New Nikon full frame mirrorless camera on the horizon

Nikon is rumored to be currently working on a new full frame mirrorless camera. Here is what I know so far:

  • full frame camera
  • mirrorless / mirrorless-styled
  • the camera will be small (about the same size as the Olympus E-M1)
  • no EVF
  • regular F mount
  • currently being field tested

Another hint that in a way confirms this rumor is a this recently filed Nikon patent for a 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 VR full frame mirrorless lens.

In interviews with AP and dpreview last year, Nikon executives said that a new large sensor mirrorless camera is a possibility in the future.

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  • I hope that Nikon has studied the market and learned their lessons. I hope that the new camera is build like Nikon 1 V3 with optional removable hand grip and electronic viewfinder.

  • Alberto

    No EVF, regular F mount… They must have been smokin’ bad weed…

  • 247th

    I’ve been waiting for Nikon to up their game and create this already. The Sony system has been flipping me upside down and taking my lunch money. I hope they are more reasonably priced and compatible with my Nikon flashes.

  • bgbs

    about time.

  • Michael Dembinski

    S-mount or it’s not worth going for. Sure, F-mount plus adaptor/spacer, but there’s no point of going mirrorless if you can’t have smaller, lighter lenses with large aperture. Look at those wonderful Nikon RF and Contax-mount lenses out there! Update on this and Leica will be passing bricks.

    • Yeah, but they’d be gold bricks…:-)

    • Lee

      Don’t get your hopes up for old rangefinder lenses, I’m sorry to say. They were able to be so small because they were designed to direct light to the edges of the frame at angle which is too obtuse for digital sensors. Leica has (somewhat) mitigated it on their cameras with an extra-thin filter stack over the sensor. Sony has avoided it by making the FE lenses huge. And of course it’s not a problem with old DSLR lenses because they’re much farther from the sensor.

      I think Nikon could theoretically avoid the issue by creating a new mirrorless mount with a very wide diameter and designing lenses for it with large rear elements. But that still doesn’t help you with pre-existing lenses. And it doesn’t bode well that even Sony, far less afraid of trying new things than Nikon, didn’t switch mounts when they moved their mirrorless to full frame.

  • EvaK

    I dislike to photograph with streched out arms. No viewfinder, no camera!

  • iv

    I wish it will be light like Leica so there would be no worries about weight

  • Michael Dembinski

    Nikon would have an entire, pro and advanced amateur market, to itself. Fujifilm – very good, but it’s not full-frame. Leica – too damn expensive these days to be taken seriously.

    I have an M2, M3 and M6. (Anyone want to buy?) Back in the Old Days Of Film, my pro kit was Canon F2 with motordrive and 24/35/85/135/200mm primes, but what I had round my neck all the time was a Leica with 21/35/50mm lenses.

    Leica today produces toys for rich show-offs rather than tools for the craftsman.

    Fujifilm’s mirrorless range is fine, but even the X100T cannot tempt me away from my always-with-me D3300.

    The ONLY thing that could replace my D3300 would be a light (therefore mirrorless) full-frame camera.

    It would HAVE TO HAVE a viewfinder of some kind. I want something that can go straight up to the eye to shoot, instinctively, intuitively, not have to piddle around with outstretched arms trying to compose and focus – it’s just not natural.

    So… Given that Nikon has a rangefinder pedigree, and given that the S2/S3 cameras were the nearest thing to perfection other than an M-series Leica (film) camera, why not…

    a) resurrect the S- brand

    b) resurrect the S-mount

    And give Leica the damned good thrashing it needs.

    Plus, with a F-mount adaptor, the world will beat a path to Nikon’s door.

    And where would Canon be there? The Canon rangefinders, based on the Leica L39 screw-mount , were never contenders. Canon would be unable to respond to this market (in all honesty, created by the brave Fujifilm).

    My take on the digital Nikon S2/S3 is here…

  • Kevin8503

    No EVF, no thank you.

  • peevee

    46mm for FF is absolutely fine. If you want to design a special mirrorless lens with rear element closer to the sensor, you can always have the rear element protruding into the mount behind the mount. But for FF, it makes no sense, the light going to the corner of the sensor from such rear element brought closer will have the angle that a significant part of it will pass through, say, a red color filter and hit a green pixel, causing color shifts. Plus added vignetting. Without filterless AND back-illuminated sensors it makes no sense, you will have to add the same distance into the lens, or use much more complex, large and expensive lens designs, or suffer from optical mediocrity (see Sony FE system for examples).

    That 46mm are better used for a built-in variable ND. At least until color filters go to the dustbin of history where they belong.

    • ernestkoe

      flange distance and F-mount choice wouldn’t be impossible. The manual focus Nikon bodies weren’t that much thicker than the current crop of cameras. The Nikon FE is 57.5mm thick, and it incorporated a mirror that reflected the entirety of a full 36mm x 24mm image frame. Note, the OMD EM-5 is about 43mm thick in comparison.

      The issue today is that the back of the camera needs to incorporate electronics and the rear display panel. Nikon could address the challenge by putting the sensor on the TOP of the body plate where the viewfinder/prism would be in a traditional DSLR. It would, in fact, have a mirror albeit a fixed one to bend the light up 90º to the top. In fact, if you look at the patent pictures for this link, it shows Nikon doing exactly this.

      The net result is a slightly bigger “mirrorless” camera–really a digital view finder camera–but not appreciably bigger than older manual focus designs like the FE or FM.

      That’d be compact and lightweight enough to appeal to existing Nikon shooters looking for the ergonomic benefits of what 35mm film bodies brought to the world of photography. People complain that we still have huge lenses. That’s true of zooms, but for such a camera, you might just throw a 35mm f/2 or a modern version of that, and it’d be compact enough to be competitive.

  • Lee

    A non-EVF body with a discreet EVF attached is quite a big larger and heavier, with much more awkward ergonomics, than a body with an inline EVF. Therefore making the EVF discreet harms EVF users more than it helps non-EVF users. Sounds like a bad idea.

  • true

    Wont be very popular camera unless it has some VF

  • Denis Lynch

    With the flop of the N1 line they need to do something. The 1″ sensor just didn’t cut it. IQ on the V3 is pitiful unless your sitting on the Sun.

  • Kasparas Visockas

    it cant be a regular f mount unless it has an adapter. The focal distance on a mirrorless is normally much less than a dslr and especially a nikon dslr.

  • Lots of discussion about whether the f mount would make this camera bigger or equal size with a dslr. Personally I don’t think size is that important. Once you put a bright full frame lens on the front, small bodies are going to be un balanced. Wouldn’t it be better to keep the f mount and have a slightly larger pro mirror less body? This would balance well and have several advantages. If Nikon add good video codecs and raw video they would be onto a winner. Also the transition from dslr to mirrorless would be less painful for their customers.

  • davidhunternyc

    Please, Nikon, we need a built-in VF so we can use the hotshoe with Profoto strobes!!!

  • Flipper Tweenie

    Darn no EVF… that kills it.

  • f-stop

    no EVF = no interest whatsoever

  • Politics_Nerd

    F-mount, but will it mount normal “G” lenses?

  • diedisqus

    Not a big surprise. A revolutionary mirrorless with EVF and a new dedicated mount would compete too much with actual Nikon DSLRs…

  • Silvestro Crino

    Same size as the Em1 but no EVF would be a fail…. Shows they don’t get it yet if that is what they do….

  • Laurie Brett

    It has to have an EVF and a good one built in, not an attachment

  • DrunkenRant

    Every camera company that made a camera without an EVF/OVF has learned that you have to add an EVF/OVF. Hell even Leica learned that mistake.

    If Nikon make a FF mirrorless with an EVF in a Rangefinder format, I’ll be moving back to Nikon from Fuji.

  • Ashok Vashisht

    Can’t a good full frame have great ergonomics too ? And very good sculpted grips which make it easy to handhold ? Something like a scaled down D750 ?

    • Adam Brown

      Of course. You can keep the identical body as the d750.. You’re just removing the mirror box, and substituting EVF for OVF.

      In fact, if you keep the same lens mount, you can’t really scale down the camera very much. Most of the size is dictated by the mount.

  • mhammon

    It’s been a year since this rumor first emerged. Anything new?

    • I think we will have more info during the Photokina show in September.

  • MY OB

    AND, if this is true, they FAIL already.

    NO EVF???

    They simply DO NOT LISTEN TO THEIR CUSTOMERS or don’t care.

    It is near impossible to effectively use this silly camera for sports, action or nature images looking thru the LCD screen on the back. Never mind putting a long lens and trying to manipulate the controls. Pure RUBBISH!

    So, another WHOOPDEEDOO product, in my books, not buying it.

    Advance the V3 concept!

    It does look great, but that is as far as I will go.

    Sorry Nikon, back to the drawing board.

    Maybe, we’ll see a beautiful, 100 year anniversary, gold handle, stainless steel tantō with the 100 anniversary logo laser etched the blade. They can hand them out to all upper management at Nikon!

    Give the first one to who ever makes these idiotic design decisions!

  • toxictabasco

    If Nikon wants to keep it’s consumers, they need a mirrorless that will work with the current line of Nikon lenses. If they make Nikon specific mirrorless lenses, a lot of people will just switch to Fuji, Sony, and Panasonic if they need to buy a set of good lenses AGAIN. Also, if Nikon does make a mirrorless they should start out with a compact crop camera that uses the full extent of the nikon lenses without the crop factor, and loss of light. This innovation (like the metabones speed booster) on a dedicated Nikon lens and Nikon body would be ground breaking, and most important would draw consumers from other brands, just so they can use that extra light gathering. But, I highly doubt any of this would happen, as Nikon’s top decision makers are old Japanese men who stick to tradition. And in their old ways, the crop camera and mirroless are for girls.

  • Asif Aman

    What Is Meant By “regular F mount” ???

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