Nikon full-frame mirrorless camera: What to expect?

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On the morning of Monday 23 July 2018, Nikon posted a teaser campaign video, entitled ‘In Pursuit Of Light’.

Now while details about the camera depicted are more or less non-existent – indeed, it’s a video seemingly set in the dead of night – we believe this to be the first glimpse at the Japanese company’s much rumoured full-frame mirrorless camera.

Why are we jumping to such a verdict? Well, fast-forward to towards the end of the video and you’ll see the silhouette of the camera body, its lens detaching and floating away, as if by magic. The glowing ring depicted shows an apparently huge lens mount (at least proportionally to the body) – which is necessary to create an ample image circle to cover a full-frame sensor’s significant size.

Sure, it might also depict a lens with a super-wide aperture – that could be Nikon’s push, in a similar vein to the Fujifilm X-series of lenses – as there is also a rumour that Nikon will launch with a Leica-matching f/0.95 optic to lure in a specific pro audience.

 

Now, Nikon isn’t new in the mirrorless market. Its 1 Series, led by its J cameras from 2011, was populating the lower-end of the market with great frequency until about 2015 when everything stopped and went quiet, followed by an official statement in 2018 that the production line had ceased, including its lenses.

Thus, we expect the lens mount for the mirrorless full-framer to be a new one. Clues here are when looking at the camera silhouette: the distance from rear of lens to where the sensor would theoretically sit isn’t as far as Nikon’s FX lenses (for its full-frame DSLR cameras), thus it points to a whole new mount.

Other details are scarce, but the DSLR-like silhouette in the video shows there’s a built-in viewfinder. We’ve been watching the lightpath in the video for any clues, but short of the rainbow-colour rays taking a right-angle turn, it seems to be for visual spectacle rather than scientific giveaway. Or, who knows, maybe Nikon will have a translucent mirror proposition just like Sony (we doubt it).

Being 2018 it’s a Photokina year, the bi-annual photo show held in Cologne, Germany, at the tail-end of September. And that, we suspect, will be the launch ground for this whole new Nikon camera system. We expect it to be combatted by its closest competition with similar such product, too.

With that in mind, we would anticipate more Nikon mirrorless full-frame camera rumours appearing over the coming eight weeks in the run-up, with an on-sale date likely to follow rapidly afterwards, before the year’s end.

Here’s hoping it’s an exciting product that can spell a positive future for Nikon…

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