Nikon’s president confirms new mirrorless camera in an interview


Last week the Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun published an interview with Nikon's President Mr. Kazuo Ushida. In the interview Mr. Ushida hinted again (see also this post) that Nikon will be releasing a new mirrorless camera - see the Google translation of the article (fourth paragraph):

"Structural reform does not exclude all possibilities. In terms of product, you should also compete with medium and high-end SLR single lens reflexes. While targeting genre top, earn profits even if sales falls. With generations grew up on smart phones I will give out a "Nikonashii" mirrorless camera that made a difference to other companies in terms of performance. I want to overwhelm the performance of the lens by making use of industrial lens technology, but also need playfulness"

Thanks for the link Nakayamahanzaemon!

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  • KnightPhoto

    Good to hear this!

  • Jes

    YES! YES! YES! Finally! Please be full frame!

    • Exynos

      Its just a micro 4/3 … Dont be excited

      • harvey

        if it is m4/3s and I could use an adapter like the 1 series FT-1 – in a heartbeat.

      • They are taking advantage of “industrial lens technology” which I would interpret as being at least APS-C if not full frame. Full frame would also be the easiest way to make “a difference to other companies in terms of performance”.

        If they could make a camera with software as nice as the Leica SL, that could use the lenses I already have, it might halt my drift towards what I see as highly appealing, albeit incredibly expensive, products from the Germans. Sadly Nikon has never been great on software so this will be very tricky for them.

        I think Micro 4/3 would be seen as too much of a me-too product, and there would be much less revenue potential in terms of selling new branded lenses. Also, have Micro 4/3 cameras even been doing all that well in terms of sales?

        • I think MFT peaked years ago. I am not sure what else they can offer in order to generate new sales. Joining MFT in my opinion will be a bad move, especially for photography. For video MFT has a clear advantage.

          • What’s the MFT video advantage, broad depth of field so focus isn’t as critical?

            Curiously enough, my favorite video camera is my Leica Q. I love the focus peaking combined with the slick manual focus. I can pull focus smoothly, something I can’t do with any other camera.

          • harvey

            my walk around camera these days is a PenF. It and two lenses – perfect.

      • Wildness

        There is zero reason for Nikon to get into the MFT market. Zero. They are not going to develop a new line of MFT lenses at this point. Period.

    • Nikon King

      I agree. Full frame or GTFO.

    • Steve Holt

      Full frame Uncropped 4k Video. Don’t make the same mistakes as Canon.

  • D700s

    Let the Nikon bashing begin because it’s not enough.

    • Aldo

      Even if it isnt perfect most will welcome and support it. Im sure there is someone staring at their 20 batteries from his/her sony mirrorless and saying ” could this be it?”

      • ninpou_kobanashi

        Lol

  • Peter Rothengatter Photoart

    nikon SP 24 mp fullframe digital rangefinder with 3 lenses to start?
    Ok I’m in and buy one 🙂

    • Matthew

      I agree 100%

    • VanHoff

      There is a really big bunch of people waiting for this.

    • There we go 🙂

    • With the S mount so you can hunt for old S mount lens bargains. Also the really old lenses will go down a treat with retro cool people, mmm I kind hate the whole cool retro thing but if it helps to sell more and keep Nikon alive I’m all for it. But yes the SP was a gorgeous camera, so was the Nikon S3/4. Or how about a re do of the original Nikon 1 from 1948! That would be a good way to celebrate!

    • Nikonhead

      Don’t forget the adapter to use existing F mount lenses.

    • EnPassant

      You have 10k saved? Because that is what it will cost. 6k for the camera alone and around 1.5k for each standard prime lens.
      You could just as well buy a digital Leica M.

    • Captain Megaton

      This is certainly the camera the fanbase wants: A back to basics, high end, photographer’s camera – the Df done right. Of course I too would be very interested.

      But is it the camera Nikon needs? Such a model will sell to enthusiasts only, in small numbers, and do nothing for the dwindling sales of D3400, D5600, or compete against Canon M5 etc, or do anything to halt Sony A9 encroachment into Nikon’s pro D5 territory. The best it can hope for it to torpedo Sony A7 as the main choice of walkabout high end camera.

      • Georg Fiedler

        this ‘best it can hope for’ is beating one of the best selling line of cameras in the market. so not too bad, i’d say, and exactly the way to go!

    • TheInconvenientRuth

      That sentence made me wetter than an otter in monsoon season.
      Make it a 25mm, 50mm and 100mm.

    • Tom Bruno

      Ooo, what a sweet dream!

    • keyan lv

      Won’t happen. The rangefinder market is too small to be profitable for a big company like Nikon, and Nikon has to kick Leica out of competition first. While Leica is a tough company survived SLR age and digital age…

  • maxx

    Nikonashii? Alias? Mr. President!!!!!

    • sickheadache

      I thought the Presidents name was Akihiro Nikon…Dont know the goober

  • everplay

    Just give me a decent D100 replacement.

    • Allen_Wentz

      For me, the D2x was the D100 replacement and the D500 replaced the D2x.

      • Proto

        you rode horses before you current car? : )

        You are right — those bodies are real turning points, Rest were improvements.

    • Nikon King

      Best Buy had some pretty cheap D200’s for like $599 in 2010. Maybe you can find one in a bin somewhere.

  • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

    Could it be in the retro Nikon Df shell ?

    • Martin L

      That’s been one of the rumors. It would be the perfect body type. My fear is that they might make the cameras too small.

      • harvey

        the Df is too big.

        • T.I.M

          the price ?

          • harvey

            the initial price was ridiculous but it is also physically too big.

    • jareb

      4 month ago almost simultaneously appeared several reviews of Nikon F4 as camera with “outstanding design” and “revolutional functionality”. I think it’s too good to be a mere coincidence for several reviewers to post one after another such an “original” content.

      03.04.2017, TheCameraStoreTV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMqmENnOZ8w

      06.04.2017, Kai W: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CCZjPicCBQ

      08.04.2017, The Art of Photography: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QfZly4L9C4

      • PhilK

        Thanks for the links.

        I had an F4 for a while, it was IMHO not only the most beautiful F-series camera but also one of the best ergonomically. (The last one with all analog controls for major settings)

        It had 2 major problems tho:

        1) Uncompetitive single-focus-point AF with poor low-light sensitivity and a tendency to ‘hunt’.

        2) Very heavy weight

        I could certainly entertain a digital version of the F4 but it would be a pointless duplication of the current D[X] series which evolved from the F5 design. No point in having 2 giant DSLR models, and no point in a camera the size of the F4 for mirrorless.

    • PhilK

      I am not a big fan of the Df body shape or style, especially the particularly ugly ‘chrome colored’ version.

      A digital SP tho? Now you’re talkin..

  • I’m holding out for lensless.

    • sickheadache

      And camera less…

  • Hector Gonzalez

    make it happen on your 100th birthday and i will buy!!!! NIKON DF II Mirrrorles

  • Martin L

    Even an APS-C sized sensor would be welcome. Be it that or full frame, the big issue will be the lenses required. Will they be F mount or those used with the ill fated Nikon 1 series? Or yet a new series of lenses.

    • Scenic Spartan

      Id love to see an APS-C mirrorless camera from them that can take DX and FX lenses. However I doubt they would release one given that the D3400, D5600 and D7500 are all fairly new along with the D500.

      • harvey

        a mirrorless that would have the F-mount native would be a big body and what would you do with the wasted space?

        • Fly Moon

          A great EVF, extra battery, a nice grip, GPS, a second card

        • A mirrorless has lot many other advantages other than small size. The size advantage is anyway negated with high quality lenses as has been shown time and again.

          • D700s

            Sony proves that. If they introduce a mirrorless camera I want it to have F mount. That’s one of the reasons Sony is not for me. No legacy glass and no super telephoto primes.

        • Rainier Zweers

          Functioning wireless communication with Instagram, Facebook, etc. by the push of a ‘button’ on your touchscreen.

  • T.I.M

    They use to be called Coolpix cameras, now it’s called mirrorless, what ever….

    • PhilK

      Coolpix never had interchangeable lenses.

      • T.I.M

        Yep, never had mirrors neither.

        • PhilK

          My point being: Coolpix is not equivalent to a MILC such as what is being discussed here.

  • Exynos

    Cant wait to see a sony A6000 competitor 😀

    • Fly Moon

      Fuji X-T2 and X-T20 are already better than the a6000 series

    • Sony A6000? Very unattractive as a camera for photographers. I would prefer a FUJI X-T2 any day above anything from Sony.

      • I agree, same here.

        • PhilK

          I think Fuji got a lot of things right with ergonomics and the better aspects of ‘retro’ camera control surfaces. (This is where IMHO the Df fails)

          Something that is a combination of the Fuji idea of a digital rangefinder with exposed, analog control dials and a “digital SP” that takes F-lenses (and at least APS-C sensor) would be the holy grail to me.

          Just don’t make it ugly like the Df. The FE/FM series was not one of Nikon’s best from an aesthetic or ergonomic standpoint, even if they were popular for those who couldn’t afford the F models.

  • Aldo

    Nikon I knew you had it in you. Lets go!

  • harvey

    they are going to be re-badging the old Hasselblads … it will be fun.

  • Vince Vinnyp

    Hoping it will be full frame and or DX with F mount. More likely new lens mount like the Canon M but if they release an F-Mount adaptor that works well unlike the one for the Nikon 1 then it will allow transition.

  • Charles

    Google translate really produced some poetry here.

  • Ikeshima

    It quite clearly states in the translation (direct not Google Translate which is rubbish for Nihongo to English) that Nikon want to make mirrorless cameras for the female and younger end of the market; and smartphone users.

    • Plug

      Great. I’m old, male and don’t own a smartphone…

    • What’s odd about this is that they tried this in Nikon 1 and completely missed their target. What’s their fuss about women, anyway? Of the people here who have names apparent from their gender, the Nikon Rumors audience is 90%+ male.

      Peter, do you have any demographic breakdown of site visitors?

      • Yes, I have to check it again but I think it is higher than 90% male visitors.

        • Allan

          Are there statistics of what percentage of each category of cameras is bought by each gender?

      • Todd Peterson

        I think the fuss about women is that 90% of people calling themselves photographers today are female.

        • Proto

          larger % of portrait and wedding togs = women

          wildlife and sports = men

          hobbyist DSLR = mostly men, women use their phones

          • geofflivingston

            Real women use Canon.

            • Allan

              Then I’m switching. 🙂

            • This is funny, but I think it’s true. I personally know several women photographers (I’m married to one), and they ALL use Canon – except one…Nikon Ambassador Dixie Dixon.

            • geofflivingston

              All the lady street photogs in DC seem to be using Sony or Fuji.

        • I have about a 50/50 split between those who shoot at events. I have never seen a single one of them use a Nikon 1, however.

          Actually, I’m the only person I know who owns a Nikon 1, the V1. I got it because it was on sale with both major lenses at B&H for $399 and I figured why not, it might be interesting to try. I was pretty disappointed. I couldn’t get past the lack of a focus ring on any of the lenses, and the cheapness of the rest of the design.

  • JoCarpenter

    Full frame or it or go home!

  • Michiel953

    Why does this sort of ‘rumor’ always come with a gruesome translation?

    How hard can it be.

    • I am sure a native speaker will chime in.

      • Michiel953

        Certainly hope so.

        • br0xibear

          I think the translation thing is going to be an issue again, Japanese is not easy to translate into English.
          Here’s the camera parts of the article through a different online translator…
          “-A policy of camera business?
          “Structural reforms don’t exclude all possibilities. I should fight by a fancy machine in the single-lens reflex camera as expected in a product face. I aim at the genre top and even if the net sales fall, the profit is earned. A camera is taken out Miller “appropriate for Nikon” who had the lead in an other company by performance surface lessly in the generation when I grew up by smart phone. I’d like to utilize the industrial technology of lens and overwhelm by the performance of the lens. On the other hand a youthful spirit is also necessary. Maybe there may be a project of “the single-lens reflex camera a lady tends to use” etc..”

          Make of it what you want lol, I’m not taking anything from any of the translations.

          • Nakayamahanzaemon

            Here is my translation:

            What are you going to do with camera business?

            There is every possibility in structural reform. On the product side, we should compete in the mid-range and high-end DSLR. We aim to be the top in a genre, and earn profits even if sales are down. For a smartphone generation, we put out a very Nikon-ish mirrorless camera which is superior to rivals in quality. Making the best use of industrial lens technology, we would like to overwhelm them in lens quality. On the other hand, we need fun. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a project like “an easy-to-use DSLR for girls”?

            • br0xibear

              “an easy-to-use DSLR for girls”
              Yeah, “intersting” phrase in 2017…I think I’ll stay clear from that particular minefield, lol.

            • Allan

              He could have said “an easy-to-use DSLR for Canadians”. 🙂

            • Fly Moon

              Or southern states

            • D700s

              Or New Yorkers

            • Nakayamahanzaemon

              It’s a Japanese thing. Don’t take it seriously. There was a boom called “Joshi-kame” or girl’s camera a few years ago. A lot of young Japanese girls took out a camera to take a photo, but now it’s gone. Mr. Ushida would want it back. I don’t know.

            • Andrew

              Actually it is a great idea have a DSLR that is specifically designed for girls. It requires imagination and perception about the differences between girls and boys. For example girls might not like burying themselves into deep menus to configure their cameras while boys might be willing to put up with the abuse 😉

              Another example is that boys like rough sports like American Football, but how many girls are willing to put up with the violence?

              In the past when camera companies thought about girls all they would do is give the camera a fresh paint like yellow or burgundy. In fact I am certain they never included women in the design process.

            • In other words, they might like something more like the Leica T than Nikon has ever made, or is probably even capable of making.

              For the context of this remark, see Thom Hogan’s review of the Leica T. He tries not to love it due to its staggering price, but does not quite succeed:

              http://www.sansmirror.com/cameras/a-note-about-camera-reviews/leica-t-mirrorless-camera.html

              I do wonder how many of the flaws demonstrated in that review have been cured by firmware upgrades in the mean time.

            • Andrew

              The Leica T looks like a good first attempt. My dad owned a Leica camera, but then he also owned an Omega watch, a Montblanc pen, and a number of Mercedes Benz cars throughout the years. I settled for the Benz (which I purchased new – so no hand me downs) and kept the rest of my life simple 😉

              But as an engineer, I would not use your phrase “or is probably even capable of making” as such words undermines your position.

            • I suppose it’s a tad snarky, but Nikon’s software definitely appears inferior to Leica’s. Just check out the two camera remote control apps. Leica’s is a much cleaner design and does quite a bit more.

            • Andrew

              I think we have strayed from the general objective of Nikon’s announcement. Here is an example of a camera that Nikon made for girls with a one-touch operation as opposed to a heavy tank like the Leica T camera with an improved but still relatively complex menu system. And this waterproof camera, the Nikon COOLPIX W100 can be used by a 6-year-old child:

              1. See user comment ~ https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R25Q4FZFC4IKVI/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01MY4L6ZI

              2. See TIPA Awards ~ http://www.nikon.com/news/2017/0428_award_01.htm

            • thanks for the translation

          • Michiel953

            I haven’t read it yet, but if a translation sounds like nonsense, it probably is.

      • Jim Kiefer

        Was he just talking about the Nikon 1? The translations suggest the mirrorless camera was introduced in the past.

    • Mark Heseltine

      Maybe the translation is perfect and reflects precisely how Mr. Kazuo Ushida speaks and sounds in the Japanese? 😉

      After all, I am sure Japanese speakers scratch their head at the translations of the speeches of a certain current US president – not realising they are not faulty translations. :o)

      I do take heart with Mr. Kazuo Ushida’s comment about continuing to push mid-to-high end DSLRs. Here is hoping for a DF2 the size of an FM on Nikon’s 100th.

  • Okay, I’ll bite … what does “playfulness” mean in this context?

    Probably those ghastly pink colours again …

    I think they should study the design of Leica Special Editions. Leica has a flair for producing something that looks utterly bizarre and yet somehow right and attractive. If, that is, it didn’t cost a bloody fortune.

    • Andrew

      Your concept of playfulness is out of context especially using Leica as an example. Playfulness means features that girls might like. For example selfies with in-camera features to change the color of their hair, lips, or clothing.

    • PhilK

      There’s more to playfulness than a different coat of paint.

      And the problem with Nikon is – they have never been very good at “playfulness”. It’s a rather conservative company overwhelmingly run by old men. (Which often produces product designs I like very much – but “playful” they are not)

      Perhaps Nikon needs to create a small new skunkworks division run by people no older than 35 who can come up with some more risk-taking, ‘playful’ ideas.

      • That would be a good idea if they would trust them. But really, I’m not sure if playfulness is appropriate as a core competence. They produce serious products for people who are serious about photography. Maybe they need an entirely different brand they can experiment with so it doesn’t taint the main Nikon experience. Something like Scion under Toyota, etc.

        • PhilK

          Well that’s what a “skunkworks” division is: a small, independent department of a company which can be free of corporate legacy thinking and come up with new ideas without the fear of being continually shot-down by “old-school company men”.

          Then it is up to management to decide whether or not to adopt any of this new division’s ideas.

          But if they don’t adopt any of them, then it calls into question their motive for creating such a group in the first place.

          Smart people know that they don’t know everything. They also know that sometimes young people have better ideas than the old-timers. 😉

          As for creating “serious products” – ehhh. I don’t think that is a mindset that I would go around touting if I were in Nikon’s shoes, outside of its marketing of pro-oriented products.

          As a consumer products manufacturer Nikon needs to produce products in large quantities in order to survive and be competitive. Those mass-market products are what make halo products like the D-5 feasible – Nikon cannot build a sustainable business out of selling a few tens of thousands of D-5s.

          The whole world of customers is not ‘serious’ all the time. Even ‘serious’ photographers end up producing boring and predictable work if they aren’t ‘playful’ and inventive to some extent. As far as I’m concerned ‘playfulness’ needs to be part of any creative person, and their tools need to be able to facilitate this.

          • A photographer surely needs to be playful, yes!

            But I’m not sure what a playful camera feature would be.

            You can make a camera more fun and accessible to operate, like the Leica T design.

            You can add filters and the like, I suppose.

            What defines a playful camera in your eyes?

            • PhilK

              I will try to compose a detailed answer when I have more time.

              Filters are certainly part of it for some people. But being able to ‘play around’ with images in general is useful.

              When film camera makers started putting a button on their cameras to allow intentional double-exposures, this was one example where something that used to be viewed as a universal evil (accidental multiple exposures resulting from either mechanical flaws or users not loading film properly etc), was turned from a liability into a creative asset.

              This principle can be applied in various ways. Fisheye lenses, intentional vignetting, etc. “Lomography” basically created an entire esthetic out of producing images that were the opposite of what were traditionally consider technically “good” photographs.

  • Konrad Dubach

    Great! A mirrorless camera with an optical viewfinder, Leicalike but no mechanical RF. Maybe like the hybrid finder from Fuji X-Pro but better. This would make a difference compared to other mirrorless cameras with EVFs. Eagerly waiting to see the announcement. And seeing the Zeiss Loxia line grow very fast while everybody is queuing for this Nikon mirrorless camera.

  • CaMeRa QuEsT

    I read this as meaning two things:

    1. Their next mirrorless cameras must be as game changing as the F was to the then leading Leicas. They did it once, they also got “done” (by Canon) once, so they really, really know how to do it all again.

    2. That whichever optic tricks were learned in the precision group, they will be put to use in cameras, too. So, Otus levels of sharpness@Nikon prices from now on?

    • Ads

      Given the way Nikon’s lens prices have been going more likely otus levels of sharpness at otus prices…

      • Mistral75

        …with Nikon autofocus.

  • HD10

    A Nikon mirrorless FX/DX is a question of when (these will be announced) rather than whether there will be one.

    As to the lens mount, given the headway that the other manufacturers of mirrorless cameras have made with their lenses (particularly Fuji and m43), I expect that Nikon will use the F-mount with its mirrorless FX/DX.

    Rather than confuse and shake up the Nikon faithful by introducing a new lens mount to make small and light mirrorless FX/DX, Nikon could just make mirrorless cameras with a fixed lens which would let it better meet the smaller size and lighter weight some would like of their mirrorless cameras. The fixed lens can be a combination of prime and moderate-ranged zoom lens.

    In FX, a logical entry point would be a high-end mirrorless camera designed with a high-resolution sensor designed for landscape/portrait/travel. It will be interesting to see how such a camera would sell against a dSLR D8xx replacement. I suppose the sales volume of each model will depend on when both cameras will be announced.

    In DX, the logical entry points would be a general purpose mirrorless at the low and mid price level, eventually supplanting the current D3xxx and D5xxx camera models.

    • RC Jenkins

      Overall, we probably have some different ideas on what strategy Nikon “should” take on, but I respect your opinion.

      The main bit I have a concern on above is the “low and mid price level” mirrorless cameras. Nikon could have a problem with these if they re-use the mount for compatibility with most lenses. For example a 35mm F/1.8G DX….

      Most Nikon lenses (except “E” & “AF-P”) have a lot of moving parts, including spring-loaded aperture levers. For these non-E & non-AF-P lenses to work, Nikon has to build “power aperture” into the bodies. This is a feature we only see on the high-end Nikon bodies today, probably due to cost. It requires actuators, electronics, etc.

      Think about how many Nikon cameras allow you to change aperture while in live view, and how well it works for those cameras that have this….

      Nikon still have to overcome this same problem (along with others) for any mirrorless camera. This means additional parts that their competitors don’t need. Things like this add up–especially on the lower end.

      So on the low end, while their competitors have things like quieter, smoother aperture and smoother focus by using stepping motors and electronic lens communication, Nikon cameras would be loud & clunky–just like the DSLRs are today in live view. And despite this, they would cost more to produce..

      So their next option would be to release mirrorless-specific AF-P & “E” lenses for these cameras…

      …but that defeats the purpose of maintaining the legacy mount if everyone needs new lenses anyway because the old lenses don’t work! 🙂

      It’s a tough spot for Nikon to be in.

      • D700s

        We’ll see what happens.

        • RC Jenkins

          Yes…agreed. We will all have different opinions on what Nikon should do, and that’s fine. I’m not here to debate that. We won’t change our opinions.

          I do just want to point out some of the challenges Nikon will have in making their decision.

      • HD10

        Imdeed but Nijon don’t really have a choice but to slug it out.

        In the low end tier, Nikon already made several AF-P zoom lenses and as these are made without VR, I believe that the Nikon mirrorless will have in body image stabilisation.

        Canon opted to make a lens lens mount for its APS-C mirrorless and also released an adapter to allow use of its EF and EF-S lenses. While Nikon could do the same, I am skeptical whether this would give Nikon any more market traction than if it were to just stay with the F-mount.

        Releasing an F-mount mirrorless does not preclude Nikon from pursuing the same course of action as Canon if the benefits and advantages are truly persuasive. The delay in doing so will give Nikon more time.to see how it’s F-mount mirrorless would.have fared as well as Canon’s new lens mount.for it’s APS-C mirrorless.

        • RC Jenkins

          I guess this is still what I’m still struggling with.

          On one hand, you’re saying that Nikon has a few AF-P lenses, but on the other hand, you’re saying they’ve got historical legacy of the F-mount.

          Which is it?

          The ‘traction’ can’t come from the legacy F-mount lenses if these lenses don’t work and if people need to buy new AF-P lenses anyway (or even just “E” lenses)..many of which don’t exist.

          Another way to think about this: imagine that each of Nikons lens ‘adaptations’ is a different mount with a built-in adapter. (That’s effectively what they are and how they behave). This perspective provides is a good summary of Nikon’s legacy landscape. Here are a few:
          -pre-AI
          -AI
          -AF / AF-D
          -AF-S
          -“E”
          -AF-P

          Of that list, the only ‘mounts’ that are well suited for mirrorless applications and won’t require additional (slow, loud, & expensive) parts in the body are “E” and “AF-P.” The rest of the ‘mounts’ need to be “adapted” with parts in the body. These can also be ‘adapted’ with parts outside the body with no difference in performance. So re-using the mount only differentially benefits the “E” and “AF-P” lens users.

          Canon is in a completely different boat than Nikon. They released their APS-C mirrorless years ago in a completely different market–and are currently far ahead of Nikon in both mirrorless & DSLR. They’re dominant.

          And (perhaps most importantly), ALL of Canon’s lenses have been “E” since 1987–30 years ago! This is also the main reason they’ve been years ahead of Nikon in live view implementation. This is also why it was so easy for them to create a mirrorless system with a new mount with a simple electronic adapter for their DSLR lenses.

          • PhilK

            One of Nikon’s key corporate touchstones is the continuation of the F-mount for the last ~58 years. 30 years sounds like a lot for Canon EF but it’s a lot less than 60. 🙂

            And Nikon has a lot more to lose by ditching the F-mount for that reason. Canon had nowhere near the quantity of mutually compatible lenses in 1987 that Nikon has today with F-mount – which they would have to cut loose.

            I also think it’s clear that Nikon has made their decision with the recent release of all these high-end f/1.4 primes, that they are all-in with F-mount mount going forward. (Even if its physical limitations mean they can’t compete head-to-head with Canon on f/1.2 lenses)

            The way I see it, Nikon was already spread too thin making full lens lines for CX, DX and FX. So they are killing-off CX now but I don’t think it’s practicable for them to start yet again with a completely new series and mount when they have limited resources available to develop and produce yet another lens line in a highly-competitive market.

            • RC Jenkins

              Nikon may technically have more lenses on F-mount, but each has various levels of compatibility and performance.

              Remember that ALL pre-digital lenses have limited performance on digital cameras anyway. Just because it fits doesn’t mean it works well. So you asked about Nikon’s 60 years vs Canon’s 30…? How about this: how many have electronic apertures suited for mirrorless? Now, it’s more like 30 years of Canon vs. only 5-10 years of Nikon.

              And how many people shoot with Ai or AF-D lenses? I do, but the AF performance of these lenses is so poor anyway that an adapter doesn’t scare me.

              So the question is: do you want Nikon to build the camera of tomorrow for the lenses of yesterday? Will that build Nikon’s market share, and will it be profitible to have people avoid buying new lenses (when Nikon has to build a lot of extras into the camera bodies)?

            • PhilK

              The “camera of today” argument has been rather a weak argument for history of the F-mount as Nikon has demonstrated that it does not necessarily have to change the lens mount in order to produce a competitive product, for nearly 60 years now.

              And this is a deeply-embedded part of Nikon’s corporate identity, something which it’s dwindling community of users has come to expect from it, as we can see every day in these blog comments.

              If a technical way is feasible to maintain some level of compatibility with older F-mount lenses, Nikon should pursue this. Particularly since there is not really much impact on their ability to fully exploit the mirrorless format as long as “native” lenses are still attachable taking advantage of the short back-focus etc.

            • RC Jenkins

              Nikon hasn’t demonstrated that. They were far ahead when Canon changed the mount in 1987…And Canon used its new mount and principles to dominate Nikon since.

              All Nikon has demonstrated is that their commitment to backwards compatibility is slowing them down from innovation and sales.

              Canons of the 90’s auto-focused dramatically faster than Nikons. Because Canon went all-electronic and ditched mechanical portions of the mount like the aperture lever and screw-type AF. It took Nikon another 10 years to ditch the in-body AF (around 1998); and 25 years to ditch the mechanical aperture levers that limited performance (around 2013). Decades behind Canon.

              Canon released faster lenses like the 50mm F/1.0 and 85mm F/1.2. Nikon didn’t. It’s practically impossible for Nikon to release these lenses.

              Even entry-level Canons autofocus all Canon EF lenses fine. Nikons don’t.

              Even entry level Canons can alter aperture while in live view. Nikons don’t. Not even mid-grade Nikons do. And it’s slow & loud for the cameras that do support this functionality.

              What did this translate to? Canon dominates the market today. And is growing market share.

              Mirrorless is a different beast than SLR. It’s essentially live-view only. So, how has Nikon done in live view performance relative to Canon…?

              Again, Nikon is only demonstrating that decades of supporting backwards compatibility has held it back and is now coming back to bite it.

              Canon, on the other hand, making a smart decision decades ago to change the mount, has given it an excellent upper hand that makes it almost impossible for Nikon to come back from. Unless Nikon now resets & does the same. Except this time, Nikon doesn’t have to ditch completely. It can just build an adapter. It will work fine and give people time to buy more lenses as they need them. Great business model and great for consumers.

            • PhilK

              Of course they have demonstrated that.

              Nikon, after 60 years, is still one of just two de-facto choices worldwide for professional photographers using “35mm-style” cameras, and is the #2 brand of DSLRs in the world.

              This is at least as good as their historical standing in the marketplace since the production of their first camera. Nikon has NEVER been the “number one selling camera brand”. That pretty much proves that they have not had any need to change the physical bayonet in order to compete at the very highest levels of the industry, for over 60 years now. QED.

            • RC Jenkins

              DSLR’s are different than mirrorless cameras. And Nikon is 0 of several de-fact choices for mirrorless cameras for professional applications. Canon has also been gaining market share (as Nikon shrinks), and Canon is much further ahead of Nikon today than the comparison was 30 years ago. So I’m not sure how you’re making that logical leap. QED doesn’t work when the logic isn’t there or doesn’t prove anything–and when the numbers show the opposite.

            • PhilK

              Pity all you did there was post something like 70 words of bluster and not actually refute what I said.

              I reiterate what I wrote. Nikon’s competitive position within the retail camera business is as good or better than it has ever been.

              I recommend spending less time arguing on the internet and more time shooting pictures.

            • RC Jenkins

              Actually, I refuted the very basis of your argument. Pity you didn’t understand it. Want to try reading it again? Maybe that will help.

              Nikon is losing market share in a market that is past its peak. And you think that this position is “as good or better than it has ever been?”

              I don’t need your hypocritical recommendations, thanks.

            • RC Jenkins

              Read the comments here:

              https://www.dpreview.com/news/3010788300/nikon-releases-limited-edition-camera-posters-for-100th-anniversary

              These are Nikon’s potential customers. Mocking them. On the very problem we’re discussing: Nikon looking backwards instead of forward.

            • PhilK

              BIG NEWS TODAY: random internet forum posters mock something or someone.

              MORE AT ELEVEN.

          • HD10

            There has been so many comments here that actually did not see this until now.

            On the matter of lenses, a definition of terms is needed to prevent confusion. Based on the very list that you provided, the F-mount, among other things refers to the mount width and the flange distance between the lens and the sensor. It has nothing to do with presence or absence of autofocus nor of the specific aperture coupling which can be mechanical or electronic. Your post seems to have confused these.

            Autofocus may be manual, mechanical (AF-D) or electronic (AF-S, AF-P). Aperture coupling is mechanical until the advent of the “E” lenses which uses an electronic aperture coupling. It is possible for a Nikkor F-mount lens to have electronic autofocus (AF-S or AF-P) and yet have mechanical aperture coupling (e.g, my Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G). It is also possible to have a manually focused lens but have an electronic aperture coupling (e.g., my Nikkor 24mm PC-E f/3.5).

            Nikon, without abandoning the F-mount, have supported manual focus, mechanical and electronic autofocus, mechanical and electronic aperture coupling … without abandoning thousands of previous Nikon F-mount lens owners. Canon on the other hand turned its back on FD-mount lens and within a short time, rendered of little value the large amount of money its owners have spent to purchase their FD library.

            As an erstwhile Canon users with over 20 FD lenses (including f/1.2 lenses), I wished that Canon found a way to incorporate autofocus and electronic coupling without abandoning the FD lens mount. It could not … but Nikon could, and did. That puts Nikon ahead in my book. So as Canon abandoned the FD mount, I abandoned Canon completely.

            Crediting Canon’s success to its adoption of the EF lens mount is incorrect and is an exaggeration. While it may have helpd Canon, this alone does not explain Canon’s success. In the same way, Nikon continuance of the F-mount did not cause it to fail, nor is it the reason why Nikon has succeeded over the years.

            Nikon is definitely not in the same boat where Canon was 30 years ago. Nikon today can using the same F-mount as 30 years ago, support autofocus and electronic aperture coupling if it needs to. 30 years ago, Canon determined that it could do neither of these with the FD mount. For me, this puts Nikon ahead of Canon and not the other way around.

            As to mirrorless cameras, I submit that Nikon should start with the F-mount. Once it has established itself in mirrorless and put to the light the current limitations of the small-sized Sony FF E-mount bodies, that would be the time to consider possibly adding a new lens mount but only for a few limited focal lengths where it would have a size and weight advantage over the F-mount lenses.

            Personally, I think that Nikon can better deliver the size and weight reduction in a fixed lens rather than in an ILC body but I can understand why some would want an ILC body with such. But as this is a niche rather than the main market for Nikon mirrorless, it would be a folly for Nikon to release a mirrorless camera for this significantly smaller market for which it needs to make new lenses at a time when it is still behind its iteration of other lenses. While an adapter could fill in the void of some new lenses, this will invariably degrad some of the functionalities and will not yield the size and weight benefit sought.

            • RC Jenkins

              I’m not sure why you went through all of that–I’m well aware of the differences in the various lenses Nikon offers; nor did I claim that it was impossible for Nikon to adapt. What you failed to do was tie any of this back to the point I raised earlier specifically about low-end and mid-tier bodies.
              These will be almost completely unusable with almost all Nikon lenses unless Nikon adds (at minimum) power aperture–that was the point. This is an added cost that Nikon has that competitors do not–and in this respect, Nikon has fewer lenses that are useable on these bodies unless Nikon adds these features to the camera bodies and performance relative to competitors.

              You may think of Canon as being a failure, but a vast majority of the market will disagree with you.

              And the EF mount had a lot to do with this. Yes, Canon abandoned their existing mount (while they were behind, by the way); but doing so let them get a leg up on Nikon. Case in point: Nikon has (finally) started doing today what Canon did 30 years ago–fully electronic communication. Canon’s decision 30 years ago still helps them today. Nikon’s ‘backwards compatibility’ decisions have simply made things more complicated for both Nikon & for consumers. Did you see the comments about the AI tab when the D7500 came out?

              Examples: While every Canon can change aperture in live view with any lens since 1987, only certain higher-end Nikon DSLRs can. While every Canon can autofocus with every lens since 1987, only certain Nikon DSLRs can–depending on the type of AF. Nikon users also have an additional two switches to flip to use manual focus on AF/AF-D lenses–not doing so can damage the camera. Not a problem with Canons. Newer Nikon AF-P lenses only work with certain Nikon bodies, not older Nikon bodies (even if they are higher end).

              If you want an exaggeration, look no further than your post. Nikon doesn’t have a history of 60 years of lenses that all fit–try more like 40, when Nikon released AI. Almost all cameras with an AI tab (except Df) cannot accept pre-AI lenses due to differences in the mount. You can only mount these lenses if the lens mount is modified to fit; and not doing so will *damage the camera*. Do you consider this the same mount? A lens that doesn’t fit and can damage the camera? A lens mount that needs to be modified to fit the cameras mount?

              So really, when we look at compatibility, the following is true:

              -F: Almost no F-mount lenses from 40-60 years ago can be mounted on most mid- & high- end Nikon cameras today. They will not meter. (Exceptions: Nikon Df / cameras with no AI tab; or if the lens mount itself is modified). Example: The D5 cannot mount these lenses.

              -AI: Lenses from roughly 30-40 years ago will fit all Nikons; but they require an AI tab in-body to meter…which many / most low- & mid-tier Nikon bodies don’t have. They also require a mechanical aperture lever–which will require power aperture to work on mirrorless…which most low- & mid-tier Nikon bodies don’t have. Example: The D7500 cannot meter AI lenses. The D7200 cannot change aperture in live view, but it can meter AI lenses.

              -AF: Lenses from roughly 20-30 years ago will fit; but they require an AF motor to autofocus. Most low- & mid- tier Nikon bodies don’t have this. Also require mechanical aperture lever. See above. Example: The D5600 can not autofocus with these lenses.

              -AF-S: Lenses from within 20 years will work; but again have a mechanical aperture linkage. All Nikon DSLRs have this additional part (mechanical aperture linkage). All mirrorless cameras will need power aperture to change aperture well in live view…a feature not found on almost all low- and mid-tier Nikon bodies. Example: D7200 cannot change aperture in live view.

              -E & AF-P: Mainly from within the past 4 years. The first E lenses 10 years ago were ’tilt-shift’ because the mechanical aperture lever angles wouldn’t work. Then (only 4 years ago), Nikon needed “E” for sports lenses (eg. 800mm F/5.6E) for high burst rates because the mechanical aperture lever was too slow for accuracy on cameras like the D4. This is how recent we’re talking. Here’s Nikon’s first lens to do this:
              https://www.slrlounge.com/nikon-s-new-howitzer-the-nikkor-af-s-800mm-f5-6e-fl-ed-vr-is-official/
              Example: Last year’s 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G DX lenses works only with a handful of Nikon DSLRs…3 DSLRs at the time of its release. It would “mount” onto many more cameras, but can’t even focus!! (inc. manually) on cameras like the D5.

              Guess what? Canon’s been doing full electronic communication for 30 years, so all Canon EF lenses for the past 30 years are fully compatible with all Canon bodies. Unlike Nikon…which only has ‘full’ compatibility for the past 4 years. And to do this, the Canon bodies don’t need:
              -Mechanical metering tab
              -Mechanical aperture linkage
              -Power aperture motor / actuator
              -Mechanical (screw-driven) AF linkage & motor

              Nikon has ‘more’ compatibility if it adds parts to the camera bodies…for an added expense. But even then, these mechanical linkages don’t perform as well as their electronic counterparts. This expense hurts lower-end bodies in terms of cost. It hurts all bodies in terms of performance.

              Can you imagine if Nikon released a mirrorless version of the D3000 or D5000 that couldn’t even change aperture on any Nikon lens except the E & AF-P lenses?

            • HD10

              “You may think of Canon as being a failure, but a vast majority of the market will disagree with you.”

              You would be doing me a favor if you can you point out where in my post I said that.

              As to Nikon needing to include powered aperture features in its low and mid-end mirrorless, that may well be the case if Nikon adopts the F-mount for its mirrorless cameras.

              Is it your position that this is a show-stopper for Nikon, and that Nikon should thus adopt a completely new lens mount because of this?

            • RC Jenkins

              You didn’t say it in so many words, but you did imply it with the following: “For me, this puts Nikon ahead of Canon and not the other way around” after your commentary about why Nikon hasn’t failed. Some would argue that it has failed thus far.

              I didn’t come here to debate this; but to clarify: my position is not that it’s a show stopper, but that Nikon will have a lot more challenges just to catch up to where its competitors (like Canon) are. If both Nikon and Canon go with a mirrorless camera based on their existing DSLR mounts, Canon will continue to dominate. Nikon needs differentiators; and a new mount can help it get a leg up on Canon if Canon goes with EF for their FF mirrorless.

              Let’s throw a couple of ideas out there:
              ::What if they want to compete in cost & performance & support for legacy lenses for low-to-mid end bodies? They can do it, but Nikon will be more challenged due to added mechanical parts they need to include. These will also suffer from poorer performance than Canon with legacy lenses.
              So Canon releases a low-cost, lightweight, quiet, mirrorless body that’s fast and smooth with older lenses; and Nikon’s answer is a higher cost, heavier, louder mirrorless body that’s slow & clunky with older lenses (“older” meaning anything from 4 or more years ago). Just like how live view works today in Canon vs. Nikon.

              An alternate for Nikon would be a low-cost, lightweight, quiet mirrorless body, that uses an adapter for F-mount lenses, where the adapter performs close to identically as if it were built-in to the body. This is an adapter made by the manufacturer of both mounts–it will not suffer performance degradation like adapters from one manufacturer to another. And there will be 0 performance degradation for fully electronic lenses. This results in Nikon with a mirrorless camera that’s just as compatible and performant with f-mount lenses and is ready for the future with lenses that take advantage of the mirrorless benefits.

              ::What if they want to do in-body image stabilization or wider lenses or faster normal lenses? They can do it–but Nikon will be more challenged due to the mount diameter & flange distances. Canon can put out simpler designs that cost less and perform better because it has fewer constraints on the mount. Same issue Sony has. Likely also why we see things like this:
              https://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english/new/new_topic.php?id=685
              …which states:
              “* Only available for the Canon mount lens. There are no plans for the development in SIGMA and Nikon mounts.”

              …and why we see lenses like this for Canon: https://petapixel.com/2016/10/07/glorious-bokeh-legendary-canon-50mm-f1-0l/

              Certain Canon lenses are easier to design than Nikons due to the mount. This includes wide angle lenses & fast normal lenses. If the focal length is near the flange distance, it’s very tough to get an aperture close to the throat diameter (like 50mm F/1.0). For retro-focal ultra-wides, Nikon also needs very sharp refraction in the glass that Canon has more flexibility on. This means the Nikon lenses will be more complicated (and more expensive) to match performance.

              That may be why we see behavior like this on the same ultra-wide lens designed for Canon vs. Nikon mounts:

              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5454f1cc3f28a775ac3d67ac78c0c82b510c00fbe308eb1de5d23107fac4906f.png
              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/337ca7e1bd916b00b7a9eb692e428c5811220402f3bf82502d88f6bb158c97c8.png

              This important, because in-body image stabilization works by moving the sensor around the image circle, including to areas of vignetting. Canon can easily design lenses for mirrorless video with a larger image circle–this will be tougher to do for Nikon.

              ::What if they want to adapt lenses from other systems like Sony does? Nikon can’t without using optical components that degrade image quality. This is one of the cool benefits of mirrorless that Nikon mirrorless would lack. You want focus peaking on a manual focus DSLR or rangefinder lens? Cool! Make sure it’s a Nikon. For all other mounts, use a Canon or Sony body. They’ll work fine. Throw the Nikon lens on your Sony or Canon if you want too. Want do do something even cooler? How about autofocusing manual focus Leica lenses?
              https://petapixel.com/2016/02/11/techart-unveils-worlds-first-autofocus-adapter-manual-focus-lenses/
              Can’t do that with F-mount without optics unless the subject is very close.

              ::What about size? Canon can make thinner & lighters bodies than Nikon can–and a big reason would be all of the additional mechanical components Nikon needs to include in the camera for lens compatibility. Leave the components out, and you lose the lens compatibility. With a new mount, Nikon could easily build systems that outdo Canon.

              These are just a few areas where Nikon would immediately lag behind Canon in mirrorless. These also happen to be areas where mirrorless tends to be differentiated (& superior) to DSLRs: video, size, in-body stabilization, loudness, etc. Nikon’s leg up on Canon in mirrorless would begin with the mount, which would allow it to do things better, faster, smoother, and cheaper than Canon. Nikon’s leg up on Sony would be the lens selection & compatibility, which it can easily do with an adapter. That is, adapters for legacy compatibility with native performance (like what Canon did on the M5 + DSLR adapter).

              Otherwise, Canon will continue to have a marked advantage over Nikon.

            • HD10

              Let me begin by saying that I truly appreciate your taking time out to state and explain your position. This helps me as well as others to get a better understanding and perspective on the subject matter on whether Nikon should adopt a new lens mount for its mirrorless cameras .. even on points we may not fully agree on.

              As you are, I am also convinced that there are many technological and cost advantages where Nikon to adopt a new lens mount. Given what Nikon knows now, there are be many things on which it could improve on in the matter of lenses and cameras if it had a clean sheet to begin with. To be specific and speaking of my own “wish list” I would like Nikon to be able to implement a pixel-shift very high speed multi-shoot feature to produce higher-resolution images without the need for ultra-high resolving “Otus” type lenses in size and weight … as well as price. While Hasselblad did this in another way, Olympus and Pentax had essentially used its IBIS to perform this. I expect that the Fuji GFX will likely do the same, if not in the 2nd iteration, surely by the 3rd iteration. The current F-mount is not well suited for this but Sony has shown what is possible when it managed to adopt to integrate a FF sensor with IBIS into what was initially a designed for APS-C E-mount. But like Sony perhaps, even if Nikon were to be able to implement IBIS in an F-mount FX, the difficulties will come with a corresponding penalty in terms of higher cost.

              In that regard, we may not be that far different in our understanding on the advantages of Nikon adopting a new lens mount for its upcoming mirrorless cameras.

              Yet despite all that, I believe that it would be better if Nikon uses the F-mount for its upcoming mirrorless cameras … simply because of where the camera industry has fallen and the bleak prospect it faces, where its competitors are, and what Nikon has so far been unable to do. In this regard, I think that it would be far more prudent for Nikon to release its mirrorless cameras in F-mount and thereby finally answer and respond to the challenges from all mirrorless players. Nikon needs to stop the bleeding and bring back many erstwhile Nikon users to its fold … who would likely also be wiser with the limitations and disadvantages of the mirrorless offerings from the competition. Then as Nikon achieves that, it would have bought itself some time and gather the resources needed to develop the lens mount and lenses that would truly be ground breaking.

              Though not completely applicable, I will resort to an analogy. There is an accident, and the first responders must stabilize the injured then once stabilized, transport them to the hospital for full treatment and surgery. Treating the injured where they lie after an accident will likely be difficult and have a lower chance of success due to the lack of resources than would otherwise be available if such were done in a hospital.

              Nikon needs to keep its faithful within its camp and to get back those that have strayed with an excellent F-mount mirrorless offering … despite the disadvantages and limitations of the F-mount. I do not think that Nikon has the time and resources to develop a new lens mount and make new lenses and the desired adapter while it struggles with the birthing pains of making a mirrorless camera that can take on all players and beat them at their field.

              Before ending this, I would like to bring up one point which while it may not paint a warm fuzzy image of Nikon would at least partially explain why for Nikon, it may have to be the F-mount for its mirrorless.

              Nikon does not like to share the F-mount … and this is nowhere more apparent than in its lenses as has been the experience of Sigma, Tokina, Zeiss … and to a lesser extent, Tamron. Keeping to the F-mount means that the Nikon mirrorless can only use F-mount lenses, and that no Canon, Sony or Fuji lenses could ever be adapted to work with its mirrorless camera.

              Yet as hope springs eternal, I do hope that Nikon will be more far-sighted moving forward and consider new options, including possibly adding a new lens mount.

            • RC Jenkins

              I appreciate that we’re being respectful with each other, so thank you! Very pleasant. 🙂

              It sounds like we both agree that Nikon eventually needs another mount to really take advantage of many of the common mirrorless advantages–the disagreement seems to be in the timing.

              I don’t disagree at all about the ability of Nikon to do ‘pixel shift’ well today on the F-mount either, where the sensor is only moving a single pixel or less in any direction (corner performance a few microns in any direction is negligible). What Nikon can’t do well is stabilization: much more sensor movement. Sensor shift still requires great lenses.
              It’s analogous to having a much better sensor with up to 4x higher resolution, better dynamic range & color, and better noise (assuming you can get away with the longer exposure or series of exposures).

              Anyway, I’m not saying Nikon should start designing a new mirrorless mount now–they should have started this some time ago, as they did with Nikon 1. But the good thing is that the mount itself isn’t too tough. It’s the associated first round of lenses and features is the real challenge.

              Let’s look at Fuji: They’ve been able to do that easily–they now have 22 lenses for X, all released within the past 5 years. More than half (14) are F/2.8 or faster, including F/1.2 lenses. They launched this mount with 3 fast primes (UWA pancake, normal, portrait), and a cool, new camera unlike anything else out there..

              The Xpro1: This is a camera that screams (using Nikon’s marketing gimmick): “I am different. I am too thin for a mirror, so take me more places. I am made for pros who want control but useability–knobs & switches, with Auto modes. I am flexible: use an OVF (save battery & view the area surrounding the frame) or EVF (for preview). I shoot candidly everywhere better than DSLRs, so give me pancakes & primes. The dedicated sports and landscape cameras & lenses will come later. As will the zoom lenses. I am offering you something you won’t get anywhere else.”
              And it worked.
              https://petapixel.com/2014/01/29/x-factor-fujifilm-x-series-changed-company-industry/

              Nikon doesn’t have to release the same camera, but they should learn to release something with real differentiators & benefits over their DSLRs & benefits over their competitors. Then expand. And my take on mirrorless benefits are: size/weight, EVF, price, lens potential.

              There are plenty of weak points in their competitors. Let’s take a look:
              -Sony: It’s Sony. A mount that’s too small for UWA/stabilization + no lenses yet + menus for electric engineers, not photographers. But excellent cameras for landscapes and sports…except that the lenses are lacking.
              -Canon: APS-C. If they go EF for fullframe, stuck with fat cameras. Otherwise strong.
              -Fuji: APS-C and XTrans nobody wants.
              -Leica: Price and lack of features. For people on the other side of the camera.
              -Olympus & Panasonic: Small sensors. Still struggle with AF.

              Nikon: A full frame, thin, inexpensive mirrorless, with it’s ahead-of-the-industry focus tracking and an intuitive menu system for photographers (developed over decades). Huge selection of legacy lenses if you use an adapter. Excellent video (maybe even stabilized), with great on-sensor autofocus. Priced around a D7500. It’s simpler to build and has fewer parts than a D7500.

              This is the one I’d buy, even if they offered only 3 prime lenses for it. Because it’s the one I’d use. For everything else, why am I not using my excellent Nikon DSLR’s or Sony mirrorless cameras? Or, if I’m replacing my DSLR, everything has to be better. Offering me the same does not make me switch.

              My take is that the camera industry has largely ‘fallen’ precisely because it’s not innovating, while alternatives offer tighter value. People won’t buy a mirrorless just for mirrorless–they want the mirrorless to do something better.

              That’s my 2 cents. In a nutshell: Nikon: offer me a package in your mirrorless camera that my DSLR (and competition) cannot do all-in-one. Don’t assume your target audience is only legacy Nikon DSLR shooters. Target all photographers.

      • PhilK

        It doesn’t defeat the purpose.

        Any time you have to use an adapter to use a lens on another type of body it is an inconvenience, and often comes along with various performance limitations. But lots of people do this regardless those limitations.

        I believe it would be enough to provide full capabilities and performance with modern lenses, yet also have backwards compatibility so that older lens investments are not nullified entirely either.

        This has always been the case with F-mount. You cannot get all the modern features and capabilities and conveniences of a D5 using a 1970s-era F-mount lens on that body either. But you CAN mount it and shoot pictures.

        • RC Jenkins

          What are you basing the performance limitations on or the ” I believe” on? Your opinions or the facts of how F mount works?

          It’s not true that adapters always have performance limitations. See the Canon M5 + adapter.

          • PhilK

            Upon the fact that it is A) not trivial to build the mechanical and electronic components necessary to operate the old mechanical aperture linkage and screw-drive AF into an affordable adapter that does not compromise the performance of the old lenses (eg, even on dedicated film-era Nikon SLRs the AF focus speed varied based on the body a lens was attached to – the F5 for example having a very powerful and fast focus motor, whereas the lower-end SLRs had slower/weaker AF drive motors due to size/cost/power constraints), and B) some features of the old tech cannot, on a practical basis, be migrated at all, such as compatibility with lenses that required the mirror to be locked-up, metering compatibility with non-AI lenses, “aperture direct readout”, etc.

            • RC Jenkins

              Nor is it trivial to build these components into the body. But who said all adapters have to have support for all functions? An “E” / “AF-P” would be trivial to produce, requiring 0 moving parts. Slightly tougher but still trivial would be an AF-S / AI. The AF motor would be the tougher, but is still doable…it’s been done before. This is for backwards compatibility so that everything going forward is much simpler, instead of making everything going forward necessarily more complex.

              Regarding ‘B’, there’s absolutely no reason these cannot be ‘migrated at all’ because the distance from the front of the adapter to the sensor plane is identical to the DSLR distance.

              And it brings up an interesting point: Those old “mirror up” lenses were actually so complex specifically because of the limited real estate in the F-mount’s combination throat diameter & flange distance. They’d be much easier, simpler, lower cost, and better performing with a new mount. In other words, there’s no problem using them; and Nikon will actually be able to replace them with something better with a new mount.

              Pre-AI metering compatibility is irrelevant for mirrorless–the imaging sensor itself is metering and the lens is stopped down already, so it doesn’t need to calculate a differential as has to happen on a DSLR (in which the lens is stuck open until the shot and needs to calculate the differential between wide open and what will hit the sensor when stopped down).

  • Mistral75

    Industrial lens technology = technology of machine vision lenses = telecentric lenses?

    • Nakayamahanzaemon

      It could be, but I don’t know. The article mentions only “industrial lens technology used for a stepper or something”.

      • Andrew

        It makes sense. Nikon’s imaging group has leading edge technology which is used for industrial semiconductor manufacturing and can be used to transform their camera lens design and development process. They have already done that to a large extent.

        This is indeed a brilliant idea, one that they have been working on for a while. In fact an interview given by their Italian general manager about a year ago stated that they have developed a process for accelerating the design and testing of new camera lenses. The P900 83x Optical Ultra-zoom camera is an example of a high-end near professional quality lens in a consumer product that can take amazing pictures of the moon and distant objects that cannot be seen by the naked eyes.

        Most of the current professional Nikon lenses can resolve images between 20 MP to 28 MP, but some low end lenses are at only 12 MP. The excellent AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G lens sells for $700 and has a resolving power of 28 megapixels or P-Mpix (DxOMark). And the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G lens goes for $477 at 27 megapixels.

        Nikon’s imaging group: https://www.nikoninstruments.com/

    • PhilK

      Nikon produces some very expensive industrial optics which presumably utilize very advanced techniques to increase performance. I suspect very few companies possess such optical production technology.

      I assume this is what they are referring-to.

      It may be a bit embarrassing to them lately that they have been playing “catch-up” to various Canon technologies in consumer interchangeable lenses in order to remain competitive. (Fluorite elements, electromagnetic diaphragms, silent-stepper AF, defractive optics, etc.)

      Nikon, as a very proud 100-year-old company that once supplied the lenses for Canon’s first camera, more than likely desperately wants to start being seen as the innovator again rather than the follower.

  • Amir

    Simply put:Nikon insists on this illusion that walking in the dead-end alley,despite previously repetitive results that supports the fact that this is not a highway,but dead end alley,is a newly established Nikon’s proverb!

    • D700s

      Lol.. I laugh because your comment makes no sense. ..but you tried.

      • Amir

        Laugh harder,because you need it as a resource when you forced to cry outloud in future!

    • Fly Moon

      What are you talking about?

    • Max

      What?

      • Amir

        !!

  • fanboy fagz

    dont fuck it up nikon!

  • Xitomatl

    WTF is the with the sexism? An easy to use camera for women?? If they are planning on something he thinks is “easy to use for women” I’m guessing it is simplified and therefore not a high end camera, and therefore not full frame. Do we really need another mid-size sensor mirrorless camera on the market? I thought the threat to Nikon was the Sony A7rII and the A9, etc — cameras that subtract sales from full frame DSLR’s.

    I feel like at this point not offering a full frame professional grade mirrorless is like refusing to manufacture cars because goddammit we make the best horse-drawn carriages and these cars are just a fad anyway. It may cannibalize sales of their own DSLR’s to offer a product like that but right now it’s even worse — their sales are being eaten by rivals (well, one rival anyway).

    They are in a great position to make a come-back if they offer an F-mount full frame on their mirrorless to take advantage of the large lens collection already in place. If they try to do smaller sensor or new mount, forget it. Hopefully FF f-mount is the plan and there was something lost in translation here that made me worried they are going to do something stupid.

    • Captain Megaton

      It’s not sexism. Sexism is saying “women can’t use dSLRs because they are too dumb to figure them out.” … which is a world of difference from “market research indicates most dSLR users are men, and from the women who don’t buy dSLRs the reason they give is that the products are too complex and difficult to use.” The latter is 100% within the realm of hard fact.

      • jonebize

        The emphasis on playful + whimsical is the other half of the equation. Most modern cameras just look… as today’s women would say… “creeeepyyy!!!!”

    • jonebize

      Maybe full-frame doesn’t necessarily need to mean high-end (high-priced) anymore. And maybe this is why they are waiting — for the tech to get cheap enough — before they introduce something with mass-market appeal.

    • RC Jenkins

      I don’t think that’s how he means it. “Women” are a different demographic than “men”; and in general, women may use the cameras differently than men.

      For example, my female friends generally take many more selfies, group shots, and ask me to take pictures of them often. My male friends generally avoid selfies, being in group pictures and rarely ask me to take their pictures. If we’re at the restaurant, my female friends are the ones who generally ask staff to take a picture of the group, not the males. The males say “just text it to me.”

      I think all this was pointing to was a rethought in how people use cameras, not commentary on what’s “easier” or “harder” for males vs. females to grasp.

    • PhilK

      The funny thing about this ‘sexism’ you speak of, is that whether or not a big company actually writes these things down and publishes them (because customers don’t like to see this), internal corporate strategizing still takes demographic distinctions like this into account when making strategic decisions.

      For example: a very large percentage of corporate websites I see for complex technology products, there is a stark difference between the websites they make for the USA market versus other markets like Asia and Europe. Specifically, US-targeted websites for many companies avoid specific technical details and give only ‘simple’ options. Many times if I want particular kinds of documentation or special accessories or software updates, I have to go find a ‘foreign’ (to me, as I am in the USA) version of a company’s website to obtain what I need. In short, many smart companies have clearly discovered that “Americans are dumb”, or at least “have no patience for details”.

      Now none of those companies will ever official publish such sentiments of course, because that would make people mad. But the simple fact is, they still make internal decisions based on studies that demonstrate how to best appeal to different demographics.

      And that applies to “cameras for women”, too. (Tho to be exceedingly conscientious, it might better be described as something like “cameras for women, kids and fun-loving, light-hearted people” or something.) But I guarantee you that companies know quite well based on extensive marketing studies that these demographic preferences are quite real – and they ignore them at their own peril.

  • nwcs

    What would work is not to do a mirrorless camera that’s intended to be a gimmick or aimed at a particular demographic. What will work is a fundamental rethink of the camera, workflow, and making the camera work in today’s environment. That is, if they want any sort of mass appeal.

    Some basic ideas: hire UX experts to completely reinvent the menu UI, drop the dumb 8.3 filename convention, work with players such as Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, Google, etc. and make the camera as seamlessly integrated as possible with their systems, open up the camera system to third party developers to extend the system.

    If they did these things then the camera would likely redefine the market and be a great hit. Just increasing specs or focusing only on specs won’t change their fate or bottom line.

    • PhilK

      Yes, these are the kinds of things that Nikon has historically not been very good at.

      However I actually think Nikon menu systems are better than most.

      It is the “trendy” matters that conservative Nikon often doesn’t “get” until it doesn’t matter any more. Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Apple/etc, keeping up with OS changes and evolution, keeping up with changing electrical and wireless interface standards and popularity, etc etc etc.

      • Robert Falconer

        @nwcs; @PhilK

        I think these are both really, really good ideas, and successful implementation of a slick, simple UI (e.g. Leica T) would, literally overnight, catapult Nikon to the forefront of Japanese cameras in that area alone. UI is open territory for Nikon to claim, IMHO. And at the same time — as Thom Hogan has suggested so often — make connectivity class-leading in the industry.

        In addition to that, I’d like to see a camera that offers all the tech people will shortly take for granted in the A9, but more evolved, with better execution, and some new wrinkles of Nikon’s own. Bring back the interchangeable Photomic finder, but this time make it an interchangeable EVF that is swappable with other purpose-built finders and upgradeable as newer EVF tech/resolution arrives (a la the Fujifilm GFX). The body? Forget the FM-inspired Df; base it off the excellent, impeccably built, and legendary F3HP (and make it about the same size, too).

        Something along those lines could probably stop the proliferation of the A9 dead in its tracks, if it’s engineerable.

  • Captain Megaton

    Because Google Translate sucks:

    「構造改革はあらゆる可能性を排除しない。製品面では、やはり一眼レフの中高級機で勝負すべきだ。ジャンルトップを狙い、売上高が下がっても利益を稼ぐ。スマートフォンで育った世代には、性能面で他社に差をつけた“ニコンらしい”ミラーレスカメラを出す。産業用レンズ技術を活用し、レンズの性能で圧倒したい。一方で、遊び心も必要だ。『女性が使いやすい一眼レフ』などのプロジェクトがあっても良いのではないか」

    We won’t limit our endeavors just because we are restructuring. On the product side, of course we must have class-leading mid and high end dSLRs. By being best in class, we can expect keep high profits even while sales fall. In an era where people are growing up with smartphones, we will differentiate by offering a uniquely “Nikon-esque” (nikon-rashii) mirrorless camera. We will rely on industrial lens technology and skill to improve the Nikkor lenses. Though, some playfullness/whimsy is also needed. For example it might be an idea to look into making a dSLR that women would find easier to use.

    • CaMeRa QuEsT

      Great translation, thanks! That means a D3*00 designed with more focus toward the soccer moms than toward the baseball dads! Nikon has done that before, it was called the EM.

      • PhilK

        The EM was a very interesting model (I was in the retail camera business at the time it was introduced), but I don’t think Nikon sold too many of them.

        In fact, several camera companies introduced ‘simple’ SLR models around that time, and none of them gained much popularity. I think the reality was that people looking for SLRs weren’t really looking for those things – the companies probably figured out around that time that they probably should just focus their effort on nice, lightweight, easy-to-use compact cameras, rather than stripped-down SLRs.

        • CaMeRa QuEsT

          That’s what scares me. This guy, coming from the precision group, having no clue of what sticks in the camera business, wants to now mess with the only profitable business Nikon has left (he himself being one of the reasons the precision group is in its current mess) by putting forward ideas that Nikon already learned the hard way didn’t work decades ago. Everybody remembers the Canon AE-1, the camera that finally brought SLR to the masses, who remembers Nikon’s answer? Yes, it was actually the EM, and then the FG, and then the FG20 after that, three mere asterisks in the history of SLRs. And who remembers the Nikkorex F of 3 decades prior to that?

          • PhilK

            The EM came 3 years after the AE-1 (1979 vs 1976), and was actually more of a competitor to the Pentax ME. (1977) The AE-1 was a significantly more expensive, larger model with fuller controls.

            One thing you are right about is that apparently (according to wikipedia anyway), the internal name at Nikon for the EM was actually the “Nikon for women”. 😀

            Regarding the former head of Nikon Precision – I think it’s a leap to assume that he was largely responsible for the sales issues in recent years. Personally I ascribe most of that to the rise of ASML, which cannibalized the high-end of the market with a corporate philosophy of decentralization – outsourcing almost all the building-blocks of their product to external suppliers and collaborating with them on development, which as far as I can tell is pretty much inimical to the “Nikon Way”. I doubt the head of Precision has much control over that fundamental corporate mindset. It would have required a complete change in the corporate culture to switch to that sort of business-model.

            What also didn’t help is Nikon seems to have suffered from an unfortunate “perfect storm” of multiple massive natural disasters in Japan and Thailand at around the same time the camera market and semiconductor lithography market were being subjected to huge competitive shifts and pressures. It certainly didn’t help that Nikon’s primary Japanese manufacturing facility is located in one of the most heavily-impacted areas of the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami, either. (Canon didn’t have that problem, for example – their manufacturing facilities are not on the Pacific coast like Nikon’s Sendai facility is)

            As for why the ‘simplified’ SLRs didn’t sell too well – I think the Japanese did later get this figured out with the rise of the AF compact cameras starting with the popular Canon “Sureshot” AF35M of 1979. Nikon didn’t enter this market until the mid-1980s but this category became a big moneymaker after the Japanese camera companies figured out what kind of camera to sell to this demographic. Nikon’s conservative approach saw them become a late entrant here.

    • Max

      Loooool!! Japan!

    • TheInconvenientRuth

      U—- Ushida-sama….
      A-Arigato gozaimasu… m(_ _;;m
      So looking forward to having a female friendly camera, I always use my D5 on P for Professional…
      S-Senpai…
      oohh… It’s so BIG and HEAVY.. (#+_+)
      C-Can you make it Pinku and Kawaii?

      • Captain Megaton

        もっと使いやすいカメラとの計画はD5のお持ちの客さん向きじゃないと思う。

        • TheInconvenientRuth

          同じ意見です。

  • Chris Brown

    Yup a full frame Mirrorless that takes all my fx lenses as well as specialized mirorless lenses would be the bomb. I don’t want to have to sell all my lenses just to use a new camera.

  • bobgrant

    Likely this will NOT be a high end unit for professionals. It will be aimed at younger shooters and I’m betting it won’t be FX. It’ll likely be very good, but don’t get your hopes too high. Nikon needs profits and a Leica type release is not a great move for them.

  • saywhatuwill

    The mirrorless better shoot at least 20fps or people will just turn to the Sony offering.

    • Sandy Bartlett

      No they won’t. I can’t think of once in my life when I have needed 20 fps.

  • animalsbybarry

    This sounds like the Nikon mirrorless camera we have been waiting for so long
    Make mine FF, high resolution, and fast burst rate please

  • I welcome a Nikon mirrorless if it is at least as good as the FUJI X-T2, which is a lovely camera on it’s own.

    • I agree with you… again 🙂

    • nwcs

      If Nikon would put out a camera that’s better than the XT2 they will win back a lot of people. Regardless of why Fuji does it, if Nikon demonstrates a willingness to do free firmware updates with it then they will retain those people. I like my XT2 but it has shortcomings I’d like to see addressed. Nikon makes me nervous to invest in them right now. If they would just give us a roadmap it would go a long way.

    • danceprotog

      The X-T2 is what the Df should’ve been, ergonomically.

  • Ryan

    Just curious, what about the Nikon P900 update?

    • T.I.M

      P900 update was canceled, NASA was afraid people discover bad things on mars’s surface…

      • Ryan

        Haha, yes actually even though the P900 was a fairly slow and small sensored camera, it did have an incredible zoom.

    • nwcs

      Andrew bought them all.

      • Eddy Kamera

        I thought it was Chad.

    • More importantly, WHY DID YOU KILL THE DL, NIKON??? I still desperately wish for a 2nd / 3rd camera that can match the Sony RX100 style / form factor, but achieve a wider angle lens for astro timelapse work…

  • sickheadache

    I will only buy…If it comes with Nikon’s CrapBridge.

    • Ah, Wifi and Bluetooth is the holy grail of photography now?

  • Дмитрий

    nikon fail the nikon 1″ mirorless/ all told go ff mirorless

    • HotDuckZ

      I have a half of Nikon 1 product line up and live my life from photos of it.

  • Дмитрий

    mirorless like 50gfx good

  • John C

    They will be using Samsung NX1 tech.

    • Lol, that’s funny 🙂

  • Mathias Pfauwadel

    They should do a mirrorless with fmount. They have a lot good lens. It would have maybe a little more to the size body but who care anyway look at sony a9 with 70-200 the glass is really bigger than the body

  • EJPB

    Wasn’t Nikon having already a mirrorless system… as one of the first in the market? What do the people that bought into the 1 system to expect? The F users in the longer term? I’ve been a dedicated, very Nikon-loving user for 3 decades but the final exit is very near now. After buying into Fuji a few years ago I didn’t update my FX-Nikon gear – and though I still recognize that Fujifilm is a bit lacking in particular areas like battery life, high speed flash support,… – they are years ahead of mirrorless technology. So is Sony. What killed Nikon was the very persistent drive to offer an excessive and over-redundant range of cameras – not only DSLRs – in a very shrinking consumer market. The swapping between crop – full frame – again crop in their main strategies didn’t make it better. Also the inability to evolve to something completely new without doing the wrong thing (and the 1-range was clearly such an error). The only thing they can celebrate after 100 years is that they have developed one of the prime flange standards and kept it consistent and upgradable until today. Precisely this golden history makes stepping into the mirrorless era such a boobytrap: the F-flange is in this sense a dead end – too much long throw to create a compact system and the 1-range – clearly designed to never become a competitor of the F-range’s qualities – is only intended for small sensors. So if the Nikon R&D really has to develop a complete new bio-system starting from the drawing-board, the future doesn’t look very bright, als to survive the inevitable concept glitches and design errors. It will take them at least 5 years to create a credible, high end lens offer. So the shareholders will need to accept a very long and costly transition to a new system in the shadow of what competition is already offering… today… while their current users have to accept that the system in which they have invested is having a little chance to get well integrated into something new. Let that be a full frame solution, or even medium format system (what I don’t believe) – it will also be based on embracing the same old Sony for the sensors – making them very little unique in this respect too. Buying today, in 2017 with such an announcement, it looks for any potential F-client to be very challenging to continue with any new Nikon F product too – including the next gen D810 – so they fill face a lot of hesitation from the market in this direction. Nikon, I hope there will be another 100 years for you to celebrate.

    • ” …embracing the same old Sony for the sensors – making them very little unique… ”

      And you think FUJI is not buying Sony sensors? Like Olympus, Nikon, Pentax and other competitors? The only company that isn’t buying Sony sensors is Canon.

      • EJPB

        Wasn’t it precisely this what I was saying? It will indeed make them not unique in the market, isn’t it?

  • Viktor

    They talk to us! 🙂 Perfect, the first step is done and is good, I do admit that 🙂

  • eric

    a pocket mirrorless would be a great start

    • Buy a existing Coolpix or Nikon 1.

      • eric

        I have a coolpix but Isn’t good enough quality. I would like to see Nikon make something like a Ricoh Gr, small but with a great sensor.

  • 24×36

    I’d bet it’s APS-C (“large” sensor meaning “not that 1″ stuff this time”).

  • Andy Whiteman

    APS-C with reverse compatibility to all of the lenses – manual and A/F with great battery life.

  • SecondCityGuitars

    Nikon already has the designs from the cancelled DL series. Make the DL 24-500 into a APSC with the dual pixel AF Nikon has been working on to compete with Canon’s, an F-mount, NFC, Bluetooth, WiFi, in camera charging, great EVF, etc. Give it a super simple cartoon interface like the Canon SL2 has that is aimed squarely at “momtographers” (just check out the Canon promo videos for the SL2). That camera would absolutely murder the Sony a6000 series market share.

  • alberto-29

    One camera to them all!! 😀

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