Breaking: new Nikon full frame hybrid camera coming soon *UPDATED*

Sony sure shook the market with their a7 full frame mirrorless camera. Many readers have asked me if Nikon will be coming with something similar. I have mentioned in the past that I expect a third mystery camera this year that will have a retro design (something like the Olympus OMD). The new full frame camera will most likely be mirrorless, but it will have some kind of a special (hybrid?) viewfinder. I am also not yet sure if it will have a regular F-mount or a newly designed mount. Here are the rumored specifications:

  • Nikon FM2 like design
  • 16.2MP 36x23,9 full frame sensor (same as in the D4?)
  • SD memory card
  • 2016-pixel RGB image sensor
  • 9-cell framing grid display
  • 3D color matrix metering II
  • Native ISO range: 100-12,800 (incl. ISO 50 and ISO 102,400)
  • 5.5 fps for up to 100 shots
  • 3.2" LCD screen
  • Battery:EN-EL14
  • Dimensions: 143.5 x 110 x 66.5mm
  • Weight: 765g
  • It will come with a new AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens (again, not clear what mount the new lens will have)

The announcement will be in the next 2-3 months, but it could happen as soon as next week during the PDN PhotoPlus show in New York. Stay tuned for more details.

Update - few additional specifications that will clarify some of the questions in this post:

  • Standard F-mount
  • Pentaprism viewfinder (meaning the camera will not be mirrorless)
  • The camera will meter even with non-AI lenses down to full aperture
  • The camera will ship with a new special edition Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens to match the look/design of the body
  • The camera will have physical controls and excellent build quality (which explains the 765g weight)
  • Expeed 3 processor
  • Same sensor as in the Nikon D4
  • Nikon calls it a "hybrid" camera - not sure what exactly they mean with that
  • The announcement is expected in the first week of November
  • No video recording capabilities
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  • Genkakuzai

    Can’t wait for this announcement, could it possibly be what so many of us have been waiting for?

  • Espen4u

    The word hybrid means they left something out, do’nt you think?

  • Anonymous

    Admin, did the tips say what AF system the camera would come with and what size the screen(if present) would be?

  • Dover

    Maybe “2016-pixel RGB image sensor” should read “2016-pixel RGB lcd screen?”

  • Zoron

    Doesn’t Nikon FM2 looks rather clunky?

    • anonymous

      definitely not as clunky as a d4/800/610

  • Maitre Parfumeur

    > Pentaprism viewfinder (meaning the camera will not be mirrorless)

    That does not necessarily mean mirrorless. Could be like the OM-D, an electronic screen.

    • anonymous

      I think “pentaprism” does not mean the shape/appearance but a real prism that makes use of internal reflection to allow its user to view the scene TTL. If it uses an electronic screen, I don’t believe the author would have termed it “pentaprism”. Just my interpretation…

  • George Christofi

    Why not I will by one iff the price is ok.For now i am shooting with Nikon D3x and fuji XE 1 and i am very happy with the combination

  • eventhorizon

    The FM2 does not have a grip on the right side. How would the EN-ELxx battery fit without that? Also, isn’t it less comfortable to hold a camera without a right side grip?

    Should we expect the view finder to be as bright as it used to be with film cameras?

    • decisivemoment

      You could fit an EN-EL15 in a digital FM2, never mind the 14. Remember, losing film saves a lot of space on the inside at each end of the body, even as it causes a bit of trouble behind the lens in the center back.

      • Sahaja

        An EN-EL15 might just fit in an FM body – turned round from the way it usually fits – but I suspect it would then get in the way of something else. There would also be barely enough room for the spring and battery contacts – and the wiring behind that. I think they would have used the EN-EL15 if they could have, but it would get in the way of something so they used the 14. Let’s hope the battery door is good – because it will get used a lot.

      • Sahaja

        One thing about the smaller battery – does this mean it will have no AF screw drive motor?

        The added height over the FM-2 may mean that it does – but the EN-EL14 battery makes me wonder.

  • Is it have a electronic Viewfinder i probebly shot some good with Fujifilm which is nearly a bridge cam for my Photography. Till then it has some fantastic result as i wanted having the same 50mm lens.

  • insider of N

    Its called the FMD4 / or FD1 folks 😉

  • 103David

    It sounds more like an F3 rather than the (too delicate) FM/FM2/FE/FE2/FA/etc series…and nothing at all like an D700.
    Likely the real benefit/intent here is as a high-quality striped-down to essentials Leica-killer for realistic street photography.
    Think about it. How nice and just plain useful to have a motorless-F3-body-sized F-mount using all that fast glass you have gathering dust in the closet. And while not cheap, say the 3K the D700 originally cost, nothing like the “I’m-afraid-to-take-it-out-of-the-house” price tag of a Leica M body.
    Imagine. You could actually take pictures with it.

    • decisivemoment

      And that would be a good thing, in my view. The F3 viewfinder alone is worth the price of admission over the FM series.

  • ricohflex

    The screen MUST have a split image to focus legacy lenses that are not AF.

  • don mellow

    I wanted a digital FM2 …10 years ago. If the rumor specs are anything to go by.. this camera is too heavy. Only the hardcore Nikonians (like I used to be..) will adopt it. Another very expensive venture for Nikon that will probably be fantastic – but may not pay back in $$. Sony’s RX-10, although a different beast, will make Sony LOTS of quick $$. I wish Nikon would have created something similar first.

  • Danny Eiserloh

    I bet you it will cost more than Sony

  • FM

    Admin, what about the focus system? 39 points for sure or can we hope for 51?

  • Charles

    if it got the D4 sensor and great build quality – I worry about the price – Admin, any ideas how much it will cost? (I hope around 2000€)

  • Scott

    At first I thought, what’s the big deal besides some retro styling but it’s growing on me as I listed it’s features in a talk with friends.

    Retro styling and possibly functionality, small size, full compatibility with all their lenses back to the stone age, usable manual focus, rugged build (weather sealed?)the D4 sensor and a modern 50mm f1.8 lens styled to match.

    Will it have a mechanical self timer? PC port? Mechanical shutter release?

    Really though a D610 with a manual focus focusing screen added would do most of what this camera would do for me. I have some pre AI glass I used but they’ve been AI’d. It certainly couldn’t be a lot more expensive then a D610 to keep me interested.

    Also better get on Ebay and buy any of that old glass you’ve been eyeing because they are about to go up in price yet again! 😀

  • Pat Mann

    This is sounding more like one of their collector’s editions with an exquisite mechanical camera that sells in limited numbers at a high price. Let’s hope not.
    D4 sensor – bring it on! How about make as many as you can sell at a budget price. With that baby battery, perhaps there’s no rear display at all – just a hybrid EVF/OVF that doesn’t use as much power as a large display?
    And let it have interchangeable finder screens so we can get one that works for manual focus.

  • Mike M

    I’m afraid these specs are leaning me towards “Leica build for less than Leica, but still a pile of money”. I’m afraid this thing is going to cost more than a D800E, it’ll be great I’m sure, but probably not “for the masses”.

  • Dino Brusco

    +1 for a FM2 / FM3D
    +1 for EVF / Dual split prism image or whatever works
    Come on Nikon !

    • kadajawi

      The sensor needs power. The CPU needs power. The SD card writer needs power. When you shoot with a DSLR with the screen off, how many photos can you take? And that is with a big battery. There is no way whatsoever that they could make a DSLR able to work without batteries.
      The hybrid might refer to a screen inside the viewfinder… think Fuji X-Pro1. Flip a switch, and the screen goes in front of the viewfinder letting you use that one instead. I’ve been wondering why no DSLR make has implemented that yet… you could also make the screen be there all the time by using a transparent OLED. So the exact focus point is shown, including other valuable data. Flip a switch and it goes into LiveView… and since the viewfinder would be blacked out the screen is all you can see in there, acting as a regular EVF. Sony could even make a SLT/SLR hybrid camera, with 2 mirrors basically. Either it works as SLT, or another mirror flips into the image path giving you an SLR with optical viewfinder + EVF.

  • sloma_p

    Any info on AF? Suggested price? God, I’ve been waiting for this since D700 – my D3s are great, but big, D800 has too many pixels…

  • Metoo

    Hybrid means: You have SD card and and a 35mm film slot….

  • FredBear

    At frikkin last.

    Seems Nikon does listen and do read blogs of Customer’s wants and will act on them (well some at least). But would prefer a 24 Mp sensor though but could live with 16.

  • decisivemoment

    Oh, I do like this idea — although I’d like it even better if it were 24MP (on the grounds that the resolution should equal or exceed the 4000dpi of Nikon’s film scanners).

    What a terrific complement this would be to the D800.

    Anyone care to guess what Nikon’s strategy is? High-priced “collector’s edition” to test out the market? Or mid-priced, all in, heavily marketed vote of confidence in the concept?

  • decisivemoment

    Just saw something, 5.5fps. Let’s hope they’re not using this to dump all the D600 shutters.

  • Anon

    Oooh, now *this* is looking interesting. Good thing I just picked up some old AF wide angle lenses, too!

  • Anon

    Oooh, now *this* is looking interesting. Good thing I just picked up some old AF wide angle lenses, too!

  • Dd

    Ugly and unnecessary. Get rid of the mirror or stick with the designs you have now.

  • Reilly Diefenbach

    16MP? No thanks!

  • zoetmb

    Are we sure this isn’t going to be one of those “special editions” that are manufactured in very small quantities and usually only available in Japan? Nikon hasn’t done this for a while and I thought current management wasn’t going to do them any more, but the last one was a replica of the SP rangefinder, called the “SP2005 Black (Nikon Eye Candy)”. With a matching 35mm f1.8, it sold for $6000 in Japan. Only 2500 were made and because the quantity was so low, my understanding is that Nikon didn’t make money on them. In 2000, they did an FM2N “Year of the Dragon” Millennium edition of 2000 and in 1998 they did an F5 “50th Anniversary of Nikon” edition of 3000, with 300 of those for the U.S.

    Personally, aside from nostalgia, I don’t understand the appeal. It’s not going to work like an FM2, it’s only going to look like an FM2. There’s a big difference. It’s not like “G” lenses are suddenly going to disappear. And aside from the “old men” (like me) who inhabit this site, I really don’t think it would sell very well and there’s not enough of us who would be willing to spend the money (IMO). You can already see comments from (presumably younger) people below who think it’s ugly or clunky. And actually, it is.

    Having said that, I have repeatedly wished for a digital (but full frame) version of an Olympus OM1-D.

    • kadajawi

      I think development costs for this would have been waaaaay too high to make it a limited edition camera… unless they just redressed the exterior of an already existing camera. But there is no camera with these dimensions…

  • Sandy Bartlett
    • Sahaja

      Sandy, That link you posted sets off my virus scanner alarms.
      Seems there is some malware

      • I deleted the link – this was one of the patents I have covered here on the blog.

  • RetroNikonFan

    Low Low power Nikon is what I would like.

    All “I” need is a minimal “wrist watch type rear LCD” to confirm the histogram and view or change the settings.

    Split prism and also a waist finder please !

    Bring on the digital Nikon FM !

  • Kieran Grasby

    I would love a D4 sensor in a smaller body than a D4. It is what I was hoping for from the D800 and the D600, but alas. If it happens to come styled like an FM2…….well, that’d be just delightful. I REALLY hope that it’s a worthwhile product though. If this turns out to be like the Pentax K-01, then it will be a very different matter entirely.

  • CHD

    Too funny….Nikon users are foaming at the mouth for a ‘low’ MP full frame camera….meanwhile Canon users are eyeing the Sony A7R since they don’t have a high MP option….

    No one is ever happy:)

  • bee

    Would’ve much prefered a Nikon SP style body.

  • Zack Stone


  • Bennet Goh

    Good news indeed, really looking forward to it. I hope it is really well made and design, a beautiful precision instrument.

  • Ashok

    I am surprised with the dimensions. It is even smaller than the FM2 except for height! The FM2 dimensions – WXHXD 142.5 x 90 x 60mm (5.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in.)

    • Ashok

      Sorry correction the new cam is smaller only in one dimension – width. It is slightly taller and a little deeper. Still it is quite small.

  • Allan Lee

    I hope Nikon will take out the playback display monitor on this camera (as a real retro camera). People can see the photos only connect with the computer. Isn’t it cool?

    • ShihonoRyo

      No… You need a display to see if the settings where good after you took a picture… You could be out shooting all day and later notice that it’s all under exposed. Or if it’s mirrorless then it should be visible in the electric viewfinder.

      • Allan Lee

        That’s make it more challenging like the old days.

  • artgriffo

    If it were to be sold at less than £1000 for body only – game over Nikon wins!

  • Diego Tabango

    please please, high speed sync faster than 250th/sec!!!

  • amansjeanphilippe


    a French topic about this


    digital camera could be reduce to “essential and no-more”
    Leica do it with M8 and follow


  • Genie

    WOW NIKON!! Finally you are waking up. This could turn nikon into THE NIKON that it should have been. Better late than….:). Just make sure the make this in Japan and not source out to Thiland or China. Good Luck

    • Sara

      I prefer Thailand or China facility. If it’s “made in Japan”, then the cost will be too high due to the Japanese labor cost nowsdays.

  • FM2n

    This looks way larger than an FM camera I’m affraid, the overall shape is similar but the scale is off, just look how large it looks in the guys hands. This is more like an F3 or even larger. No sale for me.

  • kadajawi

    If it has a mirror, it will have to be big (the sensor (film) could sit snug against the rear door when shooting film, but if it is digital there needs to be space for the sensor, and then there needs to be space for the screen (though with OLED that can be minimalized).
    No video would be a dealbreaker.

  • Phil

    Sony not shock the market, after a hands on… they have the Zeiss Lenses not ready (middle of 2014) and the adapter to use the other lenses is very expensive. The Nikon will be a much more competitive camera than sony has at the moment.

  • Ian Hawley

    No video and only 16MP, it’s already smoked IMHO.

  • I like it. I really do. But why can’t they release a lightweight version?

  • Bob Shurtleff

    Hybrid = shoot film and digital with the same camera!

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