Nikon mirrorless camera rumors, speculations and predictions


One of the main reasons I have been holding back on reporting rumors about the upcoming Nikon mirrorless camera is the different information I am receiving from sources. I have already discussed this topic several times in the past - I think the reason why we are still getting conflicting information is the fact (or rather the rumor) that Nikon will introduce two mirrorless cameras. Here is a recap of the latest rumors, speculations and predictions (still subject to change):

  • One Nikon DX and one FX mirrorless cameras will be introduced (maybe not at the same time) - see all the FX and DX lens patents that were filed in the last past few years.
  • New mirrorless mount - this is pretty much the consensus based on all the tips I have received.
  • Several new mirrorless lenses will be launched together with the new camera(s).
  • Two different sensor resolutions: 21MP (probably the D500 sensor) and 45MP (probably the D850 sensor). Nikon is still considering to drop the DX version and go full frame only for their mirrorless solution.
  • I already mentioned that Nikon is putting a lot of effort in making a new adapter for Nikon F-mount lenses to work with the new mirrorless mount.
  • Another area where Nikon is putting a lot of effort, research and money is the viewfinder - power consumption, lag, resolution, refresh rate, etc. which are all areas Nikon thinks need serious improvements. I was told that this is where Nikon is expected to be better than the competition and this was one of the main reasons they did not join the mirrorless market earlier (Nikon talked about a professional Nikon mirrorless camera back in 2014). The expectation is that if a DSLR user (OVF) picks up a Nikon mirrorless camera with an EVF, they should not notice any difference and the transitions should be seamless.
  • The official Nikon mirrorless camera announcement is still expected in 2018, I have no other details.

Nikon has mentioned in several interviews in the past that a new larger sensor mirrorless system is a possibility:

Nikon large sensor mirrorless camera is a possibility

Nikon 1 is still alive, larger sensor mirrorless solution is being considered

New interview with Tetsuro Goto from Nikon: “full frame is the trend, if Nikon will go mirrorless it must be full frame”

If you have any details on the upcoming Nikon mirrorless camera, you can contact me anonymously here.

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  • Gaonkar

    FX & DX with a good flawless adapter to mount all its present DSLR lenses would be the perfect solution.
    CX should be dropped.

  • Tieu Ngao

    Assuming Nikon will be able to produce two FX mirrorless cameras that are as good as D850 and D760 (D750 replacement) and also have all the advantages of a mirrorless camera. The sales of these two new cameras will negatively impact the sales of the D850 and D760 UNLESS they have a new mount and new lenses. I think Nikon will continue sell/update their DSLR for about 5-10 years and at the same time building up the ecosystem for mirrorless cameras.

    The situation of DX is slightly different: Nikon doesn’t have a lot of decent DX lenses and they’ll continue to sell/update the D7500 and D500. It makes sense that the DX mirrorless cameras with new mount will replace the D3xxx and D5xxx and they will grow to eventually replace D7500/D500.

  • Wolf33d

    Give me a Mirorless D850 with IBIS and PDAF and I am all set.

    • Oz Baz

      Agreed. The D850 is damn near perfect but it is too big for my uses

      • Wolf33d

        Indeed, I forgot to add “at half the weight” but that’s obvious.
        1kg for D850 ? No thank you.

  • not too liberal

    Sometimes, I think Nikon is thinking too much, and not doing enough. If they just make the next camera, people will buy them. I like my Nikon A and I like my V2. I admit I bought the both A and V2 second hand at discounted prices (their prices at release were too high, that was one of the problems). If Nikon can upgrade those two, I will definitely consider buying again (if price is right). Nikon A has a great sensor, but not so good controls; the V2 needs a better sensor. I believe some incremental changes can still win back some existing customers. Besides, upgrading an existing line should be cheaper than releasing a totally new line? (I don’t know, at least in terms of R&D cost.)

    If Nikon just replicate the A7 series, I think many people will buy them simply because it is Nikon. Of course, I believe Nikon can do better given that the A7 series are out there for many years already. A good adapter for existing lenses will certainly help.
    I will be less excited about an DX, but hey I am even satisfied with the Nikon A. Even they give a good sensor, better AF and control, and make a beautiful pancake lens for it, I will definitely consider it as an upgrade to the Nikon A.

    • Markus

      The CX needed more love. Better sensor and a standard hotshoe. At least to trigger the Speedlites.

      I honestly expect a great cam from Nikon.

  • Mike

    Nikon has said the E series lenses offer more consistent exposures under high frame rate scenarios. The conspiracy theorist in me has always thought it was in preperation for a mirrorless camera and/or adapter for a mirrorless camera. The aperture lever adds complexity when mounting an adapter, but an electronic or electro-magnet controled aperture is easier to adapt to lens adapter.

  • not too liberal

    Just another post for Nikon 1: for many of us, we don’t want to replace our DSLR (we want to have a D850, D500, etc). But we also want to experiment with new toys! We want cameras that can do what we cannot do with a DSLR. With the Nikon 1, we can do birding with a small package, we can shot 15fps, … Thom said it is the consumer market that Nikon needs to grab, then I think Nikon needs to make cameras more playful, better integrated with cell phones, and starting from there …
    Serious FX mirrorless is certainly welcome, but let’s be realistic: if it uses the D850 sensor and with all the features we need, it will cost more than the D850! How many people can really afford it?! On the other hand, a DX version at the price of D3400 will certainly be more appealing to many.
    Still one has to remember small is not always bad. Back up to the Nikon 1, you can resolve a lot more details with CX at 24mp. So on a sunny day, you can beat a DSLR in some sense. In fact, on a sunny day, the cell phones take good pictures now. I believe that’s one of the reasons why the P900 is selling.
    On a side note, Nikon should serious consider make lenses/accessories for cellphones. People upgrade their phones every two years, I don’t think many will buy a new camera every two years, especially the DSLRs.

  • John Hardy

    Most of you need to apply for a job at Nikon since you like talking about fantasy business over the internet too much.

  • Nikon, please don’t embarrass yourself and don’t copy Leica; after all this is the reason I’ve avoided Fuji lineup. Make something that’s different for once.

    • Brian Arndt

      I actually would love a Nikon more in the mold of Leica. A simple high quality rangefinder type of body that can take on travel and leave the D850 for bigger shots. DX format with some small high quality primes would be great. I’ve had several Fuji X cameras and in my opinion all of them were fiddly and the raw files were terrible to work with in Lightroom. I am so used to working with NEF and like to be consistent in my editing. Bring on the Nikon M!

      • Oz Baz

        ? Digital Nikon SP but more modern lens mount.

    • Oz Baz

      Nikon don’t have to copy Leica to be retro. They basically set the shape of the manual Film SLR with their F, F2 etc. They had their own beautiful rangefinder series culminating in the stunning SP and S3. However you have a point perhaps a new design to become a modern classic.

    • TurtleCat

      Fuji didn’t copy Leica. They have plenty of rangefinder cameras and have done them for years. They didn’t need to look to Leica for inspiration.

      • That is true, but Leica was still the first to introduce the rangefinder and all other companies came after that, right?

        • TurtleCat

          Yes, but I think in the discussion of digital rangefinder-inspired cameras it’s not accurate. Or we should all say our vehicles are all inspired by the original Benz (first ever car). Or that all cameras are inspired by daguerreotype systems.

  • tomskyphoto

    If someeone wants to see a truly modern mirrorless mount go over to DJI’s website and look at the specifications of their new Zenmuse X7 ILC for professional filmmaking with their Inspire drones. The sensor is essentially an APS-C or Super 35 and the camera puts it behind a brand new lens mount, called DL by DJI.

    Flange distance: 16.84 mm
    Diameter: 58 mm

    Four f 2.8 primes with 16, 24, 35 and 50 mm focal length, the latter three with leaf shutters; carbon fiber barrels and all weighing around 180 grams.

    All falling right out of the blue – a very competent camera plus a set of lenses with a new lens mount. And it’s made by the Chinese…

  • olly

    I think the autofocusing will be the hardest task for Nikon with mirrorless system.
    Would be nice to have both FX and DX formats. But FX will be the first one to come out. Don’t think they will implement IBIS. Functioning F adapter would be nice. Sure it is going to be 4K capable, but could they do it without sensor crop or line skipping. Hope it will have headphone jack additionally to mic input.
    As the camera is long long waited, they should not hold back wth features. All they have put to the D850, mirrorless should have as well. Even more than that.

  • Oz Baz

    I hope they also release an official S mount adapter for Nikon rangefinder lenses

  • zzzxtreme

    I’m starting to use manual lenses. and V1 has plenty right :
    1)focus assistant that stays active during continuous shooting and video recording
    2)silent shutter with minimal blackouts
    3)re-adjust aperture during video recording

  • Hector Gonzalez

    Any rumor on how the body will look, dials bottoms on the pro FX mirrorless??

    • I have not heard anything.

      • Hector Gonzalez

        Thank you Peter.

  • Oz Baz

    All I ask of Nikon is don’t f… this up. No skimping on features. It has to have a great view finder/EVF and the autofocus has to be great.

  • Anthony Papagallo

    FX ONLY strategy is dead right. Period.

    • Allen_Wentz

      Nah. I think Nikon needs both FX/DX to compete. DX allows the bigger size/weight savings and reaches the bigger market segment. And the D500 unequivocally proves DX can rock both features and IQ [Which some folks like me have always believed, since the D2x].

      FX proves that you are a big boy and provides an upgrade/upsell path.

  • Chinky

    I don’t want large FX lenses! For shooting weddings, I use my d500 and 16-80 lens combo over my d750 and 24-120 lens combo all the time. For travel, pro video and even for wedding photography, I’d choose a neewest Nikon DX sensor and DX lenses over FX. The IQ from the d500 is just as good. With mirrorless, the camera will be lighter than the d500 which will be great for travel and personal use where I hate shlepping large cameras. And for video too, apsc is the perfect combo for excellent IQ and a reduction in weight and size over FX.

  • jimh

    I went to Sony mirrorless APS-C a couple years ago; but I always thought I might come back to Nikon someday. Dropping DX would be the dumbest thing Nikon ever did. Is absolutely everyone drinking the FF KoolAid?

  • olly

    Fuji shows well, when DX is well made, it sells. Canon’s take on DX is half baked. If Nikon just would make the best spec, feature, usability DX on the market, it would sell. Samsung made NX1, wich is still one of the best spec DX cameras around. So it shows that best RD is not everything. I am still sure, Nikon has enough credibility to make it work. Another thing is, they should come out with many lenses to the system at once when camera announced. Like Zeiss did with Milvus line. It gives confirmation to the consumer, that the system will be well supported and backs up the camera sale.

  • Chinky

    Nikon, please make a d500 and 16-80 f2.8-4 lens camera/lens combo in a mirrorless version. Both, camera and lens should be not more than 875 grams combined.

    I love the d500 and 16-80 lens combo over any camera and lens I ever owned , including over all FF cameras I ever used. But I wantthat combo in a lighter version and with fast video autofocus. I think mirrorless is the answer.

    I absolutely don’t want FF. I sold one d750 and I use another for backup to the d500 because I hate heavy FF zoom lenses. Yes, I only use zoom lenses. 95% of the time I use FF 24-120mm and crop 16-80mm. I only use the FF 18-35mm (on the d750) when I need to go wider than 24mm.

    Nikon if you produce an APSC mirrorless camera, please also produce a standard zoom lens with a maximum aperture of f4 ( I think f2.8 all the way through will be too heavy), not something like f3.5-5.6 or as Canon has for their mirrorless camera, a f4.5-6.3 standard zoom lens, which is ridiculous . Good standard zoom lenses are equally as important as mirroless crop cameras.

    • nzswedespeed

      Have you not heard of the excellent 16-80 f2.8-4…?

      Edit – sorry I see your referring to mirorless. If it comes with the f mount that could be the lens for you

      • Chinky

        The 16-80mm lens is my favorite standard zoom lens I ever owned. However, as much as I love that lens, an F-mount on mirrorless wouldn’t help me as the motor would make noise from autofocusing so it’s unusable for video.

  • Clive McCarthy

    I’m an artist and I use a Nikon V3 for my work. I most commonly use the 6.7mm-13mm wide angle zoom lens (18mm-35mm equivalent) and the modest size of the V3 meets my needs. My DLSR just sits on a shelf along with a host of it’s DX lenses.

    There are all kinds of camera related facilities that Nikon will likely address but there are some quite obvious things they need to adopt that phone cameras already have. Cameras are now computers with sensors and fancy glass attached. Not the other way about.

    First is for the camera to be charged via the USB connector. If they adopt a type-C connector it can fast charge and the charging block can simply go away. One less thing to carry around.

    Secondly, is that WiFi connection should be a client not a server. The camera could then join a network and share the DCIM folder on a network. It could then, on command, upload images directly to a server such as a laptop.

    Thirdly, Google has got some very smart people that have significantly advanced the state of HDR in phones which obviously have ridiculously tiny lenses. Nikon needs to do at least as well as Google but in the realm of larger lens cameras.

    Fourthly, a minor issue, simply Exif tagging the images with the camera orientation made sense when the cameras had little computing horsepower. The cameras should now actually rotate the image and set the tag to horizontal. It would save a lot of nonsense downstream and would be completely retro-compatible.

    Fifth, quit the proprietary nonsense and publish all the control codes for the ptp interface.

  • Clive McCarthy

    I have a question: when I set the resolution of a camera to a lower number is the pixel data merged to provide more sensitivity?

    My now defunct V2 had a pixel area of 8.2 square microns. The V3 went down to 6.4 square microns. For me, and most other people that put images only on screens, more pixel area is more important than simply more pixels. I want to be able to trade sensitivity with resolution.

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