Catching up on the latest Nikon patents (more mirrorless hints)



I have not reported on the latest Nikon patents in a while, here is a quick recap (a reminder: as some have found out recently, previous patents are not a guarantee for future products):


Nikon has a patent application (direct link) for a multi-accessory port which has a noise-resistant pin and can be used for attaching an EVF to a mirrorless camera (see also this related patent).


Nikon PDAF sensor patent with global shutter and HDR mode.

 

Nikon dual layer light field sensor patent.


Nikon patent for BSI CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF on-sensor focusing system (see also this related patent).


Nikon patent for making PF lenses without the (or with a reduced) halo effect PF/DO lenses usually make.

Nikon patent for special drone designed for golfers


Nikon patent for a camera that can switch between communication mode and shooting mode (Snapbridge related maybe?)

"A camera having communication ability can switch a mode between a communication mode and a shooting mode. The camera combines features of a communication device and a digital camera. The camera comprises a communication device, an imaging device, and a switching device. The switching device switched the communication mode to the shooting mode responsive to completion of communication."

Like the new Nikon Mirrorless Camera Facebook page and join the growing Nikon Mirrorless Camera Facebook group for a more detailed coverage of the upcoming Nikon mirrorless camera.

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  • Any mention of a direct print button ?

  • Fly Moon

    Cool

  • Ben Brayev

    canon invents something and then nikon makes something similar and calls it something else xD

    if canon had a single camera without olpf and decent dynamic range id get it and move. but i just cant :

    • Nikos Skartsilas

      But nothing stops you to only move.

      • Ben Brayev

        what?

    • Max

      What do you shoot mostly?

      • Ben Brayev

        wildlife

    • Andrew

      You must really be in love with Canon the great innovators regressing on videos. And they have now decided that shooters do not need 4K video on their latest full-frame $2,000 camera. Oh wait, they need to protect their professional VideoCam line of products. And now Canon has to play catch-up to Nikon’s D850 video capabilities. But please do not fault me, you started this conversation 😉

      • Ben Brayev

        you seem very salty. isnt it a fact that canon invented the dual pixel af? did i say ANYTHING about anything else? no.. i think canon’s sensors suck, thats why im WITH NIKON, they didnt give the 6d mark ii 4k just so people buy the 5d mark iv. you and i think almost the same, the difference between us is im objective and you’re a hater/fanboy. you should try and see things more objectively..

        • Nikon had PDAF on sensor with the 1 series. Not sure if they invented it or got it from Aptina but definitely before Canon. Why Nikon hasn’t brought the same tech to their DSLRs I do not know.

    • David

      That’s like how basically every car manufacturer has variable valve timing but because of patents they all have to do it in different ways to avoid infringing on each others’ patents. The first car company to introduce VVT in a production model was actually Alfa Romeo, and clearly other manufacturers did a lot more with it than Alfa did.

  • Vladimir

    Is Nikon 1?

    • David Uglava

      2 maybe

  • Eric Calabros

    Its now obvious they want to try a different approach for on-sensor AF.. but I don’t worry about that, they will find a way finally. The most important concern is the lens system, and we don’t know what they will do about the mount.

    • EcoR1

      It crystal clear that most of F-mount lenses will have limited functionality with the new mirrorless system regardless of the mount (new AF-P-lenses being an exception). Autofocusing motors in the older DSLR-lenses were just never designed for autofocusing algorithms used in mirrorless cameras.

      If you look at for example latest Sony lenses, you notice a small paradigm change how the mirroless lenses are now designed for both speed and accuracy: They do it by designing two separate focusing groups run by two separate and different type of AF-motors inside the lens. At least one those motors must be able to move with very small incremental steps.

      Canon has also designed an intersting focusing technology called: “nano USM”. By their marketing material it combines fast autofocusing and smooth movement. Interestingly they still havent introduced the technology in their EOS-M-line.

      Nikon still hasn’t introduced any lens that seems ideal for mirroless cameras. AF-P-lenses will propably work fine, but they are not speed monsters. Others, well the mileage will vary. Anyway be prepared to buy new lenses if you want get most out of the upcoming mirrorless system.

      • Mike Gordon

        The old lenses work just fine on Nikon 1… Focus is spot on just as fast if not faster when comparing to my D600/D7200 bodies. That is even through the FT-1 adapter.

        Stop spreading this crap.

  • James R Mercer

    Peter, what do you think the chances are that Nikon’s new mirrorless line will have an F-mount?

    • MB

      Slim I should say … although Peter may have some more accurate info 🙂
      One of the recent Nikon patents (from this year) shows SLR lens adapter with pellicle mirror (similar to Sony …):
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/29c516fb5df4b1ef609bb99a916e6f2a60fa1c27902d3b7c4153e63639394fb0.jpg

      • James R Mercer

        Hmm… well, I’ll still hold out hope for an F-mount. 🙂

        If mirrorless ultimately emerges as more capable/desirable than DSLR, being able to keep my F-mount lenses would make a huge difference in brand loyalty. (Or not, as the case may be.)

        • RC Jenkins

          Why wouldn’t you be able to keep your F-mount lenses if the mirrorless camera has a new mount?

          • James R Mercer

            I don’t know – I assumed that I’d lose functionality with a mount converter, or some limitation…

            Perhaps that’s a wrong view on things.

            • RC Jenkins

              You don’t necessarily lose functionality. Adapters can have weather sealing, autofocus motors, aperture actuators, AI tabs, etc. Just really depends on how robust Nikon wants to make them.

              The cool thing about an adapter is that Nikon can do cool stuff that they couldn’t with F-mount cameras. For example, they could build a tilt-shift adapter–meaning you can turn any F-mount lens into a tilt-shift lens when mounted on your mirrorless camera! Or they could build an autofocus adapter–that will autofocus even fully manual lenses by moving the mount closer/further in order to focus.

              Even if not, now you have in-viewfinder focus peaking on your manual focus lenses!

              Really cool stuff. I’m looking forward to a new mirrorless mount so that I can use my F-mount lenses in new ways + brand new mirrorless-only lenses, where lens/camera designers have much more flexibility to improve optics, portability, ergonomics, etc.

            • silmasan

              Plus Nikon can price such fancy adapters at a premium and get away with it… Think of all the $$$ they need to make! ^_^

            • PhilK

              See my response to RC Jenkins above.

              No thanks.

            • silmasan

              Firstly, I was referring to RC Jenkins’ sentence “adapters can have weather sealing, autofocus motors, aperture actuators, AI tabs, etc”. This would be more than necessary should they introduce a new lens mount as they can’t and won’t update/replace their whole lens lineup overnight. This is exactly how they won’t “dismiss” long-time users without having to continue submitting to the limits of the F-mount.

              And also I think you’ve missed the irony there, judging by how Nikon priced their accessories lately.

            • Thom Hogan

              And that adds costs. The thing to do these days is remove costs.

            • RC Jenkins

              Can you explain how being forced to include additional mechanical moving parts to every camera ‘removes costs’?

              (like aperture coupling, AF motor, AI tab, etc.–in order for any compatibility with AF-S & older lenses?)

              …as opposed to removing these moving parts & selling these in a separate package to consumers for a profit?

              …along with some new lenses to supplement (and in some cases, replace) their existing lenses?

            • Thom Hogan

              No, I can’t, because you’re not understanding what I wrote.

              Nikon is going to remove costs from their products. We know that because we’ve witnessed it and Nikon makes statements that this is a priority. The mechanical parts (aperture activation, screwdrive focus motor, mirror, shutter, etc.) are going to go away because of that. One has (screwdrive on D3xxx/D5xxx bodies). More will.

              This presents Nikon with a conundrum for mirrorless. To retain full legacy compatibility, you need some mechanical things. But Nikon wants to remove those and move on into a lower cost, simpler future.

              That’s the crux of their mirrorless decisionmaking. They can continue to retain legacy, or they can move on. Which they’ll do, no one knows, but I’m pretty sure that the bean counters are all saying cut the costs. What long-time Nikon users want is the opposite.

              You seem to be saying to put the aperture activation arm and screwdrive motor into an adapter. This brings up the gravity problem Nikon has with their connectors at the top of the mount, coupled with the additional mount tolerances. Beyond making a very expensive adapter that will be bigger than just a tube, I don’t think this approach would be reliable.

              And again, selling new lenses in a new mount puts Nikon in a precarious position given the full and well thought out X mount, FE mount, and m4/3 mount products. Nikon manages about six lenses a year, best case. Even if they devoted all their lensmaking to a new mount, they’re going to be playing catch up for a very long time. Any caveats or costs associated with legacy lenses is going to increase leaking.

            • RC Jenkins

              We understand and agree with each other, regarding the mechanics and the tough decision Nikon has to make.

              I’m not advocating that Nikon makes a single adapter–but rather several, to suit different requirements. Essentially de-coupling the root cause of the issue.

              Some examples of adapters Nikon or others *could* offer that have some serious benefits.
              :::::A “free” electronic-only adapter: AI + AF-P + E lenses. Nikon will save money by removing parts from the camera, but will also lose (at least slightly) more money by de-coupling these into a separate adapter. But this investment may strategically pay off to gain market share.

              :::::An inexpensive “AF-S” adapter. Electronics + aperture coupling. Similar to Nikon FT-1. (This somehow worked, despite gravity.)

              :::::”Pro” adapter. All of the above + weather sealing + built-in AF motor + AI lever? (though AI is less necessary for mirrorless cameras)

              :::::Tilt-shift adapter.

              :::::Drop-in filter adapter.

              :::::”Autofocus” adapter. Autofocus your MF lenses. Set them to infinity, mount, and this adapter will move the lens forward & backwards to focus.

              :::::ANY SLR lens mount. Mount your Canon, Pentax, Olympus, Leica?, etc. legacy lenses…and many Cine lenses.

              These are differentiators that mirrorless cameras can offer…but only with a new mount. Backwards + forward compatibility.

              Nikon doesn’t need a full mirrorless-only lens lineup from the get-go–especially with well-thought-out adapters. Nikon can even continue to release “E” and AF-P lenses for their SLR range–because mirrorless shooters can use them perfectly.

              In fact, the select mirrorless-only lenses should do things that specifically take advantage of the improved mount. Nikon should be methodical and calculated here. Don’t just make lenses for the sake of a ‘complete lineup’–think about what people are using their mirrorless cameras to shoot. I doubt Nikon’s first mirrorless will do particularly well at AF tracking, so skip the mirrorless sports lenses for now. Maybe concentrate on 100mm and below. Skip the slow kit-zooms. 2-3 lenses will be more than sufficient. Maybe a normal pancake, ultra-wide, and normal-zoom.

              But these lenses should project a larger image circle for better IBIS support. Stay silent when focusing & changing aperture. Eventually, more pancakes and more (larger) ultra-wide, ultra-fast, ultra-sharp corners. All with relatively simpler designs, meaning lower costs (with better performance) than doing the same on F-mount.

            • Thom Hogan

              I think you’re forgetting one thing: the ONLY full lens lineup Nikon has ever made is FX F-mount.

              Not IX.
              Not CX.
              Not DX.

              Thus, a statement like your “Nikon doesn’t need a full mirrorless-only lens lineup” is exactly what many among the Nikon faithful fear Nikon might attempt.

              This is the time for Nikon to step up to the plate. Clearly. Fully. Totally.

              It’s one of these:
              1. We continue the F-mount.
              2. We make a new mount with full compatibility with F-mount lenses via adapter, but will build out a full mirrorless lens lineup for the future. We’ll continue to release and update F-mount lenses as long as we are selling DSLRs.

              Anything else starts to raise all the questions that put doubts in user minds and lets them consider competitive products, which are much more mature and developed at this point.

              We can try to nuance it all we want, but realistically, those are Nikon’s only two choices if they want to remain competitive.

            • RC Jenkins

              I don’t disagree with those options, nor did I in my statement. You removed a very important contextual key in what I wrote:

              “Nikon doesn’t need a full mirrorless-only lens lineup FROM THE GET-GO”

              (please excuse the caps–added for emphasis, not yelling). 🙂

              The key element is timing. And I think option 2 is Nikon’s route.

            • PhilK

              Nikon should and probably will leave the cheesy low-fi lens adapters to companies like lensbaby, for people who want to spend $300 on a pinhole “lens” or $500 on some articulating blur-focus Vignette-o-tar lens.

              It’s certainly true they could do cheesy effects with adaptors, but that’s not the Nikon way. (Phew.)

              And while there are certainly advantages to building a completely bespoke lens system for a MILC product, Nikon’s F-mount ecosystem has been called the largest system of interchangeable flange-mount photographic lenses in history. A large number of people remain Nikon users due to this fact. If Nikon dismisses this – even for a new MILC system, they will come to regret it.

              If they’re going to do an adapter, it better be A) high quality with minimal feature loss, and B) reasonably priced. They are also stretched-thin resource-wise with their F-mount and Nikon-1 lines. I hope at the very least they discontinue Nikon-1 immediately and at least attempt to divert some of those resources to the new MILC product line. Because starving that new line with a threadbare lens selection would kill it in the cradle.

            • RC Jenkins

              Who cares if F-mount has been called the largest system of lenses in history? Are you advocating that Nikon caters for backwards-compatibility quantity over present-and-future quality? Most of those lenses don’t work well in live-view/”mirrorless mode” anyway–or in general with corners of digital sensors. That’s why Nikon refreshes lenses.

              For example, I don’t want Nikon to retain F-mount just so that the original AF/AF-D lenses can autofocus. Their autofocus is horribly slow, loud, and inconsistent anyway. These were so poor that Canon made a comeback and Nikon switched to AF-S. Why would Nikon cripple a key mirrorless differentiator just to make these lenses continue to work horribly? I actually own some of these lenses, and the only ones I care about are my DC’s–and even then I’d be fine if it didn’t AF on a new mirrorless body.

              Take out this AF motor compatibility, and now the only compatibility they need to worry about is the aperture coupling and electronics. This would be much simpler and cheaper.

              Nikon isn’t stuck to a single adapter. There’s no reason they can’t make an all electronic / lower cost one as well as higher-level adapter.

              And while you may think tilt-shift is cheesy, it’s not just for lensbaby photographers. Tilt-shift is also critical for things like serious landscape and architecture photographers. In fact, Nikon’s “E” electronic diaphragm was invented specifically for Nikon’s original tilt-shift lenses–and Nikon offers some serious tilt-shift lenses today, like the $3400 19mm F/4E ED. Adding this functionality to a standard wide (like Nikon’s 20mm or 24mm F/1.8) is a huge benefit.

            • PhilK

              As I have repeatedly pointed out, the F-mount is a central component of Nikon’s “mystique”. If they ignore the power of that component, it will bite them in the backside somewhere down the road.

              Of course, whenever I assert this, you seem to scream bloody-murder about how I am single-handedly denying them the advantages of mirrorless.

              No – I am simply saying that they should not ignore the importance of backwards compatibility, in general.

              If that means making a native F-mount option (as Peter seems to think they may do), that’s one way to do it. If that means making a fancy adapter that maintains a reasonable subset of former lens functionality – or offering multiple tiers of adapters – that’s another way to do it.

              And I never suggested “tilt-shift is cheesy”. What I think is cheesy are overpriced things made by 3rd-parties that attempt to retrofit this sort of function onto lenses that were never suitable for it.

              There’s a reason that Nikkor lenses are designed very painstakingly to optimize image quality to the edges of the intended frame-size, but no farther. In the case of shift or T/S lenses, the image circle is necessarily far larger than an ordinary lens produces. Any teenager can take a lens, remove it from a camera, put a piece of opaque cloth around it and make a “tilt/shift lens”. Lensbaby has made a significant business out of such things – if you don’t mind blurry, vignetted photos.

              But I could have gotten blurry, vignetted photos from an old Brownie – or a Diana – or a piece of black construction paper with a pinhole in it.

              (There is only one use-case that might make such T/S adapters actually useful for something other than “Lomography” – and that would be to use an old cheap FF lens on a DX camera which might actually allow you to get some adjustment before the image turns pinhole-camera-like. As long as you don’t mind manual metering and paying 3x more for your lensbaby than that old Nikkor cost you. 😉 )

            • RC Jenkins

              Quit being a drama queen. I’m not screaming bloody murder or anything else. You replied dramatically to me–not the other way around. You still seem to ignore the fact that these things called “adapters” exist–and can (and do) exist with 100% performance.

              I know you believe that Nikon’s F-mount is central to their “mystique.” Mystique doesn’t sell lenses, except to lensbaby photographers. So which is it?

              The F-mount is inherently a weaker mount than just about any other mount out there–except perhaps K. It also has more variations. In fact, original F-mount lenses won’t even mount on most higher end Nikons today without altering the lens’ mount.

              Nikon’s insistence on sticking with legacy compatibility & the F-mount is the reason Canon dominates Nikon today. It’s why Canon destroyed Nikon in AF performance in the 90’s, and why Canons destroy Nikons in live-view performance today. It’s why Canon L glass has the reputation, prices, and sales–which are more important than “mystique.”

              And the F-mount will continue to complicate things for a Nikon mirrorless going forward.

            • Thom Hogan

              Nikon will find themselves quite embarrassed by the results if they attempt to move away from the F-mount. In essence, Nikon has been making “modular” products since the late 50’s, with lenses, speedlights, and even the 10-pin connector stuff being the “modules.” Invalidating the modules of the past is exactly the thing that Nikon users don’t want them to do, but more importantly, it simply means this: if you have to replace everything, you’re free to replace with a competitor’s product. And the competitors product that should concern Nikon is Sony: same sensor technologies at the core, already built out a full and in some cases incredibly good lens line.

              Any compromise to using an F-mount lens on whatever Nikon produces next becomes a big headache for those of us thinking about moving forward.

            • PhilK

              The fact that it puts them on equal-footing with their competitors when they take away that backwards compatibility is precisely what I was talking about. “May as well try the Sony because it’s got those video bits I want and the AF doesn’t suck for video/liveview…”

            • RC Jenkins

              I think Nikon will be more embarassed if/when people see how poorly its legacy lenses perform on a mirrorless camera. Especially when other mirrorless cameras are thinner and smoother and quieter and offer IBIS, etc. while Nikon can’t.

              For more modern electronic communication lenses, adapters are trivial, with no ‘compromises’.

            • Thom Hogan

              Wide angle legacy lenses, sure. Everything else, no.

              I’m not into the “thin is in” style of mirrorless. The old soap bar style is terrible in ergonomics, and eventually everyone sticks grips on their cameras. The real issue has been and continues to be overall system size. No DX lenses? Gee, no real smaller advantage to DX.

              As for IBIS, I’ll repeat, it was HP IP. Even Nikon’s put IS on a sensor (a Coolpix if I recall correctly). I don’t know that Nikon will use IBIS, but I’m pretty sure that they aren’t precluded from using it.

            • RC Jenkins

              How can you claim that Nikon’s image circles preclude good tilt-shift performance in one sentence and then claim that Nikon isn’t precluded from IBIS in another?

              It’s the exact same issue. Sensor-shift IBIS works by moving the sensor around such that the image circle is no longer centered–and this includes if the sensor shifts to outside of the image circle.

              A narrow diameter mount makes producing a larger image circle or wider angle or faster lenses much tougher. And that’s the point. Other mounts don’t have this constraint.

            • Thom Hogan

              Because I’m answering two different questions that have two different contexts.

              You’re trying to put all context from all questions into play simultaneously to promote your contention that Nikon needs a wider mount. Not necessarily true. Depends upon context. IBIS is a different image circle need than tilt-shift, and there’s always the * game (as in “IBIS works with only the following lenses…).

            • RC Jenkins

              No, I’m not changing context whatsoever. It’s hypocritical to say on one hand that tilt-shift performance will suffer due to the lens’ projected image circle but that IBIS won’t. It’s the same issue. It doesn’t need any additional context.

            • AlexG

              Could not agree more. If Nikon abandons the F mount, they will be in the worst possible position they could. A mirrorless body with no support of F mount G lenses and newer, will be suicide.
              People who have not yet jumped ship and holding on to their Nikon F mount system will have to start from point zero and choose a mirroless system without anything keeping them with Nikon, some of them even feeling disappointment maybe.

              I personally would give alot more weight on my decision of the history of the system i would buy myself into. I would have hard time trusting Nikon as the “new” mirrorless system to get things running smoothly and wait for a complete line of lenses before it is a functional system for my needs.
              With Canon bringing soon a full frame mirrorless and Sony probably updating their A series, Nikon is running out of time to short out the mess they have put themselves in.

              In the crop sensor mirrorless world, Nikon will have even harder time surviving with Canon, Sony and Fujifilm who offers amazing lenses to choose from and great bodies.

              My interest in Nikon’s offering is mostly because i am heavily invested in lenses and flashes. I want to move to a mirrorless FF body which will replace my D810 for several functionality reasons and this is the biggest reason i do not like Sony. Their menus, body feeling and the 4K video overheating issues keeps me away from it but i do believe they will be problems of the past with the new generation of the A series.

              I am shooting a Canon M5 with a few M mount lenses when i want to not bother much with carrying a big camera bag and photos and videos are just for me, friends and family.
              I use the M5 with adapter with my Nikon lenses too as i do not want to invest for now on more Canon lenses until i see what Nikon, Canon and Sony bring into the table until the end of this year. This little camera is exceptionally fun to shoot with. Has it’s weaknesses of course but it set Canon in a better way than Nikon in the mirrorless world.

              In my opinion Nikon should bring a mirrorless line with their DSLR body style and one like DF or Fujifilm.
              They should move fast as things will get only tougher as time passing.

            • Thom Hogan

              Nikon has done plenty of cheesy effects, you just haven’t seen them. For instance, the Nikon “toy” lenses they sold mostly in Japan. And remember the first Coolpix let you draw on your photos ;~).

            • PhilK

              Well, let me put it this way: Nikon is not in the habit of marketing accessories that ruin the performance of their Nikkor lenses.

              There’s a big difference between drawing on a Coolpix photo, and mounting a Nikkor lens on a contraption that turns it into a fuzzy, Vignette-o-tar. I just don’t ever see Nikon marketing such things.

              And as I recall, the optical performance of those “toy” Nikon lenses was pretty good.

              Sorta like how the little 75-150 Series E zoom had no peers amongst the regular Nikkors. Small, cheap and outstanding. I wouldn’t trade 100 copies of a 43-86 for one of those. 😉

            • Thom Hogan

              For tilt-shift to work you would need an image circle larger than FX on the lens. You’d be limited by the size of the image circle, and the trend has been to make tighter image circles since aspherical lenses came into play, and especially since we started doing linear/chromatic/vignetting adjustments in software.

            • RC Jenkins

              Agreed that the image circle has its part (also for IBIS), buy I think the real questions are:
              -are you referring to current trends or historical? Because most image circles have some room or can be cropped when the perspective correction is more important than megapixels.
              -At what point do you see beyond these specific examples as being part of a bigger picture?

            • There is a decent chance that AF-D lens focusing might be lost with *most* adapters that Nikon offers to the masses for converting their recent Nikkor purchases to a brand-new mirrorless Nikon system. I suspect that an adapter that includes both mechanical aperture and AF-D lens full compatibility will be both bulky and expensive, it’ll probably look like some sort of weird tumor in between your sexy new mirrorless body and decently good-looking middle-age Nikkor lens.

              The good news is, most people just don’t use AF-D lenses anymore, almost the entire lineup of Nikon lenses are SWM now. So really, all Nikon needs to do is figure out how to create an all-electric mirrorless mount, with an adapter that simply adds mechanical aperture actuation. Shouldn’t be too difficult or expensive.

              The real difficulty will be in, how to get all the middle-age SWM lenses to autofocus reliably using 100% on-sensor hybrid / dual-pixel (or quad-pixel?) autofocus, without having to add a mirror and/or shutter to the adapter.

              Hopefully this is exactly what Nikon is plugging away at right this very moment. I have a lot of confidence that Nikon will get it right the first time, too.

            • I think this is the big problem Nikon is trying to solve – they want to make sure the adapter works also with older AF-D lenses.

            • Which annoys me quite a bit, considering how eager they were to dive into SWM-only DSLR bodies, over a decade ago when they first started phasing out AF-D lenses from beginner cameras.

              I hope they just deliver a flagship and a “prosumer” body, and if they deem it necessary to change the mount completely, all they need worry about is providing an adapter that includes mechanical aperture operation. They can worry about an AF-D adapter later based on how bad the outcry is from die-hards. Right now they just need to focus on on-sensor hybrid AF first and foremost. If they don’t get that right the first time, it won’t matter if they have AF-D compatibility.

            • Thom Hogan

              You’ll note that Nikon wasn’t stupid. They didn’t extend that into the D7xxx bodies or above, as they know that’s exactly where the customers are that value their legacy lens sets.

              Mirrorless, however, forces them to address the issue again. It saved them complexity and money with the D3xxx and D5xxx, and they want to save complexity and money with whatever mirrorless option they come up with. So we hit a problem point that has to be resolved.

            • Exactly. And I for one hope that if AF-D compatibility is what is currently tripping them up, …they get over it asap and just deliver something.

              Only the die-hards are going to want an AF-D compatible adapter, and IMO all Nikon has to do is say “we’re working on it” and all will be well for at least 1-2 years after the initial delivery of FX / DX semi-pro mirrorless systems. I think they’re over-estimating the number of folks who still use AF-D lenses, and yet have somehow also contracted “early adopter syndrome” when it comes to body technology.

            • Piooof

              Considering Nikon’s tradition of ensuring compatibility with age-old F-mount lenses like AI-S ones (ok, not on all bodies, but they still make the effort), this makes sense. Nikon knows that mirrorless will eventually replace DSLR in all segments ; they need a way to convert their whole user base to the new system.

            • Thom Hogan

              This is indeed one of Nikon’s core problems. The old screw-drive lenses require mechanical parts, and what Nikon wants to do is eliminate all those mechanical parts. They’re a repair liability and they’re a cost.

              But they’re also sitting on user’s shelves in large quantities, and Nikon wants to win those customers’ upgrade orders. Dilemma.

            • Ivanku

              For DX and FX mirrorless, they could retain native F mount with no AF motor. That way they reduce costs, keep full compatibility with contemporary AF-S and AF-P lenses. Compatibility with old Nikkors could be maintained with manual focus, and that’s one of the advantages of mirrorless. Unlike the horrible Df, mirrorless would offer great focusing aids like peaking through the EVF to focus older and AF-D lenses. That seems like the best case scenario to me…

            • Thom Hogan

              Nikon F-mount lenses have electrical connections on the top, which is not where they should be (gravity is a bitch). With the current 20mp+ DX and 36mp+ FX cameras, we are definitely in a realm where even small mount alignment issues start to have side-to-side effects. It’s something that I have to check against when I do lens tests these days, since I tend to abuse my cameras in Africa. My friend Marianne just discovered her camera had a slight mount issue that needed shimming, and it was impacting her lens testing.

              I’ve never liked adapters. Everyone wants metal mounts. Metal changes with temperature, so you have to build to a particular tolerance out of the gate, and you’re doubling the surfaces on which you do that.

          • MB

            Hmmm … he would be able to keep them but wouldn’t be able to use them … so what would be the point of keeping them?
            That is of course without an adapter that could support all lens functions in a way that is as usable as in current SLR cameras …

            • RC Jenkins

              That was my point…adapters can be very functional.

              People tend to be scared of adapters because they usually adapt systems from different manufacturers.

              But when adapting within the same manufacturer, adapters can have seamless performance, as is seen on Canon’s latest M-EF adapter–or almost seen with Nikon’s FT-1.

            • Thom Hogan

              Canon doesn’t have the design issues that Nikon does. Remember, Canon abandoned their old mount for the current one to get around potential future problems.

            • RC Jenkins

              I agree 100%. But these same design issues are why a vast majority of Nikon’s F-mount lenses won’t work well on mirrorless anyway….and why an F-mount mirrorless would immediately complicate any mirrorless body design. Nikons don’t do well in live view because of their lenses–it’s why only high end Nikons can change aperture in live view, for example.

              So if people need mirrorless specific lenses anyway (and/or Nikon has to build more expensive, more moving part mirrorless bodies), why not nip this in the bud?

            • Thom Hogan

              As I’ve written in many articles and comments, there is no great choice for Nikon. Every choice has perils, and those perils can be really dangerous with a few wrong choices, as Nikon 1 showed.

              Nikon’s best choice—the one that Canon chose—is no longer necessarily their best choice. They’ve let too many other competitors get traction, so they don’t have the luxury that Canon did in dipping the toes into the water and then “getting to right.”

            • RC Jenkins

              I’m not saying that going with a new mount doesn’t have its perils. What I’m saying is that the benefits of releasing a dedicated mirrorless mount now are best for Nikon long term. Nikon is in a ‘now or never’ type scenario–and if Nikon doesn’t change now, Canon & Sony will continue to eat into Nikons market share with superior mirrorless offerings.

              Take away on-sensor phase detect autofocus for a minute–can you imagine how clunky, loud, and slow a Nikon mirrorless that is fully compatible with even AF-S lenses would be? It would be just like any other Nikon in live view.

              And doesn’t even get into the optical constraints that Nikon lens designers are up against. In most non-telephoto scenarios, Nikon designers have to work harder and create more costly lenses just to match Canon’s image quality at corners and the wide end because Canon’s mount has fewer constraints. Canon cameras also don’t need all of the moving parts Nikon bodies need just for lens compatibility.

              So in sticking with the F-mount, 2 scenarios emerge:
              1) Nikon complicates mirrorless bodies and creates a higher cost, worse performing mirrorless camera for backwards lens compatibility
              2) Nikon introduces a mirrorless body that’s only compatible with “E” and “AF-P” lenses–rebuilding an entire catalog of compatible lenses anyway. Note: these are by far the easiest to adapt with full compatibility and 0 performance losses, as Canon has already proved.

              To me, that’s not a winning formula. Go with a new mount, offer various adapter features (even include a basic “E” adapter free), and build something better than the competition.

            • Thom Hogan

              You are probably correct in your assessment that it’s now or never for Nikon to introduce a new mount. As I’ve written over and over, Nikon is in a conundrum of their own making.

              But you also have to know your customer. The “peril” to your approach is very simple: Nikon would be perceived by many as both leaving the F-mount and being behind the competition in mirrorless mounts. Nikon already has a critical problem with leaking, which has reduced market share, but this would exacerbate that.

              Not getting this decision “right” could very well relegate Nikon to the third position behind Canon and Sony with a resurgent Fujifilm also nipping at their customer base.

              Now, as to your two scenarios:
              1. An F-mount mirrorless camera with full legacy support would indeed have extra costs, but “worse performing” is not at all a given.
              2. An F-mount mirrorless camera with partial legacy support would trigger a form of “abandoning the F mount” problem and still send some to competitors. The retention factor would be minimal.

              Thus, the correct scenario is #1 or a new mount.

              Let me say this: the bar has been established. Nikon has to minimally match Canon (including Canon’s upcoming full frame mirrorless). I doubt that it can match Sony, who’s gone all-in on the technology, though this pushed them very upscale. I can’t imagine a first Nikon mirrorless matching an A9, for example (and without legacy lens support, such a camera would be useless anyway ;~).

              Someone at Nikon (or rather, some management committee) has made a choice at this point. There was no easy answer that was far better than the other. There’s high risk involved in that decision. We’ll either see a lot of folk moving to window offices (not a good thing in Japan) or moving up the corporate ladder based upon this decision.

            • RC Jenkins

              There is no valid “thus” there. There’s no logical conclusion. It’s a huge leap. Based on your opinion & assumptions, not facts.

              The “worse performing” isn’t a given, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the case. There are plenty of indications that F’s physical constraints do cause performance to suffer. For example, take a look at Sigma Arts–which produce ‘the same’ lens for both Nikon & Canon. Often, the Canon versions actually outperform the Nikons in the corners–while even offer additional features for Canon mounts. Like this:
              https://www.sigma-global.com/en/lenses/cas/product/art/a_14_18/rearfilterholder/

              Remember, these are only the options if Nikon sticks with the F-mount. There’s a third option if it doesn’t: a new mount. With adapters that can offer full compatibility or partial, or options in both.

              As I said in my other response, I agree Nikon shouldn’t chase an A9 as a first mirrorless. It’s too high of a bar, with immature, expensive technology. Instead, they need to chase something more readily achievable that they can crush: like a D750 or a Fuji XPro2…but with stellar size, video, IBIS, FF IQ, etc.

        • guibo

          Ideally Nikon introduces a new mirroless mount with a wider opening, short flange distance and no mechanical couplings.
          F-mount lenses can be easily adapted to it with a mount.
          F-mount is too narrow and too compromising going forward.

          Would be really impressive if Nikon can make a mirrorless with no moving parts (no mech shutter)

          • James R Mercer

            That’s an interesting comment – I’m not sure what you mean by F-mount being too narrow/compromising… can you elaborate a bit, please? I may be missing something. 🙂

            • guibo

              Nikon f-mount diameter opening has limited Nikon to f1.4 lenses unlike canon which can make f1.0 lenses with their larger mount. (Nikon has f1.2 lenses but only MF since pin contact space is needed).

              This limitation becomes even worse with a smaller flange distance.

              A Nikon made adapter from a new mirroless mount to f-mount would probably have very few if any limitations. Adapters get a bad rep from 3rd party adapters trying to adapt between different camera and lens brands. This situation is very different.

            • MB

              That is not entirely correct … smaller flange distance will make faster lenses possible … for example Leica has same 44mm mount diameter and makes lenses faster than f/1 … on the other hand it would not make any sense for Nikon to make flange distance smaller because then it would not be F mount at all …
              But there are other more important issues with mirrorless cameras and short flange distances that need to be solved and that make larger mount diameter a necessity … for optimum IQ light rays must be as parallel as possible as they approach the sensors to avoid all kinds of optical problems such as crosstalk, reflections, vignetting etc …that is why high quality mirrorless lenses have similar back focus distances as SLR lenses and are not any smaller …

            • Eric Lee Overton

              Enter nikons patent for a curved sensor…

            • Thom Hogan

              This would be like saying that we should design all cars to go 200 mph because someday you might drive it at the Nurburgring.

              Does Nikon really need f/1 lenses? How many people are buying f/1 lenses? Do you really want an infinitesimally thin focal plane? You wouldn’t be able to keep the eyeball and eyelash in DOF in a portrait.

              So f/1 is a bragging right more than a real need.

            • PhilK

              Yes, but sometimes bragging-rights are important for your brand image.

              Nikon certainly knows this, as they used precisely this sort of tactic for the first ‘teases’ of the D850: the rather obscure “8K timelapse”, which we now know requires external equipment and reconstruction to achieve.

              But anything for those bragging-rights, sometimes..

            • Eric Calabros

              Allowance for bigger rear element doesn’t help designers in making high performance lenses?

            • Spy Black

              It’s why you can’t have a f/1.2 AF lens. With a new and wider mount, you can have faster lenses. It’d be cool to have an f/0.75 lens, for example. You need a wide mount to accomplish that. It would also be backward compatible with F mount via adapter.

            • RC Jenkins

              As others have mentioned below, in general, you want your mount to have:

              -The smallest flange distance
              -The largest throat diameter

              This helps flexibility in lens design, and improves things like sensor-shift stabilization.

              For example, if Nikon has 46.5mm flange distance (can correspond to focal length), and a 44mm throat diameter (can correspond to aperture), it is impossible to make a 46.5mm F/1.0 lens.

              But with a (example) 20mm flange and 50mm throat, a 46.5mm F/1.0 lens is not physically impossible.

              This has similar implications to things like image corner performance, wide angle performance, vignetting, etc.

            • Thom Hogan

              I, for one, have no need for a 46.5mm f/1 lens. How many people actually do?

      • Yes – adapter is the key here, I have a post coming on this topic.

    • Low chance. I think they will introduce a new mount or continue with the Nikon 1. They may also introduce two mirrorless cameras – then one could be with F mount.

      • Spy Black

        I doubt F will be on a mirrorless, unless it’s a 1 inch or M4/3 sensor. Right. 🙂

      • br0xibear

        One of the big problems is that everyone desires something different in a Nikon mirrorless, and Nikon will have to decide which end of the market they address too. Is it the D3400 end or is it the D850 end ? Retro styling or modern ? DSLR replacement or addition to DSLR ?
        So many questions…they can’t please everyone with one or two cameras, it has to be some sort of coherent range.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6f309af2810dd321626daacc22ac719fba5d3e6033948db7dd56c9444bb92991.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2746e3d56156d72c39f89709fcd80263fea1cbeae6e89d1712ed4e071fa91bbe.jpg

        • animalsbybarry

          There are more than one choice Nikon can make so Nikon fans have many differrent preferences
          But if Nikon’s makes a choice, and it works well Nikon fans will probably unite behind it

        • nice 🙂 both of them

        • RC Jenkins

          Agree–I think the key is releasing ranges that take advantage of mirrorless benefits while avoiding mirrorless weaknesses, instead of trying to do the same thing DSLRs do. In other words, don’t do mirrorless just for mirrorless.

          Today, mirrorless camera potential advantages are things like EVF, thin bodies (assuming a new mount), silent shooting, ibis, video, rangefinder ovf, etc.

          General disadvantages are autofocus tracking, ttl OVF, battery life, lens selection, etc.

          I have several cameras in several mounts, and for me, my Fuji X-Pro2 is truly differentiated relative to my Nikon DSLRs. Having an OVF that sees “around” the frame is a huge advantage for sports & active subjects–and EVF is useful sometimes as well. The thinner body is less intimidating and more portable. I’d love to replace it (and its lenses) with a FF Nikon so that I can more readily share my F-mount lenses, for FF, and for my familiar Nikon menus. And IBIS and better video would be great!

          Others may want a single mirrorless camera to come close to emulating what their DSLRs do. That’s fine.

          • Flexibility of optical design is a major advantage of mirrorless. Factor that in as well.

          • PhilK

            One of my biggest peeves about modern Nikons are the increasingly gigantic lenses. For example, I consider the current 24-70 to be bloated abomination for such a short zoom range. I don’t care how good the image it produces is, I would never want to lug a camera around with such a lens on it unless it had a better zoom range.

            Nikon’s electronic miniaturization technology may be partly to blame, but I’d hope that removing the need for mechanical linkages and in-lens VR along with electronic “brains” in the lens in general would finally allow them to get back to a camera/lens design that allows someone like me to get back to the basics of shooting with nice dedicated dials on top for key functions and a camera/lens combo that isn’t a chore to lug around.

            Maybe silent-stepper AF allows them to cut down the lens size as well. Superior function for video makes that a win/win in my book. (Not that I would be using the video functionality myself but I think a MILC from Nikon needs to have stellar video capability to get them back in the game for that type of customer)

            • Thom Hogan

              Hmm. I’m sitting here with an A9 and the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM and not really seeing your point ;~).

            • PhilK

              I’m not saying those Sony GM lenses are good examples.

              Thinking more like the Fuji X-Pro2 kind of thing.

              Yes, it’s APS-C, but I think scaling it up to FF wouldn’t necessarily require lenses like that Sony behemoth you got there. 😉

              And nothing criminal about the idea of an APS-C Nikon MILC either. Especially since it may end up replacing their lower-end DSLRs before long anyway.

            • Thom Hogan

              The minute you say f/2.8 FX, you’re going to have a big lens. Sony finessed this by first introducing f/4 zooms (and the 24-70mm was further compromised). Made everyone think “small package, light weight.” But the minute you try to be equivalent, oops. Well, at least the body is thinner and the battery smaller ;~).

              Nikon’s FX f/1.8G primes are already smallish and lightish. The could be smaller by changing the design so it isn’t so protective of the inner pieces (there’s a fair amount of non-useful space between the plastic outer case and the inner workings on most of them, and by design). But I don’t think that would really address anything.

        • SteveWithAnS

          Mirrorless rangefinder body like the Fujis.

        • Hmmm, both retro.

          • PhilK

            I think those designs are very nice, tho I’d like to see what the tops look like.

            I wish Nikon would get out of the rut of trying to make their retro stuff look like a film camera they already produced. Because I never particularly liked either the style or the ergonomics of the FE. It had a loud, clacky shutter, a crappy feel on the film advance, annoying little levers, loud/clunky motor drive, etc. I just get reminded of those bad memories when I look at a Df..

            If it has to be based on an old film camera, give me an F2, F3, F4.. or an F100 if we don’t need analog printed dials…

            • Claude Mayonnaise

              Depending which eye is dominant , The worst is the FE film advance hitting into your face while looking through the viewfinder.

            • PhilK

              Lucky for me I guess, I tend to use my right eye on the viewfinder.

        • Thom Hogan

          Yes, and I like both your renders.

          Look, D3xxx styling has no fans. Zero. It’s okay, and enough like the bigger Nikon DSLRs so that it’s recognizable, but no one’s buying into the low-end styles.

          Your renders are pretty much where Nikon should be going. Fujifilm is siphoning off quite a few Nikon faithful because they like the retro style (plus everything else seems good for mirrorless, including all those APS-C lenses that Nikon never made).

          Sony’s styling leaves much to be desired. Okay, it looks okay, but in the hand it just doesn’t feel all that comfortable for long shooting sessions. As much as the A9 fixed, there are still too many ergonomic issues.

        • Espen4u

          Awesome mock-ups! Hard to decide wich one I want the most 😉

      • Andrew

        Peter, first of all, I was indeed correct on the pricing on the D850 😉 You were cautiously optimistic if it turned out to be the case and hoped that my phantom contacts at Nikon would make good 😉 I felt that Nikon had to keep their pricing affordable if you can call it that. It shows us that Nikon is aware of customer needs and will not take advantage of even the perceived value of its new product.

        Now with regards to the Nikon 1, the new back illuminated sensor technology will make these cameras more appealing for better low light performance if they keep the current pixel count in check.

        They will definitely have two mounts as you suggested. I hope Nikon has a back illuminated sensor on their new P900 replacement. Maybe it was for this reason that the DL cameras were canceled. This is an exciting time to be making a new camera purchase with the D850 and the coming cameras 😉

        • Ok, now I am sure you work for Nikon:) The D850 price and now the two mirrorless cameras – I have been reporting this rumor for a while: https://nikonrumors.com/2017/07/17/what-to-expect-next-from-nikon-12.aspx/

        • Sports

          “Nikon had to keep their pricing affordable if you can call it that. It shows us that Nikon is aware of customer needs and will not take advantage of even the perceived value of its new product.”

          @fromAndrew:disqus … but only In the US??? The rest of the world got significant price increases. So much for “not taking advantage of …”.

        • Thom Hogan

          First of all, the J5 is already BSI. So no, that alone will not keep the Nikon 1 models alive. In terms of dynamic range optimization, we’re pretty much done at the 1″ sensor size until some new technology comes along. And that’s not progressing very fast (e.g. quantum dots, spillover electron well, etc.), plus because of economics, we’ll see it first in smartphones so would have plenty of warning about it, I think.

          The only thing to make the Nikon 1 series more appealing in low light is more fast lenses. Three in particular (using full frame focal lengths): 24mm, 35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, all as fast you can make them without making them too large.

          But here’s Nikon’s dilemma. They could have easily made those four lenses (and a V4). But introducing ANYTHING in the Nikon 1 realm prior to telling the world what they’ll do to compete with Canon/Fujifilm/Sony in the APS-C and larger mirrorless market would be marketing suicide.

          Then there’s the silly thing that none of the DSLR accessories like Speedlights work with Nikon 1. Total product line management failure. Total.

          Nikon’s problems are twofold: (1) they’re not perceived as being positioned for the future (e.g. mirrorless credibility); and (2) they have no rationalized product line management system that hooks someone on a lower model and moves them up over time, or allows a top end user to buy a pocket camera from them. Again, total product line management failure. From the top down.

      • Thom Hogan

        I keep getting conflicting information out of Japan. I believe they’ve pursued pretty much every possibility. Given that they’re now talking about an end of year announcement, that would seem to indicate that they’ve made up their minds.

        You’re right on one thing: the Nikon 1 isn’t totally out of the question yet. But they simply can’t introduce a new Nikon 1 model until they’ve told the world what they’re going to do to compete with Fujifilm/Canon/Sony in the APS-C and above class of mirrorless.

        Canon, as far as I’m concerned, made an excellent choice. They basically experimented with the early M’s, but have now pretty much made that lineup a very nice ramp up into the DSLR lineup. M100, M6, M5, SL2, Rebel, ##D, full frame D (plus Cinema). That’s a very rational and full lineup that is consistent, doesn’t obsolete a user no matter where they are buying today (e.g. moving up from lower model, or adding lower model as pocket camera for higher model). They’ve done the thing that Nikon once did in reusing parts to the nth degree, particularly sensor tech.

        Nikon, in my view, completely lost a clear view of how all their parts fit together. That pretty much started with the Nikon 1, but has persisted since. They need to fix that, and immediately.

        The Canon approach was one Nikon could have done some time ago. They didn’t. Now they may be aiming at the wrong point (full frame), as Canon will extend M to full frame soon, and Sony is already in full frame big time with all the A’s.

        • I agree – this is why the rumors I am hearing about 2 mirrorless cameras makes sense.

          • Thom Hogan

            Well it’s clear that another Nikon 1 was developed but never put into production. It’s also clear that both DX and FX mirrorless has been prototyped and lenses designed.

            Which of those is the “new mirrorless camera Nikon wants to introduce before end of year” is the problem. I don’t know.

      • James R Mercer

        Thanks for the response. 🙂

    • Your best hope is that the high-end mirrorless cameras include an adapter to the F mount. If we’re really lucky, they’ll include compatibility with the mechanical aperture, though I doubt they’ll stuff an AF-D motor into an adapter.

      Worst-case scenario, the adapter that offers *ONLY* SWM autofocus and “E” aperture compatibility is $100-200, and the adapter that somehow manages to mechanically actuate older apertures is $200-400.

      There is approximately a 0.0001% chance that all but the highest-end flagships keep the original F mount without any adapters. The potential is just too great for Nikon to start selling a whole new line of mirrorless lenses, which would be a real cash cow for them even if most of the better, sharper, faster lenses are just as big and heavy as their DSLR counterparts.

      There will of course be some weight savings and compactness to be had for “lesser” lenses, like slower primes and variable aperture kit zooms; we’ve already seen this in APS-C kit lenses for the Sony and Canon APS-C mirrorless bodies. But most pros will want to use fast, sharp lenses, and most of those aren’t going to be much lighter or smaller, or cheaper.

      In other words, hold onto all your G / E / SWM etc. lenses.

      There is approximately a 0.01% chance that the highest-end flagship Nikon mirrorless camera will maintain the F mount, call it a mirrorless D5, since most flagship users will be happy if the camera is just marginally smaller and lighter than the existing D5 form factor. I think most would rather have insane battery life, than save a few ounces compared to say a gripped Sony A9.

      Until Nikon gives “E” updates to all its big gun and other flagship lenses, it is in Nikon’s best interest to maintain compatibility with the mechanical aperture at the very least, even if they decide to debut a mirrorless flagship that keeps the F-mount but finally omits AF-D lens compatibility, for cost / weight savings.

      • PhilK

        I sincerely doubt they will try to produce a “mirrorless D5” right away. For one thing, the sales volume of such a product will be low, given the expected price, regardless of how well-received it is.

        If I were in their shoes I would release some sort of mid-range, advanced-hobbyist type product – they can always bring out a flagship-type model later.

        Give the initial model several truly unique features that no one else has, and correcting a longstanding list of modern Nikon DSLR gripes that didn’t get addressed – or completely addressed – by the D850. (Uncompetitive video functionality, lack of OSPDAF, physical size, silent/global shutter, better auto-white-balance, EVF, setting customization memory presets, fully articulating display, rework the wireless/wired connectivity and apps/software interoperability, etc)

        How about some mode that allows you to shoot 3D pics that display on that fancy 3D-capable TV you bought? 8K video at high-framerate/full frame? Auto-panorama? Nice HDR mode with shake/registration correction. How about add-on firmware upgrades that provide Snapchat/Instagram type filters with instant social media sharing? (New revenue-stream for Nikon)

        • Oh, I didn’t mean to imply “right away” for a “mirrorless D5″… I’m sure they’ll wait until well after a D6 is due, (skipping a D5s?) before delivering a mirrorless flagship of such nature.

          However, I do believe that they’ll launch two at once. One that is aimed squarely at pros, and one that is aimed at “prosumers” but at least affordable enough to be acquired by enough of the masses to rival the D300’s success.

          You may be right, Nikon may do something more along the lines of a mirrorless D750 or D850 before they deliver a mirrorless D5. If they get the on-sensor autofocus technology right the first time, I’m sure they could match both the FPS and the AF reliability of the D5 in a ~$3K, ~D750 sized package on their very first go-round. And then they could release a “mirrorless D5” 1-2 years later, with slight but important tweaks to the AF technology, a massive battery for near-D5 battery life, and whatever other things they still deem appropriate for only flagship bodies.

      • Thom Hogan

        Let’s take the primary groups I’ve identified and see how they respond:

        Last Camera Syndrome: likely no mirrorless offering short of full F-compatibility is going to budge them.
        Leakers: at no F-mount compatibility, the leaking becomes a flood. At some F-mount compatibility, the leaking increases. A full F-mount compatibility, the leaking slows.
        Samplers: Nothing changes.
        Updaters: here’s where it gets interesting. Some updaters will update sooner with the right mirrorless offering. They might also Supplement. But what is that “right” offering?

        The D6 will be a hybrid, I’ll bet (and we’re just over two years away). It’ll be a DSLR with mirrorless capability via sensor or focus screen PD. Which likely means it needs a hybrid viewfinder, too, whatever that might look like. It’s also possible that pellicle might return, though I doubt it.

        • I think if we still have two years to go, EVF tech will improve enough such that we won’t need a hybrid VF, let alone that pellicle thingie. Ugh. The last thing Nikon needs is a mirrorless flagship that introduces yet another technology already perceived as a dead-end. I hope Nikon is listening to what people are saying about Sony’s pellicle stuff versus the direction the A9 is taking.

          I think the “right mirrorless offering” is easy: something the masses can buy in high volume, and hopefully rave about. Take the traditional price range of the D700 and D300, knock off $500-$750 thanks to the cheaper MFG costs “because mirrorless”, and boom, you’ve got a mirrorless duo that “everybody” can buy.

          I suspect these options will weigh and cost about as much as the D7500 and D750, yet perform more along the lines of the D500 and D850. Automatic smash hits, if they can simply avoid QC or other blunders.

          Make it a a whole new mount of course, and fully electronic. A simple electronic F adapter might not even be necessary, considering the current lack of “E” lenses thus far, but that may change in the next ~2 years I suppose. Regardless, the most desirable adapter will be the one that offers mechanical aperture operation, but not AF-D operation.

          If necessary, this adapter could be offered in two versions, a simple one that only offers aperture control through the camera dials, and another adapter that offers a clicked and de-clicked physical ring for additional aperture control, and of course AI-S etc. lens compatibility. I’d prefer the latter, but I could see how the former would be popular among early adopters / “kids these days”.

          Last but not least, they could either announce that they’re also working on an AF-D compatible adapter, or they could just wait and see if there’s a terrible uproar before putting too much more energy into an AF-D adapter.

          The only problem left is, from a corporate perspective at least half the reason to go mirrorless is lowering production costs by eliminating all the mechanical legacy nonsense that they’ve been chained to for the last decade-plus, when both autofocus and aperture technology should have evolved to fully electronic operation many years ago. Hopefully, having to produce 2-3 different adapters that have all sorts of mechanical parts won’t be a financial show-stopper for Nikon. My guess is that it’ll be fine; Nikon will just charge less for the body itself, and much more for the adapter. This seems highly likely, considering the history of high-priced grips and other accessories, compared to the surprisingly competitive pricing of literally all the bodies from the D300 to the D850.

    • Jeffry De Meyer

      Pretty good, if they were planning on switching mount they wouldn’t be releasing all these new lenses

      • Thom Hogan

        Yes, that is a clue. The 70-300mm AF-P is very, very interesting.

        • My question is why they don’t put AF-P in any of the high-end lenses? Is that a clue or just a simple matter of timing?

          • Thom Hogan

            That’s a good question. AF-P is an answer to multiple questions. So far it’s mostly about addressing costs. But many of us are betting that it’s a clue as to where Nikon will enter mirrorless (lower end, not higher end).

            • this is exactly my concern – low end AF-P lenses that can be used with a future mirrorless camera – that means the camera will be low end

            • Eric Calabros

              All their new FF lenses are E, being AF-S or AF-P. But that’s not true about new DX lenses. So I think they keep the F mount for FX mirrorless, and announce a new mount for DX mirrorless (44mm throat, 24mm flange could be a good candidate).

  • Pablo And-Jennifer Gabetta

    Could this be the real D700 replacement?????
    Just kidding…

    • PhilK

      I am happy to say that regardless the perennial critics, the D500 and D850 FINALLY seem to be the long-requested, and worthy, successors to the D300s and the D700.

      • Pablo And-Jennifer Gabetta

        I agree.

  • docnorth

    1) Hopefully this means more PF (tele)lenses are coming.
    2)Global shutter for a high-end DSLR? high-end mirrorless? Let’s see what they can deliver about light gathering and speed, because after D850 the expectations are higher

  • docnorth

    UNRELATED: The fotos of klyuchevskaya sopka volcano from space (ISS) are shot with Nikon gear?

  • Duncan Dimanche

    WHEN is the d300s ‘s REPLACEMENT ?!!!
    hahaha JK

    I miss those days

  • S Cargill

    Top middle looks like my cell phone from 15 years ago.

  • Ric of The LBC

    Golf cart drone. Brilliant!

    • John Alexander

      great to find your lost ball

      • Thom Hogan

        Seems easier to make tracking in the ball.

      • Ric of The LBC

        or evidence of a foot wedge.

  • cBBp

    Mirrorless only interests me so that someone can make a tilt shift adapter in between it and my tilt shift lenses to give me dual tilt and shift functionality. Oh the dual axis hyperfocalness of it all is really appealing. As well as the super miniatures.

  • Spy Black

    “…can be used for attaching an EVF to a mirrorless camera…”

    Cringe-worthy information…

    • If their next mirrorless isn’t a serious camera they’re shooting themselves in the foot. Any serious camera is going to have a built-in EVF.

      • eric

        What is it with EVF people? It’s like some cult. Some of us prefer to shoot photos without looking at screens.

        • I agree, but with mirrorless you’re NOT going to look through the lens. The option is to look at the picture taking area on the LCD on the back of the camera. It’s better, IMHO, to have a viewfinder built into the camera than to have one that is separate from he camera and is usually placed into the hotshot. There are other “advantages” to mirrorless than how you look and compose your picture. Everything is a tradeoff.

          • PhilK

            Some people don’t mind sticking their arms out in front of themselves and squinting at the display on the back of the camera to compose pictures. Personally I despise it.

            So a detachable EVF is an interesting option when you want to produce fewer models, but allow people to customize them according to their preferred viewfinder system. I don’t see anything inherently wrong with that, as long as the quality/price are appropriate and competitive, and the design robust/reliable.

            • What’s inherently wrong with it is the a) durability; it’s too easy to break it off the hotshoe. b) it usually goes into the hotshoe and you lose the ability to use flash. c) It’s easy to lose the damn thing.

        • SteveWithAnS

          The ability to brace the camera against your face and shoot video with zebra stripes would be awesome. If you don’t care about video though I guess mirrorless is worthless.

          • eric

            This sounds like some sort of Nikon marketing haiku…I don’t understand it but i see it.

        • Thom Hogan

          You need to look at something. What would that be on a mirrorless camera?

          • eric

            Optical viewfinder like that on the Leica M.

    • MB

      This is actually an old patent for Nikon 1 system that has been approved only recently …

      • PhilK

        The problem with the patent system is that all of the stuff we see after a patent has actually been granted were submitted years ago. Often at a time when the company’s direction was quite a bit different than it is at the time the patent is finally granted.

  • CRB

    Wow…2030 will be exciting…

    • eric

      wow…that’s deeply cynical but also funny…

    • Allan

      Tell me, with a serious face, that the last 15 years of digital photography have not been exciting.

      • Allan

        And so will the next 15 years.

  • sickheadache

    Dual Layer Sensor..That’s new!

  • Claude Mayonnaise

    I think Nikon has all of their serious DSLR’s in order to last a good number of years now. I’m assuming they realize it is time to focus on the mirrorless market now. It’s going to be entertaining to see what they come up with. I’m predicting an intiall competitor to the to the Canon M, Sony a6000, fuji X series. This most likely will be the new bread and butter system for the company replacing the lower tiers of DSLR’s.

  • Sounds like a lot of potentially great stuff. The on-sensor autofocus patents in particular give me a little bit of hope for killer AF on Nikon’s first forray in to FX mirrorless. (Or even DX mirrorless for that matter of course, although I suspect that like the D3’s ground-breaking revolution, they’ll also present a DX “little brother” at the same exact time…)

  • eric

    Mirrorless is the future for the next few years. I will be waiting to see what Nikon does here. The dslr era is over in my mind.

    • JasonsArgonauts

      Mirrorless is definitely the future, but I really don’t think the DSLR era is over just yet. There’s likely to be a few more generations before the mirrorless revolution takes off slowly but surely. Every manufacturer needs to sort it’s mirrorless issues out before the consumer market really takes to it in a massive way, which is obviously what the manufacturers need to survive.

  • SteveWithAnS

    I’d love a global shutter so I can make lightning videos that don’t look like garbage!

  • docnorth

    That will be a dream lens but maybe even more expensive than current 600mm 1/4 FL. A slower version i.e. 600mm 1/5,6 could be another option and of cource shorter lenses, eg 500mm 1/5,6 (500mm was never the ultimate professional tool), 400mm 1/4 or 1/4,5. The loss of 1 stop is a big issue for professionals but the lens could be 50-60% cheaper and aim a wider audience. As you probably guess I’m an amateur (I shoot weddings, events etc, but only to assist an old friend) so my needs and wishes are a little bit different.

    • animalsbybarry

      PF lenses would be very well suited to the new Mirrorless FF cameras where compact size an light wieght are very important

      I read about ( but I can’t find the link) a new 3D printer of extremely high resolution that can make two element fresnel lenses ( like two back to back PF elements) that are perfectly aligned and of much higher quality than anything currently made
      Obviously this would not only improve the quality but also drastically reduce the price
      I will see if I can find a link and post it if I find it

      • docnorth

        Yes 3D printers are coming fast. But I think their first application in photography (like in vehicles industry) could be the parts sector. Imagine that Nikon (or Canon etc) won’t have to store all parts for 10 years and that you can find a new SWM for your ultra tele after 15 or 20 years… 3D printing of such precision you mention should or must have industrial level specifications (I don’t know about size). Nikon recently said they are evolving new industrial techniques to improve performance of their optics to a new higher level. Let’s hope it will happen soon. I am not very optimistic about lower prices, but I wish they achieve even better performance and LESS VARIATION (that would be the ultimate advantage against 3rd party lenses).

  • Thom Hogan

    Yes, they do, but they’re nowhere near perfect.

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