New Nikon prototype/concept cameras on display in France

Nikon displayed some new prototype/concept cameras as part of the Hello Demain (Hello Tomorrow) exhibition at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Paris, France).

The first Nikon camera prototype has three interchangeable pieces -  LCD screen, lens and a grip:

Nikon Multi-Ball - "multi-views that can capture the atmosphere of a scene". No idea what this is, probably some kind of a 3D-panaromic-plenoptic-camera:

The next camera prototype has a 6 inches screen and adjustable lever:

I could not find any information on the Nikon i-Ball:

Additional images of those prototype/concept cameras from flickr member montie_j (all images copyrighted by montie_j):

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  • The invisible man.

    French are the best (for the Champagne only)

  • patrick

    Here’s a concept: Give us a D800!

    • I approve of this concept. (and a D400)

      • The invisible man.

        I don’t think we will ever see a D400, it’s specifications woud be to close to the D7000 and personaly I don’t like to pay more for the same thing !
        D9000 maybe….

        • Ronan


        • chris

          file this comment under “6 of one, half a dozen of the other”

      • I’ve given up waiting for the D800, when the D900 is just around the corner.

  • Hmm, I certainly hope that isn’t the future!

    • Iris Chrome

      Have you ever been to a car show where they show all these futuristic looking cars but for some reason they never make it to real life?

      These – along with the designs above – are called concept designs with emphasis on concept. They’re not meant for real life. In all likelihood they’re even impractical for real life. What they’re meant for however, is to inspire new ideas and challenge the old notions we have about them. We usually don’t feel the impact of these concept designs directly in the new products we buy because most of the time the change they make is indirect.

      I for one think the designs above are amazing. The Nikon multi-ball is amazing and I would love to see what kind of pictures they would produce. And the idea of an interchangeable grip and LCD screen is brilliant too. Just think how many times someone complained about a particular camera because of the size or the shape of the grip. Or even because of the button placement on the back. Now think if this concept was applied to current camera’s where you can attach different grips just like you attach a battery grip.

  • wtf?

  • Nicolás

    Nikon is still quite clueless… we want small, yet capable cameras. Not those… monsters.

    • Clueless? Really?

  • Roo

    Interesting…..curved sensor patents and now this.

  • Greg

    These might be of interest to a “soccer mom” but not to a serious Nikon user.

    • ricardo

      +2 me and my mom

  • AnoNemo

    I think it is time for the Nikon engineers to put down that sake glass! Now I understand why the italian helped in designing the look of many Nikon cameras.

    If I would walk around with any of these cameras in the city I would be arrested and taken to an institution where I cannot hurt myslelf and/or others.

    I beg you Nikon, please abort these ugly babies (sorry beasts) 😉

  • Concept designs (whether it is in Automobile manufacturing, High Fashion, etc.) are simply the designers having fun with concepts and creating some interesting (usually impractical) design to stretch their imaginations and create some marketing sizzle for the company at shows. Sometimes a small element or idea comes out of a concept that moves the needle, and then they incorporate it into a traditional design. So have no fear, they haven’t gone bonkers, this is usual in industrial design.

  • Max Archer

    It’s worth bearing in mind that these probably aren’t really Nikon concepts. Far more likely is that they’re concepts by independent designers, design firms, or even students, that were done using Nikon sponsorship and the Nikon name.

    Even if they were designed by Nikon employees, it’s almost certain that the D800 designers weren’t wasting their time on these.

  • something from the jetsons

  • Geoff

    I’m holding out for the eye implant concept camera. ;- P

  • f/2.8

    The first one looked like my hair dryer. The second, the Multi-Ball looked like what the villain in Moonraker tried to destroy Earth with.

  • jk

    The multi ball look like a similar concept to all the 10.5 fisheyes that were mounted to a train? Wasn’t that posted here like ages ago?

  • Nikon boy

    I think the Multi-Ball is many different lens in a single one.. You take one picture and you can view it with 20 different views… thats my guess.

    • Iris Chrome

      I’m only hypothesizing here too but I think (or wish) it’s a little bit more than that. I think it’s meant to work with a particular type of processor that would take all the images it captures from it’s smaller lenses and combine them into one… like a multi-rama.

  • BartyL

    I like the first concept provided it equates to ‘large sensor minimal body’ (and is compatible with F-mount lenses). I like the minimalism of it. To date I still think an SLR design is the best way of ‘seeing what the lens sees’, but advances in LCD tech have probably already made this debateable, and will almost certainly make it untrue in the near future.

  • Joe Bodego

    what the &^%$#, what is this, what the $#, come on people, the terrorist has won

  • peter

    If Nikon is out for buzz, the gnats giving there replies here have certainly provided some. “Concept,” when was the last time one of you saw a concept make it to production? Nikon does not only make stuff for fanboys with money in their pockets. You will notice none of the serious posters has gone on record here yet. Stick this stuff in a space station and provide Nikon’s reliability and uber innards and they may build 5 or ten prototypes.

  • Nathan

    I’ll take that travel coffee mug with a handle. Looks pretty convenient.

  • canonkiller

    looks like this will be the d3200

  • Lulz

    To me, those look more like some kind of video game than a camera.

  • Bernard

    The day the Nikon engineers do away with viewfinders I will stop buying their cameras !

  • Dr Motmot

    I like the idea of a camera that can be stripped down to its basic components – lens, LCD and grip, like a Hasselblad. It would also be great if the sensor unit could be changed like you can change the backs on some medium format digital cameras; I did see this idea before on NR i.e. a B&W sensor with no anti-aliasing filter, a 24MP back, a DX sized sensor back etc. I think a company called RED has also developed such a camera where everything can be changed so that components can always be upgraded so that it never becomes obsolete.

    • SZRimaging

      RED has this, kind of, sort of. The body is still one peice, but basically everything else is modularized so you can reconfigure it to the specs of the job. But, you should note that RED is a video company, and that the RED systems are nowhere in the same league for stills as the high end Canons and Nikons. Also, there has been much back tracking by RED, and no product outside of the really high-end pro gear has made it to market.

  • ChrisSin

    Hasseblad medium format style and it looks to be made for shooting video….why arent we all over this again?

    Hell Id love interchangeable sensors and “brain” (like a red) that attached to the LCD…if thats what this is.

  • Hhom Togan

    Have you seen conceptual cars in Car shows? they feature some really wacky cars that are just that wacky cars, they are the creative freedom they give designers just to show the potential they have as creatives.

    This is exactly the same, this is only a showcase of flamboyance, no need to go all hysterical screaming “WTF” or “I DUN LICK IT” or “I HATE U NiKoN I´M GoINg To SWiTcH to ConCORd CAmRZ”.

    So stop the drama.

  • tom bombadil

    It seems the future may be a bit of an eyesore. Please Nikon don’t do it!

  • Funduro

    The ball and iBall look like they were props from Blade Runner.

  • I don’t know. Imho, the first prototype might be the most sensed to develop.
    I see the mockup says it’s a “Nikkor AVR FD lens, 18-xxx F/4.5-5.6G” I wonder which is the tele end and which format does it refer, because such a small aperture for a such (apparently) large lens could mean there’s either a very large sensor (FX or more) in case of a short zoom or a very long zoom for a DX sensor. Honestly, besides the huge rear LCD, I’d add an optical viewfinder through the lens which could be easily attained interposing a prism before the sensor itself, so that the image coming from the lens is duplicated both on sensor and the viewing finder. I don’t think it’s a bad idea, at all. Unconventional? Yes. Ugly? Maybe, in the end also Fiat Multipla shared the same opinions. Functional? Definitely, exactly like the Multipla (for those who don’t know it, it’s a now freshly dismissed car designed at the end of the ’90s with 6 seats on two rows and lots of inner space in just 4 m long)

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