Nikon working on a carbon fibre SLR body?

An interesting anonymous tip I received few days ago (edited):

"For the last few months Nikon has been working on a carbon fibre body for a Nikon pro-level DSLR. They are specifically looking at the manufacture of a resin-infused 3D woven CFRP body as well as fatigue testing of some CFRP components. The body appears would be a full size (D1, D2, D3 sized SLR). The benefit of using carbon fibre is increased stiffness and a slight reduction in mass."

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  • I think aerial photographers, or users who frequently scale mountains would welcome the idea of a lighter body, even if just slightly 🙂

  • panfruit

    ‘a resin-infused 3D woven CFRP body’ — sounds like something a superhero would wear.

  • Stepper

    I wonder how they are going to deal with bonding the carbon fiber to metal components like the lens mount. I know that in the bike world there have been some problems with this as metal bonded to carbon fiber tends to oxidize rather quickly.

  • Dan

    weather-proofing will be below existing techniques. I hope they look hard at this stuff…

  • Dormant

    Maybe a carbon fibre body is inherently quieter than a metal body.

    • Son of FE

      Actually, it’s probably noisier. Less acoustic damping mass unless they add metal fiber/powder to the resin system. I think they’re just trying to find more stiffness( with thinner sections) at reduced weight.

  • Ray

    I just came in my pants reading this. Carbon fibre cars, and cameras… wow.

  • I am also a ‘keen’ cyclist and would never trust CF for anything but road bicycling and even there, I’ve seen it chip away and lose it faster than even aluminium. I am sure that it would look cook, but CF does not do as well for accidents like drops from heights (something that will happen to every photographer). I’d rather keep the 300grams and stay with a material that can dent safely rather than use CF.

    CF looks great though and I suppose that is what people love about it. Sure it can damp vibrations in racquet sports and do wonders for a racing bike, but over the long haul, I stay away.

    In lenses, the one massive advantage metal has is that it holds little static electricity, so zooming, focusing, and even attaching of lenses can be done with fewer interruptions. Canon has it right with titanium. CF is not ready for expensive stuff no matter how much it is pushed on the general populace for ‘performance’ sports.

    A camera I know doesn’t undergo the same cruel inventions a cyclocross bicycle does, but just like the bike, I’d not ride a carbon for very long or on very steep hills in case it gives out. Titanium and steel, however, I would.

    Whatever comes of it will be cool though as Nikon won’t release crap. If it is to be carbon fibre, so be it.a

  • DaveyJ

    This reminds me of my first reaction to chainsaws that used high impact plastic for the outer shell. After my initial prejudice I did find the high impact plastic outer shell was tougher. But
    buyers seem to rate plastic outer body on say Nikons as inferior. One property I have repeatedly seen in carbon fiber is being very brittle at low temperatures. If you are shooting at the Winter Games in Lake Placid or Salt Lake City or Vancover just maybe the carbon fiber would not be a confidence booster, or outer space. I can only assume Nikon will do their homework through independent testing labs and then also try to do some tests themselves before committing to a new body shell.

    • DFive

      LoL – I wont be using my CF Nikon Body in space for a few more years 😉


  • Great Rumor! Hopefully they will present some carbon-bodys for smaller Budgets than needed for the D3 oder D4 Bodys because for Mountain- & Outdoor-Photography this could be real fine!

  • Jabs

    @Everyone here.
    Here is a web site/blog about F1 race cars from the well known US Magazine – Road&Track and it happens to describe some current carbon fiber race cars. It is not enough for me to fuss at you here but perhaps now I need to point you to better references for this complicated subject – Enjoy and educate yourself.

  • Chuck

    I am just a stupid amateur. Why does one need carbon fiber. My D3 not need go fast. I am big and strong so saving a few ounces mean little. When I put my big lens on it I use a monopod or I hit the gym to be a real man with real lense.

    Is D4 going to be marketed to girls and girlieman?

    What I want is in D4 is smarter and faster focus and pattern recogntion. Ability to do 1080 at 30 FPS and maybe faster with auto focus, auto exposure and auto focus track. I want shoot more resoluation with equal of D3s ISO, anything lese would be a step back. D3x for peepers, but I’m a man and shot man shots!

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