Nikon EVIL patents from Japan

This could be the future Nikon EVIL mount:

The Japanese patent website is a mess. I cannot link directly to the individual patents, in addition the text is computer translated. Here is the main description of Nikon patent 2010-044203 which defines an electronic mount contact system for an EVIL camera (electronic viewfinder mirrorless interchangeable lens):

[Field of the Invention]
This invention relates to the mount structure of an optical instrument, and an optical instrument.

[Background of the Invention]
That by which electric contact for making electrical communication possible among these is provided in the mount mechanism which connects a camera and a lens barrel is known (for example, refer to patent documents 1).

[Problem(s) to be Solved by the Invention]
In the conventional mount mechanism, electric contact is projected and provided from the support member which supports a point of contact, and may be contacted and damaged in other members. SUBJECT of this invention is providing the mount structure of an optical instrument and the optical instrument which can protect electric contact.

Here is another view of the Nikon EVIL mount (all drawings were part of patent 2010-044203):

And some more detailed drawings of the mount after the break (click on image for larger view):

Japanese patents 2010-044225 through 044228 are all related to the same EVIL lens (we have already covered the US equivalents in previous threads - see here, here , here and here). The calculations point again to a 17mm image diagonal:

f = 10.25 to 17.30-29.30
Bf = 1.0 to 1.0-1.0
FNO = 3.60 to 4.50-5.86
2omega = 82.7 degree - 53.0 degree - 32.4"
with an 32.4 FOV and fl=29.30 the image diagonal comes out to 17mm.

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  • zeeGerman

    I think this will be a great system, it seems to be very small.
    Give it a hot shoe mount and on top of the rumored 18mm f/1.4 a 9mm f/2 or faster, and I’m in!

  • Jivee

    17mm image circle is interesting. There are many fast cctv lenses out there that cover 16mm circle. Minimal crop may mean these cheap lenses are usable via an adaptor. No doubt someone will make one!

  • peter bullock

    As they said at the end of that Michael Keton movie, “…because American hands are just to damn big.” I hope they make these EVIL cameras ergonomic enough that I don’t get cramps in my hands like I do on those nasty blackberry keyboards.

  • Derek R

    I made a few assumptions and did a little photogrammetry on the images. It looks like the lens mount is almost the same diameter as the current F mount. Wonder if it’s intended to be compatible?

    • Sure hope so! This would be the only way I would buy a tiny nikon given their track record. It’s not about the few hundred dollar camera, it’s about the thousands in lenses I already have.

    • Jan

      Even if it would be the F-Mount iirc the current Nikkor lenses wouldnt fit iirc. They are calculated on the basis of a certain distance between the lens and the sensor / film. In an Evil Camera this distance would be much smaller.

      Please correct me if Im wrong.

      • Global Guy

        And what if there was an extension tube developed exactly for this purpose? There would be an extreme “crop” effect. But the lens would be usable, wouldn’t it be?

        • Johan krüger-haglert

          Yes. And Nikonlenses on Nikon body would probably allow for electronic control to. Don’t know how well the AF work using contrast-detect focus with old motors though.

          The Sony NEX could probably mount more or less any lens with an adapter.

          The micro four-thirds is already close. They can mount Nikon, Canon, Leica M, Pentax K, C-mount/CCTV, ..

          The crop factor has already been told in other news stories to be 2.7.

      • Wouldn’t be too hard to make a reverse TC to shorten the focal length and distance to focus plane.

        • Digitalux

          Already done by Nikon in their early digital series.

  • Am I the only person that doesn’t know why people are looking forward to the EVIL system? What are the benefits of it? Faster sync speeds? Faster lenses or something?

    • I guess I just don’t know anything about it.

    • I think it’s mostly about size.Sony’s is the smallest yet, and it’s still not on par with pocket cams. I’m guessing from a marketing standpoint, tiny cameras sell better and if they can get point and shoot users on a path of constant upgrade, they’ve transplanted their old business model to something new. It’s all about making change as slow and painful as possible.

      Oh, wait, no…that’s what patents are about. And taming corporate volatility to attract investors.

      This never was about making the best camera possible. We can dream though, can’t we?

      • Global Guy

        I don’t see the point either. Huge lenses, small camera = bad idea. Just like i don’t care about pancake lenses on a dslr. I just want what works right together.

        Therefore, pancake lenses + evil = good.

        Giant dslr lenses + tiny evil = idiotic… just use a small dslr and do twice as well. (Not that i mind compatability, I just mean to point out that new types of flat//small lenses MUST emerge. It MUST be about the lenses or something has gone wrong.).

        • Spotpuff

          Totally agree. Saw the Sony NEX at a camera show a few weeks ago; it’s small but the limiting factor to the size is the lens.

          What’s needed is a great P&S sized- camera (like the S90) with 2-3 MP and outstanding low noise/IQ. 10MP on a P&S is ludicrous.

        • Worminator

          Sony NEX is APS-C, same as most dSLRs, and therefore the lenses are pretty much the same size too, except for the wide angles – they benefit from being able to use the space vacated by the mirror box.

          The Nikon system is (presumed) to be 1″, about 4 times smaller than APS-C and 4 times larger than today’s high end compacts. To me it’s a much more interesting proposition as it splits the image quality vs. size debate straight down the middle as it were.

          Likely the body – for useability considerations – won’t be much smaller than the GF-1, but the lenses, especially the telephotos and zooms, could be a lot smaller than even micro 4/3.

      • ArtTwisted

        Either way anything bigger then a S90 requires a seperate bag. This could be a useful size for women with pursus or guys who like to bring a camera along with them in there other unrelated bags but seriously, for myself I rather just carry my D90 or an S90.

    • Anonymous

      Gear-acquisition syndrome. 🙂

      • Jose

        Anonymous: A such as you are requesting new Dsrl with more megapixels other people like to have an evil camera from nikon.

        Probably you have seen many people with entry level DSRL camera, from others manufacturer such Pentax, Olympus, etc Try to focus using lcd instead of mirror, evil camera shuoulb be for this kind of people.

        On the other hand, this is a confirmation that nikon did not stop their research.

    • rich

      gear acquisition syndrome.

      people are always looking for the next flavor of the month, for the next cool thing. these evil cameras are pretty horrible, lowest of low end, and they require a separate bag. you may as well just buy a canon s90 to use alongside your dslr, and skip this evil nonsense – that’s what smart people do, at least.

  • longtimenikonshooter

    I can’t wait to mount my 200-400mm on it.

    • nobody

      Easy: it’s small and light enough to have it with you all the time.

      Just in case your coat pocket isn’t large enough for a D3 with a 24-70 attached (-:

      • nobody

        That was meant to answer Vince’s question.

  • Jesus_sti

    Can someone tell me why every one wait evil camera ? doesn’t seen to be the next top camera … it’s a super compact with removable lens ………

    • Anonymous

      “it’s a super compact with removable lens”
      yes thats it right there. its about picking a lens that fits the needs for the day. will it replace DSLR or DMF? for some yes! for most, no way in hell!
      I find the prospect of a small system interesting. for me this camera could fill my need for a carry everywhere P&S options (I dont have any P&S now) with better controls (hopefully) and good IQ. also if this becomes a shutter less camera it will be one less thing to break and add to the life span of the camera.
      I would already own a m43 if there prime lens list was more comprehensive. or if sony had a EVF, better controls and a longer prime coming…

  • ich bins

    Folks, where is the advantage? A diameter of only 17 mm instead of some 45 mm now means a smaller chip, more noise, smaller lenses (=cheaper to manufacture, probably assembled in China) with more plastic for higher price tags as usually seen by Nikon; same with the body: smaller with more plastic. And we need new lenses for that toy. A good p&s camera like Lumix with a Leica lens seems for now the better alternative… Instead of developing a new system they should bring out that gear what we are shouting for (D700X or something like that, – btw nobody had the idea to call for a D770, haha; a new and better 80-400 as a prime and so on…)

    • zeeGerman

      This is not meant to be a D3/D700/D90/D3000 replacement.

      Sony managed to pack a bigger sensor into a smaller camera compared to Panasonic. Nikons sensor will even be smaller, which means that the camera itself will most likely be smaller, and that the lenses will for sure be smaller.

      This camera system is not meant to produce very shallow dof, it’s meant to be very small with this rumored 18mm f/1.4, while it will give you great image quality, the ability to shoot in low light situations, while fitting in your pocket.

      • Twoomy

        Unfortunately, that’s why it looks like this system will fail. If people want so-so image quality, they can just buy one of the 50 Coolpix models that already exists. If people are willing to invest in an interchangeable lens system, there has to be some reason to do so: image quality. (cost and ease of use being the factors that P&S cameras win on)

        I’m a devoted Nikon shooter, but I think if I went EVIL, I’m going to the Sony NEX system. A DX-sized sensor in the size of a P&S is much more exciting to me.

        • zeeGerman

          unfortunately I see there the point where the NEX doesn’t come through. While the body is small, the lenses aren’t. Even with the prime attached to the body, it seems too big to be (guys)pocket ready.

  • Thats not an N-mount lenses, looks more like a cannon lens. If Nikon changes the mount systems I think this will be a dead fish.

  • Did anybody see the DPR test of that new $1000 Micro-4/3 lens? Sub-par sharpness wide open, center sharpness drops immediately on stopping down just once, and corners get only minimally better (one stop down) before they get terrible. (2+ stops down) Maybe the images themselves tell a different story, but as far as acuity goes I’m not interested yet…

    …Unless there is serious innovation on Nikon’s part, usefulness of this type of system will be EXTREMELY limited. If they’re going for a crop 2x or greater, their best bet is probably 4-5 megapixels, tops. Just a street camera. A 14mm f/1.8 EVIL lens and a 25mm f/1.4 EVIL lens, 2x crop, coupled with decent ISO 1600 or 3200, are about the ONLY reasons I’d consider a system like this. Otherwise, I see ZERO reason to buy into this system instead of just getting a D5000 or D90. A D90 + 16-85 DX VR is still by far the absolute best deal for serious amateur photography. Throw in a 50 1.4 AFS for portraits, and you’ve got yourself a rig that could last forever as an amateur / hobbyist; if you can resist technology acquisition syndrome…

    Just my opinionated opinion!

    • nobody

      In case you mean the 7-14 Panasonic wide angle zoom, I can tell you that on my Lumix G1 (at low ISO) it produces clearly better image quality (at least in the corners) as compared to my Nikkor 10-24 on my D300. Go figure!

  • Catastrophile

    i wonder what will Nikon call the cameras of this system , not CoolPix i guess, maybe Nikon TakePix ™…

    seriously i think an APSC or larger sensor would (have) be(en) better!

    • Catastrophile

      or maybe Nikon BoxTicks.

    • Canon Fangirly

      I think it will be called Nikon LoonyPix coming from the Japanese 躁鬱.

  • Phillip

    Eventually I’d like to get a small camera that shoots RAW, has a reasonably low-noise sensor, quick access to aperture, shutter-speed, and ISO controls, with a lens line-up that includes a few small fast prime lenses, and a sharp wide-angle zoom. From reading various photography forums, there seems to be a fair amount of interest in something like this- basically a poor man’s Leica- from a decent number of serious photographers.

    I’m don’t think that this is the market that Nikon (or Sony) is going for right now though- my impression is that they’re aiming these cameras at people who want a camera that is faster and has better IQ than their point-and-shoot, but want something smaller and simpler than a DSLR. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not something I’m in the market for, but I’m not sure if there’s a financially viable market for the kind of camera I want.

    • Anonymous

      I’m with you.
      It has to be low-noise enough to make me drop my DSLR for casual shooting, but be small enough to compete with an S90.
      To be honest, I don’t think it is possible to beat the convenience of a small compact, regardless of image quality.

      • Catastrophile

        when the customer base of the consumer grade m4/3 or Nikon-EVIL becomes large enough there will certainly be a market for a more pro-ish mirrorless cameras. i hope it won’t take too long before we see something mirrorless that is as appealing to enthusiasts as the D90 is in the DSLR world, current mirrorless cameras are more like D3000 or at best D5000.

    • Canon Fangirly

      “basically a poor man’s Leica”

      That’s what Nikon used to be. Just that Nikon’s M9 should be the D3 series, which is way too big and heavy. It cannot be that difficult to build a lightweight pro body like in the old days. And what is it with the sensors? Why on earth should a pro be forced to use only digital Kodachrome 200? It is about time for interchangeable sensors.

  • I have some inside information, this camera is to be called the DEVIL (digital electronic viewfinder mirrorless interchangeable lens). With a name like that it is guaranteed to be a success.

    • jim

      In order to get one, you have to make a deal and sign in BLOOD RED!!!! It’ll be a great deal, until you read the fine print.

  • KOK Yoon Lee

    I have been fed a line that the 4/3 sized sensor is about as small as one can go for decently shallow dof. So, would using a 2.7x crop sensor put this camera into P&S territory when it comes to dof? In that case, it would really nullify the reason for getting such a camera from the point of view of a DSLR user who wants a take anywhere camera that is smaller but with iq that approaches that of a DSLR. If that’s the case, I am very disappointed :-(.

  • Billy Fung

    Better Japanese to English translation web page:
    Better than Google IMHO.

    • actually the translation came directly from the patent website, they had it built-in

  • Desinderlase

    I think it would be better to have medium format mirrorless camera. Mirrorbox is huge on those things…

  • Talkontar

    Why do everybody talk about EVIL as an alternative for dSLR? Well, for P&S crowd this may be true, but for dSLR users it should be considered as an addition not next step. From this point of view Nikon’s idea is great, because I want something really small, not huge lenses of NEX and quite big bodies from m4/3 or Samsung. And I don’t care about high ISO, so small sensor is fine with me. Reason is simple – if I want to shoot seriously or in hard conditions I’ll take my dSLR. If I want to live my heavy equipment at home, but be prepared for some casual shooting I’ll take EVIL. My only requirements are: really small lenses (nothing like Sony), really small body (nothing like Samsung or some Panasonics), manual controls with dials (like Olympus with the exceptions of E-PL1, nothing like Sony), hot shoe for my sb-400 (nothing like sony) and great evf (like EP-2). Lenses, well I thought about possible use of EVIL in my case:
    – party or pub – fast 35mm equivalent with external flash
    – short tele for casual portraits when I’m sightseeing with UWA on my dSLR
    – UWA when I’m biking or hiking.
    To be honest Olympus EP-2 with Panasonic lenses: 20/1.7, 7-14/4, 45/2.8 are all I want from EVIL. But this set is a little bit too expensive for casual shooting and a little bit too big in size to be perfect. So, I’m waiting for Nikon. If Nikon won’t offer the exact same thing as combined Olympus and Panasonic set above, but in smaller form and cheaper price I’ll go for m4/3. By that time I hope prices will drop a little.

  • why don’t we get something built up from this system?

    • Djonah

      that’s indeed more something people would buy!!! for serious shooters this would be heaven…I allready posted this thing on the forum…an FE body equiped with an FX sensor! c’mon Nikon!!!

  • Greenwood_Geoff

    No interest whatsoever for me in anything except a DSLR. I like my larger size camera.

  • kumo

    Eventually EVIL will replace DSLR like film is replaced by digital. If they can make EVEL small enough, it can be used for DSLR size body. My predict is that first EVEL camera will be the high end compact digital. Then they will produce DSLR version i.e. F-mount with reasonable size of body (like D3000ish).

    • ArtTwisted

      Will never happen. Nikon and Canon can already make a pro small DSLR if they wanted too but they dont. Pros that use lenses which weigh 2 – 10 pounds need a big heavy body to balance that and thus the D3. Have you ever used a 70-200 2.8 pm a EPL1 ? just on a D90 it wont balance as it is even with the grip.

      • David Hasselblaff

        Uhm, then how did it work with bodies like the F2 in the past? I never knew anybody complaining about weight distribution.

  • Astrophotographer

    A key point to me about the mount patent is just that, it’s a patent. No third party lenses unless they get a license from Nikon.

    Everything points to Nikon is working to bring this to market.

  • Digitalux

    Nikon has already the technologies tested over time (meaning quite a lot of R&D already done with the QV-mount system and its superb fast lenses (1.6 fixed, f:2 zooms) and the Reduction Optical System “ROS”.
    Add an EVIL body and Nikon is in a good position to deliver something new, performing and without starting from scratch (costwise); also with standard F-Mount lenses compatibility.

    Could be big…

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