoomy

    Boy, this at least an interesting and different move for Nikon. But since I’m one of those annoying “where’s the D700x!!!!” people, I can’t say that I’m very excited about yet another 12mp DX sensor. I don’t care how cool and small the new case is…

  • woble

    Nikon shouldn’t have a hard to competing with X1, if they release a solid product for a very reasonable price. Seriously, 2 grand for X1?

    Now, if it’s anything like Coolpix 995, then well.. Nikon are then just idiots to me. I would still buy their shit tho, just not that kind of shit.

  • Alex

    As long I get my D700x, Nikon can do whatever he want, even disposable digital cameras (don’t smile, it will hapen…..)

    • WoutK89

      Oops, just smiled 🙂

    • Ennan

      Disposable digitals have already been trialled but you get much better margins with film disposables so nobody bothered to stock them.

  • NikoDoby

    Very interesting. I just hope it doesn’t have the D300S’s price along with it’s sensor! The price would have to be below $800USD to get my interest with the current known “specs”

    • Nikkorian

      D300S sensor? doubt that. expect D300

      • Soap

        The difference being?

        • Anon

          Practically non-existent.

    • Eli

      If the D5000 is less than $700 body only then this will have to be $500 or less to justify the fact that it’s the same sensor but with less features.

  • fotosniper

    will it be called the p7000? im excited. but i hope its more rangfinder like body rather than the dorky 995.

  • Alex

    Ok, I just sold my D5000 (piece of junk) on Ebay.
    So I have no camera but 4 lenses, if Nikon does not release the D700x soon, I will have to use my lenses as binoculars.

    • woble

      Just buy D700. Cheaper than D700x would be, obviously, and you don’t need to use your glass as binoculars. 😀

      • zzddrr

        binoculars have their own beauty…

        Alex, I was thinking about using my lenses to make a bloody space telescope


    • parafinajv

      WHAT? You told me it was a great camera for $550!

    • Sky

      Sell lenses, change system to something better :);)

  • Mike

    Since I believe the X1 employs the Sony/Nikon CMOS sensor a Nikon countrpart shouldn’t be to hard to accomplish. I just hope Nikon will make it cheaper than Leica…

    And since I’m sharing my hopes and dreams: leave out the curved sides to make it even smaller, make the LCD at least 460k, turn the aperture dial into an ISO dial and put the aperture dial on the lens itself just along the focus ring. And since I’m at the lens: the 35/1.8 DX seems about right for the task – not interchangeble it should be even smaller 🙂

    The icing on the cake could be a built in tilt flash à la Panasonic L1/LC1 and a price inbetween the D3000 and D5000.

    Honey don’t wake me up now, what a wonderful I had…

  • New Fanboy

    Would have to see the final specs before deciding if I wanted to buy something like this.

    Price will be a big factor. Right now, I need lenses more than new camera bodies.

    But I’d love to have a compact camera with decent IQ at high ISOs and a fast lens to take into concerts at venues where they don’t allow cameras with interchangeable lenses.

  • Jerome

    Looks promising to me. Coolpix 995 is not only about swivel LCDs, it’s about swivel bodies, the same as the Sony DSC-F828. If you often shoot in liveview, it is a world of difference to keep all the buttons in the same place without having to kink your fingers around in strange gestures holding the body at some weird angle. If you don’t care about liveview, then swivel parts aren’t of much interest anyway.

  • cool idea, hate the swivel though 🙁 was still hoping it would be a d700 chip in a body like this, but if it sells well, there’s still hope.

    • plus, i can’t imagine that it would be an interchangeable lens camera if it had a swivel body, man that would be a pain in the ass to change lenses out on.

  • James

    Not to be a grammar nazi or anything, but it’s “an X1 clone” (in the title). Not “a X1 clone”.

  • Mikael

    As long as it doesn’t have the shutter lag of a compact (and X1?) even I might have to consider it.

  • tai

    If this is truly a swivel lens, there’s no way I’m not buying it. Damn, this will put some hurt in my D700X budget.

  • Anon

    Doesn’t Leica have enough manufacturing horsepower with Panasonic?

  • Gordon

    I can’t say this rumour excites me at all, it looks like another long wait until we may see a D700X. 🙁

    I would even be more excited if it was a MX format camera as hinted at by this poster here:

  • Zoetmb

    Not that I’ve yet seen the X1 in person yet (I’ll see it in two weeks at the photo show in New York), but this is one case where, if true, the Nikon version might actually have better aesthetics than the Leica version. I don’t see why a removable lens should take up any more room than a non-removable lens. I think a fixed 35mm lens is too limiting.

    This has to come in far less expensive than the D300, otherwise, there’s only a slight size advantage, but plenty of other disadvantages as compared with a DSLR.

    But I don’t necessarily believe this rumor in any case. If you tell me that Nikon is coming out with an advanced P&S with a DX sensor, I can believe that. But I don’t see Nikon going after the rangefinder market – it’s too much a niche market.

    But if they are, it had better NOT look like that Coolpix!!

  • Gary

    This would be a very smart move by Nikon. The keys would be to have:
    1)interchangeable lens
    2)fast focusing and responsiveness, like a dslr…not slow and poky like the Olympus ep1
    3)not too expensive; we expect to pay for quality, but not pay like Leica charges
    4) easy to use and not an excess of modes, etc. in the menu.

  • Just a Thought

    Me thinks you will be disappointed.

    Samsung will have a X1 clone way before Nikon. Samsung is “rolling” in cash and could easily afford trying out an upmarket camera – great way to promo the fact that Samsung fabs their own CCD & Cmos sensors and a slew of other chips. One or two winning camera designs from Samsung and it will grab major market share from Japanese firms. Eventually could leave Samsung and Sony on top, with Canon a poor third cousin. Everyone else will become a historical footnote.

    As for Nikon doing sub-assemblies for Leica – historically not Nikon’s game.
    Sanyo and Cosina (also Cosina’s Hoya) do major work in this area.

    • Gary

      There is no doubt that as cameras become more like computers, those huge technology manufacturers, like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, etc will have the resources and experience to out muscle the competition.

      I agree with what the NR admin once posted, something to the effect that Nikon has far more to worry about from Sony, Panasonic, et al than they do from Canon.

      I also believe the Nikon brand won’t go away, but there is a good chance at some point that it will be acquired by one of those huge technology giants.

      I also believe that these smaller cameras, with large sensors, will grow in popularity, due to size advantage…and if anyone can make one as easy to operate as an Apple device, they will dominate the market.

      • especially Sony – they are dangerous

      • Anon

        Let’s just hope we won’t see an iCamera any time soon

  • Gordon

    Out of interest sake, if Nikon are working on the following three cameras, which would be people here most likely purchase?

    Nikon X1 clone
    Nikon D700X
    Nikon MX

    If the talk and hints of late from other internet sources on a new Nikon MX format have some truth to them, this would pique my interest the most but the D700X would be a definite buy.

    • Twoomy

      Gordon – That was an interesting link to the “Kitty MX” thread. It almost sounds like the X1 clone and MX camera are the same thing!?!?! But will the breakthrough camera come in a week or up to nine months from now? I’m just not feeling the excitement for this month’s announcement. I don’t feel a D700x or a breakthrough camera in the near future. 🙁 (And I really want it!)

  • Din

    If the “Nikon X1” has the D300 sensor, forgot video capacitively

  • Son of FE

    Well, I still have my CP4500. It was/is a very useful camera that gave me a few years great service-especially the incredible macro ability(1/2″ focus distance) for a p&s camera. I bought a few other p&s cameras after that, but none could touch that swiveling,macro-ing,manual controllable, tiff-file-writable, 4MP little wonder of the year 2002 until I finally bought a DSLR in 2006. I’d even go so far as to say it was one of the last decent Coolpix models Nikon produced. So maybe, just maybe, Nikon is tired of listening to the complaining about the upper end of the p&s line? Oh well, we can hope!

  • Kiki Lavier

    A quality small compact camera with a decent sensor–the crop format of the D300 is fine–would make a very nice complement to those who also use DSLRs. There are times when a DSLR is not needed or required.

    By reading some of the comments in this thread, some of you are totally and absolutely clueless about that many SLRs evolved from compact Leica or Contax-style rangefinder cameras.

    Some manufacturers started by adding mirror boxes to interchangeable-lens rangefinder cameras.

    The foundation of the Nikon F was similar in many ways to the Nikon S-3 series rangefinder cameras of the 1950’s. The same parallel applies to Canon and its earlier SLRs. The Canon 6 or 7 series interchangeable lens rangefinder cameras provided the development foundation of early Canon SLRs of the Sixties.

    That said, I see absolutely no reason why a compact digital camera with a D300 sensor should cost the same as or more than a DSLR with a comparable crop-format sensor.

    I would definitely be in the market for such a compact digital camera as long as it shoots NEF RAW format.

    • i agree with you but for those who are “candid” phographers there are already pretty enough choices and have been for years. No need to stick with nikon either when it is another format anyway.

      Is it good? Yes. Exciting? Hell no.

  • Zorro

    I had a Coolpix 995 and liked it a lot. Update it with 2009 technologies and I’ll have one in an instant.

  • Who cares the Leica clone. Leica has the advantage from its tiny, disreet lenses. Has Nikon got any? Maybe 50mm, 24mm or 18-55mm.

    Nikon, bring out the D700x first, and don’t linger with any other 12mp models.

    • Gordon

      Knowing Nikon, they’ll finally release another 24MP camera in 2011, meanwhile Canon and Sony will be showcasing 50MP cameras by then. We’ve had 5 years of pretty much 12MP bodies, Nikon don’t seem to be in a rush to increase their MP options for their customers.

      In a market that is increasingly becoming more competative, Nikon can’t afford to be so slow with their advancement or else they risk being left behind. Sony are snapping at their heals, I’m sure they’d be quite happy for Nikon to become complacent again.

      Maybe this year is just the calm before the storm for Nikon, or they’ve run out of puff.

  • LGo

    Owning a D300 and D700, I bought a Lumix DMC-LX3 as my compact walk-around camera.

    Despite the LX-3’s excellent 24mm f/2.0 lens, I found that the smaller size does not sufficiently offset the difficulty of using an electronic viewfinder of a P&S.

    I bought a used D70, and use a 24mm f/2.8, or 35mm f/1.8, or 50mm f/1.8 as my walk-around “compact” camera.

    • Ricoh GR Digital FTW!

      Though yes, I agree that a small dSLR + small prime lens combo is a great “compact” camera, there are times (business travel, family trip, out with friends) where I need to drop it down another notch. The Ricoh has served me well in that role for going on three years now.

      That Nikon will follow the rest into the small camera / big sensor product space does not surprise, in fact it is inevitable regardless of what happens on Oct 15th.

      The big question is whether it lands on the DP-1 side of things (Digital Ti-35) or the micro-4/3’y side of things (interchangeable lenses). My money would be on the former, I just can’t see Nikon putting out yet another series of lenses.

  • Richard

    Found a picture of the Leica X1 Clone on a german blog: (at the bottom)

    • Gordon

      Just a lousy photoshop job it looks like, exactly the same camera as the Leica.

    • if Nikon has an X1 clone, I am 100% sure it will not look like the Leica X1

  • bob

    I thought that Japanese companies were not allowed to export technical knowledge to western companies? It would be great to have a digital Konica Hexar AF – 35/2.0, silent and I.S. If the Ricoh GRDIII had I.S….

  • if it is a swivel body with an APS-c sensor, i will be first in line in my city to get one. i would like a fast lens, but if it’s got good high-ISO capacity, like the d90 levels, i would be more than happy!

  • nikondad

    Nikon’s point and shoot lineup has never been interesting, yest that is were most of the cameras are actually sold. Nothing like a flagship model to garner interest even if most people cannot afford it. The Leica looks great, and if the price was in line with competition I would likely buy it. Let us hope this rumor is true.

  • David Lynx

    A “clone” mean “clone”. Do I need to define that word? If you don’t mean “clone” use another word/

    • you are correct – I changed the wording

  • Sky

    I wonder if Sony will sell backlighted CMOS sensors (you know – the one called Exmor R) for Nikon to do this camera. IHMO this could be a future – bigger, backlighted CMOS sensor could give this camera nice advantage over competitors, like the Leica for example (especially whey you won’t have to pay for Brand… >_< ).

  • Olivier

    According to the French “Réponses photos”, the Leica uses the D90 sensor. No vid. That would probably mean that if Nikon is going the “compact-with-a-big-sensor” way, they would either use the same, so as to limit RD costs, or use the D300/s one to assert their intriseque superiority! After all, they make the machines that Sony use to engrave the chips that Sony sells to Leica and Nikon, don’t they?


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