Nikon D4x (design concept)

Industrial Designer Marc Levinson created a Nikon D4x concept (click on image for larger view):

See more Nikon concepts here.

More pictures after the break:

Note that this concept was created by a designer who is not affiliated to Nikon.

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  • Miguel


    • Daf


      Oh dear lord!
      I wonder why these design concepts always seem to get such press.

      • Anonymous

        A for effort.
        F for design.

        Must not be a photographer.

        • Richard

          +2 to all of the above.

          • David Hasselblaff

            Don’t forget that it is waterproof up to 133 ft!!

          • plug

            Yeuch, I think I would lob it in 500ft of water!

        • D.

          I definitely agree… nice try, but such an ugly camera… bleh.

        • Joe R.

          Apparently the D4x will be a a DX- utilizing the tack-sharp-at-f8 55-200 DX lens.

    • Anonymous

      It really sucks!
      Dart faderisch!

    • Banned

      What’s the point anyway? Is it a student project? Sure looks like one!

    • jason

      ditto! the D3 body will stick around for a long time too come me thinks its just too goddam sex too change

      • Jay

        You mean the D2h body =)

        • Anonymous

          you mean the f5 film body

    • Rafael

      beyond ugly!

    • oh…
      should be censored!

    • Pier

      Yes, That Is Ugly.
      And obviously it’s not something designed to be produced.

      BUT That is an interesting exploration of concepts in ergonomics:
      – The hand positioning should actually be more comfortable and more stable on the long run (as it is similar to the hand position in a video cam – pro or amateur).
      – The eye position on the viewfinder is also closer to what you have on a pro cam, and should be more comfortable at least when doing video.
      (the rest: touch screen/rotating sensor are not as disruptive but complement this design)

      For all the pros who says it won’t work, I will remind them that the “pros” were saying that digital camera will never work for them in 2002, then that quality will never match analog in 2005, then that live view is useless in 2007, then that video on a DSLR is wrong in 2008…

      In every industry, there is nothing more conservative than ‘Pros’ (sorry for the gross generalization): they only want the same thing, better. Nothing wrong with that. But a company that only try to please his Pros customers is bound to Veneration… AND Extinction.

      So, I’d be happy if Nikon would look more into those ideas for those hybrid devices that dslrs now are and why not come with completely new ergonomics in future models.

      • no real pros were saying that digital wont work for them, in 2002 affordable digital was just not ready.

      • Dr SCSI

        +1 “is an interesting exploration of concepts in ergonomics”
        -1 “hand positioning should actually be more comfortable and more stable”
        Just try holding your hand at the same angle and height you would need if you imagined yourself looking through that viewfinder. Now imagine trying to manipulate the buttons on the back of the camera with your thumb while looking through the viewfinder. Ouch, that is a painful ergnonomic. I find a verticle grip much easier to handle while looking through the viewfinder and manipulating the dials. Nikon has nearly perfected the ergonomics on their D3 series cameras, especially for big handed monkeys like myself! I have known Canon shooters to swap over to Nikon because of the ease of use the Nikon cameras provide.
        +1 “So, I’d be happy if Nikon would look more into those ideas for those hybrid devices that dslrs now are and why not come with completely new ergonomics in future models.”
        As DSLR and Video Cameras merge into one, we will most likely see hybrid ergonomics which try to make the best for both formats. Unfortunately its kind of like tires; All-Weather tires are good for mild climates, but they aren’t great on snow and ice, and they compromise handling/grip in the summer. Suggestion: Build the best tool for the job, that is what PROs will demand and buy. If you add video, and change the ergnomics to make it work, it better do as good or better at making photographs. Unless of course you want an all weather device which suffices in all conditions.

      • I agree – the basic concept is sound; it’s the details that are not well thought out.

        The horizontal grip and rotating sensor would combine to make a far more comfortable and stable shooting platform – for both stills and video. I like the huge screen with previews of the adjacent images as well.

        Obviously, things like the tripod socket, mode dial and lack of command dials would have to change. The pop-up flash would definitely be a no-go for weather sealing, but a built-in CLS commander would be a nice improvement over previous bodies. The angled viewfinder gives me mixed feelings – it works for huge bodies like the RB67, but I’m not sure about smaller ones.

      • another anonymous

        I really really really don’t think this is better ergonomics. As for me it’s step about 100 years back. I wonder if someone will be able to carry such thing in hand for longer time without problems with his/her hand tiredness and camera stability by shooting. The eyeposition is the same for me – my neck will be a lot more and sooner tired when my head will be longer bending forward. In current cameras my head is in normal position by shooting and that is what I want to be abl to shoot longer. I think this designer never took pictures more than 1-2 shots of the familly or he forgot to think when working. For me completely useless.

    • Anonymous

      Most of you couldn’t even spend the time to give constructive criticism, you just have extra time to give criticism. You made a simple statement of the look of the camera …”ugly” real intelligent comment. For those of you…GET A LIFE!!!!

  • what an ugly being!
    I can’t imagine this this thing to have a nice handling, although its meant to have.
    The rotatable sensor mentioned is great though.

  • Muh-Kuh

    Holy cow!! What a *Ø£♫☼!!☻Ø®!↕!©▒x!♫·↑!!* design is this?

    He smoke to much ^^

  • Anonymous

    OMG, no wonder Nikon pulled the plug on this. This beast is uglier than my mother in law.

    • Sam


    • haha nice! The only problem with that statement I see, is that as girls get older they tend to look like their mothers…. 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Harvey you right, now you scared the shit out of me.

  • huggs

    not compact or ergonomic. plus it’s not sexy.

    • Anonymous

      It depends, I guess we did not drink or smoke enough to find its sexyness… 🙂

  • Martin

    This is not, and can never be a working tool.
    Too easy to slip.

  • Sam

    Hideous! Looks like something from the 1980s that got further deformed as it went through the time machine.

    Really, a waste of somebody’s time and money.

  • miles

    DX 55-200 VR??

  • Muh-Kuh


  • Jo

    I’m a industrial designer, and I also think this sucks !!

    I really don’t get the point. Sometimes you have to compromise style for ergonomic, but this concept compromises everything !

    • Form follows function.
      Form follows function.
      Form follows function.
      Form follows function.
      Form follows function.
      Form follows function.
      Form follows function.
      Form follows function.

      Did I emphasize that enough? 😀

      Just look at Ducati motorcycles, and it becomes obvious why form should always follow function.

      • Stue

        yeah and this would be like a bodily function and the form would be a turd shape!

  • roland

    Count me out!

  • Tomaocron

    Pop up flash?

  • Marc W.

    Yeah, ugly and also it comes with a mode dial. Count me out too, hehe.

  • Imagine what happens with Canon if this design realy finds it’s way to the customer.

    • Anonymous

      Every known pro will switch to Nikon, Canon is too normal

  • archi

    Who ever “designed” this brick can never ever have studied design anywhere successfully. If this shall be the future design concept of Nikon I’ll switch to C****.
    Some designers are freaks, but this guy is completely nuts.

  • Jack

    D90-style scene mode dial on the bottom of the camera? Off-axis tripod mount? And just try using that angled viewfinder with a flash or controller in the hot shoe. This is worse than most camera nerd with 3d rendering software mockup jobs, and that’s saying something.

    • SZRimaging

      Not to mention the two wheels for adjusting shutter speed and aperture seem to be missing… Kind of important parts to a working pro model.

  • D40-owner

    yawwwwnnnn… stupid…

  • shivas

    i wouldn’t be able to shoot and hold that. . .the dials are all OFF!

    I think Nikon has it right. . .one of the most comfortable bodies out there. . .

  • TJ Gilbert

    I’m disappointed that someone who would take so much interest in Nikon that they built their own “D4X” concept would think Nikon would produce something as perfectly horrid as this. One of Nikon’s key features that have made them stand out throughout the years has been their ergonomics, and this “camera” doesn’t have that word in its vocabulary. You can’t shoot with this thing for more than a few minutes without getting a pain in the wrist and finally giving it up as a bad job. It’s just so hideous and uncharacteristic of everything Nikon values!

  • Ceiling Cat

    Ceiling Cat disapproves…

    This guy has obviously never held a pro body with a fast lens…
    Look at how he’s holding the lens, try that with a 70-200/2.8…

    I bet a fair few lenses wouldn’t even fit on this body and if it is a non G lens you’re gonna have trouble with the aperture ring.
    If t is supposed to be a D4X, sorry no PC lenses for you…

    And the viewfinder position is just plain silly, Imagine having to keep your head bent down all the time to take a picture, you’d have no idea what’s going on around you….

    What an utterly failed design concept…
    a kitten could do better…

  • Kerni

    holy shit…

  • Looks like a hammer… to be used on the designer’s head!!!

  • MB

    Errr… rotatable sensor… Fixed pentaprism viewfinder…..

    Try harder next time (if there is a next time after Nikon Lawyers have been to work)

  • 55-200 on a FX body lol. But still, interesting concept. Thanks!

  • Claudio


  • bjamy

    For a split second I thought: “ah, mediumformat!”, but after…. Still nauseated..

  • Jatz

    I just verped when I saw it and then got a sore wrist thinking about using that brute horizontal grip thing.

    • plug

      Are you sure that is why you have a sore wrist? Hmmm!

  • Mikils

    Ehm, Do you realize that NR news arrives in Europe around or just after lunchtime? I almost was sick!

  • I have never seen anything uglier than this design.

  • F-ugly design, but the concept of angling the grip has puzzled me a long time, since the current vertical grip is un-ergonomic for the position of the hand in front of the face. Perhaps not as far as a horizontal grip, but maybe 45 degree angle?

    • Dr SCSI

      How about a rotating grip which could be set at multiple angles, including rotating forward. Just imagine a tilt screen for getting that “LOW” to the ground shot, using Live View, and having the grip rolled forward. It wouldn’t be the first time a rotating grip was created for use on a camera; I think Kodak or Nikon did something like that in a consumer body. Needless to say, a rotating grip would be usefull for video too!

  • Leaking Starfish

    The tool in the photo doesn’t even know how to hold a camera. Must be aimed at the point and shoot market.

  • Must have been designed by a Canon user. Plus the guy doesn’t even know how to hold a camera properly…left hand goes UNDER the lens not over it.

  • alex

    this dude has a serious mental problem
    Giugiaro probably thinks the same

  • alex

    i forgot to mention that he doesn’t even know how to hold a camera
    oh man… such stupidity makes me sad

  • Photomic

    Why this kid (who clearly never used a SLR camera in his life) decided to make fun of Nikon?

    This thing is everything a pro camera should never be.
    It’s a brick with a wrong handle/grip design, doesn’t have any command wheel, comes with the mode dial of the p&s, lacks the characteristic round eyepiece (like the last 30years of pro Nikon bodies), has a popup flash…
    even the strap sockets aren’t either Nikon style.

  • ebraun

    The tripod socket does not even appear to be in line with the lens axis. You would have thought that he would have done some research before he created this monstrosity. BTW it looks terrible!

  • Brian Davis

    Hopelessly impractical

  • That Guy

    I’ve never left a comment here, but for crap sake take that off the internet. It’s as if sombody just gave them a brick and said start hammering.

  • I really hope this is a joke, because this is possibly the ugliest design concept of any camera I’ve ever seen. The thing looks like it should be used as a boat anchor or something useful like a door stop.

  • Nikonshooter

    the designer must be a first year student and canonuser: oh Lord what a ugly design and how unpraktical to work with.

  • That’s ridiculous, this thing is awful. And he’s never gonna work for Nikon . .Thank god

    • jason

      digging ur website francisque_s cool work 😉

  • Nathan

    This thing sucks. There’s a grand total of what… two dials or buttons on this thing? Worthless. Give me more buttons, not fewer. Digging through menu options, or fighting with a touch screen, which means taking my eyes off the subject, is stupid.

  • Anonymous

    The tool of the day!

  • Anonymous

    Give me a break…

  • grumps

    Student designer right? He wont get hired!

  • Aside from being ugly, this is clearly a form over function design. My wrists and neck hurt just thinking about using this camera. Clearly, the designer does not have much experience shooting with an SLR.

    Interestingly enough…when I polled people about what they use and why, a portion of Nikon users stated that they use Nikon because of the grip and how it feels in their hands. The same people lambasted Canon because their grips are too small or narrow, and they weren’t comfortable to use. My hope is that Nikon would consider function over form when actually designing a camera.

    • SZRimaging

      I went Nikon over Canon for ergos. Beyond just the grips, the placement of controls and how you reach them just makes sense.

      • Yet another person with such claims. There’s enough people that have lamented about ergonomics of Canon that I’m surprised Canon hasn’t done anything to address it. I don’t buy into many of the Canon vs. Nikon debates…but the ergonomics debate is valid – and it has a clear winner.

  • twoomy

    Could somebody please design something that’s even bigger and heavier and uglier than this? I’m sure it will be a real hit.

  • pethunia

    Absolutely horribly ugly from every angle. Instant mouse-arm from estimating its ergonomics.. Look at the red(Giugiaro)patch and shiver.

    Funny thing is: it DOES cure NAS very-very effectively. Now we know there’s a cure! I even do not want a D800 now for five minutes.. Oh! It kicked in again..

  • eru

    No wonder if our urbanscapes are destoyed by those smartass newbisukersdesigners


    What an ugly piece of shit! I never want to see it again.

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