Nikon expects its mirrorless interchangeable lens camera to help gain 40%-50% market share?

This is according to DigiTimes, which is a popular website/newspaper from Taiwan (they claim it reaches 100k professionals). It seems that the source of this news is Nikon, since they mentioned "according to the company" in their article. Of course the term "mirrorless DSLR" is not technically correct:

"Japan-based camera brand Nikon expects its new mirrorless DSLR-similar camera will help expand its market share in the interchangeable-lens camera (ILC) market in the Asia Pacific to 40% in 2011 and 50% in 2012, according to the company."

The article is called "Nikon to enter mirrorless DSLR camera market".

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  • Let´s see what Nikon have, i hope full frame sensor!

    • Roger

      One day, sure, but initially it’s more realistic to expect a crop sensor. These are low end, entry level cameras, full frame mirrorless today makes no sense.

      • StickingZoom

        You’re maybe right, but then Nikon ignores how well received the Leica M9 is.

        The question I really like to get answered: Is manufacturing a FF sensor that much more expensive than a crop sensor? Or is it, what I suspect, just a few percent more cost intensive.

        • It’s about the LENSES. Nikon makes no af lenses with a short flange distance. Smaller lenses are cheaper to produce and design. Especially for a segment that may or may not survive.

        • Roger

          What makes you think Leica M9 is well received? You honestly believe M9’s are flying off the shelves? They’re not.

          • StickingZoom

            I’m continuously reading articles about the M9 where people are actually surprised how well this camera performs and natural it is to use for specific applications.

            The reason it appeals to photographers is because it delivers something that NikanonSony don’t: a compact camera with a view finder and with excellent IQ.

            I’m not expecting that Leica sells them in boat loads, the price is to high for that.
            But that doesn’t say something about the concept. With a street price clearly below 1000$ we could better understand how good the M9 concept really is.

            • Needs AF. Otherwise it’s just amateur/fine art gear. Modern photographers are too productive to miss shots all the time due to slightly off focus.

        • Jason

          D90 — 23.6 mm × 15.8 mm = 373mm^2
          D700 — 36 mm × 23.9 mm = 860mm^2

          Not sure what size their process wafers are, but it’s almost guaranteed to be either 8 inch or 12 inch (diameter). Suppose 12 inch = 72,928mm^2 = ~60 (84 minus edge losses) sensors for the D700 per wafer, vs ~170 (195 minus edge losses) sensors for the D90.

          This does not consider defects — say a few defects per wafer (one sensor lost per defect) and it’s roughly 55 sensors vs 165 sensors.

          Thus, it’s probably fair to say that a full sized sensor is probably ~3x more expensive than a APS-C (just raw material and processing).

          Whether this is a $5 vs $15 or a $100 vs $300 issue, I don’t know. Just some rough ballpark numbers for you.

          • @Jason: you are right, but missing an important factor as well: Nikon and ASML wafersteppers/scanners (and most Canon waferstepper/scanners as well) can only project an image of just smaller than a FF sensor (I thought it was 32x18mm).
            This means that for making one FF sensor, you’ll have to use 2 projections and merge them together.

            Canon has a waferstepper/scanner that can project an area of around 45x45mm, which is used for their FF sensors, but I once read an article that mentioned visibility of the mergeline in the original D3 sensor.

        • zoetmb

          How well received the M9 is? It’s certainly perceived as an example of fine German engineering and beautiful design, but how many of these do you think Leica sells? Just about everything Leica sells is for an elitist, niche market. That’s not necessarily bad, and it’s probably high margin, but it’s very small sales compared to consumer-based companies like Nikon and Canon.

          I think I did an analysis once that demonstrated that sales of all Leica M-series bodies combined, going back to the 1920s or 30s, was just about what Nikon had sold of the D70 and D70s. Or something like that.

          Nikon could not care less about pursuing the market that cares about the M9. And Leica has been in financial trouble for years.

          (Sometimes I think Leica is what Apple would have been had Apple not moved manufacturing to China. If Apple was still manufacturing in the U.S. or even in Ireland, a laptop would probably be priced at around $10,000.)

          • Roger

            Leica M9 is bad, zoetmb. Rangefinders are complicated and extremely limiting in use, a nightmare really. Hell, a 1980s SLR is better than the most modern film Leica M7. 😉 To make things even worse, M9 has no AA filter and has a sensor that seems about 6-7 years outdated.

            Leica lenses, though? Some of them are mindblowing, but with a price to match unfortunately.

        • Huggs

          According to an article I read on Chipworks, a FF sensor costs about $300- 400. While a crop would be about $70-80. The article was written in ’08.

          • Richard

            More recent figures put a FX sensor at $500 (+) as compared to $50 for a DX sensor. Quite a difference.

            • StickingZoom

              Thanx for the information, I didn’t expect such a huge difference in costs.

              I thought that due to the bigger size of the pixels defects in the silicon are less a problem and hence they’d less rejections in sensor production.

            • Richard


              I think it was Thom Hogan who ran the price figures most recently. The problem with the yields of sensors is that, if there are a given number of defects which appear on a wafer, a much higher percentage of FX sensors on the wafer will be affected than for an APS-C sensor (or APS-H sensor for that matter). Obviously, the people with the most detailed information about Sony’s yields for FX sensors are not in a position to comment, but we are left with the impression that the yields are pretty low. As it costs just as much to make a sensor that fails acceptance testing as one which passes, the costs of the failed sensors are attributed to the salable product which accounts for a portion of the higher costs (other than the size of the silicon and the use of three masks for an fX sensor rather than one for DX sensors…I do not understand just why this difference in the production process, but that is the way things are done according to people in a position to know.)

              Anyway, the difference in cost between an FX sensor and a DX sensor is shocking isn’t it?

      • WoutK89

        It also contradicts Nikon’s hopes of getting that 40/50% shares. A full frame sensor is D700/D3s/D3x area, and is the smallest of the total Nikon sales. To make the mirrorless camera a seller, it has to be cheap, so expect it to be no more than $1000, which leads to small sensor.

        About costs of FX, what I understood is the error margin on FX sensors is higher, so more difficult to get a good (faultless) copy of the silicon.

        • iamlucky13

          It’s a matter of quality control. If you have a larger piece of silicon, you have more material. The wafer material is extremely pure and difficult to make, so that right there is a cost savings.

          However, for a given process you might expect a certain rate of defects in a given unit of area of the silicon wafers. Increase the area, then you increase the chance a critical defect lies within that area.

          Thus, the reject rate is higher for larger chips, driving cost up substantially.

          How much though, I really don’t know. You can buy a FX D700 for $2500. A substantial chunk of that is the cost of manufacturing the magnesium body, the mirror and shutter mechanisms, etc. Nikon takes a decent sized profit on these higher end bodies. The retailer also takes a profit. At the end of that, I can’t imagine we’re talking about more than a couple hundred dollars per FX sensor.

          Still, rumors seem to be pointing to a smaller sensor. I’d be surprised to see it larger than DX. Bummer.

          • PHB

            It is not the cost of the material, it is the number of defects in the crystal.

            The larger the die size, the more crystal defects you have and the more chance you have of a non-correctable error.

    • safeg

      sorry google translate
      Mr. Goto, (research director of the Imaging Company Gotou Tetsurou Nikonfero)say’s
      “APS-C size sensor has a larger lens and image quality characteristics in terms of Fmount camera and the market.
      Body and lens system, the total size to be changed, there is no sense of compactness. If you make if I, F-mount system will choose from a small format.”

      He said Nikon Evil system’s senser become smoller than DX format.

      source here

      • Nikki

        even smaller than DX? forget it

        • WoutK89

          The patents for lenses had 17mm diameter. It is still possible.

          • It’ll be smaller, it makes sense. They intend to go fo r the entry-level market, not high-end prices. Lenses smalelr, much less cost. With IQ that technology is providing, a 2.5x crop can be very competitive in the sub-600USD market.

            • Nikki

              ok… i see. you’re probably right.

              then i hope for DX/FX mirrorless to follow up later. the current EVF’s i’ve looked at at photokina are not good enough anyway – they need some more development.

            • Roger

              I agree. Nikon may be going for the smallest possible system, entry level market like Renato says, and 2.5x makes some sense.

              Let’s be honest here – Sony NEX isnt small enough, Olympus and Panasonic m4/3 are not small enough either. Nikon may pull off a system small enough to replace my compact, if they can, I’ll consider it.

              Mirrorless is not good enough for high end cameras right now, AF and electronic VF are not up to acceptable levels. So, 2.5x crop entry level, small camera, might work.

              If they can improve AF and EVF to make them usable, a FX mirrorless might happen one day. How about some killer primes to go with it too, like 35/1.0? Let’s see if mirrorless really does give better wides in real life too, and not just in theory. 😉

            • Roger


              Yup, that’s what I’ve been saying too. EVFs right now are really bad, that’s one of the reasons no one dares to make a mirrorless camera that’s anything but low-end. EVF needs to be massively improved, AF too.

            • Nikky and Roger: eventually all cameras will be mirrorless and have EVFs. A report I read on the GH2 (Panny) indicates its AF already rivals that of 5DII, which is about same level as D90’s. For pro-level performance, I’d say 2-3 years to get there (and Panny or Canon will do it first is my guess, Nikon better hurry).

              The NEX’s body is small, but the lenses are not. That’s the point of having a smaller sensor (17mm diagonal = 2.5x crop) than APS-C.

            • Roger

              I’ve seen a clip on youtube of GH2 focusing quickly with some horribly slow aperture zoom. Good effort from Panny, but they’ll have to come up with PDAF, just like everyone else will have to do.

              I certainly expect EVIL cameras to became more common, dominant even, but I dont intend to replace my DSLR until EVIL cameras can do everything my DSLR can -and- much more. Like I said, AF and EVF need a lot of improving, that’s the priority, and also there’s the question of a new mount and lenses. I like fast primes, let’s see what Nikon can do once they go FF EVIL.

      • Eric

        Man that stinks. 4/3’s is as small as I’m willing to go. DOF control is important to me and a 2x crop already makes it tough unless you shoot nothing but sub-f/2.8 primes. Nikon should just make a P7000-like camera with a smaller size sensor but use at least 4/3’s size for an interchangeable lens camera. I personally also vote that they use a 4×3 ratio instead of 2×3 like is used in FX and DX. 4×3 is just far more useful to me, and much better for portraits.

        • Roger

          If you’re looking for thin DOF, why the hell are you looking at 2x crop cameras?

          • Eric

            I’m not looking solely for thin DOF, but any camera I own must have that ability. I use these kinds of cameras as street cameras. A D700 is just a touch to big to use as a street camera (sarcasm intended). A Leica M9 would obviously be the best choice, but my budget doesn’t allow for that…so I have to make do with smaller sensor EVIL’s. A fast 25mm or a 50mm f/1.4 on a 2x camera can get the job done, but a 2.5x, or 3x crop…that’s pushing it. Nikon would have to make sub f/1 glass….and I don’t see that happening.

            • Roger

              Honestly, M9 is not a small camera. Not even close.

              Have you considered Sony NEX? You can get a 16mm pancake, and maybe 35/1.4 Voigtlander with an adapter? I mean, the combo it’s not really small, it wont fit in any pocket, but it’s smaller than your D700 if that’s what you’re looking for.

            • Roger, it is. I have used an M3 for many years, it’s smaller than a D80/D90/D7000, in particular the lenses.

              Without a mirror box, even an FF would be smaller than a D700 or 5DII, close to an M9, and lenses as well.

            • Roger

              I’ve used Leicas too, Renato, but that’s not my idea of small camera.

            • Eric

              I’ve never used an M9 or any Leica for that matter, but I have owned a Voigtlander Bessa R3A. With a 40mm prime mounted it is more than small enough for me. I just carry my camera around in a messenger pack, so even a smaller DSLR could work, but the only small DSLR on the market I somewhat like is the Pentax K7/K5. But I simply don’t care for DX view finders, they’re just too small. I honestly prefer a good EVF like Panasonic uses in their G2. I’m still holding out hope that some day Nikon will make a digital FE using an FX sensor….but thats a whole other thread.

              The Sony NEX system has potential, but it’s not a system yet. They only have one lens I’m interested and no bodies. Perhaps when the NEX7 with built in EVF comes out along with something like a 30mm f/1.4 prime then I’ll pay attention to them.

      • Anything else interesting in this interview? I tried the Google translation and could not make any sense. Thanks.

        • a lot of mirrorless talk there, also at the end of the interview they mention something about new products being launched in Spring?

          “New product launches in the spring because there are many things done in January 2”

    • Nikki

      yea full frame would be great. just few years ago everybody was running around with compact full frame cameras. now it’s luxury – something’s wrong here.

      • Catastrophile

        large sensor means large & heavy lenses which goes against compactness, one of the biggest selling points of mirrorless.

        i’d love a FF or 1.3x EVIL, but not sure that guys like you & me can outnumber or at least be comparable in their number to the ultra-compact EVIL fans.

        there is a tendency from both customers and mfr’d to omit and compromise on many features in the new mirrorless systems, (eg hand grip, lens speed, sensor size, tilt & swivel …etc). If compactness the main priority, then maybe the compact EVIL fans should get a small-sensor camera ( 2/3″ or smaller), a cell phone camera or no camera whatsoever.

        • WoutK89

          In the film days, it was much harder to pixel peep, because you didnt have pixels. Nowadays it takes more than a box that holds your film, its now a complete tool doing everything for you. Maybe if you look at those differences, you will see why its become luxury (or is it?) and that DX started like that as well.

          • Nikki

            OK, granted. So please give me a simple box with an FX sensor. One AF point in the center is fine for me. I don’t need face/smile or any recognition. Manual controls are enough, simple center-weighted meteringm and maybe as a goodie iTTL automatic for flash.

            • Heh

              LOL sounds almost like an M9

    • Richard

      I doubt that it will be an FX sensor both because of the cost of the sensor and because of the past history of Sony’s apparent inability to produce yields which can meet the demand for them. Should Nikon’s new production partner improve yields significantly that could change the equation to some extent.

      It seems more probable that Nikon would use an APS-C sensor which is an available part and vastly less expensive than an FX sensor. What would be interesting would be if Nikon were to spec an APS-H sensor and produce what amounts to a Nikon version of the Leica M8. Whatever sensor Nikon may choose, I do hope that they will make it along the lines of a Leica because that is a size which can be attractive to a great many people.

  • PR

    Good news, The time for mirrorless camera to mature make take years, until then we can value our DSLR.

    • Gonads

      I agree, but it’s only taking nikon years. Meanwhile companies like Leica, Panasonic, Olympus and Sony are actually innovating, and already have several revisions released to the public. If you think mirrorless is behind then you only need to do look at the m9 and the gh1, arguably the best stills/video cameras on the market. So why can’t nikon/canon do it? Pure and utter laziness I’m afraid. They treat us with contempt, because they know we’ll still buy their products even if they’re not the best on the market. Well, maybe it’s time to remove the drip-feed 🙂

      • Heh

        The M9, while having no mirror, has the rangefinder system.

        • Gonads

          You speak the truth, although I don’t believe I contradicted your statement 🙂

          My point really is that I would like to see Nikon/Canon bring out a mirrorless camera some time soon, since m43/nex/rangefinders from other companies have existed for some time time now with no answer from the ‘big two’. And I would like to compliment my existing Nikon gear with a more compact, yet relatively powerful, camera.

      • Roger

        It’s not laziness, Gonads. That’s how the market works. Canon and Nikon own the market, they are sticking to what they know works, they wont be the ones first to risk with new types of products.

        That’s what other manufacturers have to do, come up with new types of product, because they have no other choice. You think Olympus or Sony or Panasonic can sell a DSLR? They tried, and they cant, that’s why they came up with mirrorless and pellicle mirror cameras. Nikon and Canon will dive in once they see there’s money to made in mirorrless cameras, and they’ll clean up. 😉

        I find it hilarious that you think Leica is innovating something, though. That’s pretty much the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.

        • Gonads

          Seriously, if that’s the funniest thing you’ve heard all day, I won’t be inviting you to my birthday party this year, for fear that the color of my front door might also have you inexplicably lying on the pavement outside of my house in shameless fits of laughter. Oh, the embarrassing internet forum guy is here.

          Sheesh, you know what I find funny? the way you assume that I don’t know how the market works. Sometimes you need to take risks as a company, and given M43 has been around for nearly two years, it’s hardly a big risk either is it? And as for the M9 not being innovative, well it’s simply the best at what it does and nobody else is offering anything similar after nearly a year after it’s release. Now, if nobody else is offering anything similar, that means Leica were pretty forward-looking doesn’t it? and do you know what forward-looking means? it means ‘innovative’ 🙂

  • zzddrr

    Oh Jeez not this shit again…

    • Huggs


  • Paulo

    Yes, we want it!!! 😀

    • jason

      No what we want is he D400 with better spec than the d7000 thats what we want

      • VJ

        Yep, also waiting for that…

      • BornOptimist

        Not me. I’m perfectly happy with my D700.
        But I want a small interchangeable lens camera. Smaller than DX. The 2.5x patents that has been filed is perfect. Just don’t skip on the lens quality. I want fast primes, not that 2.8 – 3.5 even 4.5 primes/zoom that Sony/Samsumg/Olympus/Panasonic comes with. If the lenses cost 1000 USD or even more (even 2000), I will pay if the quality is there.

        • Nikki

          I checked out the D700 last week. I don’t like the grip, it’s too small. And the camera is too big and heavy. I’d prefer a lighter and more compact one. I’d be willing to live with a much simpler AF system, but I’d like to have the user banks as in D7000, and rather 5 than 2.

        • Roger

          I’d like a truly compact system to go alongside my DSLR gear. Current mirrorless cameras are NOT compact, they are all too big. Both the cameras and lenses, too damn big.

          If Nikon can pull it off with a 2.5x crop, sure, I will look into it.

          • Nikki

            Have you looked into Canon S95 or G12?

            In my eyes there is no need for a system, if aperture/format are so small that everything from 0 to infinity is in focus anyway.

            The other reason might be sensitivity, but in this respect I’d say S95 is acceptable – I’d take it with 6 Megapixels if available.

          • BornOptimist

            I agree with you Roger.
            The new system will never replace my DSLR, but will be an addition to the old. But it’s not the camera that interrest me most. It is the lenses. If Nikon brings out really small lenses, but only in F2.8/F3.5 or slower, then my interrest start to fade. I want to see 1.2 lenses before I jump. If the sensor is a 2.5x and they bring a good quality 10-15mm f1.0 or f1.2, then I buy the system unseen/untested (I don’t even need a reveiew) and I’m willing to pay 2000 USD for the lens alone.

  • Global

    Expand its market share to “40%” — what is Nikon’s current market share in Asia? 35% at least, I would hope?? Expanding market share to 50% would be impressive, but sounds too high. If Nikon was able to do that, Canon would have an evil or something in no time.

  • Peter Ahrens

    Maybe it’s not an EVIL? They said “mirrorless DSLR-similar camera”, that could mean something more like the new Pellicle Sony Alphas? Not sure but just putting it out there.

    • Zograf

      Just on the sideline — Yesterday I went to local camera store to buy print color film — asked for Fujifilm 160S but was told it is out of production. Sad, very sad.))) Parsons in Kansas also run out of pre-paid mailers. Double sadness… Now I’ve got to use more often my D700 instead of the lovely F100+Astia))

    • Roger

      Hopefully not pellicle, it’s a horrible stop gap measure for Sony until they can figure out how to do PDAF on the sensor, like Fuji is already doing.

      • WoutK89

        Pellicle is not mirrorless, its TRANSLUCENT MIRROR 😉
        And its not a DSLR, because there is no reflex in the mirror.

        • IT is reflex, it’s not OVF though.

          • WoutK89

            Explain to me, how does this mirror reflex? Reflex is not reflect.

            • Well, reflex means just that you reflect light into a viewfinder. Recall the Twin-Lens Reflex cameras like the Rolleis and Yashicas. No moving mirror, still reflex. That’s why the Nikon F was called Single-Lens Reflex or SLR. The Rolleis were nicknamed TLRs:


              “A twin-lens reflex camera (TLR) is a type of camera with two objective lenses of the same focal length. One of the lenses is the photographic objective (the lens that takes the picture), while the other is used for the waist-level viewfinder system. In addition to the objective, the viewfinder consists of a 45-degree mirror (the reason for the word reflex in the name), a matte focusing screen at the top of the camera, and a pop-up hood surrounding it.”

            • WoutK89

              So for a cam to be Reflex, it should just have a mirror that is aimed at 45 degrees on the optical axis?
              Thanks for the explanation.

            • Well, whatever angle is needed, depending on the design. For TLR design it is 45º since the plane of OVF (screen) is perpendicular to plane of film. A pellicle design a la Sony still uses a reflective design to direct image to some other device, in that case an EVF.

  • preston

    I’m calling BS. There’s NO WAY that info is coming from the company. First of all they would never divulge long term goals such as market share (especially if it’s so drastic – that would just be cocky) and secondly that is not a realistic expectation at all. I would only believe this only if all the companies said yesterday that they would collectively put a stop to new camera releases for the next year so that Nikon wouldn’t have any competition 😉

    • InfraRed

      Preston: I agree with you. Nikon is not going to disclose road maps data in a Taiwanese paper. Japanese don’t do that. period! They may whisper a few things here and there in a German publication; not a Taiwanese. Busted!

      • WoutK89

        If Nikon indeed had something up their sleeves, they would have shown it at Photokina, so I agree too. No way they say 2011 mirrorless will give us…, they would already have that mirrorless shown by now.

        • Nikon is not like Sony or Oly or Fuji, they only show things when they are ready to go.

          • Richard

            It could well be that the decision on the sensor has yet to be taken, in part due to the changes Nikon have taken about sensor design and production which have yet to sort themselves out.

        • BornOptimist

          With very few exceptions, Nikon never announce development projects. From my wage memory I can only remember two. The 12-24 f4 DX and the first 70-200 VR. So it would indeed be against normal IF they talked about the mirrorless camera at fotokina.

          • WoutK89

            But they do brag about having x% market share, because of the mirrorless system? Isn’t that about the same as showing unfinished goods?

    • I’d say just the opposite. The Japanese companies have a long history of making long-term market share goals public, though most rarely meet them ;~). Nikon, in particular, has always been open both about their current share and expectations in the future. They are also the only company that publicly releases actual sales numbers in a way that can be measured against the whole market.

      As for “showing at Photokina,” I believe they did reveal in backroom discussions some of their plans to their subsidiary staff and a few key others.

      • preston

        I wasn’t aware of Nikon releasing goals and expectations in the past (but I’ve only been following them since digital took over). I’ll look out more for it in the future. Maybe I am analyzing the move too much as if they were an American company (my primary frame of reference)? Thanks

      • yes, but Nikon never talks about upcoming products like most of the other camera companies

        • They and Canon don’t. For obvious reasons … 😉

        • BornOptimist

          They did announce the development of the AFS 12-24 f4 and AFS70-200 VR, but they are the only two I recall.

          • Roger

            Two of the PC-E lenses were announced in advance too.

  • woble

    Mirrorless DSLR is an oxymoron.

    • Discontinued

      Yes it is.
      Let’s hope they bring both.

      The lack of competition in 135 DSLRs is a
      little frightening. Even in MF there is more competition.
      In 135 DSLRs it is just Nikon and Canon who can be taken
      Concerning pro and FF it seems very much as if they have agreed
      on a ceasefire and on milking existing cows at least till 2011

      F#ck Canon and Nikon, f#ck Apple and Pear.
      I am going back to the stone age. At least
      there was competition.

      • Nikki

        yea, i really wonder where the competition is – there are so many other companies and they all try to do the same as canikon.

    • Come to think of it.. not exactly. Why is that? Well, some DSLRs use a pentaprism so technically, they’re ‘mirrorless’.

    • Eric Calabros

      Title is oxymoron but in the text they mentioned “DSLR-similar”, not actually DSLR.

  • I agree it’s a little far fetched to say that they’ll gain that much market share. They have a hell of a product to be able to do that in that short a period.

    • WoutK89

      Mirrorless, Nikon D4, Nikon D800, Nikon D400, Nikon D5100
      Seems like quite a strong line-up if they can get it out by 2011!

      • WoutK89

        Correction, ‘D400/D9000’. And I forgot to add D7000 and D3100

      • Catastrophile

        in order for D400 to exist it needs to differentiate itself price-wise and spec-wise from D7000, and that will be very difficult given that all the traditional features of a pro camera are already available on the D7000 (weatherseals, 100% OVF coverage, hi fps, sophisticated AF, mag. alloy) none of these was in the D90, so D300/D300s had no conflict to co-exist with D90.

        • WoutK89

          Its about the total picture, not just some features they have in common. This discussion has been going already, for instance external controls, the use of pro accessories, metering for more than 9 preset lenses, 51 vs 39 AF points, the ability to get a boost of frames when attaching the battery grip (use of pro EN-EL4 battery), complete mag-alloy body… As time passes the entry models start to resemble pro bodies more and more, innovation has its limits at some moment in time.

  • SF_Strider

    If people follow the change of market share recently, they will understand why Nikon must do EVIL as soon as possible. Sony/Panasonic/Olympus come up very fast by good selling of EVIL. Also, the fall of Canon is very obivous because of not doing neither cheap DSLR as D3000 nor EVIL as GF-1 & NEX-5.

    • Discontinued

      “… neither cheap DSLR as D3000 …”

      That is not true. Canon has many cheap and (cheaply made) DSLRs. The D3000’s competitor would be the EOS 1000 D for 300 Euros only. I guess this cheap.

    • calxn

      A visit to a few camera stores today convinced me that Nikon and Canon have a lot of time. From Best Buy to Calumet to the local camera store, the only cameras they were carrying were Nikon and Canon. They all carried Sony and Olympus at one point but then gave up. It just means that the Canikon names are so strong that people will probably switch to them once they come out with their own mirrorless cameras. If either one or both get the image quality right on day one, you can start the countdown on the death of m43 and NEX.

      At one time, Sony came on strong in retail, but those retailers eventually gave up due to lack of demand. These no-name mirrorless cameras have the limelight right now, but it hasn’t entered the consciousness of most camera users yet. If Canikon gets in the door before that happens, they’ll likely take the market and share it between both of them

      • I see Sony getting more serious about the DSLR than ever before and especially by expanding their lens range with some very nice Zeiss optics. I’d say they were far from dead yet and given the money that is behind Sony, I’d say they the potential to push the market hard for a very long time yet.

        • Nikki

          hmmm, but all this name-dropping on lenses, the feature-driven models, that all smells like marketing, strongly. if you look at AF performance, they just don’t deliver. the new 33 and 55 cameras eg are slower in continuous focusing than the canikon models, although they don’t even shut the light off the AF module in between frames. sony does a lot of innovation and that’s great, but they stay superficial – they try everything but don’t do anything right.

        • calxn

          Sadly, I went to the camera stores looking for Sony lenses. Although, I mainly shoot nikon, I bought an a33 for travel. Seeing how small the market for new and used Sony lenses has convinced me I’ve made a mistake. If d7000 was out now, I wouldn’t have bought it. Leaving next week and didn’t want to carry the D3.

          Sony, panasonic, Olympus, leica are hardly in the consciousness of new buyers when it comes to “pro” cameras. They know one if them may make a camera but wouldn’t “risk” buying one. Sadly, they don’t mind a non-canikon only for P&S. I don’t believe the success that m43 and nex are experiencing will last very long. They were there first but will likely come in last when it’s all said and done.

          • calxn

            Typing errors. I meant m43and nex success will NOT last very long.

            • Gonads

              You say that, but where is the competition from Nikon & Canon? I would happily buy a Nikon mirrorless camera, if there was one. In the mean time M43 will do just fine, and good luck to them for showing the initiative. It’s hardly fair for us to criticise them for innovating while Canon/Nikon are doing nothing in this area.

            • WoutK89

              Exactly, some people would already buy for the name alone a mirrorless Nikon.

            • Nikki

              btw it’s called “system” camera because buying one you buy into a system – so all buyers of oly, pana&sony are probably lost for canikon for a good time to come.

      • Nikki


      • 1. I suspect your visit to camera stores was in the US. Be careful of projecting onto global sales.
        2. Local camera stores are far less important than they used to be. I’m really surprised that one of the marginal competitors hasn’t tried to pull a Dell and go all direct yet. There’s a good 15% advantage in pricing to do so, which buys a lot of marketing.
        3. Canon and Nikon (and to a lesser degree Sony) have very well established dealer programs and incentives, and wield them pretty well. But the bigger problem for most of the other companies is that they don’t have full lines of cameras that all sell well. All the companies hit local dealers with the “carry the entire line” sell, but consider Olympus, which these days sells a lot of m4/3 cameras but few 4/3 cameras. The dealer doesn’t want to take on the 4/3 stuff to carry the m4/3 ones. NikonUSA has a strong program that pretty much puts some incentives on every model and tries to pull inventory out of dealers (the weekly flyers and ads you see in your local paper, especially in the period from about now through Christmas). It’s one of the reasons why Coolpix models have increased market share despite being mediocre products. Simply better marketing (though still not what I’d call strong). Meanwhile, at least two of the non Canikon brands have tried imposing any number of restrictions and requirements that are more onerous than Canikon’s on local dealers. No wonder the dealers stopped carrying the products.

        • Richard

          I suspect that there is more than a 15% advantage to a direct sales model because there are inventory advantages as well which not only reduce costs, but allow better control over that inventory when it is time to change models (without having to consider dealers with product siting on shelves that has not moved). There also is not the problem of dealers who can’t get product to sell because the company has some of it sitting on a shelf at a dealer who can’t sell it. Direct sales (or a mixture of direct sales and company stores) is simply a more flexible marketing structure. It also allows the company to better allocate production capacity to the models which are selling because they are better able to determine just what is selling. (Benetton is an example of a company which was able to rapidly allocate production to products which were selling better.)

          All that said, should Nikon choose to move to such a model, the transition would likely be a controversial one.

          Whether Nikon make such a choice, it seems plainly evident that the company should better listen to the demands of their customer base.

          • I argued several years ago that both Pentax and Olympus should have taken that route.

            I was being conservative in my 15%, yes.

            NikonUSA spent much of the last year building a small staff and a new Web site engine to allow direct sales. Not sure why someone would buy directly from NikonUSA at the same price (or higher) than local, and if they undercut dealers, they’ll shoot themselves in the foot at the moment. Someone’s spreadsheet somewhere decided that random NikonUSA Web sales would more than pay for the cost of doing the staffing and coding, I guess. Just because a spreadsheet says something “works” doesn’t mean it will, though ;~).

    • Roger

      “the fall of Canon is very obivous” ?

      The fall of Canon? You’re talking about a 800 pound gorilla here. 😉 The company which dominated the SLR market for decades. When they decide to go all out with mirrorless cameras, Olympus, Sony and the likes will be trying to ‘invent’ a new type of camera, again, because they’ll be reduced to the usual zero.something % of the market, only this time mirrorless market.

      • Canon had a lead during the mid 1990s thru the mid 2000s due to their better AF system, especially for teles. Before that, no. Nikon had the lead from inception of slrs (late 1950s) thru the mid 1980s, then about a tie for a few years, then Canon took the lead. Since 2007, Nikon and Canon have been doing a minuet in sales.

        At some point, Penatx and Olympus had a big chunk of the enthusiast’s market, in particular the OM line from Oly (1975-1990) and eralier the Spotmatic and then K series from Pentax. Canon actually started later.

      • Sanford Wong

        It is based on the sale data from Japan. Canon’s DSLR sale dropped in a considerable rate.

        Also, a survey from a Japanese DSLR Photography site showed that, the members of that site are VERY VERY UNLIKELY going to buy the new model EOS 60D. It is because they expecting same photo quality from 550D & 7D. If they like a new DSLR they will buy 550D to save money or to buy 7D to get a great body. On the other hand, Nikon’s D7000 got a good response is understandable. Even Sony A55 and Pentax K-r got better response than EOS 60D. It is an alert for Canon.

        The very significant thing I don’t like Canon is that they don’t put features they already capable to do into their product in customer’s favorite. For example, New prosumer as S95 & G12 they keep the HD movie quality in 720p instead of 1080p. However is it all Canon’s DC can’t do 1080p HD movie? No, IXUS 1000 HS can do it – it announced eariler than G12 also. Okay then, IXUS 1000 HS is what I want… What!? the widest focal length in 135 format is only 36mm!? Nowaday standard widest end we like from DC is 28mm already!! Only Water-Proof DC we will accept 35mm (even wider than 36mm) as the widest end.

        On my new Samsung TL350 (WB2000) get this good features I want. Here is the list how these features found in Canon DC (Except power
        -24mm widest end – IXUS 210
        -f/2.4 – S95 only can do better
        -1080p movie – IXUS 1000 HS
        -P/A/S/M mode – S95 , G12, SX130 IS
        see, Canon can do all of these, but they like you to have something less on their product instead. I’m very disappointed with this kind of product development attitude. Only if S95 can give me 1080p movie, I will absolutely like to buy one with a higher cost. Canon like to hold it longer? Sorry, others company will be very eager step up to get your market. Keep giving us the products like this way. cannot fool their customer for more than a year.

  • Suprchunk

    Of course the term “mirrorless DSLR” is not technically correct:

    You are correct. Which is why they actually said:

    its new mirrorless DSLR-similar

    See they hyphenated section. Bad translating on their part. Since it would actually be DSLR-like if spoken in English. Please don’t take stuff out of context again, especially if you are quoting the text directly below what you tried to pass off as fact.

    • The name of the article is “Nikon to enter mirrorless DSLR camera market”.

      • Suprchunk

        Again – bad translating. The titles are usually stripped of the entire content so they can fit on one line. The the ACTUAL information is in the article itself, which says DSLR-similar. Nitpicking I know, but if I only got my information from the headline I would be just as uninformed.

  • Rob-L

    When they say “mirrorless DSLR-similar” I take that to mean the camera is mirrorless, yet similar to a DSLR in form. In other words, like the Panasonic GH-1 as opposed to a camera that is not DSLR like in form (as with the Olympus Pen).

    They’re not saying “mirrorless dslr”

    • Rob-L

      Oops, just saw Superchunks post. I agree – he’s right on.

  • Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
    Maybe instead of EVIL like Sony, they’ll call it MILK (K instead of C because it looks better).

    • Catastrophile

      so the mirrorless way is the milky way.

    • Roger

      MILK is only a letter away from MILF. 😀 I think EVIL is a smarter term, less chance of typos resulting in funny sexual expressions.

  • Not from me

    The model which is mentioned by the newspaper is a hybrid camera it uses an optical viewfinder and has a crop sensor with new crop size in compact body.

    • I am sorry, but I have to ask how do you know?

      • That was the rumor circulating at DPR some time ago.

  • Nikon Tandoori

    C’mon, if they’re after market share it’s obious the EVIL system will be used in low-end DX cameras, not in FF.

    • Suprchunk


      • WoutK89

        He is pointing that the mirrorless will be no bigger in sensor size, than DX format. Because the biggest market share for Nikon lies still in the DX format.

        • Suprchunk

          I figured it would be you or zzddr swooping in. Are you three the same person?

  • Mark Astle

    I wonder if Nikon might think about bringing out a new pro camera one day…

    • WoutK89

      Yep, one day, just be patient.

  • jelmer ten hoeve

    one year ago i switched totaly to 2.8, from 14 till 200VR
    quit a large investment….no money for D700 left…. but a
    new FF…still working with my 300’s…
    so a new Evil system 1/2 FF probably, will not help me, take developing time from a new FF with video, and les than 750gr…

    a woman would say she is disapointed….

  • The invisible girl

    Mirror lens camera ????
    And how am I suppose to put on my makeup ?

  • Barbie RokWel

    I would not be surprised if the Nikon EVIL proves to be similar to Sony A33/A55 then to the viewfinder-less camera’s like OLY Pen, Sony NEX, etc.

    • Barbie RokWel

      And they’ll call the translucent mirror a beam splitter…..

      • Catastrophile

        translucent= transmissive = transmogrified = transgendered are all the same when talking about camera design.

        • PAG

          Transgendered? Are they changing the F-mount so that the camera inserts into the lens? 😉

    • Roger

      God forbid, pellicle cameras are the worst possible compromise.

      • WoutK89

        Indeed, I see Nikon following Fujifilm shortly with built in Phase detect AF

  • Only if it works flawelessly with F-mount lenses 🙂

  • If they don’t get it out by Christmas they will be missing out on a lot of sales. Since they missed Photokina one has to wonder if they will get it done.

    • 12

      not completely true…. yes christmas time is a busy shopping season… but the entire world does not celebrate christmas… sales go up after christmas any how.

      also, do you really think gearheads only buy at christmas anyway?

      • WoutK89

        Someone that invests at Christmas in a different brand is less likely to buy after Christmas the Nikon mirrorless. So he does make a point, get it out before christmas this year, not after christmas.

    • The have the D3100 and D7000 and P7000 for Christmas, pretty good set, plus end of inventory of D90 and D3000.

  • Broxibear

    I wonder if this article has got mixed up and lost in translation with this article that appeared today?…

    “Nikon to achieve break-even point in current fiscal
    PTI | 05:09 PM,Sep 28,2010

    Chandigarh, Sep 28 (PTI) Japanese imaging major Nikon today said it will break-even by current fiscal end after foraying into price sensitive Indian camera market three years ago. “We will be reaching break-even point this fiscal end,” Nikon India (subsidiary of Nikon) MD Hiroshi Takashina told reporters here today. The company is eyeing expanding its market share in compact camera segment from 7 to 20 per cent on the back of expanding its network in the country. It will also spend Rs 62 crore on advertisement and promotional activities in this fiscal. According to Takashina, the market size of compact camera segment in the country will expand to 2.1 million units this fiscal from 1.6 million units in last fiscal. Similarly, the company expects the size of D-SLR to double to 40,000 units in the current fiscal. “A lot of amateurs are now preferring to buy cameras to have good quality pictures and they are shifting from compact cameras to D-SLR, which will fuel the D-SLR growth,” he said. Nikon anticipates 50 per cent market share in D-SLR segment from 29 per cent in year 2008.”

  • Carlos R B

    I dont know…look at the P7000..they copycat the G11 and still CRIPPLED the simply takes 4-5 seconds to store a RAW photo and you cant do nothing while the camera is writing to the card…S95, LX5, G12, GX200, GXR…all do better than this…seriously Nikon…get it right…

    • That’s not correct, it uses a buffer, about 5-6 images before stopping to write. And almost all other compacts, inlcuding G11 and LX5, also take at least 3-4 sec for each RAW to be written.

      • Carlos R B

        Actually the S95 is capable of 10 shots under 9 seconds and the LX5 3 shots and stops for 9 seconds…the P7000 take 5 shots and stops for 25 seconds…i used to shoot my GX200 for about 3 shots and wait for 7-8 seconds…the main problem with the P7000 is that sinlge shot is way to slow…

  • Max

    Doesn’t the “R” in DSLR stand for “Reflex”? How then can it be a mirrorless DSLR? What reflexes if not the mirror?

  • Full Frame compact size rangefinder will be welcome.
    With a compact pancake kit: 20mm f/2 , 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.2 noct.


    • Mock Kenwell

      Dreaming when you start to dive below f/1.8, but the rest is a possibility. If Nikon was wise enough to build a serious DX compact (not a rangefinder) with a host of fast primes, I would be quite impressed by their vision and courage.

      • Nikki

        + 1

      • The Man from Mandrem

        If Nikon has to manage how many products it shoves on it’s vendor (and it’s RD costs), wouldn’t it need to simplify it’s DSLR offerings to make shelf space for the new models. Is that what’s going on? +D3100, -D3000, -D5000, +D7000, -D300, -D90, +D9000 (FX, >=20MP, <$2000), -D700,+D4, -D3x, -D3s. To do this cleanly, you'd expect them to throw good value into each model so it holds it's market. You would also expect simplification on the Coolpix side to make a clear position for the new product in the market (between DSLR and Coolpix?)

    • Roger

      Yes, dreaming.

      Look at Leica lenses to give you an idea how small lenses for mirrorless can be made. You can NOT have small lenses you are proposing.

    • Nikki
      • Nikki

        this equals f/2 on full frame – so it’s getting intresting, at least.

        • Roger

          The problem is – it’s much bigger than the 50/1.8 FF lens, it’s much heavier, much more expensive… and not very good optically, there are samples out on the net.

          It makes more sense to me to just get a FF + 50/1.8 than a micro 4/3 + Cosina 25/0.95. Waaaay better combo…

  • eric k

    At least Nikon is talking about getting into Mirrorless…

    Canon seems terrified of the whole concept.

  • Anonymous

    I heard that Nikon will take the mirrorless to the next level. The next generation will be sensorless.

    • It’ll carry a projector, direct to your mind!

      • Roger

        It will be…. wait for it…. MIND BLOWING ! 😀

    • jdsl

      there will be voice command too.
      no more aperture-shutter dials!

    • Broxibear

      Well if it hasn’t got 4320p video I’m switching to Canon lol !

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