Nikon D5R concept camera

This Nikon D5R camera is a designer's concept created by Ned Mulka. The idea is to include the mirror, prism and sensor into a rotating element that can reduce the camera size and weight (see this slideshow for a detailed description of this concept).

Please note that  this is only a concept camera that is not associated with Nikon Corporation in any way. As always, I am interested in your opinion and feedback.

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  • dmolo

    Jesus… you can tell this wasn’t designed by a photographer.

    • Manuel

      My first thought also. Changing between ‘landscape’ and ‘portrait’ shooting could not be more cumbersome.

      But also: How am I supposed to hold a 70-200/2.8 zoom or even smaller ‘pro’ zooms or primes with a tiny body like this? The body will fall out of my hand just when I’m turning the zoom ring.

      The big grip (on pro bodies or as a separate battery grip) isn’t meant for showing off or primarily for portrait shooting. These are side actions. But it’s necessary for using big and heavy lenses conveniently. The extra size and weight is then negligible.

      Have you seen the Sony NEX with the 18-200mm on it? It just looks like a caricature of a camera, but not like something useful.

      I’ve once used the 70-200/2.8 and the 300/4.0 on my D90 in the field. On that day, I thought I was smart to save the weight. But the handling with the body being too small and light compared to the lenses turned out as a pain and also impacted the results.

    • One of the worst concepts ever. I will not hold any of this!

  • Vlad

    This may be the most retarded camera design EVER!

  • iamnomad

    If someone would just start manufacturing a proper square sensor (other than Fairchild) then we can put these rotating/vertical/add on/crazy grips to rest. Too bad Hasselblad jumped the shark, wimped out and went with the cropped sensor size (oh sorry your 40mm is now a portrait lens) or 4:3 on the H series. Yes, you can crop to square, but cropping from square is better. Keeping the image square would be the best.

    • Global


      Square please.

    • David

      a square sensor would be significantly more expensive to produce. But even if you fit it in the camera, you’d need a completely new design of a mirror system that would need to be quite a bit larger to accommodate the increased vertical dimension. Since the mirror is at a 45 degree angle the length of the mirror is always 1.4x of the increased size in the vertical axis. Probably exceeding the distance between sensor and lens mount when in the upper position. The AF would also have to be redesigned to cover the larger area which again adds to the size of the sub mirror. It would be much harder to design this much larger mirror unit to still operate at 11 fps.

      Redesign the viewfinder, metering system, …

    • Bengt

      I would rather prefer a circular sensor to a squared one, but a squared one is better than what we have today.

  • Kingyo

    And the award for Most Horrendous Camera Design Concept of the century goes to.. 🙂
    This thing is ugly! Any pro shooters that are complaining of how big or heavy their D3s are should switch to Canon.

  • Frank Petronio photo

    It’s an F for designing a cool concept first and then stretching reasons to justify it.

    Why not just use a D700 sized body, doh?

    Switching from landscape to portrait and back again while shooting can’t be as fast as how we do it now.

  • Arthur Nava

    Seriously? nothing new since this D5R concept?.. I guess that’s why it made it though. sigh.

  • bobos

    Canon SLRs offer the option of image ratio 1:1, does not this eliminate the need for a square sensor? As far I know, Nikon sticks to 3:2. Could someone clarify that point to me? Thanks

    • WoutK89

      A square sensor will have a larger area to fill the same circle as a full frame sensor, where a crop 1:1 ratio is a smaller area and thus less of the total possible frame used (= less pixels or smaller pixels).

  • alexinca

    Overkill. Besides, it looks like the design is self defeated. The LCD shown is square implying a square sensor. Hence, there is no need for mechanical rotation of the finder. As someone else suggests, a simple portrait/landscape/square button would select the desired crop.

    I wish there was more effort in designing a sensor that replicates the colour spectrum of film.

  • peter

    Take the effort required to flip the viewfinder. Now take the effort to turn a camera on it’s side for portraiture. Conclusion: no net benefit in efficiency.

    Glad it is a concept. I never would have thought of it. Maybe someone else can run (in the opposite direction) with another idea based on the sight of this creation.

  • SLRist

    Agreed, this is a ridiculous and pointless design. How long does it take to rotate the viewfinder? Longer than rotating the whole camera I’ll bet. Far better to have a fixed viewfinder and a square sensor.

  • x.

    Nope, sorry, we can still tilt our camera if needed, and yuk… again who thinks this stuff up? if changing lenses is a common practice amongst photographers, why tilting your hands could be such a hard thing to do? mirrorless perhaps is a good idea, but not the rest, size matters… you need weight and size to balance a camera with a larger front heavy lens… thanks but NO.

  • Do not like it at all. And why should I have the need to rotate it when the Sensor is square anyway? 🙂

  • Mike

    The idea is very good and the argumentation behind the features adequate.
    Nevertheless, technical implementation issues are to be considered, and it seems to me more simple to rotate the sensor.

  • CRojas

    No rumors in three days…..

  • Vincent Ie

    I think it’s totally ugly fullstop.

  • Why not build the rotation into the sensor/viewfinder/mirror, internally, rather than designing a camera with such major parts?

    • Exactly! Seems much easier to rotate the sensor around instead of wasting sensor size…

  • phentex

    I’m tired of all these lame “designers” coming up with the most useless unrealistic and un-ergonomic crap, which only shows they often don’t know anything about what they are designing, and will certainly not be the ones to use the final product.

    If being only a student in designing is the excuse, then these studies is mainly about learn how to bullshit people, as this dslr design is only half-believable bullshit.

  • Rob Ellis

    Why would professionals want to reduce the camera size? bigger grip = comfier shooting = less shake = less motion blur = better photos.

    I for one like the idea of a circular sensor, but a square sensor would be awesome too 🙂

  • PhotoRoverJohn

    Elements of successful camera design include sound ergonomics (feels comfortable to hold, with intuitive controls), be attractive to look at (photographers are visual artists and prefer something with visual appeal), with a minimum of moving parts that can introduce dust, dirt and another area of wear (adding a rotating lens collar increases those issues). This concept camera strikes-out on all 3 of these elements and does not appear to consider a “wholistic” approach to camera design and use.

  • KoneyDong

    Where is my flip-out tripod and swivel shutter button?

  • Wheres my FX Nikon FM3D?

  • i used to like but the more i look at it now i dont like it at all ,stick with the regular camera body if you want to keep your customer base

  • Russ

    OK, this is a design by a student….he’s not even with Nikon. Why bother showing stupid stuff like this. Must be a couple slow news / rumor days.

    When I first saw it my first thought was Fisher Price….post real credible news articles.

  • FM-2 fan

    another important aspect: if there are moving parts: how to connect all the electronics in the camera? the housing is full of it i.e. one might need to put in either in the remaining body OR allow flexible wiring (which could lead to a low MTBF and high maintenance efforts)

    Overall: why not having a camera being a small cube being surrounded by grips etc – if I remember old models – it starte with a box.

  • Awesome chick magnet!

  • Glad ONLY a concept. Still think I and others also would like to see a Nikon S2/Leica type rangefinder.

  • so… this is wierd.

    Just because this is a 21st century camera doesn’t need to have a science fiction design! Such a design ask to the photographer adapt him self to the camera not the camera to the needs of the photographer. Learning to use functions on a camera is deferent than learning how to use the camera.

  • Nikkorz

    Looks like the Nikon Coolpix 4500

  • Total bollocks…

  • JJose

    Ugh. The camera won’t be balanced that you can’t even take photos with one hand.

  • bob

    Wow, great idea–it’s just so difficult and time consuming to move my hand ONE-QUARTER TURN (assuming no vertical grip).

    Design for design’s sake. Form over function. Useless. Send this guy back to his room, cut off his communications and nail the door shut.

  • Bryan V

    thats just crazy stupid. :@

  • Scott Stevenson

    So many of you realized that A) this is simply a design concept and not actually going to be produced and B) learned that this is a student design and clearly has his own ideas as to what he thinks looks good aesthetically… Why is it then you couldn’t be more civil in your criticism of the design?..

    Instead of responding like a moron (because many of your responses are dumber in comparison to the design), why not simply express what you don’t like (without calling names or simply saying something is crap? Maybe you’ll actually HELP someone figure out what it is you really want in a design and not just look at your response thinking how much of a tool you are. In fact, maybe a design will be produced utilizing your input and something wonderful will actually be built… Just a thought.

    As for the design… It’s true that the current concept is not exactly efficient as far as design occurs. In the time it takes to reconfigure this camera one could have turned a standard SLR body 1/4 turn and fired away numerous time… My suggestion is that a modular device with a multitude of configurations would be a much wiser design choice (as is possibly the direction considering the patents for the removable sensor camera)… Good luck with the design work in the future.

  • C Douglas

    I would think the end result would be more moving parts – that could easily result in more to go wrong / more potential for breakage. Nah, I’d rather let my wrists or tripod head do the moving.

  • @ Scott Stevenson: thank you for cutting us back an inch or two. On the other hand, we have seen some very interesting design concepts on Nikon Rumors, and some – how shall I put this – not very relevant ones? I’m afraid this one falls in the latter category.
    A very essential part of design innovation comes from observation, and it appears (at least) that the designer in question is a) not a photographer, b) has not observed common practice and c) lacks a fundamental understanding of ergonomics.
    This is OK, since this is a student, and hopefully his professor will take care of this. However, expecting us to contribute solutions to a rather hopeless design is just a tad too much to ask for…

  • tim

    Why not just use a square sensor and do in=camera cropping to choose portrait or landscape? Then you can always hold the camera the same orientation and you also have the option of a full square.

  • Space Monkey

    Are we really so lazy that we need cameras that make it so we don’t have to turn the camera? Are we that technology obsessed? How about a camera that just takes the pictures for you so you can just sit there eating cheetos? This design is silly, but so are all these ideas about turning sensors and square sensors that crop so you can go to portrait mode from the menu. I would prefer turning the actual camera 100x more than going into some bloody menu and selecting portrait mode.

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